Tag Archives: ACIM and God

In My Insanity I Thought I Made Myself

ACIM Workbook Lesson 260 – for Saturday, September 17, 2011

Affirmation:  “Let me remember God created me.”

“Father, I did not make myself, although in my insanity I thought I did.  Yet, as Your Thought, I have not left my Source, remaining part of Who created me.  Your Son, my Father, calls on You today.  Let me remember You created me.  Let me remember my Identity.  And let my sinlessness arise again before Christ’s vision, through which I would look upon my brothers and myself today.  (WB424)”

Reflections:

This prayer is a summation of much that the Workbook for Students would have us understand.  It has a calming effect that is reminiscent of the emotion that will be evoked in many prayers in this part of the Workbook.  We are here led to understand that we did not create ourselves.  God did.  We tend not to understand this, because ACIM also alludes to idea that we made the illusory world (“made,” not “created”).  But we are the only real Essence in this world, and by this we see ourselves as a part of the God Who resides within.  We project the illusory world, but God is the Whole.  If you should find this interpretation of the theology of ACIM hard to believe, then do not feel required to subscribe to it.  I would not say anything that is dividing.  We need, as ACIM says, to have a universal experience, because a universal theology is impossible.  And it is the practical with which ACIM is most concerned (a Text tenet).

We would see with the eyes of Christ; we would see sinlessness in ourselves as well as in our brothers and sisters.  This definition of Christ includes the Self that we all are; it is not limited to Jesus, our elder brother.  Jesus has walked the whole pathway back to God, and now he stands at the end, to resolve the mistakes that we are not able to correct.  According to A Course of Love, his was the “example life,” but we are not led to be crucified as was he.  We do not have to experience his experiences.  We do have to find our way back to God; this is a necessity, and sooner or later all of us will know that there is “another way,” a better way to walk this world.  We will seek it, and as we seek, we will find (from the New Testament).  Our lives do not have to be bleak and humorless.  We can learn how to live well regardless of outward circumstances in this world.

This section of the Workbook encourages silent communing with God.  This communion is not called “meditation,” but many ACIM students/teachers do see these lessons as examples of meditation.  It does not matter what we call it.  It only matters that we do it.  We need daily time, morning and evening, and time in between, in which we turn to God and let the raucous noises of this world be stilled in our minds and spirits.  May we do so often today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would spend time today, much time, in communion with You.  And I would speak to Jesus, remembering that he said that he takes us by the hand and leads us through this world.  May I find myself by finding You in my brothers and sisters.  May this knowledge lead me Home.

Thank You for the words that Jesus has given in A Course in Miracles.  Thank You especially for the more comforting passages, the ones to which I return over and over.  May I never let any theology delay me, but may I seek the practical application of what Jesus says.  Be with me today, as always I ask.

Amen.

Little Senseless Aims / Pointless Little Goals

ACIM Workbook Lesson 258 – for Thursday, September 15, 2011

Affirmation:  “Let me remember that my goal is God.”

“All that is needful is to train our minds to overlook all little senseless aims, and to remember that our goal is God.  His memory is hidden in our minds, obscured but by our pointless little goals which offer nothing, and do not exist.

“Our goal is but to follow in the way that leads to You.  We have no goal but this.  What could we want but to remember You?  What could we seek but our Identity?  (WB423)”

Reflections:

The ego would send us on imaginary journeys away from God to satisfy all manner of “senseless aims.”  But all of our needs are met when we are at home in God.  He is actually Who we have been searching, in vain, when we have sought substitutes in this world that our egos tempted us to own.  We have followed meandering routes away from God, believing that we have separated from Him.  We have, it is true, not been communicating with Him, and this, according to the Text, is a “most unnatural habit.”  We would change all of that nonsense as we seek to be at home in Him.  He will give us the real aims of our hearts.  He will give us his “felt presence” (a favorite phrase of Eckhart Tolle).

These goals that we have sought have actually been illusory nonsense.  We have never found anything that the ego prompted without paying for it with tears (a Text tenet).  Why continue along this pathway any longer?  Why not let go today?

Perhaps we are not sure that God is the only gift that we really want.  Perhaps we would try additional pathways, but to do so is to follow the ego’s mistaken bent.  God does not lead us down these illusory pathways; we do this to ourselves.  One of the most seminal tenets of ACIM is that we are doing this unto ourselves.  And much that we experience as a result is “distress based on error” (from the Text).

The great preoccupation of this world is to try to determine our identity, who we are.  We often think that we do not know ourselves.  This is actually the beginning of wisdom, as cited in the Text.  There is a lovely sequence of thoughts in the Text that ends with the desire of God that we say to Him that we do not know what we are.  We are then ready to open our minds to His revelation.  And revelation will occasionally reveal the end to us (we are told in the Text).  These glimpses of Awakening are evidence indeed that we are seeking the goal that God would have us seek, however often we are tempted to follow the errant pathways to the world’s goals.  The world has nothing to offer that we really want, and the sooner we recognize that, the sooner we will drop our defense of the ego.  This does not mean that we cannot be happy in this world.  ACIM would have us happy; indeed, repeatedly, happiness is seen as our function, and, as such, it is synonymous with forgiveness (also said to be our function).  These are goals in line with ACIM, and then we can know the Heaven on earth that we would all desire, if we were not so deluded as to fail to know how to find just that.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not follow senseless aims and try for pointless goals today.  Much that we seek in this world is pointless, and I sometimes seek the pointless just because it is so meaningless.  This is insanity of the ego, and I would leave that behind today.

I have spent years of my life bolstering the ego, all to no avail.  I know now that the ego is constantly being undone, that this is the way of the world.  The ego must be undone if we are to find a way that actually makes sense.  We need You today, as always–perhaps, today, more than usual.  When the ego calls to me, then I must be sure that I turn aside and seek Your presence instead.  Help me to seek Your presence in today’s chaotic world.

Amen.

Today God Is My Only Goal

ACIM Workbook Lesson 256 – for Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Affirmation:  “God is the only goal I have today.”

“And so, our Father, would we come to You in Your appointed way.  We have no goal except to hear Your Voice, and find the way Your sacred Word has pointed out to us.  (WB422)”

Reflections:

This affirmation and prayer, in a capsule, are most precisely how I view A Course in Miracles.

We must follow guidance, because we do not have the prescience to know all past, present, and future factors that affect our reality (a paraphrase from the Manual).  When I follow guidance, my day goes well.  When I get off the track, being willful, then my day goes downhill (and fast).  We must be flexible enough, as I have said previously in this blog, to turn on a dime.  We must start the day over again, metaphorically, when we have gotten off track.

This is the only sane way to live.  It gives the blessings which ACIM promises to us.  It is the greatest piece of wisdom, in my estimation, that ACIM offers.

The means of following guidance is through our relationships, especially a particular relationship to a “brother” who, once in our life, stays in it.  There may be more than one of these relationships in a lifetime, but generally they are few (a Manual tenet).

Finding God (who was never lost, but we turned away) is our greatest need.  Until we do this, we flounder, though He has never abandoned us, and He can help even when we think He is hiding from us.

Some of our brothers and sisters go throughout life without a spiritual experience.  I once had a close friend who said, “I didn’t choose not to believe.”  And she was on a constant search.  Finally, just before her death, after counseling, she found the peace that she had sought.

