Tag Archives: ACIM salvation

The ACIM Way to God

ACIM Workbook Lesson 246 – for Saturday, September 3, 2011

Affirmation:  “To love my Father is to love His Son.”

“I will accept the way You choose for me to come to You, my Father.  For in that will I succeed, because it is Your Will.  And I would recognize that what You will is what I will as well, and only that.  And so I choose to love Your Son.  Amen.  (WB416)”

Reflections:

This prayer comes to the heart of A Course in Miracles.  The way that is intended for us to come to salvation is through our relationship to our brother (or sister).   This way is different from contemplation (which is described as tedious, and a way meant for others).  Why try a different way, since there is one that has been chosen for us?  (These are all paraphrases from the Text.)

I do believe that this means that some contemplation (and perhaps also meditation) is not inappropriate for us.  This is an interpretation, based on the fact that the last few months of the Workbook are composed of fairly brief reflections, and we are encouraged to go deep within ourselves when we read and reflect on the lesson for the day.  When we drop deep within ourselves, we touch God.  And this is a result of traditional contemplation and meditation.

But our primary way home is the relationship that we share with our brother/sister.  When we come to love intimately the one who is closest to us, we overlook entirely his/her anger and attack by recognizing that such insanity is actually a call for help and/or love.  We choose to overlook this madness, rather than to dwell on it and thus to make it real to ourselves, and therefore much more difficult to forgive.  And forgiveness is our function (along with salvation and happiness, two additional “functions” that are mentioned in ACIM).  When we draw near to our brother/sister, we come as close to Heaven in a holy relationship as we can.  Our special relationship has not been snatched from us (a paraphrase from ACIM), but it has been transformed into a holy relationship.  And, with this miracle, our way to Awakening is opened, to be decided when God Himself feels that we are ready.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I reflect deeply, going within deeply, as I reflect on today’s lesson.  And may I choose to find You, to find the salvation that You hold out to me, the way that Jesus has set forth in A Course in Miracles–through my relationship to my most significant other, my brother/sister.  This special relationship-turned-holy is the touchstone to understanding the path to salvation set forth in ACIM.  May I not forget today that when my brother withdraws from me, or even attacks me in anger, that he is actually asking for love.  May I remember that all that happens is either an expression of love or a call for love; there are no exceptions to this rule.

Be with me today as I deal with the sometimes difficult brothers and sisters in my world.  Help me to look on the bright side of life, not to take life too seriously, to add humor.  We need each other in this world.  Our moments of solitude with You prepare us to embark once again on forays into the world and into interactions with others.  May my times with You today prepare me to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit as I interact with all of my brothers and sisters.

Amen.

Salvation = Game that Happy Children Play

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

Affirmation:  “In my defenselessness my safety lies.”

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

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

Reflections:

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

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

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

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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

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

Amen.

Our Mission

ACIM Workbook Lesson 139 – for Thursday, May 19, 2011

Affirmation:  “I will accept Atonement for myself.”

Selected Passage:

“We have a mission here.  We did not come to reinforce the madness that we once believed in.  Let us not forget the goal that we accepted.  It is more than just our happiness alone we came to gain.  What we accept as what we are proclaims what everyone must be, along with us.  Fail not your brothers, or you fail yourself  Look lovingly on them, that they may know that they are part of you, and you of them.  (WB268)”

Reflections:

We are meant to bring our brothers and sisters home, as well as ourselves.  We have a mission, to bring salvation to this world.  The world winds on wearily, and the people in it are very discouraged.  It is up to us who have learned at least part of the truth to stand ready and willing to share our understanding whenever there is a hint that others are ready for what we can share.

Not everyone will be ready.  Some need only a smile (a Manual statement).  We have various kinds of relationships, from very brief, to intermediate in length, and to life-lasting.  There are no coincidence in whom we will serve.  As soon as we have answered the call, those who have been waiting for us will start to find us.  There are no accidents in salvation.  (These are all paraphrases from the Manual.)

Ask today to be led to those for whom you are meant to reach in sharing ACIM‘s message.  ACIM never suggests aggressive pursuit of others to our way of life.  This would be counterproductive.  As just stated, some are just ready for a smile.  May our happiness show through our smiles today.

Prayer:

Dear Mother/Father,

May I be happy enough today to smile at my brothers and sisters.  May I do my part in this little inch of time to bring salvation to them.  May I accept the salvation that I know has been held out to me.  May I not let any discouragement mar this day.

I do accept the mission that You have given me.  Help me not to do so with ego, because I know enough to know that that would never work.  Let me leave behind the ego as I walk into the sunlight with You.

