Tag Archives: course in miracles

Give Up Blame!, by Ivor Sowton

Here’s a quote from Jesus in the 3rd Treatise of A Course of Love (ACOL). The context of this quote is that, having established that our only purpose here is to remember our true Selves, which will bring Heaven on earth, Jesus then tells us that to remember that true Self we first have to forget the false self:

The first think I ask you to forget is the need to find a place where blame can be placed. You who have been waiting to get to the “hard part” of this course of study may find it here. (10.3)

We’ll pick up with the rest of the quote in stages here, for (as usual!) each sentence bears great meaning for us. First let us note that we have been warned by the Master to expect resistance around this idea of renouncing blame. Knowing this, we can be more humble and open to the guidance that will see us through this great letting go.

How on earth, you might say, could it be such a big deal to let go of such a negative thing as placing blame? Let’s think here; if I’m depressed I am for sure (in my case, anyway!) blaming someone for it–someone else or myself. These are both very painful–for me–but they do let my ego stay separate from all those bad guys!

If I’m anxious I’m usually blaming myself. This also is very effective in making me feel separate and alone, with the ego as my only ally.

If I’m angry, well obviously it’s someone’s fault! Now I get to be both separated and vindicated by being right!
Hmm.

Some more of the quote:

The idea of blame is incongruous with the idea of a benevolent Creator and a benevolent Creation and as such is the only blasphemy. (10.3)

This chapter in the Third Treatise leads to the liberating idea that if we do what Jesus is suggesting here then everything that happens to us WILL be benevolent. Everything will be a lesson, and every lesson is a gift from our loving Father if we can but release this blaming reflex.

Now let’s get real. Do we really want unity in relationship–Heaven on earth? As who, though?! That’s the great ego fear, maintained by blame placing. Can I really dare give up my grievances? Who would I be then?! Would I even be an I? That’s the deep inquiry we’re being led into here.

Now, the ego really doesn’t care if we blame others or ourselves, for we get the same separation experience either way:

To blame yourself is just as senseless as blaming others and your inclination to place blame upon yourself must be given up. (Ibid.)

So, we can start to see that this IS a big undoing. To do it we have to watch our thoughts throughout the day with determined, loving attentiveness. I put in the loving part to get us out of the

” I should exercise but I don’t want to” syndrome. Jesus has so constantly reassured us of his completely constant love for us that maybe we are slowly coming to believe him on that. So now if he says it would be really good for us to forget blaming, we’re more inclined to trust that love and really try it out.

Taking away the idea of placing blame will change your thought processes beyond your wildest imagining…what you will find will come in the place of blame is an idea of acceptance of what is, an idea that is needed now. (10.4-6)

For to Jesus, what is is the eternal love of God? To live in that, always. Heaven on earth. As he says later, are you ready for that?!
So, having had our resistance predicted, we begin:

All you need do is catch yourself in the act of placing blame and say to yourself “I was placing blame again and I choose to do so no longer.” (10.4)

And then we heroically put our minds on something positive right away and we don’t let ourselves slip back into blame. Heavy lifting! You’ll see what I mean I’m pretty sure. Even looking at it from our very limited scientific perspective in terms of neural pathways, we have literally built our entire previous identity on fault-finding, establishing huge default connections–neural super highways– which have become completely automatic and almost completely effective at keeping us feeling separate from others–almost all of them, all the time!

So, yes, this is a big job. But this is the holiest of work, this forgetting of Illusion so the truth can dawn again upon our waking hearts. What makes it possible for us to undertake this practice sincerely and for the long haul?

For me, I need faith here, and a lot of it. God has given me enough proof of His Love for me to go on and follow through with this practice on faith. I think we will all find our own formula here, which will be the expression of our own True Self in us. As the Buddhists wisely say, we can call upon the Teacher, the teachings, and the company of truth-seekers at any time for help. We can all do that.

In a later ACOL chapter of the same name Jesus says all are chosen. That is, God loves us all, every last one of us, as misguided as we may be! So if we can relate to being chosen of God to be supremely happy all the time if we but can but remember that state, and if we can take Jesus at his word in saying we have to forget untruth first–well hey, bring it on!!
(This is) the thought system of Unity. It is your true thought system and will be easily remembered once you begin to let it automatically replace the old. (10.12)

Bitterness of Heart, by Ivor Sowton

Jesus in A Course of Love (ACOL) brilliantly introduces and then links to more and more of our lives the idea of “bitterness of the heart.” He refers to the idea of suffering, the one thing that went wrong with all of creation, as the cause of this bitterness. It is thus very deep and metaphysical here in addition to being very personal indeed. He explains that once we identified with our egos we needed objects to blame for the obvious distress of the separated state—the inevitability of physical death, of illness and pain of numerous kinds, emotional as well as physical. From that place we quickly slide into a vengeful state because we have become so bitter about the futility of it all, just as one example.

So the consciousness of suffering will cut us off from a sense of well-being, from a sense of being loved and supported by God. We get bitter at heart, waiting to die in an isolated state. This makes us vengeful.
Jesus then connects bitterness of the heart to the desire for reward also. The major example he gives (in chapter 3 of the Second Treatise) is in comparison, where we experience unequal reward going on around us, and when we are denied the reward someone else seems to be getting, we get bitter and vengeful. Jesus lets us know here that we may have very limited awareness over how much of our lives have been co-opted by bitterness of heart. He says in that chapter that bitterness is to the heart what ego is to the mind, that everyone has this bitterness, often unconsciously, and that its hold on us has become so great that it, like the ego, must be consciously released.

So I think he’s saying we really have to look at our own personal bitterness of heart before we can choose again for love. It’s like we have to forgive ourselves, others, and God for all the perceived suffering in our lives. He says that the Time of Tenderness and of The Embrace have brought such a softening to our hearts that we can really do a lot of releasing of this bitterness now IF we so choose.

It’s often said that there will be one or two real challenges in each life—situations that becomes real cross-roads of choice for us. It feels like many, many of us have chosen bitterness many times in the past. There seemed so much evidence warranting bitterness right within those cardinal challenges: we got very ill, or we were bereaved, or we lost a career or a marriage. I think you get the idea!

My sense is that this is deep work for most of us. To let go of all those feelings of being ripped-off, disappointed by life, by others and by ourselves—we have to work sensitively here with the guidance of our gentle Teacher. There will be a favorable pace and rhythm to it that we can be shown if we are willing. Jesus speaks of the healed heart as the very altar of Christ Consciousness at our center. The healed heart has released all bitterness and all desire for reward in the ego world. This is whole-heartedness, from which we automatically assume the ability to be elevated within these very forms.

