Tag Archives: afterlife

Miracles vs. Magic

“Let us talk a moment here of miracles. Simply stated, miracles are a natural consequence of joining. Magic is your attempt to do miracles on your own. In the early stages of your learning, you will be tempted to play a game of make believe. You will not believe that you are not your body, but you would make believe that you are not.” (ACOL, C:10.11)

Do we believe that we are our body? Pure and simple? Just the body, or are we beginning to see that the body is something that carries us, and that we ourselves are something else entirely?

Coming to this understanding is something the miracle will do for us. We will begin to believe in the intangible. We will see that we are spirit, occupying the space that is the body. And we will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that life goes on after the “death” of the body.

This belief in life after death is a major blessing of the miracle. Many of our fears have centered on the belief that we didn’t survive the death of the body, or we survived in a hell (of our own making), or we survived in we knew not what. We still don’t know the what of our survival beyond the death of the body, but we can intuit that what we will find will be good. And the miracle does that for us.

When we join with each other, we know miracles as a natural consequence of this joining. We are recognizing that we are not separate, as we have thought for eons. So what is there to fear? Many of our fears, just like uncertainty about the afterlife, have centered on the fact that we thought ourselves all alone, with nobody on whom we could depend except those in our special relationships. Joining, by implication, moves beyond special relationships to something better—holy relationships. We let go when we need to, but we will always have people in our lives who are there for us. We don’t have to fall in line with the drama of special relationships, for we know the true and the real of the holy. And with this another miracle has happened.

Let miracles happen today. Join freely with the others who surround us. What we give, we receive—as we have long known but didn’t know how to put into practice.

Now we know. We just reach out in love, for we have cast fear—at least for today—aside. And the miracle that envelops us will keep fear at bay.

Just love without expectations. And what we get in return will dwarf our expectations. Love is the thing. The only thing.

Experience a Little Heaven on Earth

“The lucky ones among you have made a place resembling home within your world. It is where you keep love locked away behind closed doors. It is where you return after your forays into the world that you have made and upon entering believe you leave the world’s madness outside your door. Here you feel safe and gather those you love around you.” (ACOL, C:4.21)

We all identify with this passage. We know what it is like to come into our home, our safe haven, after a day of disappointment in the outer world. Our homes do reflect the Home that we are really after, the Home of heaven. If we are lucky, as Jesus says.
Some of us do have discord in our personal homes on earth. And so we have no place that we can hide.

Most of us have love in some form that we can recognize. Some form of love that meets our deepest needs, even though we are not always sure that our loved ones understand the real person behind our mask. We have lived this mask so many years that we know not how to share the real person, and so we feel lost and alone in our inner personal self.

There is an antidote, and that is to let the inner Self out to play. This Self does not wear a mask, and so we will need just to trust that this Self will be well-received. Because it is a Self of love, we can bet everything we own on its good reception. Others long for love, and when we are living the Self, we give love without demanding anything in return. We are living the best that we can. And when we aren’t demanding, others almost magically return the love that we are offering. Giving and receiving are One in truth. And we learn this, easily and for all time, when we live the inner Christ Self.

Imagine, when you come in from the harsh, cruel world that you are entering a little haven that is a precursor of heaven itself. Drop the discord, if there has been any. Just offer our genuine love to those in the world who mean the most to us.

We will be surprised by how our inner havens will change for the better. And living well, in our personal homes, will prepare us to tackle the outer world with less rancor. Our outer doings in this world will change for the better as well.

We can create a little heaven on earth in this way. Our havens presage Heaven itself. And we don’t have to wait for the afterlife to so experience what is right there waiting for us in this world.

The Elevated Self of Form Knows Now What Previously Was Only Known in the After-Life

“But I tell you truly; it is no different than the time that is upon you right now. The after-life has simply been a time of increased choice because it has been a time of increased awareness. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 5.13)”

1 – Jesus
Jesus is here saying that we can know in the elevated Self of form those things that formerly we could only know after death, on the Other Side (“the after-life”).

2 – Death

Now we can have this awareness without crossing the barrier of death. What a lovely thought for those of us who have always had lots of curiosity about the true nature of reality.

3 – A Knowing

Enjoying the knowing that comes to us is a great boon. We need not fret and struggle so, but rest in the knowledge (and it is knowledge) that all is well. What happens is meant to happen.

4 – Knowledge

As we move into sustaining the elevated Self of form, we will know many things, rather than perceive many things. We will also know that we know. This new time is a time of increased certainty. We do not have to wait to know much; we are here imbedded in a course of study that assures us that our egos are gone, and that we are in an in between state that will soon be merged with a state of Christ-consciousness. This, at this point in A Course of Love.

