Tag Archives: ACOL

The Disjoining of Mind and Heart / The Rejoining into Wholeheartedness

“The separated state was nothing more than the disjoining of heart and mind, a state in which mind attempted to know without the relationship of the heart and so merely perceived its own creations rather than the creations birthed in unity. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 2.26)”

1 – Wholeheartedness

This passage alludes to the joining of mind and heart into “wholeheartedness” that the first volume of A Course of Love makes so beautifully clear. We are meant to live in wholeheartedness. In fact, we see that A Course of Love is to the heart what A Course in Miracles was to the mind. Now we have both joined–wholeheartedness.

2 – Separation

We are now ready to leave separation behind, separation from God and separation from our brothers and sisters. We are ready to leave a separated self behind also, to have an elevated Self of form that is wholehearted. Mind and heart are once more joined in unity. And in this state we are able to understand, once again, what it means to be in relationship to all that surrounds us, especially our brothers and sisters.

3 – A Fortunate Fall

We have long lamented the separation from God. But ACOL indicates that this separation was part of the plan. In A Course in Miracles, we learn that this separation happened when a tiny, mad idea crept into the mind of God’s Son. There was nothing to do but to find a plan that could not be subverted, and this plan ultimately culminated in the plan of forgiveness for each other and ourselves. Our egos wanted to call our mistakes “sins,” but to call these mistakes by such a term did tend to make them attractive to us on a continual basis (an ACIM tenet). When we have a mistake, we naturally want to correct it. We have changed its status from a sin to a mistake, and we respond accordingly. ACOL makes the same pronouncement, in slightly different words. Elsewhere we learn that we can turn aside from the things in our personalities that we dislike; we are not bound to keep these lamentable traits. But we are ready to accept Christ in Christ-consciousness, despite what we may still view as flaws. ACIM says that Jesus stands at the end of the journey to undo mistakes that we have not been able to undo. These twin ideas in ACIM and ACOL thus meld into one.

4 – Elevated Self of Form

If we come to understand these concepts, we will be well on our way to the elevated Self of form. We must not let theology delay us; if anything in this interpretation does not resonate with you, then just turn aside from it. A universal experience is mandatory, a universal theology impossible. Why? We see things from different perspectives because our personalities differ. What one may need by way of his/her religion is different from another. Many of us need a personal God, and some find this personal God in the Holy Spirit. A Course in Love, though, says that today the era of the Holy Spirit is over, that we are to learn through the Christ inside of us. This Christ is a part of God Himself, as ACOL teaches. We are a part of God, and so we think with His Mind (an ACIM tenet). We may also come to realize that we feel with God’s heart, in the manner of A Course of Love’s “wholeheartedness,” and this will indeed make our pathway much smoother.

5 – Theology

Don’t let theology delay you, especially if differing interpretations of God’s Word are causing you conflict. Conflict is of the ego, not of either the Holy Spirit or the inner Christ, and certainly not of God Himself. If we are experiencing conflict, we have let the ego intrude once again in our lives, and the results of allowing that mistake could be deplorable.

6 – Come Home

Come home to God today. Never let interpretations lead you to cut back on your moments of solitude with God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Be with me today as I try to meld my heart and mind into wholeheartedness. Thank You for being with me in the difficult moments. Life is not always smooth, but You are there for me always.

May I turn aside from my mistakes, and may I let Your grace repair my wrongdoings. It is with joy that I look forward to this day.

I find that reading interpretations of Jesus’s words sometimes confuses me. I would not have it so. I would go to his words directly, and interact with those words in as elemental a fashion as possible. Help me to do so. Help me to listen to what You are saying to me about Jesus’s words. Be with me today as I seek to have a good day in Your grace.

Amen.

Separating from God and All of Creation

“God always existed. But you separated yourself from direct awareness of your relationship with unity, with oneness with God, just as you separated yourself from relationship with the wholeness of the pattern of creation. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 2.22)”

1 – Unity and Relationship

Here again is a further explanation of unity and relationship. Our unity is not, as we may have suspected, just with our brothers and sisters, but with God Himself. God is the All, and we would do well to remember this. He is deep within us, as well as present in the outside as we perceive it. He is everywhere, but still in the unity that makes Him One, not in pantheism.

2 – Direct Awareness?

We now need to reaffirm this direct awareness that we have lost. This direct awareness can be viewed as another way of describing Christ-consciousness. In A Course in Miracles, Jesus says that there is a way for us to be brought under his direct guidance, but that this usually entails a step that we are not yet ready to accept. Perhaps, by the time we have studied both ACIM and ACOL (and ascended to the mountain top with Jesus in the Forty Days and Forty Nights), we will be ready for this direct awareness again. May this be so. Such a joy we would know in all of our days, even the times that seem, on the surface, to be hard.

3 – Combat?

We have lived in combat with not only our brothers and sisters, but with our environment. Thankfully, as a worldwide society, we are coming to know better. The “wholeness of the pattern of creation” does include, to my way of thinking, not only our brothers and sisters, but also our environmental surroundings. We are a part of creation, and though we look upon ourselves as the crowning part of creation, it behooves us to consider other forms of life as well, along with the natural world.

4 – Oneness

“You have believed in God and perhaps in some concept of unity or oneness, but you have also denied even the possibility of experiencing your own direct relationship with God, or the possibility that your life is a direct experience of the pattern of unity or oneness that is creation. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 2:22)”
We can experience a direct relationship with God, though A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are ambivalent about whether or not this relationship can be outside of Awakening or Christ-consciousness. Much is said in A Course in Miracles about listening to the Holy Spirit, Who is our Guide, and Who is Universal Inspiration. And much is said in A Course of Love about listening to the Christ Self, found within the mind, and exemplified in a combination of mind and heart that embodies wholeheartedness.

5 – Illusions

It is possible that the illusion in which we exist prior to Awakening is not entered into by God, and thus we need a mediator. I don’t personally believe this, but many sincere students/teachers of A Course in Miracles do so believe.

6 – Direct Communion

Certainly, after Christ-consciousness, we commune directly with God. This much is made clear by this quotation. And we understand, once again, the unity of all creation. We are in a fortunate period indeed when we welcome Christ-consciousness into our lives. God makes the decision of when, but we can do much to be ready. Actually it is the Holy Spirit Who does the “much,” because it is said in ACIM that we have to do little, just show a “little willingness.”

7 – God

Whatever the truth of our relationship to God, certainly He has not left us bereft. He is with us in spirit or in actuality.

8 – Rest Easy

And with this assurance, we can rest easy.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Please help me to rejoin You, my brothers and sisters, and to adopt a friendly relationships with my environment in this world. I would not have separation anymore. You can effect this change in me. I ask for it now.

Thank you for your support, emotionally and in other ways, as I have sought to walk alone in this world. I would leave that way of being behind today, as I walk with You every step of the way.

Amen.

We Are Not Called to Convince Anyone of the Way that We Have Chosen

“This is why it has long been stated that you are not called to evangelize or convince anyone of the merits of this course of study. This is just a course of study. Those whom you would seek to evangelize or convince are as holy as your Self. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 2.19)”

1 – Freeing Concept

Not feeling led to evangelize is a very freeing concept. We rest in our faith. We don’t bend the ear of anybody else who is not drawn to the readings to which we are drawn.

2 – Not to Proselytize

I have never been interested in proselytizing. My mother’s family actually, in their church denomination, discouraged this, and so the assertion by Jesus in this quotation is very reassuring me. Maybe I have had it right all along.

3 – Sharing

There is a difference in sharing what we have learned to those who are interested, and sharing what we have learned in an effort to “save a soul.” The souls of other people are precious in God’s sight, but He would have all come to Him in the best way possible for them.

4 – A Way

God would not have me insistent that my way is the only way, I believe. This means that many traditional religions are misguided in this tenet.

5 – Evangelizing

This quotation is very important. Unlike the New Testament, when we were called to evangelize the world, we are not called to do so now. I think that the difference is that our world has changed. The Internet, for one thing, brings us closer together. We read more, either on the Internet or in books. We are not led to try to convince anyone of anything. The people who are meant to find A Course of Love will find it; there is no better way.

It is also assumed by Jesus in this statement that many will find other pathways, even though he has said elsewhere in ACOL that this is a mandatory curriculum. In the Twenty First Century, many are coming to new understandings, because many are awakening to real life for the first time. We are healing the separation from God. We are living in a blessed time, despite the turmoil of this world.

6 – ACIM / ACOL

If one is not drawn to A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, perhaps there is a better way for him or her. Jesus says in ACIM that perhaps some will benefit only from a smile, being unready yet for more. I think that this is what he is saying in this quoted passage. If we try to proselytize, we risk turning people off. They must be turned on through their own heart–the “wholeheartedness” that the first volume of A Course of Love makes clear.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

It is reassuring to know that people will find their way to You without awkward proselytizing on my part for either A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love. May those who are ready for these writings find them. May my life be a good example of what following the words of these courses can accomplish.

Be with me today as I seek not to be defensive about anything, especially not these courses from Jesus. May I simply do Your will, as Your will is made known to me.

May I be led to say the things that will be helpful today. May I be only truly helpful. And may others feel the same way.

Amen.

Leaving Behind the Patterns of the Old Way

1 – Ego

“You would not be here if you were still interested in glorifying the ego, but you also are not yet completely certain of your Self and in your uncertainty, still subject to the patterns of thought of the old. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 2.13)”

2 – The Old

This quotation makes it clear: We do still sometimes dip into the patterns of the old, and this is especially true when we see that we fall into egoic thinking. Conflict is an example of the type of thinking that is egoic; conflict is left behind when we leave the ego behind.

3 – Conflict

If you aren’t sure whether or not you are still living, at least sometimes, with the ego in the ascendancy, then ask yourself if you still have conflict. The answer for nearly all of us will be “yes,” and so we have not completely left the ego behind.

4 – Go Within

It is major incentive to remove conflict from our lives. How do we do this? We go within. We seek silence, the silence that in which God speaks—whether we call His Voice the Holy Spirit or the inner Christ. In this era of Christ, we are led to understand that the Holy Spirit was acting in times past, but, for many of us who have stepped into the new world, the real Voice for God is the Christ within.

5 – Egotism?

This is not egotism; it is straight from A Course of Love. The Christ within will guide us surely, as we leave behind that nefarious ego. Let nothing conflicting stay in your heart and mind. Remove yourself from the conflict by going within. As often as the conflict returns, go within, asking that the conflict be removed.

6 – Conflict Dissipates

The conflict will leave you, for it is no longer welcome.

7 – ACIM vs. ACOL

This quotation emphasizes the movement between studying A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. Most people will come to A Course of Love after studying A Course in Miracles, and thereby to have been lead to the thought processes that helped one to relinquish the ego as a bad idea. In ACIM, the ego is presented as a false way of viewing the self, part of our idea about ourselves, part of our belief about ourselves. And it is seen as a part of the self that led to visions of a terrifying hell that might await us on the other side.

Now we are in A Course of Love, and we would not have read this far if we still felt that glorifying the self was something that we thought good. Maybe we are still susceptible, but elsewhere in ACOL, we are told that we have left the ego behind. What a relief! Indeed, much of ACOL is meant to lead us to accept our limited self as it is, and to welcome the elevated Self of form that we are meant to inhabit.

8 – Salvation

In our uncertainty, explained in this passage, we will occasionally fall behind. Salvation is not a straight line to heaven; there will be detours. But we can be assured that if we follow Jesus’s advice, there will be fewer detours. We need to leave the old behind, and to accept these new ideas for the salvation that they bring, the Christ-consciousness that they make nearer. Then we will completely ready to leave the old behind.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I know that I will sometimes slip and let the ego take the upper hand. Even though I am studying A Course of Love, salvation is not a straight line.

May I live today for my brothers and sisters, as well as for my better Self–my real Self. Thank You for always being there to help in any and all situations.

Amen.

Walking Easily and Effortlessly along the Pathway

1 – First Place

“. . .[T]hose who have achieved ‘first place’ do so realizing that the elevated ‘place’ they briefly hold is of a finite nature and that others will soon do the same and that those who follow in time will do so more easily, with less effort, and with even greater success. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 2.12)”

2 – Jesus

This passage from the “Treatise on the New” echoes a similar statement by Jesus in the New Testament. He indicated that those who followed him would do even greater things.

3 – ACOL

In the same way, those of us who are coming to A Course of Love early on will eventually be surpassed by others who have greater understanding than do we. The world will have advanced, and so their speaking to a new audience will have more meaning in a later culture. It is perhaps too early for the Christ-consciousness of which Jesus speaks to take hold in a universal way. Elsewhere Jesus says in ACOL that soon the world will be peopled by those who were born in the time of Christ, and they will not need nor understand the ways of the time of the Holy Spirit.

4 – Holy Spirit / Inner Christ Self

Now we are caught between two worlds: the world in which guidance comes from the Holy Spirit (as A Course in Miracles relates), and the world in which Christ-consciousness rules (as A Course of Love relates). We will receive guidance through an inner knowing in the time of Christ, the new time. We will not, unwittingly, look outside ourselves for our guidance. We will know from observation, not from learning (an ACOL concept).

5 – Seekers

It is certainly helpful to those of us who have long been seekers, and with some effort, to know that the way of the future holds less need for effort. Life is meant to be lived peacefully, and while struggle may continue, it will lose its hold on us. We will live in peace, not so much from inner conflict, and more from a loving heart. May all of us work today to speed this “new day” on its way.

6 – Confidence

“Despite the necessity for a confidence that has led them to achieve their desired end, most who so achieve and become the first to set records, discover, or invent the new, are not aware of themselves as ‘better than’ for their goal was not to be better than anyone but themselves. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 2.12)”

7 – Ego

This is important. We who have discovered A Course in Miracles and/or A Course of Love all too often may be tempted to think that we are in the forefront, and the ego likes that. Yet those who break Olympic records are competing, if they are competing well, only with themselves. We need to realize that others who come after us will understand better than we do, for there will be more minds from which to glean ideas, minds which have studied and observed, and come to knowledge (rather than perception).

8 – Egotistically?

So in a sense we do lead the way now, if we stay true to the course that is set before us. But we do not do so egotistically, which would be a step backward. Jesus says in A Course of Love, in the Dialogues (to be read last in the trilogy), that those who have reached this far have relinquished the ego.

9 – Relinquish the Ego

If we haven’t yet relinquished the ego, let’s do so now. Right now. Pray about it.

10 – Short Way

The way is not lengthy when we are united with the Holy Spirit, as A Course in Miracles says or the inner Christ Self, as A Course of Love says.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am frequently very much wanting to find the easiest and most effortless way to do my tasks. If “easy and “effortless” are called for, may they come to me today. And it is a blessing that those who come after me will enjoy this boon ever more often.

Thank you for making my pathway easy by your Grace. Even when times have been difficult, there is joy because You have helped the pathway to be smoother.

I would walk your way, all the way, today. I am seeking guidance, seeking reassurance that what I perceived this morning is indeed true. This is not a major life task, and there are other ways to achieve the goal, but I would go Your best way. Help me to find that best way. Keep me close to Your counsel.

Amen.

Holy Spirit Provides Less Fearful Access to God

1 – God of Love

“I revealed a God of Love and the Holy Spirit provided for indirect and less fearful means of communion or communication with God” (The Treatises of A Course of Love: “A Treatise on the New,” 2.4)”

2 – Guidance

The Holy Spirit, as described in A Course in Miracles, is our source of guidance. How does He speak to us? There are many ways. Sometimes it is in our silence, when we have gotten quiet enough to “hear” an inner voice that reassures us of the next turn on our pathway. Sometimes it is a quiet inner knowing that comes unbidden (but usually after we have become still and quiet on the inside). Sometimes it is through the words of our brother or sister, which seem to speak to our situation, and we recognize that we have heard the “truth.” There are, perhaps, as many ways to “hear” guidance as there are people to receive this guidance. We do not usually have to wait long.

3 – Fear

We need to get the fear out if we are to listen to guidance effectively. Many people, even many advanced seekers, hold to a notion of God that is fearful. We retain the image portrayed by writers of the Old Testament, which was written in a different era, with a different culture to address. But we are now in the Twenty-First Century, and it behooves us to turn aside from all fearful concepts of God, and to see Jesus’s interpretation of a loving God. We will not see God as loving if we continue to blame Him for the bad things that happen in this world. All such unloving concepts must be abandoned. God does not wish evil on anyone; he does not “punish” anyone. These things we bring upon ourselves, as part of the higher Self (an ACOL concept) that sees a broader view than do we.

4 – Blame the Victim?

This interpretation is not a “blame the victim” mentality. We are not aware of the larger picture beyond our world. Usually we don’t see the broader picture, and where we fit into it. But trust that it is there, and that our higher Selves had a part in the planning. Then we do not have to hold onto the fear of God anymore.

5 – God

God did not bring our pain and suffering unto us. And, even when we do feel pain, we don’t have to turn it into suffering. This latter concept is gloriously described by Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now, A New Earth), who suffered tremendously before his release, miraculously, about age 30. Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that we do not have to learn through pain. Eckhart did, but this pathway is not for all. And, as students of both ACIM and ACOL, we can pray that any pain be lessened, and certainly that any pain not turn into suffering. Then the fear of God’s part in that evil can be eradicated.

6 – More or Better?

“Any text that tells you that you or those of your kind or time are more or better than any other is not speaking the truth. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 2.7)”

7 – Christ-consciousness

We have access to Christ-consciousness in this era more readily than our forebears. But we are not better than they. We just live in a different era, an era for which they helped prepare. Sanaya Roman, in channeling Orin in a book entitled Spiritual Guidance, says that we are being bombarded with light from the universe in this era, and that is why we have more access to enlightenment. Whether or not she is right, I can’t say, but this explanation would explain, in a supernatural way, what has happened to allow us to reach Christ-consciousness more readily.