Surely there are many in our circle who are in similar straits.  We would reach out to them to the extent that they are ready.  They probably would not welcome proselytizing.  We would turn them off.  The most we can offer is to live our lives so that our friends who are searching can wonder, and ask, in their own way, for what we have found.  Then we are freed to talk.  What we say will find a receptive audience.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for allowing me to find a sense of being “saved” at an early age.  I did not know then how much would be offered me in this lifetime.  Thank You for the many blessings that knowing You has brought to me.  Forgive me in the moments–past, present, and possibly future–when I turn away.  I know that You have never abandoned me.  It is I who is fallible.

Help me not to judge, not to attack, and not to make plans against contingencies to come.  Jesus has given these three facets of our lives as the danger points.  May I bypass danger today.  And may I know that life can only be lived one day at a time, and tomorrow must I pray the same prayer.

When You are not my sole goal, then let me realize that I am thinking amiss.  When my goal is solely for You, then all lesser desires and loves fall into place easily.  You would not leave me alone, but You do want me to reach inwardly to You above all else.  Then and only then is my welfare assured.  Thank You.

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.

The “Felt Presence” of God

ACIM Workbook Lesson 232 – for Saturday, August 20, 2011

Affirmation:  “Be in my mind, my Father, through the day.”

“Be in my mind, my Father, when I wake, and shine on me throughout the day today.  Let every minute be a time in which I dwell with You, and let me not forget my hourly thanksgiving that You have remained with me, and always will be there to hear my call to You and answer me.  As evening comes, let all my thoughts be still of You and of Your Love.  And let me sleep sure of my safety, certain of Your care, and happily aware I am Your Son.  (WB408)”

Reflections:

1 – Joy in Spending a Day with God

This is an especially lovely description of the joy that awaits us when we spend a day with God.

2 – Eckhart Tolle

The “felt presence of Being,” described by Eckhart Tolle, seems especially relevant here.  Eckhart is a current spiritual teacher not associated with one particular tradition, but her quotes of A Course in Miracles upon occasion in his books (The Power of Now and A New Earth are primary).  He experienced Enlightenment spontaneously around the age of 30, and eventually became well-recognized for his teaching.  The “felt presence” is the sense that we can have of “God with us,” not sometimes, but all the time.  It assumes that dark nights of the soul are not being experienced currently.

3 – Turn to God

If we turn to God in prayer or “communing” (as the Text calls prayer), then we will know what the prayer, quoted above, is all about.  There are great practical benefits to living this way.  We stroll through our days in flow, with an inner sense of what to do next.  We are not left to our own devices.  We live in grace, and by “grace” is meant the good will of God as our Heavenly Father.

4 – Follow Guidance Moment-by-Moment

Following guidance on a moment-to-moment basis is extremely rewarding.  We must be flexible enough to easily change directions if we move awry.  We must also be willing, as ACIM says, of starting the day over, if we make mistakes in attitude that spoil the good feelings.  But, Jesus says, there are obvious advantages to starting each day right in terms of saving time, and time is an early emphasis in ACIM.

4 – Let’s Go to Sleep with Peace on Our Eyelids

When the day is over, a day given to God, we go to sleep with peace on our eyelids.  We have done all that we can.  We let God handle the nighttime.  And then we realize, just before falling asleep, that a one day, just over and spent with God, is the best assurance that the next day is going to be good also.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would spent this day with you, feeling Your presence as I go about my activities.  I would feel anxiety for nothing, as You have assured me I need not.  I would begin the day with a thought of you, walk in peace with You as the day unfolds, and go to sleep, sure that You are still awake and keeping me safe.

Help me always to thank You for Your attention to me.  I never have to feel along.  Not only are there mighty companions surrounded me, companions I cannot see, but You are within me–directing the vision that I have of what surrounds me, outside of my body.   May all of my sights today be benign.

Amen.

God’s Love Is the Only Thing I Seek

ACIM Workbook Lesson 231 – for Friday, August 19, 2011

Affirmation:  “Father, I will but to remember You.”

“What can I seek for, Father, but Your Love?  Perhaps I think I seek for something else; a something I have called by many names.  Yet is Your Love the only ting I seek, or ever sought.  For there is nothing else that I could ever really want to find.  Let me remember You.  What else could I desire but the truth about myself?  (WB408)”

Reflections:

We long for God.  Even when we don’t realize Who it is for which we long.

This prayer explains the dynamic in lovely words.  We want God’s Love, and we will have it.  We will have it now.  If we feel alone, we must know that we are not alone.  A Course in Miracles says that the solution is always with the problem.  The solution to our “aloneness” is to know that, however solitary our lives may be, there is One with us always.

We can deduce from ACIM that we are surrounded by mighty companions.  We walk with them throughout our day.  They see us, but we do not normally see them.  These mighty companions are never described in any details, but “Teachers of teachers” are described.  These are the ones who have known Awakening and do not return to earth, but whose images may appear to us, or, if we are too frightened by that prospect, whose ideas may be given us.  (These are paraphrases from ACIM.)

We would know the truth about ourselves.  We are not introverted enough to need no human companionship, but the greatest companionship is from God Himself.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask for Your love today as the only thing that I really want.  I have been deluded by the ego when I have sought worldly goals, goals which did not mean anything to me shortly after I reached them.  These egoic goals turned to ashes in my mouth.  I would stop all this nonsense immediately.  I would seek You only.

Be with me today.  So often I ask for Your felt presence, and once again today, I ask for this great blessing of sensing You with me everywhere I walk.

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.

The Name of God = My Inheritance II

ACIM Workbook Lesson 204 – for Saturday, July 23, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.”

“The Name of God is my inheritance.  (WB389)”

Reflections:

Who among us does not sometimes wonder, if we have wealth in the family, what our inheritance, monetarily, will somewhat be?  On a higher note, we may think about what we have received from our parents and grandparents that has made us what we are, our genetic and environmental gifts.

Here, though, we are seeing what our greatest inheritance really is:  the Name of God.  What does this mean?  The Name of God means (in an interpretation of ACIM, not stated therein) that we are One with God.  When our parents gave us our surname, we were, in a sense, one with them–at least in our younger years.  Now God Himself is claiming us, and we need not fret about any other kind of inheritance when we are in His corner.  He will take care of us.

It has been said many times, “Do what you love, and the money will follow.”  While surely this maxim is not always true, it is true far more often than we anticipate.  Many of us choose the sure pathway to security.  The Name of God gives us, though, the safety that we have longed to have.  He is there for us in every situation.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose You in every circumstance.  You are the only security that I need.  I do not need monetary security, in any real sense, though in our society nearly everyone would disagree with this.  We need the sureness of the inheritance that only You give us.  We need Your support.  Help us not to turn to egoistic means of security.  Help us to depend on You totally.

We do have obligations to provide for our families and our brothers and sisters who do not have their basic security needs met.  We need to reach out, for we are all One, and we must take our place in the great panorama of human living in this world.  But we will never live a happy life, regardless of how much money we have, if we fail to put You first.  I would claim your inheritance today, and this is all that I need.  Thank You for being here for me.

Amen.

I Would Enter God’s Presence Now

ACIM Workbook Lesson 174 – for Thursday, June 23, 2011

Affirmation:  “God is but Love, and therefore so am I.”

“1.  Into His Presence would I enter now.

“2.  Today I learn to give as I receive.  (WB333)”

Reflections:

In our meditations today, let us enter into the Presence of God.  Let us realize that we will never be happy until we let Him take over.  His Will is actually our real will (a Text tenet).  Until we believe this, we will all too often feel like Jonah of the Old Testament, who tries to escape God’s will for him, and metaphorically ends up in a whale’s belly for three days.

We do not have to identify with Jonah.  We are not victims of a God who would jerk us around like puppets.  We choose His way as the real way that we would proceed.  The Holy Spirit interprets our will for us; we are often too caught in the ego to do so ourselves.

