Higher Meaning in Our Walk through This World

“To be of service to God is not to be a slave to God but to attend to God. To give God your attention and your care. You who would cry, God make use of me, only need to give to God your devotion and your willingness to serve instead of use.” (ACOL, C:29.3)

Jesus, in a nearby passage, declares that our culture does not understand, as did earlier ones (especially medieval times) about being “of service” to God. We think, all too often, that we have outgrown God. And we imagine that if we were of service to Him, we would be slaves in all but the name.

This is patently false! We can serve God through living in love in our world. We can merge with the Self deep within us, the part of us who is God Himself, and in this merger we can finally come to know the next step in our growth as people. A transition to something better. Enlightenment, Christ-consciousness, Awakening, transformation. The words are mean the same.

We need not to focus on the word “use,” for we have “used” many of our brothers and sisters in this world. And God would not have us use Him, though we do gain very practical help in our prayers. We need to lift our sights to something higher, and service is that higher concept.

What is the best pathway that we sense ahead of us? That best pathway is God beckoning to us to make a difference in our world. We do not use others when we take that higher pathway, but we are, by inference, helping God, being of service to Him.

Our days brighten when we realize that God Himself needs us in this world. We have often heard that we are the hands and feet of Jesus in this world. And that old saying is just as true for God.

So: Today, before going out into the world, ask what or who we need to serve. Find a higher meaning in our walk in this world. Find someone or something good to assist.

And we will be walking a better pathway than we have ever trod before.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would use nobody else in my walk through this world. I would, instead, see how I might serve You through my interactions with others. This is not an archaic concept, though many times, perhaps, in our world I don’t understand what serving You will actually effect.

My walk through this world is not at random. I will encounter those whom I can best help, and may my help be non-self-serving.

When I help others, I also help myself—though not in an egoic sense, if I am doing it rightly. All of us are One, and when we pull together, nothing in this world has to seem hard.
Amen.

Knowing that Is Not Human in Origin

“As the dawn is unrestrained in its bursting forth, so has been your time of innocence. Not so the approach of day as the sun slowly rises and as slowly sets. This is a time of being both guided and restrained. A time of realizing that you can know without knowing what to do, and that this is not a mistake. Many reach this stage and, not knowing what to do with what they know, begin to doubt their knowing. This is a human response to a knowing that is not human in origin.” (ACOL, C:28.10)

Today’s quotation addresses a problem we may encounter as we proceed in listening to our heart and getting guidance from our Source, the inner Self who is part of God. We must walk easy, not forge ahead into ways that we don’t yet understand. We must sometimes hold back. Our knowing is not human in origin when we listen to our Self, a divine being. And this knowing may confuse us, for this knowing is telling us things that we have not heretofore believed, or maybe even known about.

We are being guided. If we doubt this, I suggest an exercise. Sit down with a computer, or with paper and pencil, and write out a series of questions that might trouble you about ultimate things. Get still and quiet. And then listen for answers from your heart. Let the words just come to you, for nobody has to see this. See if your confusion doesn’t begin to fall away. The Self knows how to speak to your finite mind. The heart, the center of the Self, knows what to write.

We can each reach God in our own way. He is nearer than our breath, for, as I have repeatedly indicated, we are a part of Him (ACIM and ACOL doctrine). God will not let us down. We know enough to access His wisdom, and in the access will come clarity.

Try and see. None of us will be disappointed.

Dear Father/Mother,

I have used the exercise I write about many times. Thank You for guiding my fingers to type what works for me. Thank You for being there, and guiding my heart to inform my mind.

I need Your knowledge more than my perception. This is very clear today as it is every day. May the right words come to mind when they are needed. May You give me the words to say.

Amen.

Wisdom of Our Heart Will Guide

“Trust and bearing witness go together, as the validation sought through bearing witness is a symptom of distrust. Few are chosen to be prophets, and the plethora of testimony taking place is brought about by innocence more so than by wisdom. This sharing of personal testimony has reached its zenith and will no longer be as welcomed or appreciated, so even were the intent of this Course to bring testimony together in such a way as to cause an evolutionary step, it would not work. Thus we must concentrate on wisdom, the wisdom of the heart.” (ACOL, C:28.4)

This quotation for today emphasizes that we cannot depend on the testimony of others to lead us back to God. We can only depend on the wisdom of our own heart, a looking within that allows the Christ Self to speak to us in any and all circumstances.

Prophecy thus is seen in A Course of Love as an answer for other generations and other cultures. Our world looks at such things differently; we are skeptical. And perhaps, rightly so, though there are many who still are caught in prophecy and see no inherent conflict here. If we allow our heart to speak to us, we will know the truth. And our worries and doubts will fall away. We have, in listening to our heart, gone inward to our Source, God Himself. And we don’t do so any longer with the intermediary of the Holy Spirit, because we are no longer afraid of a direct route to God.

Listen to what transpires inwardly. No longer look to learned wisdom for answers that spoke to other generations and other cultures. We have new revelation now, in the truth of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

It certainly behooves us to use this new revelation well.

Dear Father/Mother,

Today’s quotation is something that I need to read and reread, for I have been mightily influenced by the learned wisdom from the past. Now I am seeing that my own heart, in league with the inner Christ Self, will give me the guidance to proceed rightly.

Thank You for this simplification of what our guidance actually means, now in this time of new revelations. May I observe well. May all of us observe well.

Amen.

MEETING MARI

by Celia Hales. Published in the current issue of the free online newsletter, The Embrace (Glenn Hovemann, publisher).

The year was 2004, three years after Mari Perron had published the first part of A Course of Love with New World Library. Like Mari, I was living in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. And, like Mari, I was a seeker.

My story about Mari actually began more than two years earlier with a morning spent in the Barnes & Noble bookstore in my neighborhood. As I was browsing the shelves, my eyes lit upon a pink volume, a lovely pink volume. And, fittingly, for the pink book jacket, the book was called A Course of Love. I picked it up and flitted through the pages. Soon I was sitting in one of those overstuffed chairs at the bookstore, scanning the volume.

I sat there for two hours, reading all that I could devour. In the back of the book was a testimonial to the truth of the volume by four friends of Mari.

I was a skeptic. I believed that these people were truthful, honest, but I didn’t believe that the work was genuine. I would later change my mind.

Some months went by. I saw another copy of the pink-jacketed ACOL in yet another bookstore. This time I purchased it. This time I read the book carefully. I was becoming entranced by the fact that it just might be genuine. And I felt that I ought to publish a book review for Jon Mundy’s Miracles magazine, something that I routinely did for other books that caught my eye and that seemed appropriate to the Course in Miracles community.

I had read from my copy of the New World Library edition that Mari was in the Twin Cities area. Eventually I got on the phone and tried to locate her, suddenly interested in having a conversation with her about A Course of Love. It wasn’t hard to find her. And soon we were talking. She agreed to meet me at the nearby coffee shop owned by her family. And so my engagement with A Course of Love really began.

We met on my morning off from work. I got there first, and settled down with coffee to await Mari. Soon, from across the table, she stood, leaning over to meet my eye.

I said something like, “You’re just a regular person!” with some surprise. Mari was pretty, with long hair, a little curly, drawn back in a knot at the nape of her neck. She looked very, very pleasant.

She responded, “That’s why some people think I couldn’t do this.”

By “this,” I knew she meant channeling Jesus. Would a “regular person” be chosen for such a task?
Our conversation lasted at least an hour. Mari told me that she had two other parts, now, of A Course of Love. I told her I wanted to write a book review, and she offered to send me the books.

In the midst of our conversation, Mari’s daughter Mia came over to greet us. After an introduction, Mari lamented that A Course of Love had not “taken off” the way that she would have liked. Mia said something prophetic: She said that it took a while for A Course in Miracles to take off, and that it would just take some time for A Course of Love to become known as well.

Our conversation continued. Suddenly, Mari said, “I have been praying that someone would come to me to help me get the word out about A Course of Love.”

I was stunned. Mari thought that I was an answer to her prayer.

I thought she had the wrong person. I was A Course in Miracles enthusiast, and I thought that she needed a younger generation to come along and help her. I thought she was mistaken.

Now, 11 years later and six years into writing a blog on both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, I think Mari might have been right all along. Right about a mission for me, right about Jesus as her channeler. My love for A Course of Love has grown over the years. Its heart-centered approach to salvation piques my curiosity.
Now many others are drawn to ACOL, due largely to Glenn Hovemann’s Take Heart Publications and the new combined volume. Yes, Jesus’s “continuation” of A Course in Miracles has an ever-widening and increasingly enthusiastic audience.

And I am no longer a skeptic. To my mind Jesus had “unfinished business” with us, after A Course in Miracles. And A Course of Love answers many of the questions that we have had after reading A Course in Miracles. Now Jesus not only takes us by the hand and leads us beyond the ego, but he tells us how to establish a new identity—in this body but beyond this body, the “elevated Self of form.”

We are on the threshold of a newly created world. The voice Mari heard in her head, Jesus himself, is ever with all of us as we transform ourselves and our world.

Living in the State of Grace

“How will you know when you have achieved the state of grace in which you were created, and that you are living in relationship? You will know by the certainty you feel. If you do not feel this certainty, what can you do?

“You are ready now, and all that will prevent you from living a life of love is unwillingness to do so. There is only one remaining source of such unwillingness. Your willingness will now depend on whether or not you trust. Do you trust these words? Do you trust in God? Can you trust in your Self?” (ACOL, C:27.20 – 27.21)

Trust is the bedrock of A Course of Love as well as A Course in Miracles (ACIM covers this in the Manual). Jesus says that we are ready, and that if we trust, we will be willing to reach toward Christ-consciousness. It is only ourselves who hold us back, thinking that we are not good enough, worthy enough, or we cling to fear in a misguided notion that it can save us from all the perils in this difficult world. The world does not have to be difficult. Though we may have pain, and see pain in others, we do not have to let this escalate into suffering. There is a better way, and this better way is made abundantly clear in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

How might we woo willingness? My answer is that we open ourselves up to this willingness by surrendering to God in prayer. Surrendering is elsewhere in ACOL pointed out as the way to God. We acknowledge that we don’t know enough to get home by ourselves; we need help. And this help is abundantly present in the Self, inwardly, the part of us that is God. We project the outer world, which is not real, but this projection does not hurt us when it is transformed into “extension,” or the movement of God into the outer world. We will be home even in this world when we attend to our heart, and Jesus makes this assertion abundantly clear when he appeals to the heart in ACOL.

We need to just recognize the necessity to leave unwillingness behind. We are ready. Jesus has said it.

And so it is.

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to keep my willingness fresh today, an abundant willingness that finds root in the Christ Self deep within me. This is true for all people as well. I need to accept Your grace that I am good enough just as I am, good enough for enlightenment. “Goodness” is such a relative term, and desire is the means that we use to reach You. Help me to live in a positive way, to turn aside from all that would hold me back, and to lean toward You in all respects.

Amen.

Don’t Make Life More Complicated than It Is

“To live in relationship is to accept all that is happening in the present as your present reality, and as a call to be in relationship with it. It is the willingness to set aside judgment so that you are not contemplating what “should” be happening rather than what is happening. It looks past percep¬tion of “others” to relationship and wholeness. To live in relationship is to live in harmony even with conflict. It is an understanding that if conflict arises in your present there is something to be learned from your relation¬ship with conflict.” (ACOL, C:27.14)

This quotation enlarges on the concept of relationship, a concept that is given great play in A Course of Love. We are to be in relationship with what happens in our world as well as with the people in that world. And even if we encounter conflict, we are to know that there is something in conflict for us to learn from. Later on in ACOL, we are taught that our learning is to come from observation of the people and things in our outer world, no longer from books of the past, what people have told us about experience. We are to experience directly through this observation.

We don’t need to argue with our experiences. We don’t need to place “should’s” and “ought’s” on what is going on around us. If something that we don’t like is going on, there is still something for us to learn from this lamentable set of circumstances. And, likewise, if there is something that we like going on, we can relax in the joy and derive pleasure from our surroundings as well.

We don’t need to get in tangles with our world. We simply, directly, observe our surroundings, just as we simply and directly observe our reactions to our surroundings. Don’t make life more complicated than it truly is. Take life by the smooth handle. Relax and be happy, joyous. The way home is not a struggle, and if we insist on struggling, we will miss the mark. The only way home is through, not around, but that “through” is not meant to be a mire. We walk smoothly and easily, along a smooth pathway. And if we find briars where we thought that we would find smoothness, if we trip and fall, we just need to pick ourselves up and try again. The briars are of our own making.

Find wholeness today in our relationship with others and with God. We are a part of that wholeness, and the wholeness is all positive—if we don’t get lot in ruminations of making things different from what they are. We take life at face value, simply and peacefully.

Then we know that we have found the right route through and beyond our troubles.

Dear Father/Mother,

I find myself in conflict from time to time, and I wonder if this is a pattern, in memory, from egoic living. I know that we don’t have to remain in conflict, because turning to You will ease our way, and turning to You will ease our way immediately. Thank You for being there, deep within me, embodying the Self who is my inner Christ. This Self is my little part of You, and knowing that this little Self is part of the All is reassuring in the extreme.

Be with us today. Thank You for the good morning that I had, and may the rest of the day unfold in just such a good manner.

Amen.