8 – Different Access

We are not better than anyone else, living or dead. Our ways are just, in this era, different. And we have the potential that previous generations lacked.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to know that God is not a fearful God. He wishes only the best for us, His children. May we accept this assurance today, and walk in peace.

Be with us as we go about this day. Thank You for the quiet sense of peace that communing with You gives me.

Amen.

Time of Heaven on Earth

1 – Now

“Could it [what has been activated now] have been activated hundreds or thousands of years ago, by countless souls more worthy than you, and ushered in the time of heaven on earth and the end of suffering long ago? (The Treatises of A Course of Love: “A Treatise on the New,” 1.13)”

2 – Goal

This may be our goal, but first we must understand it. We must, I think, recognize that a certain humility is asked of all of us. Simply because we are seekers, we are not better than others who have come before us.

3 – Not Ready

Previously, most of us as a people in this world were not yet ready for Christ-consciousness. Since the time of Jesus in his physical life over 2,000 years ago, and at his instigation, we have been living in the time of the Holy Spirit. This is what Pentecost was all about.

4 – Old Testament/Hebrew Bible

Certain prophets from earlier times were gifted with guidance in what appear to be supernatural ways. These occurrences are resplendent in the Old Testament. So there has been a natural progression for humankind.

5 – Time of Christ

But now, in the Twenty First Century, we are ready to move into the time of Christ. This new era is upon us, though not all of our brothers and sisters know it yet. Their understanding will come in time. In the meantime, we are not to judge them in any way because we believe that we have been led farther along the pathway, to a way of knowing by observation and not by learning.

6 – Past

“It is in this way that time is not real and will no longer be real to you as you come to live by the truth. It is in this way that the truth of the past still lives and that the illusion of the past never was. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 1:16)”

7 – Time

This quotation talks, in a somewhat difficult way, about time. It suggests that time is an illusion, like this world in which time holds sway.

8 – All Time

The past does not really exist; neither does the future. All time is currently present, but is spread out, from past to present to future, so that we can experience what is going on around us, and so we can experience ourselves. Without time, we would be sent into eternity, where we really are anyway. We are in eternity, the ever-present Now.

9 – New Era

Since the past does not really exist, we can understand that the time in which we live is different from that illusory past. We are living in a new era, Jesus says in A Course of Love: We are living in the “time of Christ.”

10 – Joyous

Is this not joyous news? What does it mean? It is up to us to write the meaning upon the world, for Jesus tells us elsewhere that he doesn’t predict the future, and that he doesn’t have the knowledge that will map out for us what we are to say and do. We are all saying and doing together. And what we make of this world in the time of Christ has yet to be written.

11 – Difference

“The difference between this time and the time that has been but seemed to have gone before has already been stated as the difference between the time of the Holy Spirit and the time of Christ. This has also been restated as the difference between the time of learning through contrast and the time of learning through observation. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 1:17)

12 – ACIM / ACOL

A Course in Miracles was written for the time of the Holy Spirit, and A Course of Love was written for the time of Christ. Of course, we can continue to study each. Many of us are caught in different times, especially since time has no reality anyway.

13 – Observation

But as we move forward in the time of Christ, we will earn through observation, not intense study of readings past and present that seek to tell us what to do. This blog is one such study tool, and perhaps the time will come when the blog will not answer your needs anymore. Then the time is ripe to look around and observe. Just observe.

14 – God

“That you have chosen God and chosen a new means of coming to know the truth—the means of Christ-consciousness, is what has ushered in the new time. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 1:17)”

15 – Studying

In Christ-consciousness, we do not need to laboriously study any readings. In Christ-consciousness, we are creating our reality as it forms out in front of us. And “creating” is the right word—not “making,” which is what our minds enthralled by the ego, did. What we made was but illusion, dreams, but what we do not has more value than illusions. It is the real world, reality. We are living with the Mind of God is full sway, as we create our reality. We are no longer caught by an image of ourselves, a fantasy that has no meaning outside of our own minds.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know “heaven on earth” today. I claim this promise now. I know that I do not have to wait until I die to experience a paradise. Even in the midst of this troubled world, I can be at peace and even joyous.

Thank You for your guidance always. May I come into Christ-consciousness on a continuous basis.

Amen.

Is This Time Different from Any Other?

1 – Question

“The question asked throughout this course is if you are willing to make the choice to come to know your Self and God now. This is the same as being asked if you are willing to be the chosen of God. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 1.11)”

2 – All Are Chosen

All are chosen, and so this quotation does not mean that those of us who study A Course of Love are any more “chosen” than anybody who does not read ACOL. We, of course, hope that the insights that we glean from A Course of Love will hasten our walk toward Christ-consciousness. This cannot be certain, but we can hold out this hope.

3 – Choosing

We need to choose to know both God and our inner Christ Self. This is a deliberate decision, and to embark on this journey is to make God real to us. Certainly the meditations at the conclusion of the Workbook for Students of A Course in Miracles, which include prayers addressed to God, suggest that our prayers are heard by Him. According to ACIM and ACOL, we are a part of God. He is our deepest essence, in a manner of speaking.

4 – Time of Christ

In this era of the time of Christ (as stated in A Course of Love as the “time of Christ”), we are well-prepared to look for something different in our experiences. This may or may not include Awakening, but most of us hold this hope out in a very precise way. We want to think that, for reasons that ACOL doesn’t spell out, our era is different from all that have come before. Sanaya Roman, in Spiritual Growth, suggests (through an entity named Orin) that the light (psychic light) reaching our earth in this era is increasing in intensity, and this is why it is easier for individuals to reach Awakening. Sanaya say that previously it did take a very, very long time, and previously it was very rare, for individuals to reach Awakening. But she says that all of this is changing now.

5 – ACOL

Certainly A Course of Love would hold out a similar promise. We would hope to hope to know our inner Self in a way never known before. We would, at the same time, hope to come to know God in a way that we never have before. These two parts of our being are not mutually exclusive—but One. A Course of Love makes this clear, especially in the 40 days and 40 nights of the Dialogues of A Course of Love (previously considered by this blog).

6 – Embrace

“The embrace is inclusive. All are chosen.

“And yet, as many of you have come instinctively to feel, something is different now. You are beginning to become excited by the feeling that something different is possible; that you might just be able to achieve what others have not; that this time might just be different than any other time. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 1.12 – 1.13)”

7 – Ask

We need to ask ourselves very intently whether or not this current time feels different from any other that we have previously experienced. Is there a promise in the air of something better? Something more “real” in our experience?

8 – ACIM / ACOL

Certainly the gifts of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are instrumental in changing our attitudes, considering, of course, that we read carefully—and not just once, but many times. The two works are dense with meaning, though Jesus says of ACIM that it is a “simple” course. Most students/teachers don’t entirely agree with him on this analysis, but perhaps we have to consider that he does mean what he says. It is simple to him because he understands the meaning of what he has channeled. The concepts are new to us, at least on first reading, and so we puzzle over the meaning of densely-packed words.

9 – Motivation

We can learn what is there for us to learn, with enough motivation. We can realize that this time may indeed be different from any other, that we are able to experience Awakening more readily than individuals of earlier generations.

10 – Reading

Let us consider the possibility that there is something different afoot now. And then let us apply ourselves to our reading.

11 – Endless

The possibilities truly are endless, when we believe enough.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to come to understand You to the greatest extent that is possible for my finite mind. Guide my thinking. Help me follow Your guidance. Lead me to reading that will answer my many questions. Help me to know that a time does come when learning in the old sense, through intermediaries, needs to come to an end.

I would learn through You today. Be with me as I seek to remain constant in my loyalties.

Thank You.

Amen.

The Chosen

1 – Why?

“Why, you might ask, is a word such as chosen used, when many other words would do, and when the concept of being chosen is one laden with so many false ideas about exclusivity? (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 1.6)”

2 – All Are Chosen

Jesus says repeatedly in these first sections of the Treatise on the New that “all are chosen.” He means us; he means people who have never heard of A Course of Love; he means everybody in the world.

3 – Mistake?

This is not a mistake. He indicates that we may have problems with the word “chosen,” as it seems to imply that some are not “chosen.” But he doesn’t mean that at all. He doesn’t mean that we can choose something that is closed to us; he doesn’t mean that he can choose someone who won’t listen to him. But the potential to listen and his welcome are always there, always there. He won’t discriminate against people who choose him later than others. He will always welcome us whenever we choose to listen.

4 – Taking Exception to Chosen

But we do often bristle at the thought that there are only certain people who are chosen of God. A Course of Love changes all of that.

5 – Many Religions and the Chosen People

Many religions have the concept of a chosen people. In this treatise, Jesus is aware that we may have trouble with the use of the word “chosen,” which in this world has frequently been a divisive word–not only religiously, but also politically and culturally.

6 – All-Inclusive

A Course of Love is all-inclusive, for all peoples. For those of us who find these volumes arresting, we have chosen Jesus as our guide. Elsewhere Jesus, in these volumes, indicates that he is the pathway for us, and that his words are meant to be accepted by everyone. I think that Jesus is here saying that the way for us is through him (as the New Testament and A Course in Miracles both say). In A Course in Miracles, he indicates his awareness that others have chosen other pathways. He indicates in ACIM that contemplation will work, but that it is not our way, and why would we choose something that is meant for others and leave aside what is meant for ourselves?

7 – Exclusivity

Jesus would not teach a gospel of exclusivity. Those who are ready to choose him as their guide already know that a guide is meant to be followed. Why choose a guide such as Jesus unless one has confidence in what he says? All who choose him as their guide can be reassured that all peoples are “chosen.” Some will know more for a time, but the message of Jesus goes out to everyone who is ready to accept it. All will come to know eventually.

8 – Learn from Other than Jesus?

If people choose to learn outside of the message of Jesus, this is always still an option. There are other teachers, but he does seem to indicate (though this is stated in somewhat ambiguous ways) that his words constitute a required course. Certainly he said this about A Course in Miracles (“it is a required course”), but he also said that there were other teachers for those who did not accept him. In A Course of Love, though, he says that “accepting” him is necessary. He does not waver on this, and it is a step beyond what he said in A Course in Miracles.

9 – Jesus

We have, at least tentatively, chosen Jesus as our guide. He will lead us truly. We need only to listen, to learn, and ultimately to observe our experience—and we will find him a very good teacher indeed.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank you for making clear to me that all are chosen. We do not have to fall back on the ego, and think that because we know the “right” way, we are the chosen. All are chosen, regardless of their religious pathway.

Thank You for the closer walk that I am having with Jesus, as I use my imagination to allow holding his hand as I walk along. This is a powerful image, and it is helping me. Thank You. Jesus will hold anybody’s hand who makes “one unequivocal call” to him. Thank You for Jesus. He is doing a good job.

Thank You, though, for having Jesus as our guide. His way is sure, and it is not only effortless but also loving in the extreme. Love creates joy. Thank You for my joy today.

Amen.

Living with Certainty

1 – Conclusive

“[The Treatise] will. . .be conclusive. . . .[I]t will do this only to reach a conclusion of certainty from which you can live. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 1.2)”

2 – Overview

The Treatise on the New is the fourth and last treatise in the second volume of A Course of Love, and the entire volume is entitled, Treatises of a Course of Love. This final treatise is written to prepare us for the final book in the trilogy, the Dialogues. The Treatise on the New is a preparatory book to lead into a new age for us in our knowledge of living as the elevated Self of form. At this point, at the beginning of the Treatise on the New, we are not yet ready to turn to inner knowledge only. We still need external guidance in the form of these words.
We are trying to reach a certainty about how to live that will serve us well in a sometimes alienating world. This certainty has eluded all of us, perhaps particularly those of us who are drawn to A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. Many of us have been seekers all of our lives, and elsewhere Jesus specifically addresses this point. We have always thought that understanding (and knowledge) would be found in the “next” book or the “next” speaker or the “next” experience of religion.

3 – Seeking

Jesus would have us step back and to reassess. He says here and elsewhere, repeatedly, that the seeking is to come to an end. There are things that we know, in the most inward way, and yet we still do not trust our knowing. Jesus would have us to leave all of this foolishness behind, and to trust that we do have the certainty that he is, once again, showing us in this treatise. Once again, he is trying to get his message across, this time with a finality that was not fully accepted by us through studying both the New Testament and A Course in Miracles.

4 – New Readings

Always we have sought a way to be sure, to be certain. In the Twenty-First Century, we do have new readings that point the way for our time and place.

5 – Learning

We are getting ready to leave learning in the old way, through intermediaries, behind. We have sought our Way through readings, primarily, and sermons, sometimes. But now we are going to learn through the observation of our relationships in this world. We will dispense with the intermediaries and see directly.

6 – No Disappointment

We will not be disappointed.

7 – Chosen

“A question has been asked and a response is awaited. Are you willing to be chosen? Are you willing to be the chosen of God? All are asked. What is your answer? (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 1.5)”

8 – Asked

The crucial part of this quotation is the statement, “All are asked.” All to often, we think that being “chosen” somehow excludes others. But Jesus says that all are chosen. All can come to know, and come to know now. We no longer have to wait for someone else, some other reading, to show us the way.

9 – Old Ways

This is welcome news indeed. Seekers, such as most of us have been, have constantly looked to the “next,” the next reading, the next sermon, the next lecture. But there has to come a time that we cease seeking. And that time is almost upon us now. This treatise, and the succeeding part, the Dialogues, will show us that seeking in the old ways is not desirable any longer.

10 – Home

We will be home at last.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I live today with the certainty that You love me. May I live with the certainty that, soon, the seeking will reach a glorious conclusion. I do not have to look always for the “next” pathway, the one that will give me peace and reassurance, ultimately. The time for this reassurance is at hand.

May we prepare ourselves for a new way of thinking, a new way to find solace in a sometimes difficult world. We know that Jesus leads us precisely, and that we do not have to be on an endless pathway of seeking. Thank You for that knowledge. For so long we didn’t know any better. We thought that further seeking was the only way that we could find You. Now we know that we are ready. We have learned enough. And You are here to welcome us home. Thank You.

Thank You for these words of Jesus. May I read and interpret correctly. And may you stay by my right hand always in these moments, guiding my thoughts to fuller understanding.

Amen.

Jesus’s Embrace

1 – The Well-Known Passage from ACOL

“[This treatise] will continue the view from within the embrace, an embrace and a view that is inclusive of all. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 1.1)”

2 – Beautiful

The passage immediately above refers to one of the most beautiful (and beautifully written) passages in the first volume of A Course of Love. The “embrace” in that first volume was an invitation from Jesus to come into his arms, and to be at peace and at rest. He recognized then that many (maybe all) of us are tired from seeking, and that the ways of this world have taken their toll on us. He would have to rest awhile in the embrace, to feel his loving presence, to know that all is well.

3 – Jesus

The embrace in ACOL is essentially an assertion that Jesus is there for us when times are tough.
A Course in Miracles is to the mind what A Course of Love is to the heart. We are bade elsewhere to live in “wholeheartedness,” a combining of the mind and heart in Jesus’s loving embrace. He never leaves us comfortless. In Matthew, in the Sermon on the Mount, we too see this quality in Jesus. His reassurances are comforting in the extreme.

4 – ACIM

Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that he will come to us in response to “one unequivocal call.” He says the same thing, in different words, in several places in the Text of ACIM. We are told at one point to think of us holding his hand, and encouraged to realize that this will be “no idle fantasy.”

5 – Comprehend?

Now we do not understand how we can hold Jesus’s hand, nor how we can embrace him. But he seems to be recommending that we think of his physical self in our imagination. And, as Joan of Arc said, God speaks to us in our imagination. And I do not mean “fantasies.” Our imagination, informed by the Holy Spirit, can be good and true. Fantasies, on the other hand—especially “idle fantasy”—is discouraged by Jesus in A Course in Miracles.

6 – All Are Included

Note that the passage from ACOL emphasizes that all are included in the embrace. Jesus will soon say that “all are chosen.” This is a reemphasis of the statement in A Course in Miracles, a statement that became book titles for Kenneth Wapnick, a scholar and student/teacher of A Course in Miracles. Ken wrote books entitled, All Are Chosen, and Few Choose to Listen, quoting ACIM. I think that Jesus is saying in A Course of Love that all are chosen, and not only that, but perhaps we might imagine that those of us who are reading his words in A Course of Love do “choose to listen.” May we choose to listen aright, no longer letting the ego rule our lives.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I rest awhile in the warmth of Jesus’s embrace. May I know that this embrace is always there for me, to give me comfort and solace. This world bears heavily on us, sometimes, despite our best efforts. Thank You for the words of Jesus that what he offers is the rest and safety that we all need.

May I learn today what it is like to walk a path close to Jesus, to have him walk beside me as I hold his hand. May my imagination kick into high gear as the concepts overwhelm me. This is a joyous way to walk, leaving nothing out that we need, knowing that our needs are being met by the companionship of our teacher and our leader.

Thank You for being there for us. May I never forget that prayers to You give my day a greater benefit not only to myself, but to my brothers and sisters also. May I be alert to the guidance that is there for the taking. May I listen for the unheard, but felt, whispers of the heart–of the wholeheartedness–that tell me what to say or do next.

Amen.

The Choice to End Suffering

1 – Day Two

“Acceptance of your Self is acceptance of me. Acceptance of your Self is acceptance of your inheritance. Now is the time to come into full acceptance of the human self as well as the Self of unity. It is time for the final merging of the two into one Self, the elevated Self of form. (Dialogues, Day Two)”

2 – Elevated Self of Form

This new Self, the elevated Self of form, is a concept stressed throughout A Course of Love. Jesus’s statement herein also mitigates our difficulty with his first day’s insistence that we accept him as our companion on the mountaintop (though not our teacher). If our acceptance of our full Self, the little self or personal self as well as the Christ Self, means that we have accepted Jesus’s primary role in guiding us, then we are able to by-step the controversy of needing to accept Jesus as primary to our life’s progress.