Giving and receiving are one.  What we give, we receive; what we receive, we need to give–if it is of love and not the ego.  This means that we do not retaliate in attack or anger.  We know that these negative actions are actually calls for help, and we offer help in the best way that we know.  God is Love, and we are also.  We are a part of God, though we do not often realize this.  We commune with Him when we go to the depths of our being.  We know the quiet that helps us to reach within.  And when we are sincere, and quiet enough, we join with Him in our daily meditations.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I entertain Your presence throughout the day today.  Take my preoccupations with self away from the ego’s clutches, and help me to feel Your Being.  I need You today.  I need Your comfort.

Help me to be there for the others in my life.  Guide my prayers for the circle of brothers and sisters in this world who are outside my sphere.  Be with us all today.

Amen.

God = Love = I Also

ACIM Workbook Lesson 173 – for Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Affirmation:  “God is but Love, and therefore so am I.”

“1.  I will step back and let Him lead the way.

“2.  I walk with God in perfect holiness.  (WB332)”

Reflections:

The “Him” in this passage is the Holy Spirit, who guides us so carefully in our walk through this world.  We need to depend on Him, because He knows all the factors–large and small–in our world that would be impinging upon us (a Manual tenet).  We ourselves ought to refrain from judgment, because we cannot know all of the factors.  We do not have such understanding.

If we follow the Holy Spirit, or if we are in Christ-consciousness, we will walk with God in perfect holiness.  Nothing else will satisfy us.  We want to be the perfect children of God.  We will not necessarily be perfect, but we can choose to remove those thoughts or behaviors that make us less than we want to be (a tenet of A Course of Love).   “I walk with God in perfect holiness.”  What a glorious promise!  We would do well to consider this message carefully in our daily meditations.

Let God lead the way.  He, along with the Holy Spirit (or Universal Inspiration, the mediator/communicator between God and us) will show us what to do.  And our lives will be immeasurably better for the experience.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I walk with God today.  The past few days have brought even more intense happiness than the dreams of the Holy Spirit usually bring to me.  Thank You.  Be with me as I seek to help the others in my circle enjoy such bliss.  I feel very blessed.

May I come to know what it means for You to be Love.  You are not an emotion, but I can only intuitively understand, and I wish to comprehend fully so that I do not backslide.

Amen.

The Awakening

ACIM Workbook Lesson 168 – for Friday, June 17, 2011

Affirmation:  “Your grace is given me.  I claim it now.”

“Today we ask of God the gift He has most carefully preserved within our hearts, waiting to be acknowledged.  This the gift by which God leans to us and lifts us up, taking salvation’s final step Himself.  All steps but this we learn, instructed by His Voice.  But finally He comes Himself, and takes us in His Arms and sweeps away the cobwebs of our sleep.  His gift of grace is more than just an answer.  It restores all memories the sleeping mind forgot; all certainty of what Love’s meaning is.  (WB321)”

Reflections:

This passage is the most beautiful rendition of what Awakening means in A Course in Miracles.  It makes clear that it is God Himself Who decides when our time is right, when we are ready for salvation’s ultimate blessing.

The steps to Awakening are learned by many through ACIM.  Here Jesus is explaining the means to us; revelation may occasionally reveal the end, and when it does, the experience is glorious indeed.  But not lasting.  Awakening, when it occurs genuinely and by God, is lasting.  Not many have on this earth experienced Awakening, but the numbers are growing.

May we pray today to have God act sooner rather than later.  May we study ACIM well, that we might be ready for that surprising and glorious moment, taken toward us by God Himself.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I adore this lovely message from You.  It is a glorious promise, for which all of us will be grateful.  May all of us experience the Awakening sooner rather than later, and may we thank You in advance for making us ready to receive this revelation as permanent.

Be with us today as we walk the pathway that You intend for us.  We will awaken, as You have promised, but we must be satisfied to walk the pathway with You until You deem that we are ready.  May we soon be ready.

Amen.

The Thought of God Protects You

ACIM Workbook Lesson 165 – for Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Affirmation:  “Let not my mind deny the Thought of God.”

“The Thought of God protects you, cares for you, makes soft your resting place and smooth your way, lighting your mind with happiness and love.  Eternity and everlasting life shine in your mind, because the Thought of God has left you not, and still abides with you.  (WB313)”

Reflections:

When we truly “think” of God, we are safe and nothing can hurt us.  Of course, the physical and emotional little self can be hurt, but we are concerned with the higher Self, which knows no hurt.  Our resting place is soft and our way is smooth.  What a glorious promise!

God has never forgotten His children, of which we are One with Him.  His Thought has not left us, though it may have been forgotten for awhile.  We would remember today.  We would let yesterday be the last day that we forgot the Thought of God.

Our minds are frequently trapped by egoistic thinking, and this denies the Thought of God.  May we ask today to be free of egoistic thinking.  And may we walk into the sunlight with Christ.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

It is a bit hard for me to wrap my little mind around the large concept of the Thought of You.  Help me today, to understand more fully, and to live with Your Thought more fully–even when my little mind cannot comprehend all of Your glory.  The Thought of you does not dwell where my mind does, for my mind is frequently distracted, still, by thought generated by the ego.  Help me to reach beyond such petty distractions, and to come today into the presence of Your Thought.

Thank You for the unfolding of Your grace.  I feel Your guiding Hand in my better moments.  Thank You for not withdrawing for me; thank You for allowing me to feel Your presence in my innermost being.

Amen.

There Is No Death

ACIM Workbook Lesson 163 – for Sunday, June 12, 2011

Affirmation:  “There is no death.  The Son of God is free.”

“The idea of the death of God is so preposterous that even the insane have difficulty in believing it.  For it implies that God was once alive and somehow perished; killed, apparently, by those who did not want Him to survive.  Their stronger will could triumph over His, and so eternal life gave way to death.  And with the Father died the Son as well.  (WB310)”

Reflections:

“Death of God” theologians were a phenomenon, briefly, in the sixties, when A Course in Miracles was scribed.  It was considered in colleges and universities across the nations.  But it didn’t last long, and it never took hold even in congenial atmospheres.  It did not make intuitive sense.

But A Course in Miracles says that there is no death, not for God nor His children.  Death is like walking through an open door (a statement taken down by Ruth Montgomery in automatic writing from her Guides).

And we are free, if our will has not been imprisoned by failing to realize that the Will of God and our real will are actually the same.  If we are hurting, perhaps we need to realize that pain is not necessary.  We do not need to suffer for salvation.  We learn better through rewards, because these, Jesus says, are lasting.

It is sometimes difficult for those of us caught too often in the ego to believe that God’s Will and our real will are the same.  But we are trapped in illusions, the maya of this world, when we do not make an effort to understand.  And our way out of this maze will become clearer the farther along the pathway to God that we go.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would like to recognize myself as truly “free” today.  I know that this can only be when my will is not imprisoned, when I am not following the ego.  I thank you for the immediate way in which guidance is coming to me from the Holy Spirit.  I will to be a channel for Your grace.  Help me to flow through my days with You in charge.

May I revel in the thought that there is no death.  We live eternally, and while on this plane we cannot know how or what we will do in that eternity, we are assured that our future will be good.  Thank You for taking away my natural fear of death.

Amen.

I Am as God Created Me

ACIM Workbook Lesson 162 – for Saturday, June 11, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am as God created me.”

