Tag Archives: Christiantiy

Our Internal Self

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

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

Reflections:

1 – Enlightening Passage

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

2 – Christ-Consciousness

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

3 – What Can We Do to Birth the Self?

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

4 – Union

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

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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

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

Thank You.

Amen.

Life Experiences

pissarro003“You might ask, how do you learn what you have failed to learn previously? . . .Your life must become your teacher, and you its devoted pupil.  Here is a curriculum designed specifically for you, a curriculum only you can master.  Only your own life experiences have led to the learning you have accumulated and translated into beliefs.  Only your own life experiences will reverse the process.  (A Course of Love, 23.29)”

Affirmation:  “My life experiences will now reverse the failed lessons of the past.”

Reflections:

1 – Reverse the Learning of the Past

How do we reverse the learning of the past, the egoic learning that so misled us and made us miserable?  We must simply take the next step that seems right to us, as we listen to our hearts.  We can reverse any and all egoic tendencies, and in so doing we will learn anew and, this time, learn aright.

2 – Are We Learning Aright Now?

How can we know that what our life experiences are teaching us, now, is correct?  We can answer one simple question:  How do we feel?  Are we finding joy in the midst of everyday experiences, however painful they may be?  Are we happy, in spite of these inevitable difficulties?  And do the difficulties seem to be a breeze for us, where earlier they might have derailed us entirely?

3 – Follow the Heart

If we are following our hearts, there will be a noticeable decline in painful experiences.  What we need to learn will still be presented to us, and sometimes struggle will be involved, but when we turn to God in communion, our burdens will lighten immediately.  Not hours later, bur, if we believe strongly enough that God is helping us, the burdens will lift immediately.  We will know that this blessing has occurred when the day seems somewhat lighter to us, and we ourselves feel lighter.  We are, finally, listening to God, as well as our brothers and sisters.  There is no end to the ways in which guidance can come to us.  But come it will, when we turn gently aside from the egotistical ways that previously directed our path in this world.

4 – Reverse the Separated State

Our life experiences will then be in a position to reverse the isolated and separated state in which we have believed ourselves to be.  We will learn joyful lessons, so different from the misery that we brought upon ourselves by keeping God out of our lives.  We will attract the good by our attitudes.  Our calm and peace will envelop us, and we will turn to God instinctively, as the day progresses.  And as each day passes into a new one, we will find ourselves ever more ready to affirm God’s blessings.  We will know that we are on the right pathway, finally.  And if we are honest, we will recognize that we did it all to ourselves!  God is ever more eager for our healing than we ourselves are, as Norman Vincent Peale, an inspirational author/pastor of the last century, said.  In our own experiences, we can know that Dr. Peale was right.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to listen to my heart today.  If another intervenes between my heart and myself, may I know how to respond, because we are influences by others’ agendas.  May all work out for the best, as You have taught.

Be with me as I seek to learn from my life.  May my life experiences not be a drag upon me, but a joy.  May I regret nothing from the past, knowing that all that I have lived through has prepared me for each next step.

Amen.

Overcoming Bitterness and Uncertainty

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“Bitterness and uncertainty are replaced by hope.  Hope is the condition of the initiate, new to the realization of having a home within the embrace.  It is the response that says to all you have just read, ‘Ah, if only it were true.  If only it could be true.’  (A Course of Love, 20.36)”

Affirmation:  “hope”

Reflections:

1 – Three Thoughts

There are three distinct trains of thought in the passage for today.  Let’s take them in order.

2 – Bitterness and Uncertainty Left Behind

First, we see that, as progress in reading A Course of Love, we leave bitterness and uncertainty behind.  Bitterness is a state of mind that was not a focus of A Course in Miracles, but is important to ACOL.  We are seen to be bitter about many of the things that have happened to us on our pathway through life.  And we hold this feeling of bitterness, this grievance against God, close to ourselves.  We cannot live this way in peace.  We must and will choose a better way.  And hope is the answer.  Even when life seems to go against us, because we have, like a mirror, attracted bad things to ourselves, we can recognize that this state of affairs does not have to be permanent.  We can choose again, and in the next choice, we can reach the tipping point of above 50 percent, which changes everything–if we hold firm to this concept of what we wish to see in our lives.  (Ideas are adapted from Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret trilogy.)

3 – Hope

We enjoy hope when we accept the embrace of Jesus as what we want, as we realize that he is serious about offering us the total, unconditional love that we crave.  And he soothes us, for we are much in need of comforting.  This the embrace does for us.  We imagine that Jesus is enfolding us in his arms, and we instantly feel justified.  We feel accepted by God as well as by Jesus.  And we accept ourselves, knowing that regardless of how many mistakes we have made, we are loved.

4 – The Embrace

The final sentence in the passage for today is the central hope of the embrace.  If only it could be true that I am forgiven!  If only it could be so simple to feel the peace that I want to feel!  This is the promise that hope brings to us.  And if we accept the indications of our heart, we will know peace, serenity, and we will also know happiness.  Jesus’s embrace can and will do all of this for us.

5 – Forgive Self

So let us drop our own unforgiveness toward ourselves.  We will even continue to make mistakes, for we are human (as well as divine), and we are living in this world, where there are many temptations.  But we need not feel that all is lost, that there is no hope.

6 – Hope Will Take Us Home

This passage tells us that there is hope.  And this hope will take us home to God, while we continue to walk this world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

The solution is always with the problem, and when we have articulated precisely the problem, and just as precisely turn that problem over to You, the solution appears–and quickly.  Your time is not ours, but more often than not the time is soon, even within our timeframe.  This gives us hope, which we are studying today.  And of course any lingering bitterness about what life has dealt us, or any uncertainty about what to do in the future, dissipate.  We always know the next right step, when we have taken the time to ask with sincerity.  Thank You.

