Jesus: “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.”

“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:

1 – Mind Wandering

Elsewhere A Course in Miracles 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 recognize that also, in this other passage, we learn that there are no idle thoughts, that they all create form at some level, we are brought up short, and we realize what a mistake we have made. We don’t know what these forms are, but we can imagine that some of them are probable realities (from Jane Roberts’s Seth), and we may get ourselves in very serious trouble if we allow the forms that we are creating to stand. Allowing these forms to stand is exactly the reason that we are becoming so fearful (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM). And fear is of the ego, always. Let us never forget that.

2 – Our Guide

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. Jesus also indicates that we only need to strengthen our motivation to learn A Course in Miracles, that once the motivation is strengthened, everything else will fall into place. We need to talk to Jesus as to a friend, to realize that he is actually near–when we have called to him. It takes very little deviation from science to know that a single object can be in more than one place at a time; this is current day physics. And Jesus, master that he is, can appear wherever and whenever he is needed. In addition, the Teachers of Teachers can help us, giving us their ideas when we falter (from the Manual of ACIM). If having either Jesus or a Teacher appear to us would be disconcerting or fearful, we can tune our minds and hearts to their words. It is not beyond reasonable consideration that we are guided every step of the way. And we do sometimes, even with clear minds and no mental illness, hear locutions (inner thoughts that we did not “think”) that guides our journey.

3 – Strong Fear

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. This cannot be said enough. The motivation is key. And the more time that we devote to following Jesus’s words, the more desirous we will be to do so all the time. He does not want to make our decisions for us, though. Mari Perron, the scribe of A Course of Love, indicates that he told us just that in an internal monologue. At that time, she was depending on Jesus to make her decisions for herself, and he let her know that this was inappropriate.

4 – Monitor Thoughts

So let us monitor our thoughts. Let us turn inward when we sense fear rising. Let us not fall into miscreation, though we ourselves do not fully understand what we are miscreating. It is enough to know that mind wandering will miscreate, and we need a better option, a better way to spend our days.

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.

I have too long experienced anxieties from time to time, even frequently. I would leave this habit of mine behind me as I walk ahead on my pathway. Help me to do so. Help others to do so as well.

Amen.

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Nothing Real Can Be Threatened. Nothing Unreal Exists.

manet - bar“This course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way:
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God. (T-in.2)”

1 – Illusion

As I read this passage, it seems to me that we are encouraged, once again, to see that the world in which we live is illusion. It is not real, and therefore does not truly exist. The real, in my view, are the intangibles of hope, love, joy, peace, and the like. These cannot be taken from us except by our choice. And when we are in our right minds, we choose to keep these blessings in our hearts.

We have the peace of God when we have His intangibles. And the passage concludes, “Herein lies the peace of God.”

2 – Special Attention

This passage is the epigram for A Course in Miracles, and, as such, deserves particular consideration. Let’s take a look at the words themselves, and how they are interpreted elsewhere in ACIM.

3 – The Real

The “real” is usually referred to as the “real world,” the unplaced place that we see when we are nearing Awakening. The real world is experienced only briefly, but we don’t know what “brief” means in eternity. Mari Perron, the scribe for A Course of Love, believes that when we have experienced Awakening, we are in fact not living an illusion any longer, but are experiencing reality. Hugh Prather, in an afterlife visit to his friend Jerry Jampolsky, however, said that A Course in Miracles was absolutely correct, that we are living an illusion. And Hugh was an advanced teacher of God. So there can be no easy answers. We, each of us, need to turn within to ask what truth is for us, what we truly believe.

4 – The Unreal

The “unreal” is the illusion, the maya in which we find ourselves throughout most of our lives, before Awakening, at the least. And this unreal does not have to affect us adversely, though it usually does. The pain, the suffering, all can be seen as the mirages that they are. And we can turn aside from them just as surely as we welcomed them.

5 – Real World

There is an extremely reassuring passage that bears quoting, about the real world:

“Sit quietly and look upon the world you see, and tell yourself: ‘The real world is not like this. It has no buildings and there are no streets where people walk alone and separate. There are no stores where people buy an endless list of things they do not need. It is not lit with artificial light, and night comes not upon it. There is no day that brightens and grows dim. There is no loss. Nothing is there but shines, and shines forever.’ (T-13.VII.1)”

6 – Mystery

I do not pretend to understand what is being said here. But I know that the real world, if experienced as joy, is not dependent upon things of this world to sustain it. This is what I think is meant here. Not that there will be no things of this world, but that we will see them differently. They will not mean anything particular, just because what we see is physical. We will have our sights on the nonphysical, on the intangible. And we will be much the better for it.

7 – Take a Moment

We need to take a moment from time to time to ask what really matters, what the real world will truly show to us. And when we find an answer, we need to engrave it upon our hearts. Certainly we have progressed beyond the desire to attract material objects as a way of self-aggrandizement. But we need something to replace the physical objects with, or we will experience a sense of loss. And there is no need—ever—to experience a sense of loss. The happiness that Jesus gives as we approach Awakening, as we experience the happy dreams the Holy Spirit sends, is without parallel in the physical universe. It is not physical at all. We have our physical needs satisfied, but that is of small consequence to us. We are looking at a higher reality.

8 – All Will Be Well

So let us seek the real as we go about our world. Let us drop the unreal.

And all will be well.

Affirmation: “Let us seek for the real today.”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am thankful for You today. This is a particularly good day, and it comes to me from You. May all with whom I come in contact in any way be blessed by their circumstances today.

Be with my significant others today and every day. May I fulfill what You would have me say and do for them.

Amen.

Prayer Is a Way of Asking for Something. It Is the Medium of Miracles.

manet - roses
“Prayer is a way of asking for something. It is the medium of miracles. But the only meaningful prayer is for forgiveness, because those who have been forgiven have everything. (T45)”

Affirmation: “the only meaningful prayer is for forgiveness”

Reflections:

1 – A Way of Asking

Prayer is not discussed a great deal in ACIM, and this passage hints at why. A Course in Miracles recommends forgiveness of ourselves and our brother as the only basis for a good life. If we forgive, we “have everything.” This passage indicates that prayer is a “way” of asking, but it does not mean that asking is the whole of it. We will find, when we consider Song of Prayer, that prayer is not really about asking at all. But this is for advanced seekers. In the meantime, most of us need to ask for things of the world and things of the spirit, and God, I believe, does not think less of us for so doing.

2 – What is “Everything”?

It is hard to understand what this “everything” really is, but basically it is the recognition that we are not deprived in this life except by our own choice. This is part of the theoretical construct of ACIM. It is part of the secret outlined by Rhonda Byrne (in The Secret), which elucidates the power of attraction, through our emotional and vibratory resonance with the universe. The Self that deprives us of things is following our persona’s lead, the personal self (as described in A Course of Love, though this is an interpretation not stated therein). We create our own reality. I cannot stress this enough.

3 – Jane Roberts’s Seth

Creating our own reality is a credo of Jane Roberts’s Seth, and this is the means that I first learned of this law. I have followed this law, at least subconsciously, for most of my life since–since the age of 30. And I do consider that my life has been charmed in many ways. The law of attraction works. My low points were not necessarily bad as I look back upon them. Time of crisis leads to a greater realization later on. And this has happened repeatedly.

4 – Personal Experience

I think that prayer is one of the most important aspects of our life here on earth. I pray often at night, when I am trying to sleep. I presume that God does not decry my tendency to drift back off at some point in my praying. I am driving the thought deep into my subconscious; I am seeing God as my Protector, and He comes through this way for me. What is better for a persona that is trying to let go of the ego? To lead toward Awakening? In my thinking, there is no better way to walk toward enlightenment than to have a rich and full prayer life.

5 – Norman Vincent Peale and the Dalai Lama

Norman Vincent Peale says that most people, in his experience, admit to praying about five minutes a day. This, he says, in equivalent to one-half of one percent of waking hours–not nearly enough. He counsels more and more prayer time. Likewise, none other than the Dalai Lama meditates for four hours every morning, regardless of what the rest of his busy day anticipates. Prayer and meditation are much linked, though not the same. The final lessons in the Workbook of A Course in Miracles are, to my mind, a call for meditation, for prayerful reflection–a sort of Westernized version of meditation.

6 – Not a Call for Materialism

Why would we choose to deprive ourselves of anything? Maybe we are looking for the wrong things in life. ACIM is practical, but nowhere is materialism sanctioned. We are simply asked in this passage to pray for forgiveness, and then the miracles that will transform our lives will be forthcoming. This is the prayer of faith. This is the way that our lives will be fact be transformed.

7 – Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the theme of A Course in Miracles. And when we forgive, we are living in flow, for we will sense that we are on the beam with God. Nowhere else can this blessing be found. Only in prayer can we know that we have forgiven ourselves and that we have forgiven others. And we are pardoning illusions–never let us forget that. The world that we see is illusion, and the misdeeds perpetrated against ourselves (or so we interpret) have not really accomplished anything in reality. So let us forgive freely, not out of compulsion. The way home will open up; the pathway will become clear, when forgiveness is intimately in our minds and spirits.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I ask forgiveness for all the ways in which I have failed. May I ask that forgiveness be in my heart for those whom I feel have hurt me. I realize that actually I cannot be hurt, but I can feel the pain of believing that I have been hurt.

May I forgive, as I have asked to be forgiven. May all that I encounter feel the results of my prayer today.

May the blessings of this day reach me. Will you assist me to walk in Your light of forgiveness?

Amen.

Slight Twinge of Annoyance / Intense Fury

monet - water and boats“You will become increasingly aware that a slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury. (W-21)”

Affirmation: “May I be angry with no one today.”

Reflections:

1 – Nighttime Dreams

This assertion, one of the more well-known from A Course in Miracles, does not seem credible on first reading. But actually our egoic minds delude us. We may dream at night far more hostilely than we think in the daytime. And so nighttime dreams of anger can clue us to the fact that we can be intensely furious when we think that we are mildly upset.

2 – No Gradations in Emotions

Why would this passage be true? Jesus does not give credence to gradations in emotions. In some ways, he thinks in black and white. And we may be used to this from his reactions in the New Testament. So what he says here has a certain ring of authenticity.

3 – Why?

Why would we really be furious when we think that we are only mildly annoyed? The ego wants it all for itself. The ego doesn’t really think in gradations, but it knows that we won’t accept extreme anger for ourselves, and so, in its wily way, the ego softens its attitudes. If this makes the ego sound independent, it does indeed function in this way quite often. But it is merely a part of our belief about ourselves, and we can choose to let it wither away. Indeed, we must choose this.

4 – Fury

How do we “lose it”? Do we lose it often? This shows that Jesus’s statement is indeed true. When we are tired, we are likely to express more fury than at any other time. Or if something else has already upset us (something that is never the “real thing” that is upsetting–an ACIM tenet). We can recognize, when we contemplate, that intense fury is actually veiled when we get upset. And we are the worst for it.

5 – Love

May all of us turn to the love within, the love that will eliminate these bouts of fury.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I learned in my maturity that I never get angry unless I am stressed. Many others are surely like this as well. But isn’t stress with me, still? And don’t I try to veil the anger that sometimes visits at inopportune times? I would be finished with this expression of the ego. No more.

May I invite the serenity that displaces the ego and put Your love in the center of my life. Then and only then will I no longer feel or show extravagant displays of negative emotion. Be with me as I seek to leave all this foolishness behind. I would not do this to myself, as I would not do it to my closest companions.

Amen.

No Idle Thoughts

1873 Dance School - degas
“There is no more self-contradictory concept than that of ‘idle thoughts.’ What gives rise to the perception of a whole world can hardly be called idle. Every thought you have contributes to truth or to illusion; either it extends the truth or it multiplies illusions. You can indeed multiply nothing, but you will not extend it by doing so. (W-16)”

Affirmation: “May I stop my mind wandering today.”

Reflections:

1 – Mind Wandering

I have been guilty of mind wandering, and this mind wandering does form illusions that, on some level, have a form of their own. These are idle thoughts that are actually not “idle” at all. We need to stop such displays whenever they occur. Just saying “Stop!” can do more than might be thought.

2 – Essence of Salvation

Jesus would not have us destroy our good mind with images of illusions. We live in a dream, at least until the real world is seen, but to us this world is quite real already. How can we navigate through this world best? We need to ask for guidance. We cannot do it alone, nor should we. The best advice that Jesus gives is included in the Manual, when he recommends giving up judgment to follow the guidance that comes to us. This alone will save us. It is the essence of salvation.

3 – Misuse of Time

Perhaps we all might recognize that mind wandering and “idle” thoughts are a misuse of our good time. We need to live well in this world, and we usually only succeed in scaring ourselves when we indulge in such fantasies. May we drop this foolishness from our repertoire of emotions today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for guiding me to the understanding that following Your guidance is the only way to live a life well. And I do try, though often I fall on my face. Help me to pick myself up and try again. Always to try again.

May I understand and act on the guidance that comes to me as it unfolds. May I never substitute ego-oriented thoughts, emotion-drive thoughts, instead of what is really best for myself as well as everyone I touch. May egoic thought die in me. Thank You for having the patience to show me the way when I am capricious and headstrong. Such attitudes have no place in my communion with You. I know this, and I pray to act upon this knowledge today and every day.

Amen.

Little Edges of Light / Great Rays

edgar-degas-art44519“You will begin to understand it [image making or seeing] when you have seen little edges of light around the same familiar objects which you see now. That is the beginning of real vision. You can be certain that real vision will come quickly when this has occurred.

“As we go along, you may have many ‘light episodes.’ They may take many different forms, some of them quite unexpected. Do not be afraid of them. They are signs that you are opening your eyes at last. They will not persist, because they merely symbolize true perception, and they are not related to knowledge. (W-15)

Affirmation: “Thank You for the moments when I saw little edges of light.”

Reflections:

1 – Intriguing Passage

A previous posting on this subject has been revisited many times. But what do the “little edges of light,” the light episodes, really mean?

2 – Personal Experience

We are in a heightened emotional state when we see these lights around familiar objects. In my case, when I saw them, colors also seemed brighter than usual. I was amazed by what my eyes were showing me. In a famous garden, the experience has remained with me most of my adult life. A Course in Miracles had not yet been published, and I had no guidance.

3 – One-Time Experience

It is true that this experience came, for me, only once and did not persist. Because seeing the edges of light seemed so significant to me at the time, when I discovered ACIM more than ten years later, I was enthralled to find my experience detailed therein.

4 – Great Rays

I also once felt the Great Rays, but this was when I was reading A Course in Miracles for the first time. I was walking outside in my parents’ back yard, and suddenly the bright sun seemed to be pouring down rays upon me. I was frightened and returned to the house, and called a friend whom I knew to be religious and thought would be sympathetic. Because he had not read ACIM, he had no ready explanation. But by that time I did, for I was, as I said, reading ACIM at the time.

5 – Perceptual Experiences

These episodes did not last, and they do not have to be clung to for reasons of faith. They are perceptual, and Jesus says that perception does not last. Even miracles do not last, for they too are perceptual. And perhaps these two episodes in my life were examples of miracles. I have thought so.

6 – True Vision

Do not be frightened if something similar happens to you. And also don’t be hung up on “understanding” what has transpired. Jesus has told us all that we need to know in today’s passage. These light episodes are the sign that we are coming to true vision.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the explanations that Jesus gives us for light experiences. These intriguing passages from A Course in Miracles are obviously something that we want to understand. But maybe on earth we can’t understand completely. There is a mystery there. Thank You for that mystery.

I thank You for these experiences in my own life. May others also have similar experiences that will bring them closer to You.

Amen.