5 – Christ-consciousness

Know that Christ-consciousness is not a change at all, but much more a new awareness of knowing. Because we are listening to Jesus and following his Way, the transition will be smooth and gentle. That is a great blessing, because previously many individuals went through much turmoil at the time of transitioning to Awakening. But we are not hurled into reality; we are carried each step of the way. And more and more of us are experiencing the new reality.

6 – Home

Be assured today that we can all find our way back home, and soon. We do not have to wait long. Be careful, though, of affirming Christ-consciousness until enough time has passed that we will be certain that this is not just a glimpse of Awakening, but a sustained state of being. It is wise to keep one’s own counsel in these matters, because many there are who do not understand at all. Others do not recognize miracles for what they are, and the miracle of Awakening, maybe least of all. Many do not even know yet the possibility of this blessing.

7 – Transition

Just walk easily in our world, glad that the transition, when it comes, has actually come. Keep your own counsel. Be restrained. The time of Christ is upon us, and we would be wise to follow the pathway pointed out by A Course of Love. Of course, there are other pathways for people who have not chosen Jesus has their guide. But if you are reading this, still, you have chosen Jesus as your guide in life. And he guides well. Listen, and be reassured that all is well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I rest in certainty that the after-life will be something which I will enjoy tremendously. But let me not live in longing for that which is ahead. May I live in greater awareness and greater choice today, in this world, as well. May I enjoy the real world that shows before my eyes as I let illusions, the dream in which I am caught, dissipate.

Thank You for the greater awareness and greater choice for today that You have already granted me. May my gratitude color the interactions that I have with others today.

Be with me today to help me to overcome those aspects of my personality which I feel still hold me back. I would walk gently, avoiding anger. I would be grateful for all blessings, eliminating attack. I would seek beyond perception to a knowing about ultimate reality. These are the things that are on my mind and in my heart today. Help my wholeheartedness to effect a cure from undesirable traits. And thank You.

Amen.

Our Physical Form Becomes Divine

“Continuity is an attribute of relationship, not of matter. It is only in the relationship of matter to the divine that matter can become divine and thus eternal. If you can abide in unity while in human form, you will have no cause, save your own choice, to leave human form. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 4.15)”

1 – Not Immortality in the Body

This statement is not a call to believe in the immortality of the physical form that we occupy today. It is, rather, a belief that we choose the moment of our death. We do not live blindly buffeted by fate in such matters. Jane Roberts, an early psychic who channeled Seth, said much the same thing. We live our charts of our lives, and we exit from this life when we have chosen. This puts us in the driver’s seat.

2 – Relationship

The truth of this interpretation is clear, it seems to me, in the opening sentence: “Continuity is an attribute of relationship, not of matter.” We do not choose to continue matter indefinitely, but we do often choose to continue the relationships that we have begun here. At least this is my belief.

3 – ACIM

A Course in Miracles says that it is the goal of all relationships to become holy, and so we will transform our special relationships while in this world or, perhaps, in the next. All who meet will meet again, to make of their relationship a holy one. What a blessing this is!

4 – Meeting Others Again

Surely there are people in your past whom you would like to meet again. This quotation lets us know that it is the intent of all relationships to be made holy, and if we don’t meet again in this life, there is a place on the Other Side where we do meet. Of course, we may not now, with our limited understanding, want to meet all with whom we have had a special relationship. We may, indeed, want to avoid those individuals entirely.

5 – Our Feelings

We won’t feel this way after death. We will be in a state of mind and heart that wants to make right all relationships that ever went wrong.

6 – Reassurance

This is a reassurance of the highest order. All with whom we have had a special relationship will show up again, to make that special one holy, in the afterlife. May we pray for the strength to abide in this understanding. May we not cringe from it, but welcome it. But not to jump ahead of ourselves to death. We have things to do in this world first.

7 – Our Heritage

Ours is a goodly heritage. The blessings of Heaven await us. But the happiness that we can have on earth is also very much with us. And we can reach salvation in its ultimate, Christ-consciousness or Awakening, in this life, in this lifetime.

8 – Prayer

Let us pray for this blessing of the penultimate today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I choose to make all my relationships holy. May You help me to do this. Only with Your help is it possible.

May I choose to see the eternal in my physical body, the elevated Self of form. May I know this great blessing in my interactions today.

May I be keen to follow Your advice today. I seek that advice willingly, knowing that I at first may be reluctant to obey. But obeying You gives me great happiness, great joy. May I follow my inner Self today to a closer walk with You.

Amen.

Changing Form Is Part of Life-Everlasting

“Changing form is part of the pattern of life-everlasting. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 4.8)”

1 – Life after Death

This passage echoes a previous reflection on life after death. We are not meant, according to A Course of Love, to hope for new discoveries in science that will give us an eternal physical life on earth. Would we really want such a thing, if it were possible?

