Resolving Conflict

Are we ever really in conflict? The Course would say not. The true Self is above such pettiness. When conflict rules, we have let our egoistic images of ourselves collide with simply a different egoistic image, also of ourselves.

This conflict happens all the time to those of us still on this side of the bridge, and this includes most of us—we who are still not consistently living in the “real world.” We do not, however, have to continue in conflict. We can refer all questions to our Counselor, the Holy Spirit.

I have found that the gesture of turning the conflict over to the Holy Spirit may be answered immediately, or we may be so involved with turmoil that a quieter mind, one that could hear guidance, has not yet come to us. If the latter is our situation, we need to suspend our thoughts, refusing to mull over the unresolved issue, and quiet our minds.

Whatever method one uses can be right—meditation (the Course makes use of some of this quietness, though the word “meditation” is never used in the FIP edition); prayer; or simple distraction from the conflict to thoughts of something else. One must be aware, however, that distraction can allow the conflict to light upon something else later on. Whatever method one uses, we must trust not in one’s self, but in the Holy Spirit, the Bearer of better thought, to give a way out of the impasse. One helpful thought when battling conflict is to remember that one always battles illusions, for Reality does not battle at all. This recognition may in itself may be enough to calm the heat of passion.

In my own case, I used to have a neurotic tendency to find something, anything, about which to worry. It is as if the “worry” part of me were comfortable only if I had something to fret over. So it is that the ego thrives on conflict, justifying its continuance by conflict. There is a well-worn groove that most of us reserve for worry. When all is said and done, we may find that we were simply in the grip of a bad habit. But by so retaining this bad habit, the Course would say that we make the conditions that we dread, because we choose our own reality. There is a solemn warning in realizing our power to choose our futures that should not be minimized.

Picture instead a resolution, as yet unknown, to be worked out by the Holy Spirit. Abide with this thought awhile, and see if a calmer mind will not welcome, in a moment of revelry perhaps, the answer previously sought so frantically. Once we set aside the conflict-ridden emotional state, the Holy Spirit is free to act.

Advertisements

Calmness that We Have Never Known Before

“This is your conundrum. When you have never known what is you have never been able to be certain. You have no experience with certainty other than—and this is a crucial other than—your certainty of your own identity, the very identity this Course has disproved. This identity has been seen as your personal self. Thus your personal self is the only place in which you have experience that can now be used for a new purpose.

“Even while this experience is experience of an ego-self, it is still an expe¬rience as near to certainty as you have been capable, simply because you could not exist without an identity.” (ACOL, T3:21.10 – 21.11)

We are moving into a new identity now, an identity that is shorn of the ego. This will make all the difference, though we have not fully left the patterns of the egoic self behind. Our personal self will continue to survive only as a non-egoic self that we present to others, our brothers and sisters. We won’t dip into egotism when we show ourselves to our brothers and sisters, though. We will live with heads high, representing our inner Christ Self with an outer self that is the “personal” self.

We need to accept our new identity with a certainty that we lacked when we were controlled by the ego. This will take some doing. Our ability to be certain of anything has been sadly lacking. But now we can truly and completely accept our new self, a new personal self honed by the new tenets that the Christ-Self has learned through A Course of Love. We can live better for the first time in our lives.

What does this mean? What does “living better” really mean? We have left our fears behind, left them because fears are egoic in nature. We know a calmness that we have never known before. Sure, the feeling still comes and goes. But the calmness is real. And in our better moments, we know that we are living closer to God than we ever have before.

Let the part of our identity that is the Christ-Self, a part of God, speak to us today. Let the calmness that is in our heart overtake our personality, our persona, and give us the grace to live well.

Prayer

It behooves me to “walk my talk,” and calmness is something that I am reaching for today. Help me to feel it. Indeed, thank You for the greater calmness that has developed for me over this morning. Thank You for being there for me.

Your love is palpable to me today. I sense that Your concern is real, that You know what my concern is, and that You reach out to me in comfort. I am blessed to feel Your warmth.

Thank You.

Amen.

Living in Perpetual Calm

“These words, truth and peace and love, are interchangeable in the house of truth as their meaning there is the same. These words, like the words House of Truth represent an awareness of a new reality, a new dwelling place.

“The word house as used in the House of Truth does not represent a struc¬ture but a dwelling place. The word house as used in the house of illusion does represent a structure. The house of illusion is a construction meant to shield the personal self from all that it would fear. The house of truth is the dwelling place of those who no longer live in fear and thus have no need for a structure of seeming protection.

“The house of illusion is the stage on which the drama of the human experience has been acted out.

“During the time I spent on earth I did not dwell in the house of illusion but in the house of truth.” (ACOL, T3:11.3 – 11.6)

The House of Truth is elsewhere referred to in A Course of Love as the Kingdom of God, and some of us may understand what is being said more readily with this older term. We often think of being at peace, inwardly, when we are in the Kingdom. And here we hear that truth and peace and love are interchangeable words. Indeed. We have long noted that A Course in Miracles was published by the Foundation for Inner Peace.

We have been in illusion, as ACIM and ACOL have pointed out repeatedly. Now we have a way to go into true reality, at least as the “real world” is noted. This reality is a hallmark of both ACIM and ACOL. And to experience it, we need to be at peace inwardly. Half-way measures won’t be enough to give us lasting peace. A strong antidote to stress and discomfort is needed, and ACIM and ACOL provide that antidote.

We are not living in fear when we live in the House of Truth, or the Kingdom of God. We are living in perpetual calm, a calm marred only by patterns of the ego that may still plague us. There is a way out, but it does take patience. The longer we stay on the pathway, the more likely that we will know inner peace. And inner peace is the hallmark of the Kingdom.

Prayer

This oasis of calm that I feel today is very welcome. Thank You. My love for You propels me forward into a better day, a better tomorrow. The solace that I feel when I turn inward is You, pure and simple. You are within me, creating that oasis of calm.

Be with me as this day moves forward. Be with me over the days, weeks, months, and years ahead. Your warmth pervades my soul. And this is a very welcome experience.

Amen.

Being Calm and Quiet in Zen-Like Peace

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

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

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

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

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

Prayer

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

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

Amen.

Mellowness Prepares for Christ-Consciousness

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

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

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

Thank You.

Amen.