So, Jesus seems to be encouraging us to hang in there and let our hearts be healed of this deep bitterness that has held us back for so long. The results are so worth it and so within our grasp, with his help.

Let us pray for this release for ourselves and all our loved ones, and may we be more and more aware that everyone is our Loved One. And let us daily become more and more like him who said:

“I walked the earth in order to reveal a God of Love.” (3rd treatise, 5.6)

Vision Is the Means to Know

“The physical form is not the natural or original form of the created. Vision is the means by which the original nature of the created can once again be known. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 3.12)”

1 – Prior?

This passage suggests that we existed in a spiritual form before we were born into the physical world, to have the physical form that we accept as natural. And the elevated Self of form, which we have oft said, is what we are reaching for in this world.

2 – ACIM

A Course in Miracles does not make the specific statement that we existed in a spiritual form prior to birth into the natural world. But ACOL does. Perhaps many of us who are students of ACIM have assumed our spiritual pre-existence, though.

3 – ACOL

In ACOL, we are told that we can use our newfound vision to recapture the essence of that spiritual state, but we do not have to die to recapture it. Physicality is not a false state, one to be lamented. ACOL is quite specific about the heights to which we can climb while still encased in the physical. ACIM refers more specifically to the illusion that is the physical world, and this has led some students to deemphasize the physical as one to be regretted because of our fall from grace. ACOL is more optimistic. It definitely does not champion immortality in the physical form (it denies this elsewhere), but the fact that the physical seems real to us is less discounted. We are to take advantage of the joys that such physical reality can bring to us, not in any immoral sense, but in more of a joyous way than ACIM suggested.

4 – Vision

When we turn to vision, we are led to understand that we can see with our wholeheartedness the joys of physical form. Note that this vision is not of the eyes, but of the mind and heart combined. We know in a way that we can only know when we are whole.

5 – Original Nature

“Once the original nature of the created becomes observable in physical form, physical form will surpass what it once was and become the new nature of the created. There is no reason why the original nature of your being cannot become a being the nature of which is form if you so choose it to be. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 3.12)”

6 – Edgar Cayce

We can choose physical form for ourselves, and indeed many of us must, if salvation is to come to all. Edgar Cayce said that the Sons of God came to the earth to rescue the daughters of men—that unless the Sons had come, then the daughters would have been forever lost in physicality that was not the best essence of what God’s children were meant to be. (“Sons” and “daughters” are metaphors, not to be considered gender-specific.) Jesus says that the return may take place over millions of years, as the separation took place over millions. So there is a need for us in this physical world. To be an effective presence, we need not to discount the world of physical form, or to denigrate it. We need to enhance it to the best that the world of form can become. And Jesus is giving us the means in A Course of Love.

7 – Elevated Self of Form

We choose the elevated Self of form as an awakened spirit of ourselves. We know enlightenment, Christ-consciousness, in this form. We choose once again, and in this choice the separation is healed for all of our brothers and sisters—over time.

8 – Reincarnation?

This is another of the quotations that implies reincarnation, though we are encouraged in A Course in Miracles not to take a stand on reincarnation, as it will limit our usefulness. Not everybody so believes.

9 – The Now

The best thing that we can do is to recognize that all time is the Now, and that time, as spread out, allows us to experience life. Thus reincarnation is not something to get lost in, in ruminations of lives lived or to be lived, for all is the Now. Those counterparts of ourselves, if they exist, are just as much present now as they ever were.

10 – Salvation

Be mindful today of the great imperative that has been placed upon us. We have a role in salvation, a role each of us fulfills in a unique way. And for this, we give thanks. Let us do our part, and all will proceed quickly to a positive outcome. The separation will have been healed, and all of us can then choose whether or not we will return in the form of the elevated Self. There will then be no more imperative of this (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or ACOL).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I revel in my physical form, especially when I feel that it has been elevated to my Self. This may not happen all at once, but I may have glimpses of this glorious state. May I have glimpses today.

Thank You for being there for me, in good times and in bad. Nothing can be really bad when I know that Jesus is holding my hand as I walk through this world.

May this day go smoothly. May all my days go smoothly. You would have it so. I am not to get impatient when things don’t seem to go my way. Everything is perfect in its unfolding. Only my own stubbornness limits my effectiveness. And I would be flexible today, to turn on a dime to Your guidance. Help me to do this, today and always.

Amen.

What the Final Judgment Is According to ACOL

“Once all has been judged with the vision of love, judgment is over naturally for it has served its purpose. This is the final judgment. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 3.8)

1 – Definition

Finally we have a definition of the final judgment! A Course in Miracles also tells us that it is nothing to fear, that it will be carried out (and welcomed by us) by Jesus, with the help of our brothers (and sisters).

2 – Love

When we see all in love, we recognize that indeed there is no need for judgment. There is also, as stated elsewhere in ACIM, no real need for forgiveness, either–for we have moved beyond it. But in this world, we still do need experience and to express forgiveness, for it is the way that the ego cannot touch. The way out of the bind in which we find ourselves.

3 – Fear and the Ego

So much of fear and the ego has been made of the concept of the final judgment. Many cringe in fear at this wholly benign concept. God’s Son (and Daughter) is innocent. There is no reason for denunciation. All are chosen (a tenet of both ACIM and ACOL).

4 – Our Brothers

The fact that the final judgment, as described in A Course in Miracles, will be carried out by Jesus in cooperation with our brothers is particularly relevant to me. I was once placed under hypnosis and given a series of commands about my future, after having been asked a number of questions about my present. I was reading ACIM at the time, but I don’t recall if I had read this particular passage saying that the final judgment would be given by our brother also. But my “brother” did seem to give it to me. I recall snatches of the hypnosis, recalled these six months after the event, when the post-hypnotic command had expired. I know that I did some of those things which I was commanded to do, sometime in my lifetime, but I don’t know if I did them all. I do know that I said, under hypnosis, “That is a tall order!”

5 – Miracles

Such experiences are a form of the miracle, for they do not occur in everyday life very often (and never again, for me). But the fact that this happening occurred leads me to understand more fully what Jesus was saying in ACIM. Jesus’s final judgment does intend seem to come with the cooperation of our brother.

