Seek No More

images - ballet dancer“The first instruction I give to you is to seek no more.  All that you are in need of knowing has been provided within A Course of Love.  That your learning does not feel complete is not a failing of this course or of your self.  That your learning does not feel complete is the result of forgetfulness, which is the opposite of mindfulness.  Your further learning then is learning based on mindfulness or remembering.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 1.3)”

Affirmation:  “I remind myself that I need seek no more.”

Reflections:

1 – Why ACOL Was Written?

This first passage selected from the Treatise on the Art of Thought encapsulates what may possibly be one of Jesus’s primary reasons for channeling A Course of Love.  We who have studied A Course in Miracles quite a bit do not always feel complete.  For unknown reasons we have sought so long that we want to continue seeking.  But there comes a stopping point, and the only way to stop is to stop.  Jesus would have us stop our hankering for learning by giving us the assurance that we are The Accomplished, that we have learned all that we need to know for salvation,

2 – Seek No More

Our minds have been the troubling part.  Our hearts have always known more than the egoic mind.  And now we are encouraged to join our mind to our heart in wholeheartedness.  But to seek no more.  There is enough in us already.  We must just observe, not “learn.”  And in the observation of daily life we will be fulfilled (an interpretation, not stated in A Course of Love).

3 – Eastern Thought

The Eastern theories about mindfulness are relevant here.  Jesus calls mindfulness “remembering.”  We pay attention to what we do daily, hourly, and even moment-by-moment.  And we are fulfilled thereby.  We rest in the assurance that all is well, that the world is unfolding as it is meant to unfold.  Not that we can’t improve things, because we are not encouraged to forget others.  But we know that when we are peace, the world in which we live seems more at peace also.

4 – Time of Christ

We have forgotten much, and we will call to mind what we need to call to mind when we rest in God.  He will recall those important things to mind for us.  In A Course of Love, the time of Christ, it is no longer the Holy Spirit.  But the Christ/Self within that directs our every thought and mood.

5 – Remembering

We need to ask for remembering today, while we practice the mindfulness that is meant for us.  We think about what we are doing, but we do not analyze it.  Jon Kabot-Zinn has written Coming to Our Senses, a vast compendium of guides to mindfulness in our world.  If additional help in mindfulness is desired, this would be a good place to start.

6 – The Accomplished

But we do not need to “learn” more.  We are The Accomplished.  We do not fully understand this, and to be accomplished, we do not have to be perfect.  This is a major contribution in A Course of Love.  We just turn aside from those thoughts and actions that are less than what we want, and then the thought or action falls away.  That is all, but it is enough.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I take to heart what I wrote in my reflections today.  The basis of those remarks are mostly from Jesus, with some indication that religions other than Christianity have also spoken of mindfulness.  May I live in peace today, not reaching irritably after more and more.  I am enough, if I am living the Self within.  Help me to fully realize this Self within, sooner rather than later.

Be with all of us today as we embark on a new Treatise from A Course of Love.  May our reading inform our lives.  And may Jesus hold our hands as we walk.

Amen.

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Holy Relationships vs. Special Relationships

“Your natural state is one of union, and each joining that you do in holy relationship returns a little of the memory of union to you.  This memory of your divinity is what you seek in truth from each special relationship you enter into, but your true quest is hidden by the concept of use that gets in its way.  While your heart seeks for union, your separated self seeks for what it can use to fill the emptiness and ease the terror of its separation.  (A Course of Love, 9.36)”

Affirmation:  “holy relationship = union”

Reflections:ProjectVanGoghMBE

1 – ACIM vs. ACOL

The concept of “use” is new in A Course of Love,  not mentioned at all in A Course in Miracles.  But the other concepts in this paragraph are reminiscent of ACIM and follow precisely some of the familiar terminology.

2 – The Gap

A holy relationship does seek union as its goal, but special relationships are first sought to fill a gap that we might sense in ourselves.  Yet gaps cannot be filled by special relationships, because the special can so quickly turn to unpleasantness and even hatred.  Holy relationships are not seen as always romantic relationships, though romantic relationships are certainly not excluded.  We need to change the goal of our special relationships from a focus on finding what we lack to sharing what we both have.  We don’t gain by taking from the other, something that we seek to do when the relationship is only a special one.

3 – “Using” Another

We use the other person when we seek to find in him or her something that we lack.  We are seeing to be made whole through the other person.  And our secular psychology has even made clear that it takes two whole people to form a new whole in a relationship that will seek to be permanent.  In special relationships, we may think that our “half” added to the other’s “half” is enough to form a bond that will be a whole.  This is a fallacy, though, and most individuals who have formed special bonds with another, over time, come to see the fallacy of this sort of thinking.

4 – Transform the Special Relationship

So seek to make of your special relationships a holiness that will stand the test of time.  The Holy Spirit (re ACIM) will not snatch our special relationships from us, but will seek to transform them into the holy.  At this point, many relationships are broken off, but the greatest blessings await those that survive this change in focus to the holy.  And then we will know truly what it means to love unconditionally another person.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would seek to turn all of my special relationships into holy ones, excluding no one.  Thank You for the holy relationships that I have known.  And thank You for the ones that have endured, as well as the ones that have not.  Be with me as I seek to live the life that You intended for me.

May we all turn our special relationships into holy ones, for special relationships, we find, hold much pain.  When the pain is realized as inevitable, eventually, we will know that there is something better awaiting.  And that something better is a holy relationship.

Amen.

Bridge the Distance between Heaven and Hell

“Yet you will not become the bridge.  You refuse to recognize that the Christ in you provides the bridge that you need only walk across to bridge the distance between heaven and hell, between your separated self and union with God and all your brothers and sisters.  (A Course of Love, P.20)”

Affirmation:  “bridge the distance between heaven and hell”

Reflections:

1 – The Bridge

We are not the bridge that will save us.  But the Christ in us does provide the bridge.  We think too much of ourselves, even though we are children of God, when we think that we are the bridge.  The Christ in us, as I read this, has been waiting patiently for recognition, and the time is now for us to so recognize Him/Her.

2 – Union

We walk into heaven, even while living on earth, in this world, when we unite with God in our own knowing, as well as unite with our brothers and sisters.  This is our way out of hell.  A Course in Miracles also offers advice about what is our way out of hell.  The two discussions seem to my mind to be a unity in and of themselves.  We might think of A Course of Love as Jesus’s additional commentary to help us, for many of us stay “stuck” in A Course in Miracles, doing the Workbook over and over, and frustrated that we don’t seem to know Awakening, even after all of our trying.  We are to cease being our own teacher; Jesus is our elder brother, who teaches us for a time, and then, by the conclusion of the third volume in the trilogy of A Course of Love, even he has resigned as our teacher.  He presents himself at that point as our equal.  But he never deserts us, and for that we can be very, very grateful.  Indeed, the gratitude may help to make the truth of this interpretation from Jesus, the truth for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May we unite with God and with our brothers and sisters.  This is the only way for us to realize our inheritance from God, the inheritance of joy and peace and harmony that is meant for us as children of God.

May we know heaven on earth.  May our neuroses fade away even as our ego withers.

Amen.

The Distinction between A Course in Miracles & A Course of Love

“Where the original Course in Miracles was a course in thought reversal and mind training, a course to point out the insanity of the identity crisis and dislodge the ego’s hold, this is a course to establish your identity and to end the reign of the ego.  (A Course of Love, P.8)”

Affirmation:  “Let us end the reign of the ego.”

Reflections:

1 – An Overview

This is a concise statement that will be amplified later on in A Course of Love.  It makes a clear delineation between A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.  We are led, farther on, to the understanding that we need further instruction, because with what do we replace the reign of the ego?  A Course of Love is Jesus’s next step in clarification for us.  To end the reign of the ego is a negative, but to live “establish your identity” is a positive.  Let us add our thought to his, the thought of our heart, to try to understand and to ask for a heartfelt key to our real identity.

2 – Jesus

We are children of God, and we are brothers to Jesus.  He has already walked the pathway, and in A Course of Love, later on, he says that accepting him is a necessary prelude to the pathway that we have chosen.  Of course, we learned in A Course in Miracles that there are other teachers, but we who are studying together have chosen Jesus as our guide, and it behooves us to accept him fully into our heart.  He can help us, even if we remained somewhat detached from him, but he can help us so much more if we truly invite him into our hearts.  Then the glorious blessings are not stopped by doubt.

3 – End of the Ego

So the reign of the ego ends when we have been through the whole trilogy of A Course of Love.  The first volume, which we are considering in the next several months, is still a learning experience.  Later on, we will find out that there is a time for learning to cease, and for observation to be our way in this world.  But I am getting ahead of ourselves.  For now it is enough to know that the truths of A Course of Love give us a certainty of salvation that we may have missed until now.  And A Course of Love (ACOL) gives us reassurance that our own imperfections do not truly matter.  Jesus can and will step in to correct mistakes that we have not been able to change (this is also a tenet of ACIM).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

My ego is what gets me in trouble.  It is weakened somewhat, in that I am not nearly as overtly goal-driven, in  an egoic sense, as I used to be.  I no longer thrive on competition (nor feel demoralized by competition).  So again today I ask that You help me to step aside from the egoic mind and to truly let the weakened ego just die.  When I say this, I am thinking of the ego as a part of myself that is actually an insane part of my mind.

I would follow my spirit, informed by You, from my depths.  By this I mean the Self that knows far better than my personal self what I should do next with my life.  And “next” means tonight and tomorrow, as well as years down the road.

Be with me as I seek to follow the way that Jesus points out for all of us.  May I be a good steward of the thoughts that we see in this coursework, and may I interpret with a clear mind and heart what my spirit understands.

Amen.

Beginning Today to Consider A Course of Love

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

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

Reflections:

1 – Beginning A Course of Love

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

2 – Seeking

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

3 – ACIM Dispels the Ego

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

4 – Embraced by Jesus

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

5 – Welcome Comments

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

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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

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

Amen.

The Solution Is with the Problem

“Ask all things of His [God’s] Teacher [Holy Spirit], and all things are given you.  Not in the future but immediately; now.  God does not wait, for waiting implies time and He is timeless.  (M-29.7)”

Affirmation:  “I would live in the Now today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Solution Is with the Problem

This is an example of the ideal in A Course in Miracles.  From my own experience, the closest example that I know, which I have found to be true, is that the solution is with the problem; that is to say, if we ask for help with a problem, I have found it very, very likely that the solution will come to me as guidance in a very, very short time.

2 – The Now

Time is an illusion, according to A Course in Miracles.  So eternity is the Now of which this passage speaks.  Certainly, in a limited way, we do not see answers to our prayers come, in the affirmative and quickly, all the time.  ACIM would not have us deny the sight of our physical eyes in this illusions in which we are caught (also called the “dream” of this world).

3 – Eternity

But in the Now, meaning eternity, we know that we are heading in the right direction.  There is, in this ideal, no past nor future, only the Now.  And God’s way is what gives us direction as we live from moment to moment.

4 – Ask

We are bade to ask for what we want and need, and our needs are always met (though some of our wants would not be in our best interests).  But ask we must.  We can seek to have our thoughts guided to the right circumstances that will show us the next step.

5 – Always Ask

But never be afraid to ask.  It is what we, as children of God, are meant to do.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am always amazed how quickly an answer comes when I have gotten clear on the question, and have asked for an answer.  Yes, the solution is with the problem.  Thank You for that.  You are always near.

I would not ask for frivolous things, but I would use my best thinking, my concentration, on that which I truly would like to have.  And my concentration will bring it to me.  I ask that I be kept from asking amiss.  You know the best pathway back to You, and that pathway is the one that I would stay upon.

Amen.

The Prayer of the Heart

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

Affirmation:  “God will protect me.”

Reflections:

1 – Important Passage

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

2 – An Impersonal God?

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

3 – Practical Help

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

4 – A Loving Father

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

5 – God “Let Go”

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

6 – A Paradox

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

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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

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

Amen.

The Way Out of Hell

“Do not, then, think that following the Holy Spirit’s guidance is necessary merely because of your own inadequacies.  It is the way out of hell for you.  (M-29.3)”

Affirmation:  “May I diligently follow guidance today.”

Reflections:

1 – Following Guidance

I am not yet consistent in following guidance, and some of the ways in which guidance comes to me are not entirely clear.  Perhaps this is the way for all of us:  We don’t follow consistently, and so we don’t always hear accurately.  We have not done our part.

2 – Insight about Guidance

May we recognize that the ways in which guidance comes to us may differ from person to person, and even differ for a given person over time.  The words that come into my mind that sometimes appear to be guidance are actually egoic in intent.  And the ego does not mean me well.  I pray for help in watching this ego of mine just dissipate, just wither away.  But the ego still dogs my footsteps, and when I am ego-driven, I am likely to be angry or in verbal attack mode.  Neither of these states of being are of God.  And I choose to follow His pathway.

3 – Becoming Stronger

My weakness, I know, can become my strongest point, with the Holy Spirit or Christ[-consciousness leading the way.

4 – Nighttime Dreams

Often my dreams are reflective of the guidance that is confronting me about any and all problems that may develop in my life.  So I try to listen to my dreams.  The ego has been silenced, I think (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM), in sleep.  Intuition works, and frequently works immediately after the intuition is received.  But all of us can make mistakes in following what we perceive to be guidance, and so we must apply the test of love to what we perceive.  Will this guidance harm anyone?  Or will it just make be feel uncomfortable?  We need to discern wisely, and sometimes kindred spirits in our inner circle can see clearly more than we can.

5 – Still Learning

There is much that I still do not know about guidance.  But I make learning about the way to travel a priority.  And I do trust that I will be led aright.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Sometimes I get stubborn about guidance, and I am reluctant to do the things that I feel are being asked.  This dynamic needs to cease in me.  Help me today to be a willing acceptor of guidance–all the time.