Perfectly Calm and Quiet All the Time

“Emotions speak the language of your separated self rather than the language of your heart. They are the forward guard of your defense system, always on the lookout for what might hurt or slight the little you that they deem under their protection, or the other little selves you deem under yours.” (ACOL, C:9.2)

Our emotions often deceive us, for our emotions often speak the language of the separated self. This separated self, also known as the personal or little self, will transform into a better personal self, the one that we will present to others, when we have moved beyond egoic preoccupation. It is when the emotions are under the sway of the ego that such dramatic highs and lows pull us under.

Contrariwise, our heart impels us toward calm and peace, a tranquility that is not of this world, but God’s world. Here the emotions don’t dash us against stones that lie under our feet. The emotions lift us up, for calm and peace are still. Some who experience this calm and peace for the first time think that they are depressed, because they feel little emotion. The tranquility takes some getting used to. We are not actually depressed, but we think we are because the dramatic shifts in mood have caused an addiction to riotous living, living of highs and lows.

If we don’t hasten back to some drama that threatens to engulf us, we will grow to like the new calm. We would not choose to be other than perfectly calm and quiet. But in the beginning we don’t know how fortunate we are to have a heart that speaks a serene language. We think that we are not truly living if we are without the drama.

We are living, and a better life indeed. We will no longer dread what our days will bring us, for highs always prompted lows, and the lows were very difficult indeed to handle. A calm, tranquil spirit invites the peace that passeth understanding, and none who experience this peace will wish for it to end. When it does end, we can know that it will come again. And because of this, we are blessed indeed.

We would do well to avoid being defensive about the life that we live. This is a primary theme of A Course in Miracles, and here Jesus emphasizes the same idea. Defense makes what it would defend against, and until we give up defense of the egoic personal self, we won’t know the peace that this passage for today offers us. God grants to us the peace that passeth understanding when we are wise enough to accept it without murmur. This means that our pseudo love affair with drama is ceasing.

Reverence for God

1 – True Self

“We now will discuss being the true self while becoming the true self—the time in between your awareness and access to Christ-consciousness, or unity, and your sustainability of Christ-consciousness, or unity, in form. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Six)”

2 – Inbetween

We are in an inbetween time now. We are seeking Christ-consciousness, though “seeking” is not quite what we ought to be doing. Seeking is a harbinger of the old way of learning, and no individual can set his/her time of Awakening (Christ-consciousness). We are now the true self, but we are not all that we can become.

3 – Sustainability of Christ-consciousness

It may take some time to reach sustainability of Christ-consciousness. We do, for most of us, see glimpses, or satori, long before we sustain Christ-consciousness. The sustainability is what our elevated Self of form will achieve, but it is not achievement as we understand achievement of egoic things. It will come about through the grace of God, though we can do things that will prepare. Having thoughts that we do not think will lead the way.

4 – Help

These thoughts that we do not think are a form of thought transfer into the mind and heart. They come from either God, our subconscious, our Self, or entities on the Other Side. We are not nearly as alone as we think. There is always someone there who will help.

5 – Becoming

“As was said earlier: To realize the state of becoming is to realize that an in between exists between the time of learning and the time of being the elevated Self of form. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Six)”

6 – Repetition

This simply reinforces what we have read previously. Jesus uses repetition to lodge thoughts in our minds.

7 – Music

“In all stages of its creation, the piece of music exists in relationship to its creator. . . .Only when it is a complete and full and true expression of the artist’s idea, however, will it and the artist be one.

“You are a work of art headed for this oneness of full and true expression. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Six)”

8 – Example of Music

Jesus, previously, uses the composing of music as a metaphor for the transformation that we are undergoing. The music first exists as an idea in the mind of the composer, but once he/she has set the idea to musical notes, the composer and the piece of music become one through the expression of the music in being played.

9 – Oneness with God

We are like that. We are heading toward full expression of our Oneness with God, our Christ Self.

10 – Colleagues

“Thinking of our relationship as that of colleagues as well as companions, as fellow workers or work-mates with a task to accomplish, as well as conversationalists, is not an erroneous way to think of our relationship. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Six)”
11 – Jesus

Jesus describes his relationship to us in these 40 days and 40 nights as a colleague, a companion, a fellow-work, a work-mate, and the two of us—he and us—are conversationalists engaged in a meaningful dialogue.

12 – Equals

We have long thought of Jesus as our teacher, but he relinquishes that role with us on the mountaintop which we are ascending with him. He wants us to see ourselves as equals with him, and this a very lofty thought indeed. How can we so see without arrogance. Drop egocentric thinking, and then we will not be arrogant in following Jesus’s train of thought in making us equals to him.

13 – Drop Egocentric Thinking

How do we drop egocentric thinking? It is frequently a long process, over much time, but it need not be. We can genuinely long to drop egotistical thoughts and actions from their expression, and we will find ourselves making progress every day. Occasionally there is a quick and irreversible transformation at one juncture, and this happens when we quickly and irrevocably give up our own judgment about what to say and do. As A Course in Miracles points out, usually the giving up of judgment is a fairly slow process, not because it is difficult, but because we find it personally insulting. The world has trained for reliance upon judgment to make good decisions, but Jesus goes to some lengthy in ACIM to let us see that good judgment, lacking guidance from the Holy Spirit, is simply not possible because we can’t know all of the past, present, and future decisions and happenings that will impinge on the any given decision.

14 – Acceptance

“Does this work of acceptance seem never ending? It is until it is replaced by reverence, just as learning was unending until it was replaced by acceptance. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Six)”

15 – Reverence

When we feel reverence, we are at our best, close to God, communing with God. This welcomes the Presence of God, and when we do so, we will have days of good flow, serene and untroubled. So we do not need to “work” at acceptance for long, if we develop the right attitude toward our Maker. When we feel reverent, we are home free.

16 – Difficulty

“What you are going to realize from this time of seeming difficulty is an end to difficulty and the growth of your ability to do whatever you do peacefully and to be who you are in whatever situation you find yourself in. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 128)”

17 – Time of Becoming

We are in the “time of becoming” on the metaphorical mountain top with Jesus as our companion, but not our “teacher” any longer–for the time of learning has passed, and we are in the time of discovery. We are becoming the true self of Christ-consciousness, the elevated Self of form. But there is an in between state of trying to maintain rather than the sustaining of Christ-consciousness, and we are called to this in between state right now in this 40 days and nights of preparation.

18 – Composer

Jesus makes a comparison to an artist composing a piece of music. There is a time when the music may or may not “flow” into him or her, and then eventually, there is a feeling that completion is needed. All along the way, the artist may make the decision to share his music, either early or late in the process of preparation. We are reaching out to our brothers and sisters in love, with the thought that we are heading toward a greater understanding while in the midst of daily life. These 40 days and nights are not meant to take us “out” of life; the optimal situation is to remain in our normal lives. We may think that a removal would be advantageous, but Jesus asserts not.

