Change from Within Works

“Imagine then, a society in which the prevalent legal view is simply that your brother or your sister is an aspect of yourself. And if you would help yourself, you must help them—meeting each cry for help and healing with forgiveness, love and support. Can you imagine, for a moment, what it would be like to live in such a society? How would it be different than the world you see?

“If you would have these things be different, it must begin with you. For the way to heal the world is not by seeking to change what is on the outside, but by first changing what is on the inside. When that change has occurred, you will become a conduit for an energy that knows how to use your gifts, and how to place you in just the right situations. And a great power will work effectively through you—the power alone that knows how to heal your world.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 3, Page 29)

The truth is that we ARE aspects of each other, for we are One. And this One includes all the people in the world, as well as all energy everywhere. If we realize that to harm another is to harm ourselves, we will be less likely to strike out. In fact, we won’t strike out at all.

This truth becomes clearer when we realize that we think we have been harmed, and we want to lash out. Why would we hurt another as we have been hurt if we are all the same?

We wouldn’t. I can imagine that even our penal system would alter tremendously when we realize that we are all One. We all have the potential to harm.

We need to meet bad things with an attempt to heal. Everything negative is actually a call for help and healing, and when we realize this, and express a desire to help and heal, we are on the right track.

We can’t actually alter the exterior unless we have first altered the interior, our very propensities emanating from our personalities as well as our souls. This is what traditional Christianity says, including the orator Billy Graham. The buck stops here. We are in need to change, first, before we can take that change and influence our world—indeed, even create a new world.

Change from within works. Nothing else does.

Advertisements

Heal the Inner Altar

“For perfect effectiveness the Atonement belongs at the center of the inner altar, where it undoes the separation and restores the wholeness of the mind. (T-2.II.2)”

Atonement is what we need, more than anything. All of us recognize this, however dimly, though sometimes we have trouble wrapping our minds around what Atonement really means. This developing problem is due, in large part, to the fact that our traditional Christianity looks to the crucifixion, first, and only then, later, to the resurrection. The crucifixion is seen as a shedding of blood that God required of a perfect Son in order to remove the taint of sin from all of us.

This interpretation, Jesus says in A Course in Miracles, is not accurate, and, so, if we believe the Jesus who channeled ACIM, we will see that Jesus looks to his resurrection as the defining moment in Atonement. Nowhere in either A Course in Miracles nor A Course of Love does Jesus say that the resurrection didn’t happen. Of course, we may wonder exactly how he could have been resurrected, and Jesus does not stop us from wondering. He lets us decide for ourselves.

But there is great clarity around the idea that the message of the crucifixion was wholly benign, that Jesus presented himself as innocent, and totally defenseless, and he did not attack back in any way whatsoever. In this, he developed the pattern for us not to attack in circumstances that would be far less extreme than his own.

Here, in this quotation, Jesus is noting that the inner altar has become defiled, not from sin, but from mistakes that are wholly correctable. And God would have us look to the true innocence of our inner altar. This inner altar is in the same place, we may presume, as the inner Self. And this inner Self is our Christ Self, which we wish to keep as pure as it has always been. We do not want our inner altars to remain defiled.

We want the separation healed. And looking to the inner altar as a place of purity will be a healing thought. Then our minds are healed, and we rejoin the great crusade to bring others to God. Our minds are no longer split between the ego and love. They are just consumed by Love, which is God. We are a part of God, always, and now we are in communication with him, with open channels, once again. God does not need to think that His channels to us are closed. The separation has been healed, along with our minds.

How Should the Teacher of God Spend His Day?

“Broadly speaking, then, it can be said that it is well to start the day right. It is always possible to begin again, should the day begin with error. Yet there are obvious advantages in terms of saving time. (M-16.2)”

1 – The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne

This passage from A Course in Miracles is echoed in the popular book The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne. There is detailed the fact that stumbling when getting out of bed often starts a chain reaction, because we rue the beginning of the day, our thoughts turn negative, and then a little bit of everything seems to go wrong.

2 – We Create Our Own Reality

The Secret affirms that we create our own reality, we draw to us that which happens to us. And the work includes many examples of how better things, particularly material things, can come to us when we image those better things in our minds, affirming that our minds are very powerful.

3 – Positive Thinking

I recommend positive thinking on getting out of bed in the morning. I believe that the intangibles are more to be desired than the ego-oriented material aspects of our world. I also believe that we will never remain satisfied, regardless of how many material things we acquire, if we don’t have a handle on these intangibles of peace, joy, contentment, harmony, and the like. In my spiritual orientation, these intangibles are the blessings of God. And we can create these in our reality as well. These spiritual aspects are emphasized in two later books by Rhonda, entitled The Power and The Magic. In these two books, she focuses on the importance of gratitude and the importance of love in creating our reality.

4 – If the Day Begins Badly. . .

If the day begins badly, if we stump our toe, for example, we need a quick restorative. And this can come through The Secret’s emphasis on gratitude in daily life, which certainly is a spiritual concept.

5 – Gratitude

Gratitude expressed throughout a day is a day well spent.

6 – No Planning Necessary

The lesson for today from the Workbook of A Course in Miracles goes on to affirm that we do not need to plan our day. This is something that I especially need to hear, maker of “to do” lists that I am. It is true that we need a plan, but that plan is best, according to ACIM, the plan of the Holy Spirit, who will prompt us at various junctures about what to do next. This idea of guidance is not well-recognized in our world, and that is such a pity. Anyone who has met the Holy Spirit knows that He will guide us to the degree that we are open to His guidance. He will develop a flow to our day, and the day will indeed be marvelous, even if bad things happen. We will be largely impervious to those bad things, seeing them but not being intimately damaged by what we view.

7 – Offer Solace

We do need to offer solace to our brothers and sisters on this earth, though, especially if they are creating a reality that is detrimental to their well-being.

8 – Blaming the Victim

I do have a cautionary note. We all too often, in New Age circles, think that the individual who is suffering has somehow brought this suffering on themselves. But I believe that it is the Self that makes these decisions, not the personal self. And so the “little I” is innocent of the bad that seems to follow us into this world. The Self that is within, the Christ within, selects happenings that are intended to broaden our perspective. We sometimes suffer for a larger purpose. But it doesn’t have to be this way, and as soon as we ask for surcease, we are released from the pain. The physical and emotional pain may not subside immediately, of course, but the way has been paved. And the Self always has our best interests at heart. We can ask, as Jesus in the Text of ACIM recommends, that we learn through rewards, a more lasting learning experience than anything that pain can bring us.

9 – You Do Not Have to Learn through Pain

“You do not have to learn through pain,” we learn in ACIM. What a blessing this assertion really is. And all we have to do to merit this end is to step forward and claim it.

Affirmation: “I am going to do what I can to have a good day today.”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May this day go well. I am starting over, because already there has been some stress in my day, self-generated. I know that getting a slower start in the morning is good. And I know that when I get that slower start, the rest of the day falls in place.

May I have Your guidance to create my reality. I know that Your blessings are intangibles, though You know that we need the material also. I especially pray for peace in this sometimes difficult world. May my brothers and sisters, as well as myself, live in harmony with each other.

Amen.

Salvation = Game that Happy Children Play

Starry-Night - van gogh
“Realize that this game of chance [tension between desire and accomplishment] is a pattern of the old thought system that needs to be replaced by certainty. If you have enjoyed the game of chance, play a real game and have fun doing it. Do not bring this attitude into your new thought system or your new life. If you are tired of the old, be willing to be done with the old. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 22.15)”

Affirmation: “There is no challenge in reality.”

Reflections:

1 – No Challenge to the Advanced Teacher of God

The passage for today indicates that there is no challenge—to the advanced teacher of God (from A Course in Miracles). To my mind, the tension between desire and accomplishment IS challenge. And we do not want to reinforce this attitude. We want to be done with the old.

2 – Guidance

According to the Manual of A Course in Miracles, there is no challenge to the advanced teacher of God because he/she follows guidance. He/she chooses for all humankind at the same time as choosing for the self. He/she makes no mistakes (be careful for this, for we oscillate in and out of favor), because his Guide (in ACIM, the Holy Spirit) is sure. He/she knows that his/her decisions are based on knowledge that is far beyond anything that he/she can comprehend alone.

3 – Certainty

If we are tired of playing this game of chance, in that some things turn out well and others don’t, know that we can be through with this particular game. Instead, let us play the happy game of salvation, a “game that happy children play” (from ACIM). Let us choose what we say and do with the certainty that has been denied us previously. We can know certainly only by following guidance, and, with A Course of Love, this guidance is the word coming from the inner Self, Christ. We make no mistakes when we are on the beam with this. But we have to realize that we are not perfect in this world, and mistakes will still happen. This keeps us humble, and this also keeps us listening to the inner voice of guidance.

4 – Glimpses of the Real World

Are we weary of this world? There is a way out, and it is not death. We can, most of us, catch glimpses of the real world before Awakening turns out life aright all the time. The first turning is by grace of God, but there are things that we can do to increase glimpses once they have begun. Prayer, study, and communion with God—all increase the likelihood that these glimpses will increase qualitatively and quantitatively.

5 – A Prayer

May we know more today than yesterday, and may we know more tomorrow than today. Always, though, living in the present.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be cognizant today of taking part in a real game, not a game of conflict and disaster. I would see salvation as a game that happy children play, knowing that the lighthearted touch is best.

Be with me to clue me in to the right way to proceed. And thank You for Your presence, which always brings a feeling of warmth and a feeling of being loved.

Amen.

God’s Will Identifies My Real Desire

van gogh - sunflowers
“What you desire now is the Will of God because it is your true desire, your will and God’s joined as one. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 22.14)”

Affirmation: “I desire God’s will, which is the same as my real will.”

Reflections:

1 – Guidance

An echo of A Course in Miracles, this passage for today emphasizes why we ought to listen to guidance or intuition, or whatever way in which we understand God’s Voice reaching us. If we are following ACIM, this way will be the Voice of the Holy Spirit. If we are following A Course of Love, this way will be the inner Christ leading us home. In actuality, because All is One, I see no effectual differences between these two. We can appeal to the triune God to see how this might be: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

2 – Choice

The realization that God chooses for us (or the Holy Spirit chooses for us) is the realization that we want no alternate will. He chooses the way that will make us the happiest, and happiness is a laudable goal. He also chooses the path toward Awakening, or Christ-consciousness, or enlightenment, or salvation (there is no real difference in these terms).

3 – God’s Will

For those of us, myself included, who have wrestled as Jonah did with God’s will, we can now recognize that the wrestle is a false issue. God does not bend us to His will if we are unwilling. But, in effect, He says, “Choose this way, for it will make you happiest.” The Holy Spirit in ACIM chooses very small details of our everyday life, setting up the flow of events and circumstances so that we have good days. Even when times are tough, still is this true. The times will not be experienced as tough when we stay close to guidance and God. We will sail through as though there were no barriers to our happiness.

4 – Listening Internally

So the Holy Spirit (in ACIM) chooses “for us” (from ACIM). His way is the one that we would choose if we understand all circumstances, past and present, as well as future. Of course, it is impossible for us to know all of this, and this is why we need an informed Guide. We need to give up our personal judgments, which are always false, and listen to an inner voice.

5 – The Pathway

We will walk the pathway with surety when we follow that inner voice.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would listen to inner knowledge, knowing that I am guided every step of the way—if I listen correctly. May I recognize that I can still make mistakes, even big mistakes, but I pray that I will follow instead, Your way, accurately.

Be with me as I go about my day. Help me to correct my wrongs. Give me the grace to see Your way in everything. There is no better way to live an egoless existence than to follow You moment by moment.

Amen.

Bored? Tired of the Way Things Are?

van gogh - landscape“This [your wandering attention] has been necessary so that the realization will come to you that you are ready to leave the personal self and the concerns of the personal self behind. You have needed to become bored with what has been, tired of the way things were, uninterested in matters of a personal nature. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 22.10)”

Affirmation: “I would leave the personal self behind in favor of the Self today.”

Reflections:

1 – Transition

Elsewhere we learn that the personal self does not really get left behind (the way that is described by Jesus here), but is transcended into the Self who is the Christ within. How do we make this transition?

2 – Bored with the Ways of the Personal Self

Jesus says that the way has been paved for us in A Course of Love when we recognize that we have become actually bored with the ways of the personal self. We don’t want things to be as they have always been. We don’t care so much what happens to the personal self, and by this it is likely that Jesus means the personal self as embodied by the ego (an interpretation, not stated in A Course in Miracles or ACOL).

3 – Bored with the ACOL Discussion?

We can even become bored with the discussion in ACOL that we are reading, and, believe it or not, I think that this is a good sign. We are once again examining the ego, and examining the ego, when encased in it, is praised by that same ego. This focus on ego dynamics proves to the false self (the ego) that it is important and worthy of study.

4 – Madness

Nothing could be further from the truth. The ego is dysfunctional, a persona that is mad or insane. And all of us have experienced insanity for eons, not knowing any better, and not being able to extricate ourselves from the insanity.

5 – Eckhart Tolle

We can do so now, but it takes great learning and much patience (paraphrases from the Text of ACIM). Eckhart Tolle, a spiritual teacher who experienced Awakening some 30 years previously, has said that more and more of us are reaching Awakening, that he hears of this in his mail and in encountering individuals in his work just all the time. He feels that he is at an epicenter of what is happening, not that this appeals the ego in him (which is dead), but that his own commentary and teaching make him a logical contact for those who wish to understand more of what is happening to them.

6 – Flowering

May this be true! May many of us “flower” in this way, the way of Christ-consciousness or Awakening. Eckhart feels that unless humankind makes the shift soon, we are doomed, and he cites the huge murder of countless innocent people in the Twentieth and Twentieth-First Centuries as evidence of the doom that may await us.

7 – Home

I would not be so pessimistic, but I would try to be realistic. God is at work in our world, and He will lead all those who are ready, lead us home. And we will not have long to wait.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for another good day. Thank You for this good period. It helps to have smooth days and days without major troubles of any kind. The smoothing out of my days comes when I stay close to You, and help me always to remember this.

Thank You for the inspiration that comes to me in my reading and listening to audio books. Thank You for the words of wisdom that friends say, sometimes without fully realizing how much their words will impress on my heart. Be with me, and guide my speech as well.

All of us need You. We need to be aware of how great that need really is so that we are never tempted to go it alone. For going it alone never works well. We are not meant to walk this world in encased bodies, separate and apart from You and others.

Amen.

Have You Felt a Call about A Course of Love?

water-lilies - monet
“[W]hile I have said that no one is called to leadership and while I have surely meant this and do not call for leaders to amass followers, I do not mean to dissuade any of you who feel a call to represent this course and the teachings of this course with your lives and work. Those who feel this call are surely needed. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 22.2)”

Affirmation: “I would answer the call today.”

Reflections:

1 – Personal Experience

Have you felt a call about A Course of Love? I did so, and though it took me a few years to fully respond, I did eventually do so, and I hope I did so in an egoless state of mind. ACOL has not met with the same enthusiasm that A Course of Miracles enjoys, yet I find the material to be a logical sequel and fully helpful. The first, ACIM, sought to dislodge the ego, but many stayed stuck in that dilemma: Had the ego been dislodged? And, if so, what comes next? Do we just patiently wait for Awakening? Is that enough?

