Tag Archives: ACIM guidance

I Am Free

ACIM Workbook Lesson 201 – for Wednesday, July 20, 2011

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

“I trust my brothers, who are one with me.  (WB388)”

Reflections:

We are free when we realize that our real will and God’s will for us are actually identical (a Text tenet).  Until that day, we live with an imprisoned will, one that brings us pain as well as suffering.  But Jesus says in the Text that we do not have to learn through pain, that this type of learning is at best only temporary, and that learning through rewards is lasting.  We need to adopt the attitudes that will lead us to learn through rewards, if we are to have any lasting peace.

We are free when we follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance (a frequent assertion in this blog).  He chooses for us (a Text tenet).  He would see that our real will is in the ascendant.  He would lead us home.  We do not know the way ourselves, and if left to our own devices, we would be destroyed by the pain and suffering that is all around us in this world.  When we experience the truths of A Course in Miracles, we can rise above the pain of this world.  We will still see illusion, and it is a particularly bad interpretation of ACIM to say that there is no pain or suffering.   We will still see it, but we will recognize that it is illusion, or (in the Eastern sense) maya, and we will know that it is not real.  This does not mean that we will fail to be supportive of our brothers and sisters who are suffering.  We will ask for healing, and we will know that it has come–because it always comes.  If there are continuing symptoms, we will not lose our faith.  The healing will be accepted at a time and place that is right for the recipient.  (All of the above are paraphrases from the Manual.)  Healing that has been offered in good faith is always granted.

We do not need to doubt that our healing has not worked.  Jesus directs our miracles, and we should not attempt to do so ourselves (a Text tenet).  Ask in full belief that we will be heard, and we will be heard.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose healing today for my intimates.  I would also choose healing for my brothers and sisters in my circle.  And help me to choose healing for myself.  You have done much over the last few months to straighten out the kinks that sometimes develop in my life.  I would choose to walk the smooth pathway, the harmonious way.  Help me to do that consistently.

As so often, I ask to feel Your presence today.  May my errors of judgment fall aside as I seek to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit today.  May I turn on a dime when I get the indication that You would have me make a new and different choice, as the events of the day unfold.

Amen.

Echoes of the Voice for God

ACIM Workbook Lesson 171 – for Monday, June 20, 2011

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

“1.  All things are echoes of the Voice for God.

“2.  The power of decision is my own.  (WB332)”

Reflections:

These two brief sentences (above) both have to do with guidance.  We are doing the choosing, but if we follow the tenets of  A Course in Miracles, we will make a choice informed by the Holy Spirit.    He may speak to us in many ways–intuition, an inner “knowing,” dreams, visions, the words of a friend or even a stranger, a chance word caught from a radio or television broadcast, a passage in a book, etc.  The whole world is the purview of the guidance of which we hear in these sentences.

We may not always have to feel that we are puppets on a string.  That is why we are told that the power of decision is our own.  We choose whether or not to get help in our decisions, in our choosing.  And the closer we come to Awakening, the more the help seems to be Self-chosen (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  This Self is the larger spirit of which we are a part, the part that is not on this earth (an interpretation, not specifically stated in ACIM).

We would carefully consider the messages that come to us, to be sure that our own ego has not intruded and is misleading us.  We can also make incorrect assumptions when under great stress or when emotionally ill.  None of this need concern most of us in everyday life, except for the fact that the ego will try to intrude.  Ask for help in discerning, and that help will be given us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would hear the Voice for You, the Holy Spirit, in my life today.  I would ask to make plain, through Him, what You would have me do, what decisions You would have me make.  I realize that the hearing becomes stronger the more consistently I listen.  Thank You.  Help my listening to be consistent today.

May this be a good day.  Spring is often a time of new beginnings, and I would recommit today to You and Your Way.

Amen.

Our Appointed Role = Selected by the Voice for God

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

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

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

Reflections:

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

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

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

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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

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

Amen.

God vs. the Holy Spirit

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

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

Selected Passage:

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

Reflections:

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

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

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

Prayer:

Dear Mother/Father,

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

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

Amen.

Beyond This World Is a World We Want

ACIM Workbook Lesson 129 – for Monday, May 9, 2011

Affirmation:  “Beyond this world there is a world I want.”