Indescribably Happy

pennsylvania-impressionist-impressionism-painting-by-kenneth-nunamaker-over-looking-the-delaware-from-center-bridge-1928-original-size-22-x-24“If you could accept the world as meaningless and let the truth be written upon it for you, it would make you indescribably happy. But because it is meaningless, you are impelled to write upon it what you would have it be. It is this you see in it. It is this that is meaningless in truth. (W-12)”

Affirmation: “I would be indescribably happy today.”

Reflections:

1 – Preconceptions

How do we let go of our preconceptions about this world? We have written our own meaning upon it. That is all. We need to accept that the world itself is meaningless, and then let the truth be written upon it for us.

2 – Passive

This attitude is essentially passive. But we do contemplate, read, study, and pray. And in these actions we come to understand more fully what this world really means. We do not add our own meaning to it; we accept what comes to us in such moments of reflection, essentially waiting for God to speak to us.

3 – God

And He will. We all too often think that God is remote from us, but instead He is the deepest part of our being. When we turn within, we will find Him. And we will also find the answers to our questions.

4 – Solution Is with the Problem

Remember that the solution to the problem is always with the problem–at the very moment. And frequently we get an answer immediately. Unfortunately, when our emotions are turbulent, we cannot always hear the answers. We don’t get the solution, and so we need to calm down, relax, commune with our deepest nature, and then take the steps that come to us, intuitively.

5 – Problems

When we contemplate in the most serene way, our answers come to what is troubling us. And if the answers don’t come, perhaps this is a problem that God is holding out to us as a learning exercise. Ask, instead, what this problem is meant to teach us? And the answer will dawn, sooner rather than later.

6 – The World

We do not stay with the idea that the world is meaningless, for to believe this would be demoralizing. We let God write its meaning upon our hearts, and then we are at peace.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

The solution is with the problem. Thank You for that knowledge–a great blessing! When problems come up, if I remember to listen to guidance, the answer does come. Invariably. But my emotions must be calm for the guidance to come through. Help my emotions to be calm today.

I would be indescribably happy today. There is no better way to follow You, and no better way to live in this world. Happiness is a worthy goal, for we are of much better use to others when we are happy. And happiness is a witness to what salvation offers. May I never forget this.

Be with me today as I seek to pray for others whom I know are in crisis. Praying to You works, a very practical technique for healing.

May this day, as all days, be good.

Amen.

Your Worth Is Not Established by Teaching or Learning

degas - ballet“Your worth is not established by teaching or learning. Your worth is established by God. As long as you dispute this everything you do will be fearful, particularly any situation that lends itself to the belief in superiority and inferiority. Teachers must be patient and repeat their lessons until they are learned. I am willing to do this, because I have no right to set your learning limits for you. Again,–nothing you do or think or wish or make is necessary to establish your worth. (T-4.1.7)”.

Affirmation: “My worth is sure, established by God.”

Reflections:

1 – Conditional Love

Children who have been subjected to conditional love, and that includes most people (young and old), are not likely to grow up to have a sense of worth that is recognized as separate from achievement. Only children and first born children are especially susceptible to the false idea that they must “do” to establish their worth. Indeed, many feel that they will not be loved if they do not measure up to the ideal that their parents have inculcated in them. If good grades are encouraged, a child may feel that he/she will not be loved unless those good grades are brought home. And there are many variations on this theme of unworthiness, or of worth that has to be proved by deeds.

2 – Do / Think / Wish / Make

What a welcome change the passage for today can make in the minds of those who first come to A Course in Miracles, and especially for those who read the Text first. (Note: There is not prescribed order in reading the three volumes of ACIM.) “Nothing you do or think or wish or make is necessary to establish your worth.” Jesus uses four verbs in this sense, as though he wishes to cover all the territory of our false thinking about worth.

3 – Fear

Farther on, Jesus indicates that if we cling to trying to measure up to be worthy of God, everything that we do will be fearful. And fear is of the ego. Here he is beginning to set down the limits of what the ego can do for us. And the limits are enormous; in fact, innumerable. The ego has led us down a false path, and we will be the better for it only if we learn how to turn aside from the ego. The ego is here defined as a part of our belief about ourselves (from the Text), but it is the coalition of false values. The ego is constantly being undone, because we cannot have both Awakening (toward which we are headed) and listen to the ego. The ego will always mislead.

4 – Emphasis

Jesus repeats these words about worth to emphasize, I think, their importance to the undoing of our thought system. To my way of thinking, this particular passage is one of the more important in all of ACIM, because it goes to the heart of our self-image. We are children of God, and we are already worthy because of that status.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You so much for this lovely, lovely passage. It is one of the most helpful, for me, in all of A Course in Miracles. I learned that I don’t have to achieve to be loved. I learned that You accept me just as I am, Your child. Thank You for the knowledge of this great blessing.

May I fret no more about conditional love. That is all in the past, and the conditional love was from individuals who only meant well, wanting me to live up to my potential. May I forgive completely and totally.

Be with my brothers and sisters who are struggle under conditional love. You love all of us, completely unconditionally. We don’t have to “measure up.” We are alright. You are transforming the mistakes into the pathway that You would have us walk.

Thank You.

Amen.

Miracles

cezanne - jas de bouffan - pool
“Ask me which miracles you should perform. This spares you needless effort, because you will be acting under direct communication. The impersonal nature of the miracles is an essential ingredient, because it enables me to direct its application, and under my guidance miracles lead to the highly personal experience of revelation. A guide does not control but he does direct, leaving it up to you to follow. (T-1.III.4)”

Affirmation: “I will ask what miracles to perform today.”

Reflections:

1 – Selecting Miracles to Perform

This passage for today is a return to A Course in Miracles, and we will focus on ACIM for the next several days. In this early passage in the Text, Jesus is asserting his authority as our guide. He tells us that we ought simply to ask (internally) what miracles we ought to perform, and we will be told. Elsewhere we are told that consciously selected miracles are apt to be misguided, and so it is necessary to follow his guidance. Then, we are also told, we will be led into experiences of revelation.

2 – Revelation

Others will not understand our experiences of revelation, should we try to describe these experiences. They are very personal to us, in the same way that dream symbols are frequently unique to ourselves (at least according to Jung). But this is not solely an illusion, as dreams as seen to be in ACIM. The miracle still is of perception, and thus of the personal self, and because it is of perception, the miracle will not last (an ACIM tenet).

3 – Perception vs. Knowledge

But revelation is never defined as being of perception, though whether or not it is might be open to question (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM). Revelation reveals the end to us, the end that I believe A Course of Love spells out. We are heading beyond the personal or “little” self (ruled by the ego), and toward the Self/Christ, within, who will guide us once we are awakened (living in Christ-consciousness). Revelation, being intensely personal, could not be described adequately, even if we tried. Visions or hallucinations may be seen as miracles, and they too do not last, for they are perceptual.

4 – Unrecognized Miracles

Most miracles will, at first, not be recognized as such (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM). Others may benefit from miracles that we do about which we have been totally unaware. We will just sense that there is a right action that we ought to take, we will take it, and others will benefit. We ourselves will benefit as well. And, later on, we will look back and proclaim, “That was a miracle!”

5 – Salvation

The way of salvation is indeed miraculous.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask You and Jesus what miracles to perform today. May I follow guidance always, never trying to do my personal will alone–for this would be misguided all too often. I would love the ones whom I see, with whom I make contact.

Thank You for this interlude of peace. May the peace extend to other times, other places. I am aware of feeling intensely grateful for my many blessings. You have been extraordinarily gentle with me as I have walked through this lifetime. May my future smooth out even more. I have need for harmony and joy as I walk ahead. May these blessings come to me, as well as to others whom I encounter.

Thank You for leading me to understand more fully about miracles. I would work miracles today, those that You and Jesus indicate, and I would do so in a joyous spirit. I have the intuition that indeed this prayer will be answered, and answered today.

Amen.

Beginning Today to Consider A Course of Love

“The separated self or the ego does not learn.  Even when the ego has taken many courses and received many teachings, the ego has not learned but has merely become threatened.  (A Course of Love, P. 3)”

Affirmation:  “I would have my ego threatened out of existence.”

Reflections:

1 – Beginning A Course of Love

Today begins a six-month consideration of the first volume of A Course of Love, channeled by Mari Perron and first published in 2001.   Mari’s belief, which many share with her, is that this is a sequel to A Course in Miracles, meant to draw together many of the ideas that Jesus wants to impart to us.  ACIM dislodged the ego, but some of us have been somewhat “stuck” since that happened, and A Course of Love appeals to both the mind and the heart, in concert with each other, to let us know that we really do not have to keep seeking.  We are learning, though, in the first volume.  This first volume, in my opinion, can be read even by those who have not been students of A Course in Miracles, because Jesus lays the groundwork for the three-volume A Course of Love by drawing comparisons with A Course in Miracles.  This blog will attempt to do the same, drawing parallels when doing so seems particularly appropriate to me personally.

2 – Seeking

Those of us who have spent our lifetime seeking do know of what  passage for today speaks.  There always seems to be another thing to learn, another book to read, another spiritual tradition to explore.  But we find in A Course of Love that this is the time for an end to seeking.  For us, Jesus is the Way, and he has spoken in the three volumes of A Course of Love to encourage us to stop our mindless exploration, to stop tantalizing the ego with yet another way.  We have our way, and that way, if we believe that A Course of Love is a sequel to A Course in Miracles, that in these two works, we have our way.

3 – ACIM Dispels the Ego

A Course in Miracles spent much time trying to dispel the hold that the ego had on our minds.  Now, in A Course of Love, we are encouraged to get beyond the ego, once and for all.  We are ready for the message of complete acceptance that Jesus offers to us, however marred we still think we are because of mistakes made and perhaps not recognized.  We are even told in A Course of Love that we do not need to worry so much about “perfection.”  Just as we were told in ACIM that Jesus will stand at the end to correct any mistakes that we ourselves cannot correct, A Course of Love (ACOL) states this promise in even stronger terms.

4 – Embraced by Jesus

So we find ourselves at the beginning of the first volume in the trilogy of A Course of Love.  We will find ourselves comforted, even embraced by Jesus.  Let us learn what we finally need to learn, and then let us realize that the time of learning is close to an end.  And then let us rejoice!  We have our pathway.  We need no others.  ACIM and ACOL will lead us home.

5 – Welcome Comments

I welcome your comments as we proceed with A Course of Love.  You will find, as I have, a certainty of salvation that even A Course in Miracles lacked.  Jesus says that we are the “Accomplished,” even though we ourselves believe that the ego is still in ascendancy.  The ego may be in ascendancy, but this problem is readily alleviated.  As we will see.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I learn what I still need to learn, and then may I be satisfied.  I plan to cease my constant seeking, as Jesus has reassured me that I now know enough to live well.  Thank You for this.

May my ego wither away.  None of needs an ego, in the sense that Jesus defines it, and we will learn through observation all that we need to know.  The time is now.  And I pray that I am ready.

Amen.

The Prayer of the Heart

“He [Holy Spirit] understands the requests of your heart, and answers them.  Does this mean that, while attack remains attractive to you, He will respond with evil?  Hardly!  For God has given Him the power to translate your prayers of the heart into His language.  He understands that an attack is a call for help.  And He responds with help accordingly.  God would be cruel if He let your words replace His Own.  A loving father does not let his child harm himself, or choose his own destruction.  He may ask for injury, but his father will protect him still.  And how much more than this does your Father love His Son?  (M-29.6)”

Affirmation:  “God will protect me.”

Reflections:

1 – Important Passage

Today’s passage is one of those most important ones, one that says in no uncertain terms that attack is a call for help.  Elsewhere we are given to understand that attack is also a call for love.  But, with the Holy Spirit, giving help and giving love are identical, would it not seem (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM)?

2 – An Impersonal God?

God will not give us bad things.  Not always is this understood, and there are current readings that reject this view–treating God as though He is impersonal and responds to our wishes without any rejection of the things that would hurt us.  I do not believe in an impersonal God, although some teachers/scholars of A Course in Miracles believe that God does not know about us, because we are caught in an illusion, and He does not enter illusion with us.

3 – Practical Help

But let us step aside from controversy, and look to our own experience of spirituality to make up our own minds about these questions.  This is not the time to engage in debate; this is the time to share one’s help and love, in a very practical sense that ACIM endorses, with ourselves and each other.

4 – A Loving Father

Let us take a look at two sentences once again:  “God would be cruel if He let your words replace His Own.  A loving father does not let his child harm himself, or choose his own destruction.”

5 – God “Let Go”

It is true, nevertheless that we can draw negative things to ourselves by our own thoughts and actions.  We cannot look to God to save us from ourselves.  Sometimes, as Neale Donald Walsch notes in his Conversations with God series, God has to “let go” so that we can experience what we are asking to see.  And the (possibly) ACIM sequel, A Course of Love, says the same thing.  God “let go,” because we were like adolescents who still had free will, and who still could hurt ourselves, but needed to learn that we had need of communication with Him.  As Jesus says, we have taught ourselves the unnatural habit of not communicating with our Creator (from ACIM).

6 – A Paradox

So:  The bottom line is that there is a paradox here.  We, beings of free will, do sometimes experience pain.  But Jesus says that learning through pain is temporary, and it is better to learn through rewards (from ACIM).  We do not have to learn through pain (from the Text).  In the ideal, we can live free of pain when we cling to God.  And clinging to God is the very best way to walk His pathway back home.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would concentrate today only on what is good and right in Your eyes.  I would not attract those things that You would have to move to protect me.  Your protection is assured, but I ask that You give me the wherewithal to walk in Your footsteps and not to let temptation invite me to reject You and Your blessings.  Pain may come, but I would choose (and I do have the choice) to learn through rewards.  Jesus himself has assured us that learning through rewards is a lasting learning.

Be with me today as I seek to give comfort to those who are hurting and under stress.  We do not walk through this world apart from our brothers and sisters, and pain is present.  Knowing that pain is an illusion sometimes seems theoretical, because we see tears and know that the illusory pain feels very real.  Be with us when life turns hard.  Your Way will see us through even the darkest night of the soul.  I trust in this.

Amen.

Awakening / Christ-Consciousness

“Yet there will be temptations along the way the teacher of God has yet to travel, and he has need of reminding himself throughout the day of his protection.  (M-16.8)”

Affirmation:  “I have God’s protection.”

Reflections:

1 – Awakening / Christ-Consciousness

We must remember that temptations are simply attempts to place another will above God’s–choosing this other will as our lodestone or our (inaccurate) guidance.  We are not perfect.  In fact, A Course of Love questions whether perfection is necessary for Awakening.  I have experienced a few spans of time that seemed to be Awakening, but these were not sustained.  And I can certainly attest to the truth that I am far from perfect.  So perhaps we can hope for a sustainable Awakening without “perfection” (whatever that might be).  Jesus, in A Course of Love, asserts that nobody has sustained Christ-consciousness–nobody at all.  And Christ-consciousness is very close to Awakening, though the two are not compared in either A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love.

2 – Temptations

A temptation may be as simple as an inclination not to follow the intuitive guidance that one is getting.  We may be heading in a given direction, get a “stop,” and just not feel very much like stopping–so we forge ahead, and often, later on and sometimes immediately, find out why we should have stopped.  A temptation can be just this benign.

3 – Struggle = of the Ego

And we are human.  We are used, over the years of the ego’s rule, of struggling, but still of following what we perceived to be our own will, whether or not that will seems in accord with the divine.  But now is the time that we ought to listen more carefully to guidance, and to see every instinct not to follow that guidance as a likely intrusion of the ego.  The ego does not wish us well.  This ego is defined as a part of ourselves that we have made, a part that does not follow divine guidance.  And so we suffer as a result.

