Choose Peace to Have a Divine Experience

“This is temptation. The temptation of the human experience. This is what you continue to choose over the Peace of God. This is not a right or wrong choice but it is a choice. It is your free will to continue to make this choice.

“You used your free will to choose the human experience. Now are you willing to use it to choose the Peace of God instead? Can you wholeheartedly choose peace? Can you choose peace long enough to become accustomed to joy without sorrow? If you cannot, you will continue to create hell as well as heaven and will continue the separation between the divine and the human. Is heaven worth enough to you to give up hell?” (ACOL, 10.4 – 10.5)

When we want to cling to the highs and lows of the human experience, we choose what can never bring us satisfaction. But this is not a “right or wrong” choice; it is simply a choice. And the rightness or wrongness of our decision is not at stake. We do have free will.

We can choose hell for ourselves. While this is never God’s choice for us, He knows that we have made a veritable hell in this beautiful world. And if we don’t alter our decisions, the hell we have experienced on earth in the past will continue right into the future. Would we really choose this because we don’t want to heal the separation from God?

If we experiment a little, we will see that the Peace of God is infinitely preferable to the highs and lows of dramatic thoughts and actions in this world. Choose this day to BE perfectly calm and quiet, to turn over the hassles of the day to the One Who knows how to untangle our affairs. And at the end of the day, look back and meditate a bit on what has transpired. We won’t have let a perfectly calm and quiet day, but, if we gave it some thought and some prayer, we will have let a more peaceful life than is our custom. And are we happier? Do we feel more at ease with our Maker? Do we see the benefit in choosing heaven, in choosing the peak experiences that can be ours, purely without the drama of an egoic high?

Today is a good day to experiment. See if you want a “Zen” day. This is an Eastern concept, but Eastern concepts have made their way into the mainstream of our culture. A Zen-like day is one that is lived lightly, with egoic seriousness gone from our activities. Living a Zen day will mean that we do choose to be perfectly calm and quiet more often than not. And Zen will encourage us to turn to God when things threaten to become rancorous once again.

Create a good day by turning to God first in the morning. Ask Him to guide our steps. He always answers, and the Answer we receive today, being in His Will, will prepare us for the unfolding of a better present and future.

Prayer

I would be Zen today, perfectly calm and quiet, resting in Your peace and Your love. Nothing avails so much as Your love, and if I am careful to extend the love that You have given to me, I will be extending the best that I have in me to my brothers and sisters on earth. I would extend love today. I ask that You give me the forbearance to stifle anger and attack, and give outwardly only love.

The peace that I feel when I am in league with You is greater than any rancor that might mark my day. Being One with You is a great blessing. Knowing that I am One with You is a great blessing.

May my words reach people’s hearts today.

Amen.

Being Calm and Quiet in Zen-Like Peace

“There is a core of peace at the center of your Self now and the issues that you choose to deal with will not affect that core of peace at all. While you may find this almost disturbing, you will not go to extremes to break this peace.” (ACOL, T1:10.1)

Throughout A Course of Love, Jesus encourages us with indications that we are advancing spiritually. And this passage is one such indication: We are more at peace, and though we may question this emotion, we will not do anything untoward to break our peace. For those of us who have studied A Course in Miracles, the allusion here is obvious: We are dropping the dramas that have consumed us so often and so badly for all of our lives, the part of our lives spent in egoic attachment. Elsewhere Jesus says that we will sometimes come close to lamenting this new placidity. We will think that we are really living only when we are caught in another drama, experiencing highs and lows that we have previously thought were evidence of true living. Others will still experience these highs and lows, and we will sometimes come close to envy of their way of life—a way of life that we used to enjoy.

But we have already had experiences like this, and we know, if we think about it, that the low that follows the high is so devastating to us that we would forgo the high. A Course in Miracles is also close in interpretation to this line of thought. We are told in ACIM that the purpose of life is to become “perfectly calm and quiet all the time.” Now, certainly when we first read that in ACIM, we doubted that this peaceful way of life would actually be desirable. We were still caught up in the highs and lows, the drama, of the ego, and we thought that what we were doing was really living.

If we have gotten this far in ACOL, though, we know better. We are happier when we stay on an even keel. We are happier when we are perfectly calm and quiet. And both ACIM and ACOL indicate that happiness is God’s great desire for us. It is one of our functions (along with salvation and forgiveness). We will no longer desire the high, because of the low. This does not, though, mitigate against peak experiences. Jesus says elsewhere that peak experiences are what we can look forward to in the way of life that he is pointing out. Peak experiences occur with great regularity once we are firmly set on the pathway toward ultimate salvation, which is Christ-consciousness. Maslow knew what he was talking about, and here Jesus reaffirms Maslow’s concept of peak experiences in A Course of Love.

Let’s choose to enjoy peak experiences rather than the egoic ideal of great drama. The ego has never given us anything that is lasting, except turmoil and unhappiness. Now is the time to know the genuine euphoria of peak experiences through a Self Who comes from God, deep within each of us.

Prayer

I long to experience peak moments, and I know that these will come more and more frequently when I get all of my Self aligned with You. Help me to do this. Help me to let go of even the little dramas that disturb my peace, that keep me less than soothed.

I would ask You to soothe me. This is the best way, and I appreciate that I have reading in A Course of Love that does just that—soothe. Be with me today as I seek to slow down and savor all of life. Life’s richness is just there waiting for me. Thank You.

Amen.

Seeking to Be Less Vulnerable

“The perceived attack will have entered at the place where you have placed your highest value and are thus most vulnerable. In the past your response would have been to protect and use that which you have most valued. Now your response will have been changing. You will not see so much to value in what has called your ego into action and will turn away from it.” (ACOL, T1:9.15)

I can identify with this passage. Years ago I received a very negative peer review after my first year in a new job, from someone whom I had considered a friend. Despite the fact that I had become a committed Course in Miracles student, the ego was still very strong in me. I had always wanted to think that I did good work, and so when this peer review challenged that self-image, I was devastated. The egoic persona had been bruised.

Years later, I can see what was going on. Now my ego has been loosened, and I cannot fully comprehend why one peer’s opinion became so important to me. I would like to think that I can’t comprehend because I am thinking differently. Egoic ideals don’t call to me as much.

Now, if something similar were to happen, I think that I would be more prone to realize that one person’s opinion is just that—opinion. And my own persona isn’t fully egoic any longer; I don’t have to succeed to be loved. In my egoic persona, being loved was attached, conditionally, to being declared a success in the eyes of other people.

This is not a good interpretation for any of us to make, however strong the ego, but I think that it is a common reaction. In describing what happened, I can see the highs and lows of drama, and I know now that the highs and lows of drama are ego. We do better when we keep steady and on an even keel. We are much more likely to actually be a success in more than just our eyes or the eyes of our peers. We are accessing the Self Who can create through us.

We don’t take credit for what the Self creates through us. This would be to invite an egoic interpretation again. But we can enjoy the newfound joys of truly working in a way that we never did when we believed in the worth of the ego’s evaluations. And we can objectively see that our work has wings that we did not mastermind; Something More is at work.

Prayer

I would not go back to egoic reactions. I would stay on the straight and narrow, respond with Zen-like calm to the events of my life. I would learn how to return love for attack, however subtle the attack. And to do so, I need to keep stress under control. I never get angry unless I am stressed.

You know all these things about me. And You support me in my goal to be on an even keel, 24/7. You would have me reject the urge to make drama out of the events of my life. And I would go along with this desire on Your part as my best new direction.

Be with me today as I seek to lower stress, to return even the mildest form of attack with love. I would approach life by the smooth handle.

Amen.

When We Unite Mind and Heart, We Unite with the Self

“Yet you have not remembered that the first union is of mind and heart. The first union is union with the Self. This union with the Self is resurrec¬tion or rebirth. All are capable of this life-giving union. All are capable of birthing the Self.” (ACOL, T1:9.7)

This passage for today is a summation of what has gone earlier (and will be expanded upon as we read farther on). First, we unite mind and heart, and when we do that, we have united with the Self Who is deep within us, a part of God Himself. What has actually happened in a resurrection or rebirth of this Self, a Self Who has been cloaked by the egoic, false, self for eons.

And this miracle is not limited in any way. All of us can—and will—have this union eventually. Our part, if we want this union now, a union that is Christ-consciousness, is to remove the blocks to love’s emergence. It is love that emerges, in full form. Our own form becomes “elevated,” in that we are living the truth in a way that has not been possible heretofore, because the ego has held sway over us.

All of us can birth this Self. As A Course in Miracles says, God Himself reaches down and lifts us up—when we are ready. And so asking for this miracle is in His Will. We don’t have to ever be shy about asking. It is the way of creations created by a Creator. It is the way that life is meant to be lived.
“Ask and ye shall receive,” as the New Testament tells us.

The passage for today can be memorized to good effect. It gives us the gist of much that Jesus is telling us in the totality of A Course of Love.

Prayer

I would seek to realize the union of mind and heart, the union that I have been wanting with my deepest Self. When I am deep within myself, I can feel Your warmth, and this warmth is a great blessing, a great blessing indeed. Thank You.

I would feel Your warmth when I am out and about in the world, not just when I am quiet and focused inwardly. I thank You for this assurance that You are always with me, that You love me unconditionally. Help me to love the people in my life unconditionally as well. We all are starved for love. May each of us give it as best we can, leaning on You and our Self for guidance as to how to do that.

Amen.

Combining Intellect and Feelings

“Whether you be male or female matters not, as you are in truth, the union of each. The end of separation that brought about the resurrection brought about this union and the separation of male and female continues to exist only in form.

“However, we are talking now, in a certain sense, of an elevation of form. While this is actually an elevation beyond form, it must begin in the reality where you think you are. In other words, it must begin with form. You cannot await some changed state but must create the changed state you await.” (ACOL, T1:9.2 – 9.3)

We have heretofore been much concerned with roles that were clearly identified, and we all know from living in our culture that this is changing somewhat, in that women are taking on men’s former roles, and also the reverse for men. Women have been historically seen as more intuitive, living more in their feelings. Men have historically been seen as more intellect, living in their minds. And feelings have been associated with the heart, intellect with the mind.

As we allow the Self to emerge, we will see a natural tilt toward the opposites in what we perceive. Not all women listen to their feelings first, and not all men their intellect. But many women and men do react this way. And in the new age, women will listen more to their minds, and men, to their feelings. If we allow this union to take place, men and women will be, in the best sense, better able to understand each other because our gender roles will not be polarized.

Our culture is conflicted about whether this change is good. Very conflicted. And it is not for us in studying A Course of Love to take sides in a cultural conflict. It is enough to know that we are both made up of heart and mind, and that the union of each, in wholeheartedness, is the way that the Self will emerge. Many will still prefer to retain strict gender roles; many will not. But both have both mind and heart, and both parts of the psyche need to work together for the best outcome for us in this matter of developing Christ-consciousness.

Our forms will be elevated as we allow our self to be in union with the Self, a change that is based on the union of mind and heart that Jesus calls wholeheartedness. This elevated Self of form will be our new home base. And we will look out on a different world, a world that we are creating anew, even as our new psyches have been created anew. This is where we are heading, to a new world of evolved souls who have experienced Awakening. And this change is helped along by the use of feelings (heart) as well as intellect (mind). Of course, we don’t have to have conflict at all to see the positive change that feelings and intellect, together, can bring about. This is a natural emergence as we inhabit the elevated Self. And for this we can all rest in peace without bringing in cultural dichotomies that will only divide us.

Older adults (and people are living longer now) have long seen a closer interaction in marriage as they age. Women naturally become more assertive as hormones change, and men also undergo a similar hormonal change. This is not a product of our culture, except that we are, as said, living longer. This maturity can be seen as a good thing. We can understand each other better as our hormones shift and change. And Jesus is saying that much the same similarities are coming out in the union of the Self with our personal self. The ethereal Self, unlike the personal self, cannot be said to have gender, just as most of us believe that God does not have gender. The Self, as part of God, does assume gender when It emerges in form with a transformed personal self who has reached Christ-consciousness. But the divine memories linger, and this is the likely reason that Jesus begins the discussion of changes between men and women in the passage for today.

Prayer

I know that I have become more assertive as I have grown older. I would not overreach this plateau, though, as assertiveness can turn into aggressiveness, and I would not have that. Be with me as I age. Help me to accept the natural changes that come with age, and to make of them something laudable.

I turn to my feelings often, feelings as in “intuition.” I follow intuition a great deal, and this helps me to navigate our world. Be with me as I seek to embody the intellect that must cooperate with feelings.

Thank You for being with me today and every day. I am in Your hands, always. And I seek to remember this.

Amen.

Considering Mary

“The new pattern of life is the ability to resurrect in form. The ability to resurrect in life. The ability to resurrect now.

“Thus is the glory that is yours returned to you in life rather than in death.

“The male provided the manifestation or the effect of the cause created by the female in the virgin birth. My mother, Mary, was responsible for the incarnation of Christ in me as I am responsible for the incarnation of Christ in you.” (ACOL, T1:8.14 – 8.16)

Here Jesus is expanding upon what he has touched on in earlier passages I have selected. He says “virgin birth” easily, and this makes us wonder. Can—should—we really believe this? Later on, he refers to the “myth to end all myths” in regard to Mary. So was there much about Mary that was myth?

We can’t tell. Edgar Cayce, seer of the last century, who accessed the Akashic records, said that not only was Jesus born of a virgin, but that Mary was also. Jesus’s roundabout way of speaking of the virgin birth may be his belief that he needs to attract all of us—not falling in line with an interpretation that just appeals to a few. He felt the same way about reincarnation, not wanting those of us who study A Course in Miracles to take a stand, that the ego would be enough for us to contend with, that we didn’t need controversy.

I agree with Jesus on this point. It is enough that he doesn’t close the door on either concept—truth or myth about the virgin birth. Our interpretations, our analyses, our theology, often only divide us from each other, and this we don’t need. It is enough to know that we are resurrected as Jesus was resurrected, and, as he also says about Mary, for us it is in form. This is the elevated Self of form, about which he speaks often and much.

We will stay in life, resurrected, as did Mary (according to Jesus in ACOL). We do not have to die to be resurrected. This is the new revelation, the new thought that Jesus is giving us now. We will be united with our Self, but remain in form, and this physicality will not deter us in any way. We will be home free. Christ-consciousness will have happened for us, and for most of us, it will happen quietly. We don’t have to fear that we will be hurled precipitously into reality. Our reality will dawn in quiet and in peace.