2 – Dilemma

I think that Jesus saw the dilemma of students/teachers of A Course in Miracles, and so sought to expand upon his teaching in A Course of Love. And, yes, there are other works that are believed to be channeled by Jesus. I do not make a judgment about those other works. I focus on A Course of Love, because this trilogy speaks to me as the next step in assimilating Jesus’s message of the Christ Self and the elevated Self of form, the next step when we have ultimately relinquished the ego, once and for all.

3 – Relinquishment

This is not easy to do. Jesus makes remarks in ACOL about our egos being gone, but those of us who are still rereading ACOL may find times when the ego is very much still with us. I do not think that we ought to dwell on such times, nor should we chastise ourselves that we are not perfect in relinquishment. It is enough to start the day over, a technique detailed in ACIM. And relinquish the ego again.

4 – The Egotistical

It is helpful to be sure that nothing we attempt to do is done for egotistical reasons, though the term “egotistical” is not all that is meant by the ego. It may be enough for now to refrain from doing those things that appear egotistical. And always commune with our Maker for the ways best to relinquish, to see the ego wither away. When we stay close to God, many things in our daily lives have a way of smoothing out.

5 – Not Perfect

We do not have to be perfect in relinquishment to answer a call to spread the word about A Course of Love. If we were required to be perfect in this work, none would be available to teach. We just have to be careful (and I tell this to myself) that we don’t claim more than is truly ours. I acknowledge to myself that I may be mistaken in an interpretation. I acknowledge fallibility.

6 – Try Again

And then I pick myself up and try again.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for a good day, not a perfect day, but a good day. Many of us have a multitude of blessings that we never acknowledge until a problem arises that causes the loss of something that we have failed to hold in gratitude. May we remember gratitude this day. May we never fail to remember gratitude.

Be with my brothers and sisters in this world. May we communicate well, in tolerant ways that bespeak nothing of the ego that we would disown. May every day see some part of the ego lose its hold on us.

Thank You for your help.

Amen.

The Time of Christ

monet's garden“While this has been called the time of Christ, it is obviously no longer the time of Jesus Christ. My time came and my time ended. The time when a single baby born of a virgin mother could change the world has passed. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 21.21)”

Affirmation: “I meditate on Jesus’s place in this world today.”

Reflections:

1 – Jesus Clarifies

Jesus clarifies for us today: He says that this is the time of Christ, but not the time of Jesus Christ. He is saying that the example that he set a couple of thousand years ago is for an earlier time, though we can still learn from this era. One person, even such as he, cannot change this world any longer. He anticipates that many of us will move to make changes that we are led to make by our own internal Christ Self.

2 – Christ Does Not Just Mean Jesus

Also intuited in this brief quotation is the fact that “Christ” does not just mean Jesus. Of course, we have known this, because repeatedly I have referred to the Self/Christ or the Christ Self, and many other current day writers have done the same. “Christ” is an umbrella term for the individual manifestations of God in human beings who are living salvation, living Awakening or Christ-consciousness. And we do not have to sustain the elevated Self of form to live, intermittently, this Christ Self. Indeed, in the beginning, most people see only glimpses of the Self, glimpses that are carefully contained for a while, perhaps a long while.

3 – Personal Experience

I myself have had two extended periods of such glimpses: one when I was 23, for ten weeks over a relaxed summer; and the other when I was 34 to 35, for six months in an altered state of consciousness. I did not sustain either time, and both were many years ago. The second period was while I was first reading A Course in Miracles, and I suspect that I was one of those who was asked to change life experience almost immediately. I moved to another state in the US, and there lived and worked for that six-month period. Later, I returned to home grounds, and proceeded with my life—but a life that would not be the same after this experience.

4 – Continued. . .

Why have I not sustained Awakening? I try not to ask this question, for it suggests that I have somehow failed. I know that such an interpretation is not the whole answer, and so I focus on what I learned in those two altered states of being. In the first and in the second, I was anxiety-free, and so I had left fear behind. Would that this were still possible! But I try to be patient, and to recognize that the elevated Self of form is not often sustained, and I may do more good by detailing my experience of “glimpses” than if I had actually experienced all that Jesus holds out to us as promise.

5 – Listen

So we listen to the Christ Self within. I can imagine that many times we are free of stress and free of fear/anxiety. At such times the ego withers away from our perception. And each such time can be sustained for a while. The fact that we don’t sustain this wonderful state keeps us humble. We realize that we cannot merit this form of heaven, of home. God takes the initiative of reaching down to lift us up when He deems that we are ready. And that first step, we must remember, is His and His alone.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for this day, this day of joy. May tomorrow be a harbinger of good times ahead as well. I ask for patience as I run the race that I am set upon. Help me to fulfill Your way in my daily life. Help me to be tolerant and kind. May I be ever more loving.

Guide me each moment, even when I forget. Thank You for Your Presence which fills my life from time to time. Daily life would not be same if You withdrew. Thank You for staying near.

Amen.

A Persona

Garden_at_Sainte-Adresse - monet
“As was said at the beginning of this treatise, by the time the learning of this treatise is complete, the personal self will continue to exist only as the self you present to others. It will be a representation only. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 21.18)”

Affirmation: “May my personal self be a true representation of who I am.”

Reflections:

1 – Persona

The personal self does not leave us, because all of us need a persona to present to the world. But now, if we believe this treatise, we can present an accurate version of who we really are. We do not have to present a persona that is falsified by our own sense of inadequacy. This personal self, for us now, is a representation only. And by that, I think that Jesus means that it is not the whole of who we are. A representation means that the self presents a version of itself that is not reflective of the whole, because that would be impossible. No one can see the whole of who we are. We cannot even see it. But it is there, and it is the Christ Self, the Self living in Christ-consciousness, once this blessing has descended upon us.

2 – Christ-Consciousness

Christ-consciousness is the term used in A Course of Love to replace the word, Awakening, from A Course in Miracles. Another word, meaning the same, is enlightenment. And in the Bible, salvation is used. Christ-consciousness and Awakening, though, are the final step in a long process, a step that many of us cannot yet reach. God takes that final step for us, for we do not “achieve” enlightenment. We are merited by the grace of God. But to reach this pinnacle, we have to understand certain things. And these things cannot be learned in the usual meaning of that word. They are glimpses of a higher reality, a satori (an Eastern term). The glimpses ultimately end in the sustaining of Christ-consciousness.

3 – Eckhart Tolle

Does this happen often? No, but it is happening more frequently than ever before, for the world needs enlightened beings or we are doomed. Eckhart Tolle, who himself has experienced enlightenment (The Power of Now; A New Earth), says that individuals contact him frequently to have him explain the things that are happening to them, the things that come almost unbidden. Eckhart relinquished his self because of intense mental suffering when he was about 30 (some 30 years ago now), but A Course in Miracles indicates that we do not have to learn through pain. Learning through rewards is more lasting.

4 – Gentle Awakening

So we can hold out for a gentle Awakening, as promised in ACIM. We would avoid the scream of mortal terror (from the Text of ACIM) that would precede Awakening, unless we have been prepared. And ACIM and ACOL are preparing us. Let us listen well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would present a persona to the world that tries, as best it can, to be an accurate reflection of who I am. And I hope that that representation is worthy. Be with me to change me in ways that I need to change, to more accurately reflect the Self who is within.

May I see the satori, the two of them, that I have lived through expand into a larger concept of sustainability. Like everybody else who reads this, I too want a sustained Awakening. Help me to be patient, if patient is what I need to be. And may I not delude myself into thinking that I have awakened when in fact I have not. That would be a false representation of myself, and I would not have that.

Amen.

Our True Identity

“Now monet - water lilieshowever, you are being called to accept your true identity even while you retain the form of your personal self. As your true identity is that of a Self who exists in unity and the identity of your personal self is that of a self who exists in separation, this would seem impossible. Even while your belief system has changed and you believe that you exist in unity, all the things we have enumerated above will act to challenge these beliefs unless you are able to see them in a new light. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 21.17)”

Affirmation: “I would seek the elevated Self of form today.”

Reflections:

1 – Elevated Self of Form

This passage, above, highlights, in different words, the call that Jesus will make to us later on—the call to embody the elevated Self of form. In other words, we understand that we are One, in unity with All, including our brothers and sisters, but we retain the physical body, and that is identified so far with the personal or “little” self. To effect this change, we need to see life in a new light. We need to alter our beliefs to realize that we can embody the physical while keeping our hearts and minds on a higher plane.

2 – Christ Self

Our true identity is the Christ Self within, and we are called to accept this identity even while we embody the physical that has always been ours. We do not truly exist in separation, and we truly never have. But we have thought that we existed in separation, and so that became our “reality.” Now we are asked to relinquish this belief in favor of something far better as well as far greater. Our shift in perception (the definition of a miracle in A Course in Miracles) will truly embody the best change that we have ever known.

3 – Separate from Others?

We have always, when caught by the ego, believed that we were separate from each other as well as separate from God. This was always false, but we made it true for ourselves because we wanted it to be true. We thought that we lost something if we merged with God, following His will. We did not know that our real will is the same as His. But now we do know this. And we have, many of us, tested it out in daily experience. We know that when we follow intuition that we know to be true, guidance, that our lives turn out better. We know that our lives evolve more smoothly. And so we have the proof that heretofore we have lacked. Yet we got this proof by testing it out in daily experience. We followed guidance, as we perceived it, and when we perceived guidance rightly, we benefitted.

4 – Not Impossible

Don’t any longer think that what Jesus is asking of us is impossible. I trust him enough to believe that if he says we can do it, we can do it. We can embody the Christ Self, i.e., we can remain true to the Self within even as we continue to occupy a personal self that has become (in words described later in the Dialogues) a “spacious” self that no longer just “observes,” but who informs and is informed by the Whole of what we have found.

5 – Knowledge

This transition is not complex, though explaining it becomes a bit too complex. Just rest in the knowledge—and it is knowledge—that we can embody the elevated Self of form, and that Self is the Christ Self in physicality.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live mindfully today, letting the Self within shine forth. I would pay attention to the specific things that I do, knowing that living in the moment is the best preparation for embodying and sustaining the elevated Self of form

Help me to do this, for I know that I need Your help to effect change in the way that I go about my day. I would embody presence, which is a quiet realization that You are there with me. I would embody stillness, knowing that meditating upon what You guide me to think, say, and do will get me home more quickly than any other way—in fact, the only way to get me home.

May I do right by my brothers and sisters today. May I do right most especially by my significant others, for they are most affected by what I do. Guide all of us to do the will that is Yours, the will that we all share as what we truly want.

Amen.

The Time to Be Intolerant

The-Red-Boats-Argenteuil-by-Monet-2C-Claude-2C-France-4737-30210
“This will sound intolerant to you. It is a stance intolerant of illusion. You must no longer see illusion for it is no longer there! This is how you must live with it. You must live with it as you once lived with the truth. You must find it unobservable! It must become a concept only. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 21.9)”

Affirmation: “May I fail to observe illusions today.”

Reflections:

1 – Jesus

Intolerance is usually abhorrent to Jesus. But here he uses the word in a new way, a way that is actually a positive concept. We are to fail to observe illusions any longer. We will just not see them!

2 – Tolerance

This means that the illusory nature of much of the thinking of this world will fall from us. We will stand aside from it, not giving it any mind. This does not mean that we will avoid the people who are speaking illusion; we will be tolerant of them, as tolerant as we can be. (And this tolerance of others is an important point.) But we will know that much that is being said is gibberish. Not worth a moment’s notice. And so it will not be there for us any longer.

3 – Living in This World

How will we live in this world with such an attitude? Jesus knows that we lived in a world of illusions without giving any credence to the truth. So why not reverse this now, now that we know better?

4 – What Do We Have to Lose?

Why not indeed? What do we have to lose? Only our belief in the illusion that the ego can give us something that we want. And the belief that others have, still. We do not, though, set ourselves apart as though we were better, because we have this knowledge. Only time separates believers. And time is an illusion. All will eventually come to know.

5 – Trust

Trust today that what Jesus bides us do is possible, even probable in the world as we live it now. We have walked farther along the pathway, and today’s passage affirms that walking has gotten us what we need and want. A sensitivity to the truth, and, paradoxically, an intolerance to illusions (though not to the people who believe in illusions).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live with the truth, not illusions, in my heart and mind today. I would walk smoothly, without boredom, anger, lassitude, or other negative attributes. Help me to do this; assist me.

Be with me as I seek to develop an intolerance to illusions. But may I never develop an intolerance to my brothers and sisters who believe in illusions. I would not hate the “sinner,” though I know that this is not sin but only mistakes.

Help me to have a good day. I need You.

Amen.

Bring Love to Every Circumstance

monet - bridge“Remain who you are and continue to live by the laws of love in every circumstance, and you bring love to every circumstance. Be neither dismayed nor discouraged by those who do not see and have no willingness to offer. Just know these aren’t the ones given you to bring to love and trust that none will remain forever lost to his or her own Self. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 20.17)”

Affirmation: “I ask to reflect only love today.”

Reflections:

1 – Poor Example

We make a poor example of our faith, and we reflect poorly on A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, when we do not live in love. It is easy to let anger take over when someone baits us, or when we are threatened, or when we are simply stressed and have had all that we think we can take. But the answer is not to live this neurotic mess. The answer is to turn to the best that we know, which is love.

2 – Timeout

Take a timeout! That is the best advice. If we can’t escape the temptation, then get quiet. Just don’t say anything, unless that will antagonize your significant others even more. Usually we can turn aside a negative comment by a positive one of our own. If we don’t let the pain-body (as Eckhart Tolle describes in A New Earth) take over. The pain-body is our almost out-of-touch reactions to negativity, a need that the ego has to sound off from time to time. And we are very out of control when the ego is in charge.

3 – Be Present

How do we refrain from letting the pain that is within find an outlet? We can get very present, very poised. And don’t react at all to what someone else is saying. Try not to react, even, to what you are thinking. Just look within, to the inner Self, though we may not have actualized that Self in the way that Jesus hopes we will eventually. He hopes for us to arrive at Christ-consciousness, and we can ask for a glimpse of that bright moment when things are going awry for us.

4 – Live in Love

We need to live in love, for ourselves as well as others. We need to recognize that the good that we do lives on in other people. One quiet thought, expressed, will have waves of influence on other people, to say nothing of ourselves. We live in love when we express the best that is in our nature. And we know that even before the blessing of Awakening, or Christ-consciousness, has descended upon us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live in love today, regardless of whether or not there is any baiting going on around me. I do not have to retaliate; I can stay quiet, I can pray, and I can answer softly. I know that I always feel worse later if I reply angrily to any supposed attack. The attack can always be reframed as distress based on error, and, knowing this, I can forgive.

May today go smoothly for all of my brothers and sisters. They are filled with pain, sometimes, that I cannot comprehend. Knowing that, I can do no better than to offer solace—but reinforcement. Help me to walk the fine line between solace and reinforcement.

Thank You for help. You have never failed me. The times that I have had to wait for an answer have been few and far between. Thank You for the swiftness of Your responses.

Amen.

If Our Heart Is in the Right Place

Edgar_Degas_DEE028N“These calls go out from love to love. It is not the words of your mouth that will be heard or the language of your mind that will be responded to. It is the love within your heart that will sound the call. And when it is heard and your brother or sister reaches out to you, all you need ask for is a little willingness. All you need do is open the door through which love can enter. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 20.16)”

Affirmation: “I will ask for a little willingness for others to listen to the love in my heart.”