Life Is a Matter of Relationship

“When you fully realize that the only way to know the Self is through relationship, your concerns about concentration on the self will end. Life is not a matter of self versus other. Life is a matter of relationship. Life is not a matter of human versus divine, but a matter of relationship between the human and the divine. Life is not a matter of one living thing versus another, but of the relationship between all living things.” (ACOL, C:27.7)

God cannot even know Himself if He is all that there is. This is the fundamental reason that He differentiates Himself into parts, parts that include all of us individually. We are in relationship, then, and so is He. This is not dualism as I understand the term. This is a metaphysical true reality that is indispensable to the working of all universes that exist.

We are in this together. We have each other, and this suggests that we are not meant to be obstinately independent from each other. We are meant to be One in that relationship, though, and this is the truth of all universes as well. We are all One, and in the oneness we find our small part of reaching God. A hologram is our best way of understanding. Each part is a part of the whole, contains the whole, though each part does not comprehend what—or Who—it has in its entirety. This is a human comprehension that is actually metaphor, but it will take us a long way toward a fuller understanding of Who God is, and who we are.

We are in relationship with each other (which includes relationship with God), and, concurrently, we are in relationship with both the human and the divine. As we progress along, we will eventually embody the elevated Self of form, and this is a full blending of the human and the divine. This is what true relationship of the human and the divine means.

Let us take the hand of each of our brothers and sisters, and the “hand” of God as well, and in this joining we will know full relationship. Our oneness is a oneness of relationship. We therefore know the “unity and relationship” that A Course of Love mentions so often. And we will walk in a merger that nevertheless retains understanding of the parts of the whole. Thus we can know both God and man/woman at once.

Dear Father/Mother,

Our minds strain to imagine You, and this may not be the best use of our time. Our minds cannot comprehend the Ultimate Who You are. We will never be smart enough.

But we can know love. And in this love we catch a glimpse of Who You are all about. When we love, we are touching the Divine. And when we touch the Divine, we are at Home in You.

Thank You for being here always for us as we wander through this sometimes difficult world. With the Self, we will know more peace. May we know this Self today.

Amen.

The True Self – More than a Persona

“The purpose of this Course has been stated in many ways and is stated again here: The purpose of this Course is to establish your identity. The importance of this purpose cannot be underestimated. Let us address the question of why this is so important.

“You have been caught in a cycle of seeing the self as important for a period of time and then seeing the self as unimportant for a period of time. Seeing the self as important seems at one time like a function of the ego, and at another as a function of the divine. You become confused between the personal self and a true Self only because you have not as yet identified your true Self. Once you have identified your true Self all such confusion will end.” (ACOL, C:27.4 – 27.5)

How do we identify the true Self? We remove the barriers to love’s presence. We drop attack, we drop anger, and we humbly approach the God Who resides within. The true Self is the part of God Who does reside within each of us. It is God’s answer to the separation, the separation that could never actually have occurred because God could not separate from us and live; and the reverse, that we could not separate from God and live, is also true.

We are trying to establish a new identity on a solid footing, a footing quite unlike the unstable stasis that the ego provided. The ego gave instability its name. We never knew what drama was going to hit us next.

Now we are seeking to live a more stable life, a life in which we turn aside from anger and attack, and we welcome the love that in our heart of hearts we all want more than anything else.

The personal self will remain as the self whom we present to the outer world, but the inner Christ Self will inform that personal self so that it is something much more and much better than a mere persona. We will know, for the first time, what harmonious living is all about. We will have a solid core for the first time since the ego took over. We will live fully, and in the living fully we will renounce the ego and all of its machinations.

We turned to the ego out of a sense of threat. Pray today that we encounter no reasons to be threatened again. Being threatened raises the banner of pain, and the red hot experience of anger and attack. We don’t need this type of undergirding any longer. We are safe in God’s arms, in the Self who is finally released from the depths of our very being. Our new identity will save us. Nothing more could do so.

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the harmony and peace that reading A Course of Love gives to me. The feeling is, I think, a matter of letting my heart rule my head. The head—my mind—can seem to get in such conflict. And I would leave conflict behind as I seek to live in love, always and forever.

Thank You for helping me to realize that an ideal persona is as much a falsity as the ego. The ideal persona is an outgrowth of an egoic orientation, something I would leave behind. The true Self will lead me truly. And for that I am very grateful.

Amen.

We Need the Clarity of a Full Heart

“As a being birthed by a thought of God, you grew simultaneously with God’s thought. You knew your place in the pattern of creation from the outset. A full life is quite simply a fulfillment of that thought and that pattern. The only way to know it is to think it once again. The only way to think it once again is to be wholehearted, for a split mind and heart do not think clearly.” (ACOL, C:26.25)

Jesus is here calling us to recollection and reflection, to reliving our lives so that we truly “know” them. He wants us to relive what we have been through, before we leave it behind for the eternal present. Our lives take on meaning when we give some thought to what has transpired in earlier years. We don’t, if we are smart, fall into self-pity, but we do relive as we reflect. We heal by so doing. And the healing is the real reason that Jesus here counsels us to “know” it by thinking it once again.

There is some theology in this quotation as well, the idea that we are a thought of God that grew simultaneously with that very thought. This means, actually, that we are part of God, for His thoughts do not leave Him.

We want full lives, and we can have them. When our mind and heart have been reunited into wholeheartedness (as Jesus terms it). As Jesus says, a split mind and heart do not think clearly. What does this mean? It means that what our head tells us is something different from what our hearts say—a concept that has been around in our culture for a very long time. Now Jesus is using this concept to bring us back to God.

We want to think clearly. We don’t want anger and attack to derail us, because when this happens, we most certainly don’t think clearly with either our mind or our heart. We need the clarity that a full heart can bring, and that is why A Course of Love emphasizes the heart so often and so completely.

The way home is clear. It only takes a little willingness to bring us there.

Dear Father/Mother,

I am struggling with some of the theology of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love today. Take this from me, for Jesus has said (in ACIM) that a universal theology is impossible, but that a universal experience is not only possible, but necessary. May I think in terms of “both – and” as I see differences between my thinking and the thinking of others. We may both be right, each in our own way.

We need the warmth of the love that is in our hearts. This solves all dilemmas. All dilemmas.

And we will know that warmth when we turn to You. You never forsake us; You never leave us to get by on our own devices. This is especially true today, just as it is every day.

Thank You for always being here, deep within me, deep within my soul—the part of me that is You.

Amen.

Finding the Warmth of Love from God in Our Heart

“You are a thought of a God. An idea. This thought, or idea, is what you seek. It can be found only at its source. Its source is love, and its location is your own heart.” (ACOL, C:26.21)

A lovely quotation, this is A Course of Love at its best. This is saying that the philosophical school that embraces Idealism is the right and true reality. But we don’t have to be philosophers, or to understand Idealism, to see that we are ideas, or thoughts that have love as our genesis. True, we have wandered far from love, but we are slowly (and sometimes not so slowly) making our way back. Jesus at this point in ACOL is still our teacher, though in the final book, the Dialogues, he resigns as our teacher and becomes simply our companion (among other nouns that give us pause in the wonder of what he says).

We are urged over and over in ACOL to turn to our heart. When we read ACOL, we understand its message so much more, and we are much more heartened, if we listen with our heart. We feel warmed as we read, perhaps in a way that we didn’t in A Course in Miracles. This is not the fault of the beautiful words of ACIM, but a measure of our own progress. And Jesus has also found, in ACOL, a new way to appeal to us: through our heart, a heart that doesn’t require the proofs of ultimate, true, reality as much as the mind. The heart simply knows and trusts.

How do we know that we are loved by a significant other? Do we listen to our mind to tell us? Or do we open up the center of our being, our heart, to receive the proffered love? The heart has its reasons that the reason cannot know, and the reason is lodged in the mind. This old saying has new meaning to us now that we are reading A Course of Love. We know in our depths that the heart is the answer, the answer, that is, if we trust what Jesus is telling us, if we listen with an open heart.

Love freely and well, not in a physical sense necessarily, but with an abundance that the mind can only guess about. Don’t wait for another person to reach out to us; let us reach out and see what happens. There are many hurting people in this world, many troubled hearts, and the extent to which we can pour love over heart wounds is a measure of how healed the world can yet become.

Dear Father/Mother,

We need to recognize that our heart knows about love in a way that our mind does not. And when we turn to our heart, we feel You, because we feel Your warmth. This is the secret that Jesus has uncovered for us: to turn to our heart is to turn to You, and to feel You here for us.

Thank You. I love the warm feeling that I get when I read the beautiful words of A Course of Love. And this warmth makes me ever move closer to You. This warmth lets me know that You love me, and that You love me mightily.

Amen.

A Trigger for Enlightenment

“This Course is but a trigger. These words the prelude to the explosion. It is as if you have been waiting for someone to whisper: Now! The whisper has come. The time is now.

“Can you let the worries of today leave your mind? Can you let the disap¬pointments of yesterday go and be no more? Can you let the planning for the future cease? Can you be still and know your Self?” (ACOL, C:26.15 – 26.16)

Here Jesus gets close to us and whispers, “Now!” to our longings to be free of impediments that keep us from ultimate salvation. A Course of Love is a trigger to lead us past the fear of God to the love of God, past the fear of our brothers and sisters to the love of our brothers and sisters, and the same dynamic for ourselves as well: We stop fearing what we might do if left to our own devices and instead we trust the leader, Jesus, who is leading us ahead to a new life lived in trust and harmony.

If we will only be still and listen to the Self deep within each of us, then we will know the secret of dropping worries, forgetting disappointments of the past, avoiding senseless planning in an effort to control the future. Our Self knows about these avoidable mistakes, and our Self can take us past them to a new tomorrow. If only we will listen and stop trying to insert patterns of the ego that still try to intrude on our peace of mind.

We have now reached the point in A Course of Love when the teachings come together with a certainty that allows us to know that we are home free—if we allow ourselves to experience that Home. We are truly our own worst enemies. We think we make some progress one day, only to retreat the next into feverish dreams. Today’s quotation is the call to stop hindering our progress. It is time to claim our salvation, for Jesus has said that the choice is ours.

We have to make a decision that we are ripe for enlightenment. But, importantly, we learn from both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love that God makes that final decision of timing. But God is not separate from us; we are a part of Him. We are not His handiwork, separate and apart from creation, but an intimate part of differentiation of the godhead into the wonders of true reality. We are both union with God—the One—and relationship with Him and the All. Only in this relationship, this differentiation, could God experience Himself, for the All cannot know Itself if the unity is the only thing that there is. Thankfully, unity broke apart to have “separate” pieces with which God had relationships. Each of us is one of those relationships, as is every living thing.

Stop trying to halt true reality; take our places on the great pathway for all humankind back to God, whom we never actually did leave nor could leave. Trust that the way will be revealed to us. And then we can, at last, rest in the wonders of a God Who never abandoned us, even when we tried to abandon Him.

Dear Father/Mother,

We think with You a bit today about the wonders of the One and the many, the single, all-encompassing Everything; and the differentiation into parts, with each of us (and everything else distinct) being a part. This is the unity and relationship that A Course of Love emphasizes. This is what we need to hear, if only we can understand that the All, the One, undifferentiated, could not even know Itself.

But relationship solves that dilemma, for You and for us. Be with me as I thank You for this Solution. The day is bright with optimism; the way doesn’t seem so long, when these insights come and when they revisit.

Be with us as we seek to understand what we can with our finite minds. Our hearts know the truth. And I thank You for the revelation of ACOL that tells me this.

Amen.

Jesus Offers His Aid to Us

“This is what we now leave behind as we seek to become involved with life. I say we because I am with you and will not leave your side. I say we because your first involvement is involvement with Christ, an involvement that links us in oneness and glory once again. I say we because we are life. I say we because we cannot live love apart from one another.” (ACOL, C:26.8)

Jesus, later on, will ask us to “accept” him (from the Dialogues, Day 1). For those of us who look now to A Course of Love as our roadmap, he is the only way to salvation. But he also says that he is not forbidding other religions, other Gods in whom we may believe. So one, by inference, does not have to be Christian to accept Jesus as the one who is telling us how to get out of our morass. He is leading us by the hand, with specific instructions in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, to a better life, to salvation in all its fullness. For those who choose other religions, he has no quarrel. But if we want to read ACIM and ACOL, and follow its instructions to a fuller life, we can best do this is we fully accept Jesus and what he tells us.

We are linked to Jesus and to all other people by the inner Christ Self. This is the Self we have heretofore not known; we have been too afraid to look within, too afraid of the God within. We have feared God, and so for 2,000 years we looked to the Holy Spirit as an intermediary. Jesus tells us now that we are in the time of Christ, the second coming of Christ—and this means a direct knowledge of God, for our fears are rapidly dropping away. We know that God is a God of love, that He means us no ill, that He never punishes us. We bring our pain and suffering upon ourselves, and of course there is mystery to this. But we don’t blame ourselves or other people when we are ill; we don’t blame the victim, for Jesus makes this clear in A Course of Love. Nobody is to blame for the illness that may overcome us. And we offer compassion to ourselves, if we are sick, or to others, if they are sick. We don’t think, even internally, that they did this to themselves.

