Tag Archives: accomplishment

STRUGGLE NOT

Note: This article was published in Miracles magazine, January – February 2019 issue (Jon Mundy, publisher).

by Celia Hales

“Out of His lack of conflict comes your peace. And from His purpose comes the means for effortless accomplishment and rest.” (A Course in Miracles, COA ed., T-VI.13:7)

“All that you retain is a belief in effort and a struggle to be good and to do good, a belief that clearly demonstrates that you have rejected who you are.” (A Course of Love, C:P.13)

When we launch into self-help mode, struggling to be better than we really are, then we are on the wrong track. Nobody, by effort, can effect great change. This is the ego’s plan, and it is a bad plan. The ego would have us fail continually, until we give up, turn against God, and decide that nothing we can ever do will make any difference anyway.

The quotation above from A Course in Miracles points out a better way. We know “effortless” accomplishment when we are depending on the Holy Spirit to rule our days. And we know the same when we follow the Christ Self, as A Course of Love would have us do in this time of Christ.

How might this effortless accomplishment come about? I think that quiet contemplation is the real way of change, effortless change. When we turn inward, we are merging with our Maker, for we are made of God-stuff. When we turn inward, calmly, we often intuit that things are not as bad as we thought when we judged ourselves as guilty. Our true innocence leads to self-acceptance, and this self-acceptance is being who we really are, something that A Course of Love champions.

Of course, we have not been perfect in our lives. We may have hurt ourselves and other people; we may have been guilty of violent acts. The Answer (which we all know) is forgiveness borne of the certainty that rescue is available. As faulty as our behavior may have been, we acted as well as we could, given our level of understanding at the time. And this is true for everyone.

Now we know better, for A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love both show us the way to a life of being who we really are, innocent children of God, no longer in a struggle to change by force of personal will. We listen to guidance, and in restful listening, let the Holy Spirit or the Christ Self take over. And thereby does change become effortless.

Flow through Our Days

“Imagine this now, not as a needle but as the wisdom you seek. Imagine this wisdom not as being stopped by the layers of thinking and feeling that we used the onion to illustrate, but as a point of entry and pass-through. What comes of unity enters you and passes through you to the world. This is the relationship you have with unity while in form—a rela¬tionship of intersection and pass-through.

“No longer will what enters you get stopped by layers of defenses. No longer will it meet the road-block of your thinking, your effort, your attempts to figure out how to do it and what it all means. There is no cause for such effort. Effort is only a layer of defense, a stop gap between what you would receive and what you would give in which the ego once made its bid to claim ownership. Effort, as translated by the ego, was about turning everything that was given into what “you” could only work hard to attain, and thereby claim as your individual accomplishment. Obviously, union is not about this.” (ACOL, D:Day5.21 – Day5.22)

What a grand thing it would be for all of us to flow through our days, taking our cue from our relationship to union and getting things accomplished without the efforting that the ego demanded of us! Most of us have worked way too hard at sometimes the wrong things for far too long. Now we have another chance. We can intuit our next steps, go within for an internal compass, and then see the results of our new effortless “labor” spring forth before our eyes. Doesn’t this sound like a superlative way to function in the new world that we will be creating?

When we have been putting forth gigantic efforts toward accomplishment, did we stop to see if the ladder were leaning against the wrong wall? Many of us achieved many of our purposes, but at what a cost!

Now Jesus would teach us how to work, and it will not even feel like work at all. Our play will merge into work, and our effortless striving will bring about new and glorious goals that have never previously been within our reach. It isn’t our achievement, then; it belongs to the union that we are forming with our Maker. The credit belongs to God.

Will we be unhappy that “we” didn’t achieve something “on our own”? No, because such thinking will quickly be laid aside. We will flow into greater and greater achievements in this world, with the primary goal being as a bringer of salvation. Does this mean that we will always be pious? Not in the least, because God doesn’t want the trappings of innocence. He gives us the real thing: innocence borne of a sinlessness that will ensure that we don’t feel downhearted at missing the mark any longer. We will know, from the inside out, that our God is directing our path. It will be a good path, better than ever before, because we will be willing with Him.

Dear God,

As I go through my day, I ask for Your help in having it go well. Let me do something good with my days. Let me follow Your direction to better goals than I have ever known before.

To flow through all days from now on seems almost too good to be true. But not actually, for Your way points out the most important methods for achieving Your ends. May my play today mean more to me than any strenuous work ever did.

Amen.

Rebirth Heralds a New Ease in Non-Egoic Accomplishment

“You have formerly been capable of representing who you are only within illusion for this was the abode in which you resided. Illusion has been to you like a house with many doors. You have chosen many doors to the same house and but thought them to offer different things, only to find that the house you entered was still the same house, the house of illu¬sion. You took yourself into these many rooms and in some you were even capable of representing your true Self. This representation of the true Self within the house of illusion was like an explosion happening there. For a moment, the floorboards shook, the walls quaked, the lights dimmed. All those within the house became aware of something happening there. All attention turned toward the explosion but its source could not be found.

“In the aftermath of the explosion, the representation of the true Self settled like dust, and all the attention fell upon it. A great scrambling ensued as the recognition dawned on those who looked, that treasures were to be found there. One found art and another religion, one found poetry and another music, one seized upon a single thought and through its extrapola¬tion founded one science or another. In all of the excitement the matter of the source of the explosion was dismissed.