“Holy indeed is he who makes these words his own; arising with them in his mind, recalling them throughout the day, at night bringing them with him as he goes to sleep.  His dreams are happy and his rest secure, his safety certain and his body healed, because he sleeps and wakens with the truth before him always.  He will save the world, because he gives the wrold what he receives each time he practices the words of truth.  (WB307)”

Reflections:

The emphasis in our passage today is to repeat the affirmation, the lesson for today, as a refrain.  We have not changed:  “I am as God created me.”

What does this mean?  It means that nothing that has happened is truly real, except the intangibles of love and healing.  We have only taken a detour into insanity, and we can come out of it by turning to the Holy Spirit for healing.  May we do so today.

If we are as God created us, we are whole beings–children of God.  And He is with us always, in our innermost Self.  God is the All, and we would do well to remember that we are in no way apart from Him ever.

“I am as God created me.”  When things seem tough, let us repeat these words, and rejoice.  We are not creatures of sin, but only individuals who have made mistakes in a separation that in actuality never happened.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would walk in the this world today in safety, knowing that I have not changed except in illusions.  I am actually still as You created me.  I would sleep tonight, dream happy dreams, rest securely and safely, and know that I will arise tomorrow with You blessing on my body, mind, and heart.  Thank You.

I appreciate this surety that You are giving me.  Even when I fall down, I know that the fall is only temporary, and that my real Self has not been hurt.  Be with me now and forever, and may I feel Your Being.

Amen.

Touch of Heaven

ACIM Workbook Lesson 157 – for Monday, June 6, 2011

Affirmation:  “Into His presence would I enter now.”

“Today it will be given you to feel a touch of Heaven, though you will return to paths of learning.  Yet you have come far enough along the way to alter time sufficiently to rise above its laws, and walk into eternity a while.  This you will learn to do increasingly, as every lesson, faithfully rehearsed, brings you more swiftly to this holy place and leaves you,, for a moment, to your Self.  (WB296)”

Reflections:

1 – Day of Respite

Let us feel that touch of Heaven today.  If we have problems, let us pray (the Text says “commune”) to God, and He will see that the Holy Spirit, His communication link with us, will guide us.  Every now and then we need a day of respite.  Let today be that day for us.

2 – “Happy Dreams the Holy Spirit Brings”

Our Self is the larger Self of which we are a part.  It is the part that has never come to earth (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  This larger Self guides and controls from a greater vantage point, and, if we live in close proximity to the Holy Spirit, we will soon come to understand what we need to say or do to have the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (an ACIM quotation).

3 -Walk into Eternity

Let us “walk into eternity” today.  We can invite the peace, joy, and aliveness that we are meant to have.  And these blessings do not have to come to us only one day.  We can live them continually, as God would have us to do,  In the passage above, we are bade to study ACIM thoroughly, as these magnificent volumes are “our” way, the way among many.  This course does work for those who work it.  May we do no less, and may the peace of God which transcends understanding, come into our lives on a constant basis.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would so live today that I am prepared to feel a touch of Heaven.  I know that I do not have to do much to prepare; that is the Holy Spirit’s role–to prepare me.  But may I be open to His guidance and direction, and not let the usual, normal stresses of the day take away my resolve to find Heaven in this world.

Thank You for giving me the direction that I feel now, and that You, more often than not, influence me to feel.  I need Your direction, whether directly or through Your Communicator, the Holy Spirit.  Help me to walk the true and good pathway today.

Amen.

You May Walk in Softness

ACIM Workbook Lesson 156 – for Sunday, June 5, 2011

Affirmation:  “I walk with God in perfect holiness.”

“There is a light in you which cannot die, whose presence is so holy that the world is sanctified because of you.  All things that live bring gifts to you, and offer them in gratitude and gladness at your feet.  The scent of flowers is their gift to you.  The waves bow down before you, and the trees extend their arms to shield you from the heat, and lay their leaves before you on the ground that you may walk in softness, while the wind sinks to a whisper round your holy head.  (WB294)”

Reflections:

A beautiful passage, it means to help us to understand how very much God loves us.  We are protected in our journey through life.  We may not always touch His blessings for us, we may feel alone and unprotected, but if we cling to promises such as this, we will know the true will of God.  His true will is that His children be loved and make a way of smoothness in this world.  Struggle does hone us, but struggle is not meant to defeat us.   We are shielded from the heat (see passage).

We do have this light within us.  It may not always be obvious, but it is here in all of us–not just those who are walking the way of God.  We are all brothers and sisters–all One with God.

When times are tough, it would be good to remember our protection (an ACIM tenet).  Jesus promises to walk with us, and he also promises that we have other Mighty Companions with us.  He says that if we knew who walked with us, we could never be afraid again.  Let us remember our protection today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I promise to You that I will remember Your protection of me today.  I will not cringe in fear about anything.  I will be confident in walking through this world.  All of this is possible if I stay close in mind and spirit with You.  Help me to do this today.

Thank You for offering beautiful words to me.  They are a great comfort, and I thank You for opening my mind and spirit to their beauty.

Amen.

Salvation = Game that Happy Children Play

ACIM Workbook Lesson 153 – for Thursday, June 2, 2011

Affirmation:  “In my defenselessness my safety lies.”

“Salvation can be thought of as a game that happy children play.  It was designed by One Who loves His children, and Who would replace their fearful toys with joyous games, which teach them that the game of fear is gone.  This game instructs in happiness because there is no loser.  Everyone who plays must win, and in his winning is the gain to everyone ensured.  The game of fear is gladly laid aside, when children come to see the benefits salvation brings.

“Your practicing will now begin to take the earnestness of love, to help you keep your mind from wandering from its intent.  (WB286-287)”

Reflections:

This is a favorite passage of long-time students/teachers of A Course in Miracles.  If we can see our life as a “game” played by “happy children,” then we are well on our way to seeing the way out of suffering.  And we see that our function of forgiveness (stated elsewhere as salvation) is joyous.  We do not have to feel burdened by our brothers and sisters who have not yet seen the light.  We can lead them gently, always gently, to a better way of living.

We do not, though, seek to offer more than can be received at any given time.  If we assertively (or aggressively) “market” ACIM, then we are doomed to failure.  If we follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will know when to offer our gifts and when to make of those gifts something small indeed–maybe just a smile.  By our example, we live ACIM in daily life.  If we are truly changed by our encounter with ACIM, others will notice, and eventually some may ask why we live such charmed lives.  And our lives are charmed when we live the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings.”  We would not stay in dreams, but move on to Awakening, to reality, when God Himself reaches down (metaphorically), knowing that we are ready for this ultimate gift.

If we love deeply, we will come to know more about the nature of true reality.  We will live more and more of our hours in the real world.  We will overlook, though not without compassion, the difficulties of this world–including the suffering.  We will know that the suffering is not real, that we are living in an illusory world.  But we must not forget the plight of our brothers and sisters, for salvation comes to them through our mediation from God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I reach out to my brothers and sisters, forgetting at least for a moment, my own worries.  May I share this game that we are all playing.  May my sharing be a joyous event, with little of the day-to-day worries that afflict us all.  May I let the ego wither away today.

Be with us all today.  May my enjoyment of this day be genuine, and may my acceptance of any difficulties that oppress be complete.  Only in acceptance is overcoming possible.

Amen.

Echoes of the Voice

ACIM Workbook Lesson 151 – for Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Affirmation:  “All things are echoes of the Voice for God.”

Selected Passage:

“We practice wordlessly today, except at the beginning of the time we spent with God.  We introduce these times with but a single, slow repeating of the thought with which the day begins.  And then we watch our thoughts appealing silently to Him Who sees the elements of truth in them.  Let Him evaluate each thought that comes to mind, remove the elements of dreams, and give them back again as clean ideas that do not contradict the Will of God.  (WB280)”

Reflections:

“Echoes of the Voice for God.”  What a lovely thought!  We need to be free, ultimately, even of the happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings (from the Workbook).  God would have us entertain those “clean ideas” that are the evidence of the real world, the harbinger of Awakening.  We would not choose egoistic thinking, because it so clearly contradicts the Will of God.