There is a paradox here, for we have also been told that we create our own reality. Indeed, we are encouraged in ACOL to create a new world. And sometimes sickness encroaches on this world. It may simply be that there are microbes that infect us and breakdowns in the physical over which we have no control. Nothing happens by accident, we are told in both ACIM and ACOL; there are no accidents in salvation. So it behooves us to keep an open mind when we are faced with incomprehensibles that lay us, or those we love, low. We are also told that while pain may overtake us, we do not have to let pain escalate into suffering. Our minds and hearts can remain free, even if our physical bodies are infirm.

Jesus, he says, is always here for us. His cloned essence follows us around in our daily rounds, if we want this, for we do have some say in what transpire in daily life. Jesus loves us with a depth of love that we cannot fathom, for we are as yet quite limited in our understanding of what “living in love” really means. When we set our minds and hearts to a higher plane, we can rise above the physical limitations of this world. And we can, however imperfectly, live in love.

Dear Father/Mother,

We feel the physical, though we know that it is not real. We have bodies that break down sometimes and suffer ills that render us in pain, and if we are not careful, in suffering as well. These are the facts of our world today.

But we can rise above emotionally. Sooner or later we all learn this, whether from our reading or from our observation of this world. The way to a new day in a new world is fast approaching. And our hearts hold the answers to emotional stability that our minds cannot fathom.

Thank You for the bonanzas that we reap when we turn to You alone. Others can and do help, but our stable core is of You. Help us to remember always that You are our hope and our salvation.

Amen.

The Glory that Is Ours

“Again I offer my life as the example life and reiterate the message expressed in A Course in Miracles: The true meaning of the crucifixion is that it was the last and final end to all such fears and myths. All such fears were taken to the cross with me and banished in the resurrection of the glory that is ours.” (ACOL, C:26.4)

Here Jesus addresses the crucifixion. He asserts that it was not meant as a propitiation for our sins. He asserts that the real value is to say that he has killed the suffering and pain of human life on that cross, and then he would have us look to the resurrection for the glory that is beyond it. Fear has been banished (though we may still fear sometimes and this should not be cause for being morose). Fear is understood as an archaic experience, not meant to be assimilated into our new lives, the new lives that we are creating in a new world.

Jesus did live an example life, and many have gained much from studying what we know that he said and did. Now he is guiding us once again, as he did in A Course in Miracles as well. These new revelations, in ACIM and A Course of Love, are meant to provide solace in a world on the brink of disaster. Jesus is taking us by the hand and leading us back from the abyss.

Jesus chose a very dramatic way to get his point across. He doesn’t ask us to do the same (lest we tremble with fear that he is asking for crucifixion). He has already led the way; it is now up to us to assimilate that way into our daily lives.

The crucifixion served as a powerful symbol of killing violence with gentleness. Now Jesus would have us look to his resurrection, a resurrection in which he emerged in a new form (he says this in ACOL). The resurrection heals because it is so positive. And with our propensity for pain and suffering, we need a harbinger of better days. It is time that we understood this meaning of the resurrection for the glory that it is. Eternity is ours; time is only temporary, and an illusion as well.

Turn to our inner voice to see what healing message the crucifixion and the resurrection might mean in this day and time. The message is the same, but the way that we will interpret will likely differ. We are looking to new revelations to show us the way.

Dear Father/Mother,

So many of us are repelled by the crucifixion, and perhaps it is right that we are. We don’t know what to think of the resurrection, and Jesus offers only clues in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. Whatever are we to think?

I ask You to guide my intuition to a response. I would not try to make definitive answers that Jesus leaves alone in ACIM and ACOL. I would instead ask that my inner knowing step to the forefront, and that I see in the resurrected Christ a model for myself. This is not ego, but the strictest humility.

Amen.

In Stillness I Hear God

“When action is seen to be necessary, this is exactly when a time of stillness is needed. You might think of this time of stillness as a time of consulting with your new identity. Simply sitting quietly, and posing the question or concern that is in need of appropriate action will suffice. When an answer comes to you, acknowledge that it is an answer from your new identity and express appreciation for it. While you will at times doubt that you have received an answer or that the answer you have received is correct, you will soon learn to trust this quiet process of discernment. You will know you have succeeded when you truly feel as if you have “turned the question or concern over” and allowed it to be responded to in a new way.” (ACOL, C:25.23)

Today’s quotation is a very precise and meaningful guide to guidance from within. Previously, we relied on guidance from the Holy Spirit, Whom we have seen as an intermediary between God and ourselves. Now, though, we are no longer afraid of God, and we can approach Him directly. This means that we look to the inner Christ Self, who is the part of God within each of us. We don’t sense that we are providing a buffer between God and ourselves. Instead, we are opening ourselves to the fullness of God, His glory and His grace.

Following guidance is so very necessary, and on some days it may seem so very hard. We doubt what we sense. We get stubborn. We fall by the wayside.

These are the times that we need the inner stillness ever more. When we quiet down, allow our sense of quiet to encompass us, we will cease the stubbornness about following that quiet inner Voice. We will grow mellow, and we will grow appreciative. Then we are open to having a very good day indeed. Stubbornness, without fail, produces a bad day. And we give ourselves many reasons to have bad days.

But we want good days. Always we want this. And we can have it, regardless of what is transpiring in our inner and outer world. We can rise above difficulties, rise above suffering and pain, and take our place as esteemed children of God who are following His way. This harmonious and gentle pathway will avail much.

If the day has started awry, we can always start over in our minds and hearts. We can just drop the stubbornness about having our way, especially when we realize, once again, that God’s way and our preferred way are actually identical.

Don’t delay a moment longer. Turn to an inner, quiet voice to discern what we are to do and say. The benefits are outstanding in all respects.

We will never regret this choice.

Dear Father/Mother,

Today, as every day, I ask to follow Your guidance. I no longer want to try to be independent, a being without needs, for I have many needs. And you solve them all. Thank You.

Help us to follow guidance, not to be stubborn about letting You take the lead. The day will unfold like an opening flower if we are attuned to Your Being.

Amen.

We Need to Make Universal Contributions

“You may also notice a growth in your desire to take credit for what you have created, and a desire to create anew. At this stage, this desire will come from a feeling of needing to reassert the self. This need will arise as you realize that you can take no credit for your life. Wanting to take credit is of the ego, and at this stage the desire to create may be linked with ego as well. Your personal self will be looking for a place in which to reside. It will be looking for identity. It will want to say: “This is who I am.” This is an exciting sign, for it means the old identity is losing hold. Be patient during this time, and your new identity will emerge. If the urge to create is strong, certainly let it serve you. But do not seek for praise or acknowledgement of your creations at this time. You will soon realize that creation is not of, or for, the personal self.” (ACOL, C:25.20)

Our creations are not of ourselves, if they are the best kind. We need to tap into the universal, not an individual contribution. Until we tap into the universal, we won’t be creating anew at all; we will be rehashing the old.

Our egos want us to take credit for what we do, for what we create. But the only lasting contribution, Jesus tells us elsewhere, is one that is not an “individual” contribution. The lasting contribution partakes of eternity, not time. The lasting contribution is not of the ego at all, but the bonus accrued from living in love.

We may think that our individuality will be lost unless we put our personal stamp on what we say and do. And to a point, this is true. But our real individuality is the inner Christ Self, who partakes not of the temporal. We see that lasting contributions are what we want to make, and for these we can take no credit. It is the Christ Self acting through us. It is a direct link from God. And it is loving in its entirety.

Our contributions will be many in the new world. But we won’t derive “personal” satisfaction, in an egoic sense, from those contributions. We will recognize that we are tapping into something that is beyond our little minds. Even beyond our hearts. And we will know that we are going to make a lasting contribution when we cease to need to feel personal responsibility for what we say and do. The contribution is a bit beyond us, always. And this is its saving grace. It is also the evidence that we have, at last, moved beyond the ego.

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank you for letting me understand that I can take no credit for anything resembling an “individual” contribution. My viewers of this blog do not want an individual contribution from me; they want me to tap into something that is more universal than that. And I can take no credit for this larger Self, larger than my personal self, who forms the words that I write.

All of us need to know that we must be about achieving contributions through the universal, not the particular. May this truth lodge itself deep within my heart, and may I thank You, always, for leading me beyond the little self to Something larger.

Amen.

Adrift No Longer

“This first joining is a choice made from love without regard for the personal self. You begin to live from love when the personal self gets out of the way. And when the personal self gets out of the way in any instance, it is the turning point. It is the signal that you are ready to live from love. This is what this Course is about. Living from love. Living from love is what will reverse the lessons of the past. Reversing the lessons of the past is what will allow you to live in love in every instance.” (ACOL, C:25.16)

The “first joining” that this passage indicates is the joining of the Self with the personal self. Hereafter, the only thing that the personal self will do will be to present a face to the external world. Otherwise, we will live with the inner Christ Self making all of our decisions. And do we need to even say that this will mean living in love?

Living in love is a good goal, an excellent goal. Even if we did not know all that it would bring to us (and it will bring much good), we would still believe that it is the best way to live. Our religion, traditional and otherwise, has taught us this much.

Living in love means that we are joyous, harmonious, at one with our environment, ourselves, others. We are not separate from God either, for the inner Christ Self is the part of God whom we embody. Our lives will smooth out, our predilections become at one with truth. The way becomes clear to us for the first time. We pray, and we receive answers from within. We join our wishes and our hearts with Jesus’s way for us. We are adrift no longer.

Dear Father/Mother,

A blessing this is indeed—to be adrift no longer. If we know that turning inward will give us the answers to how to live, would we not be foolish to fail to turn inward?

Be with me today. Help me to turn inward as I take each step today.

Amen.

Being in Harmony

“If you believe you and your brothers and sisters are here in a state of reprisal, having fallen from grace, then all action will be out of harmony. If you believe you and all other living things are here in a state of grace, then all action will be in harmony. If you believe one living thing is more important than any other, then all action will be out of harmony. If you believe all are essential, then all action will be in harmony.” (ACOL, C:25.10)

We want to live in harmony in our world. And when we feel that we are separated from God, fallen from grace, we have a hard time—an impossible time—of trying to live in harmony.

We are equal to all others, and when we sense, instead, that we are either inferior or superior, we think in error.

Recognizing that our separation from God has ended (and was never actual in the first place, but an illusion), we can walk a green earth again. We will be in harmony, and this harmony will indeed serve us well. Harmonious living is the easiest thing available to us; it is the only true way of living well.

Why have we believed that we have fallen from grace, that we are living separate from God? Of course, we see bad things in our world, we do bad things in our lives, and we suffer accordingly. We turn our anger inward, leading to depression, and decide that we must have done something terribly wrong. Like children in a divorced family, we blame ourselves; we think that if we had done things right, we wouldn’t be in this fix.

In a sense, we are right. We have made mistakes, but these mistakes Jesus in A Course of Love and A Course in Miracles does not categorize as “sins,” which would seem unforgivable. Instead, we can rectify our mistakes, and we can be forgiven for those that we can’t rectify. Harmony can return to our world. And we can legitimately stop blaming ourselves for every little thing that goes wrong.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live a harmonious life, believing that rather than being out of grace with You, that I am in grace. This means that I do not have to feel any longer than I need to justify my existence. Living is justification enough.

Be with me throughout this day. Help me to be good company, when I am in company; and may I keep a good attitude always.

Amen.

Being Devoted to Others

“Devotion is synonymous with true service. True service does not look for what another has to give or what another has that you might use. True service recognizes God’s law of giving and receiving, and the practice of devotion is, in effect, the practice of allowing giving and receiving to be one. It is, during the time of tenderness, a true practice that, like vigilance, is a means to a desired end. You must practice recognizing your feelings of lack of love, and realize these feelings come from your inability to receive. Do this practice until it is no longer needed.” (ACOL, C:25.7)

Jesus uses the word “devotion” with a very precise meaning; it is the dedication that we feel to ourselves and others when we are loving ourselves and others. We are “serving” by loving, and this service does not mean subservience at all. Serving another is something that is good, for our way of living in the world—once we have come to know the truth—is to serve and be served, to give and receive. Serving and being served, giving and receiving are one action, for we are one Self. We can, if it helps us, think of the actions as twofold, for the Self of form does make what comes to use from another seem somehow different. But, in actuality, since the Self is always One with another, the action is complementary, an action of the one Self serving the one Self.

When we are not receiving love, we feel unloved. But it is always in our perception that this dichotomy comes about. We tend to reject that which we do not understand, and when we lack love, we have actually rejected that love which is actually around us at all times. Receive and be glad. Recognize that our perception is faulty when we are too blind to see what is all around us.

Dear Father/Mother,

Our devotion to others in our lives is the best way that we can exhibit love, and I want to thank You for the inspiration that came from words like this in A Course of Love. Our devotion means that we care, and we know that You care for us, very deeply—far more deeply than we can even imagine, for we are inhibited in love.

Be with us for a good day, as always I ask this. May we know when to forge ahead and when to rest, when to strive to improve and when to sleep, when to reach toward our goals and when to take a breather. The best means of learning this is from our observation as we go about our day. Help us to make wise decisions in what we do and say.

Amen.

