Tag Archives: abstract thinking

Leave Off Fantasies and Obsessions

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“. . .[T]hese are the basic rules of the art of thought:  First, to experience what is and to acknowledge what is, both as a fact of your existence as a human being and as a gift of the Creator.  Second, to acknowledge the relationship inherent in the experience, the call for a response, and the nature of all gifts as being given to all.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 2.19)”

Affirmation:  “May I create rather than ‘make.'”

Reflections:

1 – Abstract Passage

This passage is not easy to understand because it is so abstract.  We, who so recently have been of the ego-mind, are used to concrete terms, and Jesus leaves out concrete terms when he channeled A Course of Love, especially the Treatises and the Dialogues (the latter two volumes of this trilogy).  What can we make of this difficult passage?

2 – House of Truth

We need to recognize solely “what is,” which is another way of saying that we will not be lost in illusions or in dreams any longer, but will dwell in the House of Truth.  We will not fool ourselves about what we are experiencing, lost in fantasies that bring only fleeting pleasure.  We will not be lost in fantasies at all.  Neither obsessions.  We will confront what is before us with wide-open eyes, not in the physical sense, but with the inner eye.  The Self/Christ within will be our lodestone.

3 – All Gifts Are Given to All

All gifts are given to all, not at the same time, but eventually.  We know that all gifts are shared, and that we are not “special” in any sense at all.  Or,  conversely, we are all special, but specialness is an attribute that A Course in Miracles downplays.  We are not actually special in that we possess anything that others do not also possess on some level.  Right now gifts seem to vary among people, but this will not always be the case.  In eternity all is shared; all gifts are shared.

4 – A Call for Response

What we experience calls for a response from us.  And this response practices the art of thought.  We do not feel a responsibility for others, to do for them what they can do for themselves, but we do respond when they are in need.  The need is, after all, only temporary, for all needs are met immediately.  It is only wants that are not always answered, and perhaps that would not be a good thing.  The solution is always with the problem.  We need not fear.  God is within, answering our every need.  And from this point of certainty, we respond to Him and to others.  We give of ourselves in this transaction, and we are not fearful in the giving.  We know that giving and receiving are one.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would try to experience, directly, what is–not what I might wish for in fantasies or obsessions.  What is, is the art of thought in one of its main components.  Thank You for the clarity that today’s passage gives to this new concept.  May I take it unto my heart and walk a clear pathway back to You, a clear path with clear vision to see my way.

I have gifts, and this is not ego.  So does everyone else.  And these gifts right now vary, but ultimately all gifts will be shared with each other.  And there is no ego in this.  I need to be all that I can be for my brothers and sister, and I ask Your help to keep my Christ/Self perking away, with the go ever-withering, disappearing entirely.

Thank You for the benefits that Jesus has pointed out to us in A Course of Love.  May I comprehend with my wholeheartedness, and may my mind no longer try to dominate my heart.

Amen.

On Rereading A Course of Love

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“In wholeheartedness then you are ready to return to a second reading of A Course of Love.  In wholeheartedness you will find difficulty falling away and understanding arising.  You are beginning to know yourself in a new way.  You are beginning to know yourself without the perceptions and the judgments of the mind.  You are beginning to know yourself as you truly are and you will begin to hear the language of this Course as the language of your own heart.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “I am beginning to know myself as I really am.”

Reflections:

1 – No Judgment

We need to let judgments fall away.  Judgments and expectations are two major barriers that we erect against intimacy with out loved ones.  And we would be rid of these barriers.  A Course in Miracles counsels that we will fall away from our salvation if we attack, make judgments, or weave plans against contingencies to come.  This is a somewhat hidden warning, but there in the Text nevertheless.  And we would today take a look at judgment.

2 – Wholeheartedness

Wholeheartedness is the natural state of our being.  In wholeheartedness, we have woven mind and heart together to form one.  And we will know ourselves better.  At this point we are bade to reread A Course of Love, and it is intimated that therein we will come to know ourselves better.  We will be without the judgments of the mind when we have moved completely into wholeheartedness.  The heart does not ask for “proof” as does the mind.  The heart just knows, with a sureness that comes from God.

3 – Know Thyself

If we only could know ourselves as we truly are!  And this is the promise of the passage for today.  We have so often thought that we did not know ourselves, and certainly, with the ego in ascendancy, we did not know our real Self.  Our real Self is the elevated Self of form, the physical being that lives in this world, but who derives sustenance from high realms.

4 – The Self

The Self is a blessing.  And when we glimpse this Self, even in fleeting moments, we will know what the future holds for us.  And it is good indeed!

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Today I would listen to the language of my own heart, not only in ACOL, but also in everyday life.  What is my heart trying to tell me?  What is my heart saying?

This turning inward to ascertain what is truly important is a giant leap toward the life that I want.  I look to the future, but always I am also satisfied in the present, trying to live in the Now as much as possible.

Help me know what my loved ones need from me today.  And may I provide what is mine to provide.  If their needs are for something that I cannot provide, may You see that they receive the prayer of their heart.

Amen.

Give Up Effort in Reading ACOL

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Note:  A year or so after the Course of Love series was complete, Jesus provided “learning in the Time of Christ” as an aid to those questioning how to work with the material of this Course.  It has been edited here to serve as an introduction for taking, and living A Course of Love.  The full text is available from http://www.acourseoflove.com.

“Yet it is your difficulty in giving up your attachment to learning through the application of thought and effort that creates the perception of this Course’s difficulty.  Thus it is said to you to take this Course with as little attachment to your old means of learning as is possible for you.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “Do not retain old ways of learning.”

Reflections:

1 – The Unconscious

It is not possible to read any of the volumes of A Course of Love with the “old” way of learning, or at least that has been my experience.  The material must be absorbed differently, with a bit more of an abstract approach.  The material does not lend itself to traditional means of studying, and I have done much studying in my life.  The material, instead, asks that we contemplate, as we read, with an almost detached mind.  Then the material becomes absorbed through the unconscious, where the material can do the most good.  If we try to “study” in the old way, we will just frustrate ourselves, because we will find that we cannot easily retain what we have read.

2 – Ignore “Old” Way of Learning

So give up old ways of learning, and let the heart speak to you as you read, gently, all three volumes of A Course of Love.  Abstraction, we are told in the A Course in Miracles, is the most natural way of the mind.  We have made specifics our god, and that concrete thinking does not work for the heartfelt A Course of Love.  (It does work better for A Course in Miracles, though.)

3- Let Your Heart Speak

We do not need to make a tremendous effort to “learn” A Course of Love.  This will not lead to mastery.  Let your heart speak to you as you read, and you will be sure to have placed your allegiance where best it can be placed.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would give up my frustration that studying A Course of Love gives me.  I will read as though I were reading a story, and I will let my unconscious mind absorb the tenets.  This is the preferred way to read, and I would do so today.

Be with me during this day of turning aside from the ego.  I did turn aside from the ego yesterday, for a long time, and so today my ego is likely to try to have a field day.  No longer.  I will listen to You, listen in no fear, and know that I do not need the ego to “protect” me.  Indeed, the ego has never protected anybody.

May I get along well with my brothers and sisters today.  And may friends, known and unknown, have a good day.

Amen.