6 – Faith

We need to take some things on faith, though ACIM and ACOL are not punitive about faith. We don’t have to believe what seem to be impossible things; we don’t have to appeal, at least very often, to “mysteries” that we can’t understand. We are being shown, very precisely, what salvation entails. And we are given the steps of Awakening, though God’s decision in the timing is all-important. When we fulfill the criteria, though Awakening will be waiting for us. Don’t try to dictate when, for we will be misinformed and misled, not to mention disappointed. The truth that we seek is here, in ACIM and ACOL, for the taking. And well we would live if we heed what these remarkable books say.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I used to fear the Final Judgment. But Jesus’s words make it such a benign concept, so loving and right. Thank You for this new understanding.

May today I eliminate my own judgments from my life. It is not up to me to judge my brothers and sisters. May I remember this all day today.

Help this day to go well. I realize that I am so very blessed that once I was accused of leading a “charmed life.” This charmed life is here for us all, when we fulfill the criteria. And only You know everything that is asked of us. I would not fall on my face today; I would continue to try to do what I can to follow You exactly. Our spiritual evolution is not a straight line, but I wish for You to lead the way in as straight a fashion as I will allow.

Amen.

When the Natural State of Love Is Returned to Us

“As the natural state of love is returned to you, judgment falls away because vision will arise. With the onset of the vision of love, many of you will make one final judgment in which you find everything to be good and full of love. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 3.8)”

1 – Like ACIM

This statement is very much akin to one in A Course in Miracles. We are told that to attack, to judge, and to make plans against contingencies to come will all cause us to lose our way. In this passage from ACOL, the negative factor of judgment is addressed. We are to turn to vision, our real salvation from God

2 – Judgment

Judgment is an aspect of fear, and so long as we judge, we are still caught up in the fears brought on by the ego. ACOL assures us that we are moving beyond the ego, or we would not still be reading these volumes. If we have truly left the ego behind, our fear will not long hinder us. We will live a blessed life, helped through it by the vision that ACOL suggests in this passage.

What is “vision”? It is simply the right way to view the things of this world. We are not often conscious of viewing through our vision. We think that our eyes see, but ACIM says not. Our eyes see illusion. Vision is an internal thing. And it is the way that we will reach higher and higher, or, if you will, deeper and deeper, until Christ-consciousness comes to overshadow us, and we are at Home at last. This does not mean that we will die; it does mean that we will live, as oft repeated, the elevated Self of form (a tenet of ACOL).

3 – Love

“Once all has been judged with the vision of love, judgment is over naturally for it has served its purpose. This is the final judgment. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 3.8)”

4 – Leave Judgment Behind

A Course in Miracles says to leave judgment to the Holy Spirit, and here in A Course of Love we are told to just leave judgment behind entirely. When we see with love, we no longer feel called upon to judge others. And this is said to be the final judgment.

5 – The Final Judgment

Many of us have wondered for a long time what the final judgment would really mean. And here it is given a wholly benign reading. We do not have anything to fear. We need only to love, and all the blessings will accrue to us. But can we believe this?

6 – Understanding

Try love and see if it doesn’t work. That is the basic way that all of us will come to understand. Just give up grievances as a bad way to react. Know that grievances will hide the miracles from us. Know that we want to experience miracles. So there is no other best way to proceed: Choose love and everything else falls into place.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I leave judgment behind today, knowing that to judge rightly is absolutely impossible for me. I cannot see the whole picture, and therefore I cannot judge rightly.

Thank You for granting me the vision that I ask for. I know that I need only fulfill the conditions that you spell out, and then ask, and then vision is mine.

May I know that the angry and attacking things that others do, things that I notice, are just the result of bad conditioning. May I understand that I need only forgive this illusion, and all will be well with my day. This anger and attack will fade into the sunset when I recognize that I am seeing this because I don’t want to see it. Just illusions. That is all.

Amen.

Invulnerability as the Self of Form Manifesting Christ-consciousness

“This displacement of the original intent can be simply stated as the displacement of love with fear. It is as simple as that. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 3.4)”

1 – Original Intent

The original intent was not to live in fear as a physical self. This came about because of our “tiny, mad idea” (from A Course in Miracles) that gave birth to the ego. And with the birth of the ego came the manifestation of fear. The original intent was to live as an elevated Self of form, in a physical body, to experience what that reality would be. We are trying again to get it right, all of us. We are trying to leave fear behind.

2 – Fear and Love

As discussed yesterday, the two emotions (according to both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love) are fear and love. For far too long, we have been ruled by fear in all its distressing disguises. Now it is time to turn to love in a serious, meaningful way. There is no other way that we can save our world. The time is crucial now to make the decision for love.

3 – On Earth

When we do make the decision for love, we will manifest the original intent of our sojourn on earth. In time, we will change into the elevated Self of form, a Self that is part of the Christ-consciousness of all of our brothers and sisters, one with ourselves. May this day come sooner rather than later.

4 – Fear

As strange as it seems, it is hard to give up fear, because our minds hold spasmodically to the old records that just go around and around in our minds and our actions. If we recognize that, when we feel fear, we are actually wanting to feel love, that we are actually expressing a call for love–then there is hope for ourselves.

5 – Call for Love / Expression of Love

A Course in Miracles indicates that all that happens is either an expression of love or a call for love. So fear is actually a negative that is a call for love. This is true for everyone, and when we can realize this and make it our own, we won’t be so quick to reduce attack for attack, anger for anger. We will know that, whether or ourselves or others, it is just that we have momentarily forgotten what we want, and we are expressing a need for help in the only convoluted way that we can. It is also said in ACIM that everything is a call for help that appears to be something negative. Surely we want to rush to our brother’s side with solace, when he just wants to be comforted, when he is in a bad place.

6 – Jesus

Turn to Jesus as our companion, and ask his help. He has promised to be there for us, though to believe this requires an act of faith that our reasoning minds cannot understand. There are spiritual laws in operation in our world of which we know nothing. That is how, I believe, Jesus can be everywhere and with everyone simultaneously. In the Workbook of A Course in Miracles, Jesus says to imagine that we are holding his hand, if this will help us; and, he assures us, this will be no idle fantasy.

7 – How Can Jesus Be Everywhere?

How can this be? How can Jesus be anywhere, and everywhere, at the same time? The only logical explanation that we know in our secular world is what Jane Roberts’s wrote in the Seth books: that one entity can be simultaneously in more than one place. So Jesus would be able to clone himself, so to speak, appearing wherever and whenever a person makes to him “one unequivocal call.”