And we will ask for little more.

Prayer

Thank You for the gentleness with which Jesus approaches Mary. He is trying to keep all of us in his corner, not appealing to a few, to turn off a few others. We don’t need controversy, do we?

Be with me as I seek to live perfectly calm and quiet nearly all the time. I won’t say “always,” because “always” is probably more than I can muster. I am human, of course, with human frailties, and to set up goals can involve difficulties. I would be mellow in my days, have a zen-like attitude. I am convinced that this is the best way to live.

Help me to live in a peaceable way, keeping friends of long-standing, keeping significant others close to my heart. I thank You for the comfort that You bring to me in the day, and in the night, also. I sleep soundly, knowing that You are deep within me, giving me a serene sleep.

Amen.

Union of the Human & the Divine

“My resurrection brought about the Word made flesh in each of you. You who have come after me are not as I was but as I Am. Does this not make sense, even in your human terms of evolution? You are the resurrected and the life.

“How does this relate to your thinking? You have been reborn as god-man, as God and man united. The resurrection is the cause and effect of the union of the human and divine. This is accomplished. This is in effect the way in which the man Jesus became the Christ. This is in effect the way.” (ACOL, T1:8.5 – 8.6)

Jesus says some startling things in this passage. If we allow our ego to rise again, we will be in for a fall, for Jesus says things that the ego would really like to latch upon. Don’t let it! This offering from Jesus is for the time after the resurrection, a resurrection that we now all share with him. The “god-man” of which is said later on to be the “elevated Self of form,” but at this point “god-man” may be easier to understand, though not easier to comprehend. We are both human and divine, as was Jesus. And when we have received full salvation, we will know what this means. But we can try to comprehend now: The Self is the part of us who is God, dwelling deep within. And we have previously been oblivious to this Self, preferring instead to dwell with a little, personal self, a self with a little “s.” Now we can raise our sights quite a bit, and know that God, as the Divine, has now taken hold of our personality and is raising it up to new heights, heights to which the ego could not climb.

Our god-man aspects, the union of the human and the divine, call for great acceptance of all of us. If we think that we still have faults, we can, in a manner of speaking, wish those faults away, and they will be gone. Jesus actually makes this promise in A Course of Love, though he uses different words, and what I have said is an interpretation. If we think that we attack too readily, we can just ask that this aspect of who we are might drop away—and it will. The solution, as A Course in Miracles says, is always with the problem. And, as A Course of Love says, we have no needs, for needs are resolved immediately. This cleansing of the personality is what the union of the human and the divine, with a Self released to outer play, can do for us. We have nothing to fear, no reason to judge. We are alright just as we are. God loves us just as we are, warts and all.

We ought to make determinations to clean up our act, and the Self will do this consistently, when we get still and simply ask. This is God enjoying His godliness, and being glad that his creations (us) have finally realized how to live a good life, an abundant life.

Our resurrected life can begin today. Jesus has said that he has nothing that we cannot have, that we are, in effect, all in this together.

Let’s ask today to live as who we are, just as ourselves. But realize that change for the better is always possible, once we have accepted ourselves first. We will never get anywhere good by lamenting what we are, the personalities that we have. We may have made many mistakes, but these are all correctable, and soon. We can live above the fray, in a quiet and calm way that gives us the best of heaven on earth.

Prayer

Jesus promises many exciting changes for us in the passage for today. And I need to be certain that I realize that You are behind his words, that You won’t fail to give me guidance to keep the ego at bay. These promises are real, and I accept them at face value. I wish for acceptance of myself, for changes that needs to be made in myself, and for the will to live peaceably even as change occurs.

Be with me today and always. Thank You for the promises that Jesus has made to all of us in A Course of Love.

Amen.

The Resurrected Christ in All of Us

“As I no longer suffer the separation, you need no longer suffer the sepa¬ration. Even though the resurrection returned not life to the form I once occupied, it returned me to you in the form of the resurrected Christ who exists in all of you, bringing resurrection even unto your forms. I became
the Word incarnate upon my resurrection rather than upon my birth.” (ACOL, T1:8.5)

This passage is a tantalizing glimpse at what the resurrection some 2,000 years ago actually meant, what actually happened. This passage says that the resurrection “returned not life to the form I once occupied,” and so this would seem to say that Jesus, in his appearances after death, was occupying an ethereal body. This does fall in line with part of the New Testament, which has Jesus appearing suddenly within closed doors. But he was the resurrected Christ, and he makes plain that, though he was first, his accomplishment was for all of us, “the resurrected Christ who exists in all of you.”

This resurrection for all of us will involve an elevated Self of form, as we learn in the third book of A Course of Love, the Dialogues. He does not say that this form is real, and certainly in A Course in Miracles, Jesus championed a non-dualistic view of the world, saying that it (the world) does not exist! There are some different interpretations in the ACOL community about what the elevated Self of form really means, whether or not it is real. But it is not wise for us to demand that everyone agree on everything. Theological concepts are slippery, and our finite minds cannot comprehend ultimate reality except when we are in mystical states of mind and heart. Theology also divides us as a community, and we certainly don’t want that.

The resurrection is a very mystical concept in A Course of Love. Jesus says elsewhere that he changed the world for all time with his resurrection, and that he changed the world for us. He also says that there is nothing that he achieved that we cannot also achieve. We are one with him, one with everyone, one with God. Thus there is no reason for division to reign among us.

May we occupy resurrected bodies today. This is where we are really headed, and there is no reason that, in this time of Christ, we cannot follow Jesus’s new teaching and assume that he means it when he says that his resurrection was meant for all. Elsewhere he says that it takes time for a truth to be realized, and he indicates that it may even take more than 2,000 years for the real truth to be understood. If so, we are in a fortunate position today, for we have the new revelations of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. We can see and understand what was veiled before, what was only hinted at, and not understood very well—if at all.

Prayer

Be with me today, to give me a good day. I ask this so often that I feel like a broken record. But You do answer, for when I have prayed, first thing in the morning, the events of my day do smooth out. Thank You for that.

Help me to come to understand what resurrection is all about. It is a hard concept, this matter of resurrection. And we all resurrect with Jesus, in forms that have been elevated to a new comprehension of life and what it is about.

Be with me today. Be with all of us today. Your Presence turns any day into the good.

Amen.

A New Era Dawns

“Yes, I have said that contrast is a favored teaching device of the Holy Spirit. But I have not yet said that the time of the Holy Spirit is ending even though I have stated that the time of the second coming of Christ is here. I have said that the time of parables has ended and asked you not to look to those historical figures that taught in such a way as your examples any longer. I have said a new way of learning is needed and is here. To continue to rely on the ways of old, no matter how effective they were and no matter how much they spoke the truth will be to not learn the new.” (ACOL, T1:7.4)

The new way of learning is the art of thought, which is another name for miracle-mindedness, for prayer, and for miracles themselves. Jesus even seems to be discounting his own work in the New Testament, saying that we are not to look for historical figures who taught in parables. If this is true, and it seems to be from this passage, we are to see Jesus in a new way now. His time has finally come, the time of Christ. And we are all sharing it with him. Christ is not a concept that is limited to Jesus, though he was the first. He shares with all of us, for we all have a Self Who is part of God, a Christ Self deep within. And we are finally letting this Christ Self out to play, for Jesus does not preach a laborious and overly serious way of life. In fact, at one point in A Course of Love, he tells us that the seriousness with which we have approached life has been of the ego. True life, lived in concert with the Christ Self, is lighthearted and joyous, a true change of direction from what we have known for eons.

The new way is to be learned through observation of the world around us, not learned wisdom. And, then, even this is replaced with an “in-forming” from that world of all that we need to know. These ideas, from the third book, the Dialogues, are only hinted at in this first Treatise, but the groundwork is being laid. We are going to be asked to create the new, to create a new world, and it will be said that nothing is more important.

Here, now, we are not learning through contrast any longer. We are learning through the miracle readiness in which we are suspended. We are learning from miracles that fall across our path. And these surprises, which cannot be anticipated, are joyous in the extreme. We are finally learning without any pain or struggle. We are striving for new concepts, opening our minds and hearts to the Jesus of today who channeled A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

If this is the time of Christ, does this mean an actual physical embodiment for Jesus? Jesus does not ever address this question in A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love. He does indicate in ACOL that we will embody elevated Selves of form, and these Selves will be the one Self Whom we all share, the Christ Who is universal. The question is tantalizing, of course: Will Jesus himself return to earth? But he doesn’t tell us in either ACIM or ACOL. He stresses that we are all part of the one Christ Self, and he now does say that our time has come with the second coming of Christ.

Prayer

May I reach a new understanding of how to live well today, in this time of Christ that is dawning. It is tantalizing to wonder about all that I don’t know, but in the final analysis there is very little that is needed to live well. If I reach out with love, and I avoid fearful thoughts and actions, and avoid judging thoughts and actions, then A Course of Love would say that I am on the right track. If I rest easy, in inner calm and quiet, I will be emptied of all that fear possessed previously. And if I make no decisions for other people, I will have no reason to judge their reactions and their decisions. This sounds so easy to me. Can it really be hard when You are there with me?

Amen.

Return of Heaven

“What happens when this oneness is accomplished is that divine memories arise to replace perception. This is miracle-mindedness. The accomplishment of this state of being is the reason for which you are here. It is your return to your Self. It heralds the return of heaven through the second coming of Christ, the energy that will bridge the two worlds.” (ACOL, T1:6.9)

This passage compresses a number of ideas in just a few words, words that cry out for deeper understanding. We are seeking oneness with God, and we reach that oneness when we turn inward to the Self, for the Self is part of God. When we have released this Self, we are flooded with memories that Jesus calls “divine,” and we are, finally and forever, released to miracle-mindedness. This is when we practice prayer that is unwavering and a constant thing in our lives; this is when we practice the art of thought, thought that embraces miracles just all the time, even in our very daily life.

We are on earth for a purpose, and it is the return of our being to the Self, the end of perception as the ego has taught it to us, and the coming of miracles that give us a new way to live. Jesus tells us in A Course of Love that we are now in the age of Christ, and this age will bridge heaven and earth. We are certainly, therefore, here at a wondrous time. A time that the ages have longed to see. We will not fully appreciate our position now in this world until we have reached union with the Christ Self Who resides within each of us. This is the Christ-consciousness, the Awakening, that we all long to see, and see right away.

We must at first be satisfied with glimpses of the Awakening. We will know a peace that passeth understanding, we will sense love in a deeper way than we can remember previously, and we will feel a harmony with others that has often been missing heretofore. These glimpses, if all goes according to the usual way, will lengthen, so that our thought processes slow down as we experience peace and not drama. We are on the verge now, and nothing could be more fulfilling. The ultimate bestowal of Christ-consciousness comes, however, when the ego has finally been vanquished, when fear has gone away, when judgment does not mar our days. Then and only then does God, metaphorically, each down and lift us up to the Christ-consciousness that has been His Will all along.

Let us pray for union with the Self today. Let us realize that we are praying in God’s Will. He will act as soon as we are ready, and we can remove the barriers to this abundant life by paying attention to what transpires for us. We can choose to drop fear by praying it away, we can choose to drop judgment by loving it away. The possibilities are endless, once we have touched miracle-mindedness ever so slightly.

God’s way will heal us. Let us ask for that today.

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask for a good day of no fear and no judgment, as well as no attack, no anger, and no senseless planning to protect myself in the future. These are the prerequisites to Christ-consciousness, or Awakening, as outlined in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. I know the truth; help me to live it.

Thank You.

Amen.

Prayer

“Thus prayer must be redefined as the act of consciously choosing union. With this definition, you can see how your life can become a prayer. This does not negate the fact that a prayer is also a constant dialogue of asking, being answered, and responding. This is the aspect of prayer that makes of it an act of creation.” (ACOL, T1:6.3)

Prayer is one of the most, if not the most, solver of problems in our difficult world. When we reach deep within ourselves, to the God within, we see the solution that is always right there with the problem. It takes “getting tiny” to effect change in prayer. We have to realize that it is the Self in union with God Who can answer our needs. When we try to “get bigger” than our difficulties, and forge ahead, we virtually always get into more trouble.

So: How might life become a prayer? We ask in the depths for a solution to our worries. We are answered, immediately, but sometimes our conscious mind can’t hear the answer right away. God responds, our deeper Self responds. And it is because the deeper Self is God Himself, Who loves us, we walk a green earth again.

We are in union with the divine. When we forget that connection, we make mistakes. And from these mistakes, we need to emerge on the other side with feelings of forgiveness and feelings of love. The two go together, for until we forgive ourselves for our mistakes, we cannot understand what prompted the ill will, and we don’t love fully—for we have been hurt.

Life seems a bundle of neuroses until we decide to give up those neuroses to the One Who can heal us. And heal us He does, and immediately, though we don’t feel anything for a while. We are still nursing our wounds, and this leads to an ennui, a weakness, that paralyzes us. This won’t do. We deserve better than this, and God gives it to us, in the solution of problems brought to Him for the mending.

Prayer works. Often it is the only thing that does, for we can try distractions in the world, but they soon fail us. God, the deep Self, will mellow us out, give us a new lease on life. And in this new lease, our sorrows dissipate. We indeed walk a green earth again.

Dear Father/Mother,

Prayer works. And I pray to You today to heal my hurt and angry feelings. I know that I set a poor example when I am hurt and angry. So I would recognize my union with You, and I would gently try again.

Be with all of us today. We all do need You. I need You very much. And life improves when I an conscious of my union with You.

Thank You for the conscious contact.

Amen.

Walking the Clear Path Ahead

“Mindfulness and wholeheartedness are but different expressions of the union of mind and heart. Mindfulness will aid you in remembering. Wholeheartedness will aid you in reconciling the laws of God with the laws of man. Through mindfulness you will remember who you are. Through wholeheartedness you will be who are.

“It is in this way that you will enter a time of miracles, put an end to suffering, and thus begin the return to love.” (ACOL, T1:5.14 – 5.15)

Mindfulness is the conscious decision to pay attention to the details of walking through a day. Wholeheartedness is an openness to the heart and our innermost feelings while retaining the mental agility of the mind as an egoless entity. (These are my own definitions.) Mindfulness and wholeheartedness do work together to launch us on the right pathway away from separation from God and into union with Him, with the inner Self Who is a part of Him. Mindfulness works first, by getting us to remember who we are, by clueing us in to the Self Whom we have always been, the Self Who has only to be recollected, for we never actually left that Self. Wholeheartedness then guides us to be ourselves, just to put on no airs, to be who we are, the Self Who is one with God and knows the right route to take on our pathway through this world and beyond.