3 – Our Inheritance

Acceptance of our inheritance is a view toward seeing the personal self (the one that we know most intimately as a persona, but minus the ego as central to that persona) and the Self as the unity that it ought to be. When we merge the personal self with the Christ Self, we have achieved the elevated Self of form. This does not mean that we have experienced Christ-consciousness, only that we have removed the blocks to receiving such a blessing. Christ-consciousness is seen to arrive during our time in these 40 days and 40 nights on the mountaintop with Jesus.

4 – Journey

He does not mean that we will make this journey repeatedly. Later on, soon, he makes that point in A Course of Love, the Dialogues. He is preparing us to make the journey once with him, and then to be done with that aspect of our growth. We will never finish growing, because there are always new plateaus, but apparently Jesus had felt that students/teachers of A Course in Miracles were caught by relinquishment of the ego with nothing spelled out as the way to go after the ego was history. This, to my mind, is his reason for channeling A Course of Love at all. He wanted to share more of what follows when the ego has been relinquished. And A Course of Love does just that.

5 – Inventor

“You are like an inventor who wasted many years, much money, and endured many hardships over many projects that did not come to fruition, and now has succeeded in inventing just what was always envisioned. This is the moment of fulfillment and desire coming together, the time in which to realize ‘it was all worth it.’ (Dialogues, Day Two)”

6 – Ego

This analogy dovetails a good bit of the rationale for A Course of Love. We have tried many things, struggled much, in finally letting go of the ego. What now? Now we find out. We are on the brink of a new day. And that new day is ushered in by A Course of Love.

7 – Moment of Fulfillment

This is the moment of fulfillment. What a glorious promise! We have waited long for this, and perhaps when we are finished with our 40 days and 40 nights, we will know how great a promise Jesus has made to us. If we have struggled with our study of A Course in Miracles for a very long time, we will read Jesus’s words with relief. We don’t have to struggle any longer to know the full fruition of our many deeds, words, thoughts. We are home free.

8 – Decisions

“I could give thousands of examples here, but the point is that we are not looking for degrees of wrong-actions, or wrong-doing. You all have moments you wish you could re-enact, decisions you wish you could change. These ‘actions’ are unchangeable. This is why simple acceptance is needed. (Dialogues, Day Two)”

9 – End of the Journey

Many students/teachers of A Course in Miracles site the passage in which Jesus says that he stands at the end of the journey, ready to remedy all mistakes that we ourselves could not remedy. This implies to my mind that there is some perfection being sought. Is this true? I think that it is not the whole truth, for the very idea of being perfect is an egoic construct. Our egos will have a field day with the idea that we need to be better than we are in every respect. This will hold off the acceptance even further.

10 – Chastisement

Jesus is saying here that there needs to be an end to the chastisement that we all give ourselves for not being perfect. He says elsewhere that if we recognize any personality trait, and don’t like it, we just turn aside from it and it will disappear. If we are satisfied to keep the anger, or the guilt, then we do just recognize their presence and accept them—but we don’t try to “change” constantly into a better version of what we are now. The ego loves the concept of trying to perfect ourselves. It keeps the game going. And there is no end in sight.

11 – Accept

But we who are relinquishing the ego will recognize that Jesus’s dictum that we just “accept” is welcome news indeed. In our acceptance, we stop the resistance that keeps the negative traits in place. This resistance has also kept the ego alive. This is to my mind why acceptance is so crucial to Jesus’s words here; not to accept would retain the ego. To accept will mean that the ego withers away.

12 – End Suffering

“Here, then, is where you need to make the choice that those in my time could not make, the choice to end suffering. This is the choice I made ‘for all.’ This is a choice you make for all as well. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 95)”

13 – Worthy?

This passage makes the point well that many of us who are on the mountain top (the setting of these 40 days and nights) feel that we are not worthy of this experience to which Jesus calls us. We think of the many things that we have done wrong, or that were done wrong to us, and we do not accept these things and put them in the past. Acceptance is the great call that Jesus makes to us on this day.

14 – Jesus

Jesus says that his example life was meant to bring the end of suffering, that he did not suffer, because he knew who he was. We will find this assertion hard to believe, but we need to trust that Jesus is leading us aright.

15 – Self

We are worthy, we have experienced Atonement, and we are ready to elevate the Self of form. The self and the Self are meant to be combined. We will not recognize that we are worthy of this great blessing until we reach acceptance of all that has gone before. Our mistakes have been forgiven; that is all that we really need to know. Then we will be ready to take our place as Awakened beings. In this 40 days and nights, this call is made by Jesus to all of us who are his readers of the Dialogues and who accept his word, as expressed therein.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I accept myself as I am. May I know that the Atonement that You have offered me is freely given to all, including myself. If there are things about myself that I want to change for the better, help me to make these changes in the midst of my acceptance.

Be with me today as I seek to commune with You throughout the day. That communion is really the best way to live. Staying close to You keeps my attitude straightened out, my calm undisturbed, and gives me a peace that is not of the world. May my day go well with You at the helm. May I remember to thank You for the blessings of this day, which are many, more than I might usually have. I wish to remain steady and calm, relaxed and serene. Knowing Your Presence goes with me can ensure that this demeanor will be mine until the end of the day. Thank You.

May I assist in ending suffering in this world, for others and myself. Until I have taken my place in this great endeavor, I will feel that something is missing. May nothing be missing today.

Amen.

The Miracle of Easter

“Give faith to your brother, for faith and hope and mercy are yours to give. Into the hands that give, the gift is given. Look on your brother, and see in him the gift of God you would receive. It is almost Easter, the time of resurrection. Let us give redemption to each other and share in it, that we may rise as one in resurrection, not separate in death. (A Course in Miracles)”

Nowhere in either A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love does Jesus deny that the resurrection happened. Here he gives a very prosaic call to give redemption to each other, that we may be one in resurrection, not separate in death.

May we spend this Eastertide in joyous remembrance of the life and death and resurrection of Jesus. Whether or not you believe in a physical resurrection or not, you are still welcomed to the table celebrating Easter. Jesus does not demand, in A Course in Miracles, that we adhere to any particular theology; he specifically says that there can be no universal theology, but that a universal experience is not only desirable, but necessary.

We are seeking that experience today. Be with God in communion as we greet the spring and the time that Jesus came into his own.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to put aside doubts and to recognize that in the spirit of A Course in Miracles specific beliefs are not demanded of me. I do not seek theology, but an experience of finding Jesus and You in my daily life. Surely there can be no better way to live a life than to commune constantly with Heavenly Powers.

Help me to have a good day today, as always. Thank You for this sunny day, an occurrence that always seems especially appropriate on Easter.

Amen.

An Illusion Is an Attempt to Make Something Real that Is Regarded as of Major Importance, but Is Recognized as Being Untrue.

1 – The Mind

“By definition, an illusion is an attempt to make something real that is regarded as of major importance, but is recognized as being untrue. The mind therefore seeks to make it true out of its intensity of desire to have it for itself. (M24)”

This definition of illusion can be understood by many of us because of life situations in which we have tried to “fool ourselves” into believing, sometimes vehemently, something that is not true. In our depths we often recognize that what we fervently want to believe is not true, because we may get a curious “stop” to our attempts to pray for this outcome. If this happens to us, we would do well to reflect on what is actually at stake.

2 – Illusions

Illusions are prevalent in our world. There is so much pain in even everyday life that we retreat from feverish dreams into an illusory world that seems–but only “seems”–better. Somewhere is our deepest being we recognize that we are believing in an illusion, and we, somewhere, feel self-betrayed. We do not often let this deeper understanding surface, though. We may live for years with illusions that would have been left behind in the beginning if we had only turned to the Holy Spirit earlier.

3 – Self-Betraying

The mind is very powerful, and it can seem to make an illusion true. Such tactics are self-betraying in the long run, though. We don’t want to believe a falsehood, and our intensity of desire for an illusion is the real culprit here. The desire will abate when we recognize that we are fooling ourselves and when we turn to the Holy Spirit for more substantive consolation. Then and only then will we be free to let the illusion fall away.

4 – Feverish Dreams

“Finding health a burden, it retreats into feverish dreams. And in these dreams the mind is separate, different from other minds, with different interests of its own, and able to gratify its needs at the expense of others. (M24)”

5 – Tangled Up

Our “feverish dreams” are the tangles we get ourselves into when we seek for answer with our ego. The ego doesn’t know, and, most importantly, we can tell when the ego is uppermost in our minds. We need to let go at that point. Relax and let the guidance of the Holy Spirit come through. We will always know when we have momentarily released the ego, because we will immediately feel calmer.

6 – Wily Mind

The mind is a wily creature. It wants to stay with a bad experience just to see it out. Don’t get trapped by this feverish dream.

7 – Others’ Needs

Be sure to take others’ needs into account. All too often, when we are suffering, we think that it is all we can do to manage ourselves. But we don’t have to manage ourselves; turn the self over to God. Is this easier said than done? Only when we are agitated. Take a break. Have a cup of tea. Pray. Meditate, if only briefly. The world you return to will seem different, somehow. And that difference is that you have let go of your feverish dreams. We can be very stubborn sometimes, and resist the letting go. But we are ever so much better off when we remain flexible, or when we return to flexibility. We need to be able to turn on a dime, when intuition prompts a different decision.

8 – Seeing

“Only the mind evaluates their [the differences] messages, and so only the mind is responsible for seeing. It alone decides whether what is seen is real or illusory, desirable or undesirable, pleasurable or painful. (M24)”

The mind is not really where we want to stay, according to a possible sequel to A Course in Miracles, entitled A Course of Love. We want to be in the heart, which does not need the reasoning that the mind requires. We just “know,” when in the heart. And ACOL recommends that mind and heart be joined, into what is called “wholeheartedness.” This is the way home.

9 – Perception

“It is in the sorting out and categorizing activities of the mind that errors in perception enter. And it is here correction must be made. (M24)”

We don’t need to analyze our perceptions so much. Perceptions are always varying, because they are perceptions of changing illusions, changing dreams.

10 – Knowledge

We need to move to knowledge (from perception), which the Holy Spirit will help us with. Knowledge is of God, and knowledge cannot be “proved.” It just is. We will know the difference.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I leave illusions behind. May I seek only what is true, only what I know in my depths is true.

If I have derived pleasure from believing my illusions, this has not been also without pain. May I recognize that I do not want pain, and may I let my illusions leave me.

Amen.

Honesty. . .Nothing You Say Contradicts What You Think or Do.

“Honesty does not apply only to what you say. The term actually means consistency. There is nothing you say that contradicts what you think or do; no thought opposes any other thought; no act belies your word; and no word lacks agreement with another. (M11 – M12)”

1 – Important Passage

This is, to my mind, a most important passage from A Course in Miracles. Being honest, constantly honest, has been a point for me in my life; I have sometimes rejected people who did not tell me the truth. And I have been lied to, though when encountering one who is dishonest, it is hard to know at what point the lie occurred.

2 – Trust

Honesty promotes trust, and dishonesty makes one doubt every encounter. I think that my own first dishonesty as a child, when I lied to my mother when she was punishing me for a misdeed, has colored my perception of honesty all the time since. I seemed to lose God at that point. I was five years old, and the loss of God was the dimming of my sight. Even my physical sight dimmed, causing me to require glasses by age 9 (and needed glasses sooner).

3 – Sound Good Sense

The important of honesty is that it is sound good sense. We don’t have to remember what we have lied about. The fact that consistency is the hallmark here is pivotal to a good life. We don’t have to say one thing, and think or do another. We are at one with ourselves, through and through. Anyone who can reach this level of understanding is well on the pathway to Awakening, but most of us still dissemble, at least from time to time.

4 – Stop the Dissembling

We are encouraged with this passage to stop the dissembling, to be consistent in our inner thoughts and our outer words. No less would be required of us along the pathway home to God.

5 – No Conflict

“At no level are they in conflict with themselves. Therefore it is impossible for them to be in conflict with anyone or anything. (M12)”

An admirable situation, we are out of conflict. And conflict is often what gives rise to attack, because conflict breeds stress, and stress breeds anger, leading to attack. At least in my experience.

6 – Peace of Mind

“The peace of mind which the advanced teachers of God experience is largely due to their perfect honesty. (M12)”

What would we not attempt to do to experience peace of mind always? Throughout each and every day?

7 – How to Have Peace of Mind

This passage tells us how. Just strive to be at one with one’s subconscious thoughts, leading to conscious deeds that are consistent with inner Self. The inner Self is the Christ Self (according to A Course of Love), and this is our beacon as we move beyond A Course in Miracles, away from the time of the Holy Spirit and into the time of Christ.

8 – Consistency

Perfect honesty, as explained, really means “consistency.” We don’t say or do anything that contradicts the love that is in our hearts. We therefore do not know conflict, but instead perfect peace of mind.

9 – Teachers of God

Are all of us advanced teachers of God? Not yet, but we are destined to become that, once we have gone through the workbook, as well as studied carefully the other parts of the Course. We will know the peace of mind that is reserved for those who have walked the full pathway.

10 – Heaven on Earth

This is a glorious promise, one of the best in the Course. Surely we will do our part to bring about this Heaven on earth of peace of mind. No one can ask more of us, and Jesus assures us elsewhere that it is easy. We may find this hard to believe, even after years of studying the Course, but easy it can become for us when we turn to the Holy Spirit for all of our answers.

11 – At One with One’s Self

“No one at one with himself can even conceive of conflict. (M12)”

This is an endeavor worth pursuing! Ask today how we might effect this positive persona. May we be at one with ourselves, and in the achievement, we will cease to know conflict. And when conflict goes, so many negative traits of our personal self go as well. This passage is, to my mind, extremely important.

12 – Communion with God

Pray to know how to be at one with self. There are no easy answers, but communion with God will give us those answers.

13 – Challenge

“There is no challenge to a teacher of God. Challenge implies doubt, and the trust on which God’s teachers rest secure makes doubt impossible. Therefore they can only succeed. (M12)”

I have long loved this passage, the fact that “challenge” does not have to arise. In my past, I have thrived on challenge, but sometimes the challenge was of the ego. This passage indicates that challenge is not a desired state of mind. We choose for all people when we eliminate challenge as an egoic notion.

14 – Marching Orders

We do not need to doubt. We get our marching orders from the Holy Spirit (if we are following ACIM) and from the inner Christ Self (if we are following A Course of Love).

15 – Guidance

What a wonderful state of affairs! To fail to doubt our words and deeds is to know that we are listening to guidance, though of course we remain sometimes vulnerable to misthought. We may not hear aright. But when we are on the beam, and emotionally stable, we will know with an inner knowing what we are to say and do next. Ask often. We will be led well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I long for peace of mind above all other joys. And I recognize that it is joy that this peace gives to me.

May I be perfectly consistent in my thoughts and behavior, and may I realize that this is what honesty actually entails. Please stay by me.

Amen.

Peace Is the Ego’s Greatest Enemy, for War Seems to Be the Guarantee of Its Survival

“You cannot understand yourself alone. This is because you have no meaning apart from your rightful place in the Sonship, and the rightful place of the Sonship is God. (T79)”

1 – Relationship

We are meant to be in relationship to each other, to be in a relationship of sharing—not only with each other but also with God, in our communion (prayer) with Him. All too often we try, in vain, to be independent, needing nobody. The ego supports this in us, but it is a support that is shaky and withdrawn at any point. The ego cannot sustain us, for it is a false persona, a false sense of who we are. We are meant to be in union with one another (for All is One), and in relationship to one another. This latter understanding is a primary tenet of A Course of Love.

2 – Sonship

We have a rightful place in the Sonship, and by this we mean women as well as men, of course. The Sonship encompasses all of us, though we cannot and do not take our rightly place in it until we have moved beyond our little, personal selves. We need to recognize the Christ Self within (from ACOL). Only then we will have walked far enough along the pathway to know who we really are and what we really want. That end is always God, but not, perhaps, in the traditional sense of Christianity. The traditional sense does not usually see us as part of God, but A Course in Miracles makes this point very clearly. We are a part of God, and so it is impossible that we ever separated from Him except in illusions.

3 – Alone?

We do not understand ourselves alone, try as we may. We are not, in our essence, all alone and lonely. We do not have to strive to be independent, needing no one. This is a false idea planted in us by the part of our belief about ourselves, the ego. And the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (from Shakespeare) will see to it that this false idea, this persona, will not stand. It cannot give us what we need. It cannot sustain us.

4 – Calm Vision

“This vision frightens the ego because it is so calm. (T79)”

We are calm when we see ourselves in relationship to one another. We know, when we think this way, that there will always be someone there for us. And by this someone, I do not here emphasize God. Of course, God is always there for us. But when we cease our senseless attempts to remove ourselves from partnership with other people, we will know that we are never alone, that we will never be alone. We are put in this world with other people for a reason. The ego would teach us otherwise, but the ego is insane. And who would follow an insane guide if he/she knew better?

5 – Isolation

We do know better now. We are calm in certainty that we are never alone. If we have physical needs, if we have emotional needs, there are people in the world who will help us. It is wrong to try to walk the path of isolation. We are going against our very nature.

6 – Enjoyment

So enjoy the calm. And do not fear the anxiety that the ego would arouse in us. We are not on the edge of a cliff, ready to fall off. We are on the way home. The calm will sustain us in the midst of the worst nightmare that still remains for us in this troubled world. We are not so insane that we will not find the help that we need when confronting the demons of the ego that still pursue us.

7 – Peace

“Peace is the ego’s greatest enemy because, according to its interpretation of reality, war is the guarantee of its survival. (T79-80)”

When we are tempted to attack our brother, may we realize that it is the ego up to its old tricks. The more we attack, the stronger the ego in us becomes. Do we really want this?

8 – Alive?

When we are peaceful, we may at first feel that we are not as “alive” as we would like to be. This is the longing for drama in our relationships, and it is a sick longing. Peace is actually the best thing that can happen to us. Elsewhere ACIM says that we are meant to be perfectly calm and quiet all the time. This may sound extreme, but the things of heaven are obscure to us.