4 – No Fretting / No Worry

We are protected by God, and His Communicator, the Holy Spirit.  The passage for today says this.  And surely this affirmation warms our hearts.  We need not fret; we need not worry.  We are under God’s protection, but He does need our cooperation to carry out the best and right things that we deserve to have.  He will not violate our “free” will, which is actually the part that the ego controls (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  Our real will and God’s Will are actually identical.  So, when we get that nudge, it is best to follow it, unless we have reason to suspect that emotion has carried away our reason, and, with it, our accurate assessment of intuition.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When I sense an intuition that seems to come beyond my personal self, help me to realize that this intuition may be genuine guidance of my higher Self–the Christ in me.  I do not, in saying this, make any egoistic claim, because all of us are the same:  the Christ, the higher Self, is in all of us.  Help me to make this point clear in what I write today.

May we ask for and receive Awakening/Christ-consciousness.  Jesus has used both words in different channeled writings, and to my limited mind, the two words appear to be synonymous.  May today be an especially good day, with glimpses of Awakening/Christ-consciousness.  May I do my part to be ready, though my part is very limited indeed.  This visitation, this glimpse of a higher Reality, is Your decision alone.  And may I not seem to pressure You before I am ready.  I do not want my ego to appropriate good things, good experiences to itself, and thus make of me a more limited being that I am already.

Be with all of us as we walk the pathway to Awakening/Christ-consciousness.  May we know that the time will be as right as the Answer.  And that You are observing us, knowing when we are ready for this blessing.  You will not act precipitously, and I ask that You keep me from acting precipitously in my desire for this blessing.  May I remain humble, yet assured in Your love.  I do not want arrogance, but arrogance is often of the ego (Jesus says), and so obviously I need Your help in sorting all of these concepts out.

Thank You for being there for me.  Thank You for granting me glimpses of what will one day be my norm.

Amen

Definition of the Ego

“The ego is nothing more than a part of your belief about yourself.  Your other life has continued without interruption, and has been and always will be totally unaffected by your attempts to dissociate it.  (T67)”

Affirmation:  “The ego is a part of my belief about myself.”

Reflections:

1 – Succinct Definition

This is the best succinct definition of the ego in A Course in Miracles.  “A part of your belief about yourself.”  Such a definition removes some of the allure that the ego will continue to have until we have found our way home.  It deemphasizes the ego as a major difficulty; it implies that a “part” of belief can be disrupted without too much trouble.

2 – Dissociation from the Ego

Is this true?  Can we dissociate ourselves from the ego easily?  That depends on motivation (a Course concept).  Jesus seeks to encourage our motivation to learn, and then, through learning, to remove the blocks to love’s awareness.  Our guide is the Holy Spirit.  The Course spells out the means.

3 – A Course of Love

A Course in Love, scribed after A Course in Miracles, says that the time of the Holy Spirit has passed, that we are now in the time of Christ-consciousness.  This trilogy of books seeks to lead us outward and inward to Christ-consciousness, which is the state of mind and heart that is described in ACIM as the Awakening.  We have left the ego behind in A Course of Love.  We are not perfect, still, but we can know Heaven in our current state.  These ideas are perhaps more controversial than anything in A Course in Miracles, but some individuals believe that Jesus himself also scribed A Course of Love, having unfinished business with us.  (Of course, there are numerous books now in print that are attributed to Jesus.  We must following our own inner Guide in trying to determine the legitimacy of any and all of these books.)

4 – The Self

Very reassuring is the statement that we have another life continuing without interruption.  This implies that there are parts of ourselves elsewhere, in other dimensions, but this is an interpretation, and the Course is not specific about what is meant.  We can hope that we have another life in other dimensions, the Self that we have forgotten in this world.  Truly this is a great reassurance, and a great cause for giving thanks.  We have not lost everything by the tiny mistake that we made when we chose this world of the ego over Heaven.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I deemphasize the ego in my own mind, as I realize the truth of the “part” of me that it is.  Something that is only a “part” can be overcome, with Your help, easily.

Thank you for the reassurance that I have a Self that stands above all the doings of this world.  I do not understand, but I do not have to understand to be reassured that all is well in Your world.

Amen.

Learning in an Insane World

“You learn best when you believe what you are trying to learn is of value to you.  However, not everything you may want to learn has lasting value.  Indeed, many of the things you want to learn may be chosen because their value will not last.  (M66)”

Affirmation:  “learn what is of value”

Reflections:

1 – Why Learn Something Not of Lasting Value?

Why would we choose to learn something that is not of lasting value to ourselves?  This seems to be a paradox, and perhaps it is.  But when we realize that we may have chosen whole careers that were not chosen for the right reasons, we may realize that the ego has been involved.

2 – A Course of Love

Certainly we have been so reared in an egoistic world that we may love learning just for the sake of learning itself.  It may seem to be heresy to question this love of learning.  But in A Course of Love, we are told that there is a time for learning to cease, and to move forward in our lives by “observation.”  We do not have to think the egoistic way.  Knowing can come to us without irritable reaching for fact as well as fancy.  We can just know, because the Holy Spirit (and later, the Christ-consciousness) just tells us.  We know about our world almost as soon as we have asked internally.

3 – Careers and Relationships

We probably had problems in those careers that were chosen for less-than-the-best reasons.  More than just careers have been involved, though.  Our choices in relationships may have been flawed as well.  Our insanity covers a great deal of our lives.

4 – We Have Help

Whether we are “learning” or “observing,” it is evident that we don’t get where we are trying to go without help.  We are supported every step of the way.  And it is important to acknowledge that we realize that we are not doing all this by ourselves.  It is only the ego that wants all the credit, and surely the egoistic way has been discredited by now in our minds and hearts.

5 – The Valuable Is Lasting

We can learn best when we turn to learn those things that are of value.  And those things are always lasting.  Surely we can do this as we learn from the Course to choose aright.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May we choose only those things that have lasting value.  May we turn aside from those things that do not have lasting value.  May we not be tempted to learn those non-lasting things because they do not have value.

I know that the ego is involved when I reach for something that cannot be sustained.  Help me always to choose aright, and this means that it is time to leave the ego behind.

Amen.

Living in Love = No Wish to Attack

“Understanding the lesson of the Atonement, they are without the wish to attack, and therefore they see truly.  (T39)”

Affirmation:  “without the wish to attack”

Reflections:

1 –  Definitions of Atonement

In not too many places in A Course in Miracles is there a definite definition of the Atonement.  Sometimes Atonement is simply called “correction.”  My favorite definition reads as follows:  “the restoration of the integrity of the mind. (T74)”  There are also broad explanations that encompass a definition that is at odds with traditional Christianity.  Jesus asserts that to cling to the crucifixion is a mistake; the crucifixion points out to us that he did not launch a defense under the extreme situation in which he found himself.  Not to be defensive is a major Course tenet.

2 – Looking to the Resurrection

Instead, we are to look to the resurrection, the overcoming of death–the promise of eternal life.  This step will bring us peace.  Our binding of ourselves to God is a lesson of the Atonement.  To do so constantly is a challenge to the neophyte, but not to the advanced teacher of God.  We learn more as we progress through the Course.

3 – At – One – Ment

Atonement is sometimes viewed as “at-one-ment,” but this is a bit limited in its interpretation.  It is this and more.  Atonement is the surrender of the little self to the larger Self that is allied with the Holy Spirit.  When we make this surrender, we see the futility of attack, and our perceptions are therefore cleansed.

4 – Personal Experience

Twice for fairly lengthy periods have I experienced the mystic arrival of an unsustained Awakening.  Once, for ten weeks, when I was 23; and then again, for almost six months, when I was 34 to 35.  There is nothing else like it.  I lived without fear for those marvelous months.  And I felt love for all others whom I encountered.

5 – A Course of Love

A Course of Love says that nobody has ever sustained elevation of the Self in form.  This elevation is roughly akin to Awakening, and we remain in the physical body and do not die.  This Awakening is what we are meant to do, akin to the next evolutionary trend.  I think, though, that the idea of elevation of the Self in form, and the idea of Awakening, are somewhat different (an interpretation), because I have read of awakened individuals on this earth.  I do not put much trust in self-reports of Awakening, though, especially when they are said to be sustained.  Most people in this situation are very quiet about what has happened to them.  May we move ever closer to a sustainable elevation.  According to A Course of Love, we find ourselves now in the time of Christ, the time of Christ-consciousness.  We are rapidly moving beyond the time of the Holy Spirit (the time described in A Course in Miracles).

6 – God Acts

May God find us where we are, and then take us a step farther on our pathway.  And may nothing said or done by our withered egos interfere.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I see the futility of attack today, and if and when I am tempted to attack, may I refrain.  Often no response is better than a vicious one.  But You have taught me that the best response is to run to my brother’s side with love, for he is hurting.

May I look to the resurrection of Jesus as I realize that there is no death.  We will all live eternally, because this is Your great promise.

Be with me now as I slow down to Your pace.  I feel closer to You when I am living effortlessly, when I am not struggling to get something (anything!) done.  If there are plans to be made, we will intuitively recognize what those plans are.  Help me to remember Your advice to live effortlessly, not to struggle.

Thank You for always being there for me.  I ask for physical and emotional health as I go about Your world today, doing Your bidding.

Amen.

Finding Happiness and Peace

ACIM Workbook Lesson 92 – for Monday, April 2, 2012

Affirmation:  “Miracles are seen in light, and light and strength are one.”

Selected Passage:

“Truth is a savior and can only will for happiness and peace for everyone.  It gives its strength to everyone who asks, in limitless supply.  It sees that lack in anyone would be a lack in all.  And so it gives its light that all may see and benefit as one.  It strength is shared, that it may bring to all the miracle in which they will unite in purpose and forgiveness and in love.  (WB159-160)”

Reflections:

1 – Truth

We sometimes have trouble with the concept of truth, for we know that our own interpretations intervene, sometimes leading us to false assumptions.  Truth frequently seems to be all interpretation, and actually, when we have guidance, it is not all interpretation.  Truth, rightfully understood, leads to happiness and peace, and which of us does not want this boon?

2 – Share with Others

We are here encouraged to share in unity with our brothers and sisters, a tenet that is shared by the later A Course of Love (Note:  See “About” section of this blog).  When we share in unity, a miracle comes easily.  We no longer seem to be alone and abandoned by God; He is with us, because we are with Him.

3 – We Must Be United

We who are to save the world must be united, if we are to succeed.  There are many different curricula, but ours is A Course in Miracles (and perhaps the volumes seen by some as a sequel by Jesus, A Course of Love).  It would not do for us to try out many different pathways, though many of us have done just that over the years.  Why choose, again and again, when ours has been given to us (a Text tenet)?  We will have the strength to succeed in our endeavors when we turn to guidance of the Holy Spirit, following Jesus, who holds our hand as we walk along (a Text tenet).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know happiness and peace today.  I would stand united with my brothers and sisters in the endeavor which we are undertaking to bring salvation to a troubled world.  I would not proselytize, though, for I do not wish to turn off others when they are not ready.  Help me to make the correct discernment about the readiness of others, before I share anything about God with them.

Be with all of us today to lead us to a good day.  May our blessings reassure us that You have always been there for us.  I know that You are within, and that nothing is without.  May the knowledge that You bring to me cleanse my perceptions, so that the projections that lead to my perceptions do not lead me astray.

Thank You.

Amen.

Knowledge of the Divine Order

“A miracle is a correction introduced into false thinking by me.  It acts as a catalyst, breaking up erroneous perception and reorganizing it properly.  This places you under the Atonement principle, where perception is healed.  Until this has occurred, knowledge of the Divine Order is impossible.  (T5)”

Affirmation:  “I would invite miracles today.”

Reflections:

1 – Definition of a Miracle

The selected passage gives one definition of the miracle, a definition offered by Jesus.  The wording of this passage is straight-forward, but may be difficult to understand on first reading.

2 – Two Aspects of the Miracle

Jesus links the miracle with Atonement.  In addition, he says that our perception will be healed.  These two aspects of the miracle make it imminently desirable.

3 – Atonement

What is meant by the Atonement?  There is no single definition given in A Course in Miracles.  I think Jesus assumes that we will understand, but many of us remain puzzled.  We remain puzzled because traditional Christianity sees the crucifixion as having purchased our salvation from an angry God by the sacrifice of His only Son.  A Course in Miracles differs on this, though.  ACIM sees the resurrection as the crucial point.  ACIM does not try to describe the resurrection, but A Course of Love does describe the Jesus following the resurrection as having a “new form.”  The resurrection is never denied, though we do not presently understand, through our limited science, how the resurrection could have happened.  (We may also question the New Testament raising of Lazarus.)

4 – Take the Understanding that We Can

I think that Jesus would take us where we are, and have us accept as much as is needed for Atonement to be effected in us.  We are at one with him in Christ (shared by the Self of all–A Course of Love tenet).  We are justified by God’s sight when we have turned our way over to a Higher Power.  We do not try to blindly save ourselves anymore.  We may study ACIM diligently, but we know that the Awakening is only a God-given gift.

5 – Perception – Healed?

Second, how can our perception be healed?  We will no longer have the kind of mind that projects evil onto the world.  And, as we have seen repeatedly in A Course in Miracles, projection makes perception.  All is within; there is nothing without.   That is a theological concept in ACIM, and if we find it difficult to accept, then Jesus would not have us delayed by theology.  We look within, see what we wish to see there, and then project with our human eyes the outside; we perceive the exterior world.

6 – Mass Hallucination?

Of course, I believe that we are part of a mass hallucination (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).   It would be particularly pernicious to deny what our physical eyes show us.  But we do know, from ACIM, that what we see is illusion.  A Course in Miracles says, “There is no world!”  That is what we must ultimately see (ACIM tenets).

7 – Healed Perception

When our perception is healed, we will not look out on the same world, because projection makes perception (a Course concept).  Our lives will work better in this new world (called by the Course the “real world”), and we will live in calm and quiet.  This indeed is what miracles hold out for us.  What a blessing!

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would look out on the world with a healed perception today.  That is my goal for today.  Help me to reach it.

I may not sustain a healed perception, but I ask You to take me farther along the pathway today.  May we understand the Atonement as much as is humanly possible.  May we realize that there are physical laws of which we are as yet unaware.

Be with us as we live through the illusion of this world.  May we join with our brothers and sisters to we seek to find the reality that underlies our world–Your reality.  I would see the real world with healed perception today.

Amen.

Involuntary Miracles

“Miracles are habits, and should be involuntary.  They should not be under conscious control.  Consciously selected miracles can be misguided.  (T3)”

Affirmation:  “Involuntary miracles are the way to go.”

 


Reflections:

1 – Don’t “Do Good”

Don’t try to “do good,” in the sense of inviting miracles that we ourselves devise.  This is one of the 50 principles of miracles described in the opening of the textbook to the Course.

2 – Personal Experience

I have long wanted to do the “right thing,” and this has sometimes merited teasing from those closest to me.  I have been called a “goody two-shoes,” which in my opinion is not necessarily derogative.  But if I ever drop into thinking that I know what is right for somebody else, then I am off the track.  Carried to extremes, this could even mean that I would imagine that  I knew what type of “miracle” I ought to do for that person.  Not so!  This is exactly the kind of ego-caught mind that Jesus deplores.  We are not to select what to do for another until we have asked for guidance from the Holy Spirit, or, if we have reached that level of the inward sense that Christ-consciousness gives us (from A Course of Love).  Consciously selected miracles do not merit the term “miracle.”

3 – Led by Our Guide

Instead, we follow guidance from our inner Guide, and then we unconsciously do the right thing by our brothers and sisters.  We will sometimes be amazed how the flow of life comes about, how we encounter a person just when it is obvious that he or she has a great need to have a listening ear.  These are the kinds of miracles about which I believe Jesus is speaking.  And we do not have to bring about any of this miraculous occurrence.  We are just to be present, to see its unfolding, to listen to inward guidance and do or say the best that can come to mind at the moment.

