Tag Archives: doubt

Effortless Decision-Making

“The way is so simple and so easy that the mind of the world overlooks it, thinking that it simply cannot be. But that which is simple seems impossible to that which insists on complexity. And a mind that insists on conflict simply cannot accept that there is another way. Yet what waits before you is simply this: In the end of all of your struggles, in the end of all of your doubts, and in the end of all of the moments of your unconscious conforming to the mind of the world, there remains the simple choice to be made—the choice to acknowledge the truth that has already set you free.” (“The Way of the Heart, WOM)

The truth is that the way back to God is both easy and effortless, something that all of us can allow the Holy Spirit to bring about in our lives. We stay in such conflict, and such conflict is, oh, so unnecessary. And we struggle so. Why?

Maybe it is time that we ask ourselves this question, why? To what avail do our struggles and doubts bring us? We just raise our blood pressure, perhaps, and damage our physical bodies, not to speak of our emotional bodies.

There is another way. And we need to get the clouds of complexity out of the way before we can act on this other way. We just do the loving thing, let Love direct our movements. It is so easy—and yet so hard, for we are used to getting ourselves in a dither.

Choose the most loving alternative, and then test it out in prayer. Are we actually tying ourselves in knots over what is “love’? Or are we following God’s way? Which is it?

Discernment, a Quaker concept, will lead us aright. And that discernment comes through quiet times in our quiet corner. Ask the Holy Spirit what to do, what to say, what to think, even.

And everything will come out alright.

How Could We Not Have Been Fearful with Doubt as Powerful as This?

“All fear ends when proof of your existence is established. All fear is based on your inability to recognize love and thus who you are and who God is. How could you not have been fearful with doubt as powerful as this? How can you not rejoice when doubt is gone and love fills all the space that doubt once occupied?” (ACOL, C:4.5)

We have often doubted God, and not just in our youth, when many of us became agnostics and atheists because the chronology of Genesis did not jive with evolution. We have doubted that there could be a Higher Power Who could hear our prayers. We wanted to be intellectually honest, but we didn’t listen to our hearts. Our hearts knew all along that we weren’t alone in a fearsome universe.

A Course of Love questions, “How could you not have been fearful with doubt as powerful as this?” (C:4.5). This lack of love that we felt when we were being intellectually “honest” is a reason to feel fear. What better reason could there be?

Now that most of believe in the Other Side, that channeling is possible and also probable, we are in a different place. Our doubts have subsided, but we still are living the remnants of too much fear. Fear has become a habit for us. And this has to change if we are to live full lives in a new world that we are seeking to create.

When we put away our doubt, we will make substantial progress. Just give the heart a chance to speak to you. You will not be disappointed. This may be the first indication that the Christ Self is coming into its own, in us, in all of us.

Self-Doubt Is the Only Thing that Will Not Sustain Christ-consciousness

“But I ask you to try to remember to turn to the new rather than the old each time you think you are experiencing uncertainty or lack. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.19)

1 – New Thinking

We need to think in new terms, the new way of living that looks to observation rather than the old-fashioned way of assimilating understanding (learning). We may not understand how we can leave learning behind. Don’t fret. The old will fall away when we express willingness to come to know in the new way that Jesus is pointing out.

2 – Sustaining Christ-consciousness

“The only thing that is going to hold you back from your ability to sustain Christ-consciousness is doubt about yourself. You must constantly remember that doubt about yourself is fear, and reject the instinct, so engrained into your singular consciousness, to let doubt of yourself take hold of you. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.20)

3 – Doubt

We have not heretofore seen “doubt” as a thing to reject, to gently turn aside. Now we do. Doubt is actually a form of fear that will not get us where we want to go. Doubt of self is engrained in us, and we still may hold this emotion to ourselves with some emphasis. Earlier we learned that to attack, to judge, and to make plans against contingencies to come are all things that will preclude sustaining Christ-consciousness. But are not all these things evidence of self-doubt? If we believed in ourselves, the Self that we want to be, would not these other traits that we lament simply fall away of their own weight?

4 – Being OK

We are OK. Really OK. This is the message that Jesus is giving us over and over in the Treatise on the New. We have walked the pathway; now it is simply up to us to assimilate this understanding. Not to believe that it is too good to be true.