9 – Ego

When we allow peace to be, we reduce the size and complexity of the ego. We reduce its influence on us. Elsewhere we learn in the Course that the first obstacle that peace must flow across is the desire to get rid of it. This sounds like a paradox, but if we reflect, we will see that the statement is true. We too often want drama to make ourselves feel alive.

10 – A Better Way

A Course in Miracles holds out a better way for us. Invite peace in our daily lives, and we will soon know a joy that is boundless–even if everything is not perfect in this world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I long for peace in my life far more than I long for drama. May I realize that drama only strengthens the ego, and this I do not want.

May I have Your inner calm and quiet. This is the best way that I can come to know You, and it is this that I want.

Amen.

The Second Coming of Christ

“The First Coming of Christ is merely another name for the creation, for Christ is the Son of God. The Second Coming of Christ means nothing more than the end of the ego’s rule and the healing of the mind. I was created like you in the first, and I have called you to join with me in the second. I am in charge of the Second Coming, and my judgment, which is used only for protection, cannot be wrong because it never attacks. (T64)”

1 – Reassessment

In this passage, if we can believe that Jesus channeled it, is a reassessment of what the First and the Second Coming of Christ means. Christ here means the spirit which we all share; it is not solely attributed to the Jesus spirit. Jesus does not talk about his living 2000 years ago as the First Coming; neither does he talk about a physical embodiment of the Second Coming, with him as the spirit embodying a reincarnation.

2 – Jesus

What are we to make of this? Can we not think of Jesus as both the First and the Second Coming? In the broadest sense, no. Jesus is not seeing himself as unique, as having something that we too can’t have. He sees himself as equal to us, not in time but in eternity. He has nothing that we cannot ultimately reach; he makes this clear elsewhere in A Course in Miracles.

3 – What Is Jesus Saying?

So what is he saying in this passage above? We were created by God in the First Coming; our Self, as the real internal essence of ourselves, is the Christ Self discussed in A Course of Love (viewed by some as a sequel to A Course in Miracles). And in the Second Coming, we see what ACIM has been leading us to all along—the end of the ego’s rule and the healing of our minds. This healing will finally bring us to Awakening, though the timetable for this extreme form of salvation is not ours, but God’s.

4 – ACIM and ACOL

The interpretation of the First and Second Coming of Christ, to my mind, unites both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, but the passage is from A Course in Miracles.

5 – Gladden Yourself

“Have you really considered how many opportunities you have had to gladden yourself, and how many of them you have refused? (T64)”

This is a message of extreme optimism. We can be happier! Jesus says that we have actually turned aside moments of joy, turning again to depressed thoughts. How wrong of us!

6 – This Day

It would be a useful practice for all of us to look upon the day as full of opportunities to gladden ourselves. Elsewhere Jesus asks us to think of pure joy and limitless release in our daily lives. This passage is a reiteration of this request.

7 – Mistake

It is a serious mistake to refuse to entertain joy. We make our lives much harder than they need to be as a result. Would that we might remember this passage often when faced with a day that seems filled with woe!

8 – United Minds

“Your mind and mine can unit in shining your ego away, releasing the strength of God into everything you think and do. (T64)”

When we shine the ego away, we are participating in the Second Coming of Christ. Nowhere in either ACIM or ACOL does Jesus affirm nor deny a physical embodiment of himself in the Second Coming. It is likely that he doesn’t know if a physical embodiment would be recognized in the probability in which we find ourselves. (Probabilities are exhaustively explained in Jane Roberts’ Seth books, an entity channeled in the last century.)

9 – Give Up Judgment

When we shine the ego away, we are turning light on our inner reflections. We are giving up judgment, the obvious prerequisite to Awakening. In fact, Jesus tells us in ACIM that when we give up judgment, we will awaken. But the giving up of judgment, so long cherished by us, is not always easy.

10 – Guidance

We need to let guidance direct us in all things, and in ACIM this guidance comes from the Holy Spirit, and in ACOL this guidance comes from the Christ Self. The two are not really different; they just represent a different place on the continuum of our walk toward home and Heaven—not after death, but very much in the midst of the life that we live in this world.

11 – Give Up Judgment

We think, based on ego’s thinking and the teaching of this world, that we aim to refine judgment of our own so that we will know how to best live. But in the Manual, Jesus makes clear that we cannot judge rightly, and so we must give it up. This is in direct opposition to the teaching of this world. He explains that we cannot know all circumstances, past, present, and future, that impinge on a given decision. So we rightly give up judgment, and let our “knowing” tell us what to do. This knowing is frequently intuition, though guidance does not always come as intuition. As we progress, the knowing comes more often as simple knowing that we cannot explain. (See “The Gift of Guidance” under “Articles and Book Reviews” at the top of this blog.)

12 – Disheartened

“The disheartened are useless to themselves and to me, but only the ego can be disheartened. (T64)”

This passage indicates another reason that withdrawal from the world is not recommended. We have a role to play in the salvation of the world. If we do not take our place, it is left empty, and Jesus needs us to take the role that he assigns.

13 – Ego

Remember that feeling disheartened is a function of the ego. In fact, it is one of the most common ways in which we are derailed. Ego-based action is always misguided; there are no exceptions to this rule, in the tenets of the Course.

14 – Ego II

We see, therefore, another way that we can recognize that the ego has taken over again. If we feel disheartened, we are leading our lives in the way of the ego. This cannot but bring us down. The answer? Give up thinking that we are more special than our brothers. We are all equal, though not all equal in time. Some have greater and some have lesser roles to play. Some are closer to Awakening than others. But we will all take the pathway to Awakening and find its conclusion eventually. That is what time is for.

15 – Temptations

“Watch your mind for the temptations of the ego, and do not be deceived by it. It offers you nothing. When you have given up this voluntary dis-spiriting, you will see how your mind can focus and rise above fatigue and heal. Yet you are not sufficiently vigilant against the demands of the ego to disengage yourself. This need not be. (T63)”

“Voluntary dis-spiriting.” Of course! This is what Jesus has been trying to tell us in these several passages with a similar theme. Elsewhere he indicates that the disspirited are not helpful to him, and we need to give up this emotion. Now we learn that it is voluntary. We can choose to leave this depressed spirit behind.

16 – Depression

Jesus places the blame for our depression solely on the temptations of the ego. Elsewhere he believes that we are strong enough to leave these temptations behind. Of course, we do not do it alone ever, and we do not have to feel that we are alone in this trial. The Holy Spirit will guide us if we let Him into our lives, if we turn to him often.

17 – Do Not Withdraw

Elsewhere Jesus also counsels in ACIM that we not withdraw from the world in our low moments. We will make more progress if we stay engaged. The only exception might be the need to take control of ourselves in a weak moment, but even this is a momentary withdrawal. And even the thought of taking control of ourselves is a little misleading. We are never alone. This cannot be said often enough. We need only ask for help, and it is there for us. Life then gets a whole lot better.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I just give up feeling low, feeling disspirited. There is no need to feel this emotion when the Course tells us that we can feel pure joy and limitless release.

Be with me as I resolve to drop disspirited feeling from my range of emotions. I know that You will help me, because you have promised this to me.

Amen.

True Denial. . .You Can and Should Deny Any Belief that Error Can Hurt You

cezanne - bowls of fruit
“True denial is a powerful protective device. You can and should deny any belief that error can hurt you. (T199)”

Affirmation: “True denial is protective.”

Reflections:

1 – The Self

True denial refers only to our real self–the Self that cannot be hurt. We aren’t usually very aware of this Self, but this Self influences us constantly. Whether or not we listen is our own decision, but this Self can and does influence what happens to us.

2 – A Course of Love

This Self is the inner Christ that A Course of Love discusses, and some view A Course of Love as a sequel to A Course in Miracles. We become much more aware of this Christ Self, who guides our actions, the farther along on the pathway to Awakening (Christ-consciousness) we have walked.

3 – We Live a Dream

We have been told that we live a dream, our dream. And that as long as we recognize that it is our dream, that dream figures can be as hateful and vicious as they may, but it can have no effect upon us unless we fail to recognize that it is our dream. Can we always do that, can we always recognize the dream and therefore feel no hurt? This way of perceiving is an ideal, and most of us cannot live an ideal all the time. But we can make progress. We can remind ourselves that we live a dream, and that what other dream figures do need have no effect upon us.

4 – Error

Error can actually accomplish nothing that is ultimately hurtful, because the Self is beyond being hurt. The Course does not use the word “soul,” but in common language this is what is meant. (ACIM usually uses the word “spirit.”)

5 – Pain

When we are caught in the midst of suffering, of feeling our pain, in our own lives, or when we see suffering in others (whether our significant others or the world at large), we can affirm that the pain is illusory. Certainly it is felt; this is not what is meant by “illusory.” The pain actually accomplishes nothing permanent except, upon occasion, bringing us closer to God and thus to ultimate release. This understanding will eliminate any tendency to project the blame for our pain onto God, thus removing one of the main reasons that we reject faith as being beyond our comprehension.

6 – Unhurt

We aren’t hurt in our essence. But pain can soften our hearts and bring us closer to God. It is better, though, to learn through rewards, because the effect of pain is only temporary (ACIM tenets). We do not have to learn through pain! (ACIM tenet.)

7 – Hearts Full and Heads High

Let us go forward today with hearts full and heads high. We don’t have to cringe when another treats us badly. It is their problem. We can pray for them, and send them along to a better attitude. This better attitude will come when we use forbearance not to retaliate with anger or attack.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I learn the power of true denial, and use it only rightly. May I truly know in the depths of my being that error–error in myself or error in others–cannot hurt my real Self.

May I forgive error in myself and in others. May the error that does occur be an occasion to practice forgiveness, and may I turn to the Holy Spirit for guidance in how to forgive.

Amen.

Prayer Is a Way of Asking for Something. It Is the Medium of Miracles.

manet - roses
“Prayer is a way of asking for something. It is the medium of miracles. But the only meaningful prayer is for forgiveness, because those who have been forgiven have everything. (T45)”

Affirmation: “the only meaningful prayer is for forgiveness”

Reflections:

1 – A Way of Asking

Prayer is not discussed a great deal in ACIM, and this passage hints at why. A Course in Miracles recommends forgiveness of ourselves and our brother as the only basis for a good life. If we forgive, we “have everything.” This passage indicates that prayer is a “way” of asking, but it does not mean that asking is the whole of it. We will find, when we consider Song of Prayer, that prayer is not really about asking at all. But this is for advanced seekers. In the meantime, most of us need to ask for things of the world and things of the spirit, and God, I believe, does not think less of us for so doing.

2 – What is “Everything”?

It is hard to understand what this “everything” really is, but basically it is the recognition that we are not deprived in this life except by our own choice. This is part of the theoretical construct of ACIM. It is part of the secret outlined by Rhonda Byrne (in The Secret), which elucidates the power of attraction, through our emotional and vibratory resonance with the universe. The Self that deprives us of things is following our persona’s lead, the personal self (as described in A Course of Love, though this is an interpretation not stated therein). We create our own reality. I cannot stress this enough.

3 – Jane Roberts’s Seth

Creating our own reality is a credo of Jane Roberts’s Seth, and this is the means that I first learned of this law. I have followed this law, at least subconsciously, for most of my life since–since the age of 30. And I do consider that my life has been charmed in many ways. The law of attraction works. My low points were not necessarily bad as I look back upon them. Time of crisis leads to a greater realization later on. And this has happened repeatedly.

4 – Personal Experience

I think that prayer is one of the most important aspects of our life here on earth. I pray often at night, when I am trying to sleep. I presume that God does not decry my tendency to drift back off at some point in my praying. I am driving the thought deep into my subconscious; I am seeing God as my Protector, and He comes through this way for me. What is better for a persona that is trying to let go of the ego? To lead toward Awakening? In my thinking, there is no better way to walk toward enlightenment than to have a rich and full prayer life.

5 – Norman Vincent Peale and the Dalai Lama

Norman Vincent Peale says that most people, in his experience, admit to praying about five minutes a day. This, he says, in equivalent to one-half of one percent of waking hours–not nearly enough. He counsels more and more prayer time. Likewise, none other than the Dalai Lama meditates for four hours every morning, regardless of what the rest of his busy day anticipates. Prayer and meditation are much linked, though not the same. The final lessons in the Workbook of A Course in Miracles are, to my mind, a call for meditation, for prayerful reflection–a sort of Westernized version of meditation.

6 – Not a Call for Materialism

Why would we choose to deprive ourselves of anything? Maybe we are looking for the wrong things in life. ACIM is practical, but nowhere is materialism sanctioned. We are simply asked in this passage to pray for forgiveness, and then the miracles that will transform our lives will be forthcoming. This is the prayer of faith. This is the way that our lives will be fact be transformed.

7 – Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the theme of A Course in Miracles. And when we forgive, we are living in flow, for we will sense that we are on the beam with God. Nowhere else can this blessing be found. Only in prayer can we know that we have forgiven ourselves and that we have forgiven others. And we are pardoning illusions–never let us forget that. The world that we see is illusion, and the misdeeds perpetrated against ourselves (or so we interpret) have not really accomplished anything in reality. So let us forgive freely, not out of compulsion. The way home will open up; the pathway will become clear, when forgiveness is intimately in our minds and spirits.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I ask forgiveness for all the ways in which I have failed. May I ask that forgiveness be in my heart for those whom I feel have hurt me. I realize that actually I cannot be hurt, but I can feel the pain of believing that I have been hurt.

May I forgive, as I have asked to be forgiven. May all that I encounter feel the results of my prayer today.

May the blessings of this day reach me. Will you assist me to walk in Your light of forgiveness?

Amen.

This Is What You Are Now Called to Do

“This is what you are now called to do:

“Be aware that the love of God lives within you. Live within the peace of God. Live by the truth.

“This could be restated as you are love, you live in peace, you live by or in accord with truth. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 11.7 – 11.9)”

Affirmation: “I will live in love today.”

Reflections:

1 – Jesus

The instructions that Jesus gives today, in this passage from A Course of Love, are not new by any means. But he has an authority that defies explanation, except that he is our chosen leader. He speaks with the authority that he did in the New Testament, when he spoke not as the scribes and Pharisees. It does behoove us to listen to what he tells us in this new century, this time of Christ.

2 – God Is Love

We are to live by the truth that God is love, that we are to live within His peace. Such simple words, but so hard to do! We live in such complicated times, and it would be better if we simplified our lives to reject the complexity, the complexity which is often of the ego.

3 – Live in Love

What does it mean to live in love? As A Course in Miracles tells us, we live in love when we overlook anger and attack from ourselves and others, and by the overlooking, we do not make real, and we are led to forgive the errors made by ourselves and others. This also is easy to say but so hard to do. If we can just remember that we are living in illusion, at least until we have reached the real world that Christ-consciousness shows us, we will be well on our way to a better world, a better experience.

4 – Communicate with God

We find such joy in life when we communicate with God. In the early pages of the Text of ACIM, Jesus tells us that God is lonely when He recognizes that His channels to His children are closed, that we sleep, that we do not communicate with Him. We can change this. The handle to the door of our heart is on our side of the door. God is always ready to accept us; it is ourselves that get preoccupied with the things of this world that take us from Him.

5 – Prayer without Ceasing

Let us give up this spurious living. Let us return to frequent prayer, prayer without ceasing. Is this possible? It is possible to take God as a partner in daily life, to turn to Him as we would to any trusted ally, and to ask, internally, questions about our day with its many problems. We will get answers, so much so that we will wonder why we neglected Him for so long. Why did we not learn years ago that Christianity is eminently practical? Maybe we just have not yet recollected what has been within all along. We do know, and now is the time to bring forth that knowledge again.

6 – Talk to God

So seek to love today. We will fail if we don’t communicate with God throughout the day. Resolve now to talk, internally, to God as we walk through the day. He will be there. And we will know miracles that will warm our heart.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to remember You today. May I walk through this day in close consultation with You. May I do absolutely nothing without knowing, internally, that You are in agreement with what I do. May I reach out to You, metaphorically, though I know that You are really within me. Be with me today.

Amen.

The Road to Hell Is Paved with Good Intentions

van gogh - wheatfield with crows“While you continue to see the call of this course as a call to goodness, you will surely fail. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 3.10)”

Affirmation: “Being good is not my ‘goal’ today.”

Reflections:

1 – Good Intentions

Jesus makes it easy on us. We don’t have to make extravagant attempts to be “good” to fulfill his requirements in this course. Why? We would surely fail. Good intentions, we have always been told, are not enough. And it is good intentions that prompt us to be “good” (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or ACOL).

2 – Failure

Jesus makes the comparison between a failure to stick to a diet and the failure to be consistently good. We always fail to live up to our ideal.

3 – Change

Later on, Jesus says in the Dialogues that we will simply make a decision to change some trait about ourselves, because it is a mistake, and then we will simply see that trait disappear. Thus he does not feel a call to have us seek goodness in and of itself. He is not even calling us to be perfect, which seemed to be a biblical injunction. In ACIM, Jesus points out that he stands at the end of the pathway to correct all mistakes that we could not correct. Let this be enough for us. Jesus will stand by us. He will do for goodness what we cannot do.

4 – No Lament

The certainty of failure as we seek to be “good” is not a cause for lament. It is a statement of fact. And hidden in the assertion is the truth that we do not have to try to be good. This goodness will come about naturally as we walk further along the pathway. Of course, if the ego gets involved, we will fall away from the correct walk. But Jesus also says, further along in this chapter, that the ego is gone now. What a delightful thing to hear!

5 – Reread ACOL

If the ego is indeed gone, we are following Jesus’s way in A Course of Love. Don’t be sure, though. The ego is wily, and sometimes we have to read and reread ACOL to get its message. But get its message we will, and then we are assured a happier walk through the earth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I was not so good yesterday, and so the message for today speaks to me as well as to my readers. Thank You for the timing of this message. It is true, so true, that my good intentions are not enough, for surely that is of the ego, and I will surely fail. May I start each day over when I get on the wrong path. Help the events of my day to stay on an even keel, with nothing going awry.