4 – Don’t Plan What to Say

This latter point brings up an admonition from the New Testament, that we are not to think in advance of what to say when brought before higher authorities.  The words will be given us at the time of need.  I believe this is no less true when there are no “higher” authorities involved at all.  Just ordinary men and women, and children, such as ourselves.

5 – Jesus

Jesus will lead us to miracles that he wishes us to bring about.  He will even alter time and space to accommodate them.  (This is a particularly difficult concept to accept, but perhaps there are laws of physics not yet discovered by our scientists.)

6 – Habits of Living

When we follow the way of the Course, we develop certain habits of living that stand us in good stead whether the way is easy or hard.  These habits promote miracles in daily life, and they are best if they happen unconsciously.   Let Jesus guide the way.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not attempt to “do good” today unless the thought or action is given me by the Holy Spirit, my Guide.  I would not in any way select “miracles” to perform.  I know that I could not do so even if I tried.  I would make mistakes.

I need my Guide because I am so fallible.  Until the time that the Christ-consciousness descends to stay, I will depend on the Guide that You gave to me, the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Judge Not

“How can God’s Son awaken from the dream?  It is a dream of judgment.  So must he judge not, and he will waken. (T622)”

Affirmation:  “I will judge not, and thereby ready myself for Awakening.”

 

Reflections:

1 – Challenge

This is a great challenge to those of us who have not yet awakened.  The advanced teacher of God does not see challenge, but it is there for the vast majority of us.  Jesus would caution us that the advanced teacher of God takes what comes in his/her day, not seeing anything as a challenge, because he/she knows that the Holy Spirit is the Guide.  Following Him corrects the potential errors of the day.  A Course of Love takes the concept a step farther, believing that we have entered the time of Christ, a time which follows the time of the Holy Spirit.  This time will come when there are enough awakened ones to create a new world.  (There seems to be some overlap currently, but this is an interpretation, not stated in either ACIM or ACOL.)

2 – Stop Judging Immediately

We can choose to stop judgment at the point that we first notice it.  This takes practice, but it is not outside our will, with the help of the Holy Spirit or the Christ-consciousness.  Indeed, we need to be mindful that attack, judgment, and unguided planning are errors that will cause us to lose our way.  Attack is mentioned first in the Text, but judging then follows in the same sentence, indicating its importance as well.

3 – A Promise

There is a great promise in this passage.  “Se must he judge not, and he will waken.”  What a blessing it is!  And how easy does Jesus make it sound.  Is it that easy?  It can be, but Jesus indicates in the Manual to ACIM that most of us are given slowly evolving programs of study.  Most of us do not change our whole life situation immediately.

4 – Does the Way Seem Long?

But when the way seems long, perhaps we need to recall the idea for today:  Judge not, and we will awaken.  This assertion is akin to the biblical injunctions not to judge.  So why do we, reared in the Christian faith, find non-judgment such an elusive trait?  May we pray for the help that we need to leave judgment behind forever.  Its value as a defense is the basic problem.  But we need to leave defenses behind as well, for that make what they would dispel (from ACIM).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

What a great joy it is to learn that if I only refrain from judging others and myself, I will awaken–because You have chosen that I am ready.  Prepare me today to spend a day without judgment.  Surely the day will bring instances in which I will have judged already, before I get a “stop” to control myself.  I would limit these times as much as is humanly possible, and I would ask You for help in what, as a human being, I cannot seem to control.  You are my Control, as well my certainty that once begun, the end of the journey is certain.

So I would not judge today.  To effect this, I will need Your help all along the way.  I will need to stay calm, tranquil, serene–because stress brings out the worst in me.  May I have a peaceful, walking in Your light.

Amen.

Roles in the Atonement

“I am the only one who can perform miracles indiscriminately, because I am the Atonement.  You have a role in the Atonement which I will dictate to you.  Ask me which miracles you should perform.  This spares you needless effort, because you will be acting under direct communication.  (T9)”

Affirmation:  “Jesus, tell me what miracles I can perform today.”

Reflections:

1 – How Do I Know What Miracles to Perform?

In this passage, we are bidden to ask Jesus what miracles to perform.  Elsewhere he cautions that consciously selected miracles can be misguided, and so to effect miracles in the right way, we must listen to him.  He is still guiding us personally at this early point in the Text; in a bit, we will see, he lets us know that the guidance that we seek is to be found in the Person of the Holy Spirit.

2 – Jesus’s Role in ACIM and ACOL

It is enormously releasing to know that we can call on help, and that our role in the Atonement is a matter to be decided by Jesus.  How can our recipients lose if we listen to him?  How can we lose if we listen to him?  Jesus cares about us, for he is our leader, having walked the whole pathway first, and being in charge of the Atonement for all his brothers and sisters.  A Course in Miracles does not require that we look to Jesus as our leader, but it does indicate that he will have more to share with us if we look upon him personally and not as an abstract, historical figure.  A Course of Love is more decisive; we are told that we must accept Jesus, that this is just the way things are.  Things are no different from having to accept the rules of living that we might at first reject.  We find our way home through Jesus’s example life, according to ACOL.

3 – Centrality of Jesus

This assertion may be difficult for those who did not grow up in Christianity.  And we can learn much if we see Jesus as only one of many teachers.  But he makes the powerful statements in ACIM and ACOL that there is a difference to believing in his power.  I would see these assertions as making it clear that there is something unique about Jesus (an interpretation, not stated precisely in ACIM and ACOL).  Jesus’s unique role in our lives is strongly implied in both ACIM and ACOL.

4 – We Are Spared Needless Effort

Frequently the Course makes references to how little it actually asks of us.  And that its dictates are simple.  Here we here that to ask Jesus what miracles to perform spares us “needless effort.”  Jesus has indeed made our better way in this world a matter of easy accomplishment and the utmost reassurance.

5 – Our Little Willingness Is Required

The way to salvation is seen frequently to be one that asks little of us, that the contribution of the Holy Spirit overshadows our own by a very large degree.  And we are not always happy about this assertion.  We think we need to do more, but we only get in the way.  If we are flexible enough in our daily lives, and follow guidance as consistently as we can allow ourselves to do so, we will find ourselves at home in God effortlessly and much sooner.  Our little willingness is all that is required (an ACIM tenet).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I pray that I will be flexible enough today to follow the guidance that I know inwardly is meant for me.  Do not let me wander down side roads.  I would stay on the pathway to You.  I would follow the way that is shown to me.

Thank You for the guidance that Jesus intiates, and that he then assures us is present in the Person of the Holy Spirit.  I do not understand how this Guide is within me, but I have learned this from my reading, and I will follow this thought unless I am later shown to be interpreting wrongly.  Be with me to keep my interpretations on target.

Thank You for the beauty of this day.  As spring beckons shortly, may our days be balmy as well as inwardly  peaceful.

Amen.

Thousands of Years

“The miracle substitutes for learning that might have taken thousands of years.  (T8)”

Affirmation:  “The miracle substitutes for learning.”

Reflections:

1 – Collapse of Time

What a great promise!  This is the collapse of time about which A Course in Miracles speaks.  Jesus has said in the Text that he will alter time and space to allow us to perform miracles, and the promise made in this passage is akin.

2 – We Each Save a Thousand Years

How does the miracle substitute for learning that might take thousands of year?  We ourselves are said to save a thousand years, each of us, as the world judges it.  With this promise comes the realization that time can collapse and they we can do something to heal the worn and weary world of suffering..  We are meant to understand that we all can and will make a difference, once we have imparted on the “journey without distance” (quotation from ACIM) that we all must make, sooner or later.  We can bring others to salvation and the real world, and then God Himself, when we are ready, awakens us.  We do not choose this time, though ACIM implies that we can hasten it, because the means–in ACIM–are being explained to us by Jesus.

3 – Learning

Learning is greatly overestimated by the thinking of the world.  Many of us have been quite proud of our learning ability, and we frequently want to add to what we already know by more learning.  Yet ACIM also says that we sometimes want to learn things that will not last.  Surely we need to go beyond this limited thinking of ours.

4 – ACOL:  Time of Learning Is Over

A Course of Love continues these ACIM promises, if we do entertain the thought that ACOL is a sequel to ACIM.  In ACOL, the time of learning is said to be over, and we are to come to know through observation and discovery.  This does not mean (an interpretation) that we will never “learn” anything again, only that the message of salvation is ours by an altered route.

5 – Does the Road to Salvation Ever End?

We who are ACIM followers frequently think that the road to salvation never ends, that we are always to follow the next signpost and then the next.  We almost fall in love with learning.  But A Course of Love says that this is not the way.  We can invite what is called the “elevated Self of form” at any time that we wish; it may not be granted immediately, but immediate granting is conceivable.  We turn to Jesus not as our teacher, but as a companion along the way (according to ACOL).  Jesus does not have the answers to every question that we will ever have because we are walking the path together, making the future real together.

6 – Trust Jesus

We cannot understand the passage above from ACIM fully, probably because it seems too good to be true.  We must trust Jesus to know what he is talking about.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would seek today to know that there is a time for miracles, as well as a time that learning will cease.  We will still discover and make observations, but we will not be encouraged to search for ever more paths to a more pristine salvation.  When we think this, we are not allowing for miracles.  May I know today that Your way is easy, as Jesus has said, and that I do not have to struggle anymore to effect my salvation, and definitely do not have to struggle anymore to effect my Awakening.  Awakening is Your gift to me, when You know that I am ready.  I pray that this readiness be sooner rather than later.

Be with me today as I walk through a sometimes stressful world.  May I recognize that miracles can dissipate trials, and that the trials are a way to choose again, to make a better choice this time around.  I would choose You and Your way without fail.  Help me not to fail today.

Amen.

Nightmares

“[Miracles] thus atone for your errors by freeing you from your nightmares. By releasing your mind from the imprisonment of your illusions, they restore your sanity.  (T5)”

Affirmation:  “May miracles restore my sanity.

Reflections:

1 – The Return of Sanity

The restoration of our sanity is the great need of all humankind.  It is not sanity as perceived by the world (which is a concept in emotional disturbance), but sanity as perceived by the Awakening.  We are indicated in A Course in Miracles to be living with a mad mind, and that includes all of us who have not yet walked the full pathway back to God.  Along the way, we probably will experience glimpses of Awakening, but they will not last beyond even a few moments, a few weeks, or a few months.  A Course of Love, which some view as a sequel to ACIM, indicates that we are to sustain, physical form, our acceptance of Atonement, which will lead to Awakening.  Nowhere in either set of volumes is Awakening fully defined, but we can surmise that it is the state of Enlightenment, which many other religions have championed as well.  It is less noted in traditional Christianity, which tends to stop with a specific moment of the experience of being “saved.”  There is some emphasis in moving onward to the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and this is the way of ACIM.  Miracles will bring these great events closer in time.

2 – Lost in Nightmares

We have indeed been lost in nightmares.  We have been made mad by guilt (an ACIM concept).  Happy dreams will arrive as soon as we let the miracles replace our madness.  And the real world, according to ACIM, will arrive soon afterwards.  Then it is only a brief moment in time before God Himself will take the last step, the Awakening.  This is not something that we can effect ourselves.

3 – Time for God and Ourselves

It is wise always to remember that God’s time and our time are not identical, and so we do not know (because it is not said in ACIM) what “soon” really means.  How long to we await the Awakening after we have recognized that we are seeing the “real world.”  Even the “real world” is not defined precisely in ACIM, but I have interpreted this boon as a time in which we experience the loving attributes of salvation:  love, joy, peace, tranquility, serenity, happiness, forgiveness of ourselves and others.

4 – Nightmares and Illusions

“Nightmares” and “illusions” are linked in this passage.  May we reach toward the promise of sanity in the real world when we give up our illusions, and, with them, our nightmares.  Fear will subside, and in calm and quiet we will live in the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  This guidance will continue until after Awakening, called “Christ-consciousness” is A Course of Love.  We are then to know internally of the way in which we are to travel.  The time of Christ follows the time of the Holy Spirit (according to A Course of Love).  This is a natural transition, but not one for which all of us ready.  We must be patient, and, until the time of learning is over, listen to our guidance from our Guide, and then we will be swept up in the knowledge that our real Self, the Christ within, will give us.  (These are tenets from A Course of Love.)

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live in the real world today.  I would no longer be lost in illusions.  I ask for the blessing of the return of sanity, in the sense that A Course in Miracles means.  Virtually all of us have been lost in madness.  Some have had fleeting glimpses of the Awakening, but few have sustained the Awakening.  I do realize that this is a blessing that You will offer all of us when we are ready.  And I ask for my Guide to tell me what to think, say, and do today that will prepare me for this blessing.

Be with me if I get discouraged.  Life does not have to be difficult, even when outward circumstances seem so.  You are there to comfort and to sustain us.

May I never forget this.  May I never forget to turn to You.

Amen.

Nailed to the Cross

“The dreary, hopeless thought that you can make attacks on others and escape yourself has nailed you to the cross.  Perhaps it seemed to be salvation.  Yet it merely stood for the belief the fear of God is real.  And what is that but hell?  (WB374)”

Affirmation:  “I would love God rather than cringe in fear.”

Reflections:

1 – Hell

We often wonder about “hell.”  This passage indicates where it is to be found in the fear of God.

2 – Interpretations of the Word “Fear”

This concept goes against traditional Christianity.  But I think that the difference is in an interpretation of the word “fear.”  A Course in Miracles would suggest that it is a lamentable way to approach our Creator, but traditional thinking merely wants us to honor God by such “fear.”  In traditional thinking, it is a humble way to approach our Creator.  In A Course in Miracles, the fear of God is linked to that which is keeping us from salvation.  The two emotions, fear and love, are said to be the only emotions; all  others are linked in some way to these two.  We are encouraged to love God, but not to “fear” him in the sense that we are afraid.  Traditional Christianity does not use fear in that sense of being afraid either.  The fear of God is seen in an awesome sense, and this type of awe is seen as perfectly appropriate toward our Creator, both in traditional Christianity and as stated in ACIM.

3 – God Is Our Friend

ACIM would always see God as our Friend.  We dishonor that relationship when we attack others, in part because we always attack ourselves first (another concept from ACIM).  The image of being “nailed to the cross” is especially important, because elsewhere Jesus asks us to look beyond the crucifixion to the resurrection (T36).  When we look to the resurrection, we are seeing A Course in Miracles in its true light.

4 – Look to the Resurrection

A Course in Miracles differs from traditional Christianity in that it does not see a suffering savior as the best way to view Jesus’s crucifixion.  ACIM would have us look to the resurrection, which it does not deny as a plausible occurrence (but, of course, one that we cannot fully understand, given our belief in the laws of this world).  Jesus did not defend himself in his trial, just as he encourages us avoid defense as a way of life.  ACIM sees the crucifixion as a benign concept, and would not have us cling to this historical occurrence as our route to salvation.  In that sense, ACIM and traditional Christianity are at odds.

5 – The Scriptures

It would be especially good, I believe, if we did not attack the beliefs of others as we feel led to encourage reading of ACIM.  There is a progression from the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible), the New Testament, A Course in Miracles, and A Course of Love.  In all cases, we would be advised that theology and theological concepts would only prolong our pathway to salvation.  Jesus calls for a universal experience in ACIM, saying that theology will only delay us.  A universal theology is impossible.  But a universal experience is not only encouraged, but is felt to be necessary (from the Text).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not speak my beliefs in any kind of strident way.  Not all are ready to believe that A Course in Miracles (and, of course, even more so A Course of Love) are the latest manifestations of Christian belief.  Those of traditional Christianity would be particular hostile to this idea.

So help me, dear God, to share only with those who feel inclined to study Christian experience differently.  I do understand that theology divides, but that a universal experience will transform all of us who seek You.  Help me to speak my truth in a way that is accessible to my readers.  Help me to share what I have learned of You in a benign way, non-threatening way.  And may I always look to the resurrection, which of course none of us fully understand, as my beacon in a sometimes difficult world.