If I am being stubborn, ease my willful mind.  My heart would do Your bidding, for my heart is not influenced by the ego.  May the ego become a non-issue.

Thank You for walking with me today.  And tomorrow, and the day after.

Amen.

We Live in an Eternity. Be Happy Today.

“As God created us so will we be forever and forever, and we wish for nothing but His Will to be our own.  Illusions of another will are lost, for unity of purpose has been found.  (M-28.5)”

Affirmation:  “unity of purpose”

Reflections:

1 – Eastern Thought

We live in an eternity.  Be happy today.  The previous two sentences are from an Eastern master.  But I have long loved those words, as though they had been in my own religious tradition.

2 – God Will = Our Real Will

Here Jesus is saying the same thing.  Because God’s Will and our will are actually identical, we do wish to do God’s Will.  We do not want to wander off in tangents, seeking who knows what.  We want to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance, because it is the way home for us.  Nothing and Nobody else will do.  There is no other way, until we reach Christ-consciousness (as discussed, perhaps, by Jesus in A Course of Love).

3 – A Course of Love

We are united, yet in relationship to one another and to God.  A Course of Love talks repeatedly about “unity and relationship,” and to my eye this seems a paradox.  How can something united be in separate parts that would be demanded for a relationship to take hold?  I think that Answer is that we are One, and yet we have differentiated into seemingly separate entities, separate Selves, in order to experience all facets of reality (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or A Course of Love).  So the fact that A Course of Love counsels “unity and relationship” repeatedly is actually a fact that must be faced head-on.  We must be One with ourselves and our brothers and sisters, at the same time that we are in relationship one to the other.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be happy today, knowing that we live one day at a time.

May my day equal my magnificent expectation for it.

Thank You.

Amen.

The Way of Salvation Is a Fait Accompli

“Would you not learn the lesson of salvation through his [Jesus’s] learning?  Why would you choose to start again, when he has made the journey for you?  (M-23.5)”

Affirmation:  “Jesus has made the journey for me.”

Reflections:

1 – What Jesus Learned

We can listen to the words of A Course in Miracles, and hear first hand what Jesus learned 2,000 years ago.  He made the journey for us.  We do not need to do anything to merit our own salvation.  We are sharing his resurrection with him.

2 – Why Do We Struggle So?

What a blessing this really is!  This passage asks us, without saying so, why we make life so hard for ourselves, when the way has already been cleared.

3 – Journey without Distance

Elsewhere Jesus says that this is a “journey without distance,” and there is a well-known book on A Course in Miracles by Robert Skutch that says the same.  We are not really going anywhere; we are accepting a reality that we have never known before in as great a depth as Jesus is teaching us in ACIM (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).

4 – Choose What Has Lasting Value

We often choose activities because their value will not last.  We go on tangents, led by the ego, that leads to impossible learning goals that are inherently depressing and absolutely impossible of achievement.  We need to make a different decision today.  We need to ask for help in making that decision.  We need to choose only what has value that will last, for no value that is temporary is of any good to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the walk that Jesus took 2,000 years ago.  And he shares today what he learned.  His message in A Course in Miracles is clear, and this message is that salvation is ready for all of us to accept.  We do not have to achieve to accept salvation.  We are beloved.  We are as You created us.  As much as we disbelieve, we are innocent, guilty only of making mistakes–mistakes that are correctable and totally forgivable by ourselves and others.  You, bless You, do not extend forgiveness because You have never condemned.

Be with as we seek to incorporate the message of ACIM in our daily lives.  When we slip, You are there to catch our hand so that we do not fall on our face.  Be with us today as we take the journey without distance.

Amen.

To Us Jesus Looks for Hope

“You do not love yourself.  But in his [Jesus’s] eyes your loveliness is so complete and flawless that he sees in it an image of his Father.  You become the symbol of his Father here on earth.  To you he looks for hope, because in you he sees no limit and no stain to mar your beautiful perfection.  (M-23.5)”

Affirmation:  “hope and perfection”

Reflections:

1 – We Are Lovable

This passage sounds almost too good to be true, but A Course in Miracles says many things that are contrary to what our ego would say about ourselves.  Here Jesus is talking about our real Self, the Christ within (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  Here Jesus is assuring us that we are lovable.  We do not have to have gigantic inferiority complexes that defy our good sense.  It is our ego that has led us astray, but the ego is not our real personal self, or the Self–neither of these.

2 – Created in Our Father’s Image

Jesus sees that we are created in our Father’s image.  Biblical teaching says the same.  Would we continue to doubt this?

3 – To Love Properly

We do not love ourselves properly, though the ego may entertain many egotistical thoughts about how wonderful we really are.  We know in our heart of hearts that something is amiss.  But Jesus says that it is not our Self that is amiss.  We can be full of hope as we walk into a new day.

4 – Not Flawed

Jesus does not see us as flawed, however much we may believe that we are flawed.  We have the strength of God in us, because He is in us–and we can come to see that this is true by inner communion.  May we offer prayers of gratitude that this is so, that we really are strong and have no limit.  Elsewhere Jesus says that we are not without limits in this world, but here he is saying that there is a way around those limits.  Let us believe him.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May we sense, even ever so slightly, that we are not terrible people.  Jesus sees the best in us, and that best is quite good.  We do not believe this, because our ego has so twisted our minds that we think that to believe we are good is egotistical thinking.  It is not.  

But we are good only in our Self.  The egoistic self, the personal self, does say and do things that are regretful indeed.  But we, our Self, can ask for forgiveness of ourselves and others for these misdeeds, knowing that God has never condemned us.  Jesus shares the laudable attitude that God holds toward us.

Thank You for these reassurances.  We often feel little, poor, and miserable, but You would lift us up and assure us that we are holy in Your sight, for we are created in Your image.

Amen.

Is It Likely that Jesus Would Fail to Keep a Promise?

“Remember his [Jesus’s] promises, and ask yourself honestly whether it is likely that he will fail to keep them. . . .Would the greatest teacher be unavailable to those who follow him?  (M-23.3)”

Affirmation:  “May I hold Jesus’s hand today.”

Reflections:

1 – Jesus

Jesus is still with us, and we do not have to be students/teachers of A Course in Miracles to believe this.  Many people of great faith in other traditions believe the same.  In ACIM, he says that he will come with a single “unequivocal call.”  And elsewhere he says that we can imagine that he is holding our hand, and that this will be no “idle fantasy.”  Such words as these are blessings indeed!

2 – Metaphysical Truths?

How can Jesus be everywhere at once?  Doesn’t that sound a little bit like Santa on Christmas Eve (if we are skeptics)?  I do not know, but I do believe that there are metaphysical truths that our science is much too rudimentary to discover, and perhaps beyond our realm of physicality, there can be no rigid “proof.”

3 – Forgive and You Will Come to Understand

Do not be caught by ideas that seem too farfetched.  Just turn to the Holy Spirit for confirmation.  “Forgive, and you will come to understand,” was a statement I read in my college books, and I have remembered all these years.  Certainly forgiveness of ourselves and others is the central tenet of A Course in Miracles.  And with this forgiveness comes the understanding that has heretofore eluded us.

4 – Be with Jesus Today

Jesus is not the only teacher, but he is ours, if we choose to follow either/both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.  Seek him in your heart today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I choose to accept the words that I read in A Course in Miracles as true, even when my intellect balks.  Certainly we all know that our science is still learning, and there are laws of which we are currently unaware.  So I will choose to imagine, from time to time, that Jesus holds my hand as I walk along.  Thank You for this benign imagining.

Be with us as we seek You today.  Jesus can help us, and I do ask for his help.  May all of us contemplate the vast metaphysical truths that we are as yet only able to contemplate in imaginings.  May I let my imagination show me a new world, and may this new world be in Your Hands always.

Amen.

How to Understand Healing

“Healing is very simple.  Atonement is received and offered.  Having been received, it must be accepted.  It is in the receiving, then, that healing lies.  All else must follow from this single purpose.  (M-22.6)”

Affirmation:  “May I accept Atonement fully today.”

Reflections:

1 – Personal Note

I worry about those of you who read this blog, and today’s passage, are true believers, and are sufferers of any illness/sickness.  I worry that you will reject the message of A Course in Miracles outright.  Or perhaps you will feel depressed because you have long ago accepted Atonement, and it seems that this passage for today would make you doubt your good intentions.

2 – Many Forms of Healing

My answer, although incomplete, is that there are many forms of healing.  Primarily, I would like for you to entertain the truth that an emotional healing is sometimes what we see most often when we have turned to God in prayer.  The Holy Spirit gives us the miracle of accepting our predicament, though not by lying down in the dust and giving up.  The Holy Spirit would have us exemplify a fighting spirit, though not of the ego (for Jesus always counsels the peace of God).

3 – Ask and Receive Healing

And perhaps we have not been as “receiving” of God’s mercies as we might be.  Often we pray, over and over, for a healing, and then we forget to thank God for receiving that healing.  Jesus notes that the continuation of symptoms is not a reason to doubt a healing.  The healing has come, and it will be received when the time is right.  When a teacher of God has offered healing from the Holy Spirit, ACIM counsels that it is a fait accompli (a completed act).  So let us remind ourselves that in the receiving come gratitude for the receipt, and see if perhaps this is an aspect of healing that we have overlooked.  Our own habitual patterns of mind have much to do with emotional healing.

4 – Ask for the Right Prayer

Physical healing, even in this world, does happen.  And this is not always from delusions, or frantic cries of denial.  Jesus would not have us caught in denial.  If you feel stopped in a prayer for healing, an inner sense that this is not the right prayer, then perhaps it is time to contemplate what is the right prayer.  God is always there, carrying us when the Way is rough.  The solution is always with the problem (an ACIM tenet), but the solution may be something other than what we superficially want.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Not everyone who asks for healing experiences what he/she recognizes as healing.  Yet Jesus has told us that healing is always certain, and to doubt this is not appropriate.  May we go as far with this reasoning as it is possible for us to go.  If our minds balk, let us ask again with our hearts.  And then let us open our prayer to receiving, because just to ask, without also asking to receive, is to fail to complete the circuit.

May I have glorious, abundant health through all the days of my life.  May I recognized that medical symptoms do not mean that a healing has failed, because Jesus says that a healing never fails to come.  I do not understand this completely, but I recognize that Jesus is speaking in ACIM of the ideal.  May I walk, with my rational mind and my open heart, as far along the pathway to accepting this ideal as I am able to go.

Thank You for being here for me, and may others similarly find You present in their lives.

Amen.

A Felt Sense of Being Separate = Leads to Sickness

“A sick person perceives himself as separate from God.  Would you see him as separate from you?  It is your task to heal the sense of separation that has made him sick.  (M-22.6)”

Affirmation:  “I would not separate myself from anyone today.”

Reflections:

1 – Theology

This passage is part of the theoretical and theological construct of A Course in Miracles.  We do not have to take on the theology of ACIM if we find it impossible to accept.  Jesus says that ACIM is concerned with the practical most of all, and the practical will prove the validity of ACIM.  If the ideas work in everyday life, then we will then be more open to considering some of the theology and the theory in back of the theology.  Theological debates are always controversial and therefore dividing among people.  We would not be separate from our brothers and sisters, to whom we are meant to bring salvation (a Text tenet).  We do not force our ideas, or even ACIM ideas, on anyone who is not ready.  But when others express an interest in what has changed our lives (ACIM), then is the time to speak.  Always ask the Holy Spirit what to say, and we are told in ACIM that what to say will come unfailingly into our minds.

2 – Sickness = A Physical Reality in an Illusory World

Sickness is a physical reality in our world, but the whole world is illusory.  We are told this with certainty.  This does not mean that we lack sympathy for the ill.  In many cases, recognizing the illusion in which our brother or sister believes may give us more sympathy.  But we ask for a healing, knowing that healing will occur–even when it is healing that we cannot see as either physical or emotional.  The healing has occurred.  This, of course, is more theory, and, just as I said above, we do not have to take unto ourselves anything that is dividing or too controversial.  The more we work with A Course in Miracles, the more likely we are to see its truth and to stop arguing with its tenets.  We are told that we may actively resist some of the teachings of ACIM in the Workbook, but none of this matters.  We are simply to do the exercises, and it is these that will convince us that Jesus is not misleading us.

3 – How to Heal the Belief in Separation?

How do we heal the belief in separation that has caused sickness?  That is not up to us.  It is the Holy Spirit, the Communicator from God, who carries out the miracle.  We are merely the instrument in His Hands.  If we recognize that the sense of separation has caused the sickness, we may be more likely to give up the folly of bringing sickness upon ourselves.

4 – Do Not Blame the Victim

Note that none of this theology blames the victim.  Everyone is doing the best that he/she can, given the understanding that he/she has at any given moment.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I pray for Your wellness to follow me all the days of my life.  Help me fully to understand, while remaining in a positive mind slant, that sickness comes about when we believe in the illusory separation from You.  I would entertain only thoughts and words that illustrate our Oneness.  And I am a part of You, though the separation has made all of us find this idea a difficult one, and possibly one that would even be termed blasphemous.  This truth is not blasphemy.  Knowing–not perceiving–this truth is one of Your greatest blessings to me in this lifetime.

Be with us as we walk through another day.  May we remain grateful for Your manifold blessings to us.  May we focus on thanking You for those blessings.  May we never dwell on the negative, for to do so is to invite more negative.  We need to attract what You would have us attract, and that is only the good.

Thank You for allowing me to experience the felt Presence of You.

Amen.

Sickness = Our Decision

“Certainly sickness does not appear to be a decision.  Nor would anyone actually believe he wants to be sick.  (M-22.4)”

Affirmation:  “I would be well today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Desire to Be Sick

Sickness seems to get us something that we want.  That is its only purpose.  If we want to stay home from work, if we want sympathy, if we want love–we think that sickness will grant these desires.