Thank You for Jesus’s help, even though I struggle with the assertion that he can be anywhere, anytime—just by my call, my unequivocal call.

Be with me so that this day goes better than the one yesterday. And may I learn from my mistakes, never to repeat the same ones. I appreciate that you call my misdeeds just “mistakes,” and not “sins.” I would see nothing attracting in a mistake, and I might be tempted to repeat a sin.

Thank You for the insights that A Course of Love gives to me.

Amen.

Receiving Does Not Imply Lack

degas - dancer“You who are beginning to realize that you have much to give, realize that you have as much to receive and that receiving does not imply that you are lacking! (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition<, 7.18)”

Affirmation: “I do both give and receive today.”

Reflections:

1 – Trite Expression?
Giving and receiving as one has been so much talked about and written about as to be almost trite. Yet giving and receiving are very profound terms, which we must understand if we are to walk the path to salvation. Especially with A Course of Love. We are told repeatedly that we are in unity and relationship in this world, whether or not our ego still reigns. (And we are told that the ego’s reign for us is well nigh over.) Being in unity as one, but in relationship to the many, mean that giving and receiving occur naturally. It is what we are meant to do constantly in our world.

2 – Give More?

We often think that we ought to give more than we receive, though we pay lip service to the concept that giving and receiving are equal. And in today’s passage, Jesus reminds us that to receive does not mean that we are lacking. He even uses an exclamation point at the close of the sentence to emphasize his point!

3 – Lacking?

Why do we fear that we are lacking? What is the fear of being in lack so threatening to us? I think it is because of our own guilt that somehow we don’t measure up. This is an error, as we are still as God created us (from A Course in Miracles). But we are prone to disbelieve this assertion that ACIM makes, primarily because we can see, internally, so many mistakes and so much lack–as we perceive lack.

4 – An Ego-Driven Thought

All of this second guessing is ego-driven. And we are told in ACOL that we are turning aside from the ego. So we need to accept the truth that guilt is not honest, that we are not being honest with ourselves when we struggle with this complex of ours. We need to take Jesus’s word that we are not lacking! He has even told us that we are The Accomplished, though I doubt that many of us yet believe this. Any vestige of ego could not believe it, and that vestige thinks that we are wrong to contemplate such a joy! Keep in mind that the ego does not mean us well, even though we made it and we have been told that it will not be destroyed (from ACIM).

5 – Joy

We need to think today of ways that giving and receiving can be joyously felt. We need to offer our service to others, even as we accept what others do for us.

6 – Unity

Therein are our brothers and sisters one with us, in unity.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for being with me today, as the day has not particularly begun well. I would start anew and make the whole better. Thank You for the guidance in A Course in Miracles that tells me that I can start a day over just anytime.

May I give at least as much as I receive, though I think I recognize that there may be differences in giving vs. receiving on any given day. Be with me today to let me do for others what they need. And may I especially touch my significant others. I would offer to them the comfort and solace that they need, and I would strive not to be overly needy myself.

Amen

No Struggle / Only Ease

paintings-by-hilaire-germain-edgar-degas-7“A first step then in learning to recognize when you are acting upon notions of who you think you are rather than on who you truly are, is the appearance of the struggle or resistance. A a swimmer quickly learns, the only way to return to ease of movement is to cease to struggle or resist. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 4.6)”

Affirmation: “I would choose ease today as I follow ACOL.”

Reflections:

1 – Metaphor

The metaphor of a swimmer is used very well in A Course of Love. We are told elsewhere that we would not want to try to move in the water the same way that we move on land. Our movements are actually easier in water, but require an awareness that our environment is different from land. We move with more ease in the water, if we do not fight the water. This fighting would be a completely detrimental reaction, leading to major problems in swimming. And the same, in effect, with trying to live ACOL. We move with ease and not resistance when we don’t fight the words that have been given us. We soon feel much more ourselves, as the Christ Self will come through more and more over time, and we will be living our real Selves.

2 – No Struggle

We do not need to struggle anymore! What a relief this is! To give up struggle is something that we have wanted to do for a long time, but very likely we did not think giving up struggle was possible. And maybe we didn’t think that it was even desirable. We pit ourselves against forces beyond our control, thinking that we are building character. And we do, in fact, build some strength by struggling. But there is a better way. We give over our concerns to a Higher Power, and He paves the way for us. He is strong for us. In A Course in Miracles, this Power is the Holy Spirit. In A Course of Love, this Power is the Christ Self. Jesus declares elsewhere in ACOL that we were previously in the time of the Holy Spirit, but that now we are in the time of Christ. He is not here referring to the Jesus of 2,000 years ago, but to the Self that we all can inhabit.

3 – Time of Christ

Moving in water can be effortless, but it requires some practice. One may intuitively grasp the concept of swimming, but usually some training is required. And the same with what we are doing here. We are learning in the time of Christ. We are learning effortlessly, but we need some attention to what we are learning to assimilate all of it. And that new way of learning is by observation, not intense study (which would be very effortful indeed). We will learn, and we need to relax in the learning. One’s better life depends on mastering these concepts in A Course of Love (since we have chosen to use this as our means to Christ-consciousness), but we do not have to do so with great expenditure of effort. Indeed, to try that way would be counterproductive.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would learn a new way in the time of Christ. I would learn without trying to resist or to struggle, but I would learn with effortless ease. Sometimes to my personal self this seems too good to be true. But this evaluation comes only when my ego is rearing its head.

Learning now can be full of ease as well as joy. I do not have to pit myself against hard challenges. I ask You to pave the way for me. Tell me how to do my part. Tell me, guide me to do the right thing. May Your intentions for me win out always.

Be with all of us who still question if a new way is too easy. I know intellectually that a new way is not only possible but also easy, and I would bring my emotions in line with this knowledge. Thank You for being with me, for giving me the sense of Your presence.

Amen

No Idle Thoughts

1873 Dance School - degas
“There is no more self-contradictory concept than that of ‘idle thoughts.’ What gives rise to the perception of a whole world can hardly be called idle. Every thought you have contributes to truth or to illusion; either it extends the truth or it multiplies illusions. You can indeed multiply nothing, but you will not extend it by doing so. (W-16)”

Affirmation: “May I stop my mind wandering today.”

Reflections:

1 – Mind Wandering

I have been guilty of mind wandering, and this mind wandering does form illusions that, on some level, have a form of their own. These are idle thoughts that are actually not “idle” at all. We need to stop such displays whenever they occur. Just saying “Stop!” can do more than might be thought.

2 – Essence of Salvation

Jesus would not have us destroy our good mind with images of illusions. We live in a dream, at least until the real world is seen, but to us this world is quite real already. How can we navigate through this world best? We need to ask for guidance. We cannot do it alone, nor should we. The best advice that Jesus gives is included in the Manual, when he recommends giving up judgment to follow the guidance that comes to us. This alone will save us. It is the essence of salvation.

3 – Misuse of Time

Perhaps we all might recognize that mind wandering and “idle” thoughts are a misuse of our good time. We need to live well in this world, and we usually only succeed in scaring ourselves when we indulge in such fantasies. May we drop this foolishness from our repertoire of emotions today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for guiding me to the understanding that following Your guidance is the only way to live a life well. And I do try, though often I fall on my face. Help me to pick myself up and try again. Always to try again.

May I understand and act on the guidance that comes to me as it unfolds. May I never substitute ego-oriented thoughts, emotion-drive thoughts, instead of what is really best for myself as well as everyone I touch. May egoic thought die in me. Thank You for having the patience to show me the way when I am capricious and headstrong. Such attitudes have no place in my communion with You. I know this, and I pray to act upon this knowledge today and every day.

Amen.

Little Edges of Light / Great Rays

edgar-degas-art44519“You will begin to understand it [image making or seeing] when you have seen little edges of light around the same familiar objects which you see now. That is the beginning of real vision. You can be certain that real vision will come quickly when this has occurred.

“As we go along, you may have many ‘light episodes.’ They may take many different forms, some of them quite unexpected. Do not be afraid of them. They are signs that you are opening your eyes at last. They will not persist, because they merely symbolize true perception, and they are not related to knowledge. (W-15)

Affirmation: “Thank You for the moments when I saw little edges of light.”

Reflections:

1 – Intriguing Passage

A previous posting on this subject has been revisited many times. But what do the “little edges of light,” the light episodes, really mean?

2 – Personal Experience

We are in a heightened emotional state when we see these lights around familiar objects. In my case, when I saw them, colors also seemed brighter than usual. I was amazed by what my eyes were showing me. In a famous garden, the experience has remained with me most of my adult life. A Course in Miracles had not yet been published, and I had no guidance.

3 – One-Time Experience

It is true that this experience came, for me, only once and did not persist. Because seeing the edges of light seemed so significant to me at the time, when I discovered ACIM more than ten years later, I was enthralled to find my experience detailed therein.

4 – Great Rays

I also once felt the Great Rays, but this was when I was reading A Course in Miracles for the first time. I was walking outside in my parents’ back yard, and suddenly the bright sun seemed to be pouring down rays upon me. I was frightened and returned to the house, and called a friend whom I knew to be religious and thought would be sympathetic. Because he had not read ACIM, he had no ready explanation. But by that time I did, for I was, as I said, reading ACIM at the time.

5 – Perceptual Experiences

These episodes did not last, and they do not have to be clung to for reasons of faith. They are perceptual, and Jesus says that perception does not last. Even miracles do not last, for they too are perceptual. And perhaps these two episodes in my life were examples of miracles. I have thought so.

6 – True Vision

Do not be frightened if something similar happens to you. And also don’t be hung up on “understanding” what has transpired. Jesus has told us all that we need to know in today’s passage. These light episodes are the sign that we are coming to true vision.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the explanations that Jesus gives us for light experiences. These intriguing passages from A Course in Miracles are obviously something that we want to understand. But maybe on earth we can’t understand completely. There is a mystery there. Thank You for that mystery.

I thank You for these experiences in my own life. May others also have similar experiences that will bring them closer to You.

Amen.

Indescribably Happy

pennsylvania-impressionist-impressionism-painting-by-kenneth-nunamaker-over-looking-the-delaware-from-center-bridge-1928-original-size-22-x-24“If you could accept the world as meaningless and let the truth be written upon it for you, it would make you indescribably happy. But because it is meaningless, you are impelled to write upon it what you would have it be. It is this you see in it. It is this that is meaningless in truth. (W-12)”

Affirmation: “I would be indescribably happy today.”

Reflections:

1 – Preconceptions

How do we let go of our preconceptions about this world? We have written our own meaning upon it. That is all. We need to accept that the world itself is meaningless, and then let the truth be written upon it for us.

2 – Passive

This attitude is essentially passive. But we do contemplate, read, study, and pray. And in these actions we come to understand more fully what this world really means. We do not add our own meaning to it; we accept what comes to us in such moments of reflection, essentially waiting for God to speak to us.

3 – God

And He will. We all too often think that God is remote from us, but instead He is the deepest part of our being. When we turn within, we will find Him. And we will also find the answers to our questions.

4 – Solution Is with the Problem

Remember that the solution to the problem is always with the problem–at the very moment. And frequently we get an answer immediately. Unfortunately, when our emotions are turbulent, we cannot always hear the answers. We don’t get the solution, and so we need to calm down, relax, commune with our deepest nature, and then take the steps that come to us, intuitively.

5 – Problems

When we contemplate in the most serene way, our answers come to what is troubling us. And if the answers don’t come, perhaps this is a problem that God is holding out to us as a learning exercise. Ask, instead, what this problem is meant to teach us? And the answer will dawn, sooner rather than later.

6 – The World

We do not stay with the idea that the world is meaningless, for to believe this would be demoralizing. We let God write its meaning upon our hearts, and then we are at peace.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

The solution is with the problem. Thank You for that knowledge–a great blessing! When problems come up, if I remember to listen to guidance, the answer does come. Invariably. But my emotions must be calm for the guidance to come through. Help my emotions to be calm today.

I would be indescribably happy today. There is no better way to follow You, and no better way to live in this world. Happiness is a worthy goal, for we are of much better use to others when we are happy. And happiness is a witness to what salvation offers. May I never forget this.

Be with me today as I seek to pray for others whom I know are in crisis. Praying to You works, a very practical technique for healing.

May this day, as all days, be good.

Amen.

Glass in which the Ego Sees its Face Is Dark Indeed

pennsylvania impressionists - house
“If you cannot hear the Voice for God, it is because you do not choose to listen. That you do listen to the voice of your ego is demonstrated by your attitudes, your feelings and your behavior. Yet this is what you want. This is what you are fighting to keep, and what you are vigilant to save. Your mind is filled with schemes to save the face of your ego, and you do not seek the face of Christ. The glass in which the ego seeks to see its face is dark indeed. (T-4.IV.1)”

Affirmation: “I would hear the Voice for God today.”

Reflections:

1 – Holy Spirit

A Course in Miracles is written for the time of the Holy Spirit, the Voice for God, the Universal Inspiration. A Course of Love is written for the time of the second coming of Christ, though in this trilogy no predictions are ever made about a physical second coming of Jesus. Now that we are taking a look, again, at part of ACIM, we need to realize that there is great importance in listening for the Voice. Do we actually hear anything? Probably not. If we did hear something, we probably would fear for our sanity.

2 – Guidance

But the guidance of the Holy Spirit comes in promptings, feelings, intuition. The guidance comes in a chance word overheard from friends or even strangers. The guidance from a word written in a book that we are reading. And there are innumerable other ways that the Holy Spirit speaks. (“The Gift of Guidance,” available in this blog as a lengthy article, identifies ten common ways that the Holy Spirit speaks to us. Click on “Articles and Book Reviews” in the bar at the top of the screen.)

3 – The Voice

At this point in reading ACIM we are still listening to our ego. We don’t know anything else to do. The idea that there is a Voice that can accurately tell us what next to do is foreign to us. It means relinquishing our own judgment, and we find this difficult, because the world has focused on educating our judgment to try to make sound decisions in this world. ACIM takes the opposite tack.

4 – No Harm

It is important to know that guidance, the Voice, the Holy Spirit, will never counsel us to say or do anything that is harmful to ourselves or to others. So we need to test our this guidance until the guidance becomes a reliable guide for us. The ego is wily, and we can sometimes interpret the voice of the ego for the Voice of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is quiet; the ego is raucous. The Holy Spirit is gentle; the ego is insistent. We will not be forced in any way by the Holy Spirit. It is always our decision to follow Him.

5 – Pathway

And the decision to follow becomes easier as we see how much more smoothly our pathway becomes.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I listen to guidance today. I say this to You a lot, and I do mean it. I find that my life flows much more smoothly with the helps that You give me. Thank You.

May my brothers and sisters have a good day today. And may I as well. The day is starting off brightly, and I have hope. Thank You for that hope.

Amen.

False Persona

pennsylvania impressionists - river road
“I can be entrusted with your body and your ego only because this enables you not to be concerned with them, and lets me teach you their unimportance. I could not understand their importance to you if I had not once been tempted to believe in them myself. Let us undertake to learn this lesson together so we can be free of them together. I need devoted teachers who share my aim of healing the mind. (T-4.I.13)”

Affirmation: “I would seek to heal the mind today.”

Reflections:

1 – Undo the Ego

A Course in Miracles seeks to undo the ego, undo that part of ourselves that is a false persona. The body is normally a big part of the ego’s system of thought, for the body is the ego’s home. We need to recognize early on that Jesus can take over both ego and body, and in so doing, we will save ourselves much conflict. We will not be concerned anymore with that which is actually unimportant.

2 – The Body

It is important to note that the body is deemphasized in A Course in Miracles more so than in A Course of Love. By the time we have read, several times usually, A Course of Love, we have relinquished the ego. But we have seen from our reading that in the awakened state of mind, our physical bodies are still with us. We occupy the “elevated Self of form,” but we do not emphasize the body anymore as an ego device. We simply use the body, as it was intended, as a communication device (from ACIM). When we have relinquished the ego, we naturally do not place undue, egotistical pleasures on the body. The body cannot sustain such thoughts. We will always be dissatisfied after a moment of supposed glory in our own beauty or handsomeness. We will like our clothes, and then we will be dissatisfied. Living in the ego is a matter of living in conflict.

3 – Devoted Teachers

We are being encouraged to become devoted teachers, and there is a whole book, the Manual for Teachers of ACIM, that is designed to give us guidance. Only time separates student and teacher, and often the roles are reversed. All of us teach all the time, and we are teaching what we are (from the Manual). We are trying to teach salvation, mostly by example, but also by words. We will not be effective either as students or teachers if we cling to the ego and the body as its home.

4 – Holy Spirit

We need to get beyond ego and body. A Course in Miracles, when studied, will tell us how. Whether or not we take its advice to heart is a matter of motivation only. We will learn what we consider important. And The Holy Spirit, as described in ACIM, will guide us along the way. We will not be left to our own devices.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would move beyond the ego today and every day. There is no need for a false persona, and with Your help, my Self will assert and all will be well with me. I pray for this new direction today.

May I replace the ego with the Self. May I leave the personal or “little” self behind. I would choose enlightenment if it were up to me to decide. But You make that decision. Guide me to follow the pathway to Your choice for me of Awakening.

Amen.

Miracles

cezanne - jas de bouffan - pool
“Ask me which miracles you should perform. This spares you needless effort, because you will be acting under direct communication. The impersonal nature of the miracles is an essential ingredient, because it enables me to direct its application, and under my guidance miracles lead to the highly personal experience of revelation. A guide does not control but he does direct, leaving it up to you to follow. (T-1.III.4)”

Affirmation: “I will ask what miracles to perform today.”