Selected Passage:

“This is the thought that follows from the one we practiced yesterday.  You cannot stop with the idea the world is worthless, for unless you see that there is something else to hope for, you will only be depressed.  Our emphasis is not on giving up the world, but on exchanging it for what is far more satisfying, filled with joy, and capable of offering you peace.  Think you this world can offer that to you?  (WB235)”

Reflections:

Here we see that this world has never really satisfied us.  Elsewhere we read in ACIM that no joy has not been bought with tears.  The only real happiness that we have ever known here has been the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (a Text quotation).  These happy dreams may have come also before we discovered  A Course in Miracles.  It does not matter.  The Holy Spirit has shadowed us all our lives.

But the happy dreams of the Holy Spirit are only a transition, a transition made necessary because otherwise we would be too fearful to welcome Awakening (a Text tenet).  We might even become depressed unto suicide if our illnesses were cured prematurely; we have come to depend on the unhappiness that we say we want to rid ourselves.  We are calmed by the happy dreams from the Holy Spirit.  We learn what I have stated so often, that the goal is “perfect calm and quiet” all the time.  We learn that drama is not what we want after all.  We are being prepared for Awakening.

Then, at the perfect time, God leans down and draws us to Himself in Awakening.  We would do well to surrender and resurrender to Him, but not to try to rush Awakening.  We cannot anyway.  It is all God’s doing.

Prayer:

Dear Mother/Father,

Help me today to find the world beyond this one that I really want.  This is the “real world,” in which all the dreams are happy, and as our reality turns happy, we are made ready for You to take the next step and to awaken us.  I would move closer to that great blessing today.

Help me to be kind to my brothers and sisters today.  Give me patience with their foibles, and give me patience with my own as well.  We need Your guidance, and whether this guidance is purely internal, or an intuition prompted by what seems to be external to me, I do not choose.  I leave it all up to You.

Amen.

Light and Joy and Peace

ACIM Workbook Lesson 112 – for Friday, April 22, 2011

Affirmation:  “Light and joy and peace abide in me.”

Selected Passage:

“I am the home of light and joy and peace.  I welcome them into the home I share with God, because I am a part of Him.  (WB205)”

Affirmation:  “I am as God created me.”

Selected Passage:

“I will remain forever as I was, created by the Changeless like Himself.  And I am one with Him, and He with me.  (WB205)”

Reflections:

These affirmations and selected passages are probably meant for meditation (though there is a difference of opinion among ACIM students/teachers as to how much meditation is taught in A Course in Miracles).  We are told that contemplation is tedious, and that it is not “our way” (a Text tenet).  Our way is the relationship that we have with our brother (or sister), in that the special relationship is turned into the holy relationship.

The best way that we can gain today, that we can walk toward God, is to reflect on the words of ACIM that I have typed above.  Further words do not seem warranted.  Jesus has said it best.  Let us listen to him and take unto ourselves what he has said.  Then the way Home will come ever closer, because we will be saving time.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I relax in the meditation that this day’s lesson invites.  May I leave words alone, and listen to the silence.  May I “hear” what the silence says and know what the Holy Spirit is saying to me.

Amen.

Serve the Spirit = Be at Peace and Joy

ACIM Workbook Lesson 96 – for Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Affirmation:  “Salvation comes from my one Self.”

Selected Passage:

“Spirit makes use of mind as means to find its Self expression.  And the mind which serves the spirit is at peace and filled with joy.  Its power comes from spirit, and it is fulfilling happily its function here.  Yet mind can also see itself divorced from spirit, and perceive itself within a body it confuses with itself.  Without its function then it has no peace, and happiness is alien to its thoughts.  (WB169)”

Reflections:

This is a passage that tells us how to be happy.  Happiness is not necessarily a selfish concept, though many of us may have vestiges of this misguided interpretation.  When we are happy, we are the most available to the others in our lives as well as to the outside world.  We are not turned inward as neurotic souls without a desire to reach out at all.  This is real sickness, this obsessive turning inward.  And it will get us nowhere, because it is a sure sign that the ego is in charge (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).

The “spirit” mentioned her refers to our own spirit, but that is a part of the Holy Spirit, for the Spirit is within.  We will be filled with joy when we turn ourselves over to this Higher Power, when we let our intuitions rise to the surface and we follow guidance.  Then and only then will we know the happiness of fulfilling our function of forgiveness in this world.