2 – Sicknesses Are Chosen

But we conveniently forget, and cannot retrieve that it is ourselves that makes this decision.  We do not actually believe that some of the more horrific illnesses are chosen.

3 – An Explanation of Illness

And we are right–on one level.  It is not our personal self (usually) that chooses these sicknesses.  It is our Self, the part of us that we don’t have access to all the time.  But the Self gives us what we have, unconsciously, asked for.  God will still protect us from the very worst, knowing that when we ask for some things, we ask amiss.  His protection is always there, knowing not to give us more than we can withstand.  But the personal self longs for some of the sicknesses that we encounter, seeing them as learning devices.  And our personal self is not really wrong, for we do often learn from illness.

4 – Learning through Pain = Temporary

There is a better way, though.  Learning through pain is always temporary (a Text tenet).  Learning from rewards leads to permanent learning.  And it is this permanent learning that we need to request.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose the state of wellness today.  This is my personal self speaking, but it is also a request that my Self choose a way for me to learn that will keep me free of bodily or mental incapacity.  I would choose to learn in a “permanent” fashion, and Jesus tells us that learning through pain is always temporary.  Learning through rewards is lasting, and it is this learning through rewards that I would choose today.

Be with me as I seek to understand these concepts from A Course in Miracles.  We do not blame the victim, regardless of how we come to understand.  We know that there is a Self who is in charge.  To the extent that our personal self helps the Self to make decisions, let us will today to walk Your Way of wellness and wholeness, in body, mind, and spirit.

Thank You.

Amen.

How to Experience Healing

“That forgiveness is healing needs to be understood, if the teacher of God is to make progress.  The idea that a body can be sick is a central concept in the ego’s thought system. . . . If the body could be sick Atonement would be impossible.  (M-22.3)”

Affirmation:  “It is not really my body that is sick.”

Reflections:

1 – Mind Is Sick

The mind is sick that has influenced the body to present symptoms.  That is what is being said in this sometimes confusing passage.  Jesus would not have us deny what the physical eyes see, though he would have us recognize that was we are seeing, we are projecting, and we are projecting an illusion or dream.

2 – The Ego’s Part

The ego thinks that the body makes decisions, and therefore the ego affirms the importance and the primacy of the body in the ego’s thought system.  But it is all “mind stuff.”  The mind does not choose sickness, when it see s a better way.  Atonement would indeed be impossible if we believed that the body could manipulate us in such ways.

3 – Primacy of Forgiveness

Once again we see stressed in this passage the primacy of forgiveness.  Forgiveness does mean healing, and we will be healed, either emotionally or physically, or both, if we forgive ourselves and our brothers and sisters who have offended us in some way.  We do want to make progress, and only through forgiveness is this possible.  It is the one idea in our thought system that cannot be turned against us.  Forgiveness always heals, and if we can believe this, we will be well on our pathway.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I realize and correct today–immediately–any concept that sickens my mind.  It is the mind that makes the body appear sick, and I would pray for a healing of my mind, so that my body does indeed stay well.  I know that I am in Your Will when I pray for a well, illusory body.

I would let the ego wither away, for it is that part of my mind that makes my body appear sick.  This convoluted reasoning is against You, and I would be with You for all time and all places.

Be with me today, to lead me further along the pathway that leads to full understanding of forgiveness in my life.

Amen.

What Can the Teacher of God Not Heal?

“To forgive is to heal.  The teacher of God has taken accepting the Atonement for himself as his only function.  What is there, then, he cannot heal?  What miracles can be withheld from him?  (M-22.1)”

Affirmation:  “May I fully express forgiveness today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Ideal

This passage is another example of the “ideal” that is described in many parts of A Course in Miracles.  The words seem to say that there is nothing, once we have accepted the Atonement, that we cannot do, either through a healing or a miracle.  This certainly is a state that most individuals, even long-time students/teachers of ACIM, still aspire to attain.

2 – Miracle-Readiness

Elsewhere we learn that it is the Holy Spirit (and, sometimes, Jesus himself) who are attune to the miracle-readiness of our brothers and sisters, and then encourage us to perform a miracle.  We are not to do this on our own, because consciously-selected miracles can be misguided.  Always we perform what miracles we do perform under guidance higher than our own minds.  To do otherwise would be to invite the ego into our decision-making process about which miracles to perform.

3 – The Formula

Accepting the Atonement is sometimes equated with simple salvation.  Elsewhere salvation is seen as our only function.  And in yet other places, happiness is seen as our function.  So clearly these terms must be linked.  It is likely that from our joy, our happiness, we welcome salvation and we attain Atonement.  Then we are in a good position to perform those miracles that the Holy Spirit prompts us to perform.

4 – No Other Way

No other way will work.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would link in my mind today the fact of Atonement, forgiveness, salvation, and happiness.  Here is a working formula.  And may I accept that Jesus uses so many ways to show us how true reality works.

Be with me today as I seek to have a wonderful day.  I know that it is Your Will that all of us have joyous days, and those joyous days remain so when You are in the midst of them.

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

Let Your Words Be Chosen for You

“There are many who must be reached through words, being as yet unable to hear in silence. . . .The teacher of God. . .learns how to let his words be chosen for him by ceasing to decide for himself what he will say.  (M-21.4)”

Affirmation:  “May I hear in silence today.”

Reflections:

1 – Silence

It is quite possible to learn through silence.  Silence is often cited as the way that God speaks to us.  And when there has been no interior “voice,” we are not as likely to be misled, perhaps, by the ego.

2 – Words

But many of us still need words.  And those of us who are teaching do need to speak to make ourselves understood.  We ourselves may have learned through silence, but those we are trying to reach may, as yet, only be able to learn through the words that the Holy Spirit leads us to say.

3 – Mistakes

We can always be mistaken, and this includes the longstanding student or teacher of A Course in Miracles.  So often we want to get it right, and as the ego has not totally disappeared from our minds, we get it so wrong.  But there is a remedy.  We can always ask for help, feeling internally that the help will come, and we will always be answered.  It may take awhile for us to become aware of what help we have received, but the Holy Spirit does not leave anyone bereft.

4 – Our Words Matter

Be aware today that the words that we say may have a profound effect on another.  We do not realize how much our words really mean to another, especially our significant others.  And we need to realize, anew, that attack and anger give us nothing that we want.

5 – Make Time for Silence

So, let us hope for the silence today.  Make time for the silence.  And from that silence go out into the world to say the words that, after prayerful consideration, come to us.  The words will be far wiser than what we might, without divine help, consider saying.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Be with us today.  We need You always, sometimes especially so when things seem to be going so well.  We get cocky then, and think that we are farther along the pathway home than we really are.  Help us to realize the help that we need to walk gracefully is right inside us.  Your Communicator is within us, as You are.  Help us to be grateful that Your plan for the universe was so perfectly created.

Be with us as we seek our way home to You.  And may we always remember that help is only a request away.

Amen.

Herein Lie Hell and Heaven

“It is impossible that the prayer of the heart remain unanswered in the perception of the one who asks.  If he asks for the impossible, if he wants what does not exist or seeks for illusions in his heart, all this becomes his own.  The power of his decision offers it to him as he requests.  Herein lie hell and Heaven.  (M-21.3)”

Affirmation:  “May I ask for only what is true and real.”

Reflections:

1 – Personal Experience

I have been lost in illusions through one particular period early in my adult life.  My “prayer of the heart” was answered, and I was asking for what did not exist and was asking for illusion.  And they both came.

2 – Not Real

But was this real?  Indeed, no.  And God would have us to ask only for reality, the real world.  He will be there to see that we get the real world.

3 – Lost in the Ego

We are largely lost in the ego when we ask for what does not exist and for illusions.  Certainly I myself had, toward the end of my illusory journey, had discovered A Course in Miracles.  And within six months I had emerged from a 14-year illusion.  This miracle did not come of anything that I did.  I do believe that the Divine came into play.  And I have been mightily grateful for God’s action ever since.

4 – God Will Protect Us

I did not ask for anything that was bad for me.  I learned a great deal in that 14 years.  A Course in Miracles says that God will protect us when we ask for what is bad for ourselves.  It is no more than what a loving earthly father would do for his children.  (Paraphrases from ACIM.)

5 – A Kind of Hell

But we can make a kind of hell for ourselves when we ask for what does not exist or for illusions.  We need to test our prayer of the heart, to see that it is the right prayer.  And only a heartfelt desire to know and to do God’s Will will accomplish this miracle.  Especially when one’s force of will (informed by the ego) is very strong.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for walking with me through that 14 years in my early adulthood.  You knew what was best, and You, for the vast majority of the time, did not give me the “green light” to pray for what I wanted.  And so I didn’t pray for this dream, except for a brief three days, when the green light came through–not important in a 14-year journey.  Thank You for leading me to the very real life that You did plan for me.  And I have no regrets.  Part of what I was living was something that You authorized.

Be with me in the twilight years of my life.  Be with me for excellent physical and emotional health.  Help me to help others, and to attract to myself only what is Your highest and best.  May my thankfulness for the wonderful life that confronts me be something that You can see and acknowledge.

Be with all of us as we walk through the day, as we take journeys without distance, and finally find our home in You.

Amen.

The Prayer of the Heart

“What Is the role of words in healing?  Strictly speaking, words play no part at all in healing.  The motivating factor is prayer, or asking.  What you ask for you receive.  But this refers to the prayer of the heart, not to the words you use in praying.  (M-21.1)”

Affirmation:  “Guide my prayers today.”

Reflections:

1 – Healing

If we are trying to heal ourselves or a brother or sister, we must be sure that the prayer of our heart is to truly heal.  If we say words about healing, and do not believe that the person will live, we may be negating our prayer.  Or we may be correctly intuiting.  There will always be a healing, but some illnesses do end in death, and we do not know what happens after death (though there are psychic books on the market, which purport to tell us).

2 – Unbelief in the Heart

If we do not, in our heart, believe that a healing will happen, then we need to get quiet and ask for guidance.  Is it true that this individual will not be healed?  No, for elsewhere in the Manual, we are told that healing is always certain.  We cannot understand this, for there are many illnesses that do not get “healed,” as we define the word.  But I believe Jesus, and I believe that there is something going on here that I do not understand.  Let us all ask for the healing that Jesus says will come, and then may we accept what does happen.  There may be a greater definition of “healing” that we have ever known.

3 – Words May Be Meaningless

So know that to say words is virtually meaningless.  It is the prayer of the heart that gives us the desires of our heart.  And it is this that heals, this and only this.

4 – Prayer Is Asking

Prayer at its most elemental is asking.  And God does not turn His back on those of us who are His children, especially when we are in need.  It may sometimes seem that we have been abandoned, but this may only be a dark night of the soul (from St. John of the Cross, a medieval mystic), and the light will shine on us again.  Keep hope in your mind and heart and spirit, and see what miracles take place.  We will not have to wait long.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I pray for your comfort today, and I hope that this is the “prayer of the heart.”  I ask for a healing of anything that is wrong for my brothers and sisters, as well as myself.

Handle my heart with gentleness, and give me the understanding, in my heart, that I need.  I would follow Your guidance today, but I would not “force” myself if my form, my human body, is not ready.  Jesus says this to us in A Course in Miracles, in slightly different words.

Thank You again for the blessing of ACIM.

Amen

This Is Our Heritage

“This is your heritage.  The universe beyond the sun and stars, and all the thoughts of which you can conceive, belongs to you.  God’s peace is the condition for His Will.  Attain His peace, and you remember Him.  (M-20.6)”

Affirmation:  “May I know the peace of God today.”

Reflections:

1 – Everything

This passage is indicative of other statements in A Course in Miracles, in which we are told that our will is to have everything, and that everything has been given to each of us, all of our brothers and sisters, as well as ourselves.  Previously, we may have wanted some (little) something very much, as though to say, “If I have this, it will be as everything to me.”  But this little thing will never satisfy, Jesus says, for it is our will to have everything.  (These are paraphrases from ACIM.)

2 – The Universe

And so it is the universe that belongs to all of us, individually and collectively.  And when we attain the peace of god, we will know this.  When we are peaceful, we also want God’s Will, knowing that our own will is identical to His.  And we remember God.  This latter point is another way of saying that we have awakened (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).

3 – Law of Attraction

Whatever we can conceive of, we can have.  This seems like a very controversial statement, but it is line with the law of attraction (not an ACIM tenet), which is getting a lot of press these days.  If we cannot conceive of something, then it is not for us.  We only conceive of that which we can and may have.

4 – Own the Universe

What does it mean to own the universe?  It is an extravagant statement, likely meant to encourage to raise our sights to higher levels.  We are not limited, though in this world we do know limitation (an ACIM tenet).   When we have moved beyond this world, we will likely know immediately what this promise of the universe really means.  The Other Side is left for another day to explore.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would attract only what is good for me, but I would first filter these things through Your Will for me.  I know that Your Will and my will are actually the same, and if I ask something in my will that is not Yours, then the ego (an insane part of myself) has encouraged this decision.

We are encourage to believe that the universe belongs to us, the universe and everything in it.  This is an extravagant claim, but it is clearly outlined in A Course in Miracles.  Thank You for this blessing.  And may we never try to claim some small part of the universe, as though it would be all for us.  We want everything good, and may we have that today.  Thank You for guiding us as we make decisions about what to ask for.

And may our guidance be correctly ascertained by us.  May we not let the ego intrude on this most sacred of happenings, guidance from the Holy Spirit or the Christ within.

Thank You.

Amen

God’s Will Is My Will

“The contrast between His Will [God’s Will] and yours but seemed to be reality.  In truth there was no conflict, for His Will is yours.  (M-20.6)”

Affirmation:  “God’s Will is my will.”