Amen.

Our Ultimate Release

ACIM Workbook Lesson 132 – for Thursday, May 12, 2011

Affirmation:  “I loose the world from all I thought it was.”

Selected Passage:

“There is no world apart from what you wish, and herein lies your ultimate release.  Change but your mind on what you want to see, and all the world must change accordingly.  Ideas leave not their source.  This central theme is often stated in the text, and must be borne in mind if you would understand the lesson for today.  It is not pride which tells you that you made the world you see, and that it changes as you change your mind.  (WB242)”

Reflections:

If we change our minds about what we wish to see, the bad things of this world will affect us much less frequently.  It would not be wise to say that we will never confront bad things, but it is in line with A Course in Miracles to say that their effect upon us is diminished to the extent that we do not accord value to the illusion.

What does it mean to say, “Ideas leave not their source”?  We are an idea in the mind of God (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  We are surrounded by minds that hold ideas, and if we are surrounded by minds that hold bad ideas, we may join in the mass hallucination and see bad things as well.  But this need not be so.  We can rise above the fray.  Let us do so today.

When we wish for a world of peace and joy,  we will find it.  That, as the passage above says, is our ultimate release.  When we focus on a higher plane of thought, our whole world changes accordingly.  Think about pain and sickness, and we are more likely to draw it to us.  Neale Donale Walsch in Communion with God asserts that fear is a very creative force, and to fear something is to draw it to us.  Pay fear no mind, and one is far more likely to become fearless.  Such is the strength of our minds; such is the strength of our God.

Prayer:

Dear Mother/Father,

I pray for my ultimate release today.  I know that this is what I wish above all else, and I know that You want this for me also.  Only my own delusions have kept me in bondage with an imprisoned will.  I would follow the Holy Spirit, Who really speaks for me, and then I would know what it is I really desire–and I will have it.

Be with me today as always.  Do not let me wander into meandering pathways that would take a detour from the straight way toward a heart that is sheltered by You.  You are within me, as well as without, and I would not join any mass hallucination that would place pain above faith in You.

Amen.

Open Your Mind and Rest

ACIM Workbook Lesson 127 – for Saturday, May 7, 2011

Affirmation:  “There is no love but God’s.”

Selected Passage:

“For fifteen minutes twice today escape from every law in which you now believe.  Open your mind and rest.  The world that seems to hold you prisoner can be escaped by anyone who does not hold it dear.  Withdraw all value you have placed upon its meager offerings and senseless gifts, and let the gift of God replace them all.  (WB231)”

Reflections:

Part if the world’s meager offerings is the part that believes that money is our salvation; the Text calls them “strips of paper.”  And coins are equally devalued in ACIM.  But we can escape from this emphasis which most of us have placed on the security that money provides.  Indeed, we learn from scientific studies that rich people are certainly not necessarily the happiest people on earth.  Money can be an impediment to happiness.

This passage also hints at the brief accounting in the Text of the reaction of long-held prisoners to the sunlight of the world outside.  They do not immediately welcome freedom.  They have been captives too long, and they must grow accustomed to a life of new freedom.  We are much like that, in that we do not understand, and sometimes do not even welcome, the quiet and calm that true salvation will bring to our personal world.  As mentioned previously in this blog, we are addicted to the adrenaline rush, and we like the drama that it brings.  But we are made for something better.

Certainly the work that we do is frequently stressful.  We do not feel ourselves in total control of our work lives, and indeed of our personal lives–which work impacts in often negative ways.  But there is a way to spend time with God each day, and for many the choice is for the Workbook as a starting point.  This quiet time will lead us to the blessings that God has for us, even in the midst of a difficult life.  And life will quickly seem to become less difficult, though perhaps nothing external has to change.  The change can all be internal to ourselves, and, oh, for a difference this makes!

Prayer:

Dear Mother/Father,

Be with me especially today when I do my devotionals.  I ask to feel Your presence.  Please do not withdraw from me today.  I know that I am a part of You, and that we are therefore always One.  But I ask to know this in a more meaningful way today.

May I walk into the sunlight of my salvation today.  May I move ever closer to the time when You will reach to me and lift me up to Awakening.  I pray to do my part in being ready.

Amen.

My Part = Essential to Salvation

ACIM Workbook Lesson 115 – for Monday, April 25, 2011

Affirmation:  “Salvation is my only function here.”

Selected Passage:

“My function here is to forgive the world for all the errors I have made.  For thus am I released from them with all the world.  (WB208)”

Affirmation:  “My part is essential to God’s plan for salvation.”