5 – Fear

“To dwell in fear will end your ability to dwell within the love that is Christ-consciousness. As there is no longer any cause for self-doubt there are no reasons for self-doubt. Do not examine yourself for reasons for self-doubt when it arises. The self-centeredness of the final stage of learning is over. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.20)

6 – Self-Centeredness

To examine self for reasons for self-doubt is to return to self-centeredness. We need just to walk ahead, knowing that we are alright, that we have prevailed in a new state of being.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to understand this concept of self-doubt. I think that I do hold this idea far more often than You would wish. I want to relinquish the fear that makes self-doubt a plausible emotion to hold. Guide me to do so.

Thank You.

Amen.

Rejoice! Doubt Is Gone.

 

“How can you not rejoice when doubt is gone and love fills all the space that doubt once occupied?  No shadows linger when doubt is gone.  Nothing stands between the child of God and the child’s own Source.  There remain no clouds to block the sun, and night gives way to day.  (A Course of Love, 4.5)”

Affirmation:  “Night gives way to day.”

Reflections:

1 – Night Gives Way to Day

What a wonderful promise:  “Night gives way to day”!  This is where A Course of Love says that we are heading, where there are no shadows, doubt is gone, and we recognize that as a child of God, He is our Source and One with us.

2 – Grandeur – Not Grandiosity

We must not let the ego latch onto these statements and make grandiosity out of them.  There is grandeur here, certainly, but it is a grandeur that is of God, and our personal selves would never know how to act if it weren’t for the grace of God to show us what to do.  The same goes for what we say, and even what we think.  When we enthralled by love, we are well on the way to our home in God, with no division in our minds and hearts.  There is no separation, the separation that we once believed in.  There is no need to think that in order to experience everything, we need to imagine ourselves separate from our Creator.

3 – Does God Know of Us?

And there is no reason to think that we are less because we communicate with God.  There is thinking among us that God does not know about us, because we are caught in illusion, and He is does not enter illusion.  But this is not my experience, and therefore I do not try to teach this lesson.  We need, however, to accept from ACIM what speaks to our hearts, and we need not to divide from each other.

4 – Reincarnation

The same desire to avoid controversy is present when the subject of reincarnation comes up.  In A Course in Miracles, Jesus says that our teaching and learning should be acceptable to all–to those who believe in reincarnation and to those who don’t.  Any stand on this question is best left alone.  We need to teach and to live only what can enhance the message of Jesus.  And controversial issues, including theological ones, are not the “practical” that ACIM (and, by extension, ACOL) seeks to teach.

5 – Vision Will Return

May we enjoy the light of the day today.  May we know that night is only a rotation of the earth, and not a constant state.  And if our own lives comes to seem dark, may we know that vision can and will be returned to us when we turn to God in whatever way He seems most real to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for this glorious day, another day to live in a world that can become vivid in its joy.  I am grateful for my many blessings, and foremost is my good state of mind.  You have found a place in my heart that nobody else fulfills.  And thank You for filling my heart with Your love.

May the love that I feel when I sense Your “felt Presence” be especially keen with me today.  May I watch my moods, and turn aside from any dark ones that seem to descend upon me from nowhere.  They are not worthy of my attention.

Be with me throughout the rest of the day.  And thank You for taking good care of all of my brothers and sisters.

Amen.

When All Fear Ends. . .

“All fear ends when proof of your existence is established.  All fear is based on your inability to recognize love and thus who you are and who God is.  How could you not have been fearful with doubt as powerful as this?  (A Course of Love, 4.5)”

Affirmation:  “I relinquish doubt today.”

Reflections:

1 – Doubt

We have not even believed in our own true existence.  We have so doubted ourselves, and love, and God, that we scarcely knew where to turn–ever.

2 – Feel Love and Fear Is Gone

We need to take to heart this message, as it is the key to leaving fear behind.  When we recognize that we are love, and that we are surrounded by love, and we really, really feel this, then we will not fear anymore.  There will be no reason for fear.  Our safety is assured.  Regardless of what we attract in this world by our wayward thoughts, we will know internally, in our better moments, that God loves us and that we are not alone.  We will find surety in this thought, when this thought has taken hold in our hearts–and our minds.

3 – Wholeheartedness

The combination of mind and heart is called in A Course of Love “wholeheartedness.”  Jesus is getting ready to introduce this idea.  But first we need to just step aside from the mind, and listen to our hearts.  Our hearts will offer the solace that we often do not find in this world.  We will, with God’s help, be healed.  We will know real love for the first time.  We will no longer be lonely, for God will provide those things that we really need.  Our needs are always met; this is a certainty.  And if we need friends and family as support, these too will be provided.  We need only ask in certainty, and our pleas will be heard.  Our needs will no longer overcome us, and we will be free to live the better life that we are meant to find in this world.  Yes, even in this world.