8 – Jane Roberts’s Seth

In Seth’s books, this concept has its counterpart in the concept of “counterparts,” in which other parts of our Self live our lives simultaneously in various parts of the globe, with different birth and death dates. This means that the Self that we know here is actually part of a multidimensional Self, with reincarnations separate in time as well as place. The Now is still all there is, but time is spread out so that we can experience things.

9 – Safe

These “selves” still all only experience different versions of the two emotions of love and fear. And the fear is always of the ego. Hence, when we have reached Christ-consciousness, we will know a certain sense of invulnerability. We will recognize that we are perfectly safe, because we will have given up all grievances (tenet of the Workbook of A Course in Miracles).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I hold Jesus’s hand throughout today, knowing that he will lead me along the path to love and away from fear. May I put my doubts aside and realize that there are spiritual laws in this world that we do not now dream of. Jesus’s presence is surely one of these laws.

I have fairly often asked for Jesus to come to me, and I have experienced a sense of peace at the asking and its aftermath. I have never had such a vision, but feelings count for much. Thank You. Thank You for Jesus’s dedication to salvation and to help all who ask. He is there for us; may we be there for him as we seek to bring salvation to all who are at all interested in what we have to say.

Thank you for helpfulness today.

Amen.

Expression of the Self of Love in Physical Form

“Original intent has everything to do with the nature of things for original intent is synonymous with cause. The original intent of this chosen experience was the expression of the Self of love in observable form. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘ A Treatise on the New,’ 3.4)”

1 – Chosen Experience

The “chosen experience” discussed in this passage is the advent of mankind on earth, the human form that we inhabit. But we did, in fact, have a “fall from Grace,” (as depicted metaphorically in the Old Testament), and we detoured into the ego (a part of our belief about ourselves, as discussed in A Course in Miracles). The ego led us to all kinds of fear, manifested mostly in anger and attack, and led us away from the love that we so desperately crave.

2 – Rejected God?

Because we thought that we had rejected God, we were reluctant to do what we perceived as His bidding, His “Will.” ACIM tries to change all that, explaining that to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit is to do our will, that He speaks for us.

3 – ACOL

So, as A Course of Love makes clear, we did not hold to the original intent of our entry upon earth. Now later reading in ACOL will support us as we endeavor to become the elevated Self of form, the original intent. May we take a few steps along this pathway today.

4 – Treatise

The Treatise on the New indicates that we can make a decision to continue to live in physical form, though this does not mean immortality without any death. It does seem to hint at reincarnation, however, though reincarnation is not a tenet of either A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love. Indeed, we are encouraged not to discuss our views on reincarnation except among friends; this from the Manual of A Course in Miracles. We are meant to be as helpful to those who believe in reincarnation as to those who don’t. All time is the Now, or, in another way of speaking, there is no time. So our purpose now would be to work out our salvation, not to become lost in daydreams of another possible life. Much confusion is possible when people get too intent on studying the concept of reincarnation, and it is always best to avoid controversy when trying to reach people. Reincarnation is certainly interesting, though, and friends might well discuss this concept at length. Jesus understands this well.

5 – Other Lives?

So if we do choose to live other lives here on earth, if that is a possibility, we can enjoy the physical embodiment and at the same time enjoy Christ-consciousness. Christ-consciousness or Awakening is meant for us here, and meant for us to sustain. We were never intended to divert ourselves into the ego, a part of our belief about ourselves. When we made the ego, we split our minds, and a split mind is of little permanent use to anybody.

6 – The Mind

We would reunite the part of our mind where the spirit dwells, the Holy Spirit, with the part of the mind where the ego dwells, thus taking the teeth out of the egoic experience. We will be much happier and more productive without the ego. We don’t need its protection, which despite what the ego says to us, is actually an impossible feat.

7 – Physical Embodiment

So: We learn in A Course of Love that physical embodiment is not to be lamented. We can live quite useful and joyous lives when we have dispelled the ego from our minds. Remember that we don’t actively resist the ego, for the ego is strong in strife, but we just turn aside from its bidding, reassuring ourselves that divine guidance is all that we really need to live a wonderful life.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I show the Self of love that I really am this day. May I not fall into attack and anger, as these are illusory and evidence of the ego having its way with us.

God created me loving. My Self has not changed from this, though we have fallen into an ego-oriented little self that knows much pain and suffering. Please take the pain and suffering from me today as I live the Self of love which God meant for me.

Thank You for the divine guidance that I am getting. I see the Holy Spirit as Your Voice, when I was not yet ready to listen to my inner Self, which is One with You, my inner Christ. I thank You for whatever means of guiding me You have created. Be with me as I seek to understand where You are in all of this.

Amen.

The Curriculum to Guide Us to the Fulfillment of Our Purpose

“Learning to see anew is the precursor of learning to create anew. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 2:33)”

1 – A New Way

We are deep into an attempt to learn in a new way, through observation of what is rather than through traditional learning through teachers, reading, and study. But for this change to occur, we need to have a new vision, and seeing anew is that new vision.

2 – A New Vision

The new vision emphasizes God’s love, harmony, peace, joy—not material possessions. Material possessions are the bailiwick of the ego, and until we learn anew to leave the ego behind, we won’t ever set foot in the new world that is coming. We will remain in a previous era, struggling along through effortful ways to accomplish dubious goals.

3 – Shared Vision

“Remember, only from a shared vision of what is can you begin to produce unity and relationship through unity and relationship. This is your purpose now, and this the curriculum to guide you to the fulfillment of your purpose. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 2.33)”

4 – Only Way?

Jesus never says that his way is the only way; he just says that his readers of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love have chosen him as their guide, and it would be unwise to confuse our minds with ways meant for others (a tenet of ACIM).

5 – Jesus’s Approach

He has an almost “hands-off” approach to whether or not we accept his teachings. He does not force anyone to believe him. I think that he has enough faith in his teachings and in his relationship to the Father to know that those who read with any open mind and heart will accept what he says. There is an authority here that is found only when one interacts with Jesus. It is akin to the experience portrayed in the New Testament, when it is said that Jesus spoke with authority.