Reflections:

1 – Selecting Miracles to Perform

This passage for today is a return to A Course in Miracles, and we will focus on ACIM for the next several days. In this early passage in the Text, Jesus is asserting his authority as our guide. He tells us that we ought simply to ask (internally) what miracles we ought to perform, and we will be told. Elsewhere we are told that consciously selected miracles are apt to be misguided, and so it is necessary to follow his guidance. Then, we are also told, we will be led into experiences of revelation.

2 – Revelation

Others will not understand our experiences of revelation, should we try to describe these experiences. They are very personal to us, in the same way that dream symbols are frequently unique to ourselves (at least according to Jung). But this is not solely an illusion, as dreams as seen to be in ACIM. The miracle still is of perception, and thus of the personal self, and because it is of perception, the miracle will not last (an ACIM tenet).

3 – Perception vs. Knowledge

But revelation is never defined as being of perception, though whether or not it is might be open to question (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM). Revelation reveals the end to us, the end that I believe A Course of Love spells out. We are heading beyond the personal or “little” self (ruled by the ego), and toward the Self/Christ, within, who will guide us once we are awakened (living in Christ-consciousness). Revelation, being intensely personal, could not be described adequately, even if we tried. Visions or hallucinations may be seen as miracles, and they too do not last, for they are perceptual.

4 – Unrecognized Miracles

Most miracles will, at first, not be recognized as such (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM). Others may benefit from miracles that we do about which we have been totally unaware. We will just sense that there is a right action that we ought to take, we will take it, and others will benefit. We ourselves will benefit as well. And, later on, we will look back and proclaim, “That was a miracle!”

5 – Salvation

The way of salvation is indeed miraculous.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask You and Jesus what miracles to perform today. May I follow guidance always, never trying to do my personal will alone–for this would be misguided all too often. I would love the ones whom I see, with whom I make contact.

Thank You for this interlude of peace. May the peace extend to other times, other places. I am aware of feeling intensely grateful for my many blessings. You have been extraordinarily gentle with me as I have walked through this lifetime. May my future smooth out even more. I have need for harmony and joy as I walk ahead. May these blessings come to me, as well as to others whom I encounter.

Thank You for leading me to understand more fully about miracles. I would work miracles today, those that You and Jesus indicate, and I would do so in a joyous spirit. I have the intuition that indeed this prayer will be answered, and answered today.

Amen.

Peace

“Peace, in whatever way you find it, in whatever expression it takes, no matter what words you use to describe it, is your answer to God and God’s answer to you. Peace is the inheritance I left you. Peace of body, mind and heart. Peace is the realm of miracles, the condition of the wholehearted, the prerequisite to the art of thought, the description of heaven, the abode of Christ. Peace has come to you and you to Peace. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Art of Thought, 10.14)”

Affirmation: “Peace today.”

Reflections:

1 – Rest

Jesus leaves us in a Treatise on the Art of Thought with a lovely expression of what peace really means. We need to read through the passage again and yet again, and then rest in the peace that the very words instill in us.

2 – Silence

There is little to say. Let us contemplate these beautiful words, and with these words in our minds, let us just be silent.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the Treatise on the Art of Thought. I do believe that Jesus channeled the A Course of Love, and I hope that I am not wrong about that. I do not want to mislead anyone. Thank You for my readership on this blog.

Be with me today as I live Your peace. And may my brothers and sisters also live in peace.

Amen.

Peak Experiences

“Let us separate experiences you might call peak experiences from experiences of extremes that served as learning devices. Peak experiences often follow occasions of happiness or trauma, but they do not happen within them. Peak experiences are what you can look forward to rather than back upon if you but choose the Peace of God. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Art of Thought, 10.11)”

Affirmation: “I look forward to peak experiences.”

Reflections:

1 – Better Future Ahead

We can look forward to peak experiences because A Course of Love makes many promises that presage a better future for us, better experiences ahead. We ought to consider well the assertion in this passage for today that peak experiences follow occasions of happiness or trauma, but they do not happen within them. So perhaps we are bringing something of our contemplation of the event that prompted the peak experience that follows the event. We experience the emotion, and then we, in our minds, carry the emotion into an assessment that constitutes a peak experience.

2 – Personal Experience

I do know that only in retrospect have I frequently called an event a peak experience. There has to be some time delay. But many of us, perhaps, have not realized that peak experiences follow the emotion. Peak experiences are a great blessing, and I have known several in my lifetime, but they were spaced out in time and relatively infrequent. I would like to recognize more as time passes, and I think that this will be possible, now that I am more attuned to the concept of peak experiences.

3 – Drop Extremes

We do need to drop the extremes that have been used as learning devices. The time for such learning devices is passing, as we read through A Course of Love. Extremes are of the ego, and we have left extremes behind, with the ego. Remnants of the ego may still prevail, of course, but by now in our study the ego has been weakened considerably. We best serve when we are perfectly calm and quiet all the time (from A Course in Miracles). Right now we may not recognize what blessings are ours when we let go of extremes, let go of drama, but we will come to know–first in glimpses, and then as a steady state of mind and heart.

4 – Mists before the Sun

We need to choose the Peace of God. When we do, in earnest, many of our problems will dissipate as mists before the sun. We have peak experiences ahead of us, because we have chosen the Peace of God. We no longer want drama, extremes of emotion, as these only take us away from that ineffable Peace. May we follow the pathway to an enlightenment, a Christ-consciousness, that will engulf us sooner rather than later. And when we leave anger and attack behind, I believe that Awakening will follow quickly. These words that I am using–enlightenment, Christ-consciousness, Awakening–all mean the same thing. May all of us walk together in the sunlight, blessed by the presence of God, Who (metaphorically) lifts us up when He knows that we are ready for the blessing of Awakening.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I ask for and receive a peak experience today. I realize that part of the experience comes from my personal self, part from my Self. I would know You, and peak experiences, I believe, are one way that we better communicate. Thank You for the several experiences in my life that I have, in retrospect, called “peak.” I have also called several of these “holy instants.” And so they have been.

Thank You for the holy instant that I knew when I first realized that prayer was the answer for me, because of the witness from another that I received. May prayer answer all things, not some, but all. Communing with You is a great blessing, and feeling Your presence sets right my day.

May all whom I touch today know Your presence as well as Your saving grace. Thank You for being with me today, and I ask that You be with my brothers and sisters as well.

Amen.

Does God See Suffering?

cezanne.compotier-pitcher-fruit_large
“This is what has been meant by the many references that have been made to God not seeing suffering. God exists with you in peace. When you feel peace, you feel the Peace of God. There is no other peace. There is no other God. Whether you believe it now or not, I assure you, within the Peace of God is all the joy of what you have known as the human experience and none of the sorrow. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Art of Thought, 10.8)”

Affirmation: “God is with me in peace.”

Reflections

1 – Personal Interpretation

My interpretation to the assertion that God does not see suffering is that, to Him, what He sees he reinterprets, seeing the pain not as suffering, but as a call for help. I think that he always recognizes a call for help. There is a difference of opinion among students/teachers of A Course in Miracles in whether or not God is outside the illusion in which we are immersed, and thus does not know about us. This idea would say that God has sent us out to play, as children, and He does not care what games we play, because He knows that all our the games that we play are dreams, maya, or illusions.

2 – God

I feel, based on what I have experienced, that God is right here, knowing about every part of our experience. He does not become perturbed (for that is a perception) about our trials; he just acts to give us comfort in the midst of them. I have felt such peace, in my better moments of prayer, that I have no doubt that I have touched the edge of God’s garment (a metaphor). To live without thinking that God counts the very hairs of our head would be a demoralizing way for me, personally, to live. And we are promised in the New Testament that the very hairs of our head are numbered.

3 – Part of God

Of course, A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are non-dualistic systems of thought, and so we are recognized as a part of God. He is within all of creation, but all is One, and so this is not really a pantheistic belief, one in which there are gods in everything. The fact of the One, and the belief that the One is totally in each part, is to my mind best exemplified by a hologram. From within, we project the world without. There is nothing outside of us (from the Text of ACIM).

4 – Theology

These are mostly theological studies, and I hasten to add that Jesus fears that theology will divide us. He says in ACIM that there can never be a universal theology, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary. Take nothing unto yourself in these ideas, the ideas not specified in ACIM and ACOL, unless they find a place in your heart.

5 – A Comfort

Let however you view God be a comfort to you.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for Your reassurance to me that You are right here with us. This is my personal belief, and I realize that others may view You differently. But I feel Your presence as an almost constant, and so I do not have, ever, to feel alone.

Be with me for me to turn aside from attack and anger always. I do not need to make my significant others pained by my reactions. May I live the peaceful life that leaves out stress, for I never become angry unless I am stressed.

May I live with You in harmony today. And may I make this resolution for each day in my future.

Amen.

Giving Up Nothing

Paul-Cezanne-Landscape-25122“Are you being asked to give up extremes? Yes. You are being asked to give up all that would take peace from you. But as you have been told before, you will be giving up nothing. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Art of Thought, 10.7)”

Affirmation: “I would choose peace today.”

Reflections:

1 – Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle in Stillness Speaks has a great deal to say about what is described in the passage for today. We are giving up drama, giving up extremes. And it is important to note that in so doing we are actually giving up nothing–nothing of any value. We are choosing God’s Peace over extremes, over drama.

2 – No Drama

Eckhart indicates that he does not have drama in his primary relationship. We can see his peace by listening to him on CD, CDs which are widely available. He has the light touch, the essence of an awakened individual. He also has a sense of humor, for he does not take himself too seriously. This too is a mark of an individual freed from the egoic mind.

3 – No Extremes

So we do want to ask ourselves very sincerely if we are ready to give up drama, to give up extremes in our daily lives. A friend of mind once doubted that being “perfectly calm and quiet all the time” (from A Course in Miracles) was the best way to be, whether or not it was the way that she wanted to be. I did not remonstrate with her, but I think that experience of calm and quiet makes the decision for us. We are happier when the extremes are gone, for then the ego is gone–and gone for good.

4 – Nothing Given Up

We are giving up nothing. We must come to understand this, or we will not be willing to give up drama or the extremes. And this understanding may come only gradually.

5 – Be Patient

Be patient. We will see that “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time is a desired state of mind and heart. We will know joy, and we will know ecstasy. These will become part of the calm and the quiet, and we will know that we are making the decisions that Jesus would ask of us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for letting me know that I will be giving up nothing when I give up extremes, give up drama. May I make this choice for all time today. May I give up extremes, give up drama. And may I walk home to You.

Thank You for the books which I read that help me. Thank You for the testimony of individuals who have already walked the pathway home to You.

And may I walk the entire pathway sooner rather than later.

Amen.

Joy without Sorrow

Dance Rehearsal in theStudio of the Opera

“You used your free will to choose the human experience.  Now are you willing to use it to choose the Peace of God instead?  Can you wholeheartedly choose peace?  Can you choose peace long enough to become accustomed to joy without sorrow?  (Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 10.5)”

Affirmation:  “I would choose peace today.”

Reflections:

1 – Relax

This passage identifies a shortcut to Christ-consciousness, and it is an easy route, without effort, for we just relax into the peace that God wishes for us.  We no longer seek drama, and if we inadvertently do make drama in our lives, we turn aside from this drama as soon as we recognize the mistake we have made in letting peace fall by the wayside.  We would know joy without sorrow, and to do so we must let go of the ego.  We must turn aside from the ego, not in resisting it, but in simply making that simple turn away.

2 – Peace of God

How much we do we want joy without sorrow?  Probably very much, and it is only our ignorance about where to begin that causes us any problems.   We need to use our free will to choose the Peace of God.  Free will is never taken from us by God, but we use free will to turn back to Him.  And then we know His Peace.  We know joy without sorrow.  And, we are farther along toward Awakening/Christ-consciousness.

3 – Simple Guidelines

The Treatise on the Art of Thought gives us simple guidelines for making progress toward Christ-consciousness.  Indeed, all of the three volumes of A Course of Love do the same.  We read them with an abstract mind, for to read them with an intense mind will not work.  We absorb the meaning, not through intense study, but through observation of “what is.”  And thus we come to understand what is required of us.

4 – Key

We hold the key.  And we make great strides when we simply choose to have the Peace of God in our minds, hearts, and spirits.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Following You, I will have joy without sorrow.  What a glorious promise!  Thank You.  You do want me to be happy, and happiness is not an inferior goal.  I can contribute best to this world when I am in a joyous frame of mind.  If my religion doesn’t give me cause for joy, why would anybody else want to listen to what I say or do what I do?

Once again, I turn aside from the ego.  There is no other way.  I won’t try to resist the ego, which will just make it stronger.  What one resists, persists.  I would just gently turn aside, turning away from the ego and in the direction of You.

May I drop fear and anxiety from my repertoire of emotions.  If I continue as I did when younger, then these long-held emotions will stay with me.  But I want a break with the past, a break that will put harmony and peace on the throne and dislodge fear and anxiety.

With Your help. I can and will feel harmony, peace, joy–all the intangibles that You hold in such abundance.

Amen.

Masculine and Feminine

renoir - man and woman“As the ego has become threatened and allowed the coming of guidance, males and females both have begun to work with the parts of themselves over which the ego has the least control.  For males this has most often meant a turning away from the intellectual realm, which was ruled by the ego, to the realm of feelings.  For females this has most often meant a turning away from the feeling realm where their egos held most sway, toward the intellectual.  (Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 9.12)”

Affirmation:  “I would listen to guidance today, to speed Christ-consciousness.”

Reflections:

1 – Men vs. Women

An instructive passage, this one makes a distinction between how men vs. women will approach the coming of salvation and Christ-consciousness.  And, of course, some men and some women are already blended between the intellectual and the feeling.  Men may turn more toward the feeling side of their natures, and women may turn more to the intellectual.  But there are no hard-and-fast rules.

2 – Where Does the Ego Rule?

We need to think about what parts of ourselves are held less by the ego.  Where does the ego still rule, more often than not?  If it is in the mind (the intellectual), we need to turn to the heart (feelings).  If it is in the heart (feelings), perhaps (in an interpretation), we do not have to turn aside totally from the heart–because ACOL has led us to the heart–but we need to think more of the mind (the intellectual).  In my opinion, this second option is far less common, for our minds has generally always held sway.  Jesus seems to say this in the first volume of A Course of Love, when he asks us to turn to the heart rather than to the mind.  And, as we know, he ultimately counsels a blending of heart and mind to what he terms “wholeheartedness.”  This blending is what we are ultimately seeking.

3 – Ego Undone

But in the meantime, we take the easy route.  We choose to turn to that side over which the ego has held less influence.  And then we expand throughout our minds and hearts, so that the ego is totally undone.

4 – Easy?

Is it easy to undo the ego?  It is not easy, but it becomes easier as we progress.  We realize that in the nature of things, the ego is constantly being undone.  No egoic joy is not paid for by tears of pain.  And we recognize that we don’t want to live like this.  Ever again.

5 – Jesus

So we do as Jesus encourages.  We add our own feeble efforts to God’s stronger efforts to undo the ego.  We encourage every glimpse of the Self that we experience.

6 – Walk Smoothly

And then we are walking, smoothly and effortlessly, along the path to greater freedom, let loose from the ego’s stranglehold.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I have a good day today.  When stress comes, may I know how to turn aside from all agitation.

Be with me as I consider my balance of the masculine and the feminine.  And may I let the ego go.

Amen.

Christ-Consciousness

monet - iris4

“As I awaited my death, I was given the gift of knowing what would come to be through my resurrection.  This I tried to pass on in the simplest of terms.  I tried to make it known that while I would die and resurrect into a new form, you would also, that this new form would exist within you, that you would become the Body of Christ and giving and receiving would be complete.  (Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 9.9)”

Affirmation:  “I would resurrect in a new form, the elevated Self of form.”

Reflections:

1 – A Glorious Promise

In this passage, Jesus is saying to us that nothing that he experienced is closed to us.  We do not have to die in a crucifixion, but his resurrection is our own as well.  We too will resurrect, and sooner rather than later.  The time is upon us now.  What a glorious promise this is!

2 – Perfection?

We do not have to perfect ourselves for this blessing to befall us.  Jesus, according to A Course in Miracles, will correct all mistakes that we cannot correct.  And, in A Course of Love, he tells us that if we decide that we don’t want anger anymore, it will just fall from us.  We will make the changes in our personality that we want to make.  And nowhere does he say in ACOL that we have to be perfect to “merit” Christ-consciousness.  Even the Dalai Lama admits to getting angry sometimes.

3 – Body of Christ

What does it mean to become the Body of Christ?  I think that this characterization means that we are to be one with Christ, including but not limited to the man Jesus.  Giving and receiving will be one.  As we give to others, we receive.  And when we give the gift of love, we are giving of our fullness.

4 – Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle notes that his correspondence is replete with accounts of the coming of Awakening to people in many parts of the world.  He sees himself as at an epicenter, in that he has described his Awakening in several books, and people naturally write to him when they experience something similar.  The time seems ripe now for more and more of us to experience Awakening.  This is not only in line with what Eckhart says, but also indicated by Jesus in A Course of Love.  ACIM dislodged the ego, but we need to replace it with something, and that something is the Self/Christ.  The ego-oriented personal self is dying away in many, many of us.  But we need to do our part to eliminate egoic and egotistical thinking from disturbing our minds and hearts.  We need to realize that all of us are equal in the eyes of God, and this is not a new concept.  But, perhaps, it is a concept that only now we are fully ready to accept.

5 – Small Strides Daily

So let us become the Body of Christ, making small strides each day.  When glimpses of Awakening come to us, let us retain the feeling and prolong the experience.  Eventually the glimpses will smooth into a continuity that will assure us that we are well on the way to an ultimate transition to Christ-consciousness.  Some of us see this suddenly, but most are giving a gradual learning process (from the Manual of ACIM).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would walk slowly, as You lead, to a greater future than I have yet known.  May I live the kind of life that You wish for me.  May I love and serve You.  May I find joy in the companionship of my brothers and sisters.  And may I know salvation in its fullness.