Thank You for allow me to sense Your felt presence today.

Amen.

A COURSE OF LOVE: REVIEW II

Scribed by Mari Perron.  To order, visit <http://acourseoflove.com&gt;.

This review covers all three volumes in the three-volume series:  (1)  A Course of Love; the Complete Course; (2) The Treatises of A Course of Love; and (3) The Dialogues:  Coming to Voice.

Review by Celia Hales.  Revised with new title.  Previously published in Miracles magazine (publisher Jon Mundy).  

Can you imagine another Course in Miracles, again this time in three books (but this time with a definite sequence for reading)?  Suspend judgment for a moment and imagine that Jesus has unfinished busineess with us.  I personally believe that this is what we have in the A Course of Love series.  Certainly individuals other than Mari Perron have believed themselves to be channeling Jesus in the years since ACIM.  It would be inadvisable for me to take a stand on any of these books; this is a subject fully beyond my knowledge.  Yet as well, it would not be useful to debate the authenticity of the A Course of Love (ACOL) series without introducing you to this remarkable gift.  That you learn of this series and make your own choice, to read or not to read, is my goal in this review.  Maybe you will find that this series has been out there waiting for you.

The series starts simply but profoundly with an offering called A Course of Love.  (This first book in the series was reviewed by this reviewer and is posted on this blog under the title, “A Course of Love:  Review I.)  The words in this first volume are comforting and reassuring.  This is the basic book in the series, the beginning, meant to appeal to the heart.  (Later on, we find that Jesus links the heart to the mind with a plea toward “wholeheartedness.”)  If read too quickly (which can be done, unlike ACIM, much of which is poetry, blank verse) the first book may not resonate deeply.  My view of this is that, as Jesus told Mari, ACIM students are “ready” for ACOL.  We will seem almost to “know this already.”

The second and third books in the ACOL series will put to rest any doubts about whether or not we ACIM students really need to learn (and “unlearn”) more.  (These also rested my questions about Jesus as the one channeling the material to Mari.)  The Treatises are dense and packed with meaning; The Dialogues, the same.  I found that I needed to read them very slowly and thoughtfully.  In these last two books Jesus surprisingly resigns as our teacher, and even suggests that learning through the Holy Spirit has come to an end because this is the time of the “second coming of Christ.”  The last book, The Dialogues, builds to a crescendo in its final pages that left me weeping as I read.  We may be more reading for Awakening (ACIM‘s term) then we realize.  What joy!

The Treatises

This set of four short books has a definite progression in the order given; one builds upon the previous one and on to the next.  They are intended to give us further guidance for living in “wholeheartedness,” even as we are recognized as thinking beings who cannot live by feeling alone.  There is even a recognized need for a break in “thinking” (and therefore in reading, I would wonder) between the first book in the series (ACOL) and the second one (The Treatises).  (There is, however no recognized need for a break between the second and third books (The Treatises and The Dialogues).)

We are meant to live in sustained Christ-consciousness, though this in no way makes us unique nor more “special” than anyone else.  Everyone is chosen (an ACIM declaration also).  We are, in these treatises, both “learning” and “unlearning” so that we can move beyond to observation and the state of unity in holy relationships (never special) one to the other.  The conclusion of the fourth (and last) treatise is the “Treatise on the New.”
(Reviewer’s note:  Reflected upon in this blog; see “about,” and then search “archives” for the dates posted).  At the conclusion of the “New,” we are said to be in the resurrection, the time of the second coming of Christ.

In sum, “This course has led you through resigning as your own teacher, to becoming a true student, and to now leading you beyond the time of being a student to the realization of your accomplishment.  (10.1)”  We will now, through vision and direct revelation, be in a time of glorious surprises for which we do not need to (nor can we) prepare or plan.  We are transforming the personal self to the Self, or Christ-consciousness.  Jesus calls for us to have a personal relationship to him, but, surprisingly (as noted), he resigns as our teacher.  He says, “I do not have the answers that would continue to make of me a teacher and you a student.  The answers to the elevation of the personal self and the living of Christ-consciousness in form are yet to be revealed and shared. (12.32)”  He concludes the final treatise with the injunction, “Let us begin.”

The Dialogues

This third book in the series is a joining of Christ to each of us.  Jesus moves into a role no longer as teacher, but as a companion.  He directs us (before moving away from his traditional role as teacher) to claim the Self that we are; this involves an elevation of the personal self through complete acceptance of what is, by maintaining and sustaining our being (the Christ-consciousness).  Jesus emphasizes that this state cannot be “learned,” but can come into being only by our natural state of knowing brought on by wholehearted desire.

The Dialogues conclude (in over half the book) with “Forty Days and Forty Nights.” (Reviewer’s note:  Reflected upon in this blog; the title of each posting begins with Day x; see “all posts” in the sidebar).  In these Forty Days and Forty Nights, we are meant to commune on the “mountain top,” yet remain in our daily lives, balancing the two–elevation and the personal self–until the self of form is elevated and sustained in that elevation.  Jesus asks for our commitment as early as the Fourth Day; he indicates that we can make the journey to the mountain top many times, if desired, “but this is not what I call you to.  (Page 114)”  He asks us to live through “unity and relationship” (words that are frequently repeated throughout The Dialogues).

Jesus concludes with these moving words:  “You will realize that you know what to do.  Expect heaven on earth, you were told.  This is what it is.  There will be no doubt, no indecision.  Your path will be so clear to you it will be as if it is the only path in the world and you will wonder why you didn’t see it all along.  Expect this.  And it will be.  (Pages 248 – 249)”

Summing Up

I hope that the time has come for the A Course of Love series to find a wider readership.  As mentioned, Jesus tells us in the ACOL series that the time of learning is over.  Perhaps perpetual students of ACIM need something more to move them to greater action in the world.  May the ACOL series speak–loudly and powerfully–to your heart and mind–as Jesus says, “wholeheartedly.”  Let us claim the heritage that is ours, no longer fearful that we are acting out of ego.  I believe that Jesus saw our weakened egos (a success of ACIM), but he needs us to truly leave our fears behind and claim our power.

Then the more widespread Awakening of our world surely might begin.

A COURSE OF LOVE: REVIEW I

Scribed by Mari Perron.  To order, visit <http://acourseoflove.com&gt;.

This review covers the first volume in the series of three volumes.

Review by Celia Hales.  Revised with new title.  Previously published in Miracles magazine (publisher Jon Mundy).  

A Course in Love is believed to answer questions that earnest seekers still have despite careful study of A Course in Miracles.  The framework is the same; the author (Jesus), the same.

Some of us who have studied ACIM and emerged with weakened egos have, in the words of A Course of Love, “rejected” ourselves.  We think that to claim our rightful place of identity with the Christ within lacks humility.  A Course in Love (ACOL) says that such an attitude is actually borne of fear.  “You prefer selflessness to self because this is your chosen way to abolish ego and to please God.  (P.20)”  But now we approach “final learning through the realm of the heart.  This is where the confusion ends.  This is why we call this course A Course of Love.  (P.44)”

I interviewed Mari Perron, who channeled this work, for this book review.  She is a genuinely humble individual who is articulate and very attuned to the values of ACIM.  Much about the initiation of ACOL can be found on her web site (http://www.acourseoflove.com).  Those who have studied A Course in Miracles were identified to her as the best audience of the Course of Love series, because they are ready for it.  Indeed, the works, three in all, were presented to Mari as “another Course in Miracles.”  It is true that others have believed themselves to be channeling for Jesus in the years since ACIM; I make no judgment about any of these works, but do encourage you to check out ACOL.

If there is a single difference between A Course in Miracles and  A Course of Love, it is this:  ACIM, through the Holy Spirit, brought comfort to the mind; ACOL seeks to bring comfort to a troubled heart.  (2.15)  And this comfort is by identity with the Christ within, a source not for pride but solace brought to us by Jesus himself who embraces us with love.

There is an assumption winding its way through ACOL that how dare we be happy when all about us is such unhappiness and injustice in the world.  ACOL‘s answer is that we claim our power by following our internal guidance to do good in the world.  We cannot know what to do ourselves; even to try would be to strengthen the ego.  We are meant to be in union, and with this the heart intercedes.  (5.20)  “Those who would not change the world one iota through their constant effort, in peace create the world anew.  (6.17)”

ACOL bids us feel joy, noting that all often we prefer to be serious:  “You are looking for the rest and quiet joy that only comes from love.  (12.5)”

The thesis of A Course of Love can perhaps be summed up in the following sequence of ideas:

A wholehearted choice to abandon all ideas of glorifying the separated self and to let the world be what it is, will begin the transformation.  This requires the first unification, the unification of mind and heart, after which unification with God is naturally returned to our awareness, but this unification returns us to the Christ in us and the one mind united with God that we have never left.  Creation’s power then returns to us to help all the separated ones remember union.  (19.4)

ACOL is a very comforting book.  Jesus bids us come into his embrace and be safe.  (20.2)  “The embrace makes one of two.  (20.7)”  He continues, “The embrace can be likened to the starting point of a shared language, a language shared by mind and heart and by all people.  (21.6)”

Jesus bids us to be the Self that we truly are, the Christ within.  This is not egotism, but the truest clarity.  And this Self is known through relationship, through union.  It is a time of “great humility.  Of wearing the face of Christ for all to see.  (28.8)”

Those who have loved A Course in Miracles will find much solace in A Course of Love.  Like ACIM, ACOL too must be read attentively and also slowly, but when approached with an open mind and a thoughtful heart, this book in the A Course of Love series merits my unreserved recommendation.

“Unsupported” Faith Is Not Required

ACIM Workbook Lesson 327 – for Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Affirmation:  “I need but call and You will answer me.”

“I am not asked to take salvation on the basis of an unsupported faith.  For God has promised He will hear my call, and answer me Himself.  (WB465)”

Reflections:

1 – Blind Faith

We are not asked to have faith only, a blind faith that is totally uncomprehending, and just appeals to “mysteries.”  We have support for our faith in A Course in Miracles.  Salvation, leading to Awakening, is spelled out for us.  And God Himself will answer us when we call.  We will never be left to our own devices.

2 – A Questioning Faith

The fact that we do not have just to say “have faith” is important to me.  I always thought like a heretic, questioning the faith of my childhood.  Until I found A Course in Miracles, and then the answers came that I had been seeking for so long.  Not everybody, of course, finds their curriculum in ACIM, but more and more are.  We who study ACIM seriously ought to be very, very glad that the tenets of ACIM have found their way more and more into the popular culture, especially the self-help or self-improvement literature.  Not everybody realizes that the author is using ideas from A Course in Miracles.  And perhaps this is alright.  Jesus is not proprietary about the ideas that we read therein.  He wants the message to be spread, and he has said that there is a course for every teacher of God.  We all make interpretations, some based on ACIM and some not, and we learn from each other as a result.

3 – Finding Our Way to God

Our supported faith is the faith that God Himself supports.  This is an important truth, and it would be well to dwell on the implications of this.  We are never alone in the universe(s).  We always have guidance.  In ACIM, this guidance is said to come from the Holy Spirit, because we are in the time of the Holy Spirit.  In A Course of Love, this guidance is said to come from the Self within, the Christ-consciousness, as we are in the time of Christ.  Either way is OK.  We do not have to be proscriptive about how we find our way back to God.  He never left us, but we thought we left Him.  And now is the time to return.  As the New Testament counsels, “Seek and ye shall find.”  And I have found this truth in my own experience.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You today for the day that I found A Course in Miracles.  No longer did I have to grapple with reaching for faith when I had questions and even doubts.  Your gift of ACIM answered so many of those questions.  May I be led today to put into practice the tenets that I have studied.  And may I reach out to others who are similarly questioning.

Faith does not have to be blind.  We are given answers to our reason.  We do not have to appeal to “mysteries.”  Help me to know when I do need to step out in faith and appeal to mysteries, and when the Answer, Your Holy Spirit, will guide me.  May He guide me carefully today.  I so long to walk the way of Your blessings, and Your blessings are never very far behind the guidance that is so freely given, when we ask for guidance.

Be with me today as I seek You.  Guide my thoughts as I reread A Course in Miracles.  Help me to discern the truth of its message.  And may I reflect in a helpful way for those who read this blog.

Thank You for always being near.  May I feel Your presence in me today.

Amen.

A Safe Returning Home

ACIM Workbook Lesson 324 – for Sunday, November 20, 2011

Affirmation:  “I merely follow, for I would not lead.”

“So let us follow One Who knows the way.  We need not tarry, and we cannot stray except an instant from His loving hand.  We walk together, for we follow Him.  And it is He Who makes the ending sure, and guarantees a safe returning home.  (WB463)”

Reflections:

1 – The Holy Spirit’s Guidance

The “One Who knows the way” is, in A Course in Miracles, the Holy Spirit, also called the Universal Inspiration.  If we are flexible, if we vow to be remain flexible, we will follow the advice that we “hear.”  And that advice, that guidance, will invariably lead us home–and sooner rather than later.

2 – Final Lessons Meditative

All of the final lessons in the Workbook for Students are meditative, in that they encourage us to commune with God and His Teacher, the Holy Spirit.  Not only do these lessons have a common theme of communion with God, they also emphasize, systematically, the ideas developed in the Text and the Manual.  If we have had trouble with the intensity of the ideas in the Text, we can turn to the Workbook and then gain the great benefit that the more reverent words in the Workbook emphasize.  We will not go wrong when we seek reverence in our study.  And our prayers, our communion with God, will take on new meaning when we mean what we say.

3 – A Course of Love

Nobody gets anywhere in the spiritual life by theory alone.  We must buy into the ideas with our heart as well as our mind.  The idea of the heart’s involvement is developed overwhelmingly in the words of A Course of LoveACOL counsels “wholeheartedness,” which is another way of saying that A Course of Love is to the heart what A Course in Miracles is to the mind.  In another way of seeing this, the final lessons of the Workbook, as the year closes, lead us straight into the philosophy of A Course of Love.  This blog has considered two lengthy sections from A Course of Love, and these can be identified and read through taking a look at the months that the postings covered in the “About” section of the Menu Bar.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would return home today.  Thank You that this does not mean that I need to die.  We return home when our hearts and minds act as one in wholeheartedness.  Thank You for the guidance that You give to me.

May I incorporate the tenets of A Course of Love as I walk farther along the pathway.  There is a continuum that I would adopt in my daily study.  Help me to study diligently, and to understand what Jesus says to me.  May I keep an open mind as I compare A Course in Miracles to A Course of Love.

Amen.

The Embrace of God

ACIM Workbook Lesson 317 – for Sunday, November 13, 2011

Affirmation:  “I follow in the way appointed me.”

“And all my sorrows end in Your embrace, which You have promised to Your Son, who thought mistakenly that he had wandered from the sure protection of Your loving Arms.  (WB459)”

Reflections:

1 – God and Jesus Embrace Us

The embrace of God is similar to the oft-quoted passage from A Course of Love, in which Jesus embraces us.  Both are meant to offer comfort and love.  We would ourselves want our sorrows to end, but to have that happen means that we must cooperate with God’s plan.  We have never actually separated from God, though we live in a dream world (before we awaken) that says that we are separate from Him.  We need to be flexible, to follow guidance, to relax into the day rather than to fight against it.  If our thought or action makes us feel bad, then surely there is another way to live.  We can ask.  That is all that we really need to do to live a better life, one in which we rise above difficulties and disappointments in this world.  We also rise above the tragedies of this world, recognizing that they are illusion.  This does not mean that we do not offer comfort to our brothers and sisters, as we would ourselves wish to be comforted.  Offer others the embrace, symbolically and, if appropriate, actually.  We will not be sorry for having done so.