“Thus has been the best of what you call life within the illusion.” (ACOL, T3:7.6 – 7.8)

A beautiful passage from A Course of Love, this quotation for today lets us know that the best features of our culture developed from representations of the true Self, though those representations—art, music, poetry, religion, science—may have developed out of a persona wracked by violence. The process of evolution has indeed caused for human beings a violent rebirth. If we are still allowing ourselves to remain in illusion, we are still wracked by the “explosions” that Jesus says are happening there. This best of all possible worlds, in illusion, for us, does represent the best of our culture—the art, music, and the like.

But is this the way that we want to proceed as time continues to unfold? Aren’t we tired of picking ourselves up off the floor and striving for perfection in our achievements in art, music, science, etc.? Jesus says that life in the “House of Truth” is effortless and means an end to struggle. Would we not all want this? Climbing a new mountain of achievement, never being satisfied with what we have accomplished—at least for very long—means that the ego has been front and center in our motivation. When we accomplish in the House of Truth, we still strive but we do not struggle. Accomplishment is not a personal achievement any longer. We have tried and failed to get satisfaction from personal achievements. Now we try something new and different. Achievement in true reality, which means that we are One with our brothers and sisters, with our Self, and with God. To be that different surely means that we have made many footfalls upon our path back to God.

Have we not cringed, often, from thinking that something more is asked of us, some new achievement that will give us satisfaction in life at last? We shrank from the reality of this, for it was not true reality, but an illusion. Our egoic satisfactions lasted only until the gold wore off. And our accomplishments were not solid gold. They wore, leaving base metal showing. We have had enough of this.

Be glad that in the treasures that fell to the floor we found a glimmering of greater value. Now we can develop these treasures without struggle or pain. We can accomplish, not as a personal achievement, but through the guidance that we receive from the Self Whom we all are. The Self is One, as God is One. And we don’t take personal glorification from what comes beyond us. Not in art, music, poetry, science—you name it.

And we recognize the difference.

Prayer

I often strove for accomplishments in the past, but I am through with that now. Jesus has told me that, like others who are following him, I have accomplished now, and struggle is meant to be no more. What a glorious thought this indeed is! If only we could all believe it! If only we could be at home in the ease of accomplishments that are won for all people. No longer egoic for self, but magnanimous for all.

Be with me today as I seek to walk Your way once again. If I have to pick myself up again, let me know that You are lifting my hand to help me steady. Your way is the only way worth pursuing, and I walk in Your glory when I don’t make any attempt to achieve for myself only. These hollow victories are left behind in the dust.

Thank You.

Amen.

Every Miracle Accomplished

“Accept Atonement and you are healed.  Atonement is the Word of God.  Accept His Word and what remains to make sickness possible?  Accept His Word and every miracle has been accomplished.  (M-22.1)”

Affirmation:  “May I accept Atonement today.”

Reflections:

1 – Atonement in ACIM

Atonement is different in A Course in Miracles from traditional Christianity.  In ACIM, we look to the resurrection, not the crucifixion, for Atonement.  And we make a change of mind in the way that we look at the world.  We let our errors be corrected for us.  And, with this, we have accepted the Word of God.

2 – Theology

All of these ideas are part of the theology of ACIM, and theology can delay.  ACIM does not look for controversy, looking only for the practical, for what works in making changes, corrections, in our lives.  And then we are said to be healed.

3 – Trust

Certainly this is not always a physical healing, though we are told by Jesus in the Manual that to doubt a healing because of the continuing presence of symptoms is a lack of trust, and trust is the bedrock on which all of our salvation rests.  Trust is the bedrock for the teacher of God, and therefore for students as well, for only time separates us, and time does not really exist.

4- Hard to Understand?

These are hard words to understand, but we are not asked to accept anything for which we are not ready.  We are told not to appeal to “mysteries,” in our acceptance of ACIM.  We are asked only to walk along the pathway as far as we can, using our minds and hearts to accept Jesus’s word when we are ready.

5 – Healing

I believe that the ethereal body may be healed when this world’s body, the physical, continues to have symptoms (a personal interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  But one thing that we can probably all agree on is that the emotional body can be healed, given time, the right medication, and the right attitudes.  (Jesus says pills are sometimes needed, and so he is not opposed to medical intervention.)

6 – Probable Realities

What does it mean:  “. . .every miracle has been accomplished”?  Perhaps we will not know in our lifetimes.  But perhaps we will.  There are blessings ahead for all of us who are ready to accept God’s Word, and while we can attune to the Unknown, we cannot always predict it.  There are probable realities that make fortune telling unreliable (not an ACIM tenet).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am very glad that You have promised healing.  Perhaps we will not understand in our lifetimes in this world what it means to doubt a healing when there are continuing symptoms.  This is an Ideal that not all of us are ready to accept.  But we want to walk as far along Your pathway as we can.  And we trust that Jesus knows what he is talking about.

Be with us today.  If we need a healing, may it come today–not tomorrow, nor in some far distant time.  May we accept that healing is a part of Your plan, and may we react accordingly.  May all of our brothers and sisters be healed along with us.

Amen