6 – ACOL

In this passage, he is speaking of A Course of Love as the curriculum to guide us. Certainly, in my reading, A Course of Love is the logical, practical next step to A Course in Miracles. A Course of Love works. It is not as complicated a reading as is ACIM, but it is no less authoritative. Jesus partakes of his channel, Mari Perron, to the extent that she has lent her mind and heart to the process. He writes very beautifully through her. Mari did not use the blank verse that is a hallmark of A Course in Miracles. The co-scribe to A Course in Miracles, Helen Schucman, was a Shakespearian scholar, and so perhaps it is natural that transcribed in iambic pentameter. A Course of Love is also part of the curriculum, as Mari heard internally–”another Course in Miracles.”

7 – Practical Works

Both works, A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, are eminently practical to the daily life. Jesus said in ACIM that a universal theology is impossible, but that a universal experience is not only possible but necessary. This experience I believe he continues to give to us, through Mari, in ACOL.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May we join with our brothers and sisters today for a shared vision. May we build upon A Course in Miracles by reading A Course of Love. May both works bring us ever closer to Awakening and to Christ-consciousness.

Thank You for the knowledge God brings to us through these readings.

Be with me as I seek, once again today, to walk Your way. Your way is always the effortless way, but my own anger and attack sometimes rear their ugly heads. I would be done with that way of reacting, as would many other people as well. I am through with the ego; it is only vestiges of old ways of reacting that trip me up still. Help me, I beg of You. I know that the help You will give is in Your will. You know what I need. You know how to need to react.

May this day be a new walk in the sunlight with You.

Amen.

Seeing with the Vision of Christ-consciousness Is upon Us

“Seeing with the vision of Christ-consciousness is already upon you. You are in the process of learning what it means. This treatise is here to help you do so. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 2.33)”

1 – Transition

This passage clarifies the point of transition. We are ready for Christ-consciousness, but we may still have questions, and it is these questions that the “Treatise on the New” seeks to explain to us.

2 – Give Ourselves to the Experience

Certainly no transition is without bumpy spots. Neither will this one. But it can be effortless if we give ourselves to it wholeheartedly, as Jesus asks in the first volume of the series of A Course of Love. We are used to hearing the Holy Spirit, and most of us are used to rejecting His advice from time to time, even when we know in our deepest being that what He bids us say or do is the right choice.

3 – Inner Knowing

Now we will take the next step into the time of Christ. We will follow our inner knowing without the struggle that we sometimes experienced when trying to follow the Holy Spirit. Previously, we were often weak, often indecisive, when the Voice of the Holy Spirit asked us to say or do something that made us uncomfortable. Jesus described this situation well in A Course in Miracles. He even said that what the Holy Spirit bade us to say or do might be embarrassing to us. But this, he said, was a misperception coming from a “shabby self-perception,” and would best be left behind. All of us have struggled with this advice, sometimes with more success, sometimes with less.

4 – Unconsciously

Now we are at the point of allowing the guidance that we receive to be received unconsciously, if we so will. God has promised this; Jesus has passed the Word along to us in A Course of Love. This becomes the effortless way that we will live in the future, once we have accepted the promise of all that this way of life holds out to us. This is the essence of living in Christ-consciousness. Let us not allow indecisiveness to delay us further. May we accept this promise today.

5 – Internal Guidance

It seems right to say that our guidance will come internally, but how will we hear it? Will there be nudges of guidance such as the Holy Spirit gave us?

6 – Nudges

Based on my limited experience, I think that the nudges that we get from the inner Christ-consciousness will be virtually indistinguishable from the nudges of the Holy Spirit, except that I do think that Jesus is working with us as more willing followers. We will not get stubborn nearly so often. We will recognize that nudge as a celestial accompaniment to our day, something that is going to give us a better day.

7 – Identical to Holy Spirit

The nudges themselves are, I think, identical to the nudges that were given by the Holy Spirit. When I had glimpses of Awakening on two occasions many years ago, my guidance was exactly the same in “nudges” that I had earlier come to recognize as being from the Holy Spirit. The intuition is identical. But how we respond to it is not.

8 – Respond More Readily

If we are on the beam, we will respond much more readily. We are more willing followers of Jesus now. And we know that what he encourages us to say and do is right on.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I see the vision of Christ-consciousness today. May I know what lies ahead for me, if I follow what Jesus has been saying to me. May I offer the words that he gives to me without embarrassment, and may I listen to the Voice of the Holy Spirit until such time as my guidance is received internally, without any strain at all.

Be with me today as I seek to leave attack, judgment, and unneeded planning of the future behind. When I have done that, I will know that God will be willing to take the final step for me to reach Christ-consciousness. Thank you.

May this day go well. Remove any confusion that I still have over the guidance that I receive. If the guidance in a given day seems to change, help me to know if I have edged into a new probable reality. Help me to follow Your guidance, minimizing my own confusion.

Amen.

We Exist in Union with God

“It [true vision] is believing that you exist in relationship and union with all and that each encounter is one of union and relationship and purpose. . .purpose that will be revealed to you because you exist in union with the Source and Cause of revelation. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 2.32)”

1 – God

God is the Source and Cause of revelation; this is a tenet of A Course in Miracles as well as A Course of Love. A Course in Miracles indicates that miracles do not last, and that we should not contrive to bring them about, as consciously chosen miracles can be misguided. Jesus himself is the one that tells us what miracles to perform, and he gives us the grace, with God, to perform them. (This takes a bit of faith, as we must believe that Jesus is available to all at all times.) Revelation, according to A Course in Miracles, proceeds from God to us–but never the reverse. And revelation is what reveals the end to us.

2 – Christ-consciousness

What is the end? It would seem from A Course of Love that Christ-consciousness is our ultimate goal for this era. We are told in ACOL that this is the time of Christ-consciousness, that the time of the Holy Spirit is fading away. This idea may be one of the more controversial in A Course of Love, especially to those of us who have come to depend upon the guidance of the Holy Spirit in going about our daily lives. Are we to be bereft of this guidance?

3 – Holy Spirit

Not at all. As previously described in these postings, the (sometimes) slower guidance of the Holy Spirit will be replaced with an almost unconscious inner knowing of the next step to take. We will be led without having that sometimes painful moment of choice that allowed us to choose differently from what the Holy Spirit bade. Do not fear, though, that guidance will be removed precipitously. As long as we want to learn our next step through listening to the Holy Spirit, I believe that that option will remain open to us. It is only the culmination of a long process that leads us rightly to think and do the best without conscious thought. And we do not have to expect a sudden transformation that would be unsettling. Jesus remains our guide throughout both the time of the Holy Spirit and the time of Christ-consciousness (though in the latter he is revealed as a companion rather than a teacher). Let us put our trust in him with complete knowledge–and it is knowledge and not perception–that he will be there for us in all situations, mundane or “important.”