Selected Passage:

“I am essential to the plan of God for salvation of the world.  For He gave me His plan that I might save the world.  (WB208)”

Reflections:

Our function is forgiveness of ourselves and our brothers and sisters.  Elsewhere in A Course in Miracles other aspects, synonymous with forgiveness, are given as our function:  salvation and happiness are two.  If we reflect on the fact that forgiveness will make us happy (and it will), and that salvation comes on the heels of forgiveness, we can see the unity of all these various terms–all meant to mean the same thing.

Each of us has a particular part to play in salvation (a Text tenet).  Anyone who chooses to be a teacher of God is going to be.  It happens as soon as we take up the call, as soon as we have seen in another the same interests as our own (a Manual tenet).  Only time separates the student from the teacher; the teacher does not have anything that the student is not also capable of having.  Perhaps a bit of time separates the two, but that is all.  A teacher is anyone who choose to be a teacher.

If we do not take the part that God has assigned to us, we leave that place vacant.  Other individuals will not have the blessings that only we ourselves can bring to them.

These two lessons, in review today, are pivotal in understanding ACIM.  They are among the most important lessons that we can learn.  Let us reflect on them, and see today if we might not do something more for God and for salvation.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I reflect frequently on the lessons for review today.  I realize that if I master them, not only will I help others to salvation, but I will also help myself.

Thank You for standing by me when I make mistakes.  To fail to be happy is a form of mistake that most of us make at various times in our lives.  May I not make this mistake today.

Amen.

A Happy Ending to Dreams of Disaster

ACIM Workbook Lesson 75 – for Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Affirmation:  “The light has come.”

Selected Passage:

“You are at peace and you bring peace with you wherever you go. . .Today we celebrate the happy ending to your long dream of disaster.  There are no dark dreams now.  The light has come.  (WB132)”

Reflections:

This passage is a glorious celebration that, if we are ready, signals the end of our suffering.  Pain will not affect us as it has; we will rise above, and turn to God, as we have before, but with a difference.  Jesus says in the Text, “It is not necessary to learn through pain.”  And he goes on to explain that pain can have only a temporary effect, that it is much better to learn through rewards.

Here we learn that the light has come.  We are ready to learn through rewards.  We need only make a concerted effort to fail to let the ego influence us.  How do we know when the ego is calling the shots?  We may feel momentarily elated (because we have temporarily gotten rid of the anger–an ACIM tenet), but the elation will turn to ashes.  We will feel lost, forgotten by God, and hostile to this world and all in it.  We will even feel hostile to ourselves.  We will feel out of sorts, in the mildest version of ego-oriented thinking.

Let us leave all such nonsense behind today.  Our dark dreams have disappeared.  If we do not stay close to guidance, we will lapse back into darkness, though.  As Neale Donald Walsch says, evolution is not a straight line.  Returning to the Holy Spirit and following his guidance, leaving judgment to Him, will get us back in line.  We also need to remove attack from our repertoire of emotions, and we need to leave unnecessary planning against contingencies to come behind also.  The Text says that these three lamentable actions will cause us, once again, to lose our way.

But we are not lost today!  We are at peace, and we know that God is with us.  Let us rejoice with all that this is so.  May this be a particular day of dedication.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You that the light has come!  Disaster will stalk me no longer.  Pain does not turn to suffering.  My attitude allow Your blessings, even in adversity, to shine through.

I am ready to learn through rewards.  I know that this is a decision that I can make.  I do not choose to learn through pain, and I will today constantly remind myself that Jesus says that to learn through pain is unnecessary.  I long for a lasting new life, one that I have learned through rewards, and these rewards are what make it lasting.  Be with me today as I seek Your Voice in all my doings.

Amen.

Being Blessed by Miracles of Light

ACIM Workbook Lesson 61 – for Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am the light of the world.”

Selected Passage:

“This is a beginning step in accepting your real function on earth. . . .It is a positive assertion of your right to be saved, and an acknowledgment of the power that is given you to save others.  (WB102)”

Reflections:

1 – Visions of Lamps – A Personal Experience

Once I saw visions of normal, everyday lamps repeatedly in the middle of the night when I awoke out of a sound sleep.  The lamps seemed to be painted on my eyelids.  I believed that this meant not to “hide one’s light” (a biblical concept).  But ACIM says more.  I was actually beginning my pathway (“beginning step”).  This passage reflects the fact that ACIM is in a continuity with the New Testament, not in all respects, but in many.