2 – The Same Form?

Some early writings on A Course in Miracles thought that a passage in those volumes promised that eternal physical life would be not only possible, but to be expected. This has not been upheld by more recent writings, and ACOL now comments on this hypothesis.

3 – Death

We may be threatened by death, in that it is the one thing that we cannot control. The control freaks among us may be especially threatened. We do not know exactly what form our body will take in the afterlife. Even careful readings of psychic commentary do not make this finally clear. But of one thing we can be certain: Life after death is not to be feared. We will change form, but we will know life everlasting. And we can hope that the death itself, as Ruth Montgomery’s Guides said, will be like “walking through an open door.”
4 – Reincarnation

Is reincarnation? Is this the changing form that is meant? It would not be wise for students/teachers of ACIM and ACOL to take any definite stand, outside the confines of close personal friends. All of us need to be as helpful as possible to all those we encounter, not to introduce tenets of controversy that would limit our usefulness. This attitude is a paraphrase of ideas in the Manual of A Course in Miracles.

5 – Afterlife

While changing form may suggest another form in the afterlife, and then a reintroduction of ourselves to form in this world, we do not know that for sure. Jesus’s words in ACIM can be read in two ways, and students/teachers of ACIM have differed on the point of reincarnation. But we do need to realize that in the grand scheme, we do change form, for our worn-out bodies need to be replaced. We cannot live indefinitely in these bodies. To change form is natural, nothing to be feared. It is, I believe, as Ruth Montgomery’s Guides told her (and us) “like walking through an open door.” That is what death really is.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know in the depth of my being that death is not the end, that I only change form. I do not, therefore, have to fear death.

As time goes by, and pain comes to me through health changes, may I not suffer any more than would happen when I finally make the transition to life everlasting, life after death.

Amen.

Heaven on Earth in Our Physical Forms

“. . .[T]he nature, even of form, once returned to its natural state of love, is one of unity and everlasting life. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 3.13)

1 – No Need to Die to Experience Heaven

This passage comes very close, in my opinion, to a promise that we can know “Heaven on earth.” We do not have to die to experience the joys that previously were believed by our forebears as reserved for the afterlife.

2 – Everlasting Life

The “everlasting life” is a phrase that has heretofore been reserved for the afterlife, although traditional Christianity does teach that one joins into this life once one has been “saved,” in the old-fashioned sense. But it does seem that A Course of Love goes a bit farther in its promises than anything that has appeared previously, even in other New Age thought. The term “unity,” used so often in ACOL, appears in this context. This unity always refers to unity with God, inside and outside, and in particular the unity that we share with our brothers and sisters in this world. This makes us all One, and One with God (a tenet of ACOL).

3 – Love

How can we know the joy that everlasting life holds out to us, even in this sometimes troubled world? And even in our sometimes troubled personal world? We must remember that in our better moments, we realize that we love and are loved. This twin concept, loving and being loved, is not new, but it is newly emphasized and interpreted in A Course of Love. We have been told repeatedly that at this point, we have left the ego behind. And so, we have actually left fear behind, leaving only the love that we have longed to have.

We may still know fear from time to time. Christ-consciousness does not always come suddenly and completely, with a complete break with the past. Awakening does not either, and the two concepts are so often linked that they may be seen as one and the same. That puts ACIM and ACOL on the same wave length, because Christ-consciousness is trumpeted in the latter, and Awakening in the former.
And we can know this joy in physical form. That is a basic tenet of ACOL, and in this ACOL emphasizes something that is not made firm in ACIM.

4 – Celebration

That we can champion the physical form may well be cause for rejoicing, maybe because we are so used to this form—not remembering any other. But if we are to encourage salvation (and this is our function as the light of the world), we will need to have a communication device to do so, and that communication device is the body (ACIM tenet).

5 – The Best

It is reassuring that we can have the best that God intends for us while still in the physical body. We don’t have to die to experience great joy, to experience Heaven on earth. Our Heaven on earth is here waiting for us, here and now.

6 – Join with Heaven

Let’s join with this Heaven today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I love and, if it is Your will, experience love today. May I know that any lack of love that I perceive is simply a disguised call for help (and love) on the part of the other person. Surely I will know Your love today, in my mind and spirit, even if not always in my emotions.

May Christ-consciousness descend upon me today. I do not know this state on a continuing basis, but may I catch glimpses of this glorious state today.

What part is my decision in coming into Christ-consciousness? I ask for an answer to this question today. I wish to do my part, but I also wish to wait patiently for Your timing. May this day go well, with my following Your guidance to be and know all that You would have for me.

Amen.