Today’s lesson is spent in quietness, except as we speak the affirmation of the day.  More and more time will be spent in quietness as we progress farther in the Workbook.  Now is a good beginning.

We hurry about and rush so.  This is not necessary, even with the busiest life.  Do what is needful, but take time for God.  Even a moment spent in deep communion will bring us back to ourselves again.  Jesus says in the Manual that we can spend an hour in meditation and not reach God, or we can devote only a moment and join with Him completely.  Let us spend a moment today to join completely with God.

Prayer:

Dear Mother/Father,

May I rest in quiet today.  So much of my life has been spent in a hurry, working hard all week long, reading in the evening.  Yet much of this time was not quiet time.  I would have quiet time today.

Be with me as I seek to experience Your presence.  Feeling Your presence is the best gift that this day can offer, and I ask for just that.

Amen.

God vs. the Holy Spirit

ACIM Workbook Lesson 147 – for Friday, May 27, 2011

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

Selected Passage:

“I will not value what is valueless.
“Let me perceive forgiveness as it is.  (WB276)”

Reflections:

Real thoughts are the thoughts that we think with God.  Mistaken thoughts partake of the ego.  In distractions of this world, we may not always discern the difference.  Go within to God, and let Him tell us what to say or do.

There may be some confusion about the difference between God and the Holy Spirit.  Indeed, some students/teachers of ACIM believe that God does not even know about us!  I do not subscribe to this belief, because it is not true to my experience.  God is within, and nothing is without (a Text tenet).  We project the world that we see from within.  If we are at the moment overtaken by the ego, we will project a world that is filled with attack and anger.  If we are in touch with God within, we will project love to the surrounding world, and this love will return to us, multiplied.  The Holy Spirit is the communication link between God and ourselves (a Text tenet).  The Holy Spirit acts as our guidance (an oft-repeated refrain in this blog).  The Holy Spirit was given as the Answer as soon as the idea of separation entered the mind.  The solution is always with the problem (an ACIM tenet).  And God gave His Answer immediately.

We can realize that our own little problems have immediate solutions as well.  Only a distracted mind fails to find the way out of any given maze in which we find ourselves.  We do not wish to value that which has no value, and that includes the egoistic world.  We do need to realize that we are all innocent of sin, and that our mistakes can be easily rectified.  Then we will know the joy that is ours for the asking (and taking).

Prayer:

Dear Mother/Father,

May I turn to You, within me, often today.  May I also turn to You that I perceive as being “without,” meaning my brothers and sisters, as well as this world in which we live–whether we are living in illusion or in the real world at the moment of noticing.  Be with me constantly.  I need You.

Thank You for the guidance that comes to me throughout the day.  Forgive me for my confusion about what that guidance really is.  I confuse myself.  And I would not confuse myself today.

Amen.

One with God

ACIM Workbook Lesson 142 – for Sunday, May 22, 2011

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

Selected Passage:

“I thank my Father for His gifts to me.
“Let me remember I am one with God.  (WB275)”

Reflections:

What does it mean to be “one with God”?  God is both within and without, the All.  We reach Him best by turning inward to pray, and then reaching outward to help our brothers and sisters.  We cannot just turn inward.  God would have us meet the needs of other people as well.

God does speak with us, in a myriad of ways.  And He gives His gifts to us in a similar myriad of ways.  If we are grateful, we open the floodgates wider still.  The easiest way to think of God’s speaking is probably to equate the Holy Spirit’s Word with intuition.  This is not the whole truth, but it is not too far off base.  All of us have had experiences of intuition, and when we acted upon it, we found out that life went smoother.  When we resisted, life got tougher.  We have an inner knowing that we sometimes sabotage.  This is the ego in us, still trying to cling to life.

Of course, there are times when we seem to get intuitions, one after the other, that conflict with one another.  At such times, it is likely that one’s own emotions have intruded.  At such times, it is best to clear the mind, to pray for strength and help, and to go about our daily affairs.  When we are in a cooler frame of mind, we will know what to say or do.  Our emotions will then not be in a position to confuse us.

Prayer:

Dear Mother/Father,

I want to make decisions that are correct today.  I know that the only way that I can do is to clear my mind, to cool my emotions, and to listen to prompting from what I perceive as the Holy Spirit, or perhaps what I perceive as my intuition.  I know that these two ways of perceiving are the same.  Help me to give credit to You always, not to my own powers, which are very limited.

You and I are One.  May I always remember this when times are a struggle for me.  May these times lessen as I am able to keep a clear mind and to hear Your guidance.

Amen.

No Meaningless Anxieties

ACIM Workbook Lesson 124 – for Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Affirmation:  “Let me remember I am one with God.”

Selected Passage:

“Today we will not doubt His Love for us, nor question His protection and His care.  No meaningless anxieties can come between our faith and our awareness of His Presence.  We are one with Him today in recognition and remembrance.  We feel Him in our hearts.  Our minds contain His Thoughts; our eyes behold His loveliness in all we look upon.  Today we see only the loving and the lovable.  (WB222)”

Reflections:

This is a meditative passage (as are many in the Workbook).  May we leave aside anxiety; we have this as a promise.  But how many of us truly believe that we can leave aside anxiety?  If we knew who walks beside us, then doubt and fear would be no longer.  They would be impossible.  May we speculate today about who walks beside us.  May we imagine that Jesus is taking us by the hand and guiding us.  Our imagination is not an “idle fantasy” (an ACIM quotation).

When we contemplate, commune with God in prayer, we soon feel Him in our hearts.  We aer not alone any longer.  We do see only the loving and the lovable.  This is what isw meant by projection makes perceptions.  And our projection has been cleansed, now that we are farther along in the Workbook.

We are not blind.  We see bad things happened in our world, and in the world surrounding us, the larger world.  But we will categorize all of these as illusion, illusion unable to touch our core.  Of course, sometimes we will forget and get upset.  This is natural.  God does not ask that we leave our humanness outside the door of A Course in Miracles.  But if we reflect on the words of ACIM, our moments of upset will diminish.  We will have surety that the Holy Spirit is in control.

Not that we will always have this surety.  But we will have glimpses of this surety as we go along our pathway.  May today be a special day of thanksgiving.  May we see only the loveliness surrounding us.

Prayer:

Dear Mother/Father,

May I leave my anxieties behind today.  If I find reason to be upset, let me look closely at that reason and ask if it is just an excuse to worry.  I would not worry today.  Be with me to ensure that I don’t.  Your presence makes all the difference.

I would pray today that I can feel Your presence as I go through the day.  You are often with me when I am distracted and don’t feel that You are there.  I would feel You today.

Amen.

I Rest in God

ACIM Workbook Lesson 120 – for Saturday, April 30, 2011

Affirmation:  “I rest in God.”

Selected Passage:

“I rest in God today, and let Him work in me and through me, while I rest in Him in quiet and in perfect certainty.  (WB213)”

Affirmation:  “I am as God created me.”

Selected Passage:

“I am God’s Son.  Today I lay aside all sick illusions of myself, and let my Father tell me Who I really am.  (WB213)”

Reflections:

Let us rest in God today, as these lessons teach us.  We need a time of respite.  We have tried too hard to find our way Home.  And we were wrong!  We do need to study the means, Jesus says in the Text, but the final reaching downward to us is done by God.  We rest in perfect calm and quiet, knowing that He will not fail us.  May we pray today that He will awaken us soon.