Reflections:

1 – Only in Illusions Do We Differ from God about Will

We only, in illusions, believe that we want something for ourselves that God would not will for us.  When we are thinking this way, we are thinking through the ego.  When the Holy Spirit prompts us to say or do or think something, He is speaking for our real will, the one we share with God.  He is getting ready to give us what we really want.  Would we turn aside from this?

2 – Jonah

The distinction between God’s Will and our will then disappears.  We do not have to feel like the Jonah of the Old Testament, a lesson that would have us believe that we cannot escape God’s Will, even when we are acting as hard as we might to do something else.  I don’t know all the nuances of that type of thinking, but it is fallacious reasoning.  Jonah’s best action was actually to do what God wanted him to do.  In that alone would he find the joy and happiness that he, and all others, seek.

3 – Personal

I spent a long time in my early adulthood puzzling over God’s Will.  He seemed to be asking me to do something that I wasn’t sure I wanted to do.  But in my deepest heart of hearts, I did want to do what it seemed I was being asked to do.  I still do not have all the answers, but I followed that pathway for 14 years, and 30 years beyond, I have no regrets.  I expect that as time goes by, I will come to understand more than I do even now, 30 years later.

4 – How to Live Magnificently

Be with God.  Let His Universal Inspiration, the Holy Spirit, guide our steps.  There is no more magnificent way to live the best life imagined.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for putting to rest my conflict over Your Will for me.  We actually wanted the same things so many years ago!  I did not ask for my prayer to be answered, because I wasn’t sure that You wanted it.  You walked with me through 14 years, and now You have walked with me through more than 30 more.  You taught me much in that 14 years, and certainly I hope that You have done the same in the years since that pivotal time.  Be with me now ias I follow my heart and try to write in a way that will be beneficial.

Be wtih all of us.  Lead us to see the way that we can follow our hearts.  May we not toil and sttrive and worry in our lives.  There is so much stress in the world as we live it.  Let us realize that the stress originates in our own minds, and there it can be overlooked.  Let us have a flow to our das, following Your guidance.  May we turn to the Holy Spirit or the Christ deep within.  May we know what to do and say to help other people and ourselves.   We are One with You.  Thank You for the knowledge that this declaration is a truth for all of us.

Amen

In This Sentence Is ACIM Explained

“Forgive the world, and you will understand that everything that God created cannot have an end, and nothing He did not create is real.  In this one sentence is our course explained.  (M-20.5)”

Affirmation:  “May I forgive the world today.”

Reflections:

1 – Forgive and Then Understand

I do not fully understand this passage for today, and I do not fully understand the link between forgiveness and understanding.  I do remember a quotation from my college days, which said “Forgive, and you will come to understand.”  And now Jesus seem to be saying the same thing.

2 – Real Creation

No end to real creation!  That means eternity, and such a blessing it is!  We have made illusions, by projecting outward from within.  And our illusions, our dream, will not stand.  It will last awhile and then disappear.  But what I have termed the “intangibles” of God are lasting–the peace, joy, harmony.

3 – The Real Is Indestructible

And surely, somewhere, on some level of creation, there is the real that is indestructible, though A Course in Miracles does not describe any of this.  Perhaps we could not understand now.  Ruth Montgomery’s Guides said that there was much on the Other Side that would be incomprehensible to our limited minds.  May our minds lose some of their limitation, and may we see glimpses of the real.

4 – Nothing Real Can Be Threatened

The fact that today’s passage is said to explain the whole of A Course in Miracles is very, very important, of course.  It is akin to the epigram with which the Text begins:

Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.  (T-in.2)

May we revisit this introduction to the Text in our quiet time today.  The words are beautiful, and the meaning incomparable.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I forgive the things in my life that seem to go wrong, and then, as Jesus says, I will come to understand.  I do pray that the real will be shown to me.  I would step away from the unreal, because the unreal is a product of the egoic mind, and I would let that ego of mine wither away.  Be with me to ensure my safety as I make the transition to the real world.  You time this; I do not.  Help me to do what You say to me to ready myself for this pivotal transition.  May Awakening come sooner rather than later.

Be with all lives that I touch today.  There is no harm intended by me, and I ask that no harm ensue.  May my conscious and unconscious minds find peace in Your mercy.  And may I also find the love that we all seek in our everyday lives.  May my appeals for help be heard by those best equipped to heal.  Thank You.

Amen

Tranquil Mind

“A tranquil mind is not a little gift.  Would you not rather live than choose to die?  (M-20.4)”

Affirmation:  “I would choose to live.”

Reflections:

1 – To Live in This World

To be in this world without a tranquil mind is existing rather than living (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  Would we not rather choose to live?  And a tranquil mind can allow us to live in all the fullness that this world affords.  This world, as such, may not afford much, as Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that this world has nothing to offer (a truth that takes much consideration).  But even in this world we can be happy if we have a tranquil mind.

2 – Conditions of a Tranquil Mind

How do we seek out the conditions of a tranquil mind?  Surely we already know this answer.  We turn inward to God or His Communicator, the Holy Spirit.  (The Holy Spirit is also called the Universal Inspiration–from the opening pages of the Text.)  We slow down our frenetic pace, and we seek the quiet that only God can give.  We come to know peace, even in the midst of a busy life.  And we commune with God every chance that we get (and there are many chances, most of which, unfortunately, we ignore).

3 – Tranquility in a Quiet Mind

We would all know the tranquility that comes from a quiet mind.  Jesus says in ACIM that our goal is to become “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time.  Not everybody is ready to hear this, as some of us still long for drama in our lives.  But the more often we experience calm and quiet, the more desirous it becomes for us.  And calm and quiet can become very desirous indeed.

4 – Plea to God

We would choose a tranquil mind today.  Lead us along that pathway, dear God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I will never be truly happy, on a consistent basis, until I have settled down to serenity, to a tranquil mind.  I would do so today.  Be with me as I seek You in an ever more loving way.  You are found through love, and I pray that I always remember this.  You do not countenance drama in our daily life, and drama is a distraction supported by the ego and meant to keep us tied to the ego’s apron sttrings.

You want better for me.  You want better for all of us.

Help me to find that better today.  And tomorrow.

Amen

How Is Quiet Found?

“How is this quiet found?  No one can fail to find it who but seeks out its conditions.  God’s peace can never come where anger is, for anger must deny that peace exists.  (M-20.3)”

Affirmation:  “peace only today”

Reflections:

1 – Quiet

We will not fail in our endeavors when we are seeking out the conditions that lead to quiet.  When we have forsaken anger, we are making progress.  But doing so, forsaking anger, may be hard for us, as human beings, to accomplish.  That is why we need help.  And the Holy Spirit is always there to help.  Jesus is there to help if we ask him (“one unequivocal call,” a quotation from A Course in Miracles).

2 – Eliminate Anger

May we find this quiet today.  And when anger threatens to engulf us, let us seek out the conditions that will eliminate the anger.  How might we do this?  We must remember that anger is always of the ego, and we have willed the ego to leave us.  Anger is also brought on, in my experience, by stress (though not stated in ACIM).  Anger and attack have no justification, according to the Text.  We live in an insane world, and anger and attack are part of this insanity.  We would leave behind the insanity by choosing quiet over anger.

3 – God’s Peace

We will not have God’s peace as long as anger is a part of our experience.  It is certainly true that we don’t make this transition all at once.  Anger may rear its ugly head repeatedly (and A Course of Love makes this clear).  But as we experience the peace that passeth understanding (from the Bible), we realize that anger is not what we want.  We want the peace of God.

4 – Invite Peace

May we find peace today.  May we do the things that invite peace, and we have not come this far in A Course in Miracles without making some decisions about what to do and how to act.  We will continue to fall down from time to time, but we need to just pick ourselves up and try again.  And the Holy Spirit will always help.  It is His role.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would fall in line with the Holy Spirit’s guidance today, and in His guidance is found peace.  I will seek out the conditions of peace, which involve finding time for quiet reflection.  I know that You are found in quiet and in silence  You speak to us in silence through the Holy Spirit, our Universal Inspiration.  May I find some of His Inspiration today.

I would not be anger over anything, for I know that anger is an interpretation.  Nobody gets angry at facts; it is always an interpretation that gives us the emotion of anger.  Jesus tells me this in A Course in Miracles, and I believe his words.  May all whom I see today gain something from the peaceful countenance that I mean to present to the world.  Especially I ask for help in bringing peace to my significant others, especially my most significant brother.

Be with all of us today, on this, the first day of the rest of the eternity that we will live.

Amen

Still Mind / Vision Restored

“Here [God’s justice, pointing to Heaven] all attack and condemnation become meaningless and indefensible.  Perception rests, the mind is still, and light returns again.  Vision is now restored.  What had been lost has now been found.  The peace of God descends on all the world, and we can see.  And we can see!  (M-19.5)”

 

Affirmation:  “May my vision be restored today.”

Reflections:

1 – Light Returns

This passage reflects what we are trying to reach–our way home to God, with separation (as we perceive it) healed.  We do not feel the stress that leads to attack and condemnation.  We do not fret about what our perception shows us.  Our minds are still.  We are quiet.  “Light” returns.  And what is light?  The cleansed perception that we all want.  Until knowledge comes to replace perception, we aim for cleansed perception.  And with cleansed perception comes vision, but not with the body’s eyes.  The type of vision meant is the vision that the Holy Spirit gives, which allows us to “see” accurately and without judgment (only His judgment is relevant).  God’s peace returns to all the world.  And this includes all of our brothers and sisters, a description of what will happen when all have made their way back to God.

2 – Eons, but Take Heart

This is the ideal, and A Course in Miracles talks about this ideal quite a bit.  We should not be disappointed if we do not reach this ideal soon.  It may be eons away, “millions” of years, as Jesus says.  But as long as we are on the right pathway, the Holy Spirit will bring to us “happy dreams.”  These happy dreams presage the coming of Awakening, and the happy dreams must come if we are to awaken quietly, without fear.  Otherwise, we would be terrified by the light.

3 – Happy Dreams

There is a particularly apt passage in the Text in which Jesus says that when the light is turned on in a room where we have been asleep, we may at first fear, be afraid.  We think that the light is something to fear, that it is part of our dream.  But when we fully awaken, we soon realize that the dream we dreamed in our sleep was only an illusion, and we have nothing to fear.  The “happy dreams” of the Holy Spirit are akin to this.  We would be too terrified to welcome Awakening if we were still perceiving attack and condemnation.

4 – Awakening / Enlightenment

Be with us today as we seek Awakening.  We do not prepare the way; that is up to the Holy Spirit.  But we can be attentive to what we say and do, and then we will be more ready than not ready.  But we need to be humble about our part in what we do, because we have very little asked of us.  The vast majority of the work is done effortlessly by the Holy Spirit.  And we can be glad that our part is so small, for we would be sure to mess something up.  The Holy Spirit does not make mistakes, and certainly we do.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I convey to myself and others that it is not a bad thing for each of us, individually, if we, in trying to effect salvation for all, find that eons may pass before all are awakened.  In the meantime, we will either have the happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings, or we will have Awakening (i.e., Enlightenment).  We are meant to lead the way, though we must be careful of this statement, for surely the ego is pleased when we let unselfish motives be attributed to our doing.  We are led by You and the Holy Spirit (or Christ-consciousness) every step of the way.  We would know not what to do unless You were in the background, directing every step.  May we always attribute a good deed to the motivation that You have given to us.  And may we not take credit for what You through us.  By ourselves we could do nothing.  We would mess things up.

Be with me today as I seek to live these words.  May others take nothing unto themselves unless it finds a place in their hearts.

Thank You for this excellent day.  We are at the beginning of the rest of our eternity, and indeed, we know, somehow, because of You, that we will live in eternity.  Eternity is the Now.  And there is no time that is not Now.  May I remember this definition of Now throughout this glorious day.  Thank You for granting me happiness and peace and serenity today.

Amen.

Are You Afraid of God?

“You are afraid of Him [God], and do not see you hate and fear your Self as enemy.  (M-19.4)”

Affirmation:  “May I think calmly.”

Reflections:

1 – Afraid of God?

This passage is true because we project our God from within, seeing Him in our own image.  And that image believes that the true Self is Someone to be feared.  The true Self is elsewhere identified as the Christ within, or Christ-consciousness.  (These ideas are developed in A Course of Love.)

2 – Holy Spirit = Our Guide

We have no reason to be fearful of our true Self.  It is the ego that has led us to this impasse.  And we must be careful of nothing.  Let the Holy Spirit make the decisions that we are afraid to make.  Let Him guide.

3 – Internal Self

To hate and fear our own internal Self is a great deterrent to improved living.

4 – Forgiveness

How might we cease to hate and fear our Self?  We must entertain forgiveness of ourselves and our brothers and sisters.  The fact that we still hold something against ourselves and others is the point around which our problem revolves.  But we can, through greater insight, bring an end to this foolishness.  We can still see that we did not create ourselves, and it is only a detour into fear that we have made.  (Interpretations of ACIM, most not stated precisely therein.)

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I can remember when I feared You, and not in the sense of “awe,” which is what is meant in the Bible.  I really was afraid of You, fearing that I would be sent to hell for any of the childhood misdeeds that I did.  I know now that not is childhood a time of innocence, but so is adulthood.  Thank You for leading me to A Course in Miracles, which proves this point.

Be with me as I seek to enlarge not my ego, but my real Self, the inner Self that is a part of You.  As a part of You, I have never really been separated from You.  All of that thinking was a detour into fear, a fantasy that we forgot to laugh about.  So this tiny, mad idea took hold, and the ego of us all was born.  May the ego in all of us just cease to exist.  May we cense to depend on such a shallow basis for self-worth, for the ego can give no genuine self-worth.  You are the Source of my self-worth, as well as my self-esteem, and I would turn to and our Guide, the Holy Spirit, for the flow of my days.  Help this day to be good, and may I answer any need that is legitimately mine to answer.  I pray that You have guided me today.