The mind divorced from spirit is in the hands of the ego, and the ego does not mean its maker well (a Text tenet).  Then we lose our joy, and we descend into unhappiness and neurosis.  We would not have this outcome come to us, and we would be rid of it if this state of mind has already arrived.  Let us reach higher.  Let us find our one Self.  This is not as hard to do as might be imagined.  It can happen today.  May it happen today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I remember, hour-by-hour, to serve my inner spirit, which is a part of my link with You.  My link with You is the Holy Spirit, and may I listen intently to what He tells me.  May I have a good day.

I know that the only way that I can be at peace and have joy consistently is to serve the spirit.  This need not seem “too religious” for me, because it is the most practical thing in the world.  We are not meant to make our own judgments, which would always be incorrect, but to turn to the Holy Spirit with our perplexities.

Amen.

Peace to Every Mind = By Forgiveness

ACIM Workbook Lesson 82 – for Tuesday, March 23, 2011

Affirmation:  “The light of the world brings peace to every mind through my forgiveness.”

Selected Passage:

“My forgiveness is the means by which the world is healed, together with myself.  Let me, then, forgive the world, that it may be healed along with me.  (WB147)”

Reflections:

The affirmation and the passage are both very reassuring and comforting.  If we just dwell a moment on the words themselves, we will find ourselves more at peace.  This peace assumes that we actually believe the words.  And a student/teacher of ACIM will soon find that his or her understanding is enough to believe the words.

Affirmation:  “Let me not forget my function.”

Selected Passage:

“This may threaten my ego, but cannot change my function in any way.  (WB147)”

Reflections:

We ought actually to be glad when the ego is threatened (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  When the ego is threatened, it is on the way out.  And we do learn, along our pathway, that the ego is constantly being undone.  If we are still ruled by egoistic thinking, we will feel depression at such times.  But the best way to handle this depression is to know that temporarily we have let fear, in one of its many guises, rule us.  We have believed that the ego would save us.  And nothing is farther from the truth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I bring peace to everyone whom I meet today.  This  is a high goal, but with Your help, I am confident I can reach this goal.  Be with me if conflict threatens to disturb this day.  Let Your peace overshadow all.

Thank You for answering my prayer for guidance.  Keep me willing always to follow Your way.  Keep me willing to turn on a dime, when I sense that the way I am taking is not Your highest Will for me.

Amen.

I Have No Problems

ACIM Workbook Lesson 80 – for Monday, March 21, 2011

Affirmation:  “Let me recognize my problems have been solved.”

Selected Passage:

“If you are willing to recognize your problems, you will recognize that you have no problems.  Your one central problem has been answered, and you have no other.  Therefore, you must be at peace.  Salvation thus depends on recognizing this one problem, and understanding that it has been solved.  One problem, one solution.  Salvation is accomplished.  Freedom from conflict has been given you.  Accept that fact, and you are ready to take your rightful place in God’s plan for salvation.

“Your only problem has been solved!  Repeat this over and over to yourself today, with gratitude and conviction.  (WB143)”

Reflections:

The one central problem was separation, a belief that had its origin in putting our faith in our own judgments as interpreted by the ego.  We thought that we were all alone in the world.  Oh, yes, we might have companions in our brothers and sisters, but always this alliance was subject to disruption, due frequently because we did not know how to forgive.  We blamed others for our own mistakes.  We also blamed them for mistakes that impacted us.  And all of this “understanding” was so misguided!

Today we can live free, with the knowledge (not perception only, for that is of the ego, until the perception has been cleansed by the Holy Spirit) that we have no problems.  We will be told all that we should do in every situation that perplexes us.  We do not have to make anything in to a problem.  If we blow up our issues, surely we will allow ourselves to be overwhelmed, and this is a poor way in which to welcome guidance into our lives.  We may be so upset that we cannot hear the guidance accurately.  So let us put all of this nonsense behind today.  May we realize that our problems have been solved, that the Holy Spirit is with us internally as the communication link to God.  We can find solace in a confused and confusing world; we do not have to take it into our minds and bodies through stress or illness.

Illness is an external searching (an ACIM tenet).  And we now know that we can look inwardly for our solutions.  Let us do so today.  And may we thank God that our problems have been solved.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You, dear God, for leading me to realize that regardless of what appears in my life, my problems have been solved.   I have no problems!  If this seems too good to be true, let me look within and listen to Your holy Word, and I will know that all is perfect just as it is.