Each Time We Feel a Lack of Love, It Comes from Within Ourselves

“How can love always be present when you can undeniably feel each and every absence of love? The problem is in the perceiver rather than the perceived. Each time you feel a lack of love, it comes from within yourself. This lack of love, or “faked” love of which you cannot help but be aware, is a signal to you that you want something. When you become aware that you want something, you are also becoming aware that you feel you lack something. All feelings of lack are synonymous with feelings of fear.” (ACOL, C:25.5)

This quotation for today is pivotally important as we seek to make our way in the world. Rejection has been a personal theme song for me at various junctures in my life, and it is enormously helpful to know that when rejection seemed to happen, I was perceiving in error. I was not open to receiving love. I had wanted something extraneous to the central point of love. My ego had gotten involved.

Has your ego gotten involved as you thought you wanted something other than pure love? Was there something grandiose in your imaginings? Was there something egoic in the sense of material or status implications? Very likely there was, for that is what Jesus is telling us in this quotation.

When we think that we lack for something, we are in a state of fear. This is, likewise, important to know in regard to this love business, this rejection business. There are no lacks in God’s Kingdom, and His Kingdom is not only the Other Side, but this world—when we have perceived this world differently. We will inhabit this world as the elevated Self of form, the coming together of mind and heart in unity, the coming out of the Self whom we have kept hidden for so very long.

Know that rejection is an illusion. We were not open to the love that others had for us; we rejected internally. Likewise, they shouldn’t have felt rejection from us, for they too had no lack.

This may sound like science fiction, but I believe what Jesus says. And his true words will have us walking into a much more favorable condition in this world. We don’t have to fear the lack of love, for it is truly all around us.

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to perceive love all around me. Help me to know that the rejection that I have sometimes felt in my life has been a mirage. I would see mirages no longer. Help me to see only love, for that is who You are, and who I am.

Be with all of us as we walk through this day. This day is bright with promise now that we know that rejection records don’t have to be played over and over.

Help us to reach out to others, fearless of rejection—for the problem is in us, the perceivers. May we leave rejection behind, as we have left the ego behind.

Amen.

Tenderness in Our World

“Where you learned to hate, you will learn to love. Where you learned to fear, you will learn safety. Where you learned to distrust, you will learn trust. And each learning experience will be a learning experience because it will touch your heart. It may be as simple as a smile from a child that melts away all the resentment you held from your childhood—because you allow that smile to touch your heart. It may be a time of weepiness and what you would term emotionalism. You may feel as if everything makes you want to cry because everything will touch you, each lesson will feel tender. Unlearning has no harshness about it. If you simply allow it to come, it will reward you constantly with what can best be described as tenderness.” (ACOL, C:24.1)

When we read on in A Course of Love, the beauty of the words lulls us into a sense of comfort. This comfort is called the “time of tenderness,” when we may even weep for apparently no reason. These are heart-warming moments, not to be pushed aside but embraced. These will take us every closer to the salvation that we all seek. These will take us Home.

Unlearning is gentle. And our life experiences, as we learned yesterday, will lead us to this change. We don’t need to rush things, or to be become frustrated because things don’t seem to be happening as we want. The beauty of this time of tenderness is that it creeps up on us in unguarded moments, moments filled with joy. We weep in joy, not frustration, anger, or resentment—and not even from sadness. We may, it is true, be somewhat melancholy in these times, but we will not regret the melancholy. We will lean into it, and when we do so, we allow it to teach us new things, new things from observation of our world.

Dear Father/Mother,

May this day in the time of tenderness lead me to a patience with myself and all others, my brothers and sisters in Christ. May I also have patience if I see others who are still caught in egoic nonsense; the ego will cease to capture all of us one day, and may that day come sooner rather than later.

Help me to be patient with myself, to let the tears flow when they want. I am heartened by the heartwarming feelings that flow over me. And I hope that this means that my heart is softening to a forgiveness of myself and all others, even You, for creating a reality that I, in my ignorance, sometimes have rued.

Amen.

Life Experiences Are Our Best Teacher

“Your life must become your teacher, and you its devoted pupil. Here is a curriculum designed specifically for you, a curriculum only you can master. Only your own life experiences have led to the learning you have accumulated and translated into beliefs. Only your own life experiences will reverse the process.” (ACOL, C:23.29)

Jesus counsels us in A Course of Love to leave behind the learned wisdom of the past, a method that keeps us depending on others rather than listening to our Self and our heart. In this quotation for today, we are led to see that observation of our lives will provide the most fertile ground for our growth. He moves into theology when he asserts that everything that happens to us is planned to bring us back to God, and this return is what life on earth is now all about.

We can rest easy. Our Self will guide us now, if we have ears to hear. Our Self is the inner Christ, the entity that we share with everyone, for there are no divisions with the Self. Likewise, when we share with everyone, our very thoughts are not private. Believing that we keep our thoughts private is a ploy of the ego, which wants us to believe that independence is the best way to live.

And how wrong the ego is! Instead, we are encouraged in ACOL, by Jesus, to know that interdependence with our brothers and sisters will give us the most satisfying life. The only life that makes any sense. We are encouraged to know that when we look inward for direction, we will then look outward at the world, and our brothers and sisters, and then act with a certainty that we have lacked heretofore.

Our life experiences do teach us much. Even egoic living knows that. But our life experiences take on new meaning when we are told that all are planned with our greatest benefit in mind. We think that we control so much, but this is a mistake; we control very little, and when we come to this realization, our minds and hearts will be opened to a new way of living in a new world. We will begin creating the new, this new world to which Jesus is calling us.

What a blessing it is to know that life experiences are planned for our edification! We can rest in peace knowing that a benign fate is planning our ends, and that when we don’t resist, we will walk into the best future that imagining can devise.

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank you for this piece of information, this piece that tells me that You, along with my Self, have set out a future built on my daily experiences—all planned to take me back Home to You. This means that I am no longer driven to read the old tomes designed to return me to You. I don’t have to rely on others’ assertions; I can see in my daily life and its experiences all that I need to lead with my heart, a leading that will plant me in Your lap.

Be with me throughout this good day. I thank You for the better days that I have been having. As I lean into guidance from my Self, I walk a green earth. And I imagine that You are smiling down upon me, even as I imagine Jesus doing the same.

Thank You for my rich imagination, a potent reminder that You are always in the center of my being.

Amen.

Union with God Overcomes the Egoic Separation

“All unlearning opportunities are opportunities for miracle readiness. There is no trick to identifying unlearning opportunities. From this point forward, I assure you, all experiences will be thus until unlearning is no longer needed. If you will remember that the one exercise for your mind is dedicating all thought to union, you will keep your mind engaged and less resistant to unlearning. When you feel resistance—and of course your mind will resist unlearning what it has striven to learn—return your dedication to union. Acknowledge your mind’s resistance as a sign that unlearning is going on. Acknowledge it but do not engage it.” (ACOL, C:23.25)

We need to unlearn separation, especially egoic separation, and substitute union with God, our brothers and sisters, and our Self. Jesus makes the point that all things that happen to us in this life are meant to bring us back to God. We are therefore steeped in unlearning experiences. Our life is the way that we best come to know, as ancient secondary sources are not as good for the time of Christ as what life itself presents to us.

How do we cooperate with viewing life as a way to unlearn separation? We turn within, to the Self, and in the doing of this we are achieving the first union, arguably the most important. Our Self, Who is one with the All, has been more or less hidden within ourselves for eons, because we were trapped by the insanity of the ego. A misstep that could not occur in actuality, but that did occur in illusion. So we cooperation with the nudges that come to us by way of intuition and other nuances of guidance. We remain flexible as we go about our daily routine, not rigidly stubborn in wanting our own way.

It helps to be mellow. I am at my worse when I am feeling anxiety rising in me; that is when I get too stubborn for my own good. Stubborness in avoiding the way that guidance is pointing out is only hurting ourselves, though our significant others also feel the brunt of this dynamic if we are in attack and anger mode.

We can do something better with our lives than to remain stubborn. Take a time out, if the day is going badly, and just (as A Course in Miracles counsels) start the day over. It is wiser to have a day that begins well, for then we do not waste time. But we are very human, and very fallible, and perfection is not required of us (from A Course of Love).

Union with God will take us Home to Him. Being mellow and remaining flexible are two techniques that work as we seek to remain malleable creatures in God’s sight. The way is clear: We must heal the illusory separation from God, and adapt union with the One, the All, as our modus operandi. And the world that we see, projected from within, will never be the same again. We will have discovered the secret to living well in this world.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

As this day filled with sunshine goes along, I find my mood lightened and my demeanor flexible. Mellowness overcomes me. May this attitude continue all through the day and into the evening. May I follow the guidance that has been so gentle with me today. May I follow this guidance, always so gentle when I am not stubborn.

Guide me to a good appreciation for the helps that You give me. May I welcome experiences of union that are life-enhancing and affirmative. May I also welcome glimpses of enlightenment that ever lengthen into something that will eventually become the pattern for me. May all who read my words today feel the same confidence in this change that I personally feel in this instance.

Amen.

Spirit and Form Work Together

“Spirit is your more direct link with the one Source. Spirit is directly from the Source, while form is a by-product of spirit. Thus form is once removed, or further away from the Source. Again working backward, however, the form you have created is still a step necessary in the return to the Source. The necessary step is that of moving beyond form—recognizing and acknowledging form for what it is and then continuing on, working backward to change your belief, to allow imagination to serve you and spirit to fill you.” (ACOL, C:23.20)

Many of us who are students of A Course in Miracles have looked to our physical forms as an impediment to all that is good. We need to realize that this physical form we have can be a help as we seek to get back to God, as we seek to heal the separation. This passage from A Course of Love says that, for us, our form is a necessary step to the return to Source. We are caught in matter, and there must be a way out, to allow us to heal the separation and to return to God.

Of course, in my reading, all matter is illusory. This builds upon the assertion in A Course in Miracles that “There is no world!” Other interpretations are indeed possible, though, and we do not need to be delayed by the theology of ACOL. Our universal experience will be enough for us.

So how do we use form to get back Home to God? We know that form, driven by the ego, has taken us away from Him. And we rest in the knowledge that form can also return us to our Source. Our spirits animate matter, our form, and this is what will lead us back to God.

We would be ill-advised to just long for the afterlife, when form is no more (or so we believe). Outside time and space, the afterlife seems a cozy place to dwell. But we are not there yet, and we are called to Life in this world. This world can give us a good and satisfying life, and to do so we need not to denigrate our form. It is part of what we are.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

As much as my form sometimes seems an impediment, I know that this is not the way that You would have me look at my physical body. Physicality can be a great blessing, and I ask to see that blessing today.

Be with me as I seek to follow the pathway that You have laid out in front of me. Your way is best, as always. Curb my impatience to understand all. Let me realize that I am finite while in this body, and this state does not have to be denigrated.

Thank You for guiding me.

Amen.

Miracles Embrace the World

“I repeat: Belief of another kind can foster the creation of form of another kind. A wholehearted belief in the truth about your Self is what is required to cause this to be so. It is what is necessary now. It will change the world.

“Belief of another kind is what miracles are all about. It is what you are all about as a miracle worker. For you to change your beliefs is the miracle that we are after, the result we seek from this Course.” (ACOL, C:23.13 – 23.14)

Jesus is here introducing the concept that will be a major feature of the final book in A Course of Love, the Dialogues. He is mentioning here, without using the words, the elevated Self of form. This is the body that we occupy that is informed by the Self, our inner essence, the part of us that joins with God so that we finally know who we are.

Quite a controversy has arisen about whether or not A Course of Love is a dualistic thought system, whether God seems separate and apart from His world, whether mind and body are different, whether unity and relationship as described in A Course of Love mean that all is not One. This is an unnecessary debate, for if one looks to the heart, these questions just fall away. Is A Course of Love, and the elevated Self of form, a helpful concept as we find our way toward Christ-consciousness? As we transform the world over the next millennia?

If we look for controversy, always and forever we will find it. There is always the means to take theological concepts and consider them exclusively to the detriment of the heart’s knowledge. But is theology necessary for inclusion as we consider the heart’s knowledge? As we consider the elevated Self of form, a new creation in a new world that we are co-creating with God?

The way to surety is to turn within. There we find God waiting for us. He lives our lives with us, for we are in no way separate. That is the monism on which A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love dwell. A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible, but necessary. These words from A Course in Miracles will put our minds and hearts at rest.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

Grant us the magnanimity to embrace the whole world, those who agree with us on various matters as well as those who don’t. The world will be a better place when we hold hands. And I ask for this hand-holding today and every day.

Be with us as we seek to know Your truth, as we turn within to the truths that speak to our heart.

Thank You for always being right here with us, experiencing our joy as the reality that it truly is.

Amen.

Don’t Make God Over into Our Own Image

“When obsessively in love you may want the other person to be you, but rarely the other way around. This is what has caused you to make God over in your own image and to try to do the same to others. This comes of seeing oneself as an image rather than as a being existing in relationship. This comes from ego rather than from the true Self.” (ACOL, C:23.8)

We can get some inkling of what God is like by realizing what we do with our relationships. We make God over in our image, to great detriment. We also seek to make our special relationships a projection of ourselves; this is really what “want the other person to be you” is saying.

But God is not to be made over in our own image, because our image of ourselves, at least our separated selves, is faulty. When we feel neurotic, we see a neurotic God. And this will never do.