Amen

A Miracle Worker? How Possible?

“Atonement means correction, or the undoing of errors.  When this has been accomplished, the teacher of God becomes a miracle worker by definition.  (M-18.4)”

Affirmation:  “Correct me today.”

Reflections:

1 – Atonement

This is what we need, all of us:  Atonement.  We need to have our errors undone, all corrected.  If this seems a long way off, then let us be patient.  Jesus says that for everyone to return to God, to undo the separation (believed in but an illusion), it may take millions of years (from the Text).  But we do not have to be disheartened by this analysis.

2 – Do Not Be Disheartened

Why not disheartened?  We are not alone.  God and His Communicator, the Holy Spirit, are with us constantly.  Indeed, we are a part of God.  We do not normally realize this, because we focus too much on the errors that our own “creation,” the ego, leads us to ake.  And Jesus will be with us when we have made one “unequivocal call” to him (a quotation from ACIM).

3 – Intuition Brings Our Help

Do we believe all this?  Perhaps not yet.  But give yourself time.  The truth will become manifest as we see our help come to us, intuitively, just as we need it.  Don’t second guess this truth.  Don’t be so quick to put up roadblocks.  If the intuition is honed by love, then it is likely to be genuine.

4 – Ego Makes Power Plays

“Intuitions” of the ego are usually power plays, and we do not want or need that.  Is the ego puffed up by this indication of what to do next?  Walk slowly, and think again about the best course of action.

5 – We Will Find Out Way Home

We will all learn eventually.  We will all find our way home.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would, in my own small circle of friends and acquaintances, become a miracle worker.  But I would listen for Jesus’s nod of what to do or say.  Only his guidance is necessary or desirable.  Anything else is misguided, because the ego gets involved, very involved.

Be with me today to find the Atonement anew.  Thank You for the times in my life when You have felt especially close to me, giving me Your advice.  Let me reach deep within me today to find You.  And let my manmade ego not intrude with unwelcome advice.

Help us to follow You today.  Help us to know how to help, how to heal.  If we need healing, may we find healing today.  And the same for all of our brothers and sisters.  May we attract that which You desire for us, knowing inwardly that health is Your choice for us.  Let us not intrude with ideas of illness.

Amen

A Mistake Is Not a Sin

“You but mistake interpretation for the truth.  And you are wrong.  But a mistake is not a sin, nor has reality been taken from its throne by your mistakes.  God reigns forever, and His laws alone prevail upon you and upon the world.  His Love remains the only thing there is.  Fear is illusion, for you are like Him.  (M-18.3)”

Affirmation:  “Love is the only thing there is.”

Reflections:

1 – Do Not Condemn Yourself

This is a reassuring passage, one that leads us to understand that God truly is Love, and that we have only made mistakes–nothing to condemn ourselves.

2 – When Afraid

When we are afraid, when fear has moved into our conscious minds, we need a remedy, and we need it now, not later.  The best remedy is to fill our minds with these reassurances that Jesus gives to us in A Course in Miracles.  The fear may make our heart beat rapidly, pounding in our chest, but we can still say to ourselves, “This is illusion.  I have no reason to fear.”

3 – Moving Away from the Abyss of Fear

And then we can distract ourselves from the abyss of fear in which we have fallen.  A Course in Miracles does not give specific practices, beyond affirmations in the Workbook, that can be called upon.  But most of us know that prayer, communion with God, helps tremendously.  And communion with God is emphasized in the opening pages of the Text.  We can also do something as mundane as listen to quiet, soothing music–praying as we listen.  We can talk to a significant other, if we have not called upon him or her so often that we have worn out our welcome.  And, of course, when fear comes, it is frequently in the middle of the night, when we do not want to awaken anyone.  Writing in a journal can help.  Some have found meditative yoga to be helpful.  I have found it useful to pray aloud, away from others in a quiet room.  Praying aloud seems to keep me on track.  If one is agitated, the best thing that we can do is simply to rest in that agitation, watching it subside gradually.  We will actually all get the amount of sleep that we need.  We need not fear insomnia, thereby making it worse.

4 – Is It Guilt?

If guilt is a major reason for our fear, then we can pray for forgiveness.  Remember that God does not forgive, because He has never condemned (an ACIM tenet).  But we need to forgive ourselves, and this we can do.  The ego may object, but then the ego does not wish us well.  We need to be gentle with ourselves; we need to wish ourselves well.

5 – Sin vs. Mistakes

Remember that the concept of “sin” and the concept of “mistakes” are very different.  Sin has an attracting nature, one that would have us repeat the same thought or action.  Mistakes, on the other hand, simply call for correction, something that we can do when our motivation is strong.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not be fearful today.  There is no reason that the daily activities need to make us afraid.  We can get excited, but better not to get fearful.  

You know that our emotions are often vacillating.  We feel one way one moment, and something entirely different just a moment away.  I would stop this merry-go-round of fear in its tracks by denying the ego its field day with my mind.

May You help me to turn to You repeatedly, anytime that the ego threatens to engulf me with fear.  Thank You.

Amen.

Forsake Anger / Guilt Forgiven = Overlooked Completely

“And now is guilt forgiven, overlooked completely in His sight and in God’s Word.

“Anger but screeches, ‘Guilt is real!’ Reality is blotted out as this insane belief is taken as replacement for God’s Word.  (M-18.2 – M-18.3)”

Affirmation:  “guilt forgiven”

Reflections:

1 – Varying Definitions of the Ego

Anger is empowered by the ego when it screeches at us, “Guilt is real!”  This is a tenet of A Course in Miracles which differs from traditional Christianity.  But then the ego was not known about, in the sense that we know about it now.  Freud changed all that, though Freud’s definition of the ego is not the same as that of Jesus.  Freud thought that we all needed a strong ego to mediate between the superego and the id.  Jesus’s definition of the ego as a part of our belief about ourselves, but not a necessary thing to secure a central place in our psyche.  Jesus would have the ego wither away (though he does not use the term “wither”).

2 – The Ego Becomes Strong in Strife

We cannot let the ego wither by trying to overcome it with drastic measures.  We cannot launch a frontal assault.  The ego becomes strong in strife (a Text tenet).  That is why anger is so real when the ego is in the ascendancy.

3 – Jesus Corrects Errors that Are Beyond Us

But we have only made correctable mistakes.  And Jesus stands at the end to correct all errors that we ourselves cannot correct (an ACIM tenet).  This suggests that he is our friend, as traditional Christianity tells us.  He is always there for us, taking our hand, if we wish to so imagine.  He says that this is no “idle fantasy” (a quotation from ACIM).

4 – Mistakes / Not Sins

Because our mistakes are correctable, they are not “sins,” which would seem to be forever uncorrectable without a sacrifice made by Jesus on the cross.  And Jesus in A Course in Miracles asks us to look beyond the cross to the resurrection.  He says that we make a mistake when we “cling to the old rugged cross.”

5 – Theology May Delay Us

These ideas are definitely a step beyond the New Testament, and Christianity as taught in most of our churches.  If we are not yet ready to entertain these concepts, do cling to the practical nature of A Course in Miracles.  Theology will only delay us, and we do not need to be controversial.

6 – Guilt Recedes when Anger Recedes

See if the idea of guilt does not recede when anger recedes.  That is really all that we need to test.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would let the ego wither; I would not accentuate the ego through anger, for the ego is strong in strife.  I would feel no strike today.  And that becomes easy when I am having a good day.  Thank You for this good day today.  And may the same occur tomorrow.  We need Your help to be happy, for many of us have not always thought that happiness is a laudable goal.  But it is one of our functions, along with salvation and forgiveness, and I believe that when we reach for salvation and forgiveness, we find ourselves, unaccountably, happy.  We grow from the days spent in pain, but we do not have to learn through pain, as Jesus says in A Course in Miracles.  We can learn through rewards, which give us a lasting learning experience.

Be with me as the day closes.  And help me to remember to express gratitude to You tomorrow morning, first thing, for another day in which to enjoy this world.  We are not meant to yearn only for a hereafter.  We are meant to be happy with this world as well, and the Holy Spirit will see that we have happy dreams in this illusory world.  Healing may occur for us, emotional and/or physical, and we would do well to remember that we are making the illusion that we live in.

Amen.

React Wholly without Anger

“God’s teachers’ major lesson is to learn how to react to magic thoughts wholly without anger.  Only in this way can they proclaim the truth about themselves.  (M-18.2)”

Affirmation:  “no anger today”

Reflections:

1 – An Interpretation that Is Not True

When one of our significant others says something that angers us, we can be sure that we have made an interpretation that is not true (based on ACIM).  If we feel that the statement is patently false, we may feel anger surging upward.  And we may react badly.  Is this how we would represent God’s Way to the individuals in our lives?

2 – Egoic Tantrums

If the thought stated by another is magical in thinking, then we especially need to be conscious to not responding with anger.  We will make the statement true for both of us.  We will lose ourselves in an egoic tantrum.  And it is not this that we would do.

3 – Major Lesson

The passage for today indicates that we have these ideas as a “major lesson”:  God’s teachers’ major lesson is to learn how to react to magic thoughts wholly without anger.”  This is a strong statement from Jesus.  How much better can we witness for God if we do not fly off the handle so often and so easily?  Yes, there is a major lesson here for us.

4 – How to Handle Anger

I have found that leaving the room, if our significant others react angrily to us, is an effective way not to verbally attack in response.  I have not found that “counting to ten” works very well.  There are always things that are on the tip of the tongue, ready to be said.  But a moment of quiet in another room is effective.  I welcome your comments to this posting, giving your ideas for avoiding verbal (or physical) attack when anger appears in our environment.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose to react in a lovely fashion when something seems to set me off.  You would have it thus.  Of this I am sure.  Help me to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, the encouragement not to lose my cool.

We need to think carefully about ways to react when we are struck by anger.  Attacking verbally, and certainly physically, are not good ideas.  We will alienate those closest to us, the ones with whom we have the holiest of relationships.

Be with us today as we walk through the day.  Help me to consider how to respond if I am provoked, and may that response be as gentle as You would wish, and that would be very gentle indeed.

Amen

Anger Recognizes an Illusory Reality

“Can nothing give rise to anger?  Hardly so.  Remember, then, teacher of God, that anger recognizes a reality that is not there; yet is the anger certain witness that you do believe in it as fact.  Now is escape impossible, until you see you have responded to your own interpretation, which you have projected on an outside world.  (M-17.9)”

Affirmation:  “I would not believe in the things that anger shows me.”

Reflections:

1 – “Nothing”

The “nothing” is the illusion.  And this passage for today also indicates that projection leads to perception.  We project outward what we are seeing and feeling internally.  We project an illusion, a dream.

2 – Anger at Interpretations

Remember that nobody can be angry at a fact.  It is always an interpretation that gives rise to anger.  (Paraphrases from ACIM.)  And the interpretation is always false, if it brings forth any emotion akin to anger or any action akin to attack.

3 – Projection Makes Perception

“Projection makes perception” is part of the theology of A Course in Miracles, and Jesus would not have us delayed by theology.  He is concerned with only what everyone can accept.  Theology may only delay us.  And we do so like to engage in debate!  Yet, for those who are ready to accept the theology, it is there for us in ACIM.  There is nothing without (from the Text).  There is nothing outside of ourselves (also from the Text).  When we come to see this, it will be a revelation that has shown the truth of it to us.  And we cannot convey revelation from God to another, because it is intensely personal to ourselves.  God knows how to speak to each of us in a manner that we can understand.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not be angry today.  I would not be agitated today, for stress leads, for me, inexorably toward anger.  Anger is not justified, because we are always interpreting, and we are interpreting illusions.  Why would we get mad at an illusion?

Thank You for these statements from Jesus in A Course in Miracles.  I am grateful everyday for the magnificence of ACIM, for what a blessing it is!  Be with me as I seek, everyday, to understand this channeled work of Jesus all the more.

Amen.

The Light of Hope

“Into this hopeless situation God sends His teachers.  They bring the light of hope from God Himself.  There is a way in which escape is possible.  It can be learned and taught, but it requires patience and abundant willingness.  (M-17.8)”

Affirmation:  “I will be patient today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Way

We would be doomed if there had not been others, including Jesus, who showed us the Way.  And now it is up to all of us to make a difference for our brothers and sisters who are caught in fear and insanity.

2 – Teachers/Students

We are all teachers and students at different times.  It is not arrogance to assume that one is a teacher of God.  We all teach what we would learn (a Manual tenet), and we do so all the time, even during sleeping hours (also a Manual tenet).

3 – Sharing

We would be in a hopeless situation in this world were it not that some have seen more, and therefore are willing and able to share.  These individuals are not above making mistakes, and also being ruled by the ego.  We have seen the shadow emerge in some of our religious evangelists in our lifetime.  So we need to ask for help from the Holy Spirit constantly, and we need to pray that our own shadow does not overtake us.  The shadow is a Jungian term, and it is not, perhaps, precisely equated with the term “ego” as used by Jesus in A Course in Miracles.  But to my mind the two terms, ego and shadow, seem close in meaning.

4 – Live What One Teaches

If we are seeking to be a teacher at any given time, we need to be very patient with our brothers and sisters.  If we do not live what we preach, we will not make very much headway with them.

5 – A Smile

And nowhere does Jesus counsel proselytizing.  He says, famously, that some are ready only for a smile.  We need to be ready and willing to share, if our brothers and sisters are interested.  But we need to desist if they are not.  We need to find a way for all of us to emerge from this “hopeless” situation.  And I believe that we all will (an ACIM tenet).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would offer smiles today to those who are ready for smiles.  But I would offer more, by way of sharing, if the individual wants more.  Only the other person can say what he or she is ready to hear.

