1 – Day Three
“Accept your anger for it is the next step in the continuum upon which we travel. When a person is dying, just as when a person is undergoing this final surrender, there are stages through which one moves. (Dialogues, Day Three)”
2 – ACIM and Anger and Attack
Jesus chose an especially volatile example of what can be accepted. In A Course in Miracles, there is a very significant passage in which anger is said to have no justification and attack no foundation in fact. This is especially crucial to our holy relationship, which is the way that A Course in Miracles is preparing us for Awakening by God. Here, in this quotation, Jesus says in A Course of Love, that anger can be accepted as part of a continuum. I suspect that Jesus knows how hard some of us have tried to eliminate anger, and our suppression of it has not worked very well.
3 – ACOL and Anger
Here, in A Course of Love, Jesus would have us just turn aside from anger, without giving it any credence, and, I would believe, especially not try to suppress it. The ego has a field day with suppression, for what is resisted only gets stronger and comes out in even worse ways (sometimes). Jesus compares our acceptance of anger, on this continuum, as akin to the stages of grieving only one’s own death. And acceptance is only one stage in that process, but a very important one. Likewise, when we accept the anger, the anger loses its force over us. It becomes meaningless, and we don’t resist any longer. It is not made stronger, as it would be made in resisting the anger actively.
4 – Money / Abundance
“There is one area that is greeted with even more anger and more resistance in regard to learning of all kinds—in other words both old learning as well as new—than love. This is the area that you call money and that I call abundance. (Dialogues, Day Three)”
5 – Jesus
Jesus moves into “abundance” or “money” from the discussion of anger. He spends a great deal of time on this day in discussing money. He knows that it is a hot point for many of us—either the love of money or the regret that we don’t have more of it. Jesus indicates that abundance is not something that is to be regretted, and here he differs from his words as quoted in the New Testament. There he tells his apostles that it is harder for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven. Many there are who have taken Jesus at face value in this statement. The rich young ruler in the account turns aside sadly, for he had great riches. He is told to sell all, give to the poor, and follow Jesus. The rich young ruler can’t bring himself to do this because money is his god (an interpretation).
6 – Crisis Point
Here, in this quotation, Jesus is said to find money or abundance more of a crisis point than even the concept of love. We can all agree on love. We can’t all agree on money. It is a dividing point for many, the final straw that our dedication to salvation is actually weak.
7 – Fallacy
“This is the basic fallacy that the time of learning supported. The idea of if this, then that. The idea of abundance earned. The idea of nothing being truly free. Not you, and not your gifts. (Dialogues, Day Three)”
8 – Learning
Here Jesus is saying that the past time, the time of learning, supported the idea that everything of value—and this especially includes money—has to be earned, is not truly free. We also think, erroneously, that we have to earn our way into Heaven. This, I think, is the basic concept that Jesus is challenging. We don’t, ever, earn our way into Heaven. The bestowal of Awakening by God, or Christ-consciousness, is a free gift. We can, we are realizing, prepare ourselves for this gift in various important ways, but the final bestowal is God’s choice, His timing and His choice, always. We don’t earn our way into this most coveted of evidences of salvation.
9 – Earned?
But abundance that is truly abundance does not have to be earned in every instance. There are many instances of abundance that don’t cost anything. And the law of attraction often indicates that money itself is subject to our thinking about it, our drawing it to ourselves. Abundance is good, as long as the abundance (or the money) doesn’t become one’s god. When that happens, we have substituted an idol for the richness of Heaven.
10 – Acceptance
“Yet how can you accept yourself when you have feelings such as these? How can you accept the idea of inheritance with ideas such as these? How do you accept me when you see me as symbolizing a life of ‘godly’ poverty, and of calling my followers to abandon their worldly goods? (Dialogues, Day Three)”
11 – Bad?
This gets even closer to understanding that abundance, per se, is not necessarily bad—in fact, that abundance may be very good indeed. But we often get our priorities mixed up when it comes to money, and that is indeed what Jesus was saying in the New Testament story of the rich young ruler (an interpretation). Jesus knows that his readers will not take lightly any admonition to give up worldly goods for another world, although that, in effect, is at issue. We give up the LOVE of money, and then the abundance itself is not a bad thing. And how do we separate the love from the money itself? Ah, that is the rub, and that is why Jesus spends so much time in A Course of Love talking about abundance and money. He knows that the historical Christianity has always denigrated worldly goods as being ungodly, and that people who might otherwise have been Jesus’s followers get stuck on just this point.
12 – Misplaced Priorities
A Course of Love settles the point. Abundance, per se, is not the issue. It is the misplaced priorities, choosing the world over spiritual matters, that keeps us in real poverty of spirit.
13 – Set Your Mind at East
“Let me set your mind at ease, for you are not called to sacrifice, as you have been told time and time again. (Dialogues, Day Three)”
14 – Sacrifice?