Thank You for the steps toward Awakening that Jesus has outlined in ACIM and ACOL.  I may not be ready, but You have given me glimpses, and for this I thank You.  May I do nothing to dishonor You.  May my days be well-filled, doing the deeds that You would have me do.  May I make the choices that You would recommend.  And may I share what You teach me as best I can.

Thank You for showing me Yourself by means of the felt sense of Your presence that comes over me.  I would walk in Your way, living by Your rules, and I would have no anxiety for the morrow.

Amen.

Our Internal Self

Cezanne----Fruit-And-Jug-On-A-Table---0“Yet you have not remembered that the first union is of mind and heart.  The first union is union with the Self.  This union with the Self is resurrection or rebirth.  All are capable of this life-giving union.  All are capable of birthing the Self.  (Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 9.7)”

Affirmation:  “I will seek to birth the Self today.”

Reflections:

1 – Enlightening Passage

This is an enlightening passage.  We first unite within ourselves, the mind and the heart into wholeheartedness, and then we move to the union with the Self within.  And this is resurrection or rebirth.  The words are clear, the meaning clear.  We do not have to do anything special by way of meritorious deeds.  We can all birth the Self.

2 – Christ-Consciousness

We can all birth the Self!  But will we recognize this when we have done so?  I think that the knowledge that we are birthing the Self comes upon us gradually, in snatches, even as birthing the Self is seen in snatches (an interpretation, not stated in A Course of Love).  I do know that Christ-consciousness, or Awakening, is most often seen in snatches, in glimpses.  And the birth of the Self, the rebirth of our entity from just the personal or “little” self is akin to Christ-consciousness or Awakening.  And Jesus says further on in the trilogy of A Course of Love that nobody has yet sustained the elevated Self of form.  But we are on the cusp of a reformation.  We are on the cusp of more and more individuals birthing the Self/Christ.

3 – What Can We Do to Birth the Self?

Is there anything that we can do to hurry the process?  Yes and no, and these ideas are interpretations, not stated in A Course in Miracles or ACOL.  We can commune with God on an almost constant basis, though constancy is not demanded of us, and may be beyond us.  We can study ACIM, but we can read ACOL as though we were reading a story.  (There are distinct differences in the way that the two trilogies are best read.)  And we can look to answering the needs of our brothers and sisters, in relationship to them, holy relationship to them.  ACIM indicates that our way home is through relationship to our brother.  ACOL indicates that our way home is through unity and relationship, adding the fact of unity or union.

4 – Union

The fact of union is perhaps an elusive concept.  But we join; we do not separate ourselves in any way from the universe or from God or from others.  We will be less inclined to go it alone when we have had our heart warmed by God’s love.  This time of tenderness is well-described in ACOL.  We may cry easily.  Certainly we will cry when listening to a poignant story of others’ plights.  This is what the time of tenderness does for us.  It readies us for the birth of Christ-consciousness (an interpretation, not stated in ACOL).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would seek to begin today to let go of stress and to engage calm, for only in a peaceful mind and heart can the Self the birthed.  We cannot run around helter-skelter and expect to know peace.  Help me to talk to myself, to talk myself down, when I have let the world intrude on my inner being.  I would follow You, and You do not welcome an agitated mind.

Be with me as I walk through today and all the days to come.  Thank You for Your felt presence.  This feeling of Your being there for me is an enormously comforting and calming state.  

Thank You.

Amen.

Elevated Self of Form

sainte-victoire-lauves - cezanne2“[W]e are talking now, in a certain sense, of an elevation of form.  While this is actually an elevation beyond form, it must begin in the reality of where you think you are.  In other words, it must begin with form.  You cannot await some changed state but must create the changed state you await.  (Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 9.3)”

Affirmation:  “I would choose an elevation of form today.”

Reflections:

1 – Do Not Give Up the Physical

Here Jesus is introducing the concept that will be elaborated upon later as the “elevated Self of form.”  We do not give up the physical, but we elevate it.  A Course in Miracles, in contrast, downplays the physical as illusory and perhaps therefore as less important to us.  Yet even though we live in a dream (until we experience the real world), the dream seems very, very real to us.  And Jesus is aware of that, very much so, in A Course of Love.

2 – Living Christ-Consciousness

The two works, ACIM and ACOL, have a continuity, though.  The elevation is actually an elevation “beyond form,” and that is the state that is described more frequently in ACIM.  We are told that we will experience the real world only briefly (but we are not told what “briefly” means) before God will reach down and lift us up in Awakening.  Awakening in ACOL is called Christ-consciousness, but the concept is the same.  And we are let in ACOL to see that we can live Christ-consciousness on this plane as the elevated Self of form.

3 – The Body

What a blessing this is!  We are all too happy with our physical bodies, and we are not so sure that we want heaven if we have to give them up.  (There are exceptions to this idea among human beings.)

4 – We Create the Change

We are told that we must create this changed state.  We do not wait for something to happen to us, but we are conscious co-creators with God in welcoming the elevated Self.  In ACIM, the word is that we wait, quietly, for God to act.  There appears to be a change, possibly because of our evolution, in what ACOL teaches.  We are needed to hold ourselves in readiness, but we are also to act when we see what we are to do.  And Jesus is spelling out what we are to do in the subsequent pages of the trilogy of A Course of Love (including the Treatises and the Dialogues).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would create the elevated Self of form sooner rather than later.  I realize that perhaps I can do something, that because of progress in time with A Course of Love, I am able to effect some change.  Help me to understand if I am, instead, to leave everything to You.

Be with me today as I walk through this world.  The elevated Self of form will heal me from anything that is currently wrong.  Thank You in advance for this blessing.

Amen.

Mary

rouen cathedral

“Illusion is the death you need but arise from.  Arise and awaken to your resurrected self!  There is no longer a god-head to follow into paradise.  Take not the example of any of these and know instead the example of woman, of Mary, Mother of God.  (Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 8.9)”

Affirmation:    “What would Mary do?”

Reflections:

1 – Mary in ACOL

Jesus does not mention Mary in A Course in Miracles.  But she plays a pivotal role in A Course of Love.  She is said to emphasize the life of “being” as opposed to the more active life of Jesus, which was “doing” (from ACOL).

2 – The God-Head

I think that the description in the passage of the god-head is meant to encourage us not to see God as an external figure who will usher us, after we die, into heaven (if we, presumably, have so merited).  These ideas are partially derived from traditional Christianity, which has a theology of a God Who stands outside His creation, His handiwork.

3 – ACIM and ACOL Differ

A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are different in philosophy.  We are all enclosed in God’s umbrella Self.  There is nothing outside.  Indeed, as in a hologram, there is nothing outside ourselves (the latter from the Text of ACIM).  For the whole is in each part.

4 – Theology

But, again, do not let theology delay you.  If these ideas feel foreign to you, you do not have to believe them to experience the value of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

5 – Mary

Mary incorporated in herself the more passive elements of God, the “being” rather than the “doing.”  She gave birth to Jesus, and nowhere in A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love does Jesus deny the Virgin Birth.  Yet we are not required to take any particular beliefs that are theological unto ourselves if we have doubts.  We are encouraged that Jesus takes us where we are, and guiding us by holding our hands, he leads us onward.

6 – Mari Perron

Mary is a great icon of the Roman Catholic faith.  Her mention is ACOL may in part have been that Jesus channeled the trilogy through Mari Perron, who is herself Catholic.  As with all channeled works, Jesus speaks first to the one who is receiving the material.  But Helen Schucman, who scribed A Course in Miracles, was also Catholic (though Jewish), and Jesus does not mention Mary in ACIM.  Perhaps we are ready to see men and women as equally important to the furtherance of salvation.  And so Mary takes her place, in ACOL, beside Jesus.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I spend much time today just “being” instead of doing.  May I reflect on the part that Mary played in the life of Jesus, and may I learn from her.

Be with me today through thick and thin.  You have always been there for me, even when I sensed nothing of Your presence.  I would sense Your presence today.  May I walk in Your way, as always.

Amen.

Tiny, Mad Idea Undone

woman with a cat - renoir“[W]ith my resurrection, which was accomplished for all, the meaning of life, the reality of life, changed, though you have known this not.  The great experiment in separation ended with the resurrection, though you have known this not.  For the resurrection and life are now one and the same.  (Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought,

Affirmation:  “I would choose life today.”

Reflections:

1 – Resurrection Ended Separation

Jesus has repeatedly referred to our imagined separation from God as illusory, that we cannot really separate from God at all, for we are part of Him–He is within us.  In A Course in Miracles, he refers to the separation as a “tiny, mad idea” about which the Son of God “failed to laugh,” and thus effects were born.  He continues to say in ACIM that we would laugh at such a foolish idea if it had not gained credence to us (a paraphrase from ACIM).   Now Jesus says that his resurrection ended the separation, once and for all.  We just have not known this.

2 – Christ Self

Now we do know it, as seen in this passage.  But exactly what does this mean?  It means that we too can join in the resurrection, that we too are eligible to assume our place as a Christ spirit.  This is the Self/Christ within about which so much has been said in this blog.

3 – A Resurrected Life

Our lives are now resurrected lives:  “For the resurrection and life are now one and the same.”  What will it mean to live a resurrected life?

4 – Miracle Readiness

We will be in miracle-readiness all the time.  We will recognize miracles when they occur, something that we have previously not usually recognized.  We will be at one with our brothers and sisters, who, like us, are resurrected with Jesus.  We are all life, and all life, animate and inanimate, is God.  No longer do we see God as outside His creation, observing His handiwork in the earth.  All of everything is an individuation (or a differentiation) of God.  We are not outside Him in any sense whatsoever.

5 – Theology

This is part of the theology of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, though the words that I have used are not part of either trilogy.  Do not let theology delay you.  Jesus says in ACIM that a universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible, but necessary.

6 – A Universal Experience

We would ask for that universal experience on an ongoing basis.  And we are now ready to live the resurrected life, as Jesus did.  He has prepared the way for us.  And as individual parts of God, yet part of the whole, we are ready to thank Him for the length of the pathway that we have already walked.  It is because we have walked far that we are now receiving these blessings of knowledge (not perception).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would let the illusory separation end for me today.  I would join, as Jesus bids, in his resurrection.  Help me to give up the folly of the “tiny, mad idea” and walk into the sunlight today.

I would experience salvation fully.  Help me to say and do the things that You want of me, and may my cooperation and my faith in You sustain me.  I would not fight You ever again.

Amen.

Time of Second Coming of Christ Is Here

renoir - crowd scene

“I [Jesus] have said that contrast is a favored teaching device of the Holy Spirit.  But I have not yet said that the time of the Holy Spirit is ending even though I have stated that the time of the second coming of Christ is here.  (Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 7.4)”

Affirmation:  “I welcome the time of the second coming of Christ.”

Reflections:

1 – Guidance in a New Era

This passage will be of especial interest to students of A Course in Miracles, for ACIM was focused on following the Holy Spirit for guidance, very specific guidance in daily life.  The Holy Spirit was defined as the Universal Inspiration (from ACIM).  How do we get guidance in this new era?

2 – Holy Spirit

I think that we look to the Christ within, the Self/Christ that is one with God.  This Self can be misunderstood by our personal (or “little”) self, but if we are vigilant, we will choose aright when we look within.  If we listen to our hearts and minds in merger for wholeheartedness, we will not feel bereft to hear that the time of the Holy Spirit is ending.  He was with us for 2,000 years, beginning with Pentecost (described in the New Testament).  His role, Jesus seems to be saying, is ending because we have moved beyond Him.

3 – Second Coming of Christ

When the second coming of Christ is upon us, we will see and know much that we only dimly recognize now.  We will be able to contrast the past with the present, and we will welcome a future that is better in all respects to what preceded it.  We will love with a greater love, and we will respond from a full heart.  Our brothers and sisters will truly be soul mates–all of us (an interpretation, not stated in ACOL).

4 – A Welcome

Let us welcome the time of the second coming of Christ, even though, of course, we do not as yet fully understand what such a time can bring us.  The contrast between the old and the new will be instructive to us.

5 – Better World

And we will live in a better world.  A heaven on earth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the assurance that the time of the Second Coming of Christ is upon us, though nowhere does Jesus promise that this means a physical return.  He is silent on that question.  And so we must wonder:  Will the Second Coming be metaphorical, or will it be a fleshly being?

I do not have to torture myself with these questions.  The Answer will be as right as the question.  

May all of us come to understand, as time goes by, what the Second Coming really means, and may we thank You for that understanding.

Amen.

Miracle-Mindedness

impressionism- manet

“[W]hat happens when this oneness is accomplished is that divine memories arise to replace perception.  This is miracle-mindedness.  The accomplishment of this state of being is what you are here for.  It is your return to your Self.  It heralds the return of heaven through the second coming of Christ, the energy that will bridge the two worlds.  (Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 6.9)”

Affirmation:  “I seek oneness today.”

Reflections:

1 – Divine Memories

There is much of importance summarized in this short passage for today.  We do want divine memories to replace perception, for divine memories include memories of the real world, and the real world is not one seen through perception.  Perception is always inaccurate, to one degree or another.  It is true that miracles themselves are perceptual (from A Course in Miracles), but they are the highest form of perception.  And when we have reached miracle-mindedness as a constant state, we will know our Self/Christ.  And we will embody the elevated Self of form.  We will have reached Christ-consciousness.  And heaven will be with us, for which we do not have to die.

2 – Promises

These are genuine promises made in the Treatises of A Course of Love.  And when believed, these promises are enormously liberating.  We know that we can experience heaven on earth, even before we in fact do experience it.  We also see snatches, glimpses, of heaven on earth before this state is continuously experienced.

3 – Time of Christ

We are, according to the trilogy of ACOL, in the time of the second coming of Christ.  The books never identify if there is to be a physical embodiment of Jesus again.  The spiritual entity of Jesus is with us, though, for certain.  He comes in response to one unequivocal call, a statement from A Course in Miracles that I have often quoted in this blog.  I have found it to be true.  Not that I have seen a vision, but that I have experienced the calm that comes from imagining that Jesus is near.  And does he not immediately calm the heart as the first step to all healing?  Distraught people do not usually believe that healing is possible, and belief in healing is necessary, if we can believe the New Testament, and I believe that we can.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would replace my perceptual memories today with divine memories.  This is a step toward the sustaining of Christ-consciousness.  And You are there for me, as is Jesus.  Never let doubts come to me.  May I have no dark night of the soul.  And, if trouble comes, may I always know to Whom to turn–You.

We are living in the time of Christ.  This is a great blessing.  This world does not seem yet to recognize this, for this world is very troubled.  But the healing of our world will come, and I believe sooner than we think.

Be with us today for a good day.  I ask this so often, because a string of pearls, like good days, is a beauty to behold.  Help me to know Your guidance today, and to follow it unflinchingly.

Amen.

Pray from Fear into Inner Peace

cezanne.jas-buffan-pool“To pray out of fear is not to pray at all, because such prayer chooses not the union that is the prerequisite.  To pray out of fear is to ask from an unreal state of lack for what is seen as missing or desired.  In contrast, true prayer, formed in union, is a means of creating, recollecting, or recalling a divine memory and transforming that divine memory into a present moment experience.  (Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 6.6)”

Affirmation:  “I will choose to avoid fearful prayers.”

Reflections:

1 – Fearful Turmoil

When we are in fearful turmoil, our emotions are so engaged that it is hard to sense God’s presence.  We are not in union with God, because we cannot feel His presence.  This is the so-called foxhole prayer, i.e., “There are no atheists in foxholes” (a reminder of World War I).  We need in some way to alleviate the fear, and I have found that prayer, in fact, does alleviate fear.  I can pray myself to sleep when I am anxious.  Is there a problem with my experience vs. the words of Jesus in this passage?

2 – Personal Experience

I think not, because I am calmed by the prayer, a calming that precedes receiving an answer (an answer that is sometimes just blissful sleep).  I do not go to sleep fearful, and I do not remain fearful as I pray.  The fear just drops away, and I pray from a relaxed state of mind and heart.

3 – Divine Memory

The latter half of this passage is difficult to understand.  What exactly is a “divine memory”?  I think that Jesus is calling on our Self/Christ at this point.  When we experience the Self/Christ, we are healed from a divine perspective, for the Self/Christ is our part of the God within (an interpretation, not stated precisely in A Course of Love).

4 – When to Pray

We need to begin praying when we are afraid or fearful, but–and this is the important point–we will not remain afraid or fearful.  We will, in nearly all cases, immediately begin calming down, for we will be recalled to trust in God.  We need never cease to pray because we think that we are too overwrought.  God will create the holy instant that will bring us peace.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for guiding me to know that praying to You in the middle of the night, when I can’t sleep, is a very practical way to induce a return to sleep.  I think that You welcome this communion, for our private times together heal and calm me.  Thank You for letting me adopt practical use of prayer for a very human need of sleep.

Thank You for leading me to realize that the best prayer is not one of fear.  The prayer may begin with anxieties, but the prayer will take me out of the anxieties into peace.  Thank You for this blessing.

If I can reach divine healing today, it will be because You have led me every step of the way.  Fort this leading, I am very grateful.

Amen.

The Definition of Prayer

pissarro003

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

Affirmation:  “I will choose union through prayer today.”

Reflections:

1 – Union

This passage for today emphasizes once again how important prayer is to our well-being in this life.  We are said to make of our whole life a prayer, when we follow what Jesus is saying in A Course of Love.  We consciously choose union with our Self/Christ and God within, with our brothers and sisters in this world and all worlds (even unseen), and we choose to embrace the universe(s).  Union is all-inclusive, and it is a big part of our way home.

2 – Prayer

The second sentence in this passage is important:  “This does not negate the fact that a prayer is also a constant dialogue of asking, being answered, and responding.”  Certainly!  This is the way that we have traditionally seen prayer at its most simple:  asking and being answered.  But here we also see that we are to respond.  And this is the new art of thought.  We learn through receiving and then responding, not only to God, Who has answered our prayer, but also to others who can benefit as well.