Reflections:

1 – If Our Hearts Are in the Right Place

If our hearts are in the right place, we will manifest love. And if they are in the wrong place, nothing that we try to do will turn out right. When we are on the beam, on the beam of love, then all that we need ask of others who encounter us is that they open their minds and hearts with a little willingness to see the love. And we can join with Jesus in asking that they be blessed by our encounter.

2 – Ego

Be certain that this type of behavior does not call to the ego. Be certain that the impulse to love is genuine, and the call to others to respond to us is likewise genuine in love. There is much chance here for the ego to once again gain a toehold, for it sounds very nice to say that others will respond to us, to the love that we emanate. And that makes us feel good, or at least it makes the ego feel good, which is the false sense of self that has perhaps been reinforced.

3 – Oscillation

Let us leave behind the foolishness of the ego forever. We were not made happy by anything that ever called to the ego in us. We had flights of joy, but these flights were balanced by drops into despair and unhappiness. Always there was an oscillation. And we know that we don’t want this pain and suffering any longer.

4 – Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself

So love others, with the selfsame love that we give ourselves. For if we don’t love ourselves also, with a pure love, not of the ego, we can’t give to others. We wouldn’t know what to give. It is just that simple. These are paraphrases of words of Jesus in the New Testament. And it is true that much of what Jesus says now was presaged in the New Testament. Not to mention A Course in Miracles.

5 – Be Good to Yourself

Be good to yourself by loving yourself and others with a pure love, an egoless love. The joys will continued indefinitely then. And we will be well on our way Home.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I hope to offer love to those who surround me, even when these individuals seem remote. Help me to do what I can, and then let You do the rest, dropping any questioning about the encounter from my mind and heart.

May I love others with an egoless love. When I am tempted to reinforce the withering ego, may I know that this is not what I would have. A weak ego will soon dissipate. And I want my ego to dissipate so that I can feel Your presence in an ever-expanding way.

Thank You.

Amen.

Observe the Laws of Love

Ballet-Rehearsal,-1873 - degas
“Will those you love still suffer? Many may. But not with your help. Will many more, with your help, see an end to suffering? Many will. Will an end to suffering be what you work toward? No. This is not your work. This is not about your effort. This is about your observance. Your observance of the laws of love. Your observance is to remain with cause rather than to stray to effect, the manner of living practiced by those who have birthed the idea that cause and effect are one in truth. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 20.13)”

Affirmation: “I will observe the laws of love today.”

Reflections:

1 – Suffering Is an Effect

We are not, as our work, to seek to end suffering, because suffering is an effect, and we are not to stray to effect. But we are to live love, and in that pursuit of love will our mission be effected. We will seek the “observance” of love, and in that we will find peace and happiness. We will not reinforce the suffering of others, or of ourselves, by focusing on suffering. We will turn aside from the suffering, not in rejection, but in knowing that there is a better way, a way to learn through rewards. This does not mean that we will be blind to the tears of others, or of ourselves, but we seek to create the reality that we want, and we do not want suffering. To focus on suffering is to create that reality.

2 – Remain with Cause

We are to remain with cause, and the observance of love is a cause. The effect of failing to observe love may well be suffering, though this is in an interpretation, not stated in A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love.

3 – Cause and Effect

It is easy to get lost in discussions of cause and effect, but let us not do so today. Let us realize that love is the great cause of all good, and the absence of love brings an effect that is often suffering. We would not focus on this, for it not this that we want.

4 – Do Not Resist

Be there for each other. May all of us do this. May we be gentle with ourselves when we stray from our path and fall into suffering. May we be accepting of ourselves in such an instance, and then may we gently (also) turn aside from the suffering—not rejecting it, for this is resistance, and resistance creates that which it would resist. The best way is to turn to God (or the Holy Spirit, if following ACIM), and to commune with Him for a surcease of the suffering. He did not cause it, but He will help us to overcome. And then pain, perhaps, will remain, but the pain will have lost its sting.

5 – Observe Love

So observe love, and see what good comes of this. The benefits are great, and blessings, abundant.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

All will be well when I am consistently focused on love. What a traditional idea this is! But still of the essence of spirituality. Thank You for guiding me to this realization.

May I avoid reinforcing suffering, either in myself or in others. May I gently turn aside from suffering, though I do not turn aside from those who are suffering. It is not my purpose to try to end the suffering, but it is my purpose to offer solace without focusing on the suffering. Focus on living, and living in love, and the suffering is very likely to dissipate or to diminish markedly.

Be with those whom I love today. And may I turn some of that love on myself, for what I receive I am in a better position to give—for giving and receiving are one.

Amen.

Real Meaning of Miracles

paintings-by-hilaire-germain-edgar-degas-star-l'etoile“Miracles are not the end, but the means, of living by the truth. Miracles are not meant to be called upon to create specific outcomes in specific circumstances. They are meant to be lived by as the truth is meant to be lived by. Not because you desire an outcome, but because it is who you are and because you realize you can no longer be, live, or think as other than who you are in truth. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 20.11)”

Affirmation: “I would live the miracle today.”

Reflections:

1 – Mistaken?

We have heretofore had a mistaken idea about miracles, even though A Course in Miracles exists with a title that incorporates the word. We have believed that miracles are specific outcomes to specific circumstances, and when miracles are meant to be lived as a way of life in the real world.

2 – Replacing the Ego

Perhaps we were not ready previously. We were not living by the truth, even though we might have thought that we were. After all, our egos convinced us that by studying ACIM we were well on our way to true salvation. Even though ACIM was written to dislodge the ego, if we did not have anything, or know anything, to replace the ego, we often were at a loss. And we made no progress, though the preliminary steps were in place.

3 – ACOL’s Change

A Course of Love changes all of that. We truly know what it means to live the miracle, not just to pray for a serendipitous happening that might be a miracle, or that we might call a miracle. We know that living the truth is living outside illusions. We know what the real world is all about. And we have left the ego behind, at least insofar as possible. This egoless mind may still present problems for us, for the ego is wily and does not diminish easily, and may have a resurgence when we least expect it to return. We must be guarded then, so that this abominable occurrence does not arise.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to speak well and to do well today. I would reject illusions, even when those illusions seemed happy to me. They never pleased me for long. And I would live the truth as I live the miracles that are behind the truth. I would listen to You today, the Miracle Who lives behind All.

Help me to incorporate this new meaning, for me, of miracles. It is hard to let go of the idea that a miracle leads to a specific outcome and is in the fact of the matter, an occurrence that brings an awe in Your presence. Actually to understand that living miracles is ongoing living of the truth and not illusions is a very freeing idea. And thank You for this knowledge. You lead me constantly to greater freedom, because my will is no longer constantly imprisoned.

May this day be a good one. May You help me to do what I can to smooth the pathway of my brothers and sisters, as well as I ask for help in smoothing my way. I am grateful to You for the help that always come when I get myself out of the way and ask.

Amen.

Do Nothing to Reinforce Suffering

11491843-renoir-paintings“Why think you it is loving to believe in suffering? Do you not begin to see that in so doing you but reinforce it? What you might even call the ‘fact’ of it? Can you not instead ask yourself what harm could be done by offering a new kind of observance? (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 29.8)”

Affirmation: “I would lay all belief about suffering aside today.”

Reflections:

1 – We Create Our Own Reality

This passage for today is another example of the truth that we create our own reality. When we give attention to suffering, even when we are sympathizing with those who are suffering, we are causing that suffering to grow. When we turn aside from suffering, we diminish suffering. We fail to reinforce it, and it falls away of its own weight.

2 – Solace

Can we really believe this? Let’s try it and see. This approach does not mean that we will be cruel to those who believe in suffering and who are in the midst of suffering. We would empathize and give solace to such a person. But we won’t exacerbate the phenomenon of suffering by focusing on it, because focusing on it in fact does reinforce, and therefore make it harder to overlook.

3 – Overlooking

We saw this dynamic in the example of anger and attack. When we focused on our brother’s shortcomings (as we perceived them), they grew in our minds and we could not easily overlook them. Yet this overlooking is just what we are called to do in A Course in Miracles. We make real the anger and attack, and then we really cannot overlook it. And we are trapped by our own negative emotional reaction.

4 – Real Suffering

It is similar with suffering, and real suffering (as opposed to pain) is primarily mental, emotional. We build on the pain that we see, and this makes the primacy of negative response. We do no one any good by commiserating loudly. This simply makes the suffering real in our perception and makes it harder to overlook, as we have said.

5 – A Disservice

So today do not lend your emotional upset to the upset that you see in another who is suffering. Do not be unmindful of what you are seeing, but neither exacerbate the feelings by focusing on them. To do so is to do a disservice to your brother or sister, lost in the moment in suffering.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When I see suffering today, I will offer my sympathy to the other, but I will not focus on that suffering and therefore make it greater. I will not reinforce, but instead turn another’s focus outward and away from the emotional turmoil that he/she is generating. I will offer solace, but not make the suffering larger by focusing on it unduly.

This are lofty ideals. There is a fine line between offering solace and perpetuating the suffering by focusing on it. Help me to know and to carry out the difference. My thoughts are with You as I go about my day, seeing some who suffer. May their suffering be eased into simply pain, or even recovery, taking out the emotional as well as physical basis for complaint. May I be a comfort to those I love.

Amen.

What Do You Want to Do with Your Life?

Beautiful-Art-Paintings-By-Renoir
“Illusion has at its base a false cause and so no effects that exist in truth. Now your every thought and action will have effect and the choices that lie before you will be choices of where your thoughts and actions will have the greatest effect. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 20.1)”

Affirmation: “I am living in reality now, in truth.”

Reflections:

1 – Mari Perron

This passage for today helps to explain why the scribe of A Course of Love, Mari Perron, believes that once we have walked the pathway, we are not lost in illusion any longer. Now our thoughts have effects, for our thoughts are lived in truth, in reality, in the real world. So we must choose where our thoughts and actions will have the greatest effect. What do we want to do with our lives?

2 – Happiness and More

Maybe we want to be happy. Is that laudatory? Yes, it is, but it may not be enough. Jesus calls to us to lead other people to him, the selfsame call that has followed people through the ages. How might we lead others to Jesus without proselytizing, which we have been told is not desired? We can lead by an informed example, but we must be careful that the ego does not rear its ugly head when we seek to be a good example.

3 – Being Religious

I sometimes think that religious people have a greater calling to lead a good life than anybody else. Who would want to emulate us if they see our clay feet? If we are dishonest, then we dishonor the God whom we serve. And we will not draw others to us. They will see through us, and they will see that we do not walk the talk.

4 – Guidance

Choose today how we would follow Jesus. Let us make decisions about how we will live, knowing all the while that good intentions are never enough. We need guidance, and let us first ask for that guidance when we seek to know what we want to do with our lives.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I seek your guidance today. What specific ways would You have me live my life today and every day in the future? What goals would You give to me? I try to be Yours. And I need Your assistance in knowing how to go with the flow in everyday life.

Help me to truly give up on the ego. I cannot follow You well if I am consumed with how everything is affecting my personal self. I would live the way that my Self would indicate, and for that I need to respond without ego to the people and places in my life.

Be with me today. Take fear from me, for surely fear is an indication that I am still kowtowing to the ego. I know that Jesus has said in A Course of Love that the ego is gone. Give me that reassurance today, as surely as I seek to drop egotism from my repertoire of emotions.

Amen.

Ordinary People Leading Extraordinary Lives

pennsylvania impressionism - ruby lane“What will make this choice so attractive will not be martyrs and saintly souls stricken with every calamity and yet remaining to tell those who would listen about the glory of God. What will make this choice so attractive are ordinary people living extraordinary and miraculous and observable lives. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 19.16)”

Affirmation: “I would choose that extraordinary life today.”

Reflections:

1 – Negativity

There is a bit of negative thought in this passage, even from Jesus. He seems to realize that those of us who hear testimonies from people who are leading tragic lives, and yet praising God, find that those testimonies fall a little hollow on a heart too long removed from God. We do not want to suffer tragic lives, and if this is prerequisite for finding God, maybe we would decline.

2 – To Reach God Easily

But here Jesus is saying that the lives of ordinary people who live with God can and do become miraculous lives. Extraordinary for ordinary people. And this phenomenon will lead others to God easily. They will want to emulate what these people have.

3 – How to Find God

Let us be one of those people today. May we realize that, while tragic lives can nevertheless be a powerful witness for God, we do not have to look there for our inspiration. We can realize happiness and lead extraordinary lives in everyday life. We do not have to walk through shadows to find God.

4 – Do You Believe This?

Do you believe this? We think of the martyrs of the Early Church, and those who over the years went to their deaths rather than recant their faith. Surely their message is good. But we are not often in danger of our lives when we profess our faith. So we find it hard to identify.

5 – Courage

May we know that most of us will not be asked to follow Jesus’s example to the death. Most of us are too cowardly to walk that pathway. Salvation does require courage, though, and we will walk a happier path if we walk with courage. And then the extraordinary lives that we will model will become evident to all whom we encounter.

6 – Jesus

That is what Jesus holds out to us in this passage for today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank you for this promise that I need to be courageous, but not overwhelmingly so, to reach salvation. I would be an ordinary person living an extraordinary life. And so would I see this in my brothers and sisters. Be with all of us to effect this change.

Is it good to be ordinary? Certainly the ego is not pleased with the decision to so live. But I am not appealing to the ego today. I am appealing to You to request some of that extraordinary living that we all seek to have. May the ego drop away as I, once again, bid it go. May the extraordinary that is promised do nothing to enhance a false image of myself. And may I embody the ordinary self that You say is beneficial now.

Amen.

Don’t Proselytize

landscape - pennsylvania impressionism“It has been said from the beginning that your role will not be to evangelize or to be convincing. You cannot argue the case of truth in the courtroom of illusion.

“While this would seem to leave some without hope, it will leave no one without choice. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 19.15 – 19.16)”

Affirmation: “I would speak my truth today, but without pressure on another.”

Reflections:

1 – What about Others?

If we aren’t to lead others to our way by convincing of “our” truth, what does that leave for them? Will they have no way out? Will they find another way out?

2 – Skeptics

There is a fine line between telling one’s truth, or the truth as one sees it, and trying to convince a skeptic of the truth of one’s statements and one’s point of view. Anyone who has ever spent time with a skeptic knows that the surest way to turn him/her off is to try to preach to that person.

3 – Jesus

And Jesus knows this, which is exactly why we are bade not to try to convince others of a truth that perhaps those other individuals are not yet ready to see. Not only that, but their way may ultimately be quite different from the form of the curriculum presented in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

4 – What Is It Left for Us to Do?

So what do we do if someone in our inner circle is a skeptic, and is suffering in his/her unbelief? Prayer is very powerful. So is living our message, walking our talk (and, in this case, we are bade not even to talk). Eventually the significant other will see that we are somehow different and will make inquiries. This is what we hope for. It may not always happen.