We are in relationship to God, even as we are One with Him. Unity and relationship. We are One, but we could not understand the One without differentiation from the One. That is why unity and relationship are not dualism, but the most splendid good sense. God and we are united in being, and different in relationship. This allows us to experience reality, true reality. Nothing else would suffice.

When we see God in our own image, we are seeing with an egoic mind. And we are quickly leaving the ego behind us. So a new understanding needs to come about. This is that we are a part of God, that we are a part of the All, the One, and that the only thing that is different is the relationship that His differentiated Reality brings about. We don’t often feel this way, for we are not used to thinking in an all-encompassing manner. But we are both differentiated into parts and part of the Whole. And when we are differentiated, we know ourselves best when we love deeply the others in this world, yet still are conscious of the One.

This is the secret of leaving behind a concept of the world as a dualistic creation. God is One with us; we are One with Him. And in this truth, our whole world falls into place.

Prayer

Dear Father,

May we leave aside controversies that only divide us. Our little minds, even though they are part of You, are too limited to understand full reality. But we can catch glimpses. And I hope to do so today.

Help this day to go well. I ask this everyday, and I mean it everyday. The best that we can do is to turn to You for help when things seem to go awry.

Be with us today as we walk along our new pathway, back to You.

Amen.

Love Is Not Limited

“Thus, while your partner in love transcends total knowing, this too is “how it is.” How it is meant to be. Love inviolate. Each of you is love inviolate. Yet relationally, you may be able to “read each other’s thoughts,” be cogni¬zant of the slightest switch in mood, finish each other’s sentences. You know the other would lay down his or her life for you, rise to any occasion of your need, share your every fear and joy.

“Non-partnered love also shares a knowing through relationship. The loved one may be on the other side of the country, separated by distance, or previous choices, or past hurts, and yet a relationship continues.” (ACOL, C:23.3 – 23.4)

We know much about our significant others in this lifetime. We can know much without making them examples of specialness, for specialness is forbade in A Course of Love. We get nowhere by imagining that we are partnered with only a few others, leaving out all the rest. We take nothing from our most precious partner when we expand our intimacy to our brothers and sisters.

Of course, this intimacy says nothing about sexual intimacy. And, prone as we are in our culture to think of sex, we can get confused if we don’t spell out the difference. Intimacy is love of the highest magnitude, and we don’t have to single out individuals in a “special” sense to bestow this love upon them.

We share with others at a distance through psychic means, though Jesus does not spell this out in the quotation for today. We do communicate across the miles, though, and we form love relationships that are lasting. Once we have loved, we never give up that love. And that is the way love is intended to be.

We are in relationship with all others, all of our brothers and sisters. And when we realize that we don’t have to make these individuals “special” in our own sight, we have taken a giant leap forward in our understanding. We take nothing away from those closest to us by loving all others. When we love with a deep love, we know that there is enough love to go all around.

Prayer

Dear Father,

Be with me today as I seek to love the ones whom I encounter. May my interaction with all others be easy and peaceful, joyous and in harmony. The truth is that we will never be satisfied until we are in love relationships with all others.

May my day go smoothly. May the difficulty that I have in getting going in the mornings just fall away as the bright sun burns off the mist from my eyes. Be with me as I seek to keep a good attitude about all things. And thank you for Jesus’s hints about how to live well.

Amen.

Embracing the World with Intimacy

“When you are asked questions such as, “How was your day?” respond as much as possible without using the word I or my. Quit referring to people and things in terms of ownership, saying “my boss,” “my husband,” “my car.”

“This removal of the personal “I” is but a first step to returning you to the consciousness of unity, a first step in going beyond meaning as definition to meaning as truth. As odd and impersonal as it will seem at first, I assure you the feeling of impersonality will be replaced quickly with an intimacy with your surroundings that you never felt before.” (ACOL, C:22.21 – 22.22)

Do not all of us want more intimacy in our lives? And if this change of words can bring that to us, ought we not to try it? After all, if we believe that Jesus channeled these words, I think we ought to consider that he knew what he was talking about.

How can we understand this? Leaving out the personal “I” or “my” does seem to remove the possessiveness from our lives. And is not possessiveness one of the things that we feel most strongly about in our special relationships?

Jesus is showing us that we don’t need the specialness, as much as we think that we still do. We have lived with our egoic possessiveness of certain others for so long that we can’t imagine how it would be if our husband or wife were to love others with the same intensity. Of course, we are not talking about physical intimacy here. We are talking about a holy love that holds the other in an embrace that includes the whole world. Can we really dare leave this goal untouched?

The way back to God has to be a way we have not found yet. A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love try in a myriad of ways to address the culture in which we live, the ways in which we interact with our brothers and sisters.

This small experiment in leaving our possessive pronouns just may be a harbinger of things yet to come for us. An embrace of the whole world.

And what more could we ask?

Dear Father,

Help me not to try to “possess” those closest to me. Help me to reach out to my larger world. I trust the techniques that Jesus advises, and I ask that I remember those techniques as I go through my daily rounds.

Be with me every morning, walk with me through the afternoon, and grant me serenity from a day well lived in the evening. You are deep within me, and my Self knows this. Help me to know my Self.

Amen.

Trying to Analyze Our Way into Heaven

“You have made of yourself a laboratory where you bring everything for examination, categorization, testing, and filing away. This is the scenario that separates you from everything else within your world. Everything has meaning only according to what it means to you and not as what it is.” (ACOL, C:22.17)

We have been quite self-centered, and while there is a time, explained by A Course of Love, for this self-centeredness when we are on the pathway to enlightenment, this self-centeredness during the time of separation has not been warranted. We have been guilty of thorough and ongoing analysis, and analysis normally is of the ego. We sift through the aspects of our world, in separation, and we try to make sense of what we see. But we are wrong.

It is only in love that we can find any truth in this weary world. And love doesn’t seem enough for us, for what religious tradition has not harkened to this as an answer, and things have remained the same? We have been trying to solve our problems, our sifting through evidence, by ourselves? Sure, we call on God, but we don’t really expect to hear His answers. We think that we are best dependent on ourselves, as we always have. And this, alas, does not get us what we want.

We need to see things as they are. As “is” is a recurring theme in ACOL. We have always been self-referencing, and this will not work. We have seen, indeed, that this does not work. Now it is time to try something different.

Ask to be shown the world around us as it really IS. This will be a projection from within, for within leads to without. But what a projection it will be! The Self will come out to play, the inner Christ Self. And in this change holds our solution to salvation, the salvation even unto Christ-consciousness, the salvation that has heretofore eluded us.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for cluing me in that what I need is to let the Self emerge from depths inside. I don’t think I know this Self, but it is the truest piece of myself that there is, and so I really do know this Self truly.

Thank You for another good day. I thank You in advance for the good that this day will bring. And I ask to walk a smooth pathway.

Amen.

Reflection Eases Our Mind and Heart

“The “meaningless” category might include such things as the happen-ings of your daily routine, chance encounters, illness, or accidents, while in the “beyond meaning” category exists the relationship that broke your heart, grief, poverty, war, the events that seemed to alter your destiny, the search for God. By using the word sit, I mean to imply that these things have not passed through you and in the act of passing through formed a relation¬ship and a partnership with you.” (ACOL, C:22.13)

In this quotation, we are back to the “onion” analogy: We are to let those things in our lives that have been meaningless or beyond meaning just pass through us, and then we will have absorbed their shock and can move on to a better future. When we don’t absorb the meaningless or the beyond meaning, these things clog up our minds and hearts, and we can’t make progress toward enlightenment. We are stuck. And nobody likes this feeling.

Jesus is giving us very practical advice in these words of the passage for today. He knows that we let the bad memories from the past hold us back. We need simply to reflect on what has happened, to re-experience the memory, and then to be ready to leave these bad memories behind, lest they trip us up.

Ask today to move into the future, unburdened by the trials and tribulations of the past. Reflect for a while, and then just move beyond dwelling on what has gone amiss.

This is the best way to move into the New.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

I want to move into the New today, the new reality, the new world. I want to let my old mistakes fall away, my old regrets be no more. This is a new day in Your world. Help me to treat this new day right.

Be with us as we seek to have a future unlike the past, a better future with You, reaching out from deep within us, from the Christ Self, to reform this world. We don’t proselytize, though, but we do share with others at every point that seems right. We reach out in this sharing, and in this doing the world will never seem the same again.

It will be a better world, seen from within, projected outward. May I walk in Your light today.

Amen.

Passing through This World Can Be Easy

“The image of intersection is simply meant to represent the point where the world intersects with you—where your path crosses that of others, where you encounter situations in your daily life, where you experience those things that cause you to feel or believe in a certain way—and it is at this point of intersection that not only relationship, but partnership is found.” (ACOL, C:22.7)

At one memorable point in A Course of Love, Jesus employs the metaphor of the layers of an onion, pierced by a needle. Of course, this metaphor has no practical application in real life, but as a metaphor of our intersection with the world, the image does work. We are meant to “intersect” or to interact with all in our lives in this world.

And there is more: This point of intersection with the world gives us partnerships one with another. We do not, indeed should not, feel alone and lonely. We are meant to be in relationship, for we are one with everyone. This oneness is the “unity” that Jesus speaks of, unity with our inner Christ Self as well as unity with others. The unity and relationship, repeated so often, is a metaphor for how we are to proceed in Christ-consciousness. Our hearts and minds form an union with each other, and then this first union expands to include others. We live in a telepathic universe, with no thoughts private. We will get used to this when we are willing to be transparent. But this does take some getting used to.

Our lives are meant to be in partnership with each other. As we join with others, we live at our best. The way is clearer and the living of that way is much happier.

Give up a solitary nature today. Don’t try to go it alone. In our intersection, at every point, with this world, we will live as we are meant to live. We will live interdependently. We will not be dependent, we will not be independent. But we will live in cooperation with everyone whom we encounter. This new way is the way of the future, the way ahead when more and more of us will have reached Christ-consciousness.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

As an onion has layers, our world has layers. As a needle might pierce these layers, we also intersect with all the layers of the world. Help me to understand this metaphor. There is a depth of meaning that I need to make my own.

May this day brings with it good things. May the tiny matters that have been irritants just fall away. There is nothing that we need to lament in our world; we can be shown a way out and through.

Help us to enjoy each other. Help us to be there for each other. The way is smooth when we are interdependent.

Amen.

Let Our Imaginations Out to Play

“We will talk much more of imagining now, and you may, at first, be resistant to this instruction. To imagine is too often associated with daydreaming, fiction, or make-believe, and these functions are all prescribed to be for certain parts of your life and for certain times that you deem appropriate. Please assure yourself, as I assure you, that now is an appropriate time, an essential time, for such activity. Your thoughts regarding imagining and imagination will change with your change in perspective on use. You will no longer be using your imagination but letting your imagination be of service to you.” (ACOL, C:22.1)

Letting our imagination be of service to us is another way of saying that we will turn to revelation to solve our problems. We do not have to wonder if we are engaging in fantasy. We are letting our hearts and minds work in tandem to fulfill all of the needs that we perceive. And our needs will be met, though our wants may not be. And our needs are met at the point of need. With every problem, the solution is right there alongside of it.

It is instructive to let the mind wander when faced with an intractable issue. We need to get in the alpha state of mind, a relaxed state of consciousness, that is mellow and calm enough to let solutions rise to the surface of the mind. This mellowness assures us that we are not in an angry or hostile state of mind; we are inviting guidance from the depths.

And that guidance will come. Sometimes it helps to present a problem to the subconscious mind, the Self within, and then go about our day. Often, and very often, the solution will appear in consciousness as soon as we let go the issue. We don’t struggle or put ourselves in a state of great effort; we just let go.

Let our imaginations serve us today. Imagination can create a dialogue with Jesus, an exercise, on paper, that can be most instructive. Of course, we are using our imaginations to wonder what he might say to us, but we use our imaginations willingly, knowing that while we might be wrong, we will still gain from the exercise.

Let the imagination serve us today. The results will be positive, rewarding, and conclusive.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for guiding my mind to this technique of utilizing the imagination to solve problems. Often I imagine what Jesus might say to me, and this is calming in the extreme. I do not get lost in fantasies. Instead, I keep my feet on the ground, even as my head is in the clouds.

Be with me today. I long for Your solace throughout my day, and, thankfully, You grant this solace to me.

Thank You.
Amen.

Mind and Heart Join to Effect Change

“No matter which path you follow, the path of the mind or the path of the heart, you will not get where you are wanting to go until they are joined. You might imagine three paths—one path representing mind, one path representing heart, and one path representing wholeheartedness. The path of neither mind nor heart alone will take you where the path of unity will take you, and the journey will not be the same.” (ACOL, C:21.7)

Jesus here tells us precisely what he tells us, in other words, in many places in A Course of Love: that we need the mind and heart, joined together in wholeheartedness. Our heart has always known the truth of our unity one with another and with God, but the mind rebelled, and this prevented the heart and body from elevating to a Self that exists with the All in unity and in relationship. Our minds were just too eager to jump ahead, in this physical form in which we found ourselves, too eager to be patient and learn all that needed to be learned in a new way of existing, the physical form itself.