2 – Follow in the Way Appointed

If we follow in the way appointed, we are following the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Later on, in A Course of Love, we are living the elevated Self of form, and we turn inward for our guidance in the time of Christ-consciousness.  But for now we are studying ACIM, and guidance in ACIM is from the time of the Holy Spirit.  We seek Him always.  And He will never disappoint us.  The way that we will follow will be joyful.  We will know peace.  And the egoism, and egotism, that overcame us for eons will just dissipate.  What a blessing that indeed will be!

3 – Our Sorrows End

If our sorrows end in the embrace of God, then we are at home in Him.  This is a very great promise, and one that we would do well to remember in our darkest moments.  And we may have more dark nights of the soul.  Our evolutionary pathway is not a straight line (from Neale Donald Walsch’s Conversations with God).  The way to Awakening is often a kind of spiral.  We see glimpses that revelation gives us, but we do not live the ending.  But the ending is sure, and it will come quickly when we are ready.  Once we have seen the real world–the world of peace and happiness–consistently, it is only a matter of a short while before we will know awakening.  God Himself takes this step, when He knows that we have been made ready.  Because we have been so prepared by A Course in Miracles, the light that is turned on in the dream will not frighten us anymore.  We will awaken gently and with peace.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would sense Your embrace today.  Thank You for this reassurance.  We so often forget that You are always with us, carrying us when times are difficult.  Help me to do my part to ease the burdens of my brothers and sisters, and help me to know what to say to them when they are struggling.  If they are open to faith, give me the words to say.  I know that the Holy Spirit’s guidance is always true.  Help me to discern accurately.

An embrace is such a comforting gesture.  May I rest easy as I walk through this day, knowing that I am a part of You, and that You wish me well always.

If times seem tough, let me retreat to an inner sanctuary, in quiet, where I can feel the embrace that Jesus tells us about today.

Amen.

Peace So Deep and Quiet

ACIM Workbook Lesson 305 – for Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Affirmation:  “There is a peace that Christ bestows on us.”

“Who uses but Christ’s vision finds a peace so deep and quiet, undisturbable and wholly changeless, that the world contains no counterpart.  (WB452)”

Reflections:

1 – Christ’s Vision Sees the Real World

Christ’s vision sees the real world, the world informed by the Holy Spirit by following His guidance.  It is not the egoic world, definitely not.  The real world, reality, is God’s world, and it behooves us to ask to spend more time there.  If we seek peace, calm, tranquility, and serenity, we will automatically seek silence more.  We will live in God’s presence.  And we will live the way of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love (viewed by some as a sequel to ACIM).

2 – The Peace that Passeth Understanding

This peace is, I believe, the “peace that passeth understanding” of the New Testament.  Jesus has not really changed in 2000 years; he has simply adapted with the times.  Perhaps there is much in the New Testament that was a misreading of his message, and, if so, the world was ready for his channeling of A Course in Miracles.

3 – Living the Workbook of A Course in Miracles

Now that we are far along in the year of the Workbook for Students, we know better the tenets of ACIM, and it is up to us to incorporate these truths so that we actually live them.  We will find this peace that is “deep and quiet, undisturbable and wholly changeless” (see above).

4 – The Self Lives in the Real World

May we ask for the Self, the Christ (not Jesus alone), to bestow on us today this peace that we so crave.  This Self has never been incarnated; it is the real Self upon which we can draw for the “elevated Self of form” (from A Course of Love).  May we live today in a Self that is ever closer to being sustained.  And this will be the truly real world, the true reality.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would see with the vision of my Self, the higher Self that is known as the Christ.  I would not attach egoic notions to this appellation.  I would remain only myself, knowing that it is You who effect change in me.  Jesus has pointed out the Way in A Course in Miracles.  Please, today, help me to live what he has pointed out.

I would live in the real world, the world of peace, joy, harmony, and reconciliation with all of my brothers and sisters.  Let me not even hint at attack or anger today.  This, I ask, is to be a day of special dedication to You.  Be with me as I make this dedication to You and Your peace.

Amen.

Illusions Cannot Dim My Holiness

ACIM Workbook Lesson 299 – for Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Affirmation:  “Eternal holiness abides in me.”

“Father, my holiness is not of me.  It is not mine to be destroyed by sin.  It is not mine to suffer from attack.  Illusions can obscure it, but can not put out its radiance, nor dim its light.  It stands forever perfect and untouched.  (WB448)”

Reflections:

1 – Are We Holy?

We are hesitant to call ourselves “holy.”  We do not seem worthy, regardless of how far along the pathway we have walked.  We think somehow that it is an unseemly thing to say or even to think.

2 – Our Retreat into Feverish Dreams

But Jesus would say that this is the arrogance of the ego.  We are actually holy because God has called us thus.  We have not changed our Self since we were created.  We have merely retreated into feverish dreams, illusions, maya.  But we are still as God created us (from the Workbook).  We are still holy.

3 – Our Holiness = Not Changed by Detour into Fear

Our holiness has not been touched by the detour into fear that we made at the time that we thought that we separated from God (paraphrases from the Text).  We have not, it is true, been in communication with God, for we have been asleep.  But we can awaken, and He will effect this for us when we are ready.  Even early on, we will see glimpses of Awakening before it is sustained.  And A Course of Love is all about the elevated Self of form, the walking in this world of an Awakened individual.  (Many view A Course of Love as a sequel to ACIM, one that was also channeled by Jesus.)

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I feel humble as I retreat from arrogance and contemplate the idea that I am still the holy individual that You created.  May I not let these thoughts cause the ego to reemerge.  May I know that I am still as You created me, though I have detoured into fear, and I have made mistakes that beg for correction.

Help my correction to be gentle.  Jesus says that we do not have to learn through pain.  I ask today that I learn and experience all that You would wish for me, in the manner that You wish.  I do realize that You would not have me suffer pain, and even that You do not grant any credence to this illusion, because it is illusion.  Help me to learn through rewards, which can only come when I have surrendered to Your Teacher, the Holy Spirit.

Thank You for leading me this far, and thank You that my detour into fear has been as benign as it has been.  This does not mean that I will never again know pain, only that it is unnecessary.  May I follow in the Way that You point out to me through Your Universal Inspiration, the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

My Holiness Shines Bright and Clear Today

ACIM Workbook Lesson 285 – for Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Affirmation:  “My holiness shines bright and clear today.”

“And I will ask for only joyous things the instant I accept my holiness.  For what would be the use of pain to me, what purpose would my suffering fulfill, and how would grief and loss avail me if insanity departs from me today, and I accept my holiness instead?

“Father, my holiness is Yours.  Let me rejoice in it, and through forgiveness be restored to sanity.  Your Son is still as You created him.  My holiness is part of me, and also part of You.  And what can alter Holiness Itself?  (WB440)”

Reflections:

1 – ACIM in a Nutshell

This lesson explains the reason that we can let suffering in all its manifestations go.  We have been insane, mad.  We can let this go, if we follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we experience the real world, and we let God come to us in Awakening.  This, in a nutshell, is the route as described by A Course in Miracles.

2 – From Personal Self to the Holy Self

May we learn to think of our Selves as holy.  This is not the little self (called the “personal self” or the “separated self” by A Course of Love), but the glorious culmination of all that we truly are–the Self that is the elevated Self of form in Christ-consciousness (from ACOL), and called Awakening in ACIM.  Perhaps the time will come when we have learned enough.  Habits die hard, and we have all been on a search for God (actually) for a very, very long time.  As individuals who believed in the separation from God, there was little, once we embarked on the way to spirituality, for us to do but search.
3 – Learning Will End

A Course of Love (channeled by Mari Perron) says that there is a time when learning is to end.  We are approaching that time in these final lessons from ACIM from the Workbook.  We are in a meditative state as we seek God in our devotionals.  We have had our questions answered, but we may not fully realize this.  That is why we return again and again to ACIM.  That is not a bad way to spend our time, of course.  We need, before learning ceases, to over-learn the tenets that ACIM would promulgate.  We have spent eons over-learning the dictates of the ego.  It may take some time for us to over-learn what Jesus would have us study now.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would move ever closer, today, to assimilating the tenets of A Course in Miracles.  I would learn and over-learn what I have spent eons trying to ignore.  I would end those eons immediately.

Be with me as I invite Awakening.  I know that this is Your decision, and I would not be impatient or try to hurry You.  Take me when You are ready.  Help me to follow Your instructions so that I am doing all that You would have me do to be ready.

Amen.

May Heaven Be Restored to Us

ACIM Workbook Lesson 252 – for Friday, September 9, 2011

Affirmation:  “The Son of God is my Identity.”

“My Self is holy beyond all the thoughts of holiness of which I now conceive. . . .Its strength comes not from burning impulses which move the world, but from the boundless Love of God Himself.

“Father, You know my true Identity.  Reveal It now to me who am Your Son, that I may waken to the truth in You, and know that Heaven is restored to me.  (WB420)”

Reflections:

We would have Heaven restored to us, and the sense in which the prayer for today encourages this, is the sense that Heaven can begin while we are still in this world.  We can indeed know “Heaven on earth,” though this may not be a constant state.  We will return to “lowly paths of learning” (an ACIM quotation), but we have been to the heights.  A Course of Love carries this understanding a step farther.  We are led to a mountaintop experience, and we are told that we are not meant to take this climb repeatedly.  Some of us, I would intuit, are never satisfied when we are not yet perfect.  Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that he stands at the end, to correct the mistakes that we ourselves could not correct.  A Course of Love makes plain that he is our equal (by this time), and that our learning time is over.  A Course in Miracles, as the first set of books, does not go this far.  (A Course of Love is seen by some as a sequel, channeled by Jesus to Mari Perron, to help us farther along the pathway.)

Our holy Self is not something that we can understand fully.  We do not know the Self because we are too caught up in the little self that thrives and also despairs in this world.  But we would move to knowledge (not perception) of this Self by communion with God in these Workbook lessons.  We are coming closer to God’s Way.  We will soon be out of the woods of the ego’s wily ways.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to respond to You and to others in this world with love and understanding of where all of us are coming from.  May we listen to You through Your Universal Inspiration, the Holy Spirit.  May we live today the compassion for others that you would have us exhibit.

I would do nothing today that I would regret later on.  Help me to see evermore frequent glimpses of the Heaven on earth that You intend for us.

Amen.

Walking in the Real World with My Brother

ACIM Workbook Lesson 250 – for Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Affirmation:  “Let me not see myself as limited.”

“He is Your Son, my Father.  And today I would behold his gentleness instead of my illusions.  He is what I am, and as I see him so I see myself.  Today I would see truly, that this day I may at last identify with him.  (WB418)”

Reflections:

This prayer is another example of the idea that we are all One, including being One with God.  Perhaps we are forgiving of another to the extent that we identify with him or her (not stated explicitly in ACIM).  Certainly identifying with another is a sure way to invite intimacy, a term used often by Mari Perron, who scribed A Course of Love and authored The Given Self.  We need the intimacy that Mari extols, because otherwise our sense of separation from each other in this world, and perhaps our perceived separation from God only is accentuated.  As we have noted previously, we have not separated from God; we have simply made illusions and lived in an illusory world.  We would return home to the real world as soon as our learning can take us there.  (And A Course in Miracles is very helpful to returning us to the real world.)

The real world is not defined precisely in ACIM.  We are told that our stay in that “place” will be of short duration, that shortly after we perceive the real world, God will act to awaken us.  We will then not be identified with God (unless we are not drawn to stay on earth any longer), but we will recognize ourselves as His Sons and Daughters.  We will embody the Self that we have been meant to be all along, before a “tiny, mad idea” came along about which we “failed to laugh” (the quotations are from ACIM).  When the tiny, mad idea came along, we thought that we wanted to have a will different from God’s, and, while we could not actually separate from Him, we could imagine that we had.  That was the beginning of our insanity.  ACIM does not state precisely when in our history this occurred, but does used the symbolic Adam to illustrate.  This first man fell into a deep sleep, and ACIM notes that nowhere in the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible) is it said that he awoke.  There has been no comprehensive Awakening in all the eons since, but we may be on the brink of a breakthrough.

Eckhart Tolle, an enlightened teacher (The Power of Now and A New Earth), sees himself as at the epicenter of a new Awakening.  Those who sense that enlightenment (another term for Awakening) is upon them frequently contact Eckhart for counsel.  He is arguably the most visible example of an Awakened individual in our midst, at least in that he talks openly and writes often about how we too might have what he has.  He quotes from A Course in Miracles, but his pathway to Awakening was one of pain rather learning through rewards (as ACIM counsels).  Jesus tells us in ACIM that pain can bring only a temporary effect, and that the lasting comes through rewards.  But Jesus also recognizes that pain is part of the human condition, as he says that the threshold for pain may be high, but that sooner or later all will recognize that there is a better way.  (These are paraphrases from the Text.)

One of the inheritances of the Son or Daughter of God is trust.  It is the one trait on which all the rest are built (an idea from the Manual).  We need to trust our God to join us a we seek to leave illusions behind and to experience the real world, with Awakening promised soon to follow.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would notice only the gentleness that is in the Self that my brother has, the inner Self that is as You created him.  And I would see this gentleness in the real world, which I hope that he and I will share sooner rather than later.  Help us to be good to each other in our holy relationship.  May my most significant other love me as I love him.  May we be there for each other, both under Your loving gaze at all times.

I would find You inwardly.  Please help me to understand this fully, and to project the best of You that I can reach within.  When I project the best, my perception is cleansed, and then my brother and I walk into the sunlight always.  Thank You for the many blessings that are ours today.

Amen.

May God Be My Guide

ACIM Workbook Lesson 233 – for Sunday, August 21, 2011

Affirmation:  “I give my life to God to guide today.”

“Father, I give You all my thoughts today.  I would have none of mine.  In place of them, give me Your Own.  I give You all my acts as well, that I may do Your Will instead of seeking goals which cannot be obtained, and wasting time in vain imaginings.  Today I come to You.  I will step back and merely follow You.  Be You the Guide, and I the follower who questions not the wisdom of the Infinite, nor Love whose tenderness I cannot comprehend, but which is yet Your perfect gift to me.  (WB409)”

Reflections:

This is an invocation for guidance throughout all the big and little events of one’s day.  It is the very best way to talk to God, to ask Him into our lives.  Not that He has ever been absent, but when we initiate a conversation, He is right there for us.  In the Text, Jesus says that God is lonely when the minds that He created do not communicate with Him.  God notes that His children are asleep and need to be awakened.

This need for a comprehensive Awakening is the greatest need in our world.  If the world were ready for such a rebirth, what a different world we would find our earth!  Let us pray today that we might do our part to bring about such a rebirth.  Of course, the impetus comes divinely, but we, it is said, are the hands and feet of the Divine.  We take our marching orders from God (when we listen).  Let us listen to God today.

God is our Guide, and this passage makes this clear.  It does not show a contradiction with many other passages which discuss the role of the Holy Spirit.  Without getting into theology, there is no contradiction.  The Holy Spirit is the Communicator between God and ourselves.  Having said that, let us be humble enough to admit that here are mysteries that are beyond our minds.  They can only be understood from the heart, a point made clear in A Course in Love (perhaps a sequel to ACIM).

ACIM contains very beautiful language, and our meditation today shows us just how beautiful.  It would be enough to contemplate the lovely prayer, quoted above, and then be silent.  God will do the rest.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am silent today before the prayer of A Course in Miracles for this day.  Be with as I acknowledge You as my Guide.

Amen.

I Do Love God

ACIM Workbook Lesson 225 – for Saturday, August 13, 2011

Affirmation:  “God is my Father, and His Son loves Him.”