4 – Era of Christ
There is some confusion about eras in A Course of Love, in that we are told therein that we have left the time of the Holy Spirit and have entered the time of Christ. There are those whom I know who prefer to cling to the Holy Spirit, and would these individuals be bereft? There are many who still turn every day to A Course in Miracles, many also who have never heard of A Course of Love. And many who depend on other spiritual writings. The emphasis upon the Holy Spirit in this time of Christ is yet strong. I think that the Holy Spirit still acts for individuals who put their faith in Him. God would not leave us without a very present help in time of trouble.

5 – Intuition

We who still find our home in the Holy Spirit will, I think, still hear Him through intuitive nudges as well as other means of guidance. (I have written of some of these ways we get guidance in “The Gift of Guidance.” See the “Features & Reviews,” at the top of the blog to access this writing.) These intuitive nudges may sometimes come from our Christ Self, and we not even be aware that we have crossed into the means that are intended for us in this era of Christ.

6 – Guidance

Guidance is sure. We need to ask, and ask frequently. Our lives will flow effortlessly when we remember to ask, remember to seek guidance. The more often that we seek guidance, the better our lives will go—for we will know what to say and do, and we will be in the right corner with God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me today to know Your way, at least sometimes without conscious thinking or feeling, but through simply knowing. This is the final goal of this latest course from Jesus. May I come to understand more today.

Thank You for leading me, gently, throughout all of my life’s pathway. When the way seemed hard, You were actually “carrying” me. If today seems hard, may You “carry” me.

May I remember to ask, and to ask frequently today, for the next right action. I would make of this day a good day, and this choice is impossible outside of guidance. I may never know what I miss unless I ask.

Help me remember. And thank You.

Amen.

True Vision Is Seeing with the Expectation of Revelation

“. . .[T]rue vision is seeing relationship and union. It is the opposite of seeing with the eyes and the attitude of separation. It is seeing with an expectation first and foremost of revelation. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 2.32)”

1 – ACIM

In A Course in Miracles, Jesus assures us that true vision does not have anything to do with the vision that our eyes have, or the world that our eyes behold. True vision sees beyond the illusion that is this world. It is an internal concept that one can enjoy when he or she has left behind the belief in separation from God as well as separation from our brothers and sisters.

2 – ACOL

A Course of Love, as we have repeatedly described, is based in large part on this theme of relationship and union (often called “unity and relationship”). The words are repeated so often that perhaps we lose sight of their true meaning, but a simple return to what the words themselves mean can set our minds and hearts at rest. We are in relationship to the All, which includes our brothers and sisters as well as God, but this All is actually One (i.e., unity). This easy definition will go a long way toward helping us to understand that Jesus is not asking us to believe or to live the impossible. We can live in unity and relationship, and indeed we will want to do so. Only in that way can we come to know the fullest meaning of salvation, the fullest extent of Awakening to Christ-consciousness.

3 – Perception

We all too often depend on our perception to determine our reactions in this world. This is discussed at length in A Course in Miracles. But we are also told in ACIM that projection makes perception. And who would want to live a projection from ourselves that shows us an evil and suffering world? We will not be blind to suffering when we move beyond seeing in this way, but we will see the larger picture–almost miraculously–and in no way will be tempted to blame our God for this state of affairs. Just as Jesus promises, we can know “pure joy” and “limitless release” on a daily basis. These two phrases can be the way that we view this world, as Jesus has bade us to do constantly. Only then will we know the peace that is held out to us in both ACIM and ACOL.

4 – Revelation

We want revelation to review the end to us, and this glimpse does frequently come when we study A Course in Miracles. Jesus indicates that revelation will occasionally reveal the end to us, but to get there the means are needed—and those means are being carefully explained in ACIM. Revelation is intensely personal and cannot be meaningfully communicated. The revelation cannot be “proved” to anybody (nor would we want to do so). God uses our inner sight to appeal to that which we can understand, said in a way that only we could understand.

5 – Visions

Visions (hallucinations) are miracles, not revelation, because visions are perceptual. Knowledge is revelation. This distinction between perception and knowledge is given repeatedly in A Course in Miracles. Our Guide, the Holy Spirit, and God Himself give knowledge, for knowledge is only of God.

6 – Ask of the Holy Spirit / Christ Self

What would we like to know that we don’t? Ask questions of the Holy Spirit, and He will answer. He will never leave us bereft. We have a Guide Who does not fail. In this era, we are bade to ask questions of the inner Christ Self. So there is a progression between A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

7 – Magic

Our own attempts at magic are pitiful in comparison to the knowledge that we will get by asking of the right Source. We put our faith in pills, incantations, affirmations—and some of these are good, at least some of the time. But we don’t get the full benefit of God’s grace until we put our faith in Him and Him alone—and His Communicator, the Holy Spirit.

8 – Our Lives Smooth Out

Then our lives smooth out, and all goes quite a bit better. Maybe, first, just a little bit better, but this little bit expands as our dedication increases. And when we do the Workbook lessons of A Course in Miracles, our minds change to accommodate the knowledge that God wills for all of us.

9 – Personal Interpretation

I see the Bible, A Course in Miracles, and A Course of Love, as progressions to match our culture of the time. God’s revelation in the Christian orientation is one way that we find our way home. Jesus is the leader whom we have chosen. There are other ways for people not receptive to Jesus, but his way is our chosen way, and in this we can rest secure. We will find our way home, and soon. In ACIM and ACOL Jesus is leading us, step by step, to Awakening to Christ-consciousness. In the latter part of ACOL, we see this as the elevated Self of form, the form that we occupy in this physical world. And we need to sustain this form, a feat that Jesus declares has never been achieved in this world.

10 – Time of Christ

Times are different now. We are living in the time of Christ, and light floods our planet. We will find our way home, and soon.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

You would have me to experience true vision–the revelation of a new world that only You can bring to me. In revelation, You reach down to me, and You bless me. I ask for this blessing today.

Be with me as I go about our sometimes woeful world. May I keep my head in the clouds, but my feet on the ground, grounded in You.

Amen.