No further words are needed today.  Spend some relaxed and easy time with God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for being there for me today.  I know that to rest in You is the best way that I can spend my time.  May I not fail to rest in You today.

Your ways are mysterious to me, but I know that there is purpose in them.  Help me to follow Your ways, through my intuition, and may I not fail to live Your way today.

Amen.

I Rest Safely in the Mind of God

ACIM Workbook Lesson 119 – for Friday, April 29, 2011

Affirmation:  “Truth will correct all errors in my mind.”

Selected Passage:

“I am mistaken when I think I can be hurt in any way.  I am God’s Son, whose Self rests safely in the Mind of God.  (WB212)”

Affirmation:  “To give and to receive are one in truth.”

Selected Passage:

“I will forgive all things today, that I may learn how to accept the truth in me, and come to recognize my sinlessness.  (WB212)”

Reflections:

We cannot be hurt.  This does sound like an extreme statement, but the Self of which we speak is not the little self that lives in this world (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  Our real Selves have not been hurt in any way.  We do a disservice to our brothers and sisters when we imagine that they have hurt us.  They get through to us in what seems like hurt only when we allow it.  There is nothing that comes our way that some aspect of our Self has not chosen.  This does not mean that we blame the victim, though.  The little self of this world did not allow this hurt; it was allowed by the Self of which Jesus speaks (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).

Even when we imagine that we have been hurt, we are called upon to forgive (pardon).  All except the real things of this world are illusions.  The real things include love, peace, joy, happiness, well-being, safety.  These are intangibles, and the physical world is an illusion (a Text tenet).  Aside from physicality, we can forgive much, because we know that we have not been hurt.  The real test comes when we know physical pain or mental anguish.  We are not meant to stay in abusive situations, of course.  Let us be practical, which ACIM intends to be.  But we do know that it is easiest to love when our intangibles of love are uppermost in our minds.  And the abstract nature of ACIM would lead us to this conclusion naturally.

We have not “sinned,” but we have made mistakes.  (Note:  See the posting, “No ‘Sins’ – Just Mistakes.”)  These mistakes lead us to correction, in contrast to sin, which can remain attracting (an ACIM tenet).  Let us ask today that our mistakes be corrected.  If there is anything that we need to do to make things right with God, ourselves, or our brothers and sisters, may we do so today.  Life will never look better when we have forgiven these illusions (maya).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I rest safely in Your arms today.  May I feel inwardly, in my depths, that I am always safe.  You take care of me, and even when things look bad, I know that You are somewhere in the situation, helping me to choose again.

Be with me today as I go about my varied activities.  Thank You for always being with me.

Amen.

One Self = Completely Whole

ACIM Workbook Lesson 113 – for Saturday, April 23, 2011

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

Selected Passage:

“Serenity and perfect peace are mine, because I am one Self, completely whole, at one with all creation and with God.  (WB206)”

Affirmation:  “Salvation comes from my one Self.”

Selected Passage:

“From my one Self, Whose knowledge still remains within my mind, I see God’s perfect plan for my salvation perfectly fulfilled.  (WB206)”

Reflections:

Who would not want serenity and perfect peace?  These promises are close to the promise that we will eventually be “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time.  This means that we will disavow drama in our lives.  And many of us are not ready for this.  We think that we would be bored.  But is drama really desirable?

Drama usually entails conflict, and attack and anger are not far behind.  We are told in the Text that there is no justification for attack and anger.  This is because both are a call for help, and our brother or sister wants our love.  So we are bade to offer that love in the best way that would calm the troubled waters.  Sometimes we say something, sometimes we remove ourselves from the scene (if our presence is troubling), and sometimes we simply pray about the situation.  Of course, there are other, equally good, ways that we might respond.  We must go within to find the right solution to the conflict.  Given the fact that drama usually entails conflict, can we not be ready to let the drama go?

We are all one Self, because the All is One.  This is a theoretical foundation of ACIM, and we would do well to contemplate what is meant, because it is not obvious.  The Holy Spirit will speak to us, will enlarge our minds to comprehend, if we turn to Him.  Let us do so today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

We are all One with You and with each other.  Help me to comprehend this ultimate truth.  I feel the smallness of my little self, the self sometimes ruled by the ego, and I would have the foolishness of the ego ended.  Be with me today as I seek for You in my everyday occurrences.

Thank You for always being there for me.  I know that You are there even when I am distracted and cannot let go of my emotions enough to recognize Your presence.  May I recognize Your presence throughout this day.

Amen.

The Road Becomes Easy

ACIM Workbook Lesson 109 – for Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Affirmation:  “I rest in God.”

Selected Passage:

“With each five minutes that you rest today, the world is nearer waking.  And the time when rest will be the only thing there is comes closer to all worn and tired minds, too weary now to go their way alone.  And they will hear the bird begin to sing and see the stream begin to flow again, with hope reborn and energy restored to walk with lightened steps along the road that suddenly seems easy as they go.  (WB198)”

Reflections:

Salvation, as defined by ACIM, is not a difficult path.  Frequently we are told that it is easy; in fact, at one point in ACIM we are told that it is the easiest thing in the world.  But do we believe this?  We struggle so, seeking God.  This is not necessary!  He is as close to us as our breath–indeed, even closer, because His mind and our real mind are the same.  He is “in” us–as well as without, as our projections make the perceptions of this world.  There is nothing outside of ourselves (a Text tenet).

So let us rest five minutes from time to time.  We will see the beauty of this world that has been hidden from us:  “the bird being to sing and. . .the stream begin to flow again.”  The poetical nature of A Course in Miracles is one of its greatest blessings.  We can read and reread these lovely passages without ever tiring of them.  And each time, we will see more and different meaning.

The road seems easy when we rest often.  There is not need to struggle.  God wants us Home with him, and by this we do not mean after death.  Home with God is being One with him in intent and purpose.  And there is no better way to spend a day than to walk humbly with our God, in rest and with the ease that He provides for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I rest often today, sometimes for periods of time and sometimes only for a moment.  You would have me to relax in the joy of Your world, the real world.  You would have me disown the dictates of the ego, which would have me struggle to make a name for myself.

Be with me today as I rest in You.  The effable peace that only You can bring is precious to me.  May this day be a special, continuous moment of Your peace and calm.

Amen.

God’s Gifts Always Increase

ACIM Workbook Lesson 105 – for Friday, April 15, 2011

Affirmation:  “God’s peace and joy are mine.”

Selected Passage:

“Accept God’s peace and joy, and you will learn a different way of looking at a gift.  God’s gifts will never lessen when they are given away.  They but increase thereby.  (WB188)”

Reflections:

1 – God’s Gifts

God’s gifts are the intangibles, and thus these always increase when given away.  God’s gifts are peace and joy and love.  Only material possessions lessen as they are given away, and material gifts, in the broad range, are actually nothing.

2 – Gifts Multiply when Given Away

Much is said early in the Text about the fact that God’s gifts multiply as they are given away.  We do not lose; we only gain.  And others gain from our largesse.

3 – Choose Peace and Joy

Who would not choose peace and joy if he/she only knew that these two blessings are ours for the asking?  It is up to us to tell them, for we are farther along in the Workbook now, and it is beginning to be our place to reach outward more and more.  God depends upon us to spread His message.  We need help to bring salvation to ourselves and others, but we can do so with the help of the Holy Spirit.  Let us always remember that salvation is not up to us solely, for this is arrogance (a Text tenet).  Let us remember to ask for God’s guidance, and we will soon be in a better position, after our study and learning, to be bringers of salvation, always in the right way.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose peace, joy, with their attendant aliveness today.  This has been my central prayer for several days, and I hope to see the culmination today.  I know that You answer prayers quickly, instantaneously, and it is normally my reluctance to accept Your way for me that slows down the Answer.  May I be in line with Your desires for me today, and may this one central prayer receive a resounding “yes.”