3 – Personal Experience

I have personally found that my answers to prayers have increased in very recent days.  What we believe does make a difference, and I have been expecting answers to come at the point of asking.  I have not had to wait long.  Recently I asked for a solution to a minor health problem, and immediately–yes, immediately–the answer to my problem came into my mind, not as a voice, but as an internal word that was my own thought, but yet a bit beyond me.  At first I thought that I had misheard, that another one-word answer was meant.  But as the afternoon wore on, I realized that the initial word had been accurate.  I acted on this precise directive, and my minor health problem cleared up.

4 –  Mind

The word that come into our minds are not always God speaking to us.  There is much left in our minds that alter His messages.  But as we walk further along the pathway to Awakening, the chaff tends to fall away, and our internal hearing does seem more on the beam with God.  We can ask silently, and receive an answer.  We can also journal our questions, and wait for an internal prompting of what to write by way of an answer.  This latter suggestion is championed by a writing expert, Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way).  And it works.  The fact that we capture on paper what is impressed upon our minds encourages us to reread and to respond in the future to what has been answered in our prayer.

5 – Listening in Prayer

So, pay attention to the internal, silent monologue of thoughts when asking in prayer.  I have been very, very pleasantly surprised that this type of listening increases as it is used.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the immediate answers to my prayers that I have been receiving.  I realize that this is the way that prayer is supposed to work, for our communion with You answers all problems.

May all of us have a good day.  May anxieties fall away, and may we walk into the sunlight with You.

Amen.

The Value of Prayer

pissarro-montmartre-night“Prayer is but reproducing and recollecting a divine memory and divine memory cannot help but produce a divine outcome.  Said in another way, prayer reproduces the truth and allows the truth to exist as it is.  Prayer does this because it is the act of consciously choosing union.  (Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 6.2)”

Affirmation:  “I will pray often and sincerely today.”

Reflections:

1 – Personal Experience

One of the most important points of the spiritual life, to me, is the matter of prayer.  A favorite professor of mine once, in effect, witnessed to me about prayer.  In answering a question as to how he had come to a given answer, he replied, quietly, “Prayer.”  In truth he was a changed man from what he had been like just a couple of years previously.  The witness of his truth about prayer was a defining moment in my own life.  The exchange constituted a peak experience.

2 – Practice Prayer

So, in my own way, in many years since, I have practiced prayer–deep prayers when I was upset about something, deep prayers in which I felt God’s touch of healing.  A Course in Miracles refers to this action as “communing” with God, and that is, in effect, what I have tried to do in times of crisis.  Prayer rights things.  There is absolutely no emotional charge that can remain, of an upsetting nature, that in my experience is not made better by deep prayer.  And by “deep” prayer, I mean the heartfelt reaching toward God that I imagine the author of The Cloud of Unknowing (an anonymous medieval treatise) had in mind.

3 – Tenderness

Now we find in A Course of Love that prayer is counseled.  Of course, this simply reinforces in my own mind something that I have believed since I was 24, when the encounter with my professor occurred.  The joy of communing with God is exceedingly tender, for He is a gentle God.  His way is not perceived, in prayer, to be a hard or difficult pathway to follow.  His is the way of supreme good sense.  His is the way that I know, in such moments, that I want to walk.

4 – Healing

We cannot all be healed of physical ailments, and there are emotional ones as well that are not healed.  But certainly the physical and emotional ones stand a much better chance of healing if prayer has taken place.  And, in my experience, the emotional difficulties are especially prone to healing by prayer.  There is a calm that settles over one who is in deep prayer.  Sleep comes gently in such a case, if one is saying nightly prayers.  We end the day aright, and we are preparing, in our own way, for a subsequent day that will be started aright.  There is no substitute for the comfort that prayer can and does give.  This I know from personal experience.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the myriad answers to pray that You have given me over the years.  Prayer works in a very practical sense, and I am not upset by “using” prayer in this way.  Of course, I do not want to use You, but to love You.  And to know that You love me.  Communing with You in deep prayer shows me that love flows in both directions.

Thank You for the experience that I lived through when I was 24, the experience of first learning how valuable prayer could really be.  Thank You that this occurrence happened so early in my life.  I am very grateful for the role that You have played in my life through the deep prayers that I have been led to have over the years.

Be with all of us today.  If hard times come, let us know that we always have You to whom to turn.  And the hard times melt away in the blessing of communing with You.  Thank You especially that healing of emotional issues comes with prayer.  I do not rule out healing of physical issues as well, but it is with the emotional that I am especially grateful today.  When our mind and heart are calm, we can live through any struggle, and we, with Your help, can turn that struggle into ease.

Amen.

Choice to End Suffering

4_Boating_Realism_Impressionism_Edouard_Manet“While I can tell you suffering is illusion, you cannot still your fear of it nor tear your eyes away from it or remove from it the feelings of your heart.  While I came to reveal the choice of Love to you, the choice that you each must make to end such suffering, the illusion of suffering has continued and in its continuation made the choice of Love seem all but impossible.  (Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 5.3)”

Affirmation:  “I would end any personal suffering today.”

Reflections:

1 – Maya

It is not enough to say that we live in a world of maya, illusion, or dreams.  As long as we suffer, we will find it impossible to be satisfied that we do not blame God because all except the real world is illusion.  This attitude, expressed by Jesus in this passage, is electrifying and very practical.  He knows our limitations.  And he knows that we will continue to see God as less than loving when we have not yet given up suffering.

2 – Eckhart Tolle

Pain does not have to turn into suffering!  That is the secret.  Eckhart Tolle says much about this in The Power of Now and A New Earth.  His understanding of the “pain body” is described in great detail in both books, but especially in A New Earth.

3 – Pain into Suffering

How do we accomplish feeling pain that does not lead to suffering?  Ah, that is the rub.  And the truth may be that we cannot overcome the tendency to turn pain into suffering without divine help.  But we do need to end suffering in order to experience all the blessings that the elevated Self of form has been promised (from the Dialogues of A Course of Love).  We do need to pray for help, to commune with God, when challenged by pain.  He will find a way to get through to us when we are at our lowest point.  Indeed, individuals often turn to God at their lowest when they do not do so at any other time.  When human resources are exhausted, we relinquish our own attempts to solve our problems, and we turn them over for divine solutions.

4 – Prayer of Relinquishment

Catherine Marshall, an inspirational writer of the last century, said much about the “prayer of relinquishment.”  We would do well to pray that prayer often.  We do not give up, but we do surrender the problem to a higher solution, that of God’s solution.  We wait to be told what to do to make things better, and we do not have to wait long, because A Course in Miracles promises that the solution is with the problem.

5 – Jesus

Let us turn today to consideration of how to end suffering in our lives.  This may seem a pipe dream, but I trust that if Jesus channeled A Course of Love (and I think he did), and he says that giving up suffering, seeing an end to suffering, is possible for us, I believe that it is.  Let us seek within for the guidance that will tell us what and how to proceed.  Everyone’s answer will be different, but the end is sure, and the end is the same for all of us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would release suffering today.  Any little aspect of suffering needs to be gone.  And with Your help it will be.  Pain does not have to turn to suffering.  There are remedies.  May my brothers and sisters know freedom from suffering today.

Guide me to any and all remedies that I need to feel totally well in all respects.  I sense that You will do this today for me.  Thank You for that intuition.

Help others whom I encounter in any way.  We need to be there for each other in this sometimes difficult world.  Help us to have good days in Your care.

Amen.

Time of Miracles Is Here

cezanne - basket of apples

“While I [Jesus] succeeded in revealing a God of love, this revelation has not been reconciled with your experience here.  This is what we will seek to do by putting an end to fear and ushering in, with this ending, the beginning of a time of miracles.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 4.27)”

Affirmation:  “I will consider anew today that God is a God of love.”  

Reflections:

1 – God of Love

There is a great promise in this passage for today.  Jesus refers back to his time on earth and notes that he did succeed in revealing God as a God of love.  But humankind, from our limited perspective, did not take the lesson unto themselves.  We continued to fear God, and by that I do not mean a respect that is healthy and good.  We feared God in that we were afraid of His wrath, afraid that we would be punished for our wrongdoing.  Of course, with cause and effect a law of the universe, sometimes what we do brings dire consequences.  But God is not doing this unto us.  We are doing this unto ourselves.  And there are tangible ways that we can bring good things to ourselves, and certainly there is no reason–ever–to blame God for our misfortunes.

2 – Attract the Good

These tangible ways of bringing good to ourselves include positive outlooks.  We are never guaranteed to be forever without pain, but our own attitudes can do much to attract the good to ourselves.  Our experiences in this world can and will improve when we get our minds, hearts, and spirits right.  We will know the good again when we attract the good.

3 – Glorious Promise

The promise that is so pronounced in this passage occurs at the end, when Jesus promises that when we succeed in seeing God as a God of love and not of fear, we will receive miracles, “ushering in. . .the beginning of the time of miracles.”  What a glorious promise indeed this is!

4 – Attitude toward God

This passage indicates that only one change is needed, a change in our attitude toward God:  the acceptance of Him as a God of love.  And then with the ending of fear we are led into a much better world of miracles.  And miracles are always good.  We will see miracles, I think, where we have not recognized them previously.  And there is an indication that the number and magnitude of miracles will increase.

5 – Don’t Blame God

Can we see God as a God solely of love?  Can we sincerely stop blaming God, sincerely and intellectually knowing that He is not the cause of anything going wrong in our world?  We do not need to accept such a view of God on blind faith.  There is much in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love that explains this view of how to see God as loving.  And what a glorious promise we receive–that we are ready for miracles when we can see God as loving.  Can we make this transformation in our thinking now?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for this promise of a time of miracles.  We all need this so much, we in our little self-centered worlds, still often encased in our ego.  

May we cease all this nonsense forthwith.  I pray to do my part rightly to ease the coming of better times.  May we know that we can attract a better world when our attitudes are right.  And our attitudes need to be attune with Yours in order to ask rightly for what we need and what we want.  I do not ask material goods, though You know that I have these needs also.  I ask more for the love, joy, peace, harmony that You will gladly bestow to all of Your children, regardless of their financial circumstances.

Be me with today.  I thank You for the gentleness of Your presence, the peace of Your Being.  May today end on a positive note, clearing the way for another positive day tomorrow.

Amen.

Afraid of God?

monet - garden at Giverny“While God is nothing but the Source of Love, you have, in your doubt, made of God the source of fear.  Pause a moment here and let the enormity of this confusion sink in, for this is the reversal in thinking that will pave the way for all the rest.  Because of this confusion you have responded to Creation with fear.  Is it no wonder a new response is asked of you?  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 4.26)”

Affirmation:  “I now choose to let fear of God melt away.”

Reflections:

1 – Fear of God

“Fear” of God, in the Bible, is, to my own of interpreting, actually a form of respect that is asked of us.  But along the way, we have also feared God in a more concrete way, in that we have been made anxious when we thought of Him.  This fear was of the ego, for the ego knew only fear, having been made out of a separated state (an illusory separated state) of being.  We became so used to fear that we did not even realize the extent to which we were dominated by it.

2 – Blaming God

We blamed God for this fear, because our ego could not accept that we ourselves had made the fear (through the ego).  So we were in a quandary.  We did not know how to escape the ego, and we may, as students of Freud, believed that the ego was necessary for our successful living in this world.

3 – Freud’s Definition of the Ego

Freud’s definition of the ego is not quite what A Course in Miracles means.  For Freud, the ego mediated between the superego and the id, and gave the personality stability.  In A Course in Miracles, the ego is seen as a false self, a part of ourselves that has gone awry, a belief about ourselves that does not mean us well.  And so, with this understanding, we want to rid ourselves as quickly as possible from a false sense of self that the ego perpetuates.  We do not need this self-image to form our personality in such a way that it can function in the world.  It is a persona, a self-image, that is best let fall away.

4 – Personal Self

When the ego has withered away, the personal self will change greatly.  I have earlier called this personal self, the “little” self.  And indeed it is little, for it partakes of illusion.  We still live in this dream, this maya, this illusion, but the real world will dawn on our inner sight as a little more time goes by.  Then the inner Self/Christ, the elevated Self of form, will take predominance.

5 – At Home

And we will be home in God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be at home with You today.  Thank You for the good beginning to this glorious day.  May my day go well.  May I say and do for my significant others what they need.  May I be there for them.

Help us to respect You, but not to be afraid of You.  Surely it would be disappointing to You to see Your children cringe in fear before You.  May I love You unreservedly.  And may I love with respect but not fear.  I sometimes feel awe, and I understand from A Course in Miracles that this is alright.

Be with me throughout this day.  May I feel Your Presence in a tangible way.  Thank You for the times in my life when I am conscious of Your Presence.  And may this feeling overwhelm me today in a cocoon of love.

Amen.

Revelation

impressionism - flowers and water

“Revelation is a proper description of the mode by which the art of thought teaches and helps you learn.  It is not through study, effort, or re-interpretation but through revelation.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 4.23)”

Affirmation:  “Revelation is now how I will learn.”

Reflections:

1 – Now Ready

This passage for today is a sea change from previous passages cited from A Course of Love, because the passage indicates that we are now ready for revelation.  And the implication is that this revelation will be constant and ongoing.  What a blessing!

2 – Do We Recognize Revelation?

Perhaps we will not be aware of all the times that revelation comes to us.  Perhaps revelation has already come many times and often in recent weeks and months, as we study A Course of Love, and we did not recognize revelation for what it was.  This is my interpretation, that we just didn’t recognize the times that God has spoken to us, has revealed to us that which we needed to learn.

3 – Observation

We do know that no longer do we learn through intense study, but through observation–an observation that is more of the abstract mind than the concrete (an interpretation, not stated in ACOL).  Now we find that it is not just our personal self that observes, but the Self/Christ within that senses revelation and therefore is guided about what to say or do next.  Our minds and hearts are guided.  We know beyond doubt that we are not alone.  And it is our Self/Christ that has risen to the forefront in our very being.

4 – Do Not Analyze

This passage also says a great deal about what Jesus means by the “art” of thought, the title of this treatise.  We are no longer to analyze, but to receive, and then, in turn, to give.  We receive from the Self/Christ within, a Self that is in intimate contact with our God within, and then we know how to respond.  And our response is very, very important.  We don’t take responsibility for our brothers and sisters, for that is their role for themselves, but we do respond to their needs whenever appropriate.

5 – ACIM

In A Course in Miracles, we learned that revelation would occasionally show us the end, but to get there the means were needed.  And the means were being explaining in ACIM.  (Paraphrases from ACIM, the Text.)  Now we are encouraged to accept that revelation will be much more of a constant in our lives.  The passage does not say, and does not even imply, that we need to be enlightened before we can receive from revelation.  The books in the trilogy of A Course in Love are to be read in sequence, and it is not until the last half of the third book that we go to the mountaintop (metaphorically) with Jesus, and there become the elevated Self of form (assumingly reaching Christ-consciousness).  The Treatise of the Art of Thought is the first of four treatises in the second book in the sequence.  So we are not at Christ-consciousness when revelation begins to speak to us in an ever-more constant way.

6 – Revelation Now More Constant

We learn that revelation is more constant today, from this passage.  May we learn in this new way, and may we thank God for the new means of learning.  We will make great strides, if our heart is right, from  now on.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I learn how to distinguish revelation from something else.  It seems akin to intuition, but perhaps You need to teach me further.

May I be open to revelation today.  May I learn this new way of knowing, in the depths of my being, in my Self.

Amen.

Response, Not Responsibility

“Responsibility implies needs that would not be met without you.  Response is given and thus genuine.  It is a natural act of giving and receiving as one.  Responsibility is a demanded response, a necessary response, an obligation.  Response happens from within.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 4.13)”

Affirmation:  “I will respond to my significant others today.”

Reflections:

1 – Responsibility vs. Response

Here is the distinction made between having responsibility for another and simply giving a response, surely heartfelt, to him or her.  This passage continues the theme of the last several postings, emphasizing how very important these concepts are to A Course of Love.  We do not want to do things for others out of obligation; we want to do so with love, and this love is a response rather than a duty-bound responsibility.

2 – Giving and Receiving

Perhaps giving and receiving as one is such a commonplace part of our religious culture that we aren’t sure what it does mean.  Giving and receiving as one mean that what we give, we receive in equal measure.  The equality of giving and receiving will give us pause for thought.  If we don’t give, we don’t receive.  But I think that first we almost have to have received blessings from God that prepare our heart to respond by giving back–to Him, as well as our brothers and sisters.

3 – Demands

We do not want to do that which is demanded of us–at least, not often.  We rebel, because negative emotions such as resentment enter the picture.  But when our hearts are right with love, flowing over with love, we eagerly give a response from love.  And we do not recognize any covert demand at all.  We are too eager to give, in response to all that we have received.  Love does not keep record books; we give much as we forgive, 70 times seven (from the New Testament).  We respond with a willing spirit, and we respond because God has placed that will to do so in our hearts and minds.  He has first given to us, and with this recognition, we know that we can give and give and give, and yet our own store is forever full.  We do not give out of scarcity ever.  We know no scarcity.

4 – Look to Inner Self

The “within” aspects of this passage emphasize once again that we are to look to our inner Self for the direction that we need.  We look within and see no lack; we are therefore quite willing to respond to all needs that present themselves to us from those who are our brothers and sisters.  We do not respond when to do so would be inappropriate.  But the fact of appropriateness of response is broadened considerably when we open our thoughts to God and His way.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I need to tell myself that You love my significant others even more than I do.  I have said this to myself many times over the past number of years, and I know that it certainly is true.  I can love only imperfectly, but Yours is perfect love.  And You will care for my loved ones.  I never need to think that I have to carry the burden all by myself.

Be with my loved ones today.  May I respond to their needs, without feeling that I have a particular, insistent demand from them for responsibility for their needs.  This is a great burden reliever, and I thank You for these words of Jesus.

Be with me today.  I need You.  Thank You.

Amen.