With mindfulness and wholeheartedness, we will enter a new time, a new time of the art of thought, a time of miracles. Suffering will lessen and then end, and does this not sound like a good thing? If it sounds too good to be true, surely we are underestimating God. We are returning to love, and it is a Love Who is God Himself. Our futures indeed look bright, with such promises as this.

Walk through a day with mindfulness. This is an Eastern thought that has great relevance to us now, and Jesus uses the term a number of times in A Course of Love. Be attentive, for this is what mindfulness really means. Then listen to the heart, and let the ego fall away, leaving a clear mind that is ready to join with the heart in wholeheartedness. Our feelings are apt to become muddled if we rely on the heart solely, but with the mind, a freed mind, we are much more likely to understand what wholeheartedness promises us. We will walk without clouds in our eyes, mists that cover the footpath.

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to feel good today, as I practice both mindfulness and wholeheartedness. These two concepts, taken together, are my way into miracles, my way around suffering, and my way toward love. Let me not forget in my busyness today.

I thank You for these insights into what life has to offer, life when it is lived as it is meant to be lived. I need to realize that suffering is a wrongheaded notion that is usually accompanied by emotional turmoil. This I would leave behind, now and forever.

Amen.

Overcoming Dark Nights of the Soul

“In order to experience the truth, you must move into a state that is real. Nothing is as real as everything, and is what some of you will or have experi¬enced as a “dark night of the soul.” To realize that you reside in nothingness is but the counterpart of realizing that there is an all to which you belong.” (ACOL, T1:5.8)

Probably none of us has escaped a dark night of the soul. Sometimes we are cracked open, and in the cracking, we are made more willing to listen to God. Indeed, the broken places then often become stronger because we have opened to God. Ernest Hemingway says, “And afterwards, many are strong at the broken places.” Hemingway was onto something.

Most of us have a secret hope that now that we are on the right pathway, we won’t have hard times anymore. No more dark nights of the soul. But we are bargaining with God when we think this, and usually we do keep these thoughts to ourselves. There are no guarantees. Pain comes to those who follow God’s Way, as well as to those who don’t. And bargaining, we know, is not the way we ought to commune with our God.

It is true that our pathway will have given us clues as to how to handle a dark night of the soul. We know that prayer works, and in this Treatise, we have learned that prayer and miracles and the art of thought are the same. We may not fully understand this yet, but we are getting there.

Our dark nights are also known as the “void.” And they may signal a period of growth for ourselves. None of us are beyond the human condition, though to encourage suffering would be foolishness, and this Treatise makes that clear. We have many false ideas about suffering, but when we are just ourselves, being who we are as the Self, we are eliminating the false egoic ideals that are a precondition to suffering.

If we encounter a dark night (which may happen, given this quotation for today), we are not to lament our fate or to rail against a God outside of ourselves. Our God is within, and He does not plan nor encourage suffering. Rest easy, know that this too shall pass, and then the bad time will dissipate into the mists from which it came.

Only when we are consistently in our right minds and hearts will we be beyond a dark night. And most of us have not reach such a condition yet. But we have made progress, and as we proceed, the times of darkness will diminish, and eventually pass away. Just be ourselves, just be who we are—no false personas here. And the blessings of God will shine away, with His Light, the bad times.

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the lessons that dark nights have taught me. But I would get beyond all of this now. And with You, helping me, this is possible. I do not bargain with You, though. This is foolishness.

Help me just to be myself, a whole rather than in parts, projecting different aspects of a self. When I am just myself, the precondition to suffering is gone, and with it, the dark night.

Amen.

Choose Love and Leave Suffering Behind

“While I came to reveal the choice of Love to you, the choice that you each must make to end such suffering, the illusion of suffering has continued and in its continuation made the choice of Love seem all but impossible. If not for the suffering that you see all around you, the choice for Love would have been made. If the choice for Love had been made, the suffering you see around you would be no more. This is the paradox.” (ACOL, T1:5.3)

Jesus is here saying that it is not simple to choose Love, though choosing Love would eradicate suffering. Why are we so stubborn about this? Why don’t we just—choose Love?

We don’t know how. The words are so familiar to us that they have all too often lost their meaning. Perhaps if we focus on the reality of what we need to experience, we will be able to leave suffering behind.

Our reality is the God-Self Who is deep within, eager to emerge. When this Self emerges, we will have beaten down suffering, once and for all. Pain may still occur in a physical environment where pinpricks hurt, but the emotional investment in pain will be gone. And with it, the suffering.

If we can just believe this, we will be home free. The paradox needs to be held in mind. Without the suffering, the Love is there; when the Love is there, the suffering is long gone.

Our fears make for a lot of the emotional investment in suffering. And fears are doubts about ourselves. When we have confidence in ourselves, we will be above the fray. We will have found a way to be happy in this world. Self-confidence is the great protector of emotions. And others are drawn to our self-confidence, especially and only if it is not egoic in nature.

Jesus says that the basis of fear is self-doubt. And surely we can pray that this self-doubt be removed from us. When the Self emerges, self-doubt is gone. And we are now in the process of letting the Self emerge in all its non-egoic majesty. Self-confidence will blossom, fears will leave us because our doubts have left us. The way seems bright indeed.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would invite self-confidence today. I know that the opposite of self-doubt is self-confidence, and self-doubt brings on fear—a fear that I would leave behind. Be with me today as I rest in Your peace. You are here for me, always and forever. You know my needs before I become aware of them. And I ask that these needs be answered immediately. The solution is always with the problem. And problems are a form of need.

Be with me as I walk through this day. Be with me as I seek to experience You in all your glory. May my self-doubt end, and with that ending may fears vanish into the mists from which they came. I would leave any and all suffering behind in the dust. I would choose Love today.

Amen.

End Fear and Begin Miracles

“From time immemorial, fear has been associated with God. This was the thinking I came to reverse. While I succeeded in revealing a God of love, this revelation has not been reconciled with your experience here. This is what we will now seek to do by putting an end to fear and ushering in, with this ending, the beginning of a time of miracles.” (ACOL, T1:4.27)

Fear is a precondition for suffering, and so when we remove the fear, we will then remove the suffering. And we can have pain, part of the human condition, without suffering, because much of what we endure is emotional turmoil. Any physical pain becomes lessened when we get out minds in league with God, with the Self deep within, in the perfect calm and quiet of Awakening. And we can have these glimpses often, even when in pain.

Jesus did show us a God of love, and we often forget that this was not the Israelites’ experience of God. They believed that He was a God Who had to be mollified by good deeds and sacrifices. They would not have understood “love” as the prime attribute of their God. But Jesus changed all this.

We have not experienced the change, though! This is the irony, what Jesus is working now to change. Something, in a perfect world, a perfect creation, has gone wrong. And suffering is that thing. If we saw love in everything, we would have forsaken suffering; and the reverse is true as well, if we forsake suffering, we will see love everywhere.

How exactly can we bring this about, the end of suffering, the all-encompassing gift of love? We need just to call on the deeper Self, to be ourselves, or, as Jesus puts it, to “be who we are.” This is actually being ourselves, and this is folk knowledge in our culture from a long way back. If we experience pain, it most definitely does not have to turn into suffering, regardless of how bad it may be. It is the emotional turmoil that renders us frantic. It is the emotional pain that is our real enemy (an interpretation, not stated in ACOL).

Even though we probably believe what Jesus said from 2,000 years ago, we have not experienced that truth of love being everything. Not in our personal experience. We can change this. And we must change this, sooner rather than later, if we are to have inner peace. When we give up the highs and lows, the drama, we will be happy. And not until.

Dear Father/Mother,

May I spend my day in calm and quiet, for this will bring me happiness. I know that when I have conquered my egoic need for drama, I will be alright. I will not turn into an uninteresting person, though some may find me less engaging. This does not matter. Ordinary people living extraordinary lives will turn others to God, to wholeheartedness, to union with the Self, and the Christ-consciousness. Let me do my part today.

Thank You for helping.

God Talks through Revelation

“Revelation is a proper description of the mode by which the art of thought teaches and helps you learns. It is not through study, effort, or re-interpretation but through revelation.

“Revelation is direct communication with God in the sense that it is direct communication from a Self you have known not, the Self that is one with the Creator.” (ACOL, T1:4.23 – 4.24)

Perhaps most of us have not believed that revelation from God would happen to us very often, if at all. We imagine that we are not “good” enough.

But goodness is not the criteria. Once we have reached this far in A Course of Love, we are ready, for we are opening ourselves to the Self, deep within, who is at one with the Creator, God. We will know by revelation now. And we won’t learn what we know by analysis. Jesus says not by “study, effort, or re-interpretation.” We will know in an immediate sense, a knowing that comes from within and carries a certainty that our previous understanding has lacked.

What a blessing this is! We will actually know things, not perceive them. And this knowing carries its own assurance that we are on the right track. Part intuition, part immediate certainty, this knowing is all-encompassing of our immediate situation. We recognize, though sometimes we will not be able to act immediately. And the extent to which we cannot act on what we know if in all likelihood the extent to which the egoic mind still holds sway.

We don’t want the egoic mind to hold sway, of course. And how do we stop something so deeply embedded in us? We search for peace of mind and heart, knowing that we are definitely asking in God’s Will. When we have read this far, we have been willing to give up the egoic mind, and it is only our cooperation that has kept it in place. Now, without our cooperation, it will fade away, for we will gently turn from it to something much better—revelation brought about by wholeheartedness, the fusion of mind and heart that is a major theme of A Course of Love.

Let us ask for revelation today. Revelation can show us Christ-consciousness, first in glimpses, and then more and more as a part of our everyday life. Then will come that glorious moment when we know that we have crossed the bridge into Awakening.

And nothing will ever be the same again. Nothing the same, everything much better.

Dear Father/Mother,

Be with me today as I seek to go peacefully about my world. I have some appointments, some busyness that will call to me today. But you will go with me. And so nothing that seems to happen to me in this world has to be seen as real—except the love that I will encounter.

And I ask to see that love today.

Thank You.

Amen.

Let Memories Pave the Way to a Beautiful Future

“As was already stated, the first opportunities for you to learn the art of thought will be provided through what we have called the re-experiencing of memory. These are opportunities to re-experience the lessons your life has brought you.” (ACOL, T1:4.21)

This directive is fun to do. Who does not like to re-experience our life through memories? Of course, later on Jesus will caution against interpreting what we are reviewing. This interpretation is what we are used to doing, and it won’t get us where we want to go, which is to respond to our past with love and patience, sure that when we relive, we are safe.

We do learn through our lives. In the Dialogues, the third and last book in A Course of Love, Jesus encourages us to avoid study of the old masters, the learned wisdom of those whom we have deemed wiser than we are. In its place, he counsels observation of our lives, observation of the world and all that is in it, observation that will take us somewhere. And this observation is what we are now doing with our memories. We are trying to see what we can learn from what has gone before.

My own personal recommendation is that one lie across a bed when re-experiencing memories. This puts the body at rest. It is how I got up-to-date with my life when I was quite young, a child. We can’t retrieve memories well if we are uptight; the subconscious won’t come to our bidding. But the subconscious is what we are retrieving now. And when we have successfully retrieved the subconscious, we go on to the Unconscious, the God/Self deep within. And the union with our depths is what this re-experiencing of memories is really all about. It will lead to this further blessing of union with our depths.

Our life is our best learning mechanism. Have we really ever doubted this? The best knowledge that we have ever read is meaningless unless we can find something with which to identify. And this identification is with what has occurred in our lives.

Be still today, in whatever place or position you deem wise. Let the mind (and heart) rest. And see if God Himself doesn’t speak to us from our depths.

Dear Father/Mother,

May I spend some time today in contemplation of my life history. I get so busy sometimes, and in the busyness I fail to reach to You.

I would not make that mistake again today. Be with me as I seek to find You in my depths. Be with me as I seek to learn from my past. And may I know that regardless of what has happened, I am safe now.

Amen.

Appreciation and Love Surround Us Always

“My request to you to choose a miracle is but a request to you to hear Creation’s response to who you are. What might such a response sound like? Feel like? Look like? It is a response of pure appreciation and love. It is always available. It is the gift given in everything you look upon and see without the obstacle of the ego-mind’s interpretation.” (ACOL, T1:4.16)

“Creation,” here is God Himself. And the One. The All. A response from the whole of Creation to who we are. Later on, in the Dialogues of A Course of Love, the third book, we will see that being who we are is very, very important to Jesus and to ourselves. It is the way that we will proceed, the Self Itself moving forward in tolerance of others, love of others, and peace everlasting. Who we are is the inner Christ Self, and there can be nothing more important for us to learn. This who we are will fashion our lives of the future. This is what we will know and understand when we have united mind and heart in a non-egoic pattern of living. It is appreciation and love, and we too will share in these traits. The ego-mind has no part in this way of living.

Jesus points out what he was really getting at, aside from our fears, when he asked us, several pages back, to choose a miracle. Not something specific, as he later confirms while we dally. But something that will show us who we are. And who we are is shown to us by God Himself, coming out from deep within us in the form of the Christ Self.

Pure appreciation and love are not to be taken lightly. If we really understand this entreaty, we will rush to obtain it for ourselves. Pure appreciation and love always foster peace, and inner peace is essentially what we are finding when we welcome the Self who has been plastered over by the egoic, little self. We will disavow drama in our lives in favor of quiet and calm. We will find that our new reality, the true reality, is an inner place of great tranquility. All of the positive traits of reality—the joy, harmony, peace, constancy—meet us when we turn inward to the Self.

Let us ask for the blessing of the Self today. This is identical to asking for Christ-consciousness, and when we ask for this blessing, we are asking in God’s will. At least calm down enough to catch a glimpse of Awakening. The glimpse may not last, now, but we have all had glimpses, and these tell us that there is nothing to fear. Nothing to be afraid of.

Let the miracle that you request be the wholeheartedness that Jesus has championed for us. This will allow the Self to become available, in union with the personal self, and then this will, in time, lead to Christ-consciousness. We are making the preparations for a blessing that will far exceed anything else that we have experienced in this world.

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for a good day, for a good experience of peace and intimacy with others. This is what I would wish for every day, and with Your help, it becomes attainable. Be with me as I finish out the day. Help me to have good energy in tranquility, the peace that my deepest Self can and will bestow on me.