Know with an Inner Knowing that Will Aid the Eyes’ Sight

“Have you thought your instincts will be sharpened and that you will know with an inner knowing that will aid the sight of your eyes? (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 2.31)”

1 – Jesus

This passage describes succinctly what Jesus has explained earlier in the “Treatise on the New,” but in less cogent terms. We will know with an inner knowing, once we have accepted the Christ-consciousness that he holds out to us as awaiting us at the end of the “journey without distance” (an ACIM quotation) that we have taken. This inner knowing is somewhat different from the intuitions that we have come to recognize from the Holy Spirit. In my experience of the Holy Spirit, there was a definite statement, felt internally, of what the next step was to be. There was a bit of a delay as the Holy Spirit stepped back and let me make a decision of whether or not to follow His guidance.

2 – No Delay

But in this inner knowing of the Christ-consciousness, there is no delay. The way is effortless and easy. We want to follow the instinct that has suddenly, almost imperceptibly, arisen in us. This is akin to allowing Jesus to guide us without our conscious awareness, a step that he told us in A Course in Miracles still awaited us. He said there that most were not yet ready for this type of guidance. In A Course of Love, we have become ready. We are asked to become ready. We are told that we need not seek for yet another way, another pathway that will give us more peace. The time of peace has arrived. We are justified. We do not have to wonder if we are worthy.

3 – Misleading Us?

This type of reassurance is very important at this juncture. Many will feel that it is too good to be true, and many will believe that Jesus is misleading us–but if we take him at his word, we will experience the truth of what he says. ACIM also talked about the fear from us that Jesus might be misleading us. But no one who has studied those volumes long and faithfully still clings to this early misinterpretation.

4 – ACOL

Now we are asked to accept A Course of Love with the same acuity. We need to recognize that perfection on our own part, achieved by ourselves, is not the goal. Has the belief that perfection of our little personalities not always been the sticking point? But in A Course in Miracles, Jesus reassures us that he stands at the end of the journey to reach to us, to correct the mistakes that we cannot correct. He stands ready to help us at our point of failure. This he is doing in A Course of Love (though he does not say this specifically). Jesus would have us to realize that mistakes do not impede the “perfection” to which he draws us. He wants only a perfect faith, and even though we demur, this perfect faith is, as A Course of Love indicates, within the power of all of us–with Jesus as our always loving guide, ready to correct our errors as we move toward Christ-consciousness (and indeed, as we live Christ-consciousness).

5 – Inner Understanding

The decision to listen to inner understanding is not lost on those of us who might still be living with the Holy Spirit rather than the Christ Self. All of us have access to a knowing that is vastly superior to anything that we had access to when the ego was in the foreground.

6 – Internal Asking

If we don’t feel that we have a real sense of what to say and do, just ask internally.

7 –

That is all that is required.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I live Christ-consciousness today, living with the knowing that is inner entirely. I recognize the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and I find that actually there is an oscillation between the two ways of coming to know the right pathway.

You would have me just to “know,” but I will be patient and wait for Your messages, however they are given to me. In A Course of Love, Jesus indicates that what got us in trouble in the first place was our impatience; this is when the “tiny, mad idea” crept in. May I know patience today. And may You walk with me every step of my day today.

Amen.

Connections

“And yet your vision has already changed, although you are not aware of the extent of this change. Realize now that you have come to recognize unity. You do not any longer see each person and event as separate, with no relation to the whole. You are beginning to see the connections that exist and this is the beginning. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 2:29)”

“Connections” is a potent term in our culture today. We are, even in secular society, constantly talking about our connections to others. We want to be connected, no longer separate, encased in physical bodies that don’t reach out to one another.

This change may very well be the result of A Course in Miracles’s increasing influence in our culture. Many people quote from ACIM without letting anybody know the source of their remarks. Many people write entire books with the message of ACIM without ever attributing their sources. So the inclusion of ACIM in our culture is significant. It behooves
us to study the original, with a view toward understanding fully. We can learn what others say, including this blog, and we can get a good overview, but the best writings point to their source, and that is the text of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

“Examine what you may have felt the onset of true vision would mean. Have you considered the question? Have you expected to see in the same way but more lovingly? (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 2.31)”

This command is daunting. We are asked to reexamine our thoughts and emotions for the changes that we are undergoing. And change may be stressful, though Jesus would have us to realize that change, under his direction and without the ego’s interference, is not stressful.

Our vision from God is an expression of revelation. A Course in Miracles explains that revelation will occasionally reveal the end to us, but to get there the means are needed. Those means are, first of all, explained in ACIM. Now A Course of Love has taken us a step forward, beyond the time of the Holy Spirit and His guidance, into Christ-consciousness, which depends on an inner knowing that is normally wordless.

If we have never thought about what true vision would entail, we will not be ready to accept vision from God when it comes. I once read that one should not beseech heaven for a miracle that one would not recognize if seen at high noon. That is a particularly graphic illustration of the change that is set before us now. We must ask for eyes to see, ears to hear. We must be anticipatory about the change that awaits us. Above all, we must not fear this change. Faith can substitute for the fear that we once had, and which we once felt protected us. Faith, as I am describing it, is a form of love–and A Course in Miracles says that fear and love are the only two emotions, all others being variant forms of these two.
May we wait at high noon for the miracle–indeed, the revelation–that awaits us. It qualifies as a revelation rather than a miracle because, asACIM points out, revelation comes only from God. God will stay by us now, as He especially eagerly awaits our transformation. As so many have pointed out before, He has only our hands and feet to do His bidding. (The same has also been said of our guide, Jesus.)

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I long for true vision, for the revelation that Christ-consciousness holds out for me. Be with me today as I keep this request in mind. I know that You have placed this longing in my heart and mind, and that, since it is Your wish, my prayer will be answered. If not today–if I must wait beyond today–help me to prepare for the vision that You will surely grant when I have been made ready.

I believe that if my faith in You is strong enough today, this will be the day that vision will come to me. Help me to be steadfast.

I would have a good day today, resting in Your peace. Be with me as I seek to make good decisions, following the advice and guidance that I get. I would not make my own decisions today, for my judgment is necessarily faulty.

I would make good decisions. For that I need Your guidance.

Thank You for guiding me.

Amen.