19 – Calm

We need a created place of calm within; that is a main reason why we are not told to try to remove ourselves from normal life. We are the created becoming the creator of our lives. The passage for today emphasizes the ease with which life will be lived when we have attained Christ-consciousness. We reach for this without strain or effort; we allow Jesus to guide us at all times in this mountain top experience.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to be patient on this mountain top with Jesus. I long for peace, and I long to be who I really am without strain. I have strained so often. It is a great blessing to learn that all of that can be put behind me now.

May the remainder of this day go well. This I frequently ask of You. It is important to me to have good days, and as I go through the mountain top experience once more, I appeal to YOu to be with me. Keep my mind clear and my emotions calm. Give me right thinking and right interpretations. Help me do my part, knowing that You will do yours. May I have peace above all else, inner peace with You at the helm. Thank You.

May I create a place of calm within myself, as I leave behind the old self and reach toward Christ-consciousness and the elevated Self of form. May I be patient, knowing that this boon is my destiny. Thank You for being with me today and every day.

Amen.

When Not at Peace. . .

“I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at peace. (T90)”

This passage starts a sequence of helps to return us to a peaceful state of mind. A Course in Miracles says elsewhere that the first obstacle that peace must flow across is our desire to get rid of it. How true, if we stop to think! We are so used to drama and turmoil that we think that we are depressed when we get calm for a change. Yet calm and quiet are where we are headed (ACIM tenets).

I have a friend who questioned this “perfectly calm and quiet all the time.” I know from our long friendship that she is especially prone to drama, and she was letting me know that she liked it like that! Yes, but a little farther along her pathway, and she may change her mind. I certainly hope so.

This passage bears repeating as a lovely blank verse poem. If we are not at peace, we have made one or more errors. We are in charge in making the decisions that will bring us to peace. We can decide otherwise, and thus choose peace, moment by moment.

We do not have to feel guilty, because of the power and glory of the Holy Spirit. He can undo the consequences of our wrong action or thought–the error that made us lose our peace in the beginning.

Peace is a great blessing. All of us would choose it, rather than drama, if we would give it more thought. “Perfectly calm and quiet” is said elsewhere in ACIM as the direction in which we are heading. We may, actually, not welcome this now, because we are tied to our dramas, but as we choose more and more the peace that God grants, we will know the genius of this proscription.

“I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise. (T90”

This puts us back in the hot seat as the decision maker, which we always are. We make the decisions about what reality we will encounter, though not in a simplistic fashion, for the dictum, “We create our own reality” has been much misunderstood. Taken in its worst light, this means that we see ourselves as victims, and we blame ourselves for the wrongs in our life that happen. It is not quite like that.

Our Higher Self makes many of the decisions about what we will experience, and the Higher Self sees a much broader view.

It is also cautionary not to blame another as a victim. We can’t see what their Higher Selves have in mind. What others are going through is not a conscious choice of the lower mind.

“I want to decide otherwise, because I want to be at peace. (T90)”

This moves us into deciding that we want to change our minds, because we want peace. We are being gently led down a pathway to greater peace. Jesus recognizes that our ego will offer some resistance.

“I do not feel guilty, because the Holy Spirit will undo all the consequences of my wrong decision if I will let Him. (T90)”

Do not feel guilty! You will be OK. Guilt is not the same as remorse. If we have erred, it is natural to feel some remorse. But we do not wallow in it, and all too often we wallow in guilt. This is insanity.

The Holy Spirit will undo the wrong. Don’t interfere. Let Him.

“I choose to let Him, by allowing Him to decide for God for me. (T90)”

We always choose God when we choose aright. We always feel better after we have chosen for God. And the way home is several steps closer by our so choosing.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to decide for peace, not drama. I am in charge of this decision, with the help of the Holy Spirit. If I am not at peace, I have decided wrongly. I choose now to change this decision to one of peace.

Help me to know the value of being perfectly calm and quiet all the time. May the Holy Spirit, day by day, lead me in this direction.

Amen.

Starve the Ego-Mind Out of Existence

pissarro - landscape“What is food for the ego-mind is fear and the removal of these final fears will quite literally starve the ego-mind out of existence. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 9.15)”

Affirmation: “I would remove fear from my mind today.”

Reflections:

1 – Identical Questions

How do we rid ourselves of fear? How do we put the ego-mind out of existence? These two questions are actually identical, for with the one comes the other.

2 – Quiet Inner State

I have found that a quiet inner state steals the thunder from fear. I get fearful, angry, and anxious, only when I am stressed. And when this overwrought state is removed by contemplation, quietness, and sometimes meditation, then I see that the conflict-ridden ego just drops away.

3 – Timeout

But when I am overwrought, God cannot get through to me immediately, when I ask for His presence. My ego-mind has risen, and I must turn aside from this ego-mind if I am to have peace. Mostly I need to stop and take a timeout. While this is not always possible, it is possible to turn inwardly, through affirmations, to still the mind. Stilling the mind reduces the anger and the desire for attack, and soon all is well.

4 – Marianne Williamson

We tend to want to keep an aroused state going. We run on adrenaline. And this is not way to run a life. Marianne Williamson says that we are addicted to adrenaline. And she is right. We think that we would lose our edge in this sometimes competitive world if we became too laid back. But a Type B personality would do just that–take it easy and stop the frantic chase after success. For what is success anyway but a question of the ego?

5 – Keep a List

We need to starve the ego out of existence. And to do so we need to keep lists of things to do when we are fearful. Turning to our personal list will calm the mind. Sometimes we need to write out this list, for when we are too overwrought to think clearly. Other times we don’t have to resort to paper and pencil, but will call to mind what we need when we need it. And all will be well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be calm and peaceful today, easy to live with, easy to live with for others as well as myself. I would thereby quite literally starve the ego-mind out of existence. I would feel fear no more, and it is fear that feeds the ego. I would cease any and all competition, choosing cooperation as the better means to get things done. And my goals should be met just as well from cooperation as from competition–in fact, the meeting of goals from cooperation with others actualy works far better.

Help me to have a good day. Help my brothers and sisters to have a good day. We need You, and when Your are present, so that we sense You, then the day smooths out and all is well. Thank You.