Thank You for giving us those things that we can give away, and by that gesture see only increase.  The intangibles are the only things that we ever take beyond this world.  May I realize this today ever more strongly, and may I increase my share of intangibles.  This can be only Your will for me.

Amen.

All Is One = God, Ourselves, Others

ACIM Workbook Lesson 79 – for Sunday, March 20, 2011

Affirmation:  “Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.”

Selected Passage:

“If you could recognize that your only problem is separation, no matter what form it takes, you could accept the answer because you would see its relevance.  (WB142)”

Reflections:

1 – Recognition of Oneness Leads to Awakening

We are really One, one with ourselves, with our brothers and sisters, and one with God.  If we only recognized this, and accepted the other words in ACIM, we would be blessed with Awakening.  Of course, we do not have direct control over the timing; only God does.  But we can foreshorten the time, sometimes saving as much as a thousand years (an ACIM tenet), if we are diligent in our study and in our dedication.

2 – We Have No Problems

We do have no problems.  Oh, surely, we have issues that need to be addressed.  But it is the ego that blows those issues into huge problems that seem insurmountable.  These issues are not insurmountable.  If we turn to the Holy Spirit with all of them, over time (sooner rather than later), we will see the issues dissipate.

3 – We Are Not Meant to Go It Alone

Problems are a sign that we need help.  We are not meant to go it alone.  That is the point of this lesson on separation.  All too often, we think that independence is more laudatory than interdependence.  But we are here with our God and our brothers and sisters for a reason.  God wants us to talk to Him.  He is always available, deep within us (as well as without, for we perceive that there is a “without”).

4 – Abandon Separation

Let go of separation today.  Reach out to another, and let that response warm you.  The more that you take to heart the directive to let go of separation, the more we will realize that we do not have to feel alone.  Separation was the idea of the ego that we are encased in bodies, and that this cannot be overcome.  But it can.  There are more ways for God to reach us than the world recognizes.  Jesus says elsewhere ACIM that if the ways of communication that the world recognizes were all that there were, salvation would be impossible.  But it is possible, and highly recommended–sooner rather than later.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I reach out to someone today who needs me.  May I not let his or her need go unmet.  We are indeed all One with God.  And where there is Oneness, there is no separation.

Separation is an illusion of the ego.  Separation has brought us nothing but misery.  May we realize this today, and may we turn aside from the ego and all its supposed “gifts.”  None but have been bought with tears.

Amen.

End the Attack on God’s Plan for Salvation

ACIM Workbook Lesson 72 – for Sunday, March 13, 2011

Affirmation:  “Holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation.”

Selected Passage:

“To see our Self as separate from the body is to end the attack on God’s plan for salvation, and to accept it instead.  And wherever His plan is accepted, it is accomplished.  (WB125)”

Reflections:

This passage points out that the Self, our real Self, is separate from the body.  Our little self, though, is very much of the body and in this world (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  We would identify with our Self if we would find out way Home.  Let us do so today.

The affirmation is a serious warning:  “Holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation.”  We may think that holding grievances is something that we really can’t get over, that seems to be out of our control–even as we lose our temper at times in a loud outburst that seems somehow outside ourselves.  But we are attacking God’s plan, and, we might conjecture, God Himself when we do hold grievances.  This will never do.  We must commune with God (ACIM‘s usual word for “prayer,” especially in the list of miracles at the beginning of the Text), and we must ask for forgiveness for our own inadequacies.  God made us (not we ourselves), and He knows our limitations.  We are not without limitations in this world (an ACIM tenet).  But it behooves us to try to rise above the limitations, with God’s help.  He will help.  We can be assured of this.

There is a time collapse implied in the passage for today.  Elsewhere ACIM notes that time can be saved, sometimes a thousand years or more, by individuals such as ourselves.  Miracles foster this time collapse, and miracles should be placed under the direction of Jesus (an ACIM tenet).  Personally selected “miracles” are not warranted.  But, as this passage says, when God’s plan is accepted, it is accomplished.  This implies immediate accomplishment–a wonderful promise in itself.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to give up any and all grievances that I hold publicly or privately.  Then I will know that I am perfectly safe.  And I will have ended my personal attack on God’s plan for salvation.

Be with me today as I try to commune frequently with You.  Be with me as I pardon any wrongs that I think, in illusion, have been done to me.  May my day go well.  You would have it so.

Amen.

What Would God Have Me Do?

ACIM Workbook Lesson 71 – for Saturday, March 12, 2011

Affirmation:  “Only God’s plan for salvation will work.”

Selected Passage:

“. . .[L]et us devote the remainder of the extended practice periods to asking God to reveal His plan to us.  Ask Him very specifically:

What would You have me do?
Where would You have me go?
What would You have me say, and to whom? (WB122)”

Reflections:

1 – God and the Holy Spirit

These are very important lines in A Course in Miracles.  Usually ACIM has us ask these questions of the Holy Spirit, rather than of God, but is there really any difference?  I do not mean to insert controversy here, but the Holy Spirit is defined in ACIM as the Universal Inspiration.  And God is the Source of that inspiration.

2 – Guidance and the Holy Spirit

We would do well to recall these words often, not only today, when they are part of the lesson, but frequently in upcoming days as well.  We are bade to turn to the Holy Spirit for guidance, not to make judgments ourselves.  We cannot be accurate in our own judgments, and so we best leave judgment to One who knows all past and future, as well as present.  He alone knows all, and we in  our limited way cannot judge aright.  So we relinquish judgment (contrary to what we are normally taught in the world), and we turn to a Higher Power for His guidance.  All of these statements are from the Manual, paraphrased.  We would do well to be tolerant of the things that we cannot understand.  This in itself will help us to practice forgiveness or pardon of ourselves and our brothers and sisters.

3 – Walking a Holier Path

So we decide today, let us hope, to ask these basic questions from the passage above of God.  We do not make these decisions ourselves.  And when we do, we will walk a holier pathway.  We will, as long as we are caught in the dream, live the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (from the Workbook).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I so much want to follow Your advice for me.  Help me to be flexible, to turn on a dime–as soon as I recognize Your guidance for what it is.  Help me to live life as You would have it lived, in peace and calm and joy.

Walk with me today, as everyday, but especially today.  As soon as I become accustomed to having You with me, to be conscious of having You with me, in me, then I will be that much closer to Home.  Thank You for always being here for me.  Help me to know and to do Your will, which really is my own as well.

Amen.

Recognize Yourself in a Blazing Light

ACIM Workbook Lesson 67 – for Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Affirmation:  “Love created me like itself.”

Selected Passage:

“You may find it necessary to repeat the idea for today from time to time to replace distracting thoughts.  You may also find that this is not sufficient, and that you need to continue adding other thoughts related to the truth about yourself.  Yet perhaps you will succeed in going past that, and through the interval of thoughtlessness to the awareness of a blazing light  in which you recognize yourself as Love created you.  Be confident that you will do much today to bring that awareness nearer, whether you feel you have succeeded or not.  (WB113)”

Reflections:

Repeating today’s idea (affirmation) is important, because we do not fully understand what it is saying until we repeat it.  “Love” here is God.  We know that God is Love, and this is what we are reiterating to ourselves.