5 – Atheist turned Believer

I have a friend who moved her husband from atheism (as avowed when they dated) to agnostic to a confirmed believer in the Other Side. All without doing any preaching at all, or at least so she told me. What a way to go! Certainly in living out one’s faith there are moments of teaching that come unbidden. And that is exactly what my friend took advantage of. And, slowly but surely, over the course of more than 25 years, her husband developed a settled good will toward those things that are beyond full knowledge.

6 – Live the Faith

So do not be tempted to share the happy newfound knowledge too soon. Others will not yet be ready. Live the faith, and see if in that living out the proselytizing doesn’t come about without a word from you. The convincing will come, but of a Higher Power than we are.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I know that others who are disbelievers and are preached to by well-meaning friends and family are actually pushed to be stronger in their disbelief. We turn them off. May I avoid doing so today. May the slow but sure way of convincing come unbidden, except by prayer. And may those who seek to know be convinced by the words that are spoken when they are sought.

I wish for a good day. I wish to avoid taking on too much, because I am calm and at peace now, and that is a danger sign that I am prone to take on too much and will become overwhelmed. Be with me as I seek to reduce stress in my life by doing less. You don’t want “do-ers,” in that we are constantly trying merit heaven. You want a still, calm peace that will envelop the others around in the peace that is Yours to give, to them and to me.

Amen.

Return to Illusions? No!

pennsylvania-impressionist-impressionism-painting-by-george-sotter-autumn-gold-1930-original-size-22-x-26-bucks-county“You will be tempted to return to the house of illusion to gather those within and bid them join you in the reality of the truth. But in this time of Christ, a new time, a time without parallel or comparison, this will not be possible. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 19.15)”

Affirmation: “I will bid others to come, but from the house of truth.”

Reflections:

1 – Explanation

This passage takes some explanation if not familiar with the concepts from A Course of Love. Jesus indicates that many are still in the House of Illusion, which a house which is contained within the House of Truth. Some have ventured from this unstable House of Illusion outside its borders, into the House of Truth—reality, or the real world (an interpretation, not stated in A Course in Miracles or ACOL). If we are outside the House of Illusion, in the House of Truth, we might be tempted to turn again and go back into illusion, if only to bid others to step outside. But Jesus says that it doesn’t work that way. We stay in the House of Truth, and from that vantage point, beckon those still in the House of Illusion to step outside, into the House of Truth.

2 – Confusing?

This may all sound quite confusing, but if one visualizes the concepts, it becomes much easier.

3 – Time of Christ

We are now in the time of Christ, and we do not reenter the House of Illusion once we have emerged from it. This is a welcome thought, because backsliding is a theological concept that has worried many sincere believers. Now Jesus says that our backsliding is not to be a worry for us; we are permanently, in this era of the time of Christ, in the House of Truth.

4 – A New Age

What a joyous word this is—coming from Jesus, who heralds the dawn of a new age. May we take him at his word and not try to reenter a place of pain and suffering, the illusions in which we had been lost, for eons, amid the chaos of the ego. May we step into the real world, and from there it is but a short step into Awakening—when God decides that we are ready (from ACIM).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

With Your help, I would not return to illusions. I know that Jesus says in this passage for today that we cannot return to illusions in this time of Christ. Many sincere believers have thought otherwise in other eras. May I adopt the thinking of this passage, and be wise in the ways of the new era.

May I not forget those who are still in the House of Illusions. From truth, may I beckon to others, still trapped, to come outside, into truth. May I understand rightly what truth really is. May I be certain that if others are hurt, I have not found truth.

Be with me as I walk into the time of Christ. And may Christ-consciousness comes upon me when You choose. Guide me. Lead me. Love me.

Thank You.

Amen.

No More Time to Waste

pennsylvania impressionism - winter snow
“This is why no more time can be wasted and why so many are being called in the strongest manner it is possible to call them. It is only when what is observable is so widely evident that it can no longer be denied that changes of a large scale will begin to be seen. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 19.14)”

Affirmation: “Guide me to do my part in change today.”

Reflections:

1 – Our World

This passage for today from A Course of Love is similar to the celestial speedup that was said to be the genesis of A Course in Miracles. We are in trying times indeed, and enough people in our world need to get on the pathway so that we can turn around the chaos in which we find ourselves.

2 – The Call

Many are, according to this passage, being called in the “strongest manner.” If you have felt the urgency of this call, then you too can add your testimony to this phenomenon.

3 – Social Gospel

We need change on a large scale. But just as traditional evangelists said, we need to change internally before we can meaningfully change the world. This is an attitude in some contradiction to the social gospel, which often was deemed by some to be enough. But we make mistakes when the unchanged seek to make change. We don’t accomplish nearly as much as we might if our minds and hearts were first changed. We fall down on our faces, giving people bread without teaching them to grow wheat—or giving them a fish without teaching them to fish.

4 – Avoid Controversy

This gets us into controversy, and I would not lean credence to controversy. Listen to your mind and heart, and make the changes therein that you are called to make. Then will the social gospel really make change in a meaningful way.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would do my part to effect change today. If I see a need, I will try to fulfill it if I can, if it is my part to do so. I will offer solace to those with whom I come in contact. And I will remember that an internal change is necessary before meaningful social change is possible.

May I not be tempted to be an “unhealed healer,” and that is what I would be if I sought to change the world before my heart were changed. Change my heart today, to be more loving and more kind, more peaceful and more joyous. The change that this will bring in my outer world will happen instantaneously, and for that I thank You.

Amen.

No Need to Learn through Pain

pennsylvania impressionists3
“The thought system of the truth sees no value in suffering and so sees it not in truth. The thought system of the truth is a thought system that is not split by varying goals and desires. It is a thought system of unity. It is a thought system of one thought, one goal. That goal is the original thought that began the experience in physical form, the thought of expressing the Self in observable form. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 19.9)”

Affirmation: “I would follow the thought system of the truth today.”

Reflections:

1 – When Captured

How do we escape from suffering when captured by it? Is there a way out? If we don’t get out of suffering, are we thinking wrongly? What about people who grow in faith through their suffering? What do we say to saintly people who fall victim to illness or misfortune?

2 – Illness

The questions above all come to mind swiftly as I read, “The thought system of the truth sees no value in suffering.” And truth sees not suffering at all. What can we make of these assertions? Are they just for the very advanced? What if the very advanced soul gets cancer, or heart disease, or diabetes? What do we say to them?

3 – An Ideal

I think that here, in this passage for today, we are dealing with an ideal, and this world does not always support ideals. Even the most advanced teacher of God makes mistakes here, and would all others be bereft of help if that teacher of God falls down? No, Jesus assures us in A Course in Miracles. All of us here fall victim to temptation, but there is a way out.

4 – No Need to Learn through Pain

What is that way out? We can recognize, however dimly, that we don’t have to learn through pain (from the Text of A Course in Miracles). And, as Eckhart Tolle has said so eloquently, we don’t have to turn pain into suffering. We have that much available to us. Even here we will not always succeed, but the way is clear, once we are calm enough to call on God’s help and turn to Him for the way out that we need. He is always there.

5 – Choose Once Again

So we can choose again. We can choose once again (also from ACIM). The disease may not abate, but we are no longer trapped by it, even if it is a sickness unto death. After all, death comes to all, and normally there is a physical cause, either identified or not. We can cry out to God, in our infirmity, and he will lessen the burden of this physical life. He will see to it that our truth does not see pain, or suffering, or death, for He always chooses for life—which equates to health, abundance, peace, and happiness.

6 – Change in Circumstances

This is not pie-in-the-sky thinking. The mind and heart, working in conjunction with each other, are very powerful, and a change of mind moves to a change in circumstances. We don’t have to wallow in our misery. We can, through a change of mind, effect an acceptance that sees the truth that God does not bring suffering upon us. However bad the situation, always is this true. We have chosen the events through which we live. And though those events can get very bad, they are not the master of our lives. We can affirm for the truth in the creation of the life that we live, and we can recognize that if bad things have come upon us, we had a hand in creating those bad things. We may never know the “why,” but our heart knows. And our heart and the Christ Self within can offer, in alignment with God, the answer to our most fervent prayer for release. We may not know an end to this “thorn in the flesh” (from St. Paul in the New Testament), but we will live peacefully in this world until our time comes to leave it.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would accept suffering, first of all, if it comes to me. I recognize this acceptance as the first step to overcoming suffering. If the ego is dislodged from my mind, then this step becomes easier.

Thank You for the insight that suffering need only to be accepted, and then it is oft likely to dissipate. Let me never blame another if this dynamic fails to happen in his/her life. But let me help the other to a newer life, free of those impediments to happiness and peace.

May this day go well, as I give myself up to flow and ease in that flow. If I follow my intuition, then the day will turn out well, regardless of what pain it may hold. I ask for no pain, of course, but I accept the pain if it comes. Then and only then can I transcend the pain, and especially transcend the suffering into which the pain may turn.

Amen.

The External World Is but a Reflection of the Internal

pennsylvania-impressionist-impressionism-painting-by-george-sotter-autumn-gold-1930-original-size-22-x-26-bucks-county“The thought system of the truth realizes that the external world is but a reflection of the internal world. Thus you can observe with your eyes closed as easily as you can observe with your eyes open. You can observe by having an idea of another’s health, abundance, peace, and happiness. You can observe this within yourself because it exists within your Self. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 18.10)”

Affirmation: “I would know that my external world is a reflection of my internal world.”

Reflections:

1 – Projection Makes Perception

The passage for today paraphrases what was said, but perhaps not always understood, from A Course in Miracles: “Projection makes perception.” What this means is that the external world which we see is but a reflection of the internal world that we experience. We can observe the outer with eyes open or closed; it makes no difference. We see what we feel within, and we perceive without what has first found a home within our minds and hearts, the internal.

2 – How Many Angels?

This is the reason that the medieval question, “How many angels can be on the point of a needle?,” is so far beyond its time. There is no world! Jesus says in ACIM that this is what we must ultimately comprehend. We are projecting what we have made real within, and this projection causes us to use our perception (though informed by the ego) to see what we see in the external world.

3 – Hallucination

We are part of a mass hallucination. This is a theological point, but one that will help many to understand what ACIM and A Course of Love are trying to tell us. Certainly all is illusion before we let go of the egoic mind, but whether or not the real world is truly “real” is a question of theological debate. Is anything outside our minds? If God is the All, and we are part of a hologram (another concept that may be useful), then it means that each part is part of the Whole, and that the Whole is present in each part.

4 – Health, Abundance, Peace, Happiness

We can see health, abundance, peace, and happiness. Maybe not exclusively, but more and more as time passes, and our minds and hearts work in tandem. We first see these positive experiences when we listen to the Holy Spirit, and He brings happy dreams to us. The dreams expand so that even tough times often lose their sting. We can be sure that a lovely God watches over us, just as we learned long ago in Sunday school. We may have moved away from our childhood understanding of God, but the germ of an idea may never leave us. And traditional Christianity still is there for us, expanded and enlarged by Jesus’s channeled writings for our era.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not worry so much about how many angels can balance on the point of a needle, but how many are watching over me now. I would hope that there are a few doing just that. My life does not work well without help—help from others on this plane, in this world, and help from an unseen world. Thank You for giving me the assurance that I do have assistance, and that this assistance is with me always.

Amen.

Worship

Towpath_Bridge - gordon hass“You must constantly remember that your observance is now an act of worship and of devotion and that you are called to observe the truth rather than illusion no matter how real illusion may still seem to be. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 18.8)”

Affirmation: “May I observe in reverence today.”

Reflections:

1 – Reverence

The term “reverence” seems to my mind to be the best way to find a synonym for both “worship” and “devotion” in regard to the observance of the truth as opposed to illusion. We need reverence in our daily life, as it calms our minds and gives us a settled good will toward divinity. God does not need our praise, according to A Course in Miracles, but we need the act of communing with Him, and in this there is an element of devotion, if not outright worship. We need worship of, and devotion to, God, even if He doesn’t need or require either of these from us.

2 – Reality

The section of A Course of Love that we are considering does repeatedly stress the pursuit of truth as opposed to illusion. This leads me to conclude that truth, or reality, or the real world, is available to us. Previously truth, reality, or the real world had not been available; we were lost in illusion, or maya (the Eastern term), and there was little we could do about it other than ask for the “happy dreams that the Holy Spirit brings” (from the Workbook of A Course in Miracles). Now, it seems, we have traveled farther along the pathway, and, while I do not want us to get lost in theology, we are perhaps, most of us, able to at least catch glimpses of the truth, glimpses of reality or the real world. ACIM says that this experience will be fleeting, because God will act quickly to reach down and lift us up to Awakening—once we have experienced the real world for a time. Because time differs in eternity from our world, we cannot know what a short time in experiencing the real world would be like. We do not know how long we must wait for Awakening (or enlightenment, or Christ-consciousness—all synonyms).

3 – Impatience

Let us hope today that the wait is brief. We are impatient, but this is often an egoic notion that is best left behind. We need to cultivate patience with others, our brothers and sisters, in part because this helps to create the holy relationships that we long to have. And holy relationships are our ticket to the ultimate in salvation.

4 – No Injury to Others

Let us open ourselves to the truth today, but take care that what we perceive to be the truth is not injurious to anybody.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Unless I am anxious, I sometimes forget how important communing with You really is. I go about my business in this world, safe in Your love, but not realizing fully where my safety lies.

My safety lies with You. I would not choose anxiety as a goad to greater prayer. I would pray willingly and repeatedly, for communing with You is life-affirming. It is the best that this world offers. The sense of Your presence brings a serene and calm outlook on this world. It alleviates stress, and all of us need to have that, given the state of our world.

May today be the first day of a new sense of continuing communion with You. May I never forget You. I know that You will never forget me. Thank You.

Amen.

You Create Your Own Reality

“If you observe health rather than disease, abundance rather than poverty, peace rather than conflict, happiness rather than sadness–disease, poverty, conflict and sadness will be no more real to your brothers and sisters than it is to you. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 18.6)”

Affirmation: “I choose health, abundance, peace, and happiness today.”

Reflections:

1 – Reality

In my reading of this passage for today, I see two aspects that are important. The first is that we create our own reality. The second is that what we create affects others as well.

2 – Jane Roberts’s Seth

Creating our own reality is a fundamental tenet of Jane Roberts’s Seth, written in the seventies. Of course, we are listening to Jesus, and I cite Seth to show the emergence of this idea in our culture. Can we really have health, abundance, peace, and happiness just by wishing for it? In part, yes. But I think not entirely. It is our larger Self that actually determines the experiences that we meet, and this larger Self may have plans for us that we need rather than want. It is certainly wrong to blame the victim if bad things happen. The personal self isn’t in full control. Blaming the victim is a particularly insidious trap that makes that person feel even worse than he/she does anyway. The larger Self may make decisions that in the short run appear detrimental. The end result is always good, though, even if the end result is now to cease living on this earth—death.

3 – Affecting Reality of Others

The second aspect of this passage is the more startling and less well known assertion that what we anticipate directly affects the experience of our brothers and sisters. Can we really bring them good things if we think right? I think that this passage is saying “yes.” This behooves us to get right with God, to let our interactions with others be positive always, and to know that what we say and do affects on subtle levels and not just the superficial.