Amen

Soothe Your Worries Away

170px-Girl_with_a_Hoop

“If you do not think you are yet prepared, if you think you are not yet ready, cease to think.  Read again these words of love and let the sound of love soothe your worries away. Give to me the thoughts that remain to trouble you and I will return them to you transformed by Love.  (A Course of Love, 32.5)”

Affirmation:  “May I give my inferior thoughts to Jesus to transform.”

Reflections:

1 – Comfort from ACOL

This passage for today is very comforting.  Let us read again from A Course of Love when we are upset, for these are the words of Love.  These are words that can lead us back to God.  The very sound of words of love will ease troubles away, and in this we have help.  We are never alone, though we may imagine ourselves to be.

2 – Jesus as Primary

Jesus takes his place as a primary factor in our lives with this passage for today.  “Give to me the thoughts that remain to trouble you. . . .”  What comfort!  We cannot understand how he will transform these troubled thoughts, but we can give Jesus a chance.  And he will not fail us; that is my conviction.

3 – Troubled Words Transformed

For troubled words to be transformed by Love is to let those troubled words be transformed by God, Who is Love (with a capital “L”).

4 – A Heartfelt Appeal

We are bade to cease to think, if we think that we are not yet ready for all that Jesus holds out to us.  He is appealing to the heart, which does not need to think.  And that heartfelt appeal will draw us in.

5 – A Conclusion

This is the final passage from the main part of the original volume of A Course of Love.  It is indeed enough, for we know that Jesus walks with us, to soothe and comfort us, to lead us Home.  And that is surely what we have wished all along.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be soothed today.  I would join with Jesus as my companion, my friend, and I would listen to the internal promptings that may come from him.  He promises to be with us upon one unequivocal call.  I make that call today.  I leave with him the things that trouble me, for he is able to transform them so that they trouble not me nor anybody else.  What a blessing this is!

May I know the soothing presence of Jesus.  May I recognize that there are other teachers, but, for me, Jesus is the most important one.  I have chosen to follow the way that he has pointed out, and though I read from other individuals, my heart belongs to him.

Amen.

Perfectly Calm and Quiet All the Time

monet - iris3“When action is seen to be necessary, this is exactly when a time of stillness is needed.  You might think of this time of stillness as a time of consulting with your new identity.  Simply sitting quietly, and posing the question or concern that is in need of appropriate action will suffice.  (A Course of Love, 25.23)”

Affirmation:  ‘I will spend some time in quietness today.”

Reflections:

1 – Need for Stillness

We need to be still.  We need to practice stillness.  Reading this passage prompted me to stop typing and to be still.  I turned to some inspirational reading, and now I am back.  Perhaps the stillness will impact this blog posting.

2 – Solution Is with the Problem

This passage for today is another way of stating a truth from A Course in Miracles:  that the solution is with the problem.  We have only to state the problem, to ask for the solution, and to receive that solution immediately (normally).  When we expect quick answer, we normally get them.  This is, of course, not always true, but this does hold true more often than not.  Sometimes our emotions are so warm (even hot) that we need to cool down before the answer will come, the solution will come.  This is what the stillness of this passage is trying to say.

3 – Healing

We must realize that there is a solution to every problem.  If we are in need of healing, we may know that the healing may be emotional rather than physical–but emotional healing is often far more important, even, than physical.  We will be given the will to walk on.  We will know that God cares.

4 – Practice the Presence of God

We need to practice the presence of God in as many ways as we can.  Praying silently, and aloud as well, are two good ways to invite God’s presence to impress Itself upon us.  It is often thought that meditation does the same, though Jesus in ACIM does not counsel much time spent in contemplation.  He says that our way, with ACIM, is in our relationship to our brother (or sister).  And we who practice ACIM have long recognized the truth of this statement.

5 – Meditation

The final pages of the Workbook of ACIM do seem meditative, though.  And perhaps it is.  (There is a difference of opiiion among students/teachers of ACIM about this.)  We can let guidance lead the way–guidance of the Holy Spirit, in ACIM; and guidance of Christ-consciousness, in A Course of Love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I sometimes need just to be still, to bask in Your warmth, to know that peace of that passeth understanding.  Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that we will ultimately choose to calm and quiet all the time.  This is a statement of the meek, who do not seek to self-aggrandize themselves.  May the moments of stillness and quiet that I have known today carry on throughout the day and evening.

Help us to understand that being perfectly calm and quiet is a desirable thing.  We are so used to drama, and that may be why our ego is not yet dead in us.  We crave drama, and with that often comes attack and anger.  I would not have it so in my life.  Help me to live Your way.

A moment spend reading is a moment well-spent.  Thank You for leading me to that conclusion.  I have read Jesus’s words in the New Testament today, and I thank You that we have that record.  Also I thank You for the blessings of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

Amen.

The Embrace

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

Affirmation: “May I feel the embrace today.” van gogh - sunflowers10

Reflections:

1 – Most Beloved Passage

This passage for today is one of the most beloved of all passages in A Course of Love.  In it, Jesus is speaking personally to every reader, but he is also speaking from a more universal perspective, saying that the universe is safe and holds us within its embrace.

2 – Gentleness, Love, Safety, Rest

The personal aspect will appeal to some; the more universal, to others.  We are bade to feel the gentleness and love of the embrace, the safety and the rest.  Jesus invites us to close our eyes and imagine what cannot be seen.  Often we have been told (in A Course in Miracles as well as A Course of Love) that our physical eyes cannot have “vision.”  We only have vision for the real world, which is not physical in the way that the illusory world is physical.  The physical world is seen differently in vision, and that is all that we really need to know.

3 – Comfort

This passage is comforting in the extreme, and it would be helpful to return to it over and over when we are ill-at-ease or distraught.  Life does throw us curves sometimes, and we would do well to take advantage of all that Jesus is offering to us.  He is with us, when we make one “unequivocal call” (from ACIM).  Can we understand this?  No, we can’t.  But, somehow, Jesus transcends ordinary physical laws and is with all of us as need arises.

4 – Personal

Do I believe this, truly?  Absolutely.

5 – A Blessing

And I hope that we will all come to believe this blessing also.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I have felt the presence of a person who seemed, to my mind, to be Jesus.  There was a comfort to this presence that I have felt from nobody else.

Be with me today as I seek to work out my intellectual doubts.  There are natural laws about which our science, as yet, knows nothing.  And I think that Jesus’s presence with us is one of those natural laws.  He comes in response to one unequivocal call, as A Course in Miracles tells us.