It is lovely to realize that at some point today we may be aware of a “blazing light” in which we recognize that God is our creator.  It is a Text tenet that all too often we forget that God created us, and that we think, erroneously, that we created ourselves.  Of course, this makes no sense if we delve deeply enough.  And we don’t fully understand God, for how could we?  We know that He is both inner and outer, that He is the All.  (A statement said repeatedly by Jane Roberts in the Seth books of an earlier generation.)  The blazing light can show us the truth of God in a revelatory manner, if we are open to receiving revelation from God.

We can also ask for a miracle to show us this blazing light.  Jesus is in charge of miracles, and he guides us to them.  Self-directed miracles are likely to be misguided (a Text tenet).

If Love created us like itself, then we are meant to understand that God is within, and that we share His attributes.  We do not share them in totality, of course, but the indications are there.  We would do well today to dwell on these thoughts.  There is more here than meets the eye.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

There is much that I do not understand about creation, about my creation.  Help me to come closer to understanding today.  May that blazing light that Jesus speaks about find its way into my consciousness.  I ask for a miracle today, to see how it is that Love created me like Itself.

Be with me today, as I seek a new particular understanding, one that I have not touched until today.  I did not previously know that I could touch such understanding.  Help me to be patient while I wait for You to speak to my heart.

Amen.

God Is My Source

ACIM Workbook Lesson 59 – for Monday, February 28, 2011

Affirmation:  “God goes with me wherever I go.”

“How can I be alone when God always goes with me?  How can I be doubtful and unsure of myself when perfect certainty abides in Him?  (WB98)”

Reflections:

We are so buoyed by language such as this:  We are never alone.  If we just remember that God is always near, we also will not fear.  If we knew who walked with us, we would never fear (a Text tenet).

Affirmation:  “God is my strength.  Vision is His gift.”

“Christ’s vision is His gift, and He has given it to me.  Let me call upon this gift today so that this day may help me to understand eternity.  (WB98)”

Reflections:

We do not fully understand what is meant by “vision,” but we do know that it is not what we see with the sight of the eyes.  True vision is an internal attribute of the real meaning of what is true about the world–not what we project from dreams or illusions.  We need vision, and may we ask for it today.

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

“Beyond His Will lie only illusions.  It is these I choose when I think I can see apart from Him.  (WB98)”

Reflections:

We do not want illusions; even if our fantasies start out pleasantly (and many do), they will turn dark, because they are of the ego.  The ego is constantly being undone, and we are constantly moving closer to Awakening.  We cannot name the time; only God can do that.  But we can save time, sometimes a thousand years (a Text tenet) by our faithfulness to God’s Will.  May we be privileged to know God’s Will today.  As we are learning, His Will is our real will.  We are never coerced.

Affirmation:  “God is the light in which I see.”

“Now it is given me to understand that God is the light in which I see.  Let me welcome vision and the happy world it will show me.  (WB99)”

Reflections:

When we turn to God, we do have true vision.  He will show us a better way, as He did Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford, the co-scribes of ACIM.   Helen never assimilated all of what she scribed by bringing peace into her life, but Bill did, ultimately.  May we follow in the footsteps of Bill Thetford.  (Both Helen and Bill are now deceased.)

Affirmation:  “God is the Mind with which I think.”

“I have no thoughts apart from Him, because I have no mind apart from His.  As part of His Mind, my thoughts are His and His Thoughts are mine.  (WB99)”

Reflections:

This passage is another way of saying that God’s Will is mine, and that my will is coming ever closer to that ideal.  We are part of God; He is in us.  There is nothing outside ourselves (a Text tenet); we may not understand this, but the image of a hologram may help.  Each part contains the whole, just as the whole is made of each part.  We are like that with God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Today I am studying the many ways in which God is One with me.  You are my Source, the Mind that we share, the light in which I see.  With so many ways to come to know You, how can I fail, if my intentions are pure.  You will for me to know You.  I join my little will to Yours today for the same purpose.

Be with me today as I reflect on the affirmations for today.  May I realize that to know You is a manifold, multifaceted knowing, and I will live ever better as I accept all that knowledge of You holds out to me.

Amen.

Does God Know of Us?

“The constant going out of His Love is blocked when His channels are closed, and He is lonely when the minds He created do not communicate fully with Him.  (A Course in Miracles, T71)”

Affirmation:  “May my channel to God be open.”

Reflections:

There is a difference of opinion among interpreters of A Course in Miracles about whether or not God actually “knows” about us in this world.  Some students have found in the interpretation that God doesn’t know of this world a “healing” thought.  Certainly if we believe that God does not know of us, we cannot blame him for the conditions in our unhappy and tragic world.  But ACIM counsels that God is never to blame, that he is a loving God (just as described in the New Testament by Jesus), and that it is ourselves that have “made” the awful conditions in this world.  Other New Age writings, such as the Jane Roberts books channeling Seth, have agreed.  Seth says, “You create your own reality.”

But about God’s knowing of us, I have reached the conclusion that God does indeed know.  The relevant passage in ACIM is as follows:  “. . .”[U]nless you take your part in the creation, His joy is not complete because yours is incomplete.  And this He does know.  He knows it in His Own Being and its experience of His Son’s experience.  (T71)”  He is both inner and outer, and our deepest inner Self does know that we are not alone in this world.

Our prayers are answered–always (according to A Course in Miracles, which says that the “prayer of the heart” is always answered).  A Course in Miracles notes specifically that God knows when his channels to us are closed to Him:  Is this not what our prayers would seek to reestablish, a communion with God?

According to Jesus in the New Testament, the Father has not left him alone.  He questioned this from the cross, but do we not all question it from time to time?  And some have decided that God lets us out to play, and cares not what we do in our play.  (This interpretation is given in Conversations with God, by Neale Donald Walsch.)  But, personally, I don’t quite believe this austere thought.  Our Self always knows about our plight, and our Self is a part of God (a tenet of A Course of Love).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I find comfort in the truth that You are available to me in the deepest part of my being.  You are All.  How can You not know of each individualized part of the All?

I do not believe that my prayers go unheard.  I believe that just as you are Everything, that this Everything is a “knowing” concept.  Be with me today as I go about Your world.

Amen.

ACIM Workbook Lesson for Day 151:

All things are echoes of the Voice for God.

Can God Be Reached Directly?

“Can God be reached directly?  God indeed can be reached directly, for there is no distance between Him and His Son.  His awareness is in everyone’s memory, and His Word is written on everyone’s heart.  (M64)”

Affirmation:  “The awareness of God is in my memory, and His Word is in my heart.”

Reflections:

This passage recalls to mind the biblical quotation, “The kingdom of God is within.”  Certainly many passages in the Course suggest that God is within, that there is no division between God and ourselves.  We see here that there is no distance between God and His Son (or Daughter).  This is the Self that is the larger part of ourselves, the part that has never left God.

How reassuring to know that the awareness of God is in everyone’s memory!  And that we can indeed, as the Bible says, “Ask, and ye shall receive,” because His Word is written on everyone’s heart.  The sentence from the passage that says this is particularly beautifully written, and it encourages peace and inner quiet by its reassurance.

We can receive God’s Word directly in the midst of our busiest activities, but more often we hear His word when we are quiet and therefore more receptive to the still, small Voice within.  May we turn to Him when perplexed, and may we know that our prayers are heard, and, better still, our prayers are answered.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I turn to You often during the day.  I know that I can reach You directly.  Help me to reach into my memory and into my heart to find You.

Only if I turn to You will have a truly good day.  I know this.  Help me to live it.

Amen.