4 – Health, Abundance, Peace, Happiness

May we have the good things today. May we have abundant health, abundant wealth (either material and/or spiritual), peace (of God), and genuine happiness (joy). These positive experiences will follow us all the days of our lives if the larger Self (the Christ within) also believes that these things are in our best interests. The law of attraction is at work, but not in the materialistic fashion that it is sometimes depicted.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would create a good reality today, for myself and, to the degree that I can, for others. I realize that I can use the law of attraction to make the materialistic attracted to myself, but this will be ashes and dust unless my heart is in the right place, unless I seek also for the intangibles of God. May I do so today.

May what I do affect my brothers and sisters is a right way, a good way. May I think, say, or do nothing that will hinder their progress toward You and Home. May we work together today to have the good, but to be equally certain that the good is shared.

Amen.

Observation

renior - girl with red hat
“You may wonder rightly then, how those who have not learned by the Holy Spirit will learn. They will now learn through observation. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 18.1)”

Affirmation: “I would learn through observation today.”

Reflections:

1 – Observation and Mindfulness

This passage indicates that many of us have not learned all that the Holy Spirit would teach, and for those of us who are moving into the new age of Christ-consciousness, we will learn in a new way—observation. What does this mean? I think that “observation” is a synonym for mindfulness.

2 – Meditation

Mindfulness is a concept closely related to meditation, and meditation as such is not taught in A Course in Miracles, though the final days of the Workbook of ACIM seem to be akin to meditation. The quietness of these final lessons, and the paucity of words in the lessons, suggest that we turn inward in mindfulness and meditation.

3 – A Definition of Observation

What is mindfulness (or observation)? We pay attention to what we say and especially what we do, as we are doing it. We just let the world be, not trying to change anything. The concept is especially elaborated in books on Zen Buddhism, but here we are getting into perennial wisdom that spans the most mystical aspects of most religions in our world.

4 – Flow

Observation works. It is also part of that peace that passeth understanding, something that we all want and need. We slow down naturally, and we pace ourselves. We are in “flow,” which means that we intuit what to do next, relaxing into life and not worrying about what happens. We are serene.

5 – When Emotionally Overwrought

Observation won’t work if we are emotionally overwrought. That is also when guidance is most elusive, guidance both from the Holy Spirit and the Self within. We need to recognize as well how to calm ourselves. Taking a timeout, spending some time without speaking, and turning to prayer, will lead to a still mind. Then we will be observing mindfully again.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for this good day. I am grateful for the peace that a new day brings, the hope that is riding on a new flow to my day. If I listen to You, this is the day that will be given me—a day of flow and peace. May I truly listen, even when my own initiative threatens to interfere.

Thank You for the thought that seemed to merge “observation” with mindfulness. I pray that this linking in my mind is in line with truth. It is my own interpretation, and it is meaningful to me. Thank You for the ease with which You inform me, or at least that I think You inform me. Be with me as I seek to observe today through the mindful movement of thought and deed.

Amen.

End the Time of Illusion

monet - lake in autumn“The return of Christ, or your ability and willingness to live as your true self, to live in the house of truth rather than the house of illusion, is what will end the time of illusion. Just as the truth is the truth and illusion is illusion; just as these things are what they are without judgment; so is the beginning the beginning and the end the end. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 17.8)”

Affirmation: “Help me to live as my true self today.”

Reflections:

1 – Truth

It is perhaps not so difficult to imagine what our true self really is like, though none of us knows for sure unless we have sustained Awakening. Our true self comes in glimpses at first, I think, but we need to know that the traditional desires—to live in peace, joy, serenity—form the core of the true self. And, of course, we are right with God. As the basis.

2 – Ego

We want to avoid illusion, but avoiding illusion is not possible in this world when we are still trapped in the ego. We move into the house of truth when we have allowed the ego to disintegrate. We do no egotistical things, we do no materialistic things. Life goes calmly when we get our priorities in order, and by now, most of us on the spiritual pathway know what these priorities are, even when we can’t seem to practice them consistently.

3 – Intentions

In the Bible, we learn that we fall on our face when we don’t depend on God. We may have the best of intentions, but these come to naught when we depend on ourselves alone. The most important thing is to turn to a Higher Power, to pray without ceasing. Most of us do not reach this degree of religious practice, but when our hearts are right with God, we don’t worry about stringent practices. He knows when we are reaching toward Him, and reaching toward Him will ease our consciences and give us the tranquility that has eluded us until now.

4 – When We May Cease to Live in Illusion

We may be living in illusion all the time, but some students/teachers of A Course of Love believe that when we have entered Christ-consciousness, we are no longer living an illusion, but the truth, the real world. Certainly A Course in Miracles says that when we reach the real world, God will act quickly to draw us unto Himself in Awakening (enlightenment). This is the word in ACIM for Christ-consciousness, and so there is actually no conflict between the two works (ACIM and ACOL).

5 – Gentleness

We ought to be gentle with ourselves as we go through a day. If a thing does not happen in an easy and paced walk through the day, that thing was perhaps not meant to happen. This is an idea from Norman Vincent Peale (The Power of Positive Thinking), and this idea is a prescription for reasoned and peaceful living.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for the knowledge that there is an end of illusions, that we move into the truth, the real world, when we are ready to leave behind illusions—and when we have Your help to do so. I would ask for that help today.

I thank You for the insight that has been given me from time to time, sometimes almost constantly, about how to live. I know that my own mind can mislead, but I pray that my mind stays in check, and my heart takes the lead. With the mind under the jurisdiction of the heart, I will live peacefully. I will no longer need to have “proof” of everything, for what the heart sees is real and true, and I know in my deepest being when You are there for me. And You are always there for me; it is my own scattered mind that prevents me from recognizing You in every instant.

Amen.

Definition of the Holy Spirit

monet - bouquet of sunflowers
“But again let me remind you that the Holy Spirit is not other than who you are but an aspect of who you are and Who God Is. Let me remind you also that names, such as Holy Spirit, are but word symbols that represent what is. So think now of whatever stories you know of the Holy Spirit, stories that symbolize what is. In these stories, the Holy Spirit is always called upon to return the true Self to the self of illusion. The holy spirit is called to return to your mind and heart. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 17.6)”

Affirmation: “The Holy Spirit is part of God and part of me.”

Reflections:

1 – The Holy Spirit Is Still Present

This is another theological concept of A Course of Love. The passage helps to explain and to codify why the Holy Spirit is not really absent in any real sense in this time of Christ. The concept revealed is illustrative of the fact that All is One. The Holy Spirit does not disappear when the Christ Self who is within begins giving us guidance. We listen to the Self within because we hope that we have walked farther along the pathway home. And by “home,” I mean the salvation, the ultimate salvation, that we all seek. Christ-consciousness, or Awakening, finally manifesting as the elevated Self of form.

2 – Self of Illusion

We are trying to leave behind the self of illusion, or maya (an Eastern concept). We are trying to welcome the true Self, the Christ who dwells within and who has been layered over for eons by a false self, the ego that we made and that has trapped us in illusion and in pain (frequently).

3 – Does God Know about Us?

We need to recognize the Presence of God in our lives. It is true that some students/teachers of A Course in Miracles teach that God does not know about us and our activities, because we dwell in illusion and He does not. I feel that we have to commune with our inner Self to determine how we feel about God’s Presence in our lives. My experience is that God is very much present, though it cannot be said that he enters into illusion with us. But the House of Illusion, as depicted by A Course of Love, is located within—yes, within—the House of Truth. And we exit the House of Illusion to come to our own. We do not reenter illusion to save our loved ones. From the outside of illusion, in the House of Truth, we beckon others to join us.

4 – Larger Perspective on the Holy Spirit

May we think a bit today about the Holy Spirit and what today’s passage says, especially if we are still students of A Course in Miracles (which most of us are). We do not deny the Holy Spirit, because today’s passage indicates a larger perspective than perhaps we have held.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would recognize that the Holy Spirit has not been destroyed in me, though I have sought to walk into the time of Christ, leaving behind the time of the Holy Spirit. All are a part of You, and the Holy Spirit is still present. This is very reassuring. Thank You.

May I not let theology delay my brothers and sisters nor myself. If my thoughts are not easily assimilated, let me walk around them, because I do not want to believe something that will only be a hindrance to You. We do not have to understand with our minds. Our hearts already know that You are therein.

Amen.

We Learned the Untrue

“It may seem ridiculous to say that the untrue can be learned, but this is exactly what has been learned during the time of your experience in physical form. Since your true Self could not learn the untrue, a new self, which we have called the ego self, was made. Since the ego self cannot learn the true, your true self had to be appealed to for this learning to take place. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 17.5)”

Affirmation: “I would leave off the learning of the ego today.”

Reflections:

1 – Theology

This passage for today reflects a theological point in A Course of Love: that the true self, which could learn, was called upon to save the ego self from itself, for the true could be learned only by the true self. Meanwhile, the ego was busy teaching us—or trying to teach us—the untrue. And we assimilated much of this untruth into the persona that we presented to this world.

2 – Christ Self

Now is the time to let such foolishness fall away. We are leaving behind the ego self, which is withering away, and we are recalling the true, from our true self, which never actually disappeared (though we thought that it had). This “true self” is the Christ Self, to whom we turn now to learn what to say and to do next. The Christ Self, in this time of Christ, is our guidance, even as the Holy Spirit was our guidance in the time of the Holy Spirit. We have moved beyond just what A Course in Miracles said, that the Holy Spirit would guide, to what A Course of Love (channeled later) says, that the inner Christ Self will guide. I am of the opinion that there may be overlap within a given person, and certainly there is overlap in this world in general. Many are still engrossed in the wonderful message of ACIM and have not moved onward to ACOL; indeed, many do not yet know of ACOL.

3 – ACIM vs. ACOL

A Course of Love is dense reading, and in many ways more difficult than a Course in Miracles. I find that I cannot study ACOL as I did ACIM; the meanings do not easily come to mind as memorized passages. I suspect this is because the beautiful language is not in iambic pentameter, a rhyme scheme of poetry, and therefore the memorization is more difficult.

4 – Rereading ACOL

Even the passage for today is difficult reading, but worthwhile when one rereads. In fact, rereading may be the best way to learn ACOL, and certainly the fact that the real self is trying to learn the true will shine through. We are learning through observation, though, not intense scrutiny. Some have recommended that we read A Course of Love as though it were a story. There is much repetition, intended I believe, by Jesus to drive home his points, which are fewer in number in ACOL than in ACIM. But these points truly do take us home, for we have been prepared, first through ACIM, and now through ACOL, to inhabit the elevated Self of form. Would that we could do so consistently. At least we know that this consistency is where we are heading.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would do what You say today to allow Your blessing of Christ-consciousness to come sooner rather than later. Thank You for the glimpses that I have seen. Thank You for the glimpses that my brothers and sisters have seen.

May I read A Course of Love today in the best way that will help me to assimilate its concepts. Help me to remember the beautiful words, to remember the beautiful sentiment, and to learn what I need to learn in growing ever more closely toward You.

Amen.

Answer to All Our Dreams

Autumn Effect at Argenteuil, by Claude Monet, 1873“Accept one ‘part’ or tenet of the truth and see the reverse take place. See how quickly the thought system of the truth build upon itself and forms a real and true interrelated whole. What forms the house of truth is love eternal and it has always encompassed you, even unto encompassing the house of illusion that you made to obscure it from yourself. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 16.17)”

Affirmation: “Love eternal has always encompassed me.”

Reflections:

1 – Neurotic Funks

We so often do not let ourselves be comforted. We get in a neurotic funk, we get angry and attack, we worry—and all of this is so unnecessary. Yet here in the passage for today Jesus assures us that even in illusion we have been surrounded by love eternal in the house of truth.

2 – Truth vs. Illusion

Jesus’s use of the terms “house of truth” and “house of illusion” can be somewhat confusing, and I think that if we find the “house” metaphor an impediment, we can simply think of both truth and illusion in contrast to each other. We know that we have been living an illusion here. But there is a way to step out of this illusion, and we do so when we awaken. And Awakening, or Christ-consciousness within the elevated Self of form is where we want to head.

3 – Mari Perron

We have not always welcomed truth. That is the reason that we have been caught in illusion. There is no way to know if the “reality” that we experience once we are Christ-conscious is yet another illusory world, but just a better one. Mari Perron, scribe of A Course of Love, has spoken on her belief that at such a time we step away from illusion. I respect her belief, and she knows much, having walked far along the pathway.

4 – God’s Way

Why would we make a world of illusion to obscure the truth from ourselves? We may never know in this lifetime, honestly. But we can catch glimpses. We thought that we made a way that we would like more than God’s way for us. And we were so wrong. God’s way is the best right way that we can go, and it is the answer to all of our dreams.

5 – No Better Way

There is no better way to walk than from the house of illusion into the house of truth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Let me, help me, walk from illusion into truth today, though I know that “truth” is a slippery concept. Many in our world think that You rubber stamp their version of truth, and yet that version of truth hurts people, sometimes drastically. I would know today that nothing of the truth is anything but healing to another. And may I live the way that will be healing to others.

Thank You for my blessings! Most recently you have soothed me and given me good sleep and rest. I need to “knit up the raveled sleeve of care.” And I do so when You watch over me at night. Thank You.

Amen.

Transformation

kitchen garden at Eragny,afternoon 1901 -pissarro
“As you live with awareness of the love of God within you, you will see that you have no need for special love relationships. You will realize that the love and the Self you now have available to share in relationship are all that you would share in truth. You will recognize that no others have a need for you to make them special for you will see the truth of who they are rather than the illusion of who you would have them be. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 16.15)”

Affirmation: “Let us turn special relationships into holy.”

Reflections:

1 – Holy

This passage for today does not go on to say what Jesus has earlier said: that it is for special relationships to be turned to holy.

2 – The Special

But do we really believe this? Do we not, in our superficial hearts, think that we still need to carry specialness around with us? We think that we have special memories, and a special present, with the relationships in our lives, past and present. Maybe we need to reflect that specialness itself is of the ego, and we do not need to retain “special” feelings for any individual. We can enlarge our boundaries to include all with whom we come in contact.

3 – Will Not Snatch Away

Perhaps all of us (myself included) are not yet ready for this full transformation. Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that the Holy Spirit will not snatch our special relationships away from us; we do not have to fear this. The Holy Spirit will transform our special relationships into holy relationships. And once this is done, we will know what real love is all about.

4 – Marriage

So let us entertain the idea that, if it helps us, that there is no marriage in heaven. Jesus said so in his time on earth. So we don’t cling to individuals, special individuals, so much on the Other Side. Here in A Course of Love Jesus is suggesting, I think, that we carry over some of this idea into this world. We stay true in our marriages, but we recognize that there is a larger world out there, and we have great joy awaiting us in our relationships in general.

5 – No Jealousy

We can assume no jealousy arises on the Other Side. This may still be incomprehensible here, but let us contemplate this idea nevertheless. Love with a large heart.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I must say that I am not yet ready for all of my special relationships to transform into holy. I still see instances of special in my relationships, past and present. But I realize that there is no room for jealousy as we transform our special into holy. There is no need to believe that the special will be less, for actually, once turned holy, the special becomes more.

Help me to relinquish my control over my nearest and dearest. We will go on loving, but without control we will be nearer the idea of holy relationship. I would move to holy relationship, for I know that this is Your will. Help me to realize that there is no loss but only gain when love is in the equation.

Amen.