But we are coming to see, through, I would hasten to add, both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. ACIM dislodged the ego, but without the ego we were still mired in a sense of purposelessness, unsure of any new identity. ACOL came along to solve this personal problem, many believe, to establish a new identity and to elevate the self of form, to see that we became the elevated Self of form. This Self is the inner Christ, and when we live by the new rules, we are embodying Christ-consciousness. We finally know where we are going and what we are to do. We receive this knowledge by observation, vision, revelation. The words will become clear as we move forward in the pages of A Course of Love.

Our path IS clear when we join what we know in our hearts to a newly discovered mind that is free of the ego. We join heart and mind together, for we cannot proceed far without their cooperation. This new phase is called “wholeheartedness,” the joining of heart and mind to create a new world while we sustain Christ-consciousness.

If we have not walked far enough long the path to realize all that this path holds out to us, we must counsel patience. We will see the end point, the ever-expanding work of creating a new reality in this world.

This change is coming not a moment too soon, as all of us who listen to the daily news know so well. A Course in Miracles created great change in the hearts and minds of many who had never read it, because its tenets found their way into spiritual and psychological literature without attribution. Now we are on the cusp of a similar spreading of the message of A Course of Love.

This world will never be the same again.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank you for guiding my thoughts as I seek to contain my enthusiasm for this latest revelation in A Course of Love. May its message spread in our troubled world. May more and more of us see glimpses of Christ-consciousness, then longer experiences, then maintain the new consciousness, and then fully sustain it. This is a lot to ask, but I know within my being that I am asking within Your will.

Be with us as we seek to make the choice for Christ-consciousness. You will reach now at the right moment and lift us up. The ultimate decision is Yours. I pray that this time of change may envelop all of us sooner rather than later.

Amen.

When Life Becomes Too Much

“The embrace can now be likened to the starting point of a shared language, a language shared by mind and heart and by all people. It is a language of images and concepts that touch the one heart and serve the one mind.” (ACOL, C:21.6)

The “embrace” is introduced in A Course of Love by Jesus, who encourages us to imagine that we are enfolded in his arms. Then his embrace of us becomes mutual, and we also enfold him.

The imagination does not play on the sexual at all. It is meant to be a reassurance that someone out there knows what we are going through, is with us through it, and will see us through it. We are tired, very tired from our long journeys in separation from God. We sometimes feel sorry for ourselves, feel lacking all hope, and need to know that this feeling of ennui is not unusual: It is a universal experience.

But not many people own up to this feeling. We hide our disappointments in life, we don’t share our worries and concerns, and we lament the bad turns that life seems to have given us.

There is a way out. We can contemplate the truth of this embrace, that we are one with All, everywhere. We can consider that maybe Jesus really is with us, and that he brings angels with him. Help from the Other Side is forthcoming.

Knowing that we are not alone in our weariness in this world goes a long way toward alleviating that weariness. Knowing that we are not unique in feeling this lassitude helps also. The embrace encompasses all of us, every last one of us.

Ask for help in our weariness today. Expect help to arrive, and very often that help does in fact arrive. Prayer works.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the better feeling that I feel today. My anxieties have diminished, because I have listened to the words of the embrace. May I reach out to others, who may be helped by my words as well.

May we help one another, even as You help us. We are all in this together.

Amen.

The Embrace Is the One Heartbeat

“The holy relationship in its broadened form is eternity, the eternity of the embrace. If the embrace is the source of all, the one heartbeat, then it is eternity itself. It is the face of love, its texture, taste, and feel. It is love conceptualized. It is an abstract rather than a particular concept, even while having a seeming structure that your heart can feel.” (ACOL, C:21.3)

Another comforting passage from A Course of Love. It is not hard to conceptualize the embrace of Jesus. We feel his presence, and we return the embrace. This is something tangible to which we can cling when times seem tough. Times are never actually tough, though in our world they can certainly seem to be. There is always a way given us for our delivery from misery.

What is that way? A turning inward to the Christ Self, the one we will turn to more and more as we proceed in our reading and our study of ACOL. The Christ Self is our way now, the way we feel our guidance, we way we feel our solace. The way back home is not hard; everything and everyone in this world are in league with God’s plan to return us, of our own free will, to Him. All has been planned as a learning experience, at least this early in our reading of ACOL. (Later on, we will just observe the outer and inner worlds, and then we will be “in-formed” by that outer and inner world.)

Our heart is our guide, the center of our being. And it needs no proof of God’s love for us; it knows this with an ever-present knowledge. And it is knowledge, not perception with an egoic mind, that leads us to this truth. This true reality.

We are in holy relationship with our Self, first, and then everyone else in our world. And Jesus is in our world, though we do not see him. He is right here, for us, all the time. Believe him when he says that he takes us by the hand and will led us backward in time to where we took a misstep. And then we will be Home in God.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

May this day go well. May I love well, work well, and, tonight, may I sleep well. This is Your will for me, of this I am sure.

The anxieties of this day need not concern me. They are negligible. The real blessing is the fact that I know that You are always here, deep within me, while I project a world from my Self. All of us are caught in a mass hallucination, but the real world can arise in our sights when we have a heart that is in the right place. This true reality is ours.

Thank You.

Amen.

The View from Love’s Angle

“Your heart has a different scope, a different view. It is the view from within the embrace, the view from love’s angle. It is the view of the dying who realize nothing matters but love. This realization is not one of sentiment, regrets, or wishful thinking. It is the view from the embrace, the return to one heartbeat, the return to what is known. This knowing you might call wisdom and think of as an attainable ideal of thought. Yet it is not about thought at all, but is beyond thought. It is not wisdom but the truth. The truth is that which exists. The false is illusion. Love is all that matters because love is all that is.” (ACOL, C:20.48)

This quotation is a good example of just how comforting A Course of Love can be to any interested person reading it. We are in the embrace, in the one heartbeat of the universe, in Jesus’s bosom. We need only focus on love (that often maligned term). Lest we think that “love” is too easy an answer, let us realize how often we let our “to do” list get in the way of taking care of ourselves and other people, relaxing in God’s care, being at one with all.

We can easily imagine that when our time on earth comes to an end, we won’t care about anything but the love we have given and received (given and received, something that really means the same for we are all One). Let us jump ahead to our end, and then find our way back with new knowledge. Let us realize now that true reality means nothing more—nothing more and nothing less.

The view from love’s angle will hold us in good stead throughout all the days of our lives. Let us decide today that love is all we want. Love and nothing more. The “more” will come to us in Jesus’s embrace, but we don’t have to wear ourselves out trying to make things happen. We are protected and cared for. If nobody on earth understands us, we know that God does.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

I am barreling ahead of myself today over my “to do” list. How often have I miscued by doing this? Let me rest in Your love, in Jesus’s embrace. We don’t have to struggle and press; the good comes to us when we have our priorities in order. Help me to put my priorities in order today.

Thank You.

Amen.

A Kinder, Gentler World

Note: I recommend the online newsletter, The Embrace, which you can sign up to receive about every two weeks into your email. The Embrace, published by Take Heart Publications (same publisher as A Course of Love), gives a featured presentation from ACOL readers in each issue. Here is the link:

http://acourseoflove.com/the-embrace-newsletter/

“Your thinking will begin to change to reflect your recognition of reception. Reception and welcome are highly linked. You will find you are welcome to all the gifts you recognize in your brothers and sisters just as you freely will offer yours to serve them. To serve rather than to use is an enormous change in thinking, feeling, and acting. It will immediately make the world a kinder, gentler place. And it is only a beginning.” (ACOL, C:20.44)

“Use,” as described here, is the sense that we choose our friends and family for what we can get out of them, what good they can do for us in a sometimes difficult world. This means that we have been likely to surround ourselves with friends solely because we didn’t want to be alone. This means that we cozy up to our family in case we need their financial help. This means that we try to succeed in the world just for the sake of competition, to come out on top, not because we are trying to do anything good for other people.

“Service” is the alter-ego of use. Service is when we think of the other person’s best interest, even if aside from our own best interest. We do things for other people that may be laudatory, but we don’t take egoic satisfaction from our deeds. We are just glad to help.

When we serve, we do receive in like measure, but our reception is not tainted by overriding self-interest. When we serve, we are, as Jesus says, living in a kinder, gentler world. Our deeds may even go unrecognized, but this does not disturb us, because we have moved out of ego. Our heartfelt response to others is what saves us, and save them. We are living salvation.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

This day filled with brilliant sunshine also fills my heart with calm joy. It is a good day. Help me to go out in the world, when next I do so, with a calm and radiant spirit imbued by the peacefulness that I sense right now.

Be with us as we seek to be of service in Your world. Your world, of course, is not the egoic world that we previously knew, but a new, real world that is permeated, through and through, with Your love. Peace, harmony, calm, joy, limitless release—these await us in the real world that we enter when we have turned to our hearts for solace.

Help me to remember to turn to my heart throughout this glorious day.

Amen.

Free Will, by Jiffy Read

Note: This is another in the series called “Saturday Features” on this blog. You too are welcome to contribute, and encouraged to do so.

The separate self feels as though it is free to think and do as it pleases. But all its thoughts and actions arise from the ego thoughts in which it believes, and ego thoughts are not original; they are the thoughts of conditioned thinking. Although the separate self feels as though it has free will, it is actually under the tyranny of the ego.

Real thoughts are those that come from Self. Such thoughts represent our true will, which is free. The separate self cannot think such thoughts. In fact, the separate self cannot think at all—it can only think it thinks. That is part of the illusion.

There does exist one choice for the separate self, which is to accept the voice of Self instead of the tyrannical voice of the ego.

Even this choice is illusory, valid only within the illusion. The separate self is not separate from its source. The idea that there is a choice is the means by which within the dream of separation the mind can find its way back to what it never left.

“You have chosen to be in a state in opposition in which opposites are possible. As a result, there are choices you must make. In the holy state the will is free, so that its creative power is unlimited and choice is meaningless. Freedom to choose is the same power as freedom to create, but its application is different. Choosing depends on a split mind. The Holy Spirit is one way of choosing. God did not leave his children comfortless, even though they chose to leave Him. The voice they put in their minds was not the Voice for His Will, for which the Holy Spirit speaks.” (T-5.II.6)

“The ego cannot teach you anything as long as your will is free, because you will not listen to it. It is not your will to be imprisoned because your will is free. That is why the ego is the denial of free will. It is never God Who coerces you, because He shares His Will with you. His Voices teaches only in accordance with His Will, but that is not the Holy Spirit’s lesson because that is what you are. The lesson is that your will and God’s cannot be out of accord because they are one. This is the undoing of everything the ego tries to teach.” (T-8.II.3:1-8)

Being Who We Are

“You would not be other than who you are. You may know that this is true or you may dwell in fantasies, desiring what another has or some success, fame, or riches that seem impossible for you to attain. And yet, whether you know it is true or not, it is true: You would not be other than who you are. Herein lie your peace and your perfection. If you would not be other than you are, then you must be perfect. This is a conclusion both logical to the mind and believable to the heart, and its acceptance is a step toward wholeheartedness.” (ACOL, C:20.42)

We will have to take Jesus at his word: that we are perfect as we are. None of us actually believe this now, because we hold an image of a self that we hope to become, a self-image that has always beckoned us to be more and to be different.

But this self-image is born of the ego, and we are rapidly leaving the ego behind. Jesus designed the first book of A Course of Love so that we would develop a new identity, one that is not based on egoic fantasies and egoic notions.

How can we understand that we are “perfect” as we are? It doesn’t mean that we are without blemish; it simply means that we would not be other than who we are, that no imagined self-image, born of the ego, can satisfy us for long. So we rest, finally, in the truth that we like ourselves enough to accept ourselves without judgment. Judgment, after all, along with fear, are the two aspects of experience that keep Christ-consciousness from descending upon us. Knowing that judgment is forbidden us, we can know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that this judgment is not to be applied personally. So we accept Jesus’s word that he sees us as perfect just as we are. And we long for nothing else.

This does not mean that we won’t change and grow, just that we won’t denounce ourselves in the meantime. We will accept the peace that is ours from accepting ourselves just as we are.

This is a sea change for most of us. We are so used to feeling unworthy, as abject, miserable beings, that being told that we are perfect just as we are seems too good to be true. It can even sound like heresy. But A Course of Love is new revelation, and no longer do we have to see ourselves as miserable creatures mired in sin. A Course in Miracles removed the stigma of sin by calling our missteps just “mistakes.” And ACOL now continues the same logic.

ACIM did not tell us that we were perfect as we are. So what is Jesus getting at now? He is getting us to accept ourselves as children of God who have separated from Him, in illusion, but who now want to find our way back. This is laudable, though not in an egoic sense. This is the path that we are on—a return to God and the Self through wholeheartedness and union with the truth.

Imagine that we didn’t accept ourselves just as we are. What would that get us but self-loathing? And is not this an affront to God, child of Him who we are? What God created may have made mistakes, indeed, has made mistakes, but this can be rectified. And in the remembrance that will come upon us, we will also know that only in fantasies would we be other than we are.

So perfection is not beyond us, though any attempt to apply this idea while still caught in the ego will do us no good. We need to apply the art of thought to this new idea: we need to experience the possibility that Jesus is right; and we need to respond to God and Creation in a way that is worthy of both God and us. This response will affirm our willingness to believe in the truth that Jesus is proffering, and this response to this truth will free us to consider that, just maybe, we are already the being whom we want to be.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

I don’t feel perfect when I consider Jesus’s words. But I do recognize that I wouldn’t choose to be other than who I am. And so I need to take these two thoughts and meld them into one. My response to You is needed. This response will free me to consider that Jesus just may be right: With separation gone and reunion with the Self on the horizon, I can see that my personal self is going to be someone whom I can accept.

