Tag Archives: confusion

An Illusion Is an Attempt to Make Something Real that Is Regarded as of Major Importance, but Is Recognized as Being Untrue.

1 – The Mind

“By definition, an illusion is an attempt to make something real that is regarded as of major importance, but is recognized as being untrue. The mind therefore seeks to make it true out of its intensity of desire to have it for itself. (M24)”

This definition of illusion can be understood by many of us because of life situations in which we have tried to “fool ourselves” into believing, sometimes vehemently, something that is not true. In our depths we often recognize that what we fervently want to believe is not true, because we may get a curious “stop” to our attempts to pray for this outcome. If this happens to us, we would do well to reflect on what is actually at stake.

2 – Illusions

Illusions are prevalent in our world. There is so much pain in even everyday life that we retreat from feverish dreams into an illusory world that seems–but only “seems”–better. Somewhere is our deepest being we recognize that we are believing in an illusion, and we, somewhere, feel self-betrayed. We do not often let this deeper understanding surface, though. We may live for years with illusions that would have been left behind in the beginning if we had only turned to the Holy Spirit earlier.

3 – Self-Betraying

The mind is very powerful, and it can seem to make an illusion true. Such tactics are self-betraying in the long run, though. We don’t want to believe a falsehood, and our intensity of desire for an illusion is the real culprit here. The desire will abate when we recognize that we are fooling ourselves and when we turn to the Holy Spirit for more substantive consolation. Then and only then will we be free to let the illusion fall away.

4 – Feverish Dreams

“Finding health a burden, it retreats into feverish dreams. And in these dreams the mind is separate, different from other minds, with different interests of its own, and able to gratify its needs at the expense of others. (M24)”

5 – Tangled Up

Our “feverish dreams” are the tangles we get ourselves into when we seek for answer with our ego. The ego doesn’t know, and, most importantly, we can tell when the ego is uppermost in our minds. We need to let go at that point. Relax and let the guidance of the Holy Spirit come through. We will always know when we have momentarily released the ego, because we will immediately feel calmer.

6 – Wily Mind

The mind is a wily creature. It wants to stay with a bad experience just to see it out. Don’t get trapped by this feverish dream.

7 – Others’ Needs

Be sure to take others’ needs into account. All too often, when we are suffering, we think that it is all we can do to manage ourselves. But we don’t have to manage ourselves; turn the self over to God. Is this easier said than done? Only when we are agitated. Take a break. Have a cup of tea. Pray. Meditate, if only briefly. The world you return to will seem different, somehow. And that difference is that you have let go of your feverish dreams. We can be very stubborn sometimes, and resist the letting go. But we are ever so much better off when we remain flexible, or when we return to flexibility. We need to be able to turn on a dime, when intuition prompts a different decision.

8 – Seeing

“Only the mind evaluates their [the differences] messages, and so only the mind is responsible for seeing. It alone decides whether what is seen is real or illusory, desirable or undesirable, pleasurable or painful. (M24)”

The mind is not really where we want to stay, according to a possible sequel to A Course in Miracles, entitled A Course of Love. We want to be in the heart, which does not need the reasoning that the mind requires. We just “know,” when in the heart. And ACOL recommends that mind and heart be joined, into what is called “wholeheartedness.” This is the way home.

9 – Perception

“It is in the sorting out and categorizing activities of the mind that errors in perception enter. And it is here correction must be made. (M24)”

We don’t need to analyze our perceptions so much. Perceptions are always varying, because they are perceptions of changing illusions, changing dreams.

10 – Knowledge

We need to move to knowledge (from perception), which the Holy Spirit will help us with. Knowledge is of God, and knowledge cannot be “proved.” It just is. We will know the difference.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I leave illusions behind. May I seek only what is true, only what I know in my depths is true.

If I have derived pleasure from believing my illusions, this has not been also without pain. May I recognize that I do not want pain, and may I let my illusions leave me.

Amen.

Dark Night of the Soul

“Child of God, you are alien here but need not be alien to your Self.  In your knowledge of your Self, all threat of time and space and place dissolves.  You may still walk an alien land, but not in a fog of amnesia that obscures what would be a brief adventure and replaces it with dreams of terror and confusion so rampant that no toehold of security is possible, and day turns endlessly into night in a long march toward death.  (A Course of Love, 4.6)”

Affirmation:  “May I know my Self today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Self

The Self (capitalized) is meant in A Course of Love to be the Christ who is in each of us.  Christ, as we know, is not limited to Jesus.  He paved the way, and is still leading the way, but he does not believe that he has anything that we cannot attain.  Even this sentiment is expressed in the New Testament, and certainly this sentiment finds a welcome home in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

2 – Terror and Confusion Begone

The passage for today is particularly vivid in its metaphors.  We are told that we can see our lives here as a brief adventure, and we do not need to have dreams of terror and confusion.  But most of us do, and most of us still do–despite study of ACIM and ACOL.  We are all equals in the journey that we take, the “journey without distance” (quotation from ACIM).