Have No Fear

pissarro - trees“By saying that there is no loss but only gain within the laws of love, you are being told to have no fear. Fear of loss is a great temptation of the human experience. If it were not for this fear of loss, you would not find it difficult to live by the thought system of the truth. This fear relates very strongly to your ideas of change and as such is the greatest detriment to your new beginning. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 16.12)”

Affirmation: “I would recognize today that there is no loss.”

Reflections:

1 – No Loss

We do not have to fear loss, because there is none. This idea is also developed in A Course in Miracles. Until we realize that we lose nothing, we will have some hesitancy about the route that we have taken (a paraphrase from ACIM). Closely aligned, therefore, is a fear of change. The old is familiar, and even if it is not wholly pleasant and life-affirming, at least we think that we know what to expect. So we plod along, like Sisyphus with his rock, and we never know what we are missing, though we intuit that we are missing something.

2 – Comfort in Religion

There is a benefit to religion that is often missed. There is a comfort that makes of religion very, very practical. Our fears and anxieties subside when we pray, and that makes of prayer a very practical decision. We must not fear censure for “using” religion, for practical religion, in the most elemental sense, leads us to the joy that is characterized by a vibrant faith.

3 – Leave Behind the Old Life

We have nothing but our old, stale lives to lose by change. We ought not to cling to the familiar, for there is plenty of fear in that. The old and familiar did not serve as very well. It was the egoic perception of this world, and we know by now that this is a false “religion.” The ego only gave to take away, and its flights of joy were paid for in tears of pain (a paraphrase from ACIM).

4 – Salvation Works

We lose nothing when we turn to the salvation outlined in A Course of Love. On the contrary, we only gain. So don’t let another moment’s hesitation keep you from what God wills. His way is joy. His way is the more subdued happiness. And contentment follows as well. The salvation that ACOL holds out to us works.

5 – The Accomplished

Remain vigilant against the ego’s dictates, and recognize, in humility, that we have traveled far along the pathway. We may not understand what Jesus means by calling us The Accomplished, but if he says it, perhaps we ought to listen.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would embrace change today, knowing that the old, egoic life is over, and only better times are ahead. I know that this does not mean that there will nevermore be pain in this life, but I do know that I don’t have to exacerbate the poorer experiences that do come. And with God’s help, I won’t exacerbate pain into suffering.

I would not fear change, knowing that the future is always brighter than the past when I follow Your way. You are there for me, always. And I sense Your presence in my better moments, and that is a very great blessing. Thank You for gently leading me ahead. Always gently.

Amen.

Dissatisfied?

bridgepontoise2pissarro
“By saying that giving and receiving are one in truth it is being said that you are lacking only in what you do not give. The belief in lack is a temptation of the human experience. This will relate to all situations in which you feel you have something to gain from some ‘other.’ Again, this will be related to old patterns of dissatisfaction with the self. It has to do with any ideas you may still hold concerning others having more than you have, or to desires that you may feel have gone unfulfilled. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 16.10)”

Affirmation: “I will give today to my brothers and sisters.”

Reflections:

1 – Giving and Receiving

Earlier I mentioned that the idea of giving and receiving being one is so often mentioned that we overlook what it means. We do not lack, because we are constantly in reciprocal relationship with others. We both give and receive, but we do not give because we think that if we don’t, we won’t receive. This statement is an egoic notion, and it behooves us to be better than that. We do not wish to manipulative, and if we still give in order to receive, we give amiss.

2 – Relationship

Giving and receiving happen all the time. It is the condition of relationship.

3 – Union and Relationship

In A Course of Love, union and relationship are twin themes mentioned frequently. We are in union with the All—God—but we are in relationship with all others as individuals (as well as One). And when we give and receive, we are giving and receiving, frequently, one on one. Not exclusively, but frequently.

4 – Of the Ego

We have often been dissatisfied with ourselves, and this dissatisfaction takes many forms, but all are of the ego. When the Christ Self emerges, we are at peace. We give and receive freely, knowing no lack. And we don’t envy others for what they have, of course. We know that in eternity we too can have those things, if we so desire.

5 – We All Have Everything

The fact that we all have everything is a statement from A Course in Miracles. Everything is ours, and so we don’t have to imagine that we are lacking the beauty, or attractiveness, or prowess, or any other thing that a brother or sister seems to have. All gifts are ultimately ours to have in eternity. Only time separates us from other people, and time does not really exist (also from ACIM).

6 – The Good that Is Ours

Be satisfied today with what you have. Don’t be jealous, don’t be envious. The good that is ours is uniquely suited to our needs. And when we fully realize this good, we will be satisfied.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be satisfied with myself today, but not in the sense of complacency. You would not have me be satisfied from an ego standpoint, of course. But a certain settled contentment is completely in line with this course we are taking, and this contentment goes a long way toward granting us consistent peace.

May I drop neurotic ideas today. May I let stress fall away from me, and with stress, also anger and attack. Neurosis is of the ego, and all of us are leaving our egos behind. May I do so today. I ask this frequently, and yet I still slip up. I fall on my face when stress encourages me to express anger at some totally irrelevant circumstance or remark made by another. Let all of us cease this type of thought, word, and deed today. May we truly know that contentment is akin to the peace that passeth understanding, and may we experience both this contentment and this peace today.

Thank You.

Amen.

Cease Struggle

“By saying that you are not only accomplished, but The Accomplished, it is being said that you are already what you have sought to be. In order to live by the truth, you must live in the world as The Accomplished and cease struggling to be other than who you are in truth. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 16.8)”

Affirmation: “I can avoid struggle today.”

Reflections:

1 – When Ego in Charge

Struggle is a given when the ego is in charge. But struggle, and its concomitant of strain and striving, is unnecessary in the new world of Christ in which we live. We change inwardly, and then we see the outer world change as well. We do effect societal change, but, as traditional Christianity has pointed out, we first must change internally.

2 – We Are Not Defective

We are not defective. Our Self has never left us, even when we were lost in the ego and its fears. Now we are called to affirm that the Self, the Christ, is motivating us—and in this motivation we have no fears that are unfounded. Fear serves only to alert us to dangers that still exist in this world. And fear does not degenerate into anxiety.

3 – Joy and Peace

We have struggled long and hard. We thought that this struggle was better than a superficial happiness that made us fail to change the world. But, as many have noted, real change starts from within. And happiness is a laudable goal, one that others would emulate. How can we change the world through salvation if we do not live lives of joy and peace? Who would want to listen to us?

4 – Be Exactly as We Are

We do no longer have to cease being exactly what we are. It is so close to the ego to say that we are The Accomplished, but that is exactly what Jesus is saying. We do not rest on our laurels, but we cease trying to turn ourselves inside out to become something that we are not. We are enough, given our dedication to God and His way.

5 – Contentment

monet - lilypadLet us vow to enjoy contentment today. Contentment assures that we will not struggle to attain salvation. Such a struggle would be counterproductive. Rest in God, and He will show us all that we need to know, through the Christ Self within.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am very hopeful that I can cease struggling in any way at all. You want that for me, and I thank You. Struggle, though it does not seem like it, is of the ego. And I have asked to let the ego wither away. In Your will.

Help me to understand how I can be The Accomplished when I don’t feel it throughout my whole being. I do not understand. Open my eyes that I might understand, free of the ego, in all humility.

Thank You.

Amen.

Content and Happy, Peaceful and Free of Fear

monet -Beach_at_Pourville“Although you may still feel confused and lacking in ability to do what I am asking of you, I feel confident in also saying that you are more content and happy, more peaceful and free of fear than you have ever been. While your life may not have changed in ways that you would like and while its limitations may seem even more frustrating than before, I am also confident in saying that a hope has been instilled within you, a hope for the very changes that you feel you need in order to reflect, within your daily life, the new Self you have become. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 16.4)”

Affirmation: “I thank You for the peace that I feel today.”

Reflections:

1 – Personal Experience

I do personally feel the essential tone of the passage for today, sensing a peace and happiness that was heretofore unknown. Perhaps the work of A Course in Love is emerging. I hope for this for all others who read ACOL as well.

2 – God’s Presence

How can it be that we feel more contented now than ever before? Is it because we sense God’s Presence in a more vital way than ever before? Is it because our yearning to “know” has been increasingly satisfied, in that we have a cosmology now that is satisfying and whole, leading us to drop contentions against God that He must be unloving because there is pain in this world? We know, from A Course in Miracles, that this world is illusory, but perhaps the world that we project becomes real when we have reach the next level of Christ-consciousness (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or ACOL). The real world, according to ACIM, is given to us just prior to the Awakening, which God Himself initiates when we are ready, a decision that belongs rightly to Him alone. Certainly the real world is a blessing that we would all long to see, and many of us have seen it in glimpses. These glimpses give us the peace and contentment, happiness and freedom from fear, that encourage us in the path that we have embarked upon.

3 – Contentment

Certainly we commune with God when we feel contentment. We intuitively thank Him for this state of mind and heart. The fact that in this world the feeling is fleeting, sometimes present and sometimes absent, does not mitigate against its very real nature when it is present. Medieval mystics often talked of God’s coming and going, including the dark night of the soul, which is a stop on the pathway to the mystical culmination.

4 – Gratefulness

Let us be grateful today for what we have, for it is indeed a good bit. The blessing of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are beyond description for those who have chosen this way of learning. There are, of course, many other pathways to salvation. Each must choose as he or she feels drawn to the message.

5 – God

Let us thank God that He has provided so well for us in an illusory world that we made as an attack on Him (from the Workbook of A Course in Miracles).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank you for the peace that I feel today. I sense Your Presence, and this sensing is a blessing in itself. Thank You for being there.

May we all know contentment in this world, even before we walk into the real world while on earth. We do not have all the answers, but we have been guided by Jesus’s words. Thank You for the knowledge that has been granted to us.

Amen.

You Do Not Need to Struggle

monet - water lily pond with bridge
“You do not need to give your effort to this calling. You do not need to struggle to create the new world you are called to create. You do not need to have a plan and you do not need to know precisely what this new world will look like. You simply need to be willing to live by the truth. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 16.2)”

Affirmation: “I will cease ‘effort’ and struggle today.”

Reflections:

1 – Striving

Most of us think that we have to strive to get anywhere in life, and sometimes that somewhere is an ego-driven goal. This is a long-held notion of human beings, and here Jesus says that we are thinking awry. To believe that we don’t need to struggle, to make an “effort,” but just to relax in the truth, is a welcome thought indeed. We are told that we can create the new world that is asked of us just by living the truth.

2 – Truth

The “truth” is a slippery concept for those still influenced by ego. Many people in this world have done disastrous things in the name of their truth. Harmful things, even things that they think are sanctioned by religion. Even those of us who have never been violent have fallen prey to the ego-oriented struggle for material goods and security. There is nothing wrong with safety and security, but our God is the only certain means of either.

3 – Perfectly Calm and Quiet

What does Jesus’s “truth” entail? These are interpretations, but surely his truth entails the calm and quiet toward which we are going. We will be “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time. Our dramas will be gone when we live by the truth, and, honestly, many of us aren’t sure that we won’t to live without drama. The truth is gentle and produces peace. It does not call for elaborate sacrifices on our part (and this will be a welcomed idea). Jesus’s truth is, in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, a place that we would want to visit and then decide to live. He takes away the effortful struggle that we have associated with salvation; this attitude partook of our still strong ego.

4 – ACIM vs. ACOL

What a blessing to know that we don’t have to make effortful attempts at creating a new world. What we are to do will occur to us at the time of action, whether the action be mental or physical. We will be told all that we need to know. In ACIM, the means of guidance is the Holy Spirit; and in ACOL, the means of guidance is turning to our inner Self/Christ. Both are parts of God, for God is the All.

5 – Peace

May we find peace and contentment in contemplating the passage for today from ACOL.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I sometimes find myself struggling to write this blog, and that is a notion that I need to give up. Help me to give up this notion. Give me Your peace and contentment, knowing that the right words will come when I get myself out of the way so that those words can come through me.

May I enjoy the cessation of striving. While I know that this isn’t a license for laziness, the cessation of striving is a welcome thought. Help me to know what it means, all in Your will.

Thank You.

Amen.

A Holy Relationship with the Self

“The holy relationship has been accomplished by the joining of the mind and heart in unity. The holy relationship is with the Self, the Self that abides in unity with all things within the house of truth. This relationship makes the Self one with all and so brings the holiness of the Self to all. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 15.10)”

Affirmation: “I will focus on the holy relationship with my Self today.”

Reflections:

1 – Movement Away from Special Relationships

In A Course in Miracles, the emphasis on holy relationships was with the other, our brother. This emphasis moved from special relationships, which were ego-driven, to holy relationships that would save us, is a function of our salvation. This change was seen as the fundamental way that we expressed forgiveness of our brother, and it was the fundamental way that we were to move toward Awakening.

2 – Relationship to the Christ Self Within

In A Course of Love, this movement to holy relationships with others is seen to be accomplished, and we are bade to develop a holy relationship with our deeper Self, which is the Christ within. We are once again, in the passage for today, told that we need to join our hearts and minds into unity—and that means the wholeheartedness that Jesus mentions quite a bit elsewhere in ACOL. When we experience the holiness of our Self, and we join with that Self is holy relationship, we automatically extend the same beneficence to others, and all are joined with us in holy relationship. We do not have to take individuals one-by-one. We have accomplished the all.

3 – At First Not Easy

It is not easy, at first, to recognize that the Christ within is present in us, and that this means, once we have recognized the Christ within, that we are The Accomplished. What vestiges of the ego exist in us still try to lead us to think that we are being arrogant.

4 – True Humility

True humility is what is called for here. All others have the same internal Christ, but all have not, as yet, so recognized. And we are needed to call the minds and hearts of others to this blessing of the inner Self, the inner Christ. We do not proselytize when others are not ready, but when others express a wondering about how we live and why, the way is open for us to respond. They are ready to hear.

5 – Make the Christ Self Real

May all of us think, say, and do the things today that will make the Christ Self real to us. May we make immeasurable progress today toward living as the Christ Self throughout our days.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would share a holy relationship with my significant others, and I would reach inwardly to toward relationship to my Self, also holy (though I don’t often recognize this). I would invite the Christ Self to make itself known to me today. And, if I stay close to You, this will happen, for I am asking in Your will.

Be with me today. Be with my brothers and sisters. We all need You, far more than sometimes we recognize.

Thank You.

Amen.

The Future Can Be Different from the Past

Vincent_Willem_van_Gogh_015 - cafe terrace at night“You must now birth the idea that human beings do indeed change. While you have known instinctively that there is a core, a center to each that is unchangeable, you must now give up the idea that this core or center has been represented by the past. You must forget the idea that the future cannot be different than the past. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 15.7)”

Affirmation: “The future can be different from the past.”

Reflections:

1 – The Past

The past carries a lot of baggage. Just prior to the passage for today, Jesus gives examples of apprehensions about the future for certain people being any different from their past. He catalogs a student who has done poorly in school in the past (and hopes to change), an alcoholic who is on the wagon (and hopes to stay there), the loved ones of an alcoholic (who hope for the best), and criminals in our penal system who are not really expected to be rehabilitated. In all of these cases, the past can be changed, even though expectations are sometimes low. In today’s passage, Jesus affirms for us that the past does not have to hold us captive. We can change, and so can our circumstances.