I realize that this does not mean that there will not be the appearance of problems.  But these are illusions perpetrated by living in an illusory world.  I ask for Your reality today.  And I know that Your reality is good and pure, healthy and prosperous.  Let no illusion to the contrary shake my faith today.

Amen.

What Would God Have Me Do?

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

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

Selected Passage:

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

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

Reflections:

1 – God and the Holy Spirit

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

2 – Guidance and the Holy Spirit

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

3 – Walking a Holier Path

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

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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

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

Amen.

My Happiness + My Function = One

ACIM Workbook Lesson 66 – for Monday, March 7, 2011

Affirmation:  “My happiness and my function are one.”

Selected Passage:

“Think. . .about. . .the many ways in which you tried to find salvation under the ego’s guidance.  Did you find it?  Were you happy?  Did they bring you peace?  We need great honesty today.  Remember the outcomes fairly, and consider also whether it was ever reasonable to expect happiness from anything the ego ever proposed.  Yet the ego is the only alternative to the Holy Spirit’s Voice.  (WB111)”

Reflections:

This passage explains more fully what we reflected upon yesterday.  Spend some time thinking about the pathways that the ego has led us down.  We were not ultimately happy.  Not one joy was wholly joyous; it always gave us reason for tears–or if not tears, at least a “down” feeling at the conclusion.

Why the down feeling?  In our innermost being, we were being untrue to ourselves.  We knew that we were not following the highest and best of which we were capable.  We did not have sustained happiness when following the ego.  We might have had a momentary “high,” but that is all.  And it was followed by pain.  We would not wish pain for ourselves or any others.  And the way out is to listen for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The Voice of the Holy Spirit can be a bit confusing, because we have not often known exactly what to look for.  If we perceive this Voice more as “intuition,” perhaps the way will seem clearer.  We know inwardly, on some level, when we are veering from the right pathway.  This is the Voice speaking to us.  The baptism of the Holy Spirit is there for all who ask for it.  Let us ask for it today, if we have not ever found solace in intuition.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would try to understand today that what You will for me is my happiness.  And my function will reveal my happiness to me.  Let me leave aside the temptations of the ego, which is that part of me which has never wished me well.  I must learn that the only way for me is the way that You direct through the Holy Spirit.

Help me to be consistent in following Your guidance.  And I always will know what You wish for me.  Your still inner Voice speaks softly, but it speaks distinctly.  As long as I am functioning normally, I will know Your Voice.  Help me today to follow that Voice without fail.

Amen.

Escape from All Difficulties

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

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

Selected Passage:

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

Reflections:

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

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

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

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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

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

Amen.

Forgiveness. . .the Way to See Our Innocence

ACIM Workbook Lesson 60 – for Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Affirmation:  “God is the love in which I forgive.”

Selected Passage:

“. . .[F]orgiveness is the means by which I will recognize my innocence.  It is the reflection of God’s Love on earth.  (WB100)”

Reflections:

We do not need to be justified in the sight of God; He has already forgiven us.  But, frequently, we do need to be justified in our own sight, because we have not forgiven ourselves.  When we forgive another, we also recognize that we ourselves are worthy of forgiveness.  It is the gift of God, but it is one that we all too often withhold from ourselves.  And when we withhold it from ourselves, we also withhold forgiveness from others.  This is the way of “Love thy neighbor as thyself” (a biblical tenet).

When we forgive, we recognize that we too are innocent.  We have not changed or altered in any way the Self that is truly us, the Self that is beyond the little self in this world.  We have not “sinned,” because sin, however irrationally, will continue to be attracting to us if we believe that we are committing sin.  But call the error just a “mistake,” and we will want to correct it (a Text tenet).  Then we are free to recognize that we are always as God created us; we have not altered our real identity at all (a Workbook tenet).

Our innocence reflects God’s love on earth.  When we forgive, we help ourselves and others to see that love, that all-embracing love.  God wants to communicate with us, and when we don’t pray to him, He is lonely (a Text tenet).  The Text also calls this prayer, at its highest, “communion.”  When we commune with God, we are at our best.  May we commune (i.e., pray) often today.

Affirmation:  “God is the strength in which I trust.”

Selected Passage:

“. . .I begin to remember the Love I chose to forget, but Which has not forgotten me.  (WB100)”

Reflections:

God never forgets His own, and all of us are His own.  And we need to remember that He loves us with an totally committed, totally unconditional, love at all times.