This is a blessed revelation! Thank You for guiding me, ever so gently, away from the ego, as I consider these words from Jesus. He knows that I don’t want to dwell in fantasies of an exalted self; just being myself is what he is calling for. And I ask that you will improve my attitude as I seek to make his words and his beliefs my own. Negativity about what Jesus has said gets me nowhere.

Amen.

Join in the Dance

“The embrace has returned you to attunement with the heartbeat, the music of the dance. You have not known what you do or what to do only because of fear, only because you have been out of accord with the one heartbeat. The world, the universe, is your partner—and only now do you hear the music that brings grace to all your movements, all your actions, all your expressions of love. While this may seem to be metaphorical language it is not. Listen and you will hear. Hear, and you cannot help but rejoice in the dance.” (ACOL, C:20.34)

This is another beautiful quotation, rendered poetically, just for each of us. The embrace harkens back to Jesus’s embrace of each of us, an embrace that becomes mutual, in which we are encouraged to share with him our deepest longings as well as our bitter disappointments, our sadness and our tiredness from living in this world.

But the quotation for today is very upbeat, inviting us to join in the “dance” of life, the dance that will increase our joy and give us a warm heart to share with all whom we encounter. Jesus tells us that he is not speaking metaphorically, that is, using a word in place of another word. He is speaking literally, believing that if we listen, we will hear the music that will encourage us to dance.

Our heartbeat is evidence that our heart is the center of the self, a tenet of ACOL. We have lived so much of our lives in fear, hesitant to act, hesitant not to act, being unsure of what we do and say. This can all come to an end as we welcome the guidance of our Self whom we are welcoming out from the depths of our being. This Self is shared with all, for we are one Self. This is the Self who leads us rightly when we have begun to catch glimpses of Christ-consciousness. This Self-guidance is the new way, the way beyond the Holy Spirit, Who was of the past era. In this time of Christ, great things are abroad for us. Are we ready?

Reaching enlightenment is partially a decision on our part. We eliminate the impediments to its coming. God Himself makes the final decision about our readiness, but we know that to ask for Christ-consciousness is to ask in His will. And the Self will guide, bit by bit, point by point, to eliminating the blocks that have hindered our growth into a new and improved version of ourselves. This is the way that we walk today. And tomorrow.

Ask for help. Don’t assume that reading ACOL is enough. Look for inner guidance to remove the particular blocks that have kept us from a new and bright future.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

It is the end of a long and busy day, a day in which I knew some anxiety at one point. This always makes me feel as if I have failed. Is this what You would say to me?

I think not. Anxiety is a pattern of the past, and these old patterns will dog our steps for a little longer. But they have lost their punching power, and each time that we say, “No, I won’t listen to this pattern,” we are healed ever so slightly.

Be with me tomorrow as I seek to avoid any evidence of a pattern of anxiety, even for a moment. Thank You, in advance, for the soothing quality of Your patience with me.

Amen.

Love & Fear Contrasted

“This cooperation is natural when fear has been rejected. You have long embraced fear and rejected love. Now the reverse is true. This reversal of truth has changed the nature of your universe and the laws by which it operates. The laws of fear were laws of struggle, limits, danger, and competitiveness. The laws of love are laws of peace, abundance, safety, and cooperation. Your actions and the results of your actions in a universe of love will naturally be different from your actions and the results of your actions in a universe of fear. You set the laws of the universe when you chose fear. The laws of the universe of love are God-given.” (ACOL, C:20.31)

Nobody, even those who reject religion, would believe that to live in fear is preferable to living in love. Even the most agnostic or atheistic among us want significant others to love unconditionally. And there must be a reason for this. Why do we need love so much? Why have we wandered around, alone and lonely, in a world that scared us so, scared us in our fear?

We didn’t know that there was a better way to live, at least not for many years. We thought that anxieties about our doings actually helped us to achieve more, and achieve better. We were lost in a competitive world where scarcity seemed the norm. The fact that sharing might give everyone enough, and more than enough, was discounted.

We can’t blame our families, because they do were products of a fear-ridden environment. They learned from their parents, as we learned from them. And to be protected in an unsafe world, it seemed that holding certain fear-ridden ideas would offer this protection. We made the world that we experienced, and this world was indeed fear-ridden.

Now we come to a better knowledge. And we aren’t asked to take this on faith, without any proof. We just need to experiment a little with what all of us knew from the beginning, that we wanted (and needed) love to thrive. We might not have known the words to express this when we were children, but as we grew into the teen years, we knew it mightily, as peer pressure exerted its influence upon our behavior.

Don’t let the truth that love is the way for now sound trite. All religions have stressed love, but few have been able to turn their adherents from their fear-based thinking. Perhaps we are ready now, in this age of Christ. Perhaps things are a little better now. Jesus says that A Course in Miracles has made a difference in our world, and certainly the ACIM concepts have made their way into many books that never cite their sources. With A Course of Love, we are taken a step farther, not only to relinquish the ego (as ACIM counseled), but to establish a new identity, based in mind and heart together.

The heart will always speak for love. And our doubts that there is something superior in fortifying ourselves with protection by fear can be cast aside forever.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank you for the warmth that my heart feels today. Thank You for A Course of Love. May the recurrent anxieties that dogged my steps previously just fall away as I catch glimpses of what it means to feel mellow and justified in Your sight. I drop the ego from my world view. And with a genuine humility I seek to know Your ways.

Be with me as I walk in the pathway that is set before me. If fear seems to be a factor in my walk, hold my hand and remind me that You are always with me. I am a part of You, and, as such, I can draw on my inner Self at any time, draw on my inner Self to feel and experience love.

Amen.

Remembrance Will Save Us Now

“The first step in remembering this holiness is forgetting. Let yourself forget that you do not feel holy and that the world does not appear to be sacred. Let your heart remember that you are holy and that the world is sacred. A thousand things can pull you from your remembrance. Forgetting “things” can free you to remember.” (ACOL, C:20.23)

We are not learning new things as we read A Course of Love, as much as we might think that we are. We are being led back, in forgotten memory, to a remembrance of what we knew many eons previously. This remembrance will save us. Nothing else can.

It is important not to view ACOL as “new doctrine,” because if we do that, we will wonder about everything that we read. Ask ourselves, instead, if this way of viewing the world hits a resonant cord in our hearts. Do we FEEL that what this voice is saying is true? Do we want it to be true—for what we want will come about. This is the truth that we create our own reality.

We need to forget all the notions that say that these ideas are too good to be true. Do they FEEL true? That is the litmus test.

We don’t need to apply our logical brain to this exercise. Our heart knows something that the mind does not. That is why forgetting is so important. We have listened to the egoic mind for eons; now is the time to turn from that to something better—the heart, the heart that doesn’t demand proof, but just knows in a way that the mind does not.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

The best that we can do is follow the guidance that whispers in our ears throughout the day. We don’t need to apply logic to this silent whispering; we just need to trust, and trust is not hard to do, when our egoic thinking has been stilled.

Be with me today so that I don’t act impulsively, and then regret my actions. I need to be stopped in my tracks if I start heading off in the wrong direction. And I ask for this stopping to be done as gently as You can. I know that You know me better than I know myself.

And in Your knowing are all my questions answered.

Amen.

Comfort in a World of Sorrow

“Have you never felt as if you would wrap your arms around the world and bring it comfort if you could? This you can do. Not with physical arms, but with the arms of love. Have you never cried for the state of the world as you would for one small child in need of love?” (ACOL, C:20.19)

Indeed, we do not blame victims for their plight; this is said elsewhere in A Course of Love. And our hearts go out to the world and all people in it, for we too have lived through some difficult times. Because we too have known some suffering, we know where the problems are coming from. We don’t understand all things, all reasons for suffering, but we understand enough to draw the world around us and comfort it and its people.

Love IS the answer. Elsewhere we are told that if love were described as some new discovery that science had made, we might be more likely to sit up and take notice. But because we have heard that Love is the answer from all of our religious traditions, we tend to downplay its efficacy.

This we need not to do. Of course, we say to ourselves. But do we really understand that reaching out, in imagination, will cure all ills? We cannot solve all problems, but we can solve some of them. And the suffering that these problems lead us into can be risen above by a simple expediency: Love changes our attitude. We no longer feel sorry for ourselves. And with this change in attitude, our suffering ceases to be suffering and becomes simply pain.

This may not sound like much of a change, but it is gigantic in implication. Yes, we must transmute our pain, also, but, first things first. If we love God and one another, we will walk in the path illumined by light. And this light will make all the difference.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

Sometimes when we are feeling low, “just do it,” when it comes to a given action, is best. You taught me this just this morning, when my attitude needed to be changed. And you changed it! Thank You so much.

May all of our problems that lead to suffering be lightened by the power of a changed attitude. May we not only transmute suffering, but pain itself. And may we hug the world to us as we would one small child in need of comfort.

Be with us today as we walk in a difficult world. The way will become easy with You at the helm.

Amen.

Invite Awakening Today

“From here your life becomes imaginal, a dream that requires you not to leave your home, your place of safety and of rest. You are cradled gently while your spirit soars, dreaming happy dreams at last. With love surrounding you in arms that hold you close, you feel the heartbeat of the world just beneath your resting head. It thunders in your ears and moves through you until there is no distinction. We are the heartbeat of the world.

“This is creation. This is God. This is our home.” (ACOL, C:20.10 – 20.11)

In this passage Jesus is still harkening to the embrace, the mutual embrace of him and us. He comforts us in a way that perhaps we have never been comforted before. He does this by empathizing with us. He understands that we have suffered in this world, and he wants us to know that through imaginal living—life is that imagined—we can know a different sort of reality. We can leave suffering behind in our minds and hearts, and this will give us much new contentment. The way is smooth, finally. We CAN know contentment, even happiness, when we realize that our leader, Jesus, is right here with us, full of empathy for us.

The method given in the passage for today and yesterday is not complicated, but in some sense it takes a child’s faith—at least an adult who can relive the days of childhood, when everything was imaginal. I would call this a magical time, but Jesus himself in A Course in Miracles uses a different definition for “magic,” and we don’t need to confuse ourselves. (He likens magic to an irrational way of thinking.) We just need to realize, for sure, for all time, that we are not alone. We have never been alone, but we have played at this aloneness in our ego’s frame of reference. It is time to move beyond this erroneous way of thinking.

The way back Home is not far. It is here already, when we are mellow, when we are contented, when we have let go of stress, anger, hostility, and other negative attitudes. Indeed, attitude is what Jesus is changing when he stresses that we link mind and heart into wholeheartedness, all in a bid to move us closer to Awakening. Awakening is what A Course of Love is all about. Jesus knows that we will never be really healed until we have crossed that threshold into Christ-consciousness.

Invite Awakening today, at least a glimpse of Awakening. Pray for calm; meditate if need be. The way back is not hard; it is the easiest thing in the world when we have made up our minds that it is the ONLY thing that we truly want. All else will fall into place by this decision.

Invite a soothing spirit to enfold us. This will do more than anything else to make certain that we are blessed with a glimpse of Awakening today.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

I do feel Your peace today. Thank You. You seem to whisper in my ear what my next step needs to be if I am to know joy and kindness in my interactions with others. May I be there for the people in my life. My I say the right thing, move in the right way, to lift their sights to something higher.

We all need You, You Who are in our Self, the Self we share with all. I sense the truth of this concept even though my finite mind cannot comprehend how this can be. Give me the strength to stay true to Your leanings, the intuitive leanings that you grant to me today.

Thank You.

Amen.

The Embrace

“This is a call to move now into my embrace and let yourself be comforted. Let the tears fall and the weight of your shoulders rest upon mine. Let me cradle your head against my breast as I stroke your hair and assure you that it will be all right. Realize that this is the whole world, the universe, the all of all in whose embrace you literally exist. Feel the gentleness and the love. Drink in the safety and the rest. Close your eyes and begin to see with an imagination that is beyond thought and words.” (ACOL, C:20.2)

This quotation is the most well-known and well-loved in all of A Course of Love. Jesus invites us to be comforted in his embrace, and later on he invites us to embrace him as well. We have walked a long and lonely path, and this walk is over. We are going to be reaching the culmination of our journey without distance when we have read through A Course of Love. The ending is as sweet as this harbinger indicates. We are loved, and we love, and Jesus is here for us.

Believing that Jesus walks this way with us requires believing that on the Other Side he can clone himself to be anywhere, anytime. This may seem to require faith, but Christian stories are replete with indications that the great healer has come and visited those in distress. And we are in distress, sometimes even without being aware of it. We need Jesus’s comfort as much as anybody, and here he indicates that we can receive that comfort. Just lean on him; he will not fail us.

Later on in A Course of Love Jesus resigns as our teacher, and indicates that he is our companion only, and, moreover, that we are not to view him as the man who lived and died 2,000 years ago. He says that he is Christ-consciousness, and that we are One, one Self, and he invites us to realize that this wholeness is healing. This sharing of Self includes everyone, everywhere.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves. For now, in this first book of A Course of Love, Jesus is still our teacher. And he lets us know that however downtrodden that we feel, there is hope. This comforting hope comes when we show him the love that is deep within us. And we feel his love.