Thank You.

Amen.

What Do We Really Seek?

“This Course may seem to have come far astray from what you would have it do, for you are looking for something specific from it, though you know it not.  You are looking for the rest and quiet joy that only comes from love.  You are looking for the safety and security of a loving home, even if it is one only of philosophy  You look for the soft assurance of certainty, not of your mind, but of your heart.  (A Course of Love, 12.5)”

Affirmation:  “peace, serenity, calm, tranquility”

Reflections:vangogh - blossoming almond tree2

1 – Blessings

All of us want the blessings so beautifully mentioned in the passage for today.  Some of us choose to turn aside from the quiet that could come from a genuinely spiritual attitude in life.  And perhaps that is not all wrong.  God is God of the secular, and He does not need our worship (though He does want our communion with Him, according to A Course in Miracles, the Text).  God does not have an ego with which to accept the praise that traditional religion has asked us to give to Him.  But we ourselves do need to be thankful for His generous blessings, and the fact that He is always here for us, even (especially) when we fail to recognize His Presence.

2 – What Do We Want in Life?

Today let us get very quiet within ourselves, and ask in genuine calm if Jesus doesn’t have it right here.  What do we really want in this life?  Jesus mentions rest, quiet joy, love, safety and security, and soft assurance of certainty in our hearts.  Jesus does not mention “success” as the world views success.  Is it not therefore likely that we are amiss when we seek for the successes that this world recognizes?  All blessings in the list are intangibles, even the reference made to “home” is considered to be metaphorical.  If we pray for the blessings in this list, are we not praying in God’s Will?  And will He not grant what is in His Will?

3 – Our Real Will and God’s Are Identical

Remember that our real will and God’s are identical.  He chooses for us what we really want.  But he does give us the free will to reject what He has offered, though He does set limits on our miscreation.  If He did not set limits on our miscreation, we would be lost indeed.  So let us be thankful that we can stray from Him just so far.

4 – Living in a Dream

Pain is the way that, more often than not, we know that we have strayed.  This does not mean that every illness is an indictment from God.  Certainly not.  We live in a world of dreams, and our Selves can choose illness for a myriad of reasons, most often being a way to learn.  Yet we can learn through rewards (an ACIM tenet), and we might spend some time today asking that our pains be reduced and our rewards be increased.  Learning through rewards is lasting, and learning through pain is not.  Sometime, somehow, we realize that there is another way.  And then we are ready to find it.  A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are two courses that seek to set us on the pathway back to God and all holiness that, in our dreams, we have forgotten.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the intangibles of rest, peace, certainty of the heart, and the like–intangibles that you have offered to me so freely.  When I seek for success as measured by this world, I often seek amiss.  But Your will is that I have these intangibles that are Your blessings.  When I ask for them, Your giving them to me is assured.  Thank You for the gentleness of Your response.

I would learn through rewards, not pain.  I would choose the way of Jesus, a way which is sure to be lasting.  Pain teaches, but only for a season.  We have to come to know, eventually, that there is another way to live, another way other than encountering pain wherever we look.  I would find that other way today.  And when I do so, I will  not cease to thank You for the joy that You are so desirous to give me.

Amen.

To Sing a Song of Gladness

“Ages have passed since creation began, and still you have not learned the lesson of the birds of the air or the flowers of the field.  Two thousand years have passed since you were told to observe this lesson.  The lilies of the field neither sow not reap and yet they are provided for.  The birds of the air live to sing a song of gladness.  So do you.

“God’s will for you is happiness, and never has it been otherwise.  (A Course of Love, 9.32 – 9.33)”

Affirmation:  “I would live as the lilies of the field, the birds of the air.”

Reflections:van gogh - tree5

1 – An Ideal

How do we respond to this ideal, for it is an ideal?  We know that we have to do things in this world to provide for our families and ourselves, and so how can Jesus be serious with us when he invokes this long-ago parable?

2 – Effortlessness

We can work in a way that is effortless, for when we have given all to All, we know peace and joy in the midst of the most hard work.  We are not fooling ourselves at such times.  It is really possible to know ease in the midst of great work.  Work with ease, and we will live a long and fruitful like that will allow us to feel very much like the lilies of the field and the birds of the air.

3 – Calm and Centered

Do I say this on blind faith?  No.  When we are calm and centered, collected, the hardest work seems to be a “breeze.”  But when we become agitated, even the simplest effort becomes a chore of the greatest proportions.

4 – Attitude

We need today to ask fot the help that we need to do our necessary work with ease and delight.  If we are not where God would have us in our work, ask to be led elsewhere, and He will oblige.  But do not think that a change of venue is always what is needed.  Attitude makes a huge difference.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to be calm and collected today in all the various tasks that I think I have to do.  Some of these tasks may not be necessary, and I ask You to guide me to delete those that are unnecessary.  Be with me for the necessary ones.  I know that You will be with me, for You are always.  And for that I thank You.

Help me to remain calm and collected at all times, now and into the future.

Amen.

How Is Quiet Found?

“How is this quiet found?  No one can fail to find it who but seeks out its conditions.  God’s peace can never come where anger is, for anger must deny that peace exists.  (M-20.3)”

Affirmation:  “peace only today”

Reflections:

1 – Quiet

We will not fail in our endeavors when we are seeking out the conditions that lead to quiet.  When we have forsaken anger, we are making progress.  But doing so, forsaking anger, may be hard for us, as human beings, to accomplish.  That is why we need help.  And the Holy Spirit is always there to help.  Jesus is there to help if we ask him (“one unequivocal call,” a quotation from A Course in Miracles).

2 – Eliminate Anger

May we find this quiet today.  And when anger threatens to engulf us, let us seek out the conditions that will eliminate the anger.  How might we do this?  We must remember that anger is always of the ego, and we have willed the ego to leave us.  Anger is also brought on, in my experience, by stress (though not stated in ACIM).  Anger and attack have no justification, according to the Text.  We live in an insane world, and anger and attack are part of this insanity.  We would leave behind the insanity by choosing quiet over anger.

3 – God’s Peace

We will not have God’s peace as long as anger is a part of our experience.  It is certainly true that we don’t make this transition all at once.  Anger may rear its ugly head repeatedly (and A Course of Love makes this clear).  But as we experience the peace that passeth understanding (from the Bible), we realize that anger is not what we want.  We want the peace of God.