“Father, I must return Your Love for me, for giving and receiving are the same, and You have given all Your Love to me.  I must return it, for I want it mine in full awareness, blazing in my mind and keeping it within its kindly light, inviolate, beloved, with fear behind and only peace ahead.  How still the way Your loving Son is led along to You!  (WB404)”

Reflections:

These prayers, in this section of the Workbook, are all meant to lead us gently to a God of love rather than judgment.  The prayers are comforting in the extreme.  The God of A Course in Miracles is like the God of the New Testament, rather than the sometimes vengeful God of the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible).  Jesus’s message is therefore consistent from the New Testament to A Course in Miracles, and even onto A Course of Love (which some view as a sequel to ACIM).

We have nothing to fear from God.  If we are not at first inclined to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to follow His way as the great Communicator from God to us, the Holy Spirit will be patient with us.  We will gradually come to know, as did Helen and Bill, that there is another way, and we will be led to discover, if we are true students of ACIM, that this another way is being abundantly laid out for us in its pages.  We are seeing the means to Awakening, or, as A Course of Love says, Christ-consciousness.

The only way that we can have consistent peace is if we turn to God consistently.  This means moments at the beginning and end of each day, as a minimum, in turning to God through contemplation and communing (prayer).  We are led by this stillness, this time when we are not stressed from the many activities of the day.  In quiet and stillness do we find our way home.  If we do not take the time to devote these moments to God, we will continue to walk the old pathway, led by egoistic thinking.  And we will not be happy, not on any consistent basis.  The “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (a Workbook quotation) will elude us.  We will indeed lead charmed lives when we turn to the Holy Spirit, the Universal Inspiration, as our mentor through life’s tortuous turns.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I wish to have the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings,” knowing that they are the harbinger of consistently viewing the real world, which leads on to Awakening.  The means are spelled out in A Course in Miracles.  Help the revelation to come.  That is entirely up to You, and I know that when I am ready, revelation will come–showing the end, Awakening, to me.

May I consistently spend moments at the beginning and the end of the day with you, in contemplation.  This does not mean that my holy relationship will mean less to me; I will be more likely to fulfill my half of the relationship in a good manner if I have devoted time to You.  Be with me today, again I ask.  Thank You for walking along beside me daily, and carrying me when times get tough.

Amen.

I Am Weary of the World I See

ACIM Workbook Lesson 224 – for Friday, August 12, 2011

Affirmation:  “God is my Father, and He loves His Son.”

“My Name, O Father, still is known to You.  I have forgotten it, and do not know where I am going, who I am, or what it is I do.  Remind me, Father, now, for I am weary of the world I see.  Reveal what You would have me see instead.  (WB403)”

Reflections:

The Text says that when we say, “I do not know who I am,” that we have reached the highest understanding of which we are capable.  We are then open to the Holy Spirit to tell us who we are.  We are no longer depending on ourselves.  We have left behind images of ourselves, as described in the Text.  We must go beyond all images (or personas), if we are to live peaceably in this world.  The images are of the ego, and the ego does not mean us well (an ACIM tenet).

We often are weary of this world.  But it is not up to us to abandon it.  We will not find happiness here, but we can find happiness in the real world (which can be experienced here).  The real world is a world of intangibles (love, hope, joy, consolations from God, etc.), and it is the distinct opposite of the world shown to us by the ego.  Indeed, egoistic notions of the world always end as ashes in our mouth.  We are constantly having our own ego undone by the happenings in this world.  We have paid for our inconstant pleasures by having them turn against us all the time.  If we reflect a bit, we will know that all pleasures of this world have been bought with tears; there is no joy that does not turn into its opposite (an ACIM tenet).  But the real world is different, and here joy is constant.  We may not stay in the real world consistently, but we will see glimpses of its peace and happiness.  And these glimpses will be enough to sustain and keep us on the pathway of salvation.

We ask God, in this passage above, to reveal to us what He would have us see.  We cannot read God’s Mind, but we can imagine what He would have us see.  And A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love tell us the means toward Awakening and Christ-consciousness.  It would behoove us to stay close to our means to true salvation.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would see what You would have me see.  I would, in my mind and spirit, leave this world from time to time to see the world that You will for me.  This real world is my goal.  May my experience of the real world that You will show me come soon.  I thank You for the glimpses that You have already given me.

Help me to love deeply and purely.  May I leave fear behind.  I know that the more love I can give and receive, the closer to You I will come.  May Your Being make Itself known to me today.

Amen.

I Am Not Apart from God

ACIM Workbook Lesson 223 – for Thursday, August 11, 2011

Affirmation:  “God is my life.  I have no life but His.”

“I was mistaken when I thought I lived apart from God, a separate entity that moved in isolation, unattached, and housed within a body.  Now I know my life is God’s, I have no other home, and I do not exist apart from Him.  He has no Thoughts that are not part of me, and I have none but those which are of Him.

“Our Father, let us see the face of Christ instead of our mistakes.  For we who are Your holy Son are sinless.  We would look upon our sinlessness, for guilt proclaims that we are not Your Son.  And we would not forget You longer.  We are lonely here, and long for Heaven, where we are at home.  Today we would return.  Our Name is Yours, and we acknowledge that we are Your Son.  (WB403)”

Reflections:

Guilt is hell (an ACIM tenet).  And all too often we feel guilt when we have failed, in our own sight, to measure up.  That we do not have to “measure up” on a constant basis is something that we overlook, especially when we have been on the spiritual path for a long time.  We need to be ever ready to turn our mistakes over to God for rectification.  He will erase them.  We need only to ask.  And we need to realize that we do not want to categorize these mistakes as “sins,” because sins, perversely, have an attracting aspect (a Text tenet).  When we categorize our misthoughts or misdeeds as mistakes, we will automatically want to change.  We will want to leave the mistakes behind, making amends to others (and ourselves) when it is possible to do so.

When we see the face of Christ in all of our brothers and sisters, we will know that we are home.  Jesus did see this face in other people, and he is our example.  We do not have to relive his life, we do not have to be crucified–but we do need to let him be our leader in all things.  In ACIM, he is our elder brother; in A Course of Love, he is our companion, our teacher no longer.  He has completed his task, in A Course of Love, and it is now up to us to complete ours.  ACOL says that this does not involve learning again, over and over.  We have learned all that we need to know.  We need only accept the unity and relationship that is the purview of the elevated Self of form.  We are united as One with our brothers and sisters, and our relationships are pure.  Even our own Self is consistent within; it is honest (a Manual tenet).

We are indeed often lonely in this world.  But it need not be so.  We can enjoy Heaven on earth, even in the midst of troubles.  We can rise above the conflict that troubles us by turning, over and over, to the God within (and without).  This constant turning to God is the only way to live that will sustain us permanently (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I rest in surety that Your Word is true, that You live within me and that I have no need ever to feel lonely–believing that I am a solitary being.  Be with me today as I seek to find the companionship that I can find only in You.  Help me to remember to pray, to commune, on as nearly a constant basis as my frail self can sustain.

Help me to know that my Self is strong.  There is nothing in this world that will ever come between us.  That is enough for me to know.  That will keep me serene in Your presence always.

Amen.

Our Appointed Role = Selected by the Voice for God

ACIM Workbook Lesson 154 – for Friday, June 3, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am among the ministers of God.”

“Whatever your appointed role may be, it was selected by the Voice for God, Whose function is to speak for you as well.  Seeing your strengths exactly as they are, and equally aware of where they can be best applied, for what, to whom and when, He chooses and accepts your part for you.  He does not work without your own consent.  But He is not deceived in what you are, and listens only to His Voice in you.  (WB288)”

Reflections:

This passage reflects the primacy of the Holy Spirit in the tenets of A Course in Miracles.  Later on, in A Course of Love, we will be told that we are emerging from the era of the Holy Spirit, and moving into the era of Christ-consciousness (Awakening, or Enlightenment).  But now we are still learning, and the Holy Spirit is our guide.  The Higher Self is informed by the Holy Spirit, deep from within ourselves.  We do have a part to play in this great drama of salvation, and the Holy Spirit will let us know what that part is.

All of us have given roles to play, without which our place would not be filled in the larger picture of salvation.

How do we listen to the Holy Spirit?  The most direct is through intuition.  This is not the only means, but it is the most common.  We must be careful in applying to our daily lives what we have perceived as guidance.  We can be misled by the ego, and what we say or do can be very far from true guidance.  We must be careful that we do nothing that is not informed by love (the greatest test of all).  The ego can mimic the guidance that truly does come from God, but in ways that would destroy rather than be edifying.  We are therefore encouraged to commune with God about the directions that we feel we are being led to take.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I take the role assigned to me in this world by the Voice for God, the Holy Spirit.  May I not doubt that I can do what He asks of me, but may I find no pride in doing what He asks.  We can legitimately get satisfaction from a job well done, but pride is something else, and it is always of the ego.

I would not listen to the ego today.  I would listen only to the guidance that will put me in the flow of life as it is meant to be lived.  That truly will lead to moments of Heaven on earth, and for that I grateful to You.  Thank You for my manifold blessings.

Amen.

No One Can Fail Who Seeks to Reach the Truth

ACIM Workbook Lesson 146 – for Thursday, May 26, 2011

Affirmation:  “My mind holds only what I think with God.”

Selected Passage:

“No one can fail who seeks to reach the truth.
“I loose the world from all I thought it was.  (WB276)”

Reflections:

This passage is a promise that we will go Home, and while still on earth (if we so desire).  The “truth” is our desire for Awakening, and Awakening will not be long in coming for those who have truly sought.  We may, paradoxically, have to stop seeking and rest in quiet, though.  Constant seeking is a distraction.  A Course of Love makes clear that there is a time when we “know enough.”  Habits of seeking are not always easily loosed, though.

“No one can fail who seeks to reach the truth.”  A glorious promise, not to be overlooked in ACIM.  When we let go of our misperceptions about the world, we will be in a better position to have the truth revealed to us.  We do not have to rush and hurry, hither and yon, for the truth.  We need only quiet ourselves and seek within.

We thought the world was best mastered by our judgments about it.  But ACIM says that our learning has been awry; we need to leave judgment to the Holy Spirit, Who knows all the variables.  This idea is contrary to all that we have previously been taught about “good judgment,” but there is a lengthy chapter in the Manual that would set us straight.  We cannot judge accurately, because we do not see the whole situation.  Is it not better, then, to leave decisions up to guidance of the Holy Spirit, Who makes no mistakes?  (Of course, we can misread the Holy Spirit, especially if we are caught in egotistical turmoil.  So let us be careful that we are following the path that God would lay out for us.)

Prayer:

Dear Mother/Father,

I would follow guidance today.  Let me be still and listen for that guidance.  May I have a still and peaceful day, but with energy to do Your will.  You will be there for me, as always.  I do not doubt Your presence, even when I am embroiled in an ego-oriented dream, and too distracted to feel that You are there.

Be with me as I seek inward toward You.  You are the All, and may I take my part in the drama that is unfolding on this earth.

Amen.

Rest in Quiet Certainty

ACIM Workbook Lesson 98 – for Friday, April 8, 2011

Affirmation:  “I will accept my part in God’s plan for salvation.”

Selected Passage:

“The guiltless have no fear, for they are safe and recognize their safety.  They do not appeal to magic, nor invent escapes from fancied threats without reality.  They rest in quiet certainty that they will do what it is given them to do.  They do not doubt their own ability because they know their function will be filled completely in the perfect time and place.  They took the stand which we will take today, that we may share their certainty and thus increase it by accepting it ourselves.  (WB174)”

Reflections:

“Quiet certainty” is a lovely promise.  It gives us just what we want and need.  Elsewhere Jesus says that we will be “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time, when we have accepted all that Atonement holds out for us.  Perhaps, still partially encased by the ego, we do not want to be this peaceful.  We may still want drama.  But perhaps we will surprise ourselves, and not want drama at all when we have something better–the perfect peace of God.

When we do not feel guilty because we recognize that our Self is innocent, we will be at peace.  That does not mean that we can just make mistakes right and left, with a disregard for our better nature and for our brothers and sisters in this world.  We indeed must try to follow the best pathway, and ACIM carefully points the way to walk along this pathway.

Elsewhere we are told that we do not need to plan ahead what to say, that the Holy Spirit will give us the words that we need at the time that we need them.  This is reminiscent of biblical teachings, especially St. Paul in the New Testament.  But there are similar teachings in the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible as well.  So there is a continuity between the Bible’s understanding and that of ACIM.   Earlier (and will next year as well) this blog considered A Course of Love (ACOL), and there is continuity here as well.  We are not asked to accept things for which we have no background in Christianity.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I wish to have quiet certainty of Your grace today.  Let me not get frustrated by any events of the day, but let me rest in quiet and calm always.  You have promised that I will not want “drama” when I have accepted all that salvation holds out to me.  When all of us have experienced the Awakening, we will be different people indeed.

Be with me today, so that I feel Your presence.  I ask for Your guidance, and especially I ask for the will to be flexible enough to follow that guidance when You present it to me.

Amen.

My Little Part in Bringing Happiness to the World

ACIM Workbook Lesson 95 – for Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am one Self, united with my Creator.”

Selected Passage:

“Do not forget today.  We need your help; your little part in bringing happiness to all the world.  And Heaven looks to you in confidence that you will try today.  Share, then, its surety, for it is yours.  Be vigilant.  Do not forget today.  Throughout the day do not forget your goal.  Repeat today’s idea as frequently as possible, and understand each time you do so, someone hears the voice of hope, the stirring of the truth within his mind, the gentle rustling of the wings of peace.  (WB168)”

Reflections:

1 – A Course of Love

This passage presages A Course of Love, in that we are seen to be in unity and relationship with our brothers and sisters.  The passage suggests that there is a psychic component to our relationship as well as our unity.  When we try to bring happiness to this world, somewhere, in some way, others are helped.  The final sentence (above) says this.  What a joy this really is!  We do not have to stir from our chair to know that our thoughts have been read by someone who needed to hear the message of salvation that we bring.

2 – The Psychic

Elsewhere Jesus says that there are no unnatural powers.  The psychic is real.  If the only ways that the world recognizes as channels were true, it would be impossible to teach salvation.  But we are not to take refuge in grandiosity about any powers that we develop (a Manual tenet).  This would allow a foothold to come from the ego.  And we are particularly susceptible to footholds that, from the ego, are subtle–especially once that we have withdrawn our major allegiance to the ego.  These ways are not especially hard to determine, but may be particularly easy to overlook (a Manual tenet).  This is one aspect of ego dynamics that we do not want to overlook.  (We do want to overlook the mistakes of our brothers and sisters, so as not to make them real to ourselves and thus make them harder to overlook.)

3 – The Scraps of Fear

We are asked to be vigilant today.  We must watch our minds for the scraps of fear that reside there, for then the ego has a foothold on our minds.  We want the “gentle rustling of the wings of peace.”  May we have this today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to bring happiness to my little world today.  I realize that to do so effectively, I need also to allow Your presence to bring happiness to me.  May I experience Your felt presence today in all that I do and all that I say.  Be with me, and help me to know that You are there.

Happiness is not a false goal.  It is a most worthy goal that follows on the heels of granting forgiveness to my brothers and sisters, and forgiving myself as well.  May I know both happiness and, as needed, forgiveness today.

Amen.

Escape from All Difficulties

ACIM Workbook Lesson 65 – for Sunday, March 6, 2011

Affirmation:  “My only function is the one God gave me.”

Selected Passage:

“Today’s idea offers you escape from all your perceived difficulties.  It places the key to the door of peace, which you have closed upon yourself, in your own hands.  It gives you the answer to all the searching you have done since time began.  (WB108)”

Reflections:

We have the key to the door of peace.  This is a radical idea, because we have often sought long and hard, outside ourselves, for peace.  We have gone from one religion to another, from one philosophy to another.  But theology, we are told by Jesus in the Text, is not what we would seek.  ACIM is meant to be practical, and many times theology only divides us from our brothers and sisters.  A Course in Love more fully develops this idea. (Note:  ACOL is viewed by some as a sequel to ACIM, and there are numerous postings on ACOL in this blog.  To find these postings, visit the “about” portion at the top of the blog.)