Thank You for being with me always, even in the middle of the night when I wake up and can’t go back to sleep right away. My prayers to You lessen my midnight anxieties and give me the ability to drift back off to a peaceful sleep. You are always with me, deep within me. Thank You for the knowledge that I can look within and see You at any time, day or night.

Amen.

Respond to Our World—and Live Joyfully

“The second rule of the art of thought is to acknowledge relationship, the call for a response, and the nature of all gifts as being given to all. This is thus a call to realize that you exist in relationship, that your relationship calls for a response, and that you are given to all as all are given to you.

“This is an enormous shift in your habit of thought as you become the center of the universe.” (ACOL, T1:4.6 – 4.7)

A “response” may not seem to us, at first glance, to be putting ourselves in the center of the universe. And we may bristle at this description, thinking that it is an egoic statement. But when we respond to that surrounds, faithfully and truthfully, we are not in the ego. We are in relationship to all others—all others, God, and the Self deep within, where the center is.

Think of the example of the sunset again. This simple, everyday occurrence, will soothe us as we try to come to terms with what the art of thought really means. We appreciate the sunset as a gift of God—that is the first rule of the art of thought. And then we are moved to respond, usually internally, to that sunset, and this is the second rule of the art of thought. We see ourselves in relationship to the natural world, the sunset being an especially beautiful example of the natural world.

The sunset has been given to us. The All has been given to us; there is no difference. This All is God Himself, present in all that exists. This form of pantheism, presented in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, still sees the All as One. This is why, from every point, that point is the center of the universe. That is why we can begin to see ourselves, in a non-egoic response, as the center of the universe. It is like a hologram; the whole is present in each point. And that point is the center, for the center if actually everywhere.

We need to recognize that we are given gifts by God, gifts for our pleasure and enjoyment. And, in return, we are asked to respond to the whole universe, the universe with which we are in relationship. These are the two rules for the art of thought. And when we begin practicing the union of heart and mind, and our own union with our deeper Self, we will know a joy that has eluded us until now.

Ask for the joy to rain down upon us. Just ask.

And we will be met with a happiness unexpected in common hours.

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for your guidance. Thank You for ACOL. Its heartwarming passages do indeed teach us a new way to live, a new way to think. And we are made the better for the transformation that we are about.

Be with me today, as I seek to increase intimacy with others. I need them, as they need me. Isolation doesn’t become any of us, for we are meant to be in relationship, to be interdependent.

May the rules of the art of thought inform all of my comings and going today.

Thank You.

Amen.

It Is Time for Our Christ Self to Come into Its Own

“Now that we have more prop¬erly identified the miracle, you must see that your Self is what is in need of identification and acknowledgment. This identification and acknowl¬edgment was the stated goal of A Course of Love. It does not negate your existence as a human being nor does it deny your existence as being a gift of the Creator.” (ACOL, T1:4.4)

The Self is the inner Christ Self, the part that is of God. It is the part with which we have been out of touch, separated from, during the eons that the ego ruled. The Christ Self is what learns, what is in need of learning. While this may seem strange to our ears, it is nevertheless what Jesus affirms in A Course of Love. The Christ Self will come into evidence when our mind and heart has joined in wholeheartedness. We will be in union with the Self when wholeheartedness reigns. The fact that the Christ Self is coming into its own does not negate our human attributes in favor of the divine; it is a merger of the two. The art of thought, the miracle-mindedness that we will now utilize, will make clear to us that our Self is a creation of God, a differentiation of Him into parts, of whom each of us is one part.

As a creation of God, our very being is a gift from Him. This attitude will invite miracles in our life, for we will be responding with our whole being, human and divine, the Self with whom we are newly united. Miracles will become a way of life; indeed, everything will be a miracle. If it appears that we are living in heaven itself, then we would be deducing correctly. Miracles constantly smooth the way in heaven, and heaven on earth is what we are moving toward. Ever closer to heaven on earth, we accept the new learning that our Christ Self will reach through observation of ourselves, others, and the physical world. And then we will be in-formed by this observation. As you can perhaps intuit, we are leaving behind the necessity to refer to learned wisdom of the past. The past has helped us, but its viability in our new state of mind and heart, wholeheartedness, is limited.

The art of thought will free us to move away from egoic interpretation and allow us to move into a response to God and our brothers and sisters, not to mention ourselves. Response is what we are after now; analysis and interpretation won’t get us where we want to go. Remember the example of watching a sunset unfold; this simple everyday experience asks for a response from us. There is no need to do any analysis or interpretation. Analysis or interpretation would mislead rather than help. The glory of the sunset would be lost when our mind, still influenced by the ego, invited an analytical interpretation.

What does wholeheartedness really mean? It means that our heart will do the leading, and in that leading, the mind has acquiesced. The mind is no longer shadowed by the ego; it has been freed by the heart as the center of our being. This center will lead us rightly, and with the mind in union, we will have the innate capability to see a new world. Our perception will have been altered into knowledge, as A Course in Miracles said. Our new knowledge will show us a cleansed world, a world that we will love and that will love us in return. The way home is not hard or long; it just does patience not to run ahead before our heart has spoken the words that we need to hear. Christ-consciousness will follow, and then we will truly understand, for the first time, what union of mind and heart, and union with the Self, really mean.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would ask for good motivation and energy to listen to my heart today. I would shake off any lassitude and take steps in Your world to do the good on which you send me. Help me to listen well to what my Self, united with You, really understands. Help this guidance of the Self to be effortless and easy, a welcome blessing in a world that has heretofore been one, sometimes, of pain and suffering I am moving into a new world, and this new world, when I am who I really am, eliminates the precondition that causes suffering. I would be who I really am today, full and complete. Help me.

Amen.

Miracles = Prayer = New Art of Thought

“A Course of Love began with an injunction to pray. A Course in Miracles began with a definition of miracles. Both are the same. Prayer and the art of thought are the same. This should serve to make it clear that the request I have made of you is once again far more broad and generalizable than your old habit of thought has led you to see.” (ACOL, T1:4.3)

Here we see that prayer = miracles =art of thought, and we see that Jesus’s request to us to choose a miracle is a broad-based request that has applicability in every facet of our lives. We had thought, and he let us think for a while, that his injunction to choose a miracle was for something specific. He then led us through a labyrinth of the reasons that we were not acting on his request (for he knew that we would not act, being too fearful of his request). He wants us to drop those fears, fears that have their roots in the specific nature of our egoic thinking, the only thinking that we have known. Now he has finally, after several pages, explained to us, in this passage, that what he is wanting from us is an entirely new way of life, a life that is miracle-based, prayer-based, and based in a new way of thought.

We can pray without ceasing, though if we have never tried, we will naturally doubt that we would ever succeed. As Jesus said in A Course in Miracles, we are much too tolerant of mind wandering. And wander our ego-mind will do; it is only when the ego has been abandoned that we begin thinking in a new way, the prayerful way that invites miracles moment by moment through the new way of thought that we are using.

It is not easy to understand, even now, what Jesus means by the art of thought. This is because we can’t really practice it until we practice wholeheartedly, with mind and heart united as one—and our Self guiding us along the way. We need to let our Self, united with God, come out to play. We have not known about this Self for eons, caught as we have been in a false viewing of thinking through a false self trapped by ego. But all of this is changing for us now, and we are already the better for it. We will soon know a joy that has been eluding us for as long as the ego has reigned, and this goes backward in time to a point that we can only dimly imagine.

Reach for the joy of miracles, the joy that is found in a prayerful and reverent attitude toward life and our living a life. When we glimpse, ever so slightly what this change will bring about in us, we will be impatient to walk the whole pathway toward Christ-consciousness. Indeed, wholeheartedness demands this of us. And God makes the decision, but our fervent desire to live differently is fully in accord with divine will, and so when we pray for Christ-consciousness sooner rather than later, we are in league with God Himself.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would enjoy this day, a day that can be filled with miracles. I spent time in journaling this morning that gave me a new lease on life. And this was prayer, written out in my own handwriting. This is the way that You would have us live, and I now know first hand what a difference it has made in this one day. Thank You.

Be with my brothers and sisters as they seek to understand the art of thought, a difficult concept. Be with me as I seek to expand my own knowledge of what is meant. Help me to avoid a wandering mind, but keep me on task.

Thank You.

Amen.

See Miracles in Everything

“By asking you to request a miracle, I am honoring who you are and inviting you into the state of mind that is miracle-readiness. The art of thought is the expression of that state. The art of thought is the miracle.

“Thus we must dispel, along with the illusion of fear, the illusion of spec¬ificity. You have not been asked to request a specific miracle. Although your thoughts have naturally gone to consideration of the specific, this is but an indication that you are still in the habit of thinking you learned under the instruction of the ego-mind. This Treatise must change that habit in order for all your thoughts to become the miracles that express the truth of who you are. This Treatise will put your instruction fully under my guidance and allow you to disregard the instruction of the ego-mind.” (ACOL, T1:4.1 – 4.2)

Here, once again, Jesus is speaking of himself, saying that this first Treatise on the art of thought will put our instruction fully under his guidance and allow us to disregard the instruction of the ego-mind. His guidance will move us to miracle-readiness as well as miracles themselves through the continual use of the art of thought. Thus we can see that he was not trying to mislead us when he said, a few sections back, that he wanted us to choose a miracle. He didn’t mean something specific, but something all-embracing—miracle readiness in all of our thoughts, all thoughts being the art of thought that welcomes miracles as a fact of life.

We can get used to miracle-minded thinking. We can know that all of our needs are being met continually. We don’t have to look to specific miracles, but to the abstract notion of miracles and our own miracle-readiness that welcomes that abstraction. The real mind is an abstract mind, something that is made clear in the earlier A Course in Miracles. Our thoughts were encouraged there to partake of the abstract rather than the specific, because specificity is of the ego. Complete abstraction is the natural state of the freed mind. And in this movement, we see how A Course of Love develops further the thoughts begun to be imparted in A Course in Miracles.

How do we develop an abstract mind that sees miracles in everything? This is not as strange as it may sound. We can easily see that everything is a miracle, or that nothing is; this is a well-recognized tenet of traditional religion. And in ACOL, we are encouraged to see that everything is a miracle.

This concept will develop flow in us. As we follow guidance throughout our day, we will develop flow. And in so doing, we will make miracles a staple of our living here on earth. We will be miracle-ready, and in gratitude we will realize that for this change, we gave up nothing. We just moved, quietly and peacefully, into miracle-minded living. And nothing will ever be the same again. We will move into a heaven on earth, suffering gone and bright skies above us. We will be home at last.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would follow the guidance that will give me flow, and in that flow I will exude miracle-readiness. This miracle-readiness will allow me to have a mind that sees miracles in everything. The whole world will take on a magical aspect, but a magic that is good, used in a different way from the old magical thinking that was irrational.

This is the most supreme good sense. Thank You for Jesus’s seductive way of speaking, a way that draws us in and reconditions our minds by leading us to our hearts. I would be grateful today for all that You have led me through in this lifetime, even the painful parts. I know that suffering can be behind me now as I reach toward the union of mind and heart, and the union with my Self, found deep within my core, where You are.

Help me to be grateful in a way that I have not been previously. Gratitude unlocks so many doors, and I would unlock the center of my Self, my heart, as I reach inward to You today.

Amen.

Why Do We Fear to Choose Miracles?

“See you not the choices made in each of these scenarios and the reasoning or lack of reasoning behind them? You are not worthy. You are not saintly, godlike or even holy. You might choose incorrectly. You might invoke retribution. You might be selfish. You might be proved to have no faith. You might succumb to thoughts of grandeur.

“In short, you are too afraid, for a variety of reasons, to try. In short, you are not willing and have many reasons for not being willing. What we have done here is bring your fears to light, fears that you did not even realize you held so closely or would be so terrified to let go.” (ACOL, T1:3.24 – 3.25)

These are the reasons that Jesus has explained that we are afraid of choosing a miracle. He has brought us along a long pathway to figure out why we have such fears. He has not asked us to choose something specific, a specific miracle, though we think at first that he has asked this. He is trying to move us into the art of thought, the miracle-mindedness that is necessary to live well with the Self in charge. This Self is our inner Christ Self, and this Self becomes available when we live with mind and heart united, a mind free of the ego, a heart living in love.

We have been afraid of many things in our lives, not only the fact of choosing a miracle that will increase our faith in miracles and miracle-minded living. Jesus knows of our fears, but he also knows that until we release these fears of our own free will, we will remain trapped. We need to release fear and judgment to have a chance at Christ-consciousness. And we are led to believe in A Course of Love that this is God’s wish for us as well. His Being, deep inside us, will direct us. And we will not be afraid any longer.

The list, above, given for fear of miracles would work for many other fears as well. The tenets of ACOL are broadly based and fit any number of scenarios. Now I would relinquish these fears as I go about my business today. When I am tempted to be fearful, I will simply ask for the miracle of love to overtake me.

And then I will rest in peace.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would leave both fear and judgment behind today. Judgment seems more in my power to relinquish, because fear sometimes just seems to take me over, unbidden. But I am colluding with this fear, or it would not arise. And I would cease colluding with fear. And with judgment. These are the two aspects of life in this world that I would relinquish today.

Be with me, and please give me a good day, a day with good energy to be up and about Your way and the way of salvation.

Thank You.

Amen.

Let Miracles Be a Way of Life

“Although many more fears might prevail upon you, we will consider only one further fear, the fear of making the wrong choice in your choice of miracles. This is the same as a fear of scarcity. For surely the working of one miracle would be a fluke anyway. Proof of nothing and easily discounted and explained away. Surely to believe that where one miracle worked another might be possible would be to have ideas of grandeur not meant for you. Here your thoughts might stray to the performing of many miracles. What a media circus that would be. You would be in demand to end so much suffering in so many places. Surely you wouldn’t want that even if it could come to be. Indeed this would require the auspices of a saintly soul and not one such as you.” (ACOL, T1:3.23)

Jesus is speaking paradoxically here, saying what we are thinking, but he, of course, doesn’t mean that he is agreeing with us. We need have no fear of scarcity and thus no need of fearing that we would make a wrong choice of miracles. Keep in mind, though, that Jesus is leading us on an exploration of our attitude toward miracles; this is the whole purpose of the discussion. And later on he says, definitively, that he has not asked for a specific miracle to be requested. Our minds have gone to specificity because that is the way that the ego-mind thinks, and we are used to its dynamic. The question is left open whether or not Jesus actually wants us to follow through and choose a miracle that we would like to see answered. He indicates that the urgency is great that we change our minds, that we combine mind and heart in wholeheartedness, that we unite with our real Self. And he is using the example of a miracle to move us closer to those blessings.