2 – Little Edges of Light

This incident happened many years ago, when I was 25 years old, near the start of my pathway through life and into a greater knowledge of God.  It was before A Course in Miracles had been published.  Light plays a large part in ACIM.  At one point we are told in the Text of “little edges of light” that we will see around the same familiar objects with which we are normally surrounded.  These lights around objects, Jesus says, are the beginning of real vision

3 – The Great Rays

After this experience, real vision will come quickly.  Another instance of light in A Course in Miracles is the explanation of the Great Rays.  The explanation is not complete, because this is a miracle that must be experienced to be understood.  It may appear that the sun’s rays are coming directly down upon one’s head, and this mystical experience may be scary.  But it is meant to be beatific.

4 – Miracles Come when We Are Ready

All of this phenomena are examples of miracles that come when we are ready.  Perhaps ACIM is the only spiritual literature to write of such miracles, and, if so, it is no wonder that students/teachers of ACIM are puzzled by these practical examples of the presence of light.  But the Bible is filled with references to light, and we can see both from the Bible as well as ACIM that light is a metaphor for salvation, and, moreover, a metaphor for the sharing of salvation to others.  We are not called to share our beliefs with others who are not ready, but, if they show any interest, we will probably share.  A Course of Love, viewed by some to be a sequel to ACIM,  carries the idea of sharing our faith a step farther, in that we are told that we are not meant to spread our understanding to anyone not yet ready for it.  We are not to impose our beliefs on those who have not yet walked far enough on their own pathways that they can comprehend what is being said.

4 – The Light = Powerful Metaphor

The light is a powerful metaphor.  May we ask today, as we go about our normal routines, to learn more about what Jesus means by this metaphor.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May Your light go with me today.  If I have not yet seen edges of light around familiar objects, or I have not yet experienced the Great Rays, may I come closer to these experiences today.  May I have my own experiences of light as a way of salvation for myself and others.  May I fulfill my function of salvation through forgiveness.

I realize that I cannot fully understand what Jesus means by the light.  But may I come to comprehend enough today that I can live as You would have me live.  In the light.

Amen.

Salvation = Happiest Accomplishment

ACIM Workbook Lesson 44 – for Sunday, February 13, 2011

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

Selected Passage:

“Salvation is your happiest accomplishment.  It is also the only one that has any meaning, because it is the only one that has any real use to you at all.  (WB70)”

Reflections:

It is hard for those of us caught in this world to see that salvation is our only function.  (Elsewhere forgiveness is named as our only function, but the two are equivalent.)  Perhaps, we think, salvation is the business of ministers and others in the religious field, but not for all of us who have to make a very secular contribution to the world to earn a living.

Yet this passage indicates that salvation is for all of us as our “happiest accomplishment.”  Certainly we already know that when we stay close to God in prayer, we have better days.  And when we let the Holy Spirit guide us, we walk a happier path.

Only salvation can be said to have real meaning in this world.  ACIM never says that the world is a school, but much New Age spirituality does (Neale Donald Walsch is a notable exception.)  When we place salvation first in our lives, everything else falls into place.  Then we know what real living is all about.  We live in peace, and happiness then follows.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to realize what salvation can and will do for me.  We need only make a “little” contribution to our own well-being, and the Holy Spirit will do much, much more.  Then our days surely will be improved immensely.

Help me today, as I go about a secular world.  May I not make a big show of my desire to live close to You, but may I not disown You either.  Help me to be a good example in my circle of friends and family.

Amen.

I Am Blessed

ACIM Workbook Lesson 40 – for February 9

Affirmation:  “I am blessed as a Son of God.”

Selected Passage:

“I am blessed as a Son of God.
I am happy, peaceful, loving and contented.

“I am blessed as a Son of God.
I am calm, quiet, assured and confident.  (WB62)”

Reflections:

Here we return to peaceful meadows of contentment.  We rise awhile this day, as we dwell on our blessings.  The selected passage can lead to more affirmations for the day.  We need to let our guidance lead us to the right words to say.

Our time together today might be best spent by reflecting on the selected passage.

No other words are necessary.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May this day be a day of special blessing.  I am blessed as a Daughter of God.  You are with me always.  I try to be a good Daughter, and my Self is good.  My little self sometimes doesn’t measure up, though, and I make mistakes.  I would correct those mistakes today.

Be with me through thick and thin today.  May I say and do the things that will allow me to truly feel blessed as a Daughter of God.

Amen.

I Am Holy!

ACIM Workbook Lesson 36 – for Saturday, February 5, 2011

Affirmation:  “My holiness envelops everything I see.”