Thoughts You Do Not Think

1 – Unity

“For many of you, ‘thoughts you did not think’ are among your first experiences of unity. Thus, just as when you might look up when trying to remember something, or tap a finger to your temple, there is, in a certain sense, a ‘place’ to which you turn for these experiences. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Five)”

2 – Without Conscious Thought

We do know things often without conscious thought. Ideas come into our minds, without our volition, so obviously. Often this is an intrusive thought, and it doesn’t mean mental illness (though some intrusive thoughts do mean mental illness). The ideas, the thoughts are not consciously selected or guided. We might think of these thoughts as coming from the subconscious, but there are also other possibilities. Most of us believe in an Other Side, with entities there who communicate with us. A Course in Miracles makes this clear, saying that the Teachers of teachers give their ideas to people who would be frightened if they were to see these Teachers.

3 – Wave of the Future

This is the wave of the future. We are going to be learning through observation and through thoughts that we don’t “think.” The wave of the future looks bright, for we will have many ways to learn that are effortless and give us incredible direction in what to do and say.

4 – Access to Unity

“Access to unity will seem, at first, a quite individual accomplishment, something one may have and another may not. While this remains the case, you may desire to give others what you have and feel unable to do so. Yet, like love, unity is known through its effects. All the benefits of union can be given away to any willing to receive. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Five)”

5 – Transformation

We can see transformation in everyone! This is a marvelous promise. We will have access to the unity of which all of us are a part, part of the One, the One God. We may feel that we cannot easily convey to others what we are experiencing. But this will be a misnomer. We really are able to communicate what others are willing to hear, but they must be willing to hear. Some are ready only for a smile, as A Course in Miracles says.

6 – Rest

“You simply want to rest and have whatever transformation is to come to you to come. If you could indeed give in to this desire fully, it would speed the transformation along quite nicely. So please, listen to your weariness and to your heart’s desire to rest. Listen to the call to peace and let yourself recline in the embrace of love, feeling the warm earth beneath you and the heat of the sun above you. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, pp. 120-121)”

7 – Unity

Unity is defined on Day Five as being fully who you are and expressing fully who you are. It is not a matter either of effort or of learning. Jesus says repeatedly that the time of learning is over. The time of learning was in trying to satisfy the ego that one had accomplished.

Unity is something quite different, as defined by Jesus in A Course of Love.

8 – Effort

Likewise, as in the passage quoted above, the time of effort is over. We are to rest and to relax as our point of access to unity becomes clear to us. Jesus notes that there are various ways that access can be experienced: via part or all of the head, the heart, the hands, or even arising from the earth and felt throughout the body. A point of access will no longer be needed once we have sustained the elevated Self of form, rather than just tried to maintain it.

9 – Being Who We Are

This summary will likely not be fully satisfying to you, because Jesus’s words are dense with meaning. Know that we are only on Day Five, and 35 more days of explanation will follow. In the meantime, rest assured that unity–being who we are and expressing fully who we are–is Jesus’s intention in the 40 days and nights on the mountain top.

10 – Ego Is Gone

“While the ego is gone, effort remains, and while it remains, you will not realize full access to what you are given. We are speaking here of letting your form serve union and union serve your form. This service is effortless for it is the way of creation. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Five)”

11 – Effortless Accomplishment

What a glorious way to say that we don’t need to “effort” so! We have long been at the mercy of an ego which pushed us to do more and more. Those days are over, if we are willing to make them be over. If we are efforting, we are not taking full advantage of what we have been given. Our form is meant to be the elevated Self of form, and this form does not need to “effort” accomplish things. The way of creation is effortless, and we need to create as God intends.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I long to peace today, for rest in You. I have sought salvation through my learning so earnestly, and I would now rest in Your promise that the time of effort is over. I do wish to express fully who I am, being reassured that I am sanctified.

Thank You for Jesus’s reassuring words in this Day Five of the mountain top experience. He ever has looked to You for his knowledge, and may I rest in surety that what I read today is knowledge and not simply perception.

Amen.

Give Up Your Little Life Beset with Fear

1 – Waking

“Help me to wake My children from the dream of retribution and a little life beset with fear, that ends so soon it might as well have never been. (Song of Prayer, S-3.IV.8)”

2 – God

This is a prayer, presumably, from God Himself, asking that His children—us—be awakened. He would do the awakening, when we are ready. Let us never forget that; he makes the decision when we are ready.

3 – No Retribution

God would have us set aside a dream of retribution, which is punishment borne of judgment. He would have us set aside a “little life beset with fear.” I do know that personally I never get angry unless I am stressed, and I think that this may be true for many people. For many others whom I encounter. May we give up our dreams of retaliation (a form of retribution) and give up our dreams of fear.

4 – Fear?

We have nothing to be afraid of. That is the glorious promise.

5 – God Calls

“Listen, My child, your Father calls to you. Do not refuse to hear the Call for Love. Do not deny to Christ what is His Own. Heaven is here and Heaven is your home. (Song of Prayer, S-3.IV.8)”

6 – Heaven

“Heaven is here.” Yes! When our hearts are right, we know Heaven on earth; we do not have to wait until after death. Heaven, right here, is our home. And we all long to return to home.

7 – Christ Self

God would have us recognize His call for Love. We are meant to embody the Christ Self Who is within. This is our heritage.

8 – Meditation

These statements are meditative in intent. They are not meant to led us farther along the pathway by our minds, but by our hearts. We meditate upon the lovely words and soon find ourselves farther along the path homeward.

9 – Release

“So now return your holy voice to Me. The song of prayer is silent without you. The universe is waiting your release because it is its own. (Song of Prayer, S-3.IV.10)”

10 – Judgments

We need to give up our own judgments. We need not to try to make decisions on our own, something that is impossible anyway. We make decisions with Christ or the Antichrist (from the ACIM Text), because our agreement with another is what makes all things happen. And we would make decisions with Christ, Which, in ACIM, is the Holy Spirit. We would not choose to go about our world today, wily-nily. We would choose to live it with Christ. Let’s be assured that our intent to do so is all that is needed.

11 – A Call from God

“Remember this; whatever you may think about yourself, whatever you may think about the world, your Father needs you and will call to you until you come to Him in peace at last. (Song of Prayer, S-3.IV.10)

12 – Listen

God will never give up on us. He will continue to call until we are ready, and until we listen in earnest.

Dear Father/Mother,

Let us lead a good life today. I realize that a “good life” is an abstraction, but I would try to make it concrete—following You throughout the day. Let me remember to ask of the Holy Spirit what my next step ought to be. And then may I listen and follow.

This is the only way to walk along the pathway home.

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

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“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.

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

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“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.