2 – Our “Center”

The core or center of a person has not really been represented by the personal self in league with the ego. There is an unchangeable core or center, but for most people we have never seen it. But it is this core or center that is the Self/Christ toward which we are marching. And when this Self/Christ comes forth, the future will be very unlike the past. People will seem to change and to change greatly.

3 – Christ Self

Let us have hope that the individuals in this world will come more and more to rely on the Christ Self that is within. Jesus has said that we are now living in the time of Christ, that the time of the Holy Spirit (represented by A Course in Miracles) is over. By this, I understand him to be saying that those of us who read and take to heart A Course of Love are living in the time of Christ. (This is personal interpretation.) For those still depending upon the Holy Spirit, ACIM is appropriate, but there is a step beyond, in ACOL, that we are seeking. And we can know the Awakening that ACIM holds out to us, and we can know the Christ-consciousness that ACOL discusses, and these two descriptions of enlightenment are different terms for the same phenomenon. Not everybody will reach enlightenment, but many of us will see glimpses of enlightenment in our daily lives. And the extent to which we give over our egoic self-will is the extent to which God (or the Holy Spirit, in ACIM) can work with us. We can change. Let us take steps today that will look inward to that core or center that does not change. Let us realize that the egoic personal self can transform into the holy personal self (an interpretation, not stated as such in either ACIM or ACOL).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

This is a time of great change for me, and not only in external factors. I hope to change on the inside, so that my central core becomes One with You. Help me to make this transition, a transition that is in line with Your wishes for all of us.

Be with me in the days that follow. May the external changes that I face be gentle and easy. May the internal changes that I hope for come without hassle and upset.

I wish for my brothers and sisters, as well as myself, a good day. I know that if all of us stay attuned to You, the day will go well—regardless of what we face.

Amen.

Marriage

flower in forest“Often, those within the relationship of marriage have had occasion to choose to forgive the past and begin again to build a new relationship. Others, in a similar relationship, might have chosen to let the past go and enter into new relationships. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 15.1)”

Affirmation: “I will contemplate forgiveness in marriage today.”

Reflections:

1 – New Beginning

We are after a new beginning now as we proceed with A Course of Love and its Treatise on the Personal Self. Jesus exemplifies what he is saying by appealing to marriage as an example of a state in which we may constantly seek new beginnings. Or we may end a marriage, and seek a new beginning with someone else. But we cannot have a true new beginning of either kind in a special relationship, for special relationships partake of the past.

2 – Truly New

We often think that the future cannot be different from the past, and this hinders new beginnings. Jesus is leading up to saying that now we can expect a true new beginning in our lives in the matter of salvation. We can expect the elevation of the Self of form.

3 – Glorious Promise

What a glorious promise indeed this is! If those of us in marital relationships would contemplate all that is promised us by new beginnings, our relationship would flourish. And this is just the idea that Jesus wishes to get across.

4 – Special to Holy Relationships

We can know new beginnings, with the intent to leave the past behind. If we cling to the past too tenaciously, our current relationships will be hindered. We are not asked to give up the past, but only to leave it in its place as a cherished part of ourselves. And anytime that special, as opposed to holy, relationships have disturbed us, we ought to mentally transform the special into the holy (an interpretation, not stated in A Course in Miracles or ACOL).

5 – Today We Look Forward

So let us look to new beginnings in marriage today. We owe a lot to these words of Jesus, words that promise us a new beginning in marriage as in salvation leading to Christ-consciousness and the elevation of the Self of form.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

You know, dear God, that I said to my husband a couple of days ago that now that my mother has just died, I would have to transfer all of my caregiving to him. Of course, he does not need all the caregiving that my mother did. But he will get more and more attention as the days pass.

Thank You for being with me in the most recent days. It is not a tragedy when a 93-year-old individual goes home to You. And without pain. May You shine Your blessings on all my departed family, who are greeting her into the fold again.

And thank You for the support that I have enjoyed in my marriage. This is indeed a time of especial closeness to You.

Amen.

You Are Doing This unto Yourself

renoir - moulingallette
“The suffering that has been chosen has been mighty. The choice now is not a choice to explore the why behind it or to look for remedies for the past. The choice now is whether you want suffering to continue or want to abolish it for all time. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 14.11)”

Affirmation: “I would choose to abolish suffering today and every day.”

Reflections:

1 – Eckhart Tolle

I have often quoted Eckhart Tolle in this blog, to the effect that pain does not have to turn into suffering. (Eckhart wrote The Power of Now and A New Earth, and he is an international spiritual teacher not limited to any particular religious tradition.) Now we are bade by Jesus to leave suffering behind forever. Jesus says that we can do this. It is a choice.

2 – Choice

How might we make that choice? It is easy. Just make the decision that you will recognize that you are doing this unto yourself (from A Course in Miracles). And choose not to do it any longer (a recommendation from Dr. Phil). We have this much choice. We can stop suffering in its tracks by recognizing that we can exert our power to overcome it. We can and will still experience pain in this physical and emotional body on earth, but, as Eckhart says, we don’t have to turn that pain into suffering.

3 – Blame and Bitterness

The two principal reasons that we hold onto suffering are blame and bitterness borne of guilt (from A Course of Love). We may think that we do not deserve a happy life, for we have done so many things wrong.

4 – God Has Never Condemned Us

This is false reasoning. God has never condemned us, and therefore He has no reason to forgive (from ACIM). But we ourselves must forgive ourselves, and this we can do. We would wish others to forgive themselves; would we withhold this blessing from ourselves?

5 – Madness and Forgiveness

I think not, when we reason it out. There is much madness still in us, though the madness is diminishing. We can make others as well as ourselves happier when we have forgiven. And forgiveness is the principal message of ACIM. That we have moved beyond forgiveness is perhaps not true. We will ebb and flow as we move toward Christ-consciousness.

6 – Guilt

So let us choose today to give up our guilt, and with it our blame and bitterness. With this choice, we make the decision to give up suffering, even though pain may still be present. And when we turn to happy dreams, we will even find that often we are free of the pain.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When the day goes badly, I must realize that I am doing this unto myself. I will get clues when I need to slow down and be careful, if I am open to listening to an inner Voice. May I be so open today.

Let us choose to have good days. Let us be patient with ourselves when we falter. And may the times of faltering lessen.

Amen.

How Little Consequence Fears Had in Truth

paintings-by-pierre-auguste-renoir-young girls at piano“You will also clearly see all of the choices that throughout your life were caused by fear and how little consequence they had in truth. These fearful choices took nothing from you or from others. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 14.9)”

Affirmation: “The fears of the past had no consequence.”

Reflections:

1 – Fears of the Past

The passage for today is a startling statement. Is it really true, as Jesus says? Have the fears of the past really made no difference?

2 – Love

Just prior to this passage, Jesus affirms that it is the love that we have experienced that made us the persons now that we would not change. We would not be other than what we are. This statement in itself needs some understanding, for at first glance it does not appear true. Do we really want how we are now? If we believe that love has made what we would not change, then our central core is love, and Love with a capital “L.”

3 – Of the Ego, in Illusion

And the fears have been of the ego, and in illusion, and therefore do not matter in the least. We have suffered, true, but we have suffered in illusion. Nothing real has ever been threatened (from A Course in Miracles). Because we are leaving illusions, and with illusions, the ego, behind, we have nothing left to fear. We can truly realize that the fears of the past are meaningless.

4 – Let Love Direct

So let love direct our course. We will be what we wish when we realize that reality is created of Love, and that nothing but Love counts for anything.

5 – Sequence of Events

If, while caught in the illusion, fears still rear their ugly heads, realize that the best that can happen to us is that we gently turn aside from our fears. Then the ego will dissipate, and we will soon be living in the real world. Awakening will follow shortly thereafter. And all will be well.

6 – Millions of Years

If this degree of salvation seems unattainable today, then let us be patient. It took millions of years for the separation to occur (from the Text of ACIM), and it may take even longer for the separation for everyone to be healed (also from ACIM). But once set on our course, the ending is certain. And for those of us who follow Jesus’s directions, there will very likely be no millions of years. We will help to lead others who have not yet benefited from Jesus’s words.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the knowledge that my fears do not matter in the grand scheme of things—that only Love matters. I would drop fears so immediately that my head will spin. I am relieved that those fears have not impacted anything real.

It is my choice to follow You in every minute detail as well as every grand scenario. Help me to do so. This world is a challenge only when I forget myself. There is no challenge when I gently let intuition rule, guiding each next footfall.

Amen.

Leave Behind Illness, Scarcity, and Disrespect

renior - ladies in the rain
“This is precisely why you must choose not to keep the life of discomfort caused by perceived illness, the life of scarcity caused by perceived lack, the lack of stature caused by perceived disrespect. It is only by your choice that you will keep these things and only by your choice that these things will leave you. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 14.7)”

Affirmation: “I would choose to leave behind illness, scarcity, and disrespect.”

Reflections:

1 – Discomfort

We can choose to leave behind negative things in our lives. Here three aspects of negative living are highlighted: illness, scarcity, and disrespect. How might we do this?

2 – Choice

Choice often does not seem to be a possibility for us. We don’t normally think that we can just decide to be well and free of illness, and have this blessing come upon us. The law of attraction says that we can have what we want to create. But the Self/Christ is the one who does the choosing, and often this Self seems unavailable to us. I say “seems,” for many of us are caught still in the personal self that is contaminated by the ego. The Christ Self does the choosing, and we can influence that Self by taking the personal self deep within.

3 – Illness

We would choose to leave behind illness if we could. Sometimes the Christ Self chooses the negativity of illness for a lesson. But we learned in A Course in Miracles that we don’t have to learn through pain, that learning through rewards is much better and more lasting. Learning through pain is temporary. But it is the only way, often, when we are stubborn. God has to get through to us in some way. And our Christ Self knows this and acts in our lives accordingly.

4 – Scarcity

We fear scarcity, and in this fear we can make the scarcity an illusory reality in our world. God knows that we have material needs, and it is true to the law of attraction, also, that we can create the material wants that we call forth. If this calling forth is for ego gratification, though, the blessing, the happiness, will be short-lived. And we will want and want again, trying to fill ourselves up to avoid scarcity. There is a better way. And that is to let God do the choosing for us. Let Him satisfy our material needs, if not our wants, and we will not have a sense of scarcity even in the midst of plenty. Our own wanting is never satisfied long.

5 – Disrespect

Disrespect is different from the others, for this sense comes often from what others think of us. Wishing that we had the approbation of others is a dead-end street. Wanting approval means that we are in a very “grabby” mood, and we will not have the satisfaction of long being assured that we have approbation. We want a gentile sense of respect from others, and we can have this. But we don’t get it by the wanting itself.

6 – Choose Once Again

If illness, scarcity, and disrespect dog your steps, choose again. As ACIM says, “Choose once again.” The personal self, once it fully understands, is capable of reaching downward, in the heart and mind, to the Christ Self within. And it is this Christ Self that will heal us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose only good things, certain that I don’t have to choose negativity in order to appreciate the positive. I would especially let illness drop away entirely, despite growing older. I can enjoy my physical body and then, when my time comes, lay it down peacefully and without pain/suffering. I can choose this, and if my Self agrees, the way is smoothed.

Be with me today as I seek to have a good day, free of depressed thinking and doleful thoughts. I would be joyous, happy in the blessings which I have. Your way shows me those blessings, and if I just follow guidance, the blessings multiply without any effort at all.

Thank You.

Amen.

Those Who Will Be Visited by Great Change Are Those Who Desire It

RenoirDanceatBougival“As you begin to dwell in the house of truth and see with the eyes of love, you will see far less about the life you lead that you would change than you would imagine. You fear where all your new ideas might take you, and for some great changes may surely await, but those who will be visited by great change are but those who desire it. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 14.5)”

Affirmation: “I will contemplate whether or not I want great change.”

Reflections:

1 – Personal Experience

I know first hand the truth of this passage. I recognize that at this moment I do not wish for great change in my life. There is some struggle, but largely my life is going well (contrary to some periods in the past), and perhaps this passage means that ought to credit my study of A Course of Love with this general good in my life. We do create what we dwell upon, and when we have dwelled upon the good message of ACOL, we are less likely to want great change.

2 – Solution Is Always with the Problem

For those of you who are going through a rough patch of time, yes, of course, choose anew for change. It is very likely that this change for the better will ensue quickly, for the solution is always with the problem, and when we ask for the solution, it presents itself. It is important to note that great change will not be thrust upon us if we are unwilling to experience great change. We will “desire it” and see the change come to pass. We have nothing to fear, for we are perfectly safe.

3 – Gratefulness

The best way to ensure good times as a continuation into the future is to be grateful for what we already have (an interpretation, not emphasized in either A Course in Miracles or ACOL). The function of gratitude is to get us ready for even better things in the future. Even if the present seems dire, we do indeed have many things for which to be grateful, even though our eyes may be blind to those things. Talk to someone who has a fresh eye, who can see the advantages that you do actually enjoy. This is a better pathway than cursing what seems to be darkness.

4 – Change May Come Gradually

Change will come to all of us, but an implication of today’s passage is that the change will not come overwhelmingly or in great quantity if we are living a life that we like. We have become ready to accept what we have.

5 – Acceptance

Accepting what we have is the first step toward increased blessings. And gratitude for what we have is the means. Again, this is an interpretation, and it is based on the law of attraction.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am intensely grateful today for what I have. It is easy, of course, to be grateful when things are going well. But some individuals develop great faith when things are going badly. And they have learned through pain to do so.

Jesus says that it is not necessary to learn through pain, that learning through rewards is lasting, and learning through pain is not. Let us seek today to learn through rewards. And may those rewards gradually lead us to the changes in our lives that we wish.

If we see much wrong with our lives, let us move forthrightly to change. May we welcome this change, never fearing it. Fear is of the ego, of course, and we are leaving the ego behind—indeed, we have done so, though lapses may still occur. Evolution is not a straight line.

May all of us have a good day. May we rest in the contentment that allows us to be truly productive, but without strain or struggle. We do not have to struggle to be good; we merely have to rest in Your promises. You will take us home, and You will reach down and lift us up to Awakening when the time is right. I rest in that promise today. Thank You.

Amen.

The Ultimate in Salvation

san Marco Renoir painting“It should be becoming clear to you by now that, although you dwell in the house of the truth, you are capable of bringing with you old patterns of behavior. Once the translation of the new thought system for the old is complete, this will no longer happen. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 14.3)”

Affirmation: “I would avoid old patterns of behavior today.”

Reflections:

1 – Christ-Consciousness

We need to translate the old thought system into the new—the old egoic patterns into the new truth of reality as it is meant to be lived through Christ-consciousness, the ultimate in salvation. But we are still caught in the fears of the old pattern, and as long as those fears stay with us, we will have a problem. We will not be moving forward.

2 – Fear

Take time today to contemplate, with God, what we might do to speed along the process to completion of salvation. Many of us have had mystical experiences along the way, even glimpses of Christ-consciousness, but these have most usually not been sustained. Ask, and ye shall receive (from the New Testament). Ask to reach Christ-consciousness and to sustain it. To do so will mean that we make a conscious choice to leave fear behind.

3 – Divine Help

Can we leave fear behind on our own? No! We cannot. We need divine power to leave behind something that has become so ingrained in us. But God’s will for us is surely to leave behind the old thought system of egoic fear, and to walk into the sunlight with Him. He would have us transform ourselves, and ultimately the world. And time does not mean the same to Him that it does to us. What may seem a very long time, even millions of years (from A Course in Miracles), will pass very quickly in the grand scheme of things.