May I have patience today.  Failing to have enough patience is one of my weaker points, and I would instead make patience an asset.  Be with me as I seek to find You in the many ways that You show Yourself in this world.  You are within me, of this I am sure–as You are within all of my brothers and sisters.  We project from within, making a world that is good or poor, depending upon our point of view.  Many people suffer much, and we are tired.  Be with us today as we seek to overcome inertia, and seek Your will in all that we do.  Help us to help others, even as we also are helped by You to do so.

Thank You.

Amen.

Anger Leads to Fear

“Anger in response to perceived magic thoughts is a basic cause of fear. . . . A magic thought, by its mere presence acknowledges a separation from God.  (M-17.5)”

Affirmation:  “I choose harmony over anger.”

Reflections:

1 – Anger and Fear

Anger and fear are closely related.  Somewhere in our deepest mind we know that we are seeing amiss, that we are not recognizing that the anger that we feel toward ourselves or others is a misperception.  We feel guilty, and fear is not far beyond.  We are caught in the ego.

2 – Magic Thoughts

The “magic thoughts” are never defined in A Course in Miracles.  But we know that magical thoughts, as defined by secular psychology, is a thought brought on by some form (major or minor) of mental illness.  It seems plausible that Jesus is using the term “magic” in the same sense.  We do not want to encourage our own insanity.  We are all insane, to one degree or another, in this world.  And it is when the insanity is particularly predominant that the magic thoughts appear in our psyche.

3 – Love

May we come to see that love is the answer to fear brought on my magic thoughts.  Love is always the answer, although we are not always in a mind slant that can see this.

4 – Superstition

I would surmise that magical thoughts are particularly prevalent when superstition reigns in our mind.  And it does, for some of us, a good bit.  It is particularly prevalent in sports, when we believe that wearing a particular shirt, for example, will enhance our team’s chance of winning.  There are similar ideas out there.  If we look further within, we know that this is, in fact, superstition.  If one is close to an athlete, perhaps knowing that we are pulling for him/her is sufficient to make the superstition seem warranted.  And the superstition may make a difference in the play on any given day.  But not always.  And that is the downfall of superstition.

5 – Harmony

May we choose to live in harmony today, not in anger of any kind.  And may we drop any and all magical thoughts, which we recognize, from our minds.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Although anxiety has dogged my steps all of my life, I would sooner rather than later let this trait drop from my psyche.  Anxiety and fear are closely aligned.  And any tendency still in me in regard to anger will accentuate the anxiety and fear.  Let me drop these negative emotions immediately.

Thank You for leading me ever closer to You on this day.  Thank You for the glorious day that is occurring.  May I not forget this blessing on days that are less good.  But You want my happiness, and so You would lead me to follow Your pathway all the time.  And that is my desire as well.

If anger intrudes today, help me to calm down.  I have found, over the years, that I never get angry unless I am stressed.  And so I would look to the removal of stress by You as a blessing to be sought.  Be with me as I seek to reduce the negative stress in my life.  The positive stress is actually good, and sometimes I forget this.  Positive stress does not lead to anger in my experience.  Thank You for being there as I seek to improve my reactions to my brothers and sisters, and also to myself.

Amen

Answer to Call for Help Comes Unfailingly

“The single aim of the teacher turns the divided goal of the pupil into one direction, with the call for help becoming his one appeal.  This then is easily responded to with just one answer, and this answer will enter the teacher’s mind unfailingly.  From there it shines into his pupil’s mind, making it one with his.  (M-17.3)”

Affirmation:  “May the Holy Spirit tell me what to say today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Holy Spirit’s Part

This brief passage for today does not mention the Holy Spirit, but that is the context in which the passage occurs.  And the Holy Spirit will specifically tell us what to say:  “. . .this answer will enter the teacher’s mind unfailingly.”  What a blessing this is!  If only we can believe, and indeed many of us can.

2 – Shabby Self-Image

Sometimes we get an indication of what to say that is embarrassing to us (from the Manual).  We need to be willing to let go of this “shabby self-image” (quotation from the Manual), and go ahead and say the words.  Jesus says that these “embarrassing” words will be far wiser than our own.

3 – Ego

May we have the strength to offer the words that come to us, if we are sure that they are not hurtful.  The Holy Spirit would never offer words to us that are hurtful, but the ego might.  And we sometimes do make mistakes in believing that the Holy Spirit is speaking when the speaking is actually coming from the ego.  (Interpretations, not stated in ACIM.)  We are not above making mistakes, though we may be tempted to think otherwise.  The ego is very wily.

4 – Be Quiet and Listen

But Jesus would not have us in conflict this way.  We will be shown the right words, the right way, if we quiet ourselves and then move in the direction of the leaning from the Holy Spirit.  If we are quiet and peaceful about the decision of what to say, we are more likely to be right, to have heard the Holy Spirit accurately.

5 – Follow Guidance as Soon as Possible

If at first we don’t do the bidding of the Holy Spirit, let us do that bidding as soon as we can get ourselves to act.  Sometimes we are walking a given pathway with a certainty that is misguided, and it is hard to turn on a dime.  But turn on a dime we must, and as soon as we can get our stubborn wills to cooperate.

6 – The Outcome is Joy and Peace

We will say to our brothers and sisters what the Holy Spirit wants said.  Then we will know both joy and peace.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Give me Your guidance, through the Holy Spirit, as I seek to help my brothers and sisters, and myself, today.  You would never lead me astray, but the ego’s wily ways might confuse me.  May I not know confusion today.  May the words that I say to others, and to myself, be right on target with Your will.  Make this happen, almost beyond myself, please.  

I ask You to stay with me if the words seem embarrassing.  I have felt this aspect of guidance, but carried out saying the words, and even then I was still embarrassed.  My self-image was not the best at the time, and so I know that this was the “shabby self-image” of which Jesus speaks.  I would leave that image behind, as I move into the Christ-consciousness that You would provide for me, when the time is right.

Help me to reach others today who may need to hear words of comfort.  May I remain calm and peaceful, even in the midst of any brewing storm.  And thank You for the blessings of this day already received.

Amen

Joy = Avoid Attack

“Attack can enter only if perception of separate goals has entered.  And this must indeed have been the case if the result is anything but joy.  (M-17.3)”

Affirmation:  “I would know joy today.”

Reflections:

1 – We All Want Love

Our brothers and sisters, and you and I, truly have no separate goals.  We may want different things, but we really, at the base, want only love in all its manifestations.  If we think that we want something else, we are deluding ourselves.  And this is always a form of insanity.

2 – Insanity in ACIM

A Course in Miracles says that virtually all of us are insane to one degree or another.  Only when we have experienced Awakening can we feel surely that we are at least partially sane.  And the experience of Awakening can come and go, not being sustained because our ego has not yet withered away.  We are very human in this world, and we make many mistakes.  The Holy Spirit can eliminate these repeated mistakes, if we will only give him a “little willingness” (quotations from ACIM).

3 – No Attack / Only Joy

I would not entertain attack in any form today, because I would know joy.  This is ample motivation!  If I am tempted to want to attack, then I will take a timeout, exit the room, and quiet myself down.  Sometimes the only thing that works in anger is a sudden removal from the temptation to attack.  Counting to ten in the same room as the one with whom we are angry will not always work.  Walking to another room, and stilling the emotions, is far more effective.  Many of us only get angry when we are stressed.  We need to get quiet, and the stress will dissipate.  (These ideas are not discussed in ACIM.)

4 – Joy = Our Inheritance

Joy is our inheritance.  We would do well to accommodate ourselves to this lofty blessing, and to do so we must relinquish anger and attack in all its forms.  Anger and attack have no foundation in truth (a paraphrase from the Text).  We are always angry at nothing, at an illusion.  If we recognize that our brother or sister is actually part of our illusion, we will not get angry regardless of what happens in the dream (i.e., the illusion).  We would not get angry at someone who was certifiably insane.  We might regret their behavior, but we would know that these individuals have reduced accountability.  And when they are once again in a sane mind, they will act more responsibly.  It is the same for all of us, because we all have insanity (an ACIM tenet).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May all of us leave insanity behind today.  When our egos are in charge, we insane to one degree or another.  We would not let our egos drive us around today.

May we know the joy of find You in all our dealings.  May we stay calm and serene, at peace with whatever happens.  May we just let the ego disappear, wither away faster rather than slower, embrace the love that is our inheritance.

If we fall on our faces today in any way, may this anger/attack leave us as suddenly as it arrived.  We do want to stay peaceful, in the extreme.  No other way is Your way, and we would follow Your way always.  Help us to stay true to this determination.

Thank You.

Amen.

Depression, Pain, Fear, Disaster Avoided

“If a magic thought arouses anger in any form, God’s teacher can be sure that he is strengthening his own belief in sin and has condemned himself.  He can be sure as well that he has asked for depression, pain, fear and disaster to come to him.  Let him remember, then, it is not this that he would teach, because it is not this that he would learn.  (M-17-1)”

Affirmation:  “no magic thoughts”

Reflections:

1 – Avoid Depression by Avoiding Anger

I would not know depression today.  If I am to avoid depression, I must avoid anger, because the two are linked in my mind.  Also pain, fear, and disaster come as a result of anger aroused by magic thoughts.  I would not place my faith in superstition, a form of magic thought.  I know that much that A Course in Miracles says would be seen by someone else, a non-student, as superstition.  But help me to know the difference.  My curriculum is A Course in Miracles.

2 – Peace and Harmony

May we gather together today in peace and harmony.  May we know that our true cure for all the ills of this world is found in relationships, holy relationships, with our brothers and sisters.  There is no other way, if we are to find our home in ACIM.  These holy relationships, salvaged from special relationships, will give us the peace and harmony that we seek.

3 – Special vs. Holy Relationships

How we do turn a special relationship into a holy one?  Intention has a lot to do with it (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  We must realize that our seeking for superficial qualities in a relationship is very, very likely to be our ego speaking to us.  God does not dwell in superficial qualities.  Beauty is fine, if the beauty is also internal.  The world itself, with its green and blue predominant, is beautiful in the extreme.  So God, we must believe, loves beauty.  But we must know that we will not even notice this beauty is our eyes are set on superficial qualities.  The material plane has much to tempt us.

4 – Magic in ACIM

I would set aside magic thoughts today, and by this I mean the magical thoughts that secular psychology also sets aside as being part of mental illness.  I do not mean the airy, attractive qualities of the definition of “magic” that is sometimes used.  There are these two different definitions, and the more benign one, the one that children believe in, is not to be deprecated.

5 – Keep God Central

Help me to have a good day.  I know that depression and pain will not be a part of this day if I keep God central to this day.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Today I have written my blog in a personal way, more personal than usual.  But I am actually also speaking to You.  I ask for You to assist me today to live a good day in Your sunshine.  I know that this kind of joyous living is strictly in line with Your will.

I would avoid depression and anger, and all the other negative adjectives that I have used in this blog posting.  Help me to choose again how I will react, knowing that the choice is within my power, with You helping me.  Help me to know that I can always choose the benign response and the loving response.  I don’t have to fly off the handle with rage.  I don’t often react that way, but my rage sometimes comes upon me suddenly and loudly, and I would cease this reaction entirely.  Help me to do so.

Be with all of my brothers and sisters today.  We are One, and it is to our good that You call us.

Amen

How to Avoid Pain

“No risk is possible throughout the day except to put your trust in magic, for it is only this that leads to pain.  ‘There is no will but God’s.’  His teachers know that this is so, and have learned that everything but this is magic.  (M-16.11)”

Affirmation:  “I would avoid pain today.”

Reflections:

1 – Definitions of “Magic”

Magic is sometimes used in quite a different way, with quite a different definition.  Jesus means “magical thinking,” which is an attempt to turn error to truth, and this is always a doomed prospect.  Magic, for us, sometimes means good things.  These are simply two different dictionary definitions.

2 – Error

We would not try to turn error, falsehood, into truth.  We would not turn from our dependence on God, the Holy Spirit, Jesus (and his helpers) to a dubious solution to our problems that is doomed form the start.  We will be free of risk if we depend upon the true and that which has value.  And our way is A Course in Miracles, which will prove its value to us if tested.  (And we are not discouraged from testing, though this is an interpretation not stated in ACIM.)

3 – Give Our Way over to God’s Way

We would avoid pain today.  And to do so we must not attempt to get our way to be God’s.  He may think very differently from what our sometimes ego-oriented mind may direct.  We are not beyond the temptations of the ego.  The ego will not be destroyed; it will just cease to matter to us.  And we must not make the mistake of “resisting” the ego, for in resistance the ego is made strong.  In conflict the ego is made strong as well (an ACIM tenet).  We just quietly turn inward, and all will be well.

4 – Attraction

I worry sometimes that relatively new ideas circulating in our world, the manner of “attraction” as a way to get what one wants.  Is this really wise?  Perhaps we ought to be certain, through much inward consultation, if what we are trying to attract is actually in our best interests.  And only God and the Holy Spirit (His Communicator) can tell us that..

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I avoid pain today, by seeking Your way exclusively.   I will try to be patient as You lead me to attract those things that are in my best interests.  Thank You for Jesus’s wise words, his healing of disease and illness, and his calm presence.  We may have Jesus with us when we don’t even realize this.  He has said that he would come in response to one “unequivocal call.”  I make that call now.

Be with us as we seek to attract only what is in our best interests.  We need the guidance of the Holy Spirit or the Christ within.  Otherwise, what we attract will turn to ashes and dust in our hands.  

Be with us.  I can think of no more needful prayer for today than this.

Thank You for answering me.

Amen.

Heaven Restored

“Yet each temptation to accept magic as true must be abandoned through his recognition, not that it is fearful, not that it is sinful, not that it is dangerous, but merely that it is meaningless.  Rooted in sacrifice and separation, two aspects of one error and no more, he merely chooses to give up all that he never had.  And for this ‘sacrifice’ is Heaven restored to his awareness.  (M-16.10)”

Affirmation:  “Heaven is restored.”