4 – Invite Peace

May we find peace today.  May we do the things that invite peace, and we have not come this far in A Course in Miracles without making some decisions about what to do and how to act.  We will continue to fall down from time to time, but we need to just pick ourselves up and try again.  And the Holy Spirit will always help.  It is His role.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would fall in line with the Holy Spirit’s guidance today, and in His guidance is found peace.  I will seek out the conditions of peace, which involve finding time for quiet reflection.  I know that You are found in quiet and in silence  You speak to us in silence through the Holy Spirit, our Universal Inspiration.  May I find some of His Inspiration today.

I would not be anger over anything, for I know that anger is an interpretation.  Nobody gets angry at facts; it is always an interpretation that gives us the emotion of anger.  Jesus tells me this in A Course in Miracles, and I believe his words.  May all whom I see today gain something from the peaceful countenance that I mean to present to the world.  Especially I ask for help in bringing peace to my significant others, especially my most significant brother.

Be with all of us today, on this, the first day of the rest of the eternity that we will live.

Amen

Joy = Avoid Attack

“Attack can enter only if perception of separate goals has entered.  And this must indeed have been the case if the result is anything but joy.  (M-17.3)”

Affirmation:  “I would know joy today.”

Reflections:

1 – We All Want Love

Our brothers and sisters, and you and I, truly have no separate goals.  We may want different things, but we really, at the base, want only love in all its manifestations.  If we think that we want something else, we are deluding ourselves.  And this is always a form of insanity.

2 – Insanity in ACIM

A Course in Miracles says that virtually all of us are insane to one degree or another.  Only when we have experienced Awakening can we feel surely that we are at least partially sane.  And the experience of Awakening can come and go, not being sustained because our ego has not yet withered away.  We are very human in this world, and we make many mistakes.  The Holy Spirit can eliminate these repeated mistakes, if we will only give him a “little willingness” (quotations from ACIM).

3 – No Attack / Only Joy

I would not entertain attack in any form today, because I would know joy.  This is ample motivation!  If I am tempted to want to attack, then I will take a timeout, exit the room, and quiet myself down.  Sometimes the only thing that works in anger is a sudden removal from the temptation to attack.  Counting to ten in the same room as the one with whom we are angry will not always work.  Walking to another room, and stilling the emotions, is far more effective.  Many of us only get angry when we are stressed.  We need to get quiet, and the stress will dissipate.  (These ideas are not discussed in ACIM.)

4 – Joy = Our Inheritance

Joy is our inheritance.  We would do well to accommodate ourselves to this lofty blessing, and to do so we must relinquish anger and attack in all its forms.  Anger and attack have no foundation in truth (a paraphrase from the Text).  We are always angry at nothing, at an illusion.  If we recognize that our brother or sister is actually part of our illusion, we will not get angry regardless of what happens in the dream (i.e., the illusion).  We would not get angry at someone who was certifiably insane.  We might regret their behavior, but we would know that these individuals have reduced accountability.  And when they are once again in a sane mind, they will act more responsibly.  It is the same for all of us, because we all have insanity (an ACIM tenet).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May all of us leave insanity behind today.  When our egos are in charge, we insane to one degree or another.  We would not let our egos drive us around today.

May we know the joy of find You in all our dealings.  May we stay calm and serene, at peace with whatever happens.  May we just let the ego disappear, wither away faster rather than slower, embrace the love that is our inheritance.

If we fall on our faces today in any way, may this anger/attack leave us as suddenly as it arrived.  We do want to stay peaceful, in the extreme.  No other way is Your way, and we would follow Your way always.  Help us to stay true to this determination.

Thank You.

Amen.

Quiet Listening

“Learn to be quiet, for His Voice is heard in stillness.  And His Judgment comes to all who stand aside in quiet listening, and wait for Him.  (M-15.2)”

Affirmation:  “Let me be quiet awhile today.”

Reflections:

1 – Benign Judgment

“His Judgment” is not bad; we only make mistakes, and these can be corrected.  If we cannot make amends with the person whom we have wronged, we can still ask forgiveness in quietness, and on some level we will be heard.  The Judgment of which this passage speaks is coming from the Holy Spirit, God’s Communicator with us.  It is always a benign judgment.

2 – Quiet

We cannot live well unless we live, at least from time to time, in quiet.  My quiet time used to be three times a day, which I spent in meditation.  This went on for ten years, and then six years ago I began to pray more, and I was quiet in that way.  Prayer works for me when I pray aloud, and frequently I do so when driving the car.  I do concentrate on the road, of course, but I am carrying on, also, a conversation with God.  Despite the noise of the car and the road,  I know this time as a particularly effective quiet time.

3 – Listening

We must try to follow God’s Way for us.  And we learn this Way in quiet listening.  Sometimes the Answer will come in a quiet “knowing,” and sometimes in just the next quiet words that come into our minds.  Sometimes we experience a feeling that we attribute to intuition.  There is no limit to the ways that the Holy Spirit can and does speak with us.

4 – Personal Experience

My favorite quiet time is early in the morning, before my husband awakes.  I slip out of the bedroom, and find an easy chair in our study.  There I sit quietly, thinking, sometimes, of the day ahead.  This time alone, before the day begins, is a very effective way to get close to God in my thinking.  If I miss this time, I know it.  So I try not to miss being alone first thing in the morning.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be still and quiet a bit today, to hear Your Voice.  I would relax, so that my body accommodates to my wish to hear You.  I would listen with a warm and soft heart.  Help me to do all of these things, for without Your help I am lost.

Be with me today.  I have already done a good bit of work this morning, and I am already tired.  If I could relax during my work, I could get along better and for longer periods of time.  Help me to do this tomorrow morning.  And today:  Help me to relax today even as I continue to work.

Be with all my loved ones.  I cannot control their destinies, but I do turn them over to You.  And I turn myself over to You also.  As always.

Amen

Power, Fame, Money, Physical Pleasure = Meaningful to Body

“It takes great learning both to realize and to accept the fact that the world has nothing to give.  What can the sacrifice of nothing mean?  It cannot mean that you have less because of it.  There is no sacrifice in the world’s terms that does not involve the body.  Think a while about what the world calls sacrifice.  Power, fame, money, physical pleasure; who is the ‘hero’ to whom all these things belong?  Could they mean anything except to a body?  (M-13.2)”

 

Affirmation:  “I need sacrifice nothing.”