When we recognize that miracle-readiness is a way of life, our confusion will end about what Jesus actually means. He says that the miracle and prayer are the same, and we are more accustomed to prayer than we are to believing that miracles are our due. We are here learning the art of thought, which is also described as being the miracle, and also being prayer. Jesus’s reasoning is keen in this Treatise, but he is not easy to follow. It is quite possible that only a wholehearted way of viewing his words will ever work. And that is the miracle to end all miracles, his gift to us.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would eliminate the specific as I think of a miracle, but I would move into realizing that miracle-minded thinking needs to become my way of life. Thank You for the many hints that Jesus gives in his discussion of the art of thought. He would have us to commune with our Self, Who is a part of You, and in this communion finally come to understand what prayer is all about. You are within, and that is where I can find You. I don’t pray to a god outside of myself anymore. And I don’t pray out of fear, which will not work. Prayer that works is gentle and quiet, and filled with the miracle of full surrender to You.

Be with me today as I seek to follow guidance without stubbornness to go my own way.

Amen.

Choose a Miracle Today–and Be Reassured

“But again I tell you this is no idle request. Whatever is necessary to convince you now is what I will provide. Such is the urgency of the time, the urgency for the return to unity, the urgency of the need to leave fear behind. Can you not, from this one example of your fear of miracles, see the glaring reality of all you still would fear?” (ACOL, T1:3.12)

The fact that Jesus urges our return to unity—the wholeheartedness that is joining with the inner Self—suggests that we have something to do that will effect this return more quickly. I hope that this is so. When we believed, as A Course in Miracles seemed to say, that we were totally dependent on God’s making the decision, we might have felt impotent to do anything concrete that would make a difference. Things are different now, explained differently in A Course of Love. Jesus is unmasking our fears about miracles, letting us know that we are afraid to request a miracle, and in this fear is our whole problem encapsulated.

If we ask for miracles, and open ourselves to them, we will move ever closer to love and away from fear. And this closeness to love is what make the union of mind and heart so real to us, the wholeheartedness and the union with the Self. We cannot effect any change out of fear, for fear is a product of the ego-mind, which, despite its bombastic nature, is actually pretty weak and unable to effect any real change for the ego-mind lives in illusion.

We must ask to be cleared of our fears, of the conditions that have brought the fears about. Jesus in ACIM has said that we cannot ask him to heal us of fear, for to do so would step in the way of cause and effect, a most fundamental law of our minds. But we can ask for help in easing the conditions that have brought the fear about. This he can do. And will do.

Jesus’s urging that we choose a miracle is no idle request. He wants us to be believers in the fullest sense of the term. And when we let him influence our minds and hearts, we are getting ever closer to enlightenment, to Christ-consciousness. This is another way of describing the union with the inner Christ Self. And the union of mind and heart to form wholeheartedness.

Let’s ask for help in the conditions that have brought our fears about, and let us ask today. Then move on to ask for a miracle, in whatever way this is meaningful to us.

We will not be sorry to spend our time in this way. We will find our way home, and this miracle business is the surest and shortest route.

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask for Your help today in choosing a miracle that would ease my fears. I would move toward love in every respect. When I fall from this high point, lift me up. Help me to incorporate love in every part of my life.

Be with all of us today. The miracle will answer many problems. It is the best thing that we have going for us.

Amen.

Miracle-Minded Thinking Is the New Way

“I ask you now to request a miracle.

“What kind of a miracle should you ask for? How big of a miracle should you request? How big is your faith? How much proof does it require? I speak not in jest but ask you to seriously consider just what kind of miracle is needed to get you to change your mind about who you are and thus about the nature of your thoughts.” (ACOL, T1:3.7 – 3.8)

In asking us to request a miracle, Jesus is making a point that we have many fears surrounding miracles. Then in the next few sections, he outlines just what those fears really are. Eventually he tells us that he was not asking for a specific miracle, although as individuals for whom the specificity of the ego has been rampant, our thinking has naturally gone to the specific. His main point in talking about our request for a miracle is to point out what is holding us back from miracle-minded thought, the type of thought that he means by the “art of thought,” the theme of this book in the Treatises.

He says also that asking us to request a miracle would seem to go against what he taught in A Course in Miracles. He said there that consciously selected miracles are apt to be misguided—that we should wander into the territory of consciously selected miracles. But he says now, in A Course of Love, that the extreme urgency of this time, and to our return to wholeheartedness, demands extreme measures, and asking for a miracle is part of fulfilling our needs now, our needs to get over our fears of miracles.

Most of us will not actually choose a miracle when asked to do so. We will eagerly keep reading, and then we will find ourselves nodding our heads at his evaluation of our fears of miracles, and the reasons that Jesus gives for our reluctance to name a miracle for which we want an answer. Nevertheless, when a few paragraphs over, we find Jesus saying that he does not mean a “specific” miracle, we are likely to feel duped, even though we haven’t followed through because of some of the fears that he names.

Jesus is using a stylistic device to engage our best thinking, the thoughts of the art of thought. He does not mean to dupe us. He means to open our eyes to our own faulty reasoning and our own fear. The art of thought, which he is teaching us in this Treatise, means miracle-readiness and miracle-minded, the fulfillment of a new way of life. The art of thought will free us to perform miracles repeatedly and as a matter of course. If Jesus can get us to see that our fears are holding us back from just this laudable purpose, he will have fulfilled part of his purpose in this first Treatise.

If we get over our fears, we can enter into a new way of thought, the art of thought, that will broaden our perspective on what life and living are all about. We will be supporting the union of mind and heart into wholeheartedness, and the union that we need to have with our deepest Self, the inner Christ spirit. Extreme measures are needed to jolt us out of the ego-mind. And Jesus provides what is needed.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would feel energetic today to do Your bidding in a miracle-minded way. I would cast aside my fears about doing miracles by listening to Jesus and following in his way. I want to turn aside from the ego-mind with a final decision to perform whatever miracles are asked, miracles that become a way of life. Help me to do this.

Be with me today as I seek to keep a clear-eyed view of this world. I would follow Jesus’s reasoning about my fears of miracles, and I would turn aside from fears of this type. May I find a new way of living by turning to the miraculous in everyday life.

Amen.

Wisdom Discounts Fear-Based Living

“How can what is closely guarded extend? How can what is controlled create? How can what continues to give in to fear know love? All your reasons for fear-based living have been discounted one by one. And yet you dare not try to live without it. Why? Because of the thoughts of the ego-mind. The ego-mind is concerned only with its own survival but it has you convinced it is your survival that depends on it. How can you be convinced to live as if the truth were otherwise? For only if you begin to live as if the truth were otherwise can you see that it truly is otherwise, or based on a wisdom other than what has come before.” (ACOL, T1:3.5)

We need to base our living on a better mind than the ego-mind; we all know this. And the Self knows best, the best that is part of God. This inner Christ is there to help us live by wisdom that does not seem to be entirely our own. This belief is based on the fact that the ego has never led well; we have stumbled time and again when listening to its counsel.

Now there is a better way: living in love with the Self guiding us as to our next step. We don’t live in fear when we are living in love; they are diametrically opposed to each other. And in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, we have learned why fear-based living is a mirage. We think it saves us from something worse, from living without judgment. But the judgment and fear are what have caused us to live inferior lives.

The ego is the insane portion of our mind that knows that its days are numbered, and so the ego is desperate, trying to convince us that our survival depends on keeping it (the ego) strong. This is wrong, and we know this. But in our weaker moments we give in to fear, and we don’t live from love, and so the whole house of cards seems to fall down around us.

We know better than this. We have no good reasons for appealing to fear to save us. Fear cannot save us, not in the least. And when we realize that the love that we sense all around us is genuine, we will sustain a better way of life. Things will get easier. Our hearts won’t beat as fast in pain. We will live with our heads high, but not in pride. We will live with our heads up, knowing that we are listening to a guidance from our inner Self that is true and good.

And when we listen to that inner Christ, we are healed.

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to live peaceably in this world, without the ego pulling at my mind to let it (the ego) reign. I would not live with the ego in the ascendancy. I would live from love, knowing that in this decision, all future decisions are made easy.

Be with me today, drawing out the peace that is deep within me. Help me to know when to act, when to speak—and when not to do either. The peace that You give me is the only real peace in this world, the only real peace in the only true reality.

I would listen to my inner Self today, with a smooth heartbeat, slow and easy. Fear has no place in me when I have made this decision.

Amen.

Rules for a New Way of Thinking

“Thus, these are the basic rules of the art of thought: First, to experience what is and to acknowledge what is, both as a fact of your existence as a human being and as a gift of the Creator. Second, to acknowledge the rela¬tionship inherent in the experience, the call for a response, and the nature of all gifts as being given to all.” (ACOL, T1:2.19)

Become familiar with these rules for the art of thought. They need further explanation, and Jesus does try, with a whole treatise written to explain the art of thought.

This concept, the art of thought, is not easy to understand. We can’t begin to understand until we have let loose our egoic thinking, for the art of thought is diametrically opposed to the ego-mind. When we are letting our inner Self hold sway, we will understand more. And when we let miracle-readiness and miracle-willingness come into play, we will learn even more. Prayer, also, is never far from the art of thought.

If confused, return to the treatise itself, and in Chapter 2 of the first treatise, read carefully the example of the sunset. We can see how we would enjoy making a response to a beautiful sunset. And this elemental example will prime us for seeing further examples crying out for the art of thought, examples from our everyday life.

The response that we need to make is one of love, though Jesus does not place the concepts side by side in this treatise. We are definitely acting from love when we are in miracle-readiness, carrying out miracles, and in prayer—three concepts that elsewhere in A Course of Love are identified with the art of thought. This will be enough to set our sights high, high above the egoic mind that has held sway for so long.

We are in relationship one to the other, and we do need genuine responses to one another. When we open ourselves to miracle-minded thought, we are as close to following the art of thought as it is possible to come.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would respond with a full heart to the significant others in my life. I would appreciate them, as I appreciate Jesus’s example of a sunset. I would find good reasons to respond with blessings extended to others. Help me to do so.

Be with me for the remainder of this day, helping me in times of trouble. Your ways are not my ways, but I am learning from You. And Your blessings do grant me a good life. Thank You for this.

Amen.

Relationship Is All about God

“All relationship is but relationship between Creator and Created. The new means of thinking is referred to here as the “art” of thought in order to call your wholehearted attention to the continual act of creation that is the relationship between Creator and Created. Creation is but a dialogue to which you have not responded. The art of thought will free you to respond.” (ACOL, T1:2.12)

This passage calls for careful thought, but even then the full implications will remain elusive. For there to be relationship between Creator and Created in all relationship hints at the God within each of us. This is the type of pantheism that A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love delineate. The term “art” of thought will still remain elusive, though, in large part, I think, to the fact that we are really talking of miracles when we speak of the art of thought, miracles and miracle-readiness, and the prayer that initiates these miracles.

We have not responded to Creation previously because of egoic preoccupations. But we are all leaving the ego behind, and when we do, we will be much, much freer to responding to Creation as It exists. Creation is another word for God, and at other points in A Course of Love is used interchangeably with God. So we have not responded to God, basically. We have been too busy weaving fantasies of what a false reality is all about.

“The art of thought will free you to respond.” Yes! When we are miracle-minded, we are willing and able to respond to God and others, and ourselves, in ways that have previously been impossible. We are asked to make response; this is a part of what the art of thought calls us to do. Elsewhere we are told, as an example, of looking at a sunset and responding to what it says about reality. We do not “interpret” the sunset; we take it at face value. We do respond to what it means, but this is not quite the same as an interpretation, an interpretation that might be wrong. Only truth is true, as ACOL says repeatedly. And our response to a sunset is an elementary way to see what the art of thought is really about. We are responding to the sunset as though all sunsets are miracles. Which we can believe they are.

We need to respond to Creation, or God, as we see fit. And, if we are thinking and feeling with our right mind and heart, we will respond in love. This is where the art of thought is taking us—to love. But we will finally know what this means when we have turned aside from ego-oriented mind slants.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would reach out toward You this day. I would ask that I embrace the world with the miracle-minded thinking that is the art of thought. Even as I do not fully comprehend all that means now, I know that I will when I implement this type of thinking. And I ask that this change in thought come sooner rather than later.

Be with me today, for an energetic and harmonious day. May I contribute to Your world by responding to it with full attention rather than interpretation, for my interpretation would always be wrong.

Amen.

How to Find Flow in Life

“But again, as was stated often throughout A Course of Love, an alterna¬tive exists. It did not exist when you knew not of it and so your attempts at learning have been valiant and are no cause for anxiety. But now this alter¬native is being revealed to you, and it does call for a change of thought so extensive that all thought as you once knew it does need to cease.

“You have already succeeded in learning in this new way once or you would not be here. This is your proof that you can do so again and again until the new way totally replaces the old and the art of thought leaves behind forever the need for what the ego-mind once but seemed to offer you.” (ACOL, T1:2.8 – 2.9)

The alternative mentioned here refers to a change from the focus of the ego-mind to learn things that will get us ahead in the world. We have used our mind to win kudos in this world. We have benefited greatly from this use of the egoic way of thinking—but it is not the best way, as we are about to learn. Our former way of thinking has a replacement now. And it is miracle-minded thinking that is the art of thought. We are ready for the miracles that this new form of thought will bring to us. And this new form of thought relies often on prayer.

Jesus’s words about learning in this new way “once” are unclear. He may be referring in an abstract way to how our mind has functioned in the past—at least “once” with miracle-minded, art-of-thought thinking that has piqued our curiosity, and so we are still reading what he has to say in A Course of Love.

The new way of thinking presupposes a way of living in flow with prayer as our guiding force. Jesus says in this treatise that the miracle and the prayer are the same, that ACIM began with a summary of what the miracle means, and ACOL began with a call to prayer. Both are, as Jesus says, the same. We are living with guidance, rather than egoic function, as our way of living in flow. The miracle/prayer make life much easier, must less of a strain, and not a struggle at all. The new way of living is easeful, relaxed, and harmonious. We live joyfully, and we pursue our dreams in happiness. We don’t press our nose to the grindstone and keep working, stressfully.