Affirmation:  “There is nothing to fear.”

Selected Passage:

“How safe the world will look to me when I can see it!  It will not look anything like what I imagine I see now.  (WB100)”

Reflections:

Safety, being safe, is a big issue for many of us.  We may have been reared in an atmosphere of fear, a sense that if we did not have our parents to protect us from the fearful world where bad things happen, we would be lost.

This childhood memory is not really true, and it is unlikely that we believe it consciously now.  But the subconscious speaks strongly sometimes.  May we see the world as safe today.  The Workbook says elsewhere, “When I have let all my grievances go, I will know that I am perfectly safe.”  May we have this assurance today.

Affirmation:  “God’s Voice speaks to me all through the day.”

Selected Passage:

“There is not a moment in which His Voice fails to direct my thoughts, guide my actions and lead my feet.  (WB101)”

Reflections:

This passage, in my estimation, is a very important one.  We are guided, moment by moment, by the Voice of the Holy Spirit.  Normally, there is no “voice” as such, but instead what may be called simply intuition, or a “knowing” of what we should do next.  A Manual tenet is that it is not wise to become preoccupied with each step of the way.  The right mind slant, on the other hand, adopted early in the day, and followed as possible, will set us on the right pathway.  If we listen, though, the moment-by-moment guidance is there.  The only caveat is if  one is emotionally disturbed; then the “guidance” may be awry, and we need to test out the rightness of what we perceive to be our guidance.

Affirmation:  “I am sustained by the Love of God.”

Selected Passage:

“As I listen to God’s Voice, I am sustained by His Love.  As I open my eyes, His Love lights up the world for me to see.  (WB101)”

Reflections:

This passage highlights the wonderful benefit of following God’s guidance.  Our days are brighter and better; we live in grace.  Do focus on the words of this affirmation and the passage.  Little more needs to be said.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

If we forgive, we will feel better about ourselves.  We might even feel that we are worthy of seeing ourselves as innocent.  This interpretation is not the full truth, but thank You for letting me see how forgiveness might pave the way for my own understanding of my innate innocence.

Help me to listen to guidance today.  Even when I have lived a number of days, consistently following guidance, I am still tempted to turn aside from this quiet inner Voice.  My feelings become suspect to scrutiny, and then I find myself doing what the ego wants–not what You want.  Help me to do what You want today.

Amen.

How to Hear God’s Voice

ACIM Workbook Lesson 49 – for Friday, February 18, 2011

Affirmation:  “God’s Voice speaks to me all through the day.”

Selected Passage:

“It is quite possible to listen to God’s Voice all through the day without interrupting your regular activities in any way.  The part of your mind in which truth abides is in constant communication with God, whether you are aware of it or not.  It is the other part of your mind that functions in the world and obeys the world’s laws.  It is this part that is constantly distracted, disorganized and highly uncertain.

“The part that is listening to the Voice for God is calm, always at rest and wholly certain.  (WB78)”

Reflections:

These are very true statements in the passage above.  We need to listen to the Voice for God, the Holy Spirit.  When we do so, we are led more quickly to a better place.  Some call this Voice just “intuition.”  Perhaps God does not care what we call it, as long as we communicate with Him through it.  ACIM says that God is lonely when the minds He created do not communicate with Him.  And He says that we are asleep and must be wakened.  Then He moves to waken us, and this is through our contact with the  Comforter, Universal Inspiration, or the Holy Spirit (all of the preceding are different names for the same phenomenon).

When we listen for God’s Voice, we are at peace.  Nothing else will suffice.  How does God speak to us?  Many reports are that He speaks in the silence (though A Course in Miracles does not say this).  Many others say that God’s Voice is the still, small voice within that we know but sometimes choose to ignore.  Most of the time we do not hear anything internally (though the co-scribe of ACIM, Helen Schucman, did have the internal impression of a voice, which could be interrupted by everyday events, only to return precisely at the point needed).  Intuition is a legitimate way to think of hearing God’s Voice, though many people may feel that this is just a secular way of viewing a psychic phenomenon.  Dreams, visions (hallucinations), meditative “feelings”–all of these are forms of guidance.  The only caution (and it is a big one) is that we not let our feelings about a matter turn negative.  God never leads us to hurt another individual, and if we feel that He has, perhaps we had better stop and reflect where this voice might come from.  Most of us will conclude that it is an egoistic misrepresentation.  ACIM nearly always refers to the Voice as the Voice of the Holy Spirit, a continuation of New Testament references.