4 – Paradox

Don’t be afraid to leave fear! This assertion sounds paradoxical, and indeed it is. But do we not cling to the past in thousands of ways? Are we not afraid to let go and let God? His truth for us is far greater than we can imagine. He can show us how to lose the past by an all-encompassing movement, even run, toward the future.

5 – God

Let God show us today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I need to leave fear behind forever. I have often prayed a prayer for the lessening of anxiety, yet despite the glimpses of the ultimate in life, I still invite anxiety from time to time by my attitudes.

Let me leave this foolishness behind now and each day in the future, taking one day at the time. It is not Your will that we cower against this world, though it is true that this world can hurt us. I would not invite hurt by my attitude. I would enjoy tranquility and peace today and every day. Help me to do so.

Thank You.

Amen.

Self-Actualization

Pierre-Auguste-Renoir-painting-ren05
“While the foundation of fear, like the ego, will have left you now, a pattern of behaving fearfully may still remain and as such be a deterrent to new ideas and to action. As long as these patterns of fear remain as deterrents to action, you will not experience the freedom of living from the new thought system. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 14.1)”

Affirmation: “I would be free of fear today.”

Reflections:

1 – Fear

I talk a great deal about fear in this blog, because it is the single most inhibiting characteristic of our lives when we are still dwelling with the personal self that has not been elevated to the Self of form. And that includes all of us, because Jesus says in A Course of Love that nobody has yet sustained the elevated Self of form. As time passes, perhaps a chosen few will sustain enlightenment and then the elevated Self of form will seem to be and will be a goal that all of us can visualize ourselves reaching. We do not make the decision of when, though. That is entirely out of our hands, though we can study to be ready when God calls. He makes the decision of when Awakening will come to each of us.

2 – New Life

We cannot live the new life to which we are called if we cling to vestiges of fear. The continuing pall that such vestiges will drop over our lives would make a better life for the personal self impossible. And we do not want to allow this better life to escape our hands. We need to know how to act, what to do, and what to even think.

3 – Prayer

The best way to prepare is communion with God (a personal interpretation, not stated in ACOL or A Course in Miracles). When we live with the shadow of the Almighty, we live on sacred ground indeed. We live safely, sure of our protection always, as He watches out for us. He does not always save us from pain, but He will always show us a way to prevent turning that pain into suffering. And we do not have to learn through pain (from the Text of ACIM). We can learn through rewards. And the rewards insure that the learning will be permanent. All too often what we learn through pain is temporary, and we forget as soon as the pain goes away.

4 – Christ-Consciousness

We need to live the new life that is held out to us. We catch glimpses of Christ-consciousness, and, even if this is not sustained, we return to level ground with more of ourselves realized. And we are intended to head toward the realization of our Self/Christ. We are meant to be self-actualized. The fact that we cannot snap our fingers and get God to respond should not be a deterrent to our slow and easy acquisition of His words. He will guide us surely to Christ-consciousness. And what He does will last, one day, of that we can be sure.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be self-actualized today. I realize that I may not have walked far enough along the path to reach this blessing. But I want to think, say, and do the things today that will advance my progress. Help me to do so.

Christ-consciousness is the blessing that we all seek. May I be patient as I catch glimpses, but do not sustain the epitome. I know that there is a reason for this. I am not yet ready, but I pray that I will be soon. I ask this prayer on behalf of my brothers and sisters as well.

Amen.

When I Have Let Grievances Go, I Will Know that I Am Perfectly Safe

camille-monet-and-her-son-jean-in-the-garden-at-argenteuil-renoir-large“I am safe and nothing that I do or do not do will threaten my safety. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 13.8)”

Affirmation: “I cannot threaten my safety today.”

Reflections:

1 – Grievances and Safety

This passage for today is an echo of a significant passage from the Workbook of A Course in Miracles. ACIM say that when we have let all grievances go, we will know that we are perfectly safe. But here in A Course of Love, we are not even warned about grievances (but maybe because we are presumed already to have let grievances go). Nothing that we do or do not do can threaten our safety. We will in a safe universe.

2 – Peace and Quiet

Of course, that does not mean that the body will never feel pain. But our Self will never be hurt. Our core Self is always calm and at peace, quiet. The inner assurance that we can derive from believing this blessing is overwhelming. We can likewise allow pain, if it comes, but we ourselves have the wherewithal not to turn that pain into suffering. We are safe.

3 – Safety and Security

Safety and security are never unsought in this world. But when we are caught by the ego, we cannot know safety and security on a constant basis, because the ego is constantly being undone. Our flights of joy turn to chaos and tears.

4 – Our Only Security = God

In this world, we will live in a much more stable environment when we give up seeking security. Our only security is God, and He has always been there for us, though we have not always known this. If we seek to prepare for our material needs, we may find ourselves shaken, for sometimes we seem to have needs that go unmet. This is the illusory “reality” of this world. Yet God knows our needs, and our real needs are met. Our wants are not always met, and perhaps our Christ inner Self knows that it would not be good for us to have all of our wants met. We get in our heads some very strange wants.

5 – Needs and Wants

Be willing to wait on God’s timing for the satisfaction of wants. First may be a desire for safety, and this is a need that is met, even when we don’t see it that way. The needs are often inscrutable, for we so often confuse needs and wants. What God gives to us may be superior to what we earlier wanted. Let us trust Him enough to know what is best for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I have clung to Your promise that when I let all grievances go, I will know that I am perfectly safe. I feel the truth of that promise just this moment. Thank You.

You know that we need safety and security in this world, and the only real security is found in You. Even when bad things happen (and they do in this world), I can know that my Self is not hurt. The inner Christ Self is never harmed, and that is truly the only self that we are. Our egoic personal self often knows flights of joy followed by the depths of despair, because the ego is a false part of belief about ourselves that is constantly being undone. I would let the ego go today. I would make that a priority, though I realize that I may pray this prayer tomorrow also. The ego dies hard. But it does die, and my glimpses of Awakening have shown me that.

Thank You.

Amen.

Love Does Not Demand Payment

impressionist paintings
“How you implement this idea [refusing to believe in earning and paying] will be your choice. But the idea that you do not have to earn your way nor pay your way must be birthed and lived by. While most of you will immediately think of your survival needs, this is far from the only area in which the idea of earning or paying your way can be found. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 13.7)”

Affirmation: “Under the laws of love, I don’t have to earn or pay for my pathway.”

Reflections:

1 – Earning and Paying

Upon reading the passage for today for the first time, we are very apt to discount it as impractical. Of course we have to earn our way! Of course we have to pay for our way! But do we really? What does earning and paying for really mean?

2 – Cost

In the idea of earning and paying, everything comes at a cost. And in the laws of mankind, that is indeed true. But the laws of mankind are laws of illusion, laws of the ego in that illusion. And the laws of love say something very different.

3 – Laws of Love

We still have to make our way in the world, and so it would be very wrong to quit our jobs and expect the world to care for us. We do not willingly give up our livelihood, and that is good. But the laws of love need no payment, and it is in the love that we would live today. We need the love of ourselves toward ourselves (self-love), love for God, and love for our brothers and sisters (giving and receiving). We are not meant to be alone, to be solitary creatures in our isolation because we do not trust.

4 – Trust

We can trust the world to give love back to us that we have also given to the world. And for this blessing there is no need to think of earning that love or paying for that love. The earning and paying are all of the old world, the world before the time of Christ. Now we seek only love, though our material needs do enter in (and rightfully so). God would have all of our needs—physical and emotional—be met. And this will happen as we proceed along our pathway. God’s children lack only from their own choice, but it is a choice of the Higher Self, not the personal self. And lack is not a conscious choice, and so we are not to blame the victim.

5 – Love

Look to love for your answers. Don’t think of any necessity to pay for this love. It is a free gift, an offer from God to us that will not be obliterated.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would recognize today that love is a free offer from You. Your help is also a free offer. There is no reason to think in terms of payment or “earning my way” where You are concerned.

I would seek the love, in relationship, that is mine today. I would willingly recognize that payment taints the agreement that I have made with love. Love is mine to have and hold, as it is for everyone.

May I spend today in love. May all of us spend today in love.

Amen.

Separate and Alone? Or in Relationship?

Impressionist-Paintings-020
“The life of the physical self became a life of suffering and strife only because the physical or personal self forgot that it exists in relationship and believed itself to be separate and alone. In its fear, it made an ego-self which, because it sprang from fear, was not consistent with the laws of Love or of creation. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 12.9)”

Affirmation: “I realize that the personal self can be a Christ Self.”

Reflections:

1 – Ego and Fear

We are in relationship to each other, and that means that we are not alone, even in this world. Of course, God is always within us; He is the All. Yet we are not meant to be alone, and being alone brings on fear. We would, I believe, not have made an ego-self if we had not been so fearful. Yet fear brings on more fear, and a deeper retreat into madness.

2 – Relationship

If we remember that we are meant to be relationship, not only with ourselves, our deepest Self, but also with one another, we will eliminate fear at its deepest. We will eliminate the need to kowtow to the ego, and the ego will gradually wither away. There is no better way to live than to recognize, day-by-day, that the ego is withering away. We turn aside from the ego at very point we recognize that we are believing ourselves to be separate and alone. We turn aside from egotistical leanings, though this is not the full meaning of the “ego.” The ego is a false sense of our personal self, a part of our belief about ourselves. And it was never true. We, on some level, recognize its falsity, and this in turn also makes us fearful. A retreat into madness is always fearful. And we would not retreat into madness.

3 – No Longer Alone

Let us turn to one another today. Let us realize that when we recognize that we are in relationship to our Christ Self within, and the God within, and in relationship to our brothers and sisters, we are certainly no longer consumed by a belief that we are alone. And this sense of being alone has given us, in large measure, the fear that dogs our steps. The ego was developed to answer to that fear, but the ego actually accentuates the fear. The ego-mind is best left behind in the mists of past days with their unhappiness. Let us walk into the sunlight with God, sure in His love and sure in our relationship to All. May we love our brothers and sisters, and bask in the certainty that, just as God is there for us, our brothers and sisters are there for us as well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would undermine the ego today by recognizing that I have never been separate and alone. I have always been relationship to You, my Self/Christ, and my brothers and sisters—not to mention the physical universe as we perceive it.

Knowing that I am not separate and alone will take away the need to assert an ego-self. I think that I need to set myself apart when I am fearful of myself and others. This attitude need not be. And I would leave it behind forever, beginning today.

Thank You for letting me know that I am never alone, and I have never been. I was a long time coming to this knowledge, but now that I have assimilated, the future looks ever brighter.

Thank You.

Amen.

A Physical Self Is Not Inconsistent with the Laws of God

Robert Hagan 1947 - Australian Impressionist painter - Tutt'Art@ (17)“The choice to express who you are in physical terms was not a choice made of fear but made of love. A physical self is not inconsistent with the laws of God or of creation. It is simply a choice. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 12.9)”

Affirmation: “I will rejoice in my physical body today, living in love only.”

Reflections:

1 – No Degrading the Physical

We see that the physical body is not to be degraded as inferior in experience to the things of the spirit. We can live in love with the physical body. And we did not make a “bad” choice when we decided to live in physicality. We simply made a choice that can be glorified.

2 – Body

So many religious traditions deemphasize the body and especially see it as unfortunate. We are taught that we need to bring it under control, that the body will lead us astray.

3 – Ego

Actually it is the ego which will lead us astray. The physical body is neutral (from A Course of Love). It is what we make of the ego that determines how we will live on earth. If we choose out of fear, we will live in a body that seems to react to every stress. We will often regret the body, because its reactions seem to have a mind of their own, and we suffer accordingly.

4 – Illusion

This is all the way of illusion, and if we sense this fear, we are living much of our time under our egoic influence. Let us not do so today, or any day. May we drop egoic influence, and the best way to begin to do that is to do nothing about of egotistical reasons. We can drop the ego; it is choice that we are empowered to make. And when we drop the ego, we will recognize that the body does nothing. It is a thing that allows us to express our self, a means of expression as well as communication, and nothing more. We need neither to fear its reactions or to glorify those reactions.

5 – Body as Communicative Tool

Be with the body in love today. Let the body be a means by which we can communicate with our brothers and sisters. And let us not use the body willfully. We need to recognize that the body does nothing of itself; it is the mind and heart that determine what the body does.

6 – Today

And let the body do only good things today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the insight, given in the passage for today, that Your will and the body are not at odds. I can be glad that I have a body to serve as a means of communication in this world with my brothers and sisters. I can be thankful for my body as a means of expression. And I do not have to wait for the Other Side, where bodies are ethereal and obey laws different from what I know on earth.

May I use my body well today. May I keep it healthy and strong, physically, and may my emotions be tranquil. May I have emotional stability in my physically healthy body. Illness need not come near me if I create rightly in this world. And illness that does come is a form of external searching, and I would search only internally, in You.

Amen.

Embodying a State You Have Not Even Dared to Dream

Monet_Water_Lilies_1916“As it dawns upon your once slumbering mind that change on a grand scale awaits you, you will grow fearful if you do not realize that what is being proposed to you here is something completely new, something you have not even dreamed of. This state you have not even dared to dream of is a state in which only God’s laws of love exist even within the realm of physicality. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 12.7)”

Affirmation: “I would experience God’s laws of love today.”

Reflections:

1 – Physicality

The passage for today shows us that physicality is not bad, that it is a good state. This is the attitude throughout A Course of Love, which seeks to lead us to the elevated Self of form, a state in which Christ-consciousness is sustained. Of course, we are told that absolutely nobody has sustained Christ-consciousness yet. And Jesus is asking us to reach that state of sustainability. But the idea that the physical body is good is to be celebrated is a departure, in effect, from A Course in Miracles.

2 – Gnostic Influence

There was a heavy Gnostic influence in ACIM, and the world of maya, or illusion, was seen to offer us nothing that we would want. The world did not have anything to offer except the hope of happy dreams, from which we were eventually led beyond to Awakening and the real world. And we were led to believe that the Teachers of teachers were no longer born into this world, but that we receive their teachings from the Other Side (from the Manual of A Course in Miracles).

3 – Elevated Self of Form

But if we live God’s way of love, we can enjoy the physical body in this world. We are no longer looking to the ego for satisfaction in that physical body, but to our Christ Self. And then, if we are faithful to our learning, we will eventually sustain the elevated Self of form.

4 – No Curse!

What a blessing to know that the body is not a curse after all! There is much that we enjoy in this world, and we do not have to wait for the afterlife to enjoy ourselves. And we can enjoy ourselves in innocence borne of an elimination of the ego in ourselves. This analysis, unique to ACOL, is cause for rejoicing.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would embody this new state sooner rather than later. I would see that the physical body is not to be lamented, but to live in, under Your laws. Now nothing is missing. I will eventually die, and my ethereal body may be different from the physical body that I have now, but nothing has to be missing now. I can fully enter into Your laws right now, here and now.

I would choose to experience the elevated Self of form—as much as I can do the choosing, for I know that the final decision is in Your hands. Be with me as I seek to follow the path back to You. Let me turn inward today as I walk a close walk with You.

Amen.