3 – Clear Our Minds

When we are lost in the emotions of fear–terror and confusion, as herein described–we are not in a good frame of mind even to study ACIM and ACOL.  We need, perhaps, to clear our minds in whatever ways we have determined work for us.  Possible avenues are prayer (communion with God), meditation (if we are led to do so, but long hours of “contemplation” are specified citing by Jesus in ACIM as being “tedious”), conversation with significant others in our lives, counseling, even listening to music.  (These are personal recommendations, most not cited in ACIM nor ACOL.)  When we are lost in terror and confusion, it is hard for the Holy Spirit and Christ-consciousness to reach us.  We have temporarily lost our way, lost it to the ego that has not died within us.

4 – Dark Nights of the Soul

Seek calm and quiet and stillness in whatever ways work for you.  Stay relaxed, sure of your eventual emergence from this dark night of the soul.  Dark nights of the soul come to all of us on the way back to God, and they do not mean that we are the less for having them.  It is part of the journey, and it is also a time not to give up on our religion.  We will know comfort again.  In the meantime, we stay the course.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would have a good day today and every day.  Even when hard times come, I do not have to feel abandoned.  I know intellectually that You are here, even when I don’t feel anything.  And I pray to sense Your Presence in my daily walk about this world.

May the fearful emotions, the terror and confusion, not veil my eyes from the light of the sun.  May I know that anytime I experience fear, there is a dawn coming that will be better.  May I choose to be tolerant of myself when I am torn by conflicting emotions.  They are evidence of the human condition, not that I have lost my way–though it may feel that way.

Be with me today and always.  Help me to turn aside from terror and confusion without adding to the fear by my own thinking.  Let my heart, which knows of comfort, speak to me today and every day.  Be with me, be with us, as we seek Your pathway through this sometimes tragic world.

Amen.

Bits and Pieces Seem Sensible?

“The world will end when its thought system has been completely reversed.  Until then, bits and pieces of its thinking will still seem sensible.  (M-14.4)”

Affirmation:  “May my thought system be reversed sooner rather than later.”

Reflections:

1 – Our Rearing

The thought system that needs reversal is ego-inspired.  This ego causes us more problems than a little!  And we were probably reared with a strong competitive streak that was essentially ego-oriented.

2 – Personal Experience

My parents wanted me to make them proud.  Neither ever read A Course in Miracles, but I wonder now how different I would be if they had.  I think that they would have been ripe for accepting the ideas, for when the ego is strong, we tend to recognize that our way of life needs improvement.

3 – Attack & Anger Lead to “Venting”

I personally needed to know that verbal attack and anger were not the way to respond to someone else’s “venting.”  The someone else was always asking for help and for love.  And to offer those things–help and love–took the sting out of the venting.  Try it yourself.  I think that you may be surprised at how much easier your life will evolve.

4 – Being Defensive

Another idea that may still make sense is to defend one’s self against attack.  Or to defend one’s self against anything that seems adverse.  But A Course in Miracles says that we make what we defend against; by our defense is the awful thing made real.  This too is an idea that may need testing out.  (ACIM does not object to our testing, though this is an interpretation, not stated in ACIM.)

4 – ACIM Forbids

So no defense, as in planning for contingencies to come–contingencies that the Holy Spirit has not instructed us to consider.  And no attack and no judging.

5 – An Easier Way

Our way will already seem to be easier, when we have stopped considering those bits and pieces that still seem to make sense to the ego.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Monday has come and gone, and to my way of thinking, “bits and pieces” of the ego’s thinking still seem to make sense at this very moment.  I pray that any delay that I allow is not detrimental to anyone in my care.  My husband and I both still have egos, and we must make some decisions together.

If my intuition over the weekend was informed by too much ego, perhaps the intuition was wrong.  But I can point to no times in my past that intuition that has been prayed about actually turned out to be ego-inspired.

Be with us as we allow time to pass.  The Holy Spirit knows us well, and perhaps now is the time to learn that the anger that I felt last week has led my thinking to be too influenced by the ego, meaning that my psychic attunement was off.  I know that the solution is with the problem.  And I pray for patience to make the right decisions for my loved ones, in consultation with the Holy Spirit on a heavenly plane, and my husband, on the earthly plane.

I would learn a great deal that would benefit me in the future if the ego actually does lead wrongly, causing intuition to run false.  I pray for Your true guidance, and I pray for the right words to make my present situation a good one–not only for myself, but for all other that my life touches.

You are still working with me.  You have not finished with me.  May I never get so arrogant as to think that I have all the answers at any given time.

May the mystery clear up, sooner rather than later.

Amen.