I can speak from personal experience in witnessing to the easy flow of life when I live it by listening to guidance. These nudges of guidance come in various ways, but the most common is an interior word that gives me an indication of my next move. This is not an audible word, but an impression of my thinking that is perhaps coming from the Self whom I am letting out to play, finally. I have to be ready to turn on a dime, and sometimes I can get very stubborn at that point. But if I, as quickly as possible, drop the stubbornness, I can often see how the next step indicated by guidance is an intuitive thought that will smooth out my day. The easeful way is nearly always indicated. Jesus would not have us twist ourselves into knots, trying to follow the inner Christ Self.

Flow develops more easily when I never let stubbornness get a toehold.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would follow Your way and the way that my inner Self point out. I would just rest easy as I go about my day. I know that You are always here for me, showing me Your Presence in ways that give me great comfort. Thank You.

Be with me through the remainder of this day. The sunny day is joyful, the peace palpable. Thank You for granting me the understanding of how to live in flow, and give me the willingness to follow, always.

Amen.

Give Up the Insane Ego

“Thoughts that were guarded by the ego-mind were in need of being set free. Appealing to your heart was the means or cause of this freedom being accomplished in you. What was spoken of within A Course of Love as unlearning has begun and continues here. What was spoken of within A Course of Love as new learning has begun and continues here as well. The difference is that you are now ready to learn a new means of response to this unlearning and learning. That response is the art of thought.” (ACOL, T1:2.5)

Here Jesus explains why he appeals to the heart in A Course of Love. Our minds have been too occupied with egoic thoughts; the mind has been well-fortified. And now all of this unfortunate trend can be stopped in its tracks. Jesus appeals to our heart, and in so doing find a way to circumvent the mind, at least temporarily. When the ego has faded away, we will once again entertain the mind, and we will join mind to heart to form what Jesus calls “wholeheartedness.”

We have been unlearning and learning anew. And this will continue for a while, as we page through A Course of Love. Eventually, we will give up learning by traditional means, but we are not there yet. We need to realize that our minds have betrayed us for eons. The egoic mind was and is mad, evidence of simple insanity, and until we realize this and give up our egoic notions, we will not find peace. But peace is out there waiting for us, and it takes very little rational thought to make a determination to turn to the heart over the mind. And when we turn to the heart over the mind, we will indeed find the peace that we have so longed to have.

The art of thought is Jesus’s next means to reach us. The art of thought is described in the Treatises and the Dialogues in various ways. It is, first of all, how we create as does the Creator, God Himself. It is miracle-readiness, and even the miracle itself. It is prayer. We don’t analyze or evaluate, sitting in judgment, when we employ this new means of thought. We respond to what is happening around us, and this response is pivotal to a good understanding of what the art of thought really means. Responding, as God responds to us, is our lodestone.

Our egoic mind will give up when we turn to miracles. And our own focus on our heart, something that we know intuitively, will speed along the ego’s demise.

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to keep a sane mind today, free of egoic longings and obsessions. I would be free of the ego forever. I would follow the leanings of my heart, and my heart does, in fact, sense Your warm Presence. Thank You.

Help me to respond to my thoughts as they come in a rational way. May my heart be my guide. And may I be sped on my way as I come to understand all that is meant by the “art of thought.”

Amen.

Joy that Knows No Bounds

“The joy that will come to you from the thoughts of a mind joined in union will be unparalleled in your experience here. “Ah,” you will say with a relief and joy that knows no bounds, “this is what it is to experience and know the truth. This is what it is to create, for this is what it is like to think as God thinks.” Where once you recognized only illusion and called it reality, the mind joined in union will now, more and more, recognize only truth and experience only the truly real.” (ACOL, T1:1.10)

Union in A Course of Love means two things, related but not identical. First, union means the joining of heart and mind to form wholeheartedness. This change will transform us. It will make the second thing possible: the emergence of the Self from within, and in this emergence will come union with this Self and union with God.

Of course, all of this change will mean that enlightenment, or Christ-consciousness, is now possible for us, at first to be seen in glimpses, then in lengthening glimpses, and finally to be maintained and then sustained. It is possible for there to be a sudden change that is disorienting, but this form of change occurs less often than the gradual, quiet Awakening.

And we will know joy in union with God and in union with our Self, the part of God Who dwells within each of us. This promise is an enlargement from the dictates in A Course in Miracles, when happiness is seen to be our function (along with salvation and forgiveness). I don’t think that we need to quibble over the difference between the joy that Jesus describes in ACOL, and the happiness that he encourages in ACIM. The point is that our future is much brighter than what we have been living through, suffering because we failed to recognize and to live miracle-readiness.

The art of thought, discussed so obliquely in this first book of the Treatises, is variously described as creating like unto our Creator (God), or miracle-readiness, or prayer, or the miracle itself. The art of thought is also seen a diametrically opposite the thinking of the ego-mind, and so it is imperative that we be certain that we are no longer motivated by egoic ideals.

Let’s welcome this joy today, knowing that union is finally being reached. We live wholeheartedly, and in this new way of handling our world, we merge with the Self, the part of us Who is God Himself.

With such a change, could anything be less than ideal? Aren’t we truly and completely on our way now to a glorious new day, creating the new world that Jesus so longs to see us do?

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be grateful today for the many blessings poured out upon me previously, and the promise of ever greater blessings now and in the future. I would wait patiently for Your action in my life, for the glimpses of Awakening to lengthen, for the Awakening that You want for me to come about. When I am at peace in this world, the future seems bright indeed. And all of us can welcome a little more peace.

Be with my brothers and sisters. May I reach out when I can, and may I draw inward for sustenance when this retreat is necessary. Help me always to be open to guidance, always to cease second guessing the nudges that come to me.

Thank You for another promising day in Your Presence.

Amen.

Rest for a Tired Mind

“The mechanics of your over-worked and over-stimulated mind were what you were asked to leave behind as this act of leaving behind was the only means by which you could allow your mind to be restful enough for it to even contemplate union or the new learning required in order to facilitate your return to union. Your return to union is your return to love and it is accessed at the center or heart of your Self. Your mind was in need of silencing in order for you to hear the wisdom of your heart and begin your return. Now, in order to complete your return, mind and heart must work as one.” (ACOL, T1:1.7)

Most of us have long sensed that we have been working too hard; in Jesus’s words, we have an “over-worked” and “over-stimulated” mind. Isn’t it a great blessing that we give our minds a rest now?

In peace we can contemplate the heartfelt counsel that Jesus gives in A Course of Love. If the mind is restful, it can contemplate union, the union of mind with heart that becomes the oft-touted (in ACOL) “wholeheartedness.” We are going into new learning, at least for a time, the time that we study the Treatises. We are returning to love, and surely this will be welcomed by all of us.

Many of us have long prized our intellect, but we surely have recognized that intellect can take us only so far. And if it has been an egoic leaning, a prideful thing, then we need to leave that prizing behind. Ultimately, we realize that the fact that one person has a higher IQ than another means nothing. We are not our IQ. We come much closer to being our heart, and in the teaching of the heart, union, which is what we need to be, will blossom.

Union is at this point a composite of mind and heart into wholeheartedness. Later on, we will see union in ACOL as the joining of the Self with the All, a blessing that is Christ-consciousness or Awakening. None of us need to wait long for this change, if we live in peace and harmony, if we don’t judge, attack, or make plans against uncertain contingencies to come.

Union is what we are about today. And the art of thought, which we will learn in this treatise, will take us up to the door. All we need to do is knock, and the door will be opened.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live in peace today, not struggling with my intellect to make progress in this world. I am not about striving today. I know that my own striving actually avails nothing.

May I have Your help to be at peace? May I have Your help to find my way safely and in good grace, today?

Thank You.

Amen.

Heartfelt Remembrance

“While A Course of Love has led you to a state of wholeness of mind and heart, or wholeheartedness, your realization of this state of being requires further guidance.
. . .
“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.” (ACOL, T1:1.2 – 1.3)

It is certainly welcome news to all of us that we have found, that we need seek no more. So many times in the past we have gone from one spiritual teaching to another, never satisfied. This seeking could perhaps go on indefinitely, but Jesus would not have it so. He has counseled us to combine mind and heart into wholeheartedness; this from the first book of A Course of Love. But the further guidance that he would impart to us is the art of thought, the theme of the first treatise, from the second book of A Course of Love. And the art of thought is miracle-mindedness, for which mindfulness is a handy prerequisite. By mindfulness, Jesus does not mean some Eastern philosophy, but the remembrance that he would now encourage. We forget much, but when we turn the art of thought on our remaining memories, we are making headway toward the goal of ACOL.

Remembrance is what we are here for, but not in the sense that we would live in the past. We will bring our memories to the present, with living in the present. And we will not look ahead to the future in fruitless planning that guidance does not ask of us. This living in the present brings a present moment awareness that smooths out our days. A present moment awareness gives us happiness, for not even suffering and pain are present in just a single moment. Nearly all of our perturbed feelings when overwrought are the result of remembering past pain and looking ahead to the dreaded future suffering ahead. In the present there is calm and peace.

We can reread the first book of A Course of Love numerous times, if we feel so led. The learning continues into the second book, the Treatises. But we live behind traditional learning, in traditional ways, in the third book, the Dialogues. We are finally getting somewhere in our seeking. And we know that now seeking further is not needed. ACOL will answer our final questions, take us to the next stage in our unfolding, the Christ-consciousness about which we obsess so much.

Mindfulness aids living in the present. If we pay attention to what we are doing, and why, with full awareness, we will make real progress. And our days will be like a string of pearls, all perfect and perfectly rounded into an experience that is whole. We need not anguish any longer; the way home is shown us as we live wholeheartedly, with A Course of Love (and A Course in Miracles) as our guide.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live in the present, feeling the warmth of the sunshine, sensing Your Presence. Help me not to dwell in the past, or to look ahead to an uncertain future. Just be here now. And everything will fall into place.

May I find You today as I live in the warm and peaceful Presence that You are. Be with me as I seek to overhaul fruitless ways of living and to make a new beginning. Now is the time; today, the day.

Amen.

Embrace the Love

“Thus we end this Course with love given and love received in truth. You are the learner here until you realize that you are Love. You then become the teacher of what you are. Your mind and heart join in wholeheartedness in the embrace. You are home, and there you will forever stay.
. . .
“And what of miracles? The last and final miracle has occurred, for what miracles are needed when mind and heart are one and you have returned to the embrace? This is the miracle to end all need of miracles, the only accom¬plishment of the only Son of God. For what your heart has shared with your mind is shared with all minds and what your heart has to share is only Love. Thus has Love returned to Love.” (ACOL, C:32.3 and 32.6)

Jesus ends the first book of A Course of Love with an emphasis on Love. Later on, we will see that we cease to learn in any traditional sense, that learning is behind us now, but with these final moments in the first book, we are still learners.

And what of miracles? These also seem to be behind us now, though synchronicities will still occur that we will be tempted to call miracles. When we have joined mind and heart and are living wholeheartedness, we are living as life has been intended all along. And we are home.

We will not all have reached enlightenment at this juncture, though that is the ultimate intent of A Course of Love. It is something of a mystery still. Why do some reach enlightenment and others still catch only glimpses (for all of us, Jesus tells us in ACOL, catch glimpses)? God makes the decision, and so there are no mistakes, as there are no mistakes in all of creation. If we wonder why we don’t have sustained Christ-consciousness, we would do best to ask our Source, the inner Christ Self Who reflects God Himself. Are we doing anything wrong? Or have we chosen to remain outside the wall?

These are not easy questions to ask, easy answers to receive. Perhaps it is enough that we are miracle-minded, that we live Love as best we know how, that we live in wholehearted fashion as best we know how. We do not have all the answers while we live on earth. And impatience is a barrier, for we will have suppressed anger at our failure to achieve Awakening, and this won’t get us where we want to go.

Live the best that we know. The first book of ACOL has given much guidance. Reread as indicated. We will find our hearts warmed by the encounter that we have with Jesus in the pages of A Course of Love.

And we will move ever closer to Christ-consciousness, in that warmth.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be patient today, seeking to enjoy the peace that only You can and do give. When my agitation rears its ugly head, teach me to calm down, to relax, to get still. In the stillness I will find You.

Be with me today, on this beautiful day of sunshine. Help me to put aside anger and attack, all judgments, needless planning, and walk into the sunlight with Jesus holding my hand.

Amen.

Let Love Guide Our Steps

“That Source is Love, and it is available in every situation but for the asking: What would love have me do? What would love have me see? What would love have me say? When you call upon Love you call upon your Source. When you seek the wisdom of your heart you call upon me. When you seek the truth that is in your mind, you call upon the Holy Spirit. Thus is the Sacred Trinity always available in every situation, and for whichever learning mode you are most comfortable. All learning modes, however, will eventually return you to the Source, which is Love. The difference between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is but the same difference of which we speak when we assure you that you are of one Mind and one Heart, and that regardless of this truth you will not, in coming to know and experience this, lose your Self.” (ACOL, C:32.2)

Jesus describes in beautiful words what he interprets to be the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When we are in a particularly loving frame of mind and heart, we are seeking God, the Father, and we will be satisfied. We need only ask what to do, see, or say, and we will be answered through our Self, the Self who is never lost.

The Trinity, as a manifestation of traditional Christianity, has been particularly sacred and particularly mysterious. It is still, both of these. We use our minds when we reach to the Holy Spirit, and this is totally in line with the mind-oriented teaching of A Course in Miracles. Jesus says that when we seek through our heart, we are asking him personally for what we need or want. This does make sense, as he has championed the heart as the new way for knowledge to come to us, explained in A Course of Love.

God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit form a Trinity that meets all needs in us, the needs that the Self recognizes that are immediately met, therefore ceasing to be needs. Recognizing the Trinity is a particularly soulful way to live and work. If we react with our heart, we know warmth in everyday living that may have been missing previously. The heart knows warmth in a way that the mind, our intellect, does not. And the heart believes, without a ceaseless telling of what life is all about. We just know, and know well.

God, our Source, is available in every instance when we call on Love to tell us what to do, see, or say. When we react in Love, we cannot miss our calling. And our calling will be effected immediately, for God would brook no delay.

All of us have slightly different callings, reflecting what we do in this world to spread Love throughout all its regions. And Love is very needed, as we all recognize immediately. Our troubled world needs the balm of Love, for in this way its difficulties will be eased, the suffering diminished and then banished for all time. We have a high calling, each of us.

May we proceed on the way of that calling today. Just ask what the tasks for today are; guidance will reveal those tasks to us. And there will be an assurance in the telling that has been missing heretofore. Ask, and we will receive.

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask for minute glimpses of guidance today as I got about every moment of my living. I know that I do not ask amiss, for the guidance is there when I am ready to listen, and the guidance will be as minute, covering every detail of living, as I am willing to hear.