When we deliberately reject the advice that the Holy Spirit offers, we get out of sync with the universe.  As soon as we can, let us move back into sync.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would hear the guidance that You offer today through the Voice that You speak to me.  Help me not to get confused about Your guidance.  Don’t let my little self decide anything that would lead me astray personally, or lead me to do anything that would hurt another person.  Help me to learn more fully how Your guidance comes to me.  Help me to be flexible, to be ready to turn on a dime when Your Voice bids me make a move.

I pray that I am not so stubborn that I fail to follow the guidance that You are giving to me.   I pray also that I do not mislead myself into thinking that I hear Your guidance when, instead, it is my own twisted thinking.  My mind still has much insanity, much madness, in it, because the ego has not fully died in me.  May my day today lead me away from the ego and into Your arms.

Amen.

Overcome Feelings of Inadequacy

ACIM Workbook Lesson 47 – for Wedneday, February 16, 2011

Affirmation:  “God is the strength in which I trust.”

Selected Passage:

“Now try to slip past all concerns related to your own sense of inadequacy.  It is obvious that any situation that causes you concern is associated with feelings of inadequacy, for otherwise you would believe that you could deal with the situation successfully.  It is not by trusting yourself that you will gain confidence.  But the strength of God in you is successful in all things.  (WB75)”

Reflections:

1 – We Are Not Inadequate

We need to recognize that we are not inadequate to the demands of our busy lives.  We only think this, usually, when we are very stressed or very tired.  If we believe that God is our Helper, we will be more prone to take that nap, or just sleep longer at night, and then put in some prayer time.  Things will seem better, also, after we have eaten something.  These are all practical, very mundane, helps that do not appear in ACIM.

2 – Guidance of the Holy Spirit

We need to learn to depend on the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  This idea appears all the time in this blog, because I have found that it is the only sure way to live successfully.  Finding A Course in Miracles some 30 years ago changed my life.  And living with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, when I have been able to do that, has made my life worth living.

3 – Do Not Despair

Do not despair, then.  The old advice that we are never given more than we can bear is applicable here.  And in the Text, we learn that we do not have to learn through pain.  We also learn that learning through rewards is superior, because learning through pain can have only a temporary effect.  God will see us through.  We will prevail.  And Awakening is before us at the end of our pathway.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Deal with my feelings of inadequacy today.  I know that I can take practical, mundane steps to improve my coping skills this day and everyday, and I know that Your guidance will see me through.  Help me to be willing to trust Your guidance as the only sure thing in this world.

Feelings of inadequacy are close to feelings of inferiority, but we have traveled far enough with ACIM to know that no child of God has any reason to feel inferior.  We also have no right to feel superior, and both–inferiority and superiority–are ploys of the ego.  Let us discard the ego as a bad idea, a false idea that we believe will give us a place above others.  This is an absolute falsehood, and may I realize this fully today.

Amen.

Perception vs. Knowledge

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

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

Selected Passage:

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

Reflections:

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

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

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

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

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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

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

Amen.

Overcome Loneliness

ACIM Workbook Lesson 41 – for Thursday, February 10, 2011

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

Selected Passage:

“Today’s idea will eventually overcome completely the sense of loneliness and abandonment all the separated ones experience.  Depression is an inevitable consequence of separation.  So are anxiety, worry, a deep sense of helplessness, misery, suffering and intense fear of loss. . . .You can indeed afford to laugh at fear thoughts, remembering that God goes with you wherever you go.  (WB63-64)”

1 – Not to Feel Fear

If we can truly live this lesson, our lives will never be the same again.  If we know that God is beside us, and in us, and if we truly feel His presence, we will not feel fear of any kind.  Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now has much to say about the “felt presence of Being.”  (“Being” is his term for God, because he believes that the term “God” has been misused.)  We are to invite this felt presence.

2 – How Do We Invite the Presence of God?

How do we invite the felt presence?  Prayer is a mighty way, and prayer is mentioned early on in the Text, in the 50 principles of miracles.  Later on it seems to be simply assumed in ACIM that we will pray.  But do we really?  Norman Vincent Peale, in the fifties, believed that about five minutes of prayer a day was average, even for the true believer.  And he felt that this was not nearly enough prayer time.