Reflections:

1 – Errors

We need to avoid making errors in our daily life.  We are so used to sacrificing for ourselves and others, and so used to believing that we are somehow separated from God, that we do not recognize that this is magical thinking.  When we cease to follow magical, erroneous, thinking, Heaven is restored to us.  We are aware of the presence of Heaven once again, and perhaps for the first time indeed, since our fall from grace.

2 – Awareness of Heaven

We may not sustain this awareness of Heaven.  Before Awakening is sustained, I know from personal experience that there are times of experienced Awakening that do not last.  Many of us know this.  Perhaps the moments were fleeting, and perhaps they extended over months.  It does not matter.  These are forerunners of the happiness that lies ahead.  We have the promise of a sustained Awakening, though A Course of Love indicates that nobody has sustained Christ-consciousness (it is unclear if this includes Jesus’s experience).  But the closer we live to God, the more likely that our gratitude for what we are experiencing will follow us “all the days of our lives” (quotation from the Lord’s Prayer).

3 – Magical Thinking

Magical thinking does extend even to “religious” practices.  We must earnestly seek to know if we are following God’s Will for us at any given time.  If we have any doubts, any straining to effect a specific outcome, we need to stop a moment, and ask ourselves if what we are wanting is really in our best interests.  It may not be.  God will protect us from ourselves, but we are given free will, and we can sometimes bring about outcomes that turn to ashes and dust in our hands, because those outcomes were not dedicated to God.

4 – Heaven

May Heaven be restored to us many times in our lives, including today.  May we avoid the temptations that so beset us from time to time.  May we turn to whatever practices help the most to avoid the temptation, with perhaps our communing with God at the top of the list.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for a glorious beginning to what I hope will be a good day.  There is so much that You hold out to us, to experience in this world–so much that is good.  We mislead ourselves when we think that You want sacrifice from us.  You want us to care for ourselves, and our brothers and sisters, but these are loving gestures, and if done with the right attitude, will not entail sacrifice of anything that our Self values.

This Self is the Christ who is in all of us, waiting for recognition.  I would so recognize today.  I would not delay any longer.  I know that I am asking in Your Will, for You want us to be happy.  And happiness is a lofty goal, not inferior as I once thought years ago.

Be with us today.  Help us to walk Your way.  And may I find joy in the daily activities of this day.  Most days are generous in their joy, when we have turned out hearts, minds, and spirits over to You.  May I do so today, all day long.

Amen

How to Avoid Temptation

“The avoidance of magic is the avoidance of temptation.  For all temptation is nothing more than the attempt to substitute another will for God’s  (M-16.9)”

Affirmation:  “avoid temptation”

Reflections:

1 – How to Avoid Temptation?

How might one avoid temptation?  There will be temptations along the pathway that we walk, and there is no getting around this.  We are not perfect, even, perhaps, when we have awakened.  (A Course in Miracles is not definitive about this, but A Course of Love
indicates that we will still not be perfect.)  The best way to avoid temptation, or, more precisely, not to accept the tempting thing that is offered, is to ask for help at the “point of contact.”  When we are tempted, we are seeking something of the ego, the part of ourselves that thinks that it has separated from God.  We think that another will (our imperfect will) will get us something that we want, something more than the everything that we are promised.  (Yes, we are promised “everything” in ACIM.)  Jesus says that it is as though we would say that we want this one (little) thing, and it will be as everything to us.  But this one little thing would not satisfy for long, and in so doing we are making a pact with our ego–and the ego always fails us.

2 – ACIM‘s Definition of “Magic”

What does “magic” mean in this context?  It is akin to mental illness, the “magical thinking” that secular psychology describes so precisely.  We are thinking things that are not true, and never can we make the true out of the false.  The false will remain false, and it will take us down with it.  We do not want this.

3 – Following the Will of God

If we have love for God (and all of us do, or we would not have read this far), then we will want to follow the Will that grants us everything that we really want.  We really want the intangibles, the promises that God gives; but we also want the material, and we should not think, wrongly, that God Himself cares little for the material.  Jesus recalls to our minds the lilies of the field, and their beauty, and the lilies do not toil.  Yet they cannot compare even to Solomon’s glory.

4 – May We Avoid Temptation

May we not fall prey to temptation today.  May we know that the idea that there is something out there that is better than what God would give is an anomaly.  We will always get the best when we attract it through our gratitude and love for God and our brothers/sisters.  And we must always love ourselves as well, even when we have disappointed ourselves.  We cannot measure up, ever, because we are trying to be perfect, and that is essentially a disheartening message.  The Bible does quote Jesus as saying that we should be perfect, even as the Father in Heaven is perfect.  But I think that there are mysteries here that we cannot understand until we have walked the whole pathway back to God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would stop, consider, and not go forward when I sense that I am trying to somehow get around Your will for me.  Please help me in this endeavor, today.  I would not seek to walk a different pathway, an egoic pathway that will take me far from You.  You want Awakening for me; I know that this is Your will.  But I need help.  And You are there for me.  This I know.

May I say the right things to reach my brothers and sisters, especially those in my immediate circle and those who read this blog.  I would help and not hinder in any way.  

Be with me through this glorious day, this harbinger of better days ahead.

Amen

Placing Reliance on Self Alone = Always Faulty

“He must be sure success is not of him, but will be given him at any time, in any place and circumstance he calls for it.  There are times his certainty will waver, and the instant this occurs he will return to earlier attempts to place reliance on himself alone.  Forget not this is magic, and magic is a sorry substitute for true assistance.  It is not good enough for God’s teacher, because it is not enough for God’s Son.  (M-16.8)”

Affirmation:  “reliance on self alone is magic”

Reflections:

1 – Relying on the Ego

Reliance on self alone is reliance on the ego that is a part of the personal self.  The teacher/student of God does not make this mistake if he wishes to have a good life, the kind of good life that God wishes for him/her.  We are used to placing reliance on ourselves alone.  The world teaches toward this, believing that good judgment is an asset to be favored and developed.

2 – Judgment Faulty

Yet we cannot have good judgment, because we cannot know all the facts surrounding any issue.  Our judgment, our personal judgment, of the same issue may seem right at one point, wrong at another.  We do not know.  Only the Holy Spirit knows all facts surrounding every issue, along with how our thoughts and actions will affect others beyond ourselves (in addition to ourselves).  So we give up judgment, and in so doing, we are blessed.  The burden is gone.  And it was all a fantasy, a false idea that we ought to develop our judgment to its heights.  (These ideas are paraphrases from the Manual.)

3 – This Definition of “Magic”

The word “magic” in this context is not a good thing.  It is akin to the secular psychological idea of “magical thoughts,” which suggest mental illness.  We do not always use the term “magic” as a negative, but Jesus here uses it in this way.  There are many different definitions of the same word in the English language, and this is one of them.

4 – Students/Teachers of God

Remember that only time (which does not really exist) separates the teacher of God from the student of God.  We are actually all both teacher and student (paraphrase from the Manual).  We do not always realize when we are teaching, but when we are teaching (which goes on all the time), we are drilling in to our own psyche the very things that we are trying to convey to our brothers and sisters.  We have often recognized that the teacher in a secular classroom learns best the lesson that he/she is teaching, and learns it better than the students who sit in the classroom.  This is akin to the passage selected for today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would recognize guidance and follow it as much as I can possibly bring myself to do.  If I hesitate, I will stop a moment and ask, “Why?”  I will not barrel ahead to a dubious conclusion.  My ego’s judgment is always faulty, and the personal self frequently is trapped in egoic thinking.

May I know that relying on the personal self is not the best that I can do.  I need Your help, and I know that there is no shame in acknowledging this need for You.  You are always there for me, and I would thank You for this commitment from You.  I am a part of You, but I do not see the whole picture that You see.  Help me to see more and more of the picture, though, as I turn to You ever more frequently.

Be with all of us as we seek You today.  And may today be a glorious day, even as the rainy weather cures the parched soil that I see outside my window.

Amen.

Awakening / Christ-Consciousness

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

Affirmation:  “I have God’s protection.”

Reflections:

1 – Awakening / Christ-Consciousness

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

2 – Temptations

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

3 – Struggle = of the Ego

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

4 – No Fretting / No Worry

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

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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

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

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

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

Amen

Yes, We Are Safe

“There is no difference in his state at different times and different places, because they are all one to God.  This is his safety.  And he has no need for more than this.  (M-16.7)”

Affirmation:  “I am safe.”

Reflections:

1 – Inaccurate Definitions of the Ego

God is with us, closer than our breath, because we are part of God.  We have made a separate part that believes (inaccurately) that this tiny part has actually separated from God, but this would be an impossibility, because God is the All.  This part that we only “think” separated is the ego, and we do not need this particular definition of the ego to maneuver our way about our world.  This definition of the ego comes close to Freud’s, but is not equal to it.  This ego is a part of our belief about ourselves (a Text tenet), and believing in its viability makes a lot of turmoil for us.  We are better to live egoism out of the picture.  This definition is also not exactly “egotistical.”  Certainly the egotistical come into play, but this ACIM definition of the ego is more basic.  We do not have to afraid of it, but this seemingly separated part of ourselves is  mightily afraid of our real Self, knowing that we will withdraw all allegiance to it when we have experienced the joy of God as a sustainable state of mind and heart.

2 – No Egoistic Attractions

We are safe when we do not attract egoistic things into our lives.  We can even enjoy the material without feeling guilty, as long as we knowingly give God His place in our lives.  We do not even have to be religious in the usual sense.  Teachers of God (a Manual tenet) come from all religions, and from no religion.

3 – God with Us

God is here for us when we need Him.  He is also here for us when we don’t recognize that need.  But what joy when we do recognize and acknowledge His place in our lives.  There is no better way to live.

4 – Foxhole Religion

Safety is a big concern to many of us, particularly if we have been physically or emotionally vulnerable at some point in our lives.  If we have hit bottom, so to speak, we may have become quite open to religion.  But this religion of the desperate is not the best that we can hope to have.  The foxhole religion falls away when out of the foxhole.  It is far better to live a quiet life, even one as busy as we desire, but one that acknowledges that we can’t do everything on our own.  We actually know this, whether or not we have acknowledged God’s place in our lives or not.  There is no way for has not seen that life could be lived a better way.

5 – ACIM and ACOL

A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love come to us to show us a better way.  There are thousands of other courses (a Manual tenet), but ACIM (and, perhaps, ACOL) are our way.  So why should we seek further?  There will always be apparent reason for more seeking, because we are so used to doing it.  But A Course of Love says that there comes an end of seeking and an end of learning.  Let us be glad that we know enough to welcome God into our lives.  And may we know His joy in everyday life.  This is a quite attainable goal.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You that I do know, in the depths of my being, that I am safe today.  I know it for I feel Your Presence, in my better moments.

Help me to intuit the real meaning of the ego, as described in A Course in Miracles.  I know that it is part of myself, but I do not have a handle on how to describe this, except in terms of what it is not.  Help us all today to reflect a bit on the ego and to have the certainty that, even though we can’t pin it down, we do know what Jesus is talking about.  And we would let that part of our belief about ourselves just wither away.  We would not struggle to end the ego, for resistance makes the ego strong.  We would just turn aside from the ego and all that it means.  And, in so doing, we are turning our hell into Heaven.

May I study and derive a great deal from my reading.  And may I commune with You on an almost constant basis.  That is truly the way home.

Amen

A Guide Who Will Not Fail

“He has a Guide Who will not fail.  He need make no distinctions among the problems he perceives for He to Whom he turns with all of them recognizes no order of difficulty in resolving them.  He is as safe in the present as he was before illusions were accepted into his mind, and as he will be when he has let them go.  (M-16.7)”

Affirmation:  “I follow my Guide.”

Reflections:

1 – A Loving Guide

I am constantly amazed at how loving our Guide actually is.  Our Guide, the Holy Spirit, is the Universal Inspiration, and the Communicator for God.  If God is Love, and most of us believe that He is, then would not His Communicator be a fount of Love as well?  It all makes perfect sense, in my way of viewing life.  But I am still surprised by the attention to detail, and to my own sense of drama (when my Guide responds even though I have brought some of my agony onto myself).

2 – Quiet in the Early AM

These early morning hours, when I am writing today, are helpful in the extreme.  Richard Carlson, a bestselling author, from time to time told in his books of his writing from 3 to 6 a.m.  He found the quiet then to be helpful in his creativity.

3 – Holy Spirit Closer at Night?

Is it not also possible that the Holy Spirit seems closest to us when the rest of the world is quiet?  Even the birds are not yet singing, and their chorus will eventually herald the dawn and make us glad that we have lived to experience yet another day.  Our Guide is here for us to consult at these times.  Let us not waste these moments.

4 – Solace

We are safe in this world, even when tragedy strikes.  The Holy Spirit, as God’s Communication Link with us, is ever with us.  And He provides the solace that we sometimes need when our hopes have been dashed, and also when we have reached in extremis, or the end of our dreams.  Other dreams will be given us; we need not fear.  We will not be left bereft.  Time, ever an illusion, is still our friend at such times.  And we need to turn to God in prayer, knowing that He is here for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Last night, once again, I awoke after three hours of sleep.  And prayer did not, this time, seem to calm me.  I turned to Your secular gift, music.  And all was well.

Thank You that You do not distinguish between spiritual and secular remedies.  All is Yours.  And I am Yours.  

I often am amazed at the calm that descends in the middle of the night, when I have offered my prayers to you and then turned to music to soothe.  And the music doesn’t have to be particularly calming, but just music that I like and that speaks to my spirit.

Be with me today as I seek You amid a busy world, with not quite enough sleep.  May You and I together have a good day.