Be with me throughout this day. Help me to remember to ask, for guidance is something that must be sought. If I fail to ask, guidance normally won’t come through. So guide my thoughts to find the guidance that You are trying to give me when I have a willing heart.

Thank You.

Amen.

The Best Experiences Avoid the Ego

“You do not exist outside of relationship, just as your mind does not exist outside of oneness. Your experience here is but an extension of mind into a realm in which experience can occur. Your ego has made of this some¬thing different than it is. Rather than extension of mind, your experience has become a projection of ego. This can change.” (ACOL, C:31.35)

We are in relationship to all that exists, and this makes for the oneness that Jesus is extolling in this passage for today. Because we are not isolated, we need each other. Our experience in this world, with others, is an extension of mind that allows us to have experience in a physical world. We are not making a world out of ego projection any longer, and this explains why A Course of Love looks on the outer world differently from the way that A Course in Miracles explains. ACIM said that projection makes perception, and this was projection of the ego, for we were still trapped in the ego at that time, at that part of reading in ACIM. But extension of mind, what we are doing now, is a step forward, a better way, in which we join with others in relationship, and we have experiences that are much better. We are no longer isolated.

In the separation, we wanted to be isolated and alone, independent, with allies only but no companions. But we were not set up this way. We were not created this way. The center will not hold. And the ego, in its madness, probably does know this. It probably knows that it is living on borrowed time. And becomes vicious because it is threatened. This leads to nightmares in a living hell that this world can so easily become.

All of this can change, and will change, when we allow salvation to do its holy work. Salvation means many different things to different people, but in ACIM and ACOL, salvation, ultimately, means Awakening or Christ-consciousness. If we allow the glimpses of Awakening to lengthen, by a mental choice to live peaceably, we will know a tranquility that will automatically allow the glimpses to lengthen. We know many things about enlightenment, and these many things can help us now. Leave off anger and attack, judgment and needless planning, and let guidance of the inner Christ Self tell us what to do and say. This is the only way to live well.

And it will be no secret that we are healed.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would see the glimpses of enlightenment that come to me lengthen and spread out upon my world. I would reach out to others in holy relationship, and in this act, I would find You. You are my fortress from a bad world, when it is bad. You are my most important relationship, the model for all other relationships. Help me to enlarge on glimpses of enlightenment through a wholehearted welcome to You and Your children, the others with whom I am in relationship.

Be with me today to watch my steps along the road that I travel.

Thank You.

Salvation Is Simply Your Return to Your Self

“It is in this perfect sense of the perfect sanity of truth that salvation lies. Salvation is simply your return to your Self.” (ACOL, C:31.32)

We have been long away from our Self, for the Self is the Christ within, and we have allowed a foreign element to rule our minds—the ego. When we heal the separation from God, we have “merged” our non-egoic mind (and heart) with the Christ Self, and so, once again, we are truly One with God. When we spell out what is happening, or has happened, it sounds complicated, but that is not actually true. We are in our element when we merge with the Self, the Christ Self, and we are ready for the ultimate in salvation, the Awakening or Christ-consciousness.

We will know when we are drawing nigh to enlightenment. We will catch mystical glimpses in our daily lives that will enthrall us. Jesus in A Course of Love says that all of us have these glimpses. The problem in our early lives may have been that we didn’t recognize what was happening. Even if we were diligent in the practice of our religion. Now with the new revelations of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, we have treatises that speak to our mind, our intellect, and our heart, the center of our being, and these two works will go a long way toward giving us the sustenance that we need for our souls.

So: “Salvation is simply your return to your Self.” How true! And how far away from that simplicity we have gone. Our egoic minds were quite caught in a complicated lack of true reality. Let us put all that nonsense behind us now. Let us listen to the inner Self as It speaks to us, and may we listen very, very carefully. We will be helped along by our glimpses of Awakening, but that is not the whole of it. The Self requires attention, a mindful listening that will require the best of what we have. Our intellect now has something on which to chew. Helen herself said something like this when she was scribing A Course in Miracles.

We don’t have to walk far to find our Self. With every bit of knowledge that Jesus is imparting, we are coming closer. And the way is neither far nor long. Nor is it a struggle. Struggle can accompany us on our journey without distance, but the main struggle is the recognized need to give up the ego. And once this is accomplished, there is nothing that need deter us.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would welcome salvation today as a reemergence of my Self as the controller of my life and times. I would know that the egoic basis of my life has passed away, and that all is now calm and easy. I would revel in glimpses of Awakening, and I would long for ever more frequent and intense glimpses. I pray for all of this today.

Be with me as I study and as I learn. I learn from the outer world, nature, now more than learned sources. This is fully in line with what A Course of Love says. How can I give over my mind to just what another has said? I can move closer to You only by opening up my personal mind and heart to the realities of life as lived on this earth. And as I learn from nature, I also learn from other people. Learning in the traditional sense is passing away, and in its place comes something that speaks to my soul.

Thank You.

Amen.

Remembrance Sets Us Free

“What you gain in truth is never lost or forgotten again, because it returns remembrance to your mind. What your mind remembers cannot not be shared.” (ACOL, C:31.24)

This passage gives an puzzling truth: How can we not forget again? We have to realize that what Jesus is talking about is a remembrance of ultimate things, of God and the universe. Of Christ-consciousness. And once this knowledge is truly gained, there is no turning back to forgetfulness.

And we will share these truths, for “What the mind remembers cannot not be shared.” We will want to share what we have learned. We would not feel whole unless we shared it.

Isn’t it good to realize that remembrance of ultimate things is returning to us? That the long, sad separation from God is coming to an end? Those of us who have been grateful for our good minds will especially invite the truth that we will remember even better in the future: Remembrance will return our minds to ourselves, allowing the illusory ego no say in the matter. This is really what remembrance means: No ego, and so the mind is once again free.

Jesus says a great deal about truth in A Course of Love. Truth may mean many different things to different people, but certainly here Jesus is speaking of God and His wisdom, the wisdom that He will share with us, and we in turn will share our interpretations with others. This truth does not go away; it is permanent. If we lapse, the knowledge comes back, and so when we gain in truth always. We certainly do not lose this knowledge, nor do we forget it. Our ways become the ways of God, and He leads us surely down the pathways of truth.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know the truth that will set me free. I would know this truth today. I would not remember, and then lapse into forgetfulness; I would hold steady. Help me to do so.

Truth is a great benefit to the struggling individual. If we ask for the truth, it is given us, for You would leave no one out. With Your truth beckoning to our mind, we need worry no more. The things that we need to know will come to us; this is the remembrance, and I thank You for it.

Amen.

Our Way Home Is by Sharing Ourselves

“My dear brothers and sisters, what you truly are cannot be improved upon. But because you are in a state of unremembering, you must relearn who you are. You can only relearn who you are by being who you are. You can only be who you are by sharing who you are.” (ACOL, C:31.17)

When we reach out to others, when we share ourselves, we get along better. And this is, perhaps surprisingly, the only way, Jesus says, that we can be who we are. That is because we are One with all, everyone, everything, and God Himself. So to deny this by trying to isolate ourselves is to go against nature, our nature, the original nature that God gave us in our creation.

We can test this out, especially when we are feeling extroverted. Initiate several contacts with others, either by phone or in person (phone or in person works better than email). When we are reaching out in this way, there is an easy camaraderie, and a lifting of spirits. We can then, however introverted we might be, draw back in and reflect on the good feeling that engulfs us. We will feel better for sharing ourselves, even if the matters discussed are mundane and in no obvious way bear on the spiritual.

This morning I was feeling isolated and sleepy. I made three phone calls to friends, and immediately I was enlivened. Was this not an example of what Jesus is saying in this passage for today? He knows that we are meant to share ourselves, and when we turn inward too much, we don’t share and we don’t feel good.

We want to remember who we are. When we do so, we remember that we are children of God, partners with all of our brothers and sisters. We are inhabitants of a beautiful world, bringers of good tidings to others, individuals blessed by our circumstances. We are innocent, according to A Course in Miracles, never having sinned (which would be unredeemable), but guilty only of having made mistakes, mistakes that can be corrected in the present.

Reach out to others today, even if we are extremely introverted. The day will take on a luminous quality, any sunshine outside the house will be magnified.

Jesus is right. We learn who we are by sharing who we are. There is no better way to function in this world. No clearer and quicker route to self-knowledge.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would continue on the path that I started this morning, a path of sharing. I would look around me, even at strangers, and give them a smile. I would reach out to my friends and family; I would join with others as I share something of myself. The day will go better. Indeed, the day will blossom into a genuine blessing, for I will be following divine will.

Thank you for the insight that Jesus offers in A Course of Love. The way opens up, and this day becomes a lesson in giving of myself to others. And what better way to live?

Amen.

Practice the Presence of God

“For some this dislodging occurs by coming to a better understanding of the mind, for others by coming to a better understanding of the heart, or love. How the ego becomes dislodged matters not. What matters is where you place your devotion.” (ACOL, C:31.12)

We have some control over dislodging the ego, and dislodging the egowas what A Course of Love says was a prime reason for A Course in Miracles. Here, in ACOL, we are told that we may be inclined toward listening to our mind, or listening to our heart; it matters not at this point, just that we listen to the indications that the ego has to go. In other sections of ACOL, we are told repeatedly that the words are aimed at our heart, and that ultimately, we combine mind and heart to form wholeheartedness. Our heart cannot do it all, and to believe so is a misconception. Wholeheartedness is where we are finally headed.

We say so much about the ego, but perhaps we don’t have a full understanding of what the ego entails. The ego is merely a part of our belief about ourselves, a part that has been fractured off from the Presence of God. The ego performs, or tries to perform, autonomously—separate from other functions that we carry out. It seeks to perform without love, for we made it without love, and so love is an unknown part of the world to the ego. Ego, in one of its guises, is egotistical, but ego is more than having pride in what we do, what we try to succeed at. It is a way of living that is constantly being undone, for true egoistic living doesn’t work at all. We drift from elation to depression, and all states in between, when we are in the throes of the ego. We are more or less addicted to drama, not wanting to feel the serene quiet and peace that means that God has gotten into our behavior once again. We put ourselves first when we are living with the ego front and center. We don’t want to consider others in our lives or in this world; often we are so consumed with some pain and suffering, brought on by that ego, that we honestly don’t see how we can take care of anybody else at all.

Our change comes through better understanding, though. And understanding can be both of the mind and of the heart. When we make a decision to place our devotion in those things that are love, we are choosing for God, Who is Love. Nobody on this earth fails to choose for love part of the time, and so an individual who is all-consumed by the ego does not exist. The choice must be to fan the flame of love in each of us, the flame that will consume the ego and allow the light that is love to shine.

This change can come through our understanding, and it is this that saves us. Either our Self or the Holy Spirit informs that understanding. Let’s pray together to reach for love in every situation, and let the mind and heart work together to get right with God. He has always been right with us, but our presumed and illusory separation from Him has derailed us. Let’s remedy this sooner rather than later.

Dear Father/Mother

I would listen to the understanding of my heart and my mind to head toward love in all my interactions. The presence of love harken Your Presence, and with You understanding will blossom immediately, not needing time for this love is in eternity—outside of time.

Be with me today as I seek for Your Presence.

Amen.

Quest for God

“Give up this notion of losing your Self to God, and you will be done for all time with resisting God. Only in God can you find your Self. This is known to you, and is the reason for man’s quest for God throughout all time. Man may think he looks to God for answers, for release from pain, for reward, or for an after-life. But man has always looked to God for his own Self. Not looking to God to find your Self would be akin to searching every¬where but the Earth for humankind. If you do not seek where what you wish to find can be found, you seek in vain.” (ACOL, C:31.10)

God is within us. He is our very life and soul in an actual, literal sense. And by looking within, we find the Self who has been in hiding for eons. This is the Self who was eclipsed by the ego, and the ego was our false identity formed in an attempt to hide God from ourselves. The ego was formed by our belief about ourselves, and it can be given up by changing this belief. Just that simple, and just that complex when our mind tries to tell us what to do, the mind that is in league with the ego.

This is why Jesus has turned to our heart in A Course of Love. Our heart will make us happy, for when we find God through looking to our heart, we find Him once and for all. The release from pain, the reward we seek, the after-life we want—all will fall into place when we give God His proper place within our Self. But this can happen only by our awareness of what we are doing. Our awareness allows us to realize that when we have been avoiding God, looking in all the wrong places, we have been avoiding our very Self. And only by turning once again to the Self, found deep within, can we finally return home, healing the separation and feeling God’s Presence in every moment.

If we look for healing where it is not, we surely will not find it. And to look for healing in the ego is the most absurd of all seeking that we might do. Give up the ego by ceasing to look for reward in the achievements that we think that we reach. These achievements are actually hollow, for nobody on his/her death bed thinks of them. At such a time one simply knows that the only thing of importance in all the world that has just been passed through is the love that we found. That love and nothing more.

Let the Self speak to us today. This will come as a still small Voice, or, sometimes, simply as silence—but the heart will be moved. And nothing will ever be the same. The Self has been waiting to come out and play in a world made new by our choice. This is the tantalizing new situation to which Jesus calls us in A Course of Love.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would let my heart, ruled by my Self, show me the way back to You today. I would seek for You and find You by giving up all allegiance to the ego. This will heal the separation, and when the separation is healed, the whole world will open up into something very grand indeed.

I would listen to my deeper Self today, where You reside. Thank You for giving me this insight in the reading that I have done, particularly in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. May the masterful information imparted in those works keep me close to you, now and always.

Amen.

Fear of the Truth Is Fear of the Impossible Being Possible

“How silly is it to be afraid of the truth? Fear of the truth is like a fear of the impossible being possible. Like the fear of death, it is the product of upside-down thinking.” (ACOL, C:31.3)

Our thinking has definitely gone awry, over eons. And now Jesus, in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, not to speak of his life on earth, is trying to heal our minds. And the way pointed out in A Course of Love is healing through the heart. We will know the truth, and, as is always said, the truth will set us free. We have nothing to fear.

Jesus in ACOL says a great deal about the truth and its primacy in the new world that he wants us to create. The truth is true, and nothing else is true. But just what is this truth that is so important?

The truth is the true essence of who we are, the Christ Self who is once again becoming available to us. No longer dependent on the intermediary function of the Holy Spirit, we are no longer afraid of God, and truth, and we can access both directly and immediately. What a glorious truth this indeed is!