We are not called to sacrifice anything at all in A Course of Love, any more than we are called to sacrifice in A Course in Miracles. We are given things, many things, and we are told that our happiness is God’s first priority. That’s right. But how many of us can take this good news and run with it? We get so caught up in believing that we are tainted by material goods, even though we don’t stop ourselves from having such goods. Jesus would eliminate our confusion and our conflict, telling us that we need not sacrifice for him. But we do need to understand that the things of the spirit only give us the happiness that he wishes for us. Any material object is of this world, and our joy in it will subside over time. We are also liable to get caught up in the ego when we wish for material possessions, and the ego is a bad idea from the start. We have indeed sacrificed in this world, but it has usually been for the things that the ego told us would be good for us. And that was a lie. Nothing the ego bade us get has ever turned out well. The elation that we feel always turns to tears of despair.
15 – Unity
“You have accepted now, because of whatever experiences of unity you have had, that the knowing of unity is available to you. You may not have given great consideration to the access through which that availability arose, but since for most of you it has arisen as thoughts you did not think, if you were to make an association in regards to entry, you would likely say the entry point was the mind. This is, in a sense, true, as wholeheartedness is comprised of the mind and heart joined in unity. (A Course in Love: Dialogues, p. 103)”
16 – ACOL
The passage chosen here is tangential to the argument put forth in Day Three. It does, however, say some very important things about the A Course of Love as a whole. In unity is abundance accepted, and this abundance is the very practical matter of money–having enough, feeling secure, knowing that we will be taken care of in the future.
17 – New Understanding
Jesus notes that in coming to a new understanding of abundance we will move through stages of denial, anger, bargaining, and depression. Only then we will be ready to accept abundance as our natural inheritance from God. We will be ready to discover, rather than to learn through the mind. This includes the “thoughts that we do not think,” which is the infusion of knowledge into our wholeheartedness rather than the learning through our mind that the ego so enjoyed. We have now moved beyond the ego.
18 – Common Sense
Jesus talks quite a bit about money here, and he is very, very commonsensical. He knows that may of us have issues about money (he calls it “abundance”) that might preclude our acceptance of all that he holds out to us in the new wholeheartedness that he extols. Day Three is among the most practical chapters in the entire three-volume ACOL. Surely we can follow his reasoning, and reach for the unity of all brothers and sisters without reference to relative abundance. He concludes, “The active acceptance of abundance is the way to abundance.”
19 – Natural State
“Abundance is the natural state of unity and thus your natural state, just as certainty rather than uncertainty is your natural state, just as joy rather than sorrow is your natural state. (Dialogues, Day Three)”
20 – Unnatural Lives
We see here that abundance, certainty, joy—all—are natural states of human beings. We have lived such unnatural lives so far. Let’s give up the unnatural in favor of the natural any day. Let’s drop the idea of sacrifice that is so dear to the ego’s persona. We will thrive when our hearts are right with God. He blesses us, as He does everyone, when we ask. There are many things for which we must ask, many blessings, and we hesitate to ask because we think that they are undeserving things, or even that we ourselves are undeserving.
21 – Deserving
We deserve the good things of good. Just know that those good things are mostly intangibles—joy, harmony, peace, no conflict,–and we will have to abundance that we so richly deserve. We will know the function of happiness, which is akin to forgiveness in A Course in Miracles. Our salvation is to know happiness and forgiveness as our function (from A Course in Miracles).
22 – Materiality
Materiality is part of abundance, and it is part of what money can buy. Money is not a dirty word or concept. It is only the overweening love of money that speaks to the ego and gets us into trouble.
23 – Replacement of Learning
“While you think of acceptance as just another word, another concept, another trick of the mind, you will not see it as the replacement of learning, and as such as an active state, a state in which you begin to work with what is beyond learning, a state in which you are in relationship with what is beyond learning. It is in truth a state in which you enter into an alternate reality, the reality of union—because you accepted that reality. (Dialogues, Day Three)”
24 – Union
We are asked to enter union with our fellow beings and with God. Elsewhere, many times, A Course of Love stands up for unity and relationship as twin goals for everyone. But our acceptance of that union is an acceptance that will free us to walk with Jesus on the way home. It will take us to the mountaintop, metaphorically holding his hand. We are not “learning” anymore, we are “accepting.” And we are not straining in our acceptance. We feel no strain in our daily doings. We don’t work in the same way, though work we will, and hard. We will find work to be effortless without the agony of thinking that we are learning through our backbreaking work. We do not have to struggle to learn anymore. What we need to know will be given us.
25 – Alternate Reality
This is our alternate reality—a state of union with All that is (God). And All that is includes our brothers and sisters who are walking together with us. All may not be walking to salvation, but that is partially up to us. We need to share, when sharing is OK to those involved. We do not have to proselytize, which would indeed be counterproductive if one needed only a smile (from A Course in Miracles). So we accept our reality as Sons and Daughters of God. We accept that our personal self (our persona) and our Christ Self are one, and in that understanding do we take our place in a new world.
May I know the security that only resides in You, in the abundance that You promise to me. May I not be tempted to fret about my future needs, or even my present ones. May I do what I can, when I can, and may I rest secure in the knowledge that my real needs are always met.
Abundance is a relative term, but I do not long for the abundance of material goods so much as spiritual. Jesus promises that I can have both, and I rest in peace in that assurance.