Reflections:

1 – The World Has Nothing to Offer

Most of us do not really yet believe that the world has nothing to offer.  We are still that much caught up in the ego.  As long as we are egocentric, we will seek for power, fame, physical pleasure.  But when the ego has withered, at least a little, we will instead seek the intangibles of God–the love, joy, peace, tranquility, calm, quiet.  And we can be happy in this world, so long as we are not chasing rainbows of materialism.  God wants our material needs satisfied also, but if we devote ourselves only to the material, we lose out on so much more.

2 – Happy Dreams the Holy Spirit Brings

And we do find in this world the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (from the Workbook).  The reason for the happy dreams is that we would be too terrified by the sudden appearance of Awakening.  A gentler dream needs to precede Awakening.  And so we are prepared carefully for the great blessing of Awakening.

3 – Patience

It does take great learning to accept these ideas.  And it takes patience to assimilate them.  Teachers must repeat their lessons until they are learned, and Jesus himself has set the precedent for this in the Text, when he said that nothing that we do or make, etc., creates our worth.  Our worth is given us by God.

4 – Heaven on Earth

So do we write off the world and escape into some otherworldly heaven?  I think not.  We can experience heaven on earth, but we have to meet the conditions, which involve an egoless experience.  So long as we are fueled by the ego, we will know vicissitudes of joy and sorrow in an alternating fashion.  And the guilt that the ego would drive us to would be hell indeed.  (Elsewhere the Text affirms that guilt is hell.)

5 – Values Will Change

We seek to enjoy God’s intangibles and to love our brothers and sisters (as well as ourselves, which is necessary for all love to proceed from us).  We do not need to sacrifice anything that is truly good.  Our values will change as we walk farther along the pathway to God.  And we will not seek the inferior values that all too often are present in this world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am extremely grateful that, after studying A Course in Miracles for a long time, I can honestly say to You that the pleasures of this world do not mean as much to me as they once did.  I am not above wanting pleasures of this world, but it is more important to me to know Your peace, joy, harmony, and calm.  Thank You for walking with me far enough along the pathway to You that I have made this shift in my values.

May I be understanding if others do not share this concept.  It takes a long while to understand that this world does not really offer anything that is lasting, and only the lasting is the eternity that we all seek, whether we know it or not.  May my walk into eternity today include my brothers and sisters, and may I not make demands upon them that they are not yet ready to accommodate.

Amen.

Rest Untroubled / Gently Reassured

ACIM Workbook Lesson 194 – for Friday, July 13, 2012

Affirmation:  “I place the future in the Hands of God.”
“Now are we saved indeed.  For in God’s Hands we rest untroubled, sure that only good can come to us.  If we forget, we will be gently reassured.  If we accept an unforgiving thought, it will be soon replaced by love’s reflection.  And if we are tempted to attack, we will appeal to Him Who guards our rest to make the choice for us that leaves temptation far behind.  No longer is the world our enemy, for we have chosen that we be its Friend.  (WB371)”

Reflections:

1 – Euphoria vs. Dejection

I do not think that we often think of the world as our “enemy.”  But it is quite possible that, as Jesus says, this is a legitimate way to think of the what we have made the world to be for ourselves.  Driven by the ego, and with an imprisoned will (ACIM tenet), we find ourselves alternating euphoria (when the ego has “won”) and dejection (when the ego has been deflated).  If the ego were sane, we would never be in this predicament.  But living with our ego has driven our own minds to madness.  And this Jesus would not have for us.

2 – How Do We Get the Madness Out?

How do we get the madness out?  A frontal assault on the ego will not work, as the ego would just go underground, where its machinations would continue–disturbing our peace of mind and giving us bad dreams in a reality that is not truly “real.”  We simply are bidden to turn aside from the ego’s promptings, and often this may be seen by us as those things to which egotistical desire is a motivation.  We turn aside the ego’s promptings gently, because the ego is strong in strife (an ACIM tenet).

3 – A Different Way to Live

Does this turning aside from the ego seem a hopelessly impossible task?  If so, try to learn a different way to live, the way outlined in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.  Try to give over attack, judgment, and planning that is not inspired by the Holy Spirit to a Higher Power.  This Higher Power is, in fact, the Holy Spirit, and He will come to our call.  Jesus promises the same, i.e., to come in respond to “one unequivocal call” (ACIM quotation).

4 – We Need Help

We need help.  It is the ego that thinks this makes us less, to admit our defeat in trying to live by the ego’s dictates.  But it is the wisest reasoning, and it is a reasoning that is inspired by intuition, one of the primary ways that our Guide (the Holy Spirit) speaks to us.  We will find, as time goes by, that turning on a dime, when we receive prompting is a very freeing way to live.  We may not know what will come afterward, but we do learn, through this method, the next right step.

5 – The Next Right Step

And knowing that next right step makes all the difference.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for the fact that currently my life is going smoothly.  Everyone has difficulties from time to time, and I would stay in touch with You during the easy times as well as the problems.  Thank You that all in my immediate circle are emotionally and physically well.  Thank You that I am emotionally and physically well.  May my brothers and sisters whom I do not know move into this certain realm, where You are there and all is well.

Be with us throughout the day.  Thank You specifically for this Workbook lesson, one that is so reassuring and compels peace to enter our minds and hearts.  Be with us today to keep serene in the midst of the ordinary path that we walk.

Thank You.

Amen.

When Not at Peace

“I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at peace.
I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise.
I want to decide otherwise, because I want to be at peace.
I do not feel guilty, because the Holy Spirit will undo all the
   consequences of my wrong decision if I will let Him.
I choose to let Him, by allowing Him to decide for God for me.  (T90)”

Affirmation:  “I can decide for peace.”

Reflections:

1 – Choose Peace Moment by Moment

This passage is a lovely blank verse poem.  If we are not at peace, we have made one or more errors.  We are in charge in making the decisions that will bring us to peace.  We can decide otherwise, and thus choose peace, moment by moment.

2 – Do Not “Study” the Ego

If we have already chosen wrongly, we may feel an ennui that is hard to describe.  This appears to be a time that we need to be especially protective of ourselves, but actually it is a prime time that we need to turn to the Holy Spirit for guidance.  We have seen or done something that has made for increased fatigue, either mental or physical, and until we get to the root of the problem, we will suffer.  We are not to study the ego, though!  Jesus specifically says in A Course in Miracles that the ego (this part of ourselves that has led us astray) approves our study of it, that this study seems to increase its importance to us (from the Text).  But if we find fatigue, an unnatural fatigue, steeling over us, perhaps we need to stop what we are doing and commune with the Holy Spirit.  He will respond with some quiet thoughts that will come automatically into the mind, when we have calmed down the agitation enough to listen.  (These are interpretations of ACIM, not stated therein.)