3 – Prayer

So, let us increase our prayer time, and, if we feel drawn to the meditative aspects of the Workbook, let us use our practice time to draw closer to God.  (Meditation, as such, is not used as a word in ACIM, and contemplation is described as “tedious.”)

4 – Other Ways to Draw Closer to God

There are other ways that we can draw closer to God.  Mindfulness is not a tenet of ACIM, but watching carefully what we do as we go about our day is a powerful lesson in how to live closer to God.  Following the guidance of the Holy Spirit is perhaps the best way, and so let us be sure that we begin the day aright by asking that He walk beside us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to overcome loneliness and a feeling of abandonment by drawing close to me throughout the day.  I realize that actually a sense of Your presence is sometimes in my power, for You are always near, and only when I say or do things that make me feel separated from You do I feel lonely, abandoned, fearful, and so much more that is negative.

Help me to overcome this separation that I only think is real.  It is not real.  Help me to realize that You are always with me, and that I need only open my heart to Your reality to have my whole world change for the better.

Amen.

Put an End to Unloving Thoughts

ACIM Workbook Lesson 39 – for Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Affirmation:  “My holiness is my salvation.”

Selected Passage:

“Specific situations, events or personalities you associate with unloving thoughts of any kind are suitable subjects for today’s exercises.  It is imperative for your salvation that you see them differently.  And it is your blessing on them that will save you and give you vision.  (WB61)”

Reflections:

We know, but often do not acknowledge, when we hold unloving thoughts about another.  This situation is a frequent one, especially for so-called “religious” people.  We do not want to see that our thoughts can still be unloving; we want to see ourselves as beyond that.

We can also hold unloving thoughts toward situations, especially when they are unavoidable.  We are often faced in this world with situations that are difficult for us.  It is part of our curriculum, our learning.  But we handle those same situations best when we turn the outcome over to the Holy Spirit, after having asked Him for guidance about what to do.

Happenings (“events”) are another challenge.  In this third way of feeling a lack of love, we can return to the affirmation for today:  “My holiness is my salvation.”  We will be the masters of the events in our lives when we recognize that holiness is our inheritance.  We are loving creatures of a loving God.  Only when the ego interferes with that truth do we get ourselves into trouble.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would end my unloving thoughts toward people and situations immediately.  Unloving thoughts only bring me trouble, and I would live freely and well.  Be with me to guide me as I make this firm decision today.

Thank You for your ever-present guidance through the medium of the Holy Spirit.  My intuitive understanding of Him has saved me many times from making a bad mistake.

Amen.

Quiet Recognition

ACIM Workbook Lesson 37 – for Sunday, February 6, 2011

Affirmation:  “My holiness blesses the world.”

Selected Passage:

“Your holiness is the salvation of the world.  It lets you teach the world that it is one with you, not by preaching to it, not by telling it anything, but merely by your quiet recognition that in your holiness are all things blessed along with you.  (WB56)”

Reflections:

“Holiness” is a concept that we are hesitant to apply to ourselves, because we are so prone to see our failings.  But nothing that God created is not good, and He created us.  The Text says that often we tend to forget this in our more arrogant moments.  We cannot change reality, though, in any actual way because God is the creator of the real world.  The only thing that we have ever made (not created) is illusions.

When we are quiet, we are closer to God.  This passage asks us to feel that truth.  “[B]y your quiet recognition” is a potent statement.  We must turn to God to see rightly.  We must turn to God to ask that our egos wither away.  Only in holiness do we see rightly.  And only in holiness are we absolutely quiet.

We do not have to proselytize.  We merely need to “be” in the world.  Our being alone, when informed by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, will transform the world.  This does not mean that we will do nothing to correct injustice, but just that we will do nothing before hearing the best guidance about what to do.  We cannot choose our own miracles.  Jesus says in the early pages of the Text that consciously selected miracles are misguided.  We must be willing to be used by the Holy Spirit toward the end that He directs.

Then we will not act amiss.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Please help me to be, first of all, and then to do in accordance with Your guidance.  Help me today to be calm and quiet, feeling your presence as I go about my regular routine.  On this Sunday help me to remember You.

May my thoughts be in accord with the Holy Spirit, and may my actions reflect only love in its highest form.

Amen.