Amen

Pure Joy / Limitless Release

“There is one thought in particular that should be remembered throughout the day.  It is a thought of pure joy; a thought of peace, a thought of limitless release, limitless because all things are freed within it.  (M-16.6)”

Affirmation:  “pure joy. . .limitless release”

Reflections:

1 – All Things Freed

This passage is one of my favorites, for it tells us exactly what attitude to bring to this world–even in the midst of this world’s sorrows.  The very words are uplifting–pure joy, limitless release.  And we learn that all things are freed within this attitude.  All things.

2 – Personal Experience

Is this a viable option for us in our daily lives?  I sometimes wonder, but mostly  I remember taking this passage to heart years ago, and returning to these glorious words–pure joy, limitless release–over and over.

3 – Imprisoned Will

We have lived with an imprisoned will (ACIM tenets), because we have given the ego the right to lord over us.  As soon as we get our priorities in order, and we turn our lives, mind and heart, over to the Holy Spirit, His guidance takes the place of the very dubious places that the ego has led us.  And the ego has led us to unhappiness, for that is what an egoistic attitude does.  We have flights of “joy,” but we are then plunged into despair.  We think, in an egotistical way, that we have done better than our brothers and sisters, and then along comes something that lets us realize that we are pretty lowly, miserable, and a failure.  This is the way of the world.  And sometimes, until we are brought very low, we do not question the validity of any of this.

4 – Helen and Bill

When we are brought very low, whether physically or emotionally, we are in most cases led to the same place that Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford (co-scribes of A Course in Miracles) were in the early sixties.  Bill said that there must be another way, rather than to be embroiled in political fights in an academic world.  And Helen spontaneously offered to help Bill find another way.  Shortly thereafter, she began having mystical experiences that frightened her very badly.  Then she heard, “This is a course in miracles.  Please take notes.”  And she did.

5 – Vahle

The story has been told and retold, but it bears repeating, for to my mind it is a place to which we are all drawn before we begin to live differently.  We do not have to take A Course in Miracles as our Way, for there are countless ways.  But to those of us who are drawn to ACIM, it is “our” way, and we would do well to listen to its tenets.  Students/teachers of ACIM have had their lives transformed, but not everybody does have this experience.  Bill did, Helen did not.  (See Vahle’s book review in this blog; look under “Articles and Book Reviews” at the top of the blog.)

5 – Affirm

So, just for today, experiment with saying the affirmation for the day over and over.  If we are lucky, and if we are faithful to the intent of the words, we will have a very good day indeed.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I do believe that today’s title for my posting is my favorite quotation from A Course in Miracles.  Certainly I have returned to these words countless times:  “pure joy. . .limitless release.”  They promise a freer life than sometimes I lead.  Give me that freer life today, please, I ask of You.

Be with all of my brothers and sisters as I go about my little world today.  May I spread some sunshine in my rounds.  And may I know that it is You Who is guiding me.

Thank You for the guidance of Your Universal Inspiration, the Holy Spirit.

Amen

In an Instant of Time Join with God

“One can as easily give God only an instant, and in that instant join with Him completely.  (M-16.4)”

Affirmation:  “I join with God in my quiet time.”

Reflections:

1 – Eyes Closed

This is an excerpt from a passage in which we are told that one can also sit with eyes closed for an hour and yet accomplish nothing.  So time, being an illusion anyway, is of insignificance when we are trying to “reach” God.  We are trying to sink downward, into ourselves, enough to be able to “touch God” (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).

2 – God Is Within

If God is within, and our projections make perception (whether of the ego or the Self), then what we see outside ourselves is actually part of the ego or the Self.  We are all One, and God is One with us.  This understanding tears holes in the idea of a Fatherly presence above the clouds, wearing a long, white beard.  We need to get over making God into an image that we can comprehend (or think we can).  He can “appear” anyway that would be valuable to us in our understanding, but my interpretation is that He is the All.  (Much New Age thinking has asserted this.)  But the All is One, not polytheism (or that everything is a god).

3 – Personal Experience

If we give God that moment of immediate joining, I have found that quietness is essential.  Often I pray aloud while alone in the kitchen, preparing breakfast.  This is not the first moment of the day, but it is close.  And I find that I calm down, am free of anxiety about an upcoming stressful day, when I have given these moments to God.  Jesus says that it is with the practical that A Course in Miracles is most concerned.  And so this practical turning to God, while my hands are busy but doing something that I know how to do very well, is illustrative.  God needs our attention to bring our minds and hearts back into His fold, and we need to remember that length of time is not the most important aspect.  Sincerity in reaching deep within is.

4 – Reaching God

Experiment a bit today with reaching God.  He is not hard to find.  We have often heard that He is as close as our hands and feet, or our breath.  Indeed!  For we are part of Him, though that is not the whole of it.  He has individualized, or differentiated, Himself into the many brothers and sisters that we see–indeed, of all that we can see and much that we cannot (for there are other levels of existence which our physical eyes cannot see).  Be with God often today.  It is the very best way to live.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me today to be good to others in my life.  Life sometimes throws us curves, and I would not send back any attack that seems to be aimed in my direction.  Help me to remember to take a timeout when life throws me a curve.

I need my quiet time today, and be with me during that time, please.  Our busy lives should not mean that we edge You out.  We always need to feel Your presence.

Thank You for so often letting me feel Your presence.

Amen.

It Is Well to Start the Day Right

“Broadly speaking. . .it can be said that it is well to start the day right.  It is always possible to begin again, should the day begin with error.  Yet there are obvious advantages in terms of saving time.  (M-16.2)”

Affirmation:  “I start the day aright today.”

Reflections:

1 – Before Arising

While our heads are still on the pillow, we ought to have a word with God.  We need to dedicate the upcoming day to His purposes.  And we need the strength and gentleness that turning to Him will bring without fail.  Then as we get up, may we say a word of two of gratefulness for the lives that we have.  (This is a recommendation from Rhonda Byrne’s books).  The fact that we start the day aright does, as Jesus says, save time; and ACIM notes that, at least in the beginning of our study, we ought to think about saving time.  This world has worn on wearily for eons, and if we believe nothing else from ACIM, perhaps we ought to realize that we too think that there has been enough suffering.  Let us do nothing that will bring on more suffering.  May we choose to offer joy to ourselves (we do have this as an option), and our brothers and sisters.

2 – Start the Day Again

If we do not begin the day aright, or if we try and fail, then Jesus offers us a way out:  We can choose to start the day again.  And this can happen as often as we fail in our thoughts, words, and actions throughout the day.  He will be there to help us.  And the Holy Spirit will offer the guidance that we so desperately need in living our lives.  He knows all circumstances–past, present, and future–that impinge on any decision, and He will never lead us wrong.  Perhaps we mistake His Words, but that is a different issue.  If discerned correctly, His Words are always on the beam.

3 – Begin Again

So:  Let us resolve today to begin again whenever necessary, but, optimally, let’s get the day started right from the very beginning.  And we will then know the blessing of a good day, optimally lived.  We will surely save some time in that thousand years that we are promised in ACIM we will save for ourselves, and our brothers and sisters.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the reassurance that even when things get started badly on any day, there is a solution.  Jesus offers it:  Just start over.  Thank You for this insight from my elder brother.

Be with me throughout the day today.  Even as I write, I sometimes need to reread what I have written, for You speak to me and correct what I have said.  I may be misinterpreting about this, but I do believe that You guide me.  I do not always know when, and I can make mistakes about guidance.

Help me to have a good day.  Help me to be good to those who are struggling through the day.  They won’t tell me that they are having a bad time of it, but I will recognize in the ways that I am spoken to.  Be with me to offer compassion.

Amen.

Routines Dangerous

“Routines as such are dangerous, because they easily become gods in their own right, threatening the very goals for which they were set up.  (M-16.2)”

 

Affirmation:  “Let me not be temped to fall into a comfortable rut.”

Reflections:

1 – Routine or “Rut”?

The word “routine,” in this passage, seems to me to be akin to a “rut.”  All of us know that ruts, while comforting because we try to eliminate or, at the least, reduce variety in life, are also confining.  We find that trying to avoid change is stressful in and of itself.  Of course, it is possible to reduce the pace of change, which may, in the short term, be a good thing.  If we are addicted to drama  (something A Course in Miracles counsels against), then we might well benefit from some slowing down of change.  But to seek out routine and ruts as a way of life is counterproductive to a full life, the kind of glorious living that Jesus would have us to find in this world.

2 – This World

This world is not necessarily bad in and of itself, but what we have made of this world is often bad.  We struggle more than is necessary.  We come to see our struggle as the “way of the world,” not subject to our own whims.  But if projection makes perception (as ACIM says), then we do have some choice in the manner of how we perceive the less enjoyable parts of this world.  We do not have to focus on the bad.  We can do what we can to help (and we should do that much), but we can remind ourselves that our brothers and sisters, on some level–the level of the Self–have chosen these experiences for reasons that we can only guess.  We ourselves, in the meantime, need to be certain that we do not attract into our personal space the things that hurt.  Attitude is everything.

3 – Lilies Do Not Work to Be Beautiful

It is important to note that ACIM wants our material needs met as well as our emotional.  We are reminded that lilies do not “work” to be beautiful.  We too can see that our way would be smoother if we were not our own worst enemy.  Let us pray today that we cease bringing trouble onto ourselves by default.  We can and must attract better living, and A Course in Miracles (and A Course of Love) are two of the many books that are here to help us.

4 – Our Help

Our help, of course, does not have to come solely through books.  Our brothers and sisters may offer words of encouragement, or even just a quick word said as an aside–and with these words we can see our way clear to living a better way.  God’s Way is always the best way, but (in a personal interpretation) I do not think that God requires that we accept more than we are ready to see.  If we have intellectual problems with a Deity, God will be patient with us.  And Jesus will help, a concept that we may find even more unlikely than the fact of God’s existence.  We need to realize that our way in this world can be a beautiful experience, especially when we live and walk in love and forgiveness.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Give me a soft voice today.  I sometimes think that I speak too authoritatively when I am right about something, something that somebody else is “wrong” about.  These can even be objective facts, not opinion.  But nobody appreciates being corrected.  I need to soften a bit, not to raise ire by being so “right.”  Would I rather be right or happy?  ACIM recommends being happy.

Help me not to fall too quickly into routines/ruts.  I think that I need a schedule to my day, so that I feel at the end that I have accomplished something.  But is this what the Holy Spirit would counsel me to do?  I think not.  I think that the flow of the day is more line with spiritual teaching.  And stopping often to help another, a brother or sister.

Be with me today as I seek to avoid routines/ruts.  Thank You for the morning that took me out of myself.  Ease my relationships in this new place for me.  

Thank You.

Amen

How Should the Teacher of God Spend His Day?

“How Should the Teacher of God Spend His Day?  To the advanced teacher of God this question is meaningless.  There is no program, for the lessons change each day.  Yet the teacher of God is sure of but one thing; they do not change at random.  Seeing this and understanding that it is true, he rests content.  He will be told all that his role should be, this day and every day.  And those who share that role with him will find him, so they can learn the lessons for the day together.  (M-16)”

Affirmation:  “My lessons do not change at random.”

Reflections:

1 – Assurance of Guidance

This passage once more assures us of guidance.  And that guidance is described as being from the Holy Spirit, or Universal Inspiration.  We need to consider very carefully the ways in which guidance can come to us.  In reality the ways are numberless, but it is also possible to categorize some of the more obvious ways in which guidance comes to us.

2 – Intuition

The primary quality for many of us is an internal feeling, which may be described as intuition.  We just have an inner knowing of the right next step to take.  We do not often see a whole pathway stretch out before us; normally we are given the route in a step-by-step fashion.  And we are given that route at the moment that we need to take it.  By what way could it happen otherwise, without confusion?  If the Holy Spirit showed us an end far in the future, would we not fret that we are unable to fulfill the often grand ideas that He has for us?

3 – Reading

Sometimes the guidance comes through reading, especially inspirational reading.  A Course in Miracles is an obvious choice, but I do not counsel opening the book at random and seeking for magical answers.  Jesus warns us about magical thinking, and we can be led very much astray by techniques that partake of randomness.  I believe that it is far better to read bits of ACIM meditatively, and to wait for the guidance to emerge full in one’s thoughts.  Of course, we are human and we do make mistakes.  So we must ask ourselves if anyone would be hurt by the thought or action that we contemplate.  Love is the central theme, along with forgiveness, and nothing borne of love or forgiveness is likely to lead us astray.  This is not romantic love, though, but a settled good feeling toward our brothers and sisters.  Romantic love often speaks to the emotions, and emotional reactions can easily be of the ego.

4 – Period of Quiet

A period of quiet at the beginning and end of the day is almost mandatory.  If we do not subscribe to this idea, there are other ways that the Holy Spirit can reach us.  But sometimes we can avert suffering by listening to Him ahead of time.  When we have been quiet, taking in His counsel, we are less masochistic.  And masochism is at the heart of many of the things that go wrong in our lives.  Not for all of us, but for some.

5 – Devote the Day to God

So, let us devote this day to God.  Let us follow His way with a dedication that we ask Him to give us.  And, at the close of the day, be sure to thank Him for guiding throughout the day.  If the day was not optimal, ask for a better tomorrow.  And seek to spend a few minutes in contemplation over what went wrong and why.  Over time, more days will go right than wrong.  This is my experience, though not stated directly in ACIM.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Guidance has been much on my mind today, and perhaps that is not a coincidence.  Indeed, Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that there are no accidents in salvation.  That is reassuring, even as it prompts me to be careful what I think and pray about.

Help me to follow my intuition today.  I am posting this blog late in the day, because I got an inkling of feeling that I ought to wait, to post later in the day today.  Why?  I do not know.  But I do think that maybe I will come to know.

Help my brothers and sisters who need help with their little as well as their large problems.  Give them (and me) the assurance of what to do to live a sane and joyous life.  I know that joy is the hallmark of my contact with You.  And I thank You for that.

Amen.