Selected Passage:

“Today’s idea extends the idea for yesterday from the perceiver to the perceived.  You are holy because your mind is part of God’s.  And because you are holy, your sight must be holy as well. . . .If your mind is part of God’s you must be sinless, or a part of His Mind would be sinful.  Your sight is related to His holiness, not to your ego, and therefore not to your body.  (WB55)”

Reflections:

It is good to recognize that our real Self is holy.  We can draw upon this higher Self at any time, and then we will recognize that the holiness that is ours will reach out into the world and make it holy as well.

The fact that we see turmoil does not mean that the world is not holy.  God’s world is always holy, but our minds do not comprehend rightly.  We do not see the real world.  Let us today vow to reach for that real world in all that we do and say.  It can be done, and far more easily than we imagine in our most pessimistic thoughts.

Remember that our minds are part of God’s.  We are prone not to believe this, but ACIM assures us that it is true.  God is the All.  We have discussed this earlier this year of 2011.  Once we truly come to recognize that our minds are a part of God’s, we will never see this world in quite the same way again.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to realize that I am not being arrogant when I affirm, with You, that I am holy.  I am holy because my mind is part of Yours.  And the holiness that I affirm is the Self that You created,  not the egoistic self that I made.

Help me to understand this difficult and new premises.  Once I have come to understand, I know that my world will change accordingly.  I will look out on a world that may be difficult, but that is illusory.  This will have the effect of turning me ever closer to You as I walk about this world.  Then I really will be Home.

Amen.

Survey the World Casually

ACIM Workbook Lesson 33 – for Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Affirmation:  “There is another way of looking at the world.”

Selected Passage:

“Merely glance casually around the world you perceive as outside yourself, then close your eyes and survey your inner thoughts with equal casualness.  Try to remain equally uninvolved in both, and to maintain this detachment as you repeat the idea throughout the day.  (WB50)”

Reflections:

The affirmation for today will, in a practical sense, reinforce what we have been reading on previous days.  It will lead to seeing a better world.  But saying the affirmation often is imperative; changing the mind to conform to the real world takes practice.  It does not take effort in a stressful sense, but practice can be done that is both stress-free as well as joyful.

“Casualness” implies ease of effort, and the passage uses a form of this term twice.  The repetition shows its importance.  We look about our world, within and without, and we sustain a moment of detachment that assures us that, regardless of what we “see,” we can improve what we see through our own choice.  This choice is strictly in line with the guidance that the Holy Spirit would give us.

By now, we have seen the value of “doing” the Workbook.  We also do not have wholly untrained minds in this, the second month.  We can recall the directive to say the affirmation repeatedly throughout the day, and we will be the better for it.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Please help be, throughout the day, to survey my inner and outer worlds with casualness.  This is easeful, not effortful.  Much can be accomplished today toward saving time in our journey through this world.

Be with me today so that I do not forget to practice the Workbook.  Thank You for making it so easy a task.  Salvation can indeed seem almost effortless.  We need to study and to learn the way Home, but we do not have to make these activities in salvation a difficult task.

Amen.

Salvation

“If you would be a savior, you must understand what needs to be escaped.  Salvation is not theoretical.  Behold the problem, ask for the answer, and then accept it when it comes.  Nor will its coming be long delayed.  All the help you can accept will be provided, and not one need you have will not be met.  (M65)”

Affirmation:  “Once I have asked for help, it will not long be delayed.”

Reflections:

Jesus gives us here a very optimistic group of statements.  “All the help you can accept” will be provided.  This fragment of a sentence notes that we ourselves may limit the help that we accept.  We do not have to limit this help, and it would be wise of us to encourage help from beyond ourselves when in a quandary.

We do need patience, but Jesus proclaims that the answer will not be long delayed.  Surely the delay can seem long to us, because our notions of time are not those of eternity.  But this delay is not actually long, and it is probable that Jesus is speaking in our terms when he says this.  He knows our impatience, and what seems “long” to us.  He does not mislead.  Our needs will be met, and soon.

This passage also suggests that some of our limitations are given us so that we can be saviors; we can understand what others are going through.  Certainly an individual who has experienced a given problem, and overcome it, is more likely to be able to help others.  Shortly after this assertion, Jesus says once again that his Course is not theoretical.  Elsewhere he has said that the Course is always practical.  We can see this most clearly when we have overcome a limitation, and thereby be ready to help our brothers and sisters with the same limitation.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask for Your help today.  Jesus has promised that all the help that I need, once requested, will not be long delayed.  I claim this promise.

May You be with me today, especially when I feel my limitations.  May I be a savior to those who need me.  Thank You for guiding my thoughts, words, and actions.

Amen.