Let our imaginations wander. Imagination works wonders, sometimes, and that is what will happen as we are embraced by Jesus, and we return his embrace.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

All of us need comforting, sometimes often. I feel this need today. Help me to take Jesus at his word, that he is here for me. And for everybody who calls on him. May this day blossom into a lovely day, for pearls of days string along an imaginary rope, and we are healed. May this day become an imaginary pearl.

Be with us as we seek to walk a sometimes harrowing path in this world. We can’t be perfect, and Jesus doesn’t ask this of us. But he does ask that we walk a while with him, a way that returns us to union with God and all that lives.

May this pathway be clear ahead. May my next step be in line with Your will.

Thank You.

Amen.

Mellowness Prepares for Christ-Consciousness

“This going back is, in reality, more in the way of reflection than review, although if you were to think of this as a re-viewing of your self, you would be quite accurate. It is like unto the final judgment as it has been described, a sorting of the real from the unreal, of truth from illusion. Despite the similarity between what this will call forth and the description of the final judgment, judgment is not the means or end of this reckoning.” (ACOL, C:19.22)

This quotation is important. It explains how we ready ourselves for Awakening. We need to go into our deeper mind, to let the memories surface, and as those memories are brought to the surface (however briefly), we are healed. This is akin to a final judgment, though it is not actually judgment, but something more benign. We are simply bringing up old reactions, egoic reactions, to be able to heal. And in the healing, we have moved into readiness for Christ-consciousness.

We can’t have access to the subconscious mind except when we are calm and serene. All of us know examples of times that we couldn’t think of a person’s name when we were trying to introduce that person to another. This common problem is emblematic of the fact that stress interferes with memories coming up to the surface.

It is the same as we seek to heal. We block awareness of past happenings when we are tense. This tension, this stress, would block our healing; that is the point. That is why we need to relax, relax the body, relax the mind. I have previously extolled “mellowness” as the right type of condition to welcome. It might even be said that
mellowness harbors a glimpse of enlightenment.

And so it will be with all of us. We will invite relaxation, mellowness, and the hidden memories from the subconscious will surface—to be healed. We need this final reckoning. It is the way that we prepare, virtually the only thing that we need to do to “get ready” for God to take the final action, reaching down to us to lift us up for Awakening.

Invite mellowness today. Meditation, quiet time, will help. Just listen to the words that surface in the mind, for these are clues of what needs to be forgiven. And in the forgiving we are saved, saved for enlightenment.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the mellowness that I feel this morning. May I continue to feel this mellowness all day long. And may I open my mind to the memories that, brought up to the surface, will be healed.

May this day go well. I think that it will. But I can so easily get tangled up, even after a good beginning of the day. Help me to stay straightened out today. Help my mellowness to last.

Thank You.

Amen.

Know Healing in Stillness

“This going back is the journey without distance. You need not go in search of it, and in truth, cannot, for the past does not abide in you. What you need rather do is strive for a place of stillness from which what needs review can arise as if it were a reflection arising from a deep pool. Here what is in need of healing will but briefly come to the surface and leave the hidden depths where light could not reach it and healing could not come. What comes forth for healing needs but a nod of love from your heart, a passing glance of compassion, the merest moment of reflection, before it will dissi¬pate and show a new reflection.” (ACOL, C:19.21)

We are trying to heal the depths within. If we cultivate stillness, including mellowness, we are going in the right direction. Then the subconscious relaxes, and intuitions, with thoughts, rise to the surface to be prayed away. This prepares us for enlightenment. And this is truly a journey without distance, for the self is not going anywhere.

These ideas in A Course of Love are also reflected in a similar work, The Way of Mastery. We need to get still enough to allow our innermost thoughts to rise to the surface; we are inviting the subconscious to come forth and thereby be healed. This idea was not expressed so succinctly in A Course in Miracles, but Jesus’s later writings indicate that he is aware that this procedure works. And his whole thrust is to get us to Christ-consciousness, and thereby we can move into a new world, one that the Self will create. This is truly a new reality, a true reality, and we need to do what we can to woo it.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be still today, this time of quiet, so that my innermost thoughts and feelings can surface. This will promote mellowness, and I feel so close to You when I am mellow. Thank You for giving me the support that I need to move closer to You, not in fear any longer, but in love.

Be with all whom I encounter today. May I do something to make a difference in their lives. May my significant other know that my heart is in the right place. Grant that today will go well, as I seek to spread Your good will with my every step.

Amen.

In Creation All Needs Are Met Instantly

“In creation, all needs are fulfilled the instant they become needs, which is why there are no needs. If everything you need has been provided, having needs makes no sense.” (ACOL, C:19.14)

This quotation about needs being fulfilled is an echo from A Course in Miracles. Our wants are not always satisfied, maybe especially when those wants are ego-oriented, but our needs are met, and at the point of their arrival in our lives.

A similar statement from ACIM, that the solution is always found with the problem, is appropriate as well. What are our needs except problems waiting to be solved? For what else do we normally pray?

A Course of Love is so heartwarming, and this is certainly appropriate for a work that focuses on listening to our heart as the way to live. This particular quotation reassures us that needs are not actually there at all in creation, in reality, and the needs that we think we have are part of the illusion.

We may be skeptical that our needs are met at the point of identifying them. But think back, and so how many problems in our lives have found solutions. Remember that time is not part of eternity, for in eternity there is no space nor time. So if there does seem to be a delay in finding the solution, the answer to the need, remember that it is part of the illusion in which we live.

Creation is on our side; this is something that we need never to doubt. Creation is ongoing, continually expanding and changing. This is the same as saying that God Himself is not static.

God does answer needs, though time seems to be elastic, and sometimes time expands before the answer comes. In eternity time has no meaning, and so if there is any delay, this delay is meaningless.

Know that our needs are satisfied, and that we do not have long to wait for solutions to problems. This means that everything we need has been provided. And this is what Jesus has just told us.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for all miracles that show up in my life—the little ones as well as the large. And there actually are no little miracles, for all are a gift from You. My heart is very full today, conscious of Your loving care of me. May I be patient and wait for the answer to any question that I pose to You. I know that the time does not actually matter, because all time is an illusion.

But I get impatient sometimes, and it is for this impatience that I ask for Your patience. Let me lean on You a little, that I might follow in Your way, and not disturb the pattern of the universe by acting too hastily.

Thank You for being there for me.

Amen.

Share with Our Brothers and Sisters

“Your belief in your brothers and sisters will not be total, however, without the reunion of mind and heart that produces the state of wholeheartedness. This state was not achieved at all times by all those who believed in me—and perfection is not asked of you. As can be clearly seen from the records left to you, the apostles did not, in fact, achieve this state during my lifetime, for they looked at me as different and looked to me for power. Only after my resurrection did the Holy Spirit come upon them and reveal their own power to them by uniting mind and heart with belief. They were then reunited with me as they were united with the Christ. You thus must learn to see yourself as you see your brothers and sisters, and place your belief not in differences but in sameness.” (ACOL, C:19.12)

We are like our brothers and sisters in more than not, despite our culture’s interest in diversity. We are both the same and different. And in the sameness we see common ground, a common ground that will cause us to “believe” in our brothers and sisters. We will believe in them when we have achieved wholeheartedness, not before.

Jesus says that his apostles did not achieve this state in his lifetime, but only afterwards, when the Holy Spirit came upon them. Then they became one with Jesus as the Christ, just as we can so become. There is no greater achievement, and it comes to us as The Accomplished, though not in an egoic sense at all.

We are accomplished when we have joined mind and heart to achieve wholeheartedness, and then we are one with others. We share with them, something unlike the time of learning, in which individuality seemed (but only seemed) to reign. When we share with our brothers and sisters, we are going home at last. Home to Christ-consciousness, home to Oneness with God.

The way is clear; the way is sure. Let us not dally any longer today. Let us join with our brothers and sisters, for joining is required on this pathway. We are not meant to be alone, lonely, and independent. We are meant to be interdependent.

And in this change to interdependence we will see the real world, the one that has been waiting for our vision.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

I need you today, as always, to provide for me a good day. I can get so tangled up in the early morning, and I would not stay that way. Help me to unravel the snares and pitfalls. Help me to relax totally in Your care.

Be with all of us today, as we seek anew to stay on the pathway Home. This Home is all around me, if I have vision to see.

Please grant me this vision today.

Amen.

Our Saving Grace Is in What We Yearn for

“Your saving grace is that even a separated self yearns for union and knowl¬edge of its Creator. Thus along with this yearning was a means provided for its fulfillment, and with this fulfillment lies the end of the separation.

“I was part of this means, but only part. Fulfillment can be provided by each and every one of your brothers and sisters, for in each is the Christ available to be seen and experienced as it was from me.” (ACOL, C:19.6 – 19.7)

At this early point in the first book of A Course of Love, we are still considering the separated self, a self that could never be separated in truth—for how could we actually detach from the God of whom we are a part? But the mind could think that it was in rebellion, and so God and we mutually chose a new way for the self of form, the way of presumed separation from God. But the fact that we are not satisfied in this separation is the proof that we are meant for something more, and that something more is union with God—what we had, and what we left in rebellion, a mutually chosen solution.

The yearning for something more is the proof that we have overlooked. Even an atheist yearns for meaning in life, and often finds it in places that mimic finding God. We are beyond such thinking, though, and so it is likely that virtually all of us know that Who we want is God, and what we want is an experience of Love—for many of us recognize that life has little meaning apart from love. On a deathbed, one recognizes that the only thing of important in life has been the love that has been given and received. Why wait for this conclusion to come to all of us? Why wait, when there is nothing that can help until once our final moments are upon us?

Our yearning can and will be satisfied by knowing that we will get beyond our learning to revelation from God, though at this early point in our reading, we are still learning. We entered into a giant learning process when we developed the ego, for the ego made everything that would be easy, very hard indeed. We had to struggle and strain, and still our victories were not lasting.

Now we can learn in a way that is not effortful or straining at all. We can surrender to God, and surrender to the acceptance of His way, and this in itself will allow us to see that we are really one with everyone else. This is unity (also called union). This comes when the heart and mind are united once again, and the ego is slipping away into an early grave.

Other people can be Christ to us also, as Jesus points out in this quotation. Everything in our environment can be a learning experience; indeed, everything has been set up for just this purpose.

Turn to God in prayer, for Jesus makes much of prayer in A Course of Love. He says that it is the same as the miracle, and certainly those of us who have taken A Course in Miracles to heart know the importance of miracles to our new way of life. Ask to be shown, and see if that miracle of vision doesn’t dawn upon eyes that are closed in prayer.

The new way is not hard, if we keep in mind that we are listening to what our heart tells us. Our heart knows in a way that the mind doesn’t, and our heart will not lead astray.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me today to be grateful for what I see before me, what this day holds, what the future holds. Guide me to recognize contentment as a good outcome, not something that primes me to strike in new directions for “growth.” Growth in matters of the heart occurs quietly.

Be with me for enjoyment of this beautiful day. May I do something, somehow, that will help somebody.

Amen.

A Transformation that Recognizes Heaven on Earth

“The solution lies in transformation, and that is why you are still needed here. Beneath the world of illusion that you have made to glorify the separated self lies the world that was created for your learning, and that so exists in truth. It is not the only world by any means, but it is still heaven because heaven must be where you are. A wholehearted choice to abandon all ideas of glorifying the separated self and to let the world be what it is will begin the transformation. This requires the first unification, the unification of mind and heart, after which unification with God is natu¬rally returned to your awareness, for this unification returns you to the Christ in you and the one mind united with God which you have never left. Creation’s power then returns to you to help all the separated ones remember union.” (ACOL, C:19.14)

A Course in Miracles indicates that we are here to help others, that it may take millions of years for all of us to return to God, to heal the illusory separation. (ACIM also says that the separation similarly happened over millions of years.) We ourselves can help best when we have been transformed, when we have achieved Christ-consciousness. And while this is a choice, it is not a choice that we make alone. God makes the final decision about our readiness; he metaphorically reaches down and lifts us up. And when that happens, nothing is ever the same again—if we sustain the enlightenment.

In the early pages of A Course of Love, we are still caught in learning, but this learning takes different forms as we proceed, and eventually, by the time we reach the Dialogues, we have left learning behind entirely.

We need to stop glorifying the separated self, and this means that we leave behind egotism and self-satisfaction. This also means that we will, once again, even here, find ourselves in heaven. Our mind and heart has been reunified, and, with this, too, nothing is ever the same again.

We WILL remember union. It is not a hard concept. We start with the union of our mind and heart, and this leads to our reunion with God.

We are remembering rather than learning anew. Jesus is taking us “back,” and with this return we find a joy that is ours to share with others. When they see ordinary people living extraordinary lives, others will be encouraged to ask what we have that they don’t. And then we can tell them, then, when they are ready to listen.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

May the remaining egotism fade from my emotions today. I do not wish to enhance the ego in any way at all. I wish to let it disappear entirely, and You can and will help me with this. Thank You.

May this day go well. May my attitude stay straightened out. My “attitude” may still be the biggest obstacle in my pathway now. And with the love that You render to me, you can cancel out the negativity and accentuate the positive.

I ask this of You today. Thank You.

Amen.