Our thinking has been upside-down as we sought to make peace with an ego that was insane, just full of madness. There could be no peace in the midst of such chaos, and we are learning this truth more and more every day that we access the Christ Self.

Let us promise ourselves that we won’t turn back, won’t reintroduce egocentric thinking into our fragile minds, but will introduce the truth to a mind and heart made powerful by God Himself.

We can do this. We must do this. And nothing will ever be the same again.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would listen to my Christ Self today. I would finally and irrevocably drop the ego from my mind. And I would substitute a heartfelt love for You, a reverence for You, that will change everything.

Heal me today. I trust that this healing will be peaceful and warm, loving and harmonious. May I be a welcoming entity to the changes that you wish to make in me, change that on some level I have already approved.

Amen.

Our Heart Beats in Union with God

“The source of love and its location is your own heart. Think now of the created form, the body. When the heart stops beating, life is seen to be over. Are you thus your heart? Or can you not see that the created form was made in God’s own image, as was all creation. You are God’s image given form, as is all creation. We, all of us together, are the heartbeat of the world. Without unity we would not be. Without our Source, which is God, we would not be.” (ACOL, C:30.13)

This is one of those heartwarming passages, about the heart, that A Course of Love is so famous for. Read the passage slowly; let it sink in. We are the “heartbeat of the world.” And without unity and without God, we would not be. Of course, this is self-evident, but worthy of listening to again.

Our form is made in God’s own image, as was all of creation. This is an echo of the Bible. And, in ACOL, we learn that we don’t have to think of form, or the body, as bad. This is a mistake that many students of A Course in Miracles may have made, though I think to so decide is a misreading of ACIM. We are not our bodies, because we are spirit, but we HAVE bodies. And it is a particularly insidious form of denial to say otherwise.

When we appeal to our heart, we appeal to the one source that can put us directly on the pathway back to God. As I have said repeatedly in this blog, the heart doesn’t need the “proof” of God’s existence that the mind (and the ego) so often demands. We just know, and we know well, when we listen to our heart. We are warmed by this knowledge as well. We sense the Presence of God, and we relax into that Presence, and we are home free.

We are not our heart, though, although its beating does signal our life. It is the center of our very soul, as present in form. We are spiritual beings having a physical experience, as has been often said. And this physical experience can be very good. We no longer have to regret that we are still on earth, in this world. All too often when we read ACIM, we longed to be free of the body, to be on the Other Side. ACOL counters this misconception with pointing out some very real advantages to having form.

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for my form, my physical body. It is your eyes, ears, hands, and feet. We can bring others to salvation when we use this form as a communication device, as ACIM says. We don’t have to lament being in form any longer, if we have ever done so.

Be with me for an energetic, productive day. May I walk Your way, today and always. May I respond when I see a need.

Amen.

All Relationship Is Relationship with God Who Is Love

“All relationship is relationship with God Who Is Love.” (ACOL, C:30.10)

God is the All, the One, and this makes the religion of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love a type of pantheism. But not little gods in everything, but the one God Who created the universe(s) out of His Being. He is all that there is. And so when God chose to create Sons and Daughters, and gave them the free will and talent to create as well, He knew that His Sons and Daughters would choose Love also.

But we chose to rebel. We were too eager, too willing to see if there were a reality out there that would be better than what God offers. So separation came about, and then the ego, which was chaotic to our minds (and hearts), and gave us the pain and suffering that life on earth has meant for eons. God remains Love, and so He is not to blame for this state of affairs. We have done it to ourselves.

When we love each other, we are loving the Sons and Daughters of God. And in that sense, all of our relationships are with Love, Which is God personified.

True, we can have special relationships that are mixed with a great deal of hate, but underneath the rancor is a holy relationship waiting to bloom. And in this holy relationship, according to ACIM, we find our way back to Holiness Itself, God Himself.

Dear Father/Mother,

May I take the first step today, in harmony and peace, the first step toward the rest of my life. Sure, I may stumble and fall, but You have shown me the way, and when I follow what I know to be true, I have outstanding days, days that you fill with Your Presence.

Be with me as I seek to carry out the tasks that still are before me. Help me to discern correctly the guidance that is coming from deep within.

Amen.

Live Fully in the Present

“How is being present different than being? Are they not the same thing? Should they not be? And yet how seldom are you fully present for your own life, your own Self, your own being. If you were fully aware of your own being, you would be in oneness with Your Father.” (ACOL, C:30.1)

We have long heard the good advice: Live in the present. But how few times have we actually been able to do this! Our minds scurry ahead and behind, caught in fantasies of the future and the past, and we don’t realize how to live in the present.

This is tragic, for here, in this quotation for today, Jesus tells us that being in the present is actually “being.” If we knew our own selves, we would know the oneness that we actually enjoy with the Father. We would be in oneness with God.

How to accomplish this! First and most importantly, we don’t need to see this shift in perspective as something to be accomplished. If we do this, our egos will arise again, and we will surely fail. We need to see being present, and being, as one and the same. We need consciously to stop our idle fantasies from reaching ahead and reaching back, and we need to rest right where we are, being conscious of the sights and sounds of what life is giving is right now.

When we live in the present, we live in God, for the only time in eternity is the present. Only time, which is an illusion, separates into past, present, and future. Eternity is the ever-present now.

Ask our Christ Self to guide us to rest in the moment that is before us—right now, always and forever. If there are plans that need to be made, our guidance will reveal those to us, in the time and moment that action and thought are needed. Until then, we need be satisfied that living in the present is the best and only way to experience our being, the being that is a part of God Himself. And the Christ Self will lead the way for us, poised in the surroundings that engulf us in each segmented part of the present.

We can live our moments in the present. We don’t have to let our minds scurry ahead to the future or muse about the past. Give the Christ Self a chance to root us in being, to root us in the present.

Dear Father/Mother,

It seems so hard to live always in the present. I don’t really know how, and that is the problem. But the solution is always with the problem, and you have told me the solution. Focus on being, just being the Christ Self. How I long to do this consistently!

Help me to live through this day without making foolish mistakes. Help me to support my brothers and sisters in their endeavors. I can sometimes get too self-centered, and this is an invitation to the ego to rise again. And I would not have the ego rise again.

Help me to reach out and sense Your Presence in my life today. Today, all through the day, and every day.

Amen.

Using Our Talents in Service to Others

“How can one’s talent cause another to be less talented? How can one’s service deprive anyone else of the right to serve? No two are alike. Only in God are all the same.” (ACOL, C:29.23)

We are not to be jealous of another’s talents nor service. In God our talents and our service are equal with our brothers and sisters, but not in time—only in God’s eternity. Here some temporarily seem to have more, and some less; this is not an actual fact, because there are always compensations in other talents and in other service. But we cannot see the whole picture, and so we think we see inequity.

If another brother or sister seems more talented, know that this does in no way influence our talent. Or less talented. The cornucopia of gifts from God is always full.

Likewise, our service. We can do more at one time, but later on we will do less. And the difference is inconsequential in eternity.

Let God direct the use of our talents, and let Him direct the choice of our service. We can live well only when we are uniquely ourselves. And when we know that our differences are not important.

Jealousy has no basis outside the judgment of the ego. And we are fast leaving the ego behind. Our evaluations won’t work, won’t get us where we want to go. Only in tolerance of others and in appreciation for their talents and service can we come to embody our own talents and service. This is because we are all One, in God, and in our sharing of each other’s gifts, we walk a pathway that is strewn with flowers. These flowers are our talents and our service, and only in true guidance from the inner Christ Self do these talents and service blossom into magnificent gifts to return to our Creator and our brothers and sisters.

All of us WILL find our way home again. And we will make contributions that are universal in scope when we realize that in every one is the One who embodies the All.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would pray that my talents and my service dovetail today. I would do for others what I would wish done for myself. Giving and receiving are one in truth.

Be with me as I seek to walk through this day creditably. May the blessings that you rain down upon me help me to make a contribution that will be helpful.

Amen.

Decide for God Today

“The choice to change your belief is before you. Are you not ready to make it?

“As you once chose separation you can now choose unity. Not knowing that unity was a choice prevented you from making this choice before now. Now I tell you clearly, the choice is yours. Choose once again.” (ACOL, C:29.18 – 29.19)

We can make some decisions for ourselves. And the choice for unity is a choice to become one with God again, to heal the separation. “Unity” and “union” are used interchangeably in A Course of Love to suggest that we are truly One with God, that it is only our poor decision eons ago that detoured us into separation. This separation was never real, but we believed it to be, and in the believing it became actual for us.

If we are reunited with God, in our hearts and minds, we will know a joy that has eluded us until now. We need the communion with Him, deep within our prayer life, that we can have. We are bereft when we try to go it alone. And we have tried to go it alone for far too long.

But God makes the decision about enlightenment or Christ-consciousness, when with our whole heart we desire this ultimate salvation. In the meantime, the choice for unity is ours and ours alone, though God informs the decision.

We can choose unity. It behooves us today to do so, in order that our joy might be full.

It is reassuring that we retain some control over our destiny. Often we feel frustrated when told that God Himself decides when we will be enlightened. We think that we know wholehearted desire for this (part of the criteria), but we do not always evaluate correctly.

Yet unity is a thing of our own decision. Indeed, we have always known that we could decide for God at any juncture in our lives. The fact that previously we did not always decide for Him was the intrusion of the ego, which did not mean us well. Decide for God, and love becomes our way. God denies us nothing that is good for us. And we won’t become shadows of ourselves caught in religiosity. Our grandeur will become real as we find the truth that actually resides in true religion, the true reality that we need and actually want above all else.

Dear Father/Mother,

I am eager to express wholehearted desire for enlightenment, but perhaps my will is lacking, at least sometimes. But I can decide for you today, and I can make this stick. I determined when I was a child that I would go Your way. And only have I failed when I let this decision get away from me.

Be with me today. Help me to trust You in all things. You go with me wherever I go, and when I truly hold this thought close to myself, I am completely unafraid. Maybe this is the real secret to leaving fear behind. I would leave fear behind today.

Amen.

In Peace We Catch Glimpses of a New Way

“It is extremely important for you to realize that God’s work takes place outside of time, as do all acts of true service or creation. This is not a readily understandable concept, but one that is necessary for you to have faith in. It is essential to your release of the concept of toil and your acceptance of your function here.” (ACOL, C:29.12)

We find it hard to believe that toil is not asked of us. But in eternity, our service is indeed effortless. We go with the flow, and the flow takes us along very nicely. No struggle. Our function here is to do our part in God’s work, though this work may not be overtly religious at all. Our parts in His work will vary with our talents and our inclinations, and we may choose to be more secular than our religions have made God.

But God is the God of secularism as well. He interests Himself in all parts of life on earth, life in this world. He does not “know” pain and suffering, but that surely must be because He sees the whole picture, knows how we choose such things in error borne of frustration. He would take such ideas from us; he would have us free of pain. A Course in Miracles says that it is not necessary to learn through pain, that such learning is, by nature, temporary. It is better, ACIM says, to learn through rewards. Certainly ACOL, with its emphasis on the heart, shows a way that warms us and gives us encouragement to forge ahead without toil.

When we are outside time, we are in eternity. And this concept will, in itself, give us hope. Eternity means that we will live forever in some way, some way that we don’t understand quite yet. Jesus tells us that this new way can be in form, if we so desire it, but that he doesn’t have the knowledge of what will transpire about this way of the new, this creation of the new. We are, together, creating the new. And we do hope that we will be happy with what we create.

Move ahead today, after we have received guidance about how to do so. Move ahead, but not in hard toil. God would not have us, His beloved children, struggle in a world that has been provided for our enjoyment and our peace. Surely we walked away from Him, but He has provided a way back for us. And when we cease to toil and struggle, in peace we will catch glimpses of a new way that will light sparks in our heart.

We will accomplish much by staying close to our Source. Indeed, this is the only way that we can hope to accomplish anything at all that is meaningful.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would invite glimpses of full and total peace today, the precursor to enlightenment. I would wish this for all who walk Your way, and that is all of us, even when we are misguided. We all want Your way, even when we don’t know how to articulate this.

I ask for patience this day, to get through the day creditably. Patience is sometimes so difficult for me, patience to wait for Your guidance, patience to have the will to follow Your guidance. You don’t move fast in this world. You ask us to live here without heavy toil, to rest in Your bounty. May I do so today.

Amen.

Life Abundant in Unity

“If God were to speak to you Himself and tell you of what means your service would be to Him, He would but tell you this: My child, return to me. God has no Will apart from yours. Your return to unity is all God seeks for you, for Himself, and for all His children. The return to unity was my accomplishment, and all that is meant by what I have often repeated here: Only you can be accomplished. Your service is but dedication to this goal.” (ACOL, C:29.6)

Is it so strange to realize that God needs us in this world? He needs our service, though not in the sense that we go out and try to convert others to the way of life outlined in A Course of Love. Others would not listen to our proselytizing; they would be turned off by it. When people are ready to listen, they will ask questions.

Our brothers and sisters are our way back home as well. This is a tenet of A Course in Miracles also. We find our way back through the holy relationship that we enjoy with our brother, according to ACIM.

ACOL tells us that we are accomplished, that we have already walked the pathway back. We may find this hard to believe, but accomplishment does not mean that all potential has been exhausted. Our potential will still carry us farther forward, and with the potential will go greater service to God. We are not slaves to him, but beloved children.

What does “unity” mean? It means that we are one with God, separated (even in illusion) no more. Jesus accomplished this in his earthly life, and when he accomplished this, he accomplished it for all. This may well be why he can call us, now, The Accomplished.

Serve God well. Be with Him often in prayer and communion. The way home IS accomplished, because time is an illusion, and when we wish to be in eternity instead, we are there right away.

Jesus walked the pathway home before us. His return to unity accomplished it, once and for all, for us. Because he did it, he knows that we can be in unity with God as well. Separation is no more; life abundant in unity is the new way, the new way that we are creating a new world.

Dear Father/Mother,

We need to see Jesus as a friend who has walked the whole pathway back, accomplishing in time as well as eternity what he did for all of us. Thank You that the original Christ calls us The Accomplished, for when he accomplished his mission, he did it for all of us. Jesus’s love for us will become palpable when we use our imaginations to feel close to him. Thank You that he tells us in both ACIM and ACOL that he is always nearby. I don’t understand how this can be, but there are many things that I can’t understand in this huge, blessed universe of which we are a part.

Be with me today as I seek to walk the pathway that You indicate for me. When I listen to guidance, I cease being frustrated, and the day takes on a luminous quality.

Amen.