Be with me today as I seek to solve the pesky problems that have married my mornings recently.  I feel anxious in the morning, and You would not have it so.  I feel on the verge of a breakthrough, and I have hope that this is a certainty.  I do ask for help with sincerity.

Thank You for listening to my prayer.

Amen.

To Sing a Song of Gladness

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

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

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

Reflections:van gogh - tree5

1 – An Ideal

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

2 – Effortlessness

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

3 – Calm and Centered

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

4 – Attitude

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

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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

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

Amen.

Living with Happiness and Love and Miracles

“Without your vigilance it [the ego] may even seem to have become stronger than before and fiercer in its criticism.  It pretends to hold you to new standards, only to use what you have learned to increase your guilt.  Thus it wins in daily battles and works for your final abdication, the day that you give up and admit defeat.  It challenges your right to happiness and love and miracles, and seeks only to have you claim that living with such fantasies does not work and will not ever be possible here.  (A Course of Love, 2.19)”

Affirmation:  “happiness and love and miracles”

Reflections:

1 – Reminiscent of ACIM

This passage reflects the attitude of A Course of Love in regard to the ego, an attitude that is in agreement with A Course in Miracles.  The ego was dislodged by our study of ACIM, and this previous reading was necessary as a precursor to A Course of Love.  (Mari Perron herself, the scribe, read A Course in Miracles seven times prior to channeling ACOL.)  But we need to go beyond just dislodging the ego, and that is, I believe, why Jesus channeled the later work, A Course of Love.  We need his definition fo “wholeheartedness” to replace the void that perhaps we have felt with no dependence on the ego.  We have to step forward and let the heart take over a bit from the mind.  We do not ignore the mind, but we combine the heart and the mind into what Jesus calls “wholeheartedness.”  So mind and heart work in conjunction with each other.

2 – Mind & Heart = Wholeheartedness

The paragraph above is a paraphrase of a good bit of what is told us in the opening pages of ACOL.  If we can keep these distinctions between mind and heart and wholeheartedness close to ourselves, we will come a long way toward understanding the new way of learning, dubbed “observation.”  But in this first volume of ACOL we are still learning in a somewhat anomalous way.

3 – The Ego = the Nemesis

As Jesus describes the ego, a part of our belief about ourselves, the ego sounds a lot like previous conceptions of the “devil.”  Yet all of this idea is internal.  There is not outer devil, in the understanding of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.  We do it all to ourselves (though we do not blame the victim, as the Self makes decisions that the personal self knows not of).  We would recognize that in an egoic world, we cannot conceive of the good without the bad, God without the devil.  And this is also madness.  But it is the way that our minds work.  We need to better than this, and we can when we study ACIM and ACOL.

4 – Into the Time of Christ

We do have a right to happiness, love, and miracles.  And we would do well to step forward to claim that right.  The Christ within us, the Self, will guide us as we move beyond the time of the Holy Spirit, into the time of Christ.

5 – Move Forward

And may we move willingly, not clinging to the past because it is all that we have known.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would spend today being sweeter, and this means that I look aside from the ego.  I don’t resist the ego, for that would increase its power in my life–but I just turn away, focusing on the love that is at the center of my being.  I focus on the Self/Christ that is internal to me.  I focus on the happiness and love and miracles that are mine to choose.  And they are mine to choose.  We do not have to live a paltry life.  Glorious blessings are our birthright.

Be with me today as I seek to be a sweeter person.  That is all that one member of my family ever asked of me, and I have remembered his blessing fondly.  His desire was in stark contrast to the push to “succeed” and to “achieve” that everyone else in my family wanted.

But You want us only to follow Your pathway, and Your pathway is a way of ease and the cessation of difficulty.  You will lead us to every miracle that You have saved for us.  Our health can improve daily, our dispositions as well.  And we can be the sweet creatures that You, too, want us to be.

Amen.

Tranquil Mind

“A tranquil mind is not a little gift.  Would you not rather live than choose to die?  (M-20.4)”

Affirmation:  “I would choose to live.”

Reflections:

1 – To Live in This World

To be in this world without a tranquil mind is existing rather than living (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  Would we not rather choose to live?  And a tranquil mind can allow us to live in all the fullness that this world affords.  This world, as such, may not afford much, as Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that this world has nothing to offer (a truth that takes much consideration).  But even in this world we can be happy if we have a tranquil mind.

2 – Conditions of a Tranquil Mind

How do we seek out the conditions of a tranquil mind?  Surely we already know this answer.  We turn inward to God or His Communicator, the Holy Spirit.  (The Holy Spirit is also called the Universal Inspiration–from the opening pages of the Text.)  We slow down our frenetic pace, and we seek the quiet that only God can give.  We come to know peace, even in the midst of a busy life.  And we commune with God every chance that we get (and there are many chances, most of which, unfortunately, we ignore).

3 – Tranquility in a Quiet Mind

We would all know the tranquility that comes from a quiet mind.  Jesus says in ACIM that our goal is to become “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time.  Not everybody is ready to hear this, as some of us still long for drama in our lives.  But the more often we experience calm and quiet, the more desirous it becomes for us.  And calm and quiet can become very desirous indeed.

4 – Plea to God

We would choose a tranquil mind today.  Lead us along that pathway, dear God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I will never be truly happy, on a consistent basis, until I have settled down to serenity, to a tranquil mind.  I would do so today.  Be with me as I seek You in an ever more loving way.  You are found through love, and I pray that I always remember this.  You do not countenance drama in our daily life, and drama is a distraction supported by the ego and meant to keep us tied to the ego’s apron sttrings.

You want better for me.  You want better for all of us.

Help me to find that better today.  And tomorrow.

Amen