This “only function” is forgiveness, given by God to save ourselves and our brothers and sisters.  If we wonder if forgiveness can do so much, let us try it out for a few days.  We will be convinced.  Forgiveness is the key, in our own hands, that we have previously sought in vain.

We have closed the door of peace by listening to a part of our belief about ourselves, the ego.  Now is the time to let the ego wither away.  We know when we are doing egotistical things.  Let us drop these things from our “to do” list.  The ego does not, though, in ACIM, always mean “egotistical,” though this is a close meaning.  The ego is a false concept of ourselves, and it is always being undone.  We try something that we think will bring us pleasure, and the next thing we know, we are feeling down.  This is not a coincidence.  We will, sooner or later, always feel depressed when listening to the ego, because it is a false way of viewing life.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to find peace today.  I would leave what I have perceived as “my difficulties” behind.  I know that this is Your will for me.  You would have me be still and listen to Your Voice, and know that all is well.

May I leave the ego behind today.  This part of my belief about myself is all wrong, and I do know this.  It is false reasoning on my part that would ignore Your promptings, and turn instead, once again, to the spurious thinking that the ego spawns.  May I have only quiet and calm today, and to have these I must listen to Your voice, Your voice which comes to me often.  May I follow all genuine promptings from You today.

Amen.

Being Blessed by Miracles of Light

ACIM Workbook Lesson 61 – for Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am the light of the world.”

Selected Passage:

“This is a beginning step in accepting your real function on earth. . . .It is a positive assertion of your right to be saved, and an acknowledgment of the power that is given you to save others.  (WB102)”

Reflections:

1 – Visions of Lamps – A Personal Experience

Once I saw visions of normal, everyday lamps repeatedly in the middle of the night when I awoke out of a sound sleep.  The lamps seemed to be painted on my eyelids.  I believed that this meant not to “hide one’s light” (a biblical concept).  But ACIM says more.  I was actually beginning my pathway (“beginning step”).  This passage reflects the fact that ACIM is in a continuity with the New Testament, not in all respects, but in many.

2 – Little Edges of Light

This incident happened many years ago, when I was 25 years old, near the start of my pathway through life and into a greater knowledge of God.  It was before A Course in Miracles had been published.  Light plays a large part in ACIM.  At one point we are told in the Text of “little edges of light” that we will see around the same familiar objects with which we are normally surrounded.  These lights around objects, Jesus says, are the beginning of real vision

3 – The Great Rays

After this experience, real vision will come quickly.  Another instance of light in A Course in Miracles is the explanation of the Great Rays.  The explanation is not complete, because this is a miracle that must be experienced to be understood.  It may appear that the sun’s rays are coming directly down upon one’s head, and this mystical experience may be scary.  But it is meant to be beatific.

4 – Miracles Come when We Are Ready

All of this phenomena are examples of miracles that come when we are ready.  Perhaps ACIM is the only spiritual literature to write of such miracles, and, if so, it is no wonder that students/teachers of ACIM are puzzled by these practical examples of the presence of light.  But the Bible is filled with references to light, and we can see both from the Bible as well as ACIM that light is a metaphor for salvation, and, moreover, a metaphor for the sharing of salvation to others.  We are not called to share our beliefs with others who are not ready, but, if they show any interest, we will probably share.  A Course of Love, viewed by some to be a sequel to ACIM,  carries the idea of sharing our faith a step farther, in that we are told that we are not meant to spread our understanding to anyone not yet ready for it.  We are not to impose our beliefs on those who have not yet walked far enough on their own pathways that they can comprehend what is being said.

4 – The Light = Powerful Metaphor

The light is a powerful metaphor.  May we ask today, as we go about our normal routines, to learn more about what Jesus means by this metaphor.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May Your light go with me today.  If I have not yet seen edges of light around familiar objects, or I have not yet experienced the Great Rays, may I come closer to these experiences today.  May I have my own experiences of light as a way of salvation for myself and others.  May I fulfill my function of salvation through forgiveness.

I realize that I cannot fully understand what Jesus means by the light.  But may I come to comprehend enough today that I can live as You would have me live.  In the light.

Amen.

Meaningless Thoughts vs. Real Thoughts

ACIM Workbook Lesson 53 – for Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Affirmation:  “My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.”

Selected Passage:

“I have real thoughts as well as insane ones.  I can therefore see a real world, if I look to my real thoughts as my guide for seeing.  (WB86)”

Reflections:

Even before sustained Awakening, we have real thoughts as well as insane ones.  We have moments of Awakening before the sustainability that A Course of Love calls the “elevated Self of form.”  Eckhart Tolle makes the same point in a CD interview entitled, “Even the Sun Will Die.”  This New Age thought is rapidly becoming mainstream.

Affirmation:  “”I am upset because I see a meaningless world.”

Selected Passage:

“I am grateful that this world is not real, and that I need not see it at all unless I choose to value it.  And I do not choose to value what is totally insane and has no meaning.  (WB86)”

Reflections:

We can clear our mind’s upset far easier than we have imagined.  We can choose not to see insanity at all; we can just rush to the side of those who need our help, recognizing that we are seeing illusions–however real they appear to be.

Affirmation:  “A meaningless world engenders fear.”

Selected Passage:

“The totally insane engenders fear because it is completely undependable, and offers no grounds for trust. . . .Now I choose to withdraw this belief, and place my trust in reality.  In choosing this, I will escape all the effects of the world of fear, because I am acknowledging that it does not exist.  (WB86)”

Reflections:

This passage is the perfect one to recall when we are tempted to get angry with someone.  The anger is the fact that fear has intruded on our world, and the word or action that has precipitated the anger is actually an insane one.  We know, though, that our brother or sister is actually innocent, and he or she is only making a mistake in attacking us.  This is the way that we can tame our temper.

Affirmation:  “God did not create a meaningless world.”

Selected Passage:

“Why should I continue to suffer from the effects of my own insane thoughts, when the perfection of creation is my home?  Let me remember the power of my decision, and recognize where I really abide.  (WB87)”

Reflections:

I am actually not in this world of insanity.  My Self is elsewhere, looking on (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  We are really at Home, and we are “visiting” this world, which seems so insane to us at times.  Let us hope to remember that this insanity does not have to affect us adversely.  Even if bad things happen, we can rise above with our mind and spirit, with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Affirmation:  “My thoughts are images that I have made.”

Selected Passage:

“The fact that I see a world in which there is suffering and loss and death shows me that I am seeing only the representation of my insane thoughts, and am not allowing my real thoughts to cast their beneficent light on what I see.  (WB87)”

Reflections:

If we are seeing rightly, we will recognize the suffering and death as illusions–too insane to be considered without “reconsidering.”  We need to realize that Reality is wholly benign.  We are not there now (at least most of us are not), but we can turn to our “real thoughts” and let them assure us that there is a better way to look at the pain that we are observing around us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I want to leave illusions behind.  I want to leave my madness, my insanity, behind.  I want to see only reality in this world.  I do not have to wait to die to see reality.  Help me today to live freely and peacefully, without anger and attack, and with a loving and forgiving attitude.

Your way is mine, dear God.  Help me to walk Your way from now on, beginning today.

Amen.

Perception vs. Knowledge

ACIM Workbook Lesson 43 – for Saturday, February 12, 2011

Affirmation:  “God is my Source.  I cannot see apart from Him.”

Selected Passage:

“Perception is not an attribute of God.  His is the realm of knowledge.  Yet He has created the Holy Spirit as the Mediator between perception and knowledge.  Without this link with God, perception would have replaced knowledge forever in your mind.  With this  link with God, perception will become so changed and purified that it will lead to knowledge.  This is its function as the Holy Spirit sees it.  Therefore, that is its function in truth.  (WB67)”

Reflections:

This passage explains better than anywhere in ACIM the difference between perception and knowledge.  In our little minds, we perceive; when God has informed our Self, we know.

Perception is relative, and it is subject to the mistakes of the ego.  Knowledge is always right on target.  And knowledge is always something coming from the Holy Spirit, part of the three-in-One God that is described biblically.  We do not always know when our perceptions are inaccurate, because we are caught in the throes of the ego.  But we do have an inkling about knowledge.  Its main characteristic is that it is always loving.  If our thoughts about a given situation partake of anything but love, we are lost in perception.

We are close here to the concept of “projection makes perception,” an oft-repeated tenet of the Text.  But knowledge comes quietly, and it comes surely.  It is a harbinger of the real world, also a tenet of the Text.  What is the real world?  It is seen only for instances from time to time, when we have had a moment of Awakening through revelation from God.  Then, when Awakening has been sustained (a tenet of A Course of Love), we know rather than perceive on an ongoing basis.

We need not to be impatient for knowledge to overtake us.  As is often stressed, once our journey without distance has begun, the end is certain.  And the end is always accompanied by knowledge, a surety that what we see and recognize is true.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When I am going about my daily round, I am normally perceiving rather than knowing.  I ask today that I know more often than I have in the past.  This knowing is Your gift, and it comes straight from you.  I know when I have left the ego behind, at least temporarily.  I would leave the ego behind more and more, especially beginning today.

I am not interested in what I project if it leads to perceiving things that are ego-inspired.  Let me fully understand the promptings of the Holy Spirit, so that I will be led to follow them more often.  Guidance is always true.  I would follow Your Holy Spirit today.

Amen.

Meaningless Thoughts

ACIM Workbook Lesson 10 – for Monday, January 10, 2011

Affirmation:  “My thoughts do not mean anything.”

Selected Passage:

“Today’s thought can obviously serve for any thought that distresses you at any time.  (WB17)”

Reflections:

Before we have studied very long, we will realize that our minds have actually been so warped that we perceive nothing outside the ego that, as a part of our minds, has separated us from God.  The ego is “egotistical,” but that is not the whole of the meaning.  Freud’s meaning of the ego comes closer, in that it is an image that we make of ourselves, around which the personality coalesces.  Freud did not see a way out, though, and he seems to have thought that a strong ego was an advantage in living.

A Course in Miracles is entirely different.  This Course seeks to have rely us on the guidance of the Holy Spirit and to relinquish the ego as our guide to action.   Jesus, in ACIM,  does not in any way think that this part of ourselves has done anything really good for us.  As the image of separation from God, it is constantly being undone, because God is the All, and we perceive ourselves as little parts of the whole that have not been communicating with our Creator.  And we are meant to communicate with our Creator.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I entertain no thought today that distresses me.  May I leave meaningless thoughts behind, and I know that these are the thoughts of the ego that has seemed to separate me from You.

Be with me today.  I ask for a particular day of setting aside thoughts that distress and entertaining loving and joyous thoughts.  Thank You.

Amen.

The Untrained Mind

ACIM Workbook Lesson 9 – for Sunday, January 9, 2011

Affirmation:  “I see nothing as it is now.”

Selected Passage:

“It is difficult for the untrained mind to believe that what it seems to picture is not there.  This idea can be quite disturbing, and may meet with active resistance in any number of forms.  (WB15)”

Reflections:

This passage, as well as the lesson in which it is embedded, is a sound statement that what we are seeing is maya, or illusion.  What we project from within, we see outwardly by our perception.

This tenet of A Course in Miracles is explained succinctly in the introduction to the Text, much of which was scribed by Helen Schucman in the same manner as the rest of A Course in Miracles.  “Projection makes perception,” is the succinct statement.

Perception is not, importantly, the whole picture.  God Himself grants us “knowledge,” which is not related to perception except in the truth that as we perceive more and more truly, we can ascend to knowledge.  Knowledge is the inner knowing that becomes ours when Awakening has dawned upon our sight (our inward sight).  A Course of Love calls this Awakening “Christ-consciousness.”  Either way, the thrust of where we are heading is clear.  We are not meant to be lost in illusion, in dreams that have only the meaning that our little selves subscribe to them.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I not be lost in illusions today.  May I move ever closer to the knowledge that God grants.  When I project, and this makes for perception that is informed by the ego, I am lost in dreams.  Whether these are happy dreams sent by the Holy Spirit (to prepare us for Awakening), or whether they are nightmares, is not ultimately important.  The most important part of salvation is to awaken, and in the Text, the means to awaken are being explained to us.  Thank You.

May I study diligently today all the parts of ACIM that call to me.  May the comforting words found therein lead me ever closer to a new beginning, the kind of new beginning that is explained in the Text.  Thank You for this blessing.

Amen.

Conclusion to “Treatise on the New”

“Make no mistake that what is asked of us is everything.  What is asked is our total willingness to abandon the old, our total willingness to embrace the new.  But also make no mistake that what is given to us is everything.  All the power of creation is released unto us.  Let us begin.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 12.36)”

Affirmation:  “embrace the new”

Reflections:

This is given by Jesus at the conclusion of “A Treatise on the New.”  We are ready to move into the Dialogues, which are meant to be a sustained conversation with Jesus in which we are seen as equals.  Unlike ACIM, he does not describe himself as our elder brother.  He does not describe himself as our teacher.  He is our companion on our life’s journey, and he remains there for us always.

In ACIM, we are bade to imagine that he takes our hand as we walk along, and we are told that this will be no “idle fantasy.”  May we believe this promise today.  We are not alone.  Not only is Jesus with us (which may take a suspension of disbelief), but also mighty companions whom we don’t know on this plane (an ACIM tenet).  If we knew what is available to us by way of help, we would never fear again.

May we never fear again, beginning today.

Prayer;

Dear Father/Mother,

I feel excited about the “new” that Jesus has promised, and for which he has prepared me.  May this upcoming year be a good one, and may I know that You are there for me always.

Thank you for the “Treatise on the New.”  And thanks to Mari Perron for channeling this writing.  May we share with our brothers and sisters, as they are ready to accept.

Amen.

The Long Journey Is Over

“You have arrived!  The long journey that brought you here is over.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 12.15)”

Affirmation:  “long journey – over”

Reflections:

What a marvelous statement from Jesus!  And yet it is the highest way of viewing his words.  We can still lapse.  We can still have moments when we are not the sustained, elevated Self of form.  Indeed, the Dialogues themselves are written so that we can travel farther along the journey.  There are two levels to A Course of Love, just as there are two levels of A Course in Miracles (the former my interpretation, the latter the interpretation of scholar/writer Kenneth Wapnick).

But we do not have to struggle as we have.  We can have Heaven on earth.  Jesus promises this elsewhere.  And may we take him at his word.

Remember, from ACIM, that this has been a “journey without distance.”  We have always had the potential to be realized,  to realize ourselves as Awakened beings.  It is only now that this potential is being actualized in more and more of our brothers and sisters, and in ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I hope that, in some sense, I have arrived.  I recognize the long journey, but the way has sometimes been hard, and I do immediately know what joy lies all around me.  Help me to see and feel the joy today.

I ask for Your help as I assimilate the fact of arrival.  Help me even to know what “arrival” means.  Be with me throughout the day, and help me always to acknowledge Your loving presence.

Amen.

In What State Do We Now Abide?

“You eagerly awaited each learning challenge in the hopes that it would bring you to the state in which you now abide.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 12.14)”

Affirmation:  “I abide now where I have wanted to abide.”

Reflections:

This passage echoes a theme of ACOL.  We have read, and read, and read so more–and now we must realize that we really do not have to read to come into fuller understanding of God.  Of course, in our contemplative time, we may still want to read familiar passages to prompt our reflections and bring us ever closer to the divine spark within.  But we do not have to seek new and different readings.  We can rest in what we have already read.

We have arrived.  What a glorious promise this is!

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Let me rest awhile in the knowledge that You have promised that I have “arrived.”  If that is not yet true, may I rest in surety that I will eventually abide where You have promised.

May my contemplative time bring me ever closer to You.  May I not be tempted to run hither and yon in an attempt to reach Awakening.  You will decide the time, and You make no mistakes.

Amen.