3 – Undoing Eliminates Guilt

We do not have to feel guilty, because of the power and glory of the Holy Spirit.  He can undo the consequences of our wrong action or thought–the error that made us lose our peace in the beginning.

4 – “Perfectly Calm and Quiet

Peace is a great blessing.  All of us would choose it, rather than drama, if we would give it more thought.  “Perfectly calm and quiet” is said elsewhere in the Course as the direction in which we are heading.  We may, actually, not welcome this now, because we are tied to our dramas, but as we choose more and more the peace that God grants, we will know the genius of this proscription.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to decide for peace, not drama.  I am in charge of this decision, with the help of the Holy Spirit.  If I am not at peace, I have decided wrongly.  I choose now to change this decision to one of peace.

Help me to know the value of being perfectly calm and quiet all the time.  May the Holy Spirit, day by day, lead me in this direction.

Amen.

Perfectly Calm and Quiet

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

Affirmation:  “Peace is the ego’s greatest enemy.”

Reflections:

1 – Attack Strengthens the Ego

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?  I think not.  We can take a timeout, a break of any kind, exiting ourselves from the irritating situation.  We can say a mantra, breathe deeply, especially pray for calm–all of which are personal recommendations not cited in A Course in Miracles.  We are most likely to attack when we are stressed.  We are most likely to get angry when we are stressed.  So, if we reduce the stress, we are well on our way to reducing the ego in ourselves.  And what a joy that is!  We think that egotistical thinking helps to fuel our ambition, to lead us to greater heights of achievement.  But actually we are pulled down by the ego in exact ratio to how much we seem to be on a lofty plane.  The ego is always being undone.  We have set  it up that way (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).

2 – Drama Best Avoided

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 the Course 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.  I have a friend who does not think that drama is all bad.  She indicated that she would not want to be “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time.  But lately she has been taking a prescribed mild tranquillizer, and she reported to me that she doesn’t go “over the top” anymore.  I plan to ask her eventually if “perfectly calm and quiet” is still not a goal that she would ever seek.  We are not living when we are caught up in adrenaline-producing drama.  We are riding the tide of the ego.

3 – Just Allow Peace to Be

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.

4 – A Better Way Shown in ACIM

The Course 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.  We will know a mellow feeling that is close to the peace that passeth understanding.  And we must not seek to get rid of this mellow feeling, even though, when unused to it, we may rush toward a drama-filled scenario again.  Let’s don’t do that.  It is completely counterproductive to everything that A Course in Miracles says.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

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, today, the peace that passeth understanding.  May I not seek to rush back to some drama-filled situation out of boredom.  May I put my quiet times to good use.  And may I be a blessing to my significant others as I walk through my day today.

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.

Calm and Quiet

“Can you imagine what it means to have no cares, no worries, no anxieties, but merely to be perfectly calm and quiet all the time?  Yet that is what time is for; to learn just that and nothing more. (T301)”

Affirmation:  “perfectly calm and quiet all the time”

 

Reflections:

1 – Calm and Quiet Is Ahead for Us

How different we will be when we have awakened!  “Perfectly calm and quiet all the time.”  This description is hardly what we feel now.

2 – Drama Turns Negative

Perhaps all of us would not wish “calm and quiet” as a universal experience.  We are so used to busyness, with its attendant drama.  Yet drama turns negative all too often, and peace, the peace of God, is found in calm and quiet.

3 – Are Calm and Quiet Desirable?

Perhaps we do not now think that to live in calm and quiet all the time would be desirable.  Perhaps we still think that drama will make us feel more “alive.”  If so, we would do well to test out this recommended calm and quiet.  Spend moments with God that are calm and quiet, and see if these new emotions don’t create a desire for a more frequent calm and quiet in daily life.  We will live better when we are not scurrying about, filled with adrenalin rushes.  We will accomplish more and accomplish better.

4 – Blessings of God

We must try to see for ourselves what the blessings of God would bring to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for guiding me for a long time, long enough for me to know that being perfectly calm and quiet is desirable.  I do not always seek Your peace, but I do know that Your peace is a better choice than any other I have ever found.  

Help me not to escalate the difficulties that come with living in this world.  May I turn aside from self-created drama, and may I turn aside from the drama that my brothers and sisters try to engage me in.  I would not seek drama for any reason, knowing that to do so is to give up the peace that only You can give.

Be with me in the upcoming 24 hours.  Help me to be guided to the decisions that will bring calm and quiet to my significant others, all those who read this blog, any other people whom I encounter today, as well as myself.  Thank You for the love that You show to all of us irrespective of our own choice to seek You.  You seek us, whether or not we recognize Your seeking.

Thank You for being there for all of us.

Amen.

There Is No End to All the Peace and Joy

ACIM Workbook Lesson 355 – for Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Affirmation:  “There is no end to all the peace and joy,
And all the miracles that I will give,
When I accept God’s Word.  Why not today?”

“I need not wait an instant more to be at peace forever.  It is You I choose, and my Identity along with You.  Your Son would be Himself, and know You as his Father and Creator, and his Love.  (WB482)”

Reflections:

1 – Recommitment

This is yet another dedication of ourselves to God.  We need to realize that just accepting God once, or even myriad of times, is not enough.  Our acceptance of God and His Will has to be ongoing, a recommitment daily, and even moment by moment.

2 – “Create”

When we rededicate ourselves to God, we know peace and joy.  This is the great blessing.  We are at the point of “creating” rather than “making” our world.  We have accepted the Self/Christ Whom we are meant to be, and we are at peace.  What more could we really want?

3 – Perfectly Calm and Quiet

In the Text, we are told that we will ultimately want to be “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time.  Perhaps this did not seem a worthy goal at the time we first read it, but do we not see it now?  Have we not changed this much over the course of this year?

4 – An Ongoing Commitment

Let us accept God’s Word today, ultimately.  And then let us do the same tomorrow, and the day after.  There is no end to the joy and peace that we can know when we have accepted God’s Word as our own.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know peace and joy, in quietness and calm, today.  I would not rush through this harried world at all.  Your way is perfectly calm and quiet, and that is what You intend for us to emulate.  Help me to emulate You today.

I would recommit to You today.  I know that You need me never to forget You, as I walk through my days.  Help me to remember Your presence.  Help me to feel Your presence in my heart.  With that felt presence, I know that all will be well with me.  Thank You.

Amen.