4 – Fears Are Made by Us

Let us step aside from fear today.  Let us know that fears are made by us and our mistaken belief about what we are.  Fears are not of God.  Let us ask today for only the things which are of God.  And because this is a prayer in His Will, we will be answered in abundance and in assurance.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for setting aside my fears this morning.  My routine for the morning was broken, and, as a result, my fear intruded.  This is a prime example of the danger of too much routine, too many predictable rituals.  Help me to leave these undesirables alone.

Be with me as I seek to recognize that You are with me always, that feelings of love will negate fearful thoughts.  This recognition has always been a part of ACIM and ACOL, but until recently somehow its import was lost on me.  I would lose this recognition no longer.  I would know that Your felt Presence assures me that I am with You, that You are with me, and that we are One.  

In this is my loss of fear and anxious thoughts assured.

Amen.

When in Doubt

“Doubt is the result of conflicting wishes.  Be sure of what you want, and doubt becomes impossible.  (M-7.6)”

Affirmation:  “I am sure of what I want.”

Reflections:

1 – “When in Doubt, Don’t”

I have often said to myself, “When in doubt, don’t.”  While this may seem like a very laidback attitude to take toward actions being contemplated, it works for me.  My unconscious (not available to me) does seem to indicate when a given course of action is not to be taken.  Whether or not this is direct guidance from the Holy Spirit is a question in my mind.  Normally, I sense the Holy Spirit has an inner voice or an intuition, and this warning, “When in doubt, don’t,” seem somehow different.  A Course in Miracles says in today’s passage that I am feeling conflicting wishes, and, for me, this means that the course of action being contemplated may be way off-base.  So I choose not to follow the pathway that is beckoning, perhaps because the ego is involved at that moment.

2 – Conflicting Wishes

My conflicting wishes do suggest to me when not to pray for a given outcome.  I once wanted something very badly, but, with the exception of a span of two or three days, I never got the “green light” to pray for this outcome that I thought I wanted.  Now I know that my childhood and early adulthood did not prepare me for all that my desired outcome would have demanded.  I had personal challenges that would not have made this superficial, but intense, desire good for all involved.  I can report that I did not pray for that outcome, because the prohibition was direct and unequivocal.  And my life later took a turn that was far more suited for my talents and even my ambitions.

3 – God’s Will = Our Real Will

We do not really want things that are not in line with God’s Will.  We are told in A Course in Miracles that God’s Will and our will are identical, that the Holy Spirit choose for us.  The Holy Spirit knows all circumstances–past, present, and future–that will affect a given choice.  We have given up our judgment to Him, because He knows in a way that is impossible for us.  And when we have given up our judgment, we know peace.  The lamentable aspects of our world, we are told in the Manual, are present because judgment is so much a part of this world.  May we take the first tentative steps today away from personal judgment, and invite the Holy Spirit to lead our next step.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Right now I am in conflict.  So the action that I am thinking of taking may be wrong for me.  I am, over the years, tested out this reaction numerous times.  So let me be sure before I act.

Help me to have a good day.  There are many things on my agenda for this week, and the week seems daunting.  Yesterday was daunting as well, but all turned out to be just fine.  

May today be no less.

Amen.

Forgiveness Ends the Dream of Conflict

ACIM Workbook Lesson 333 – for Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Affirmation:  “Forgiveness ends the dream of conflict here.”

“Father, forgiveness is the light You chose to shine away all conflict and all doubt, and light the way for our return to You.  (WB469)”

Reflections:

 1 – Forgiveness is Central to ACIM

This section of the Workbook emphasizes in various ways, time and again, what forgiveness can do for us.  Forgiveness can be viewed as the central message of A Course in Miracles, and until we have come to terms with the need we all have to totally forgive ourselves and others, we will remain outside the kingdom.  Our return, this passage says, is made possible by forgiveness.  And it is our return to God that we want above all else, however often we may think that we want some glittering jewel that the world offers.

2 – Picture Frames as Metaphors

There is a passage in the Text that describes in beautiful language the adorned, bejeweled frame that hides a picture of nothing.  This is the frame that the ego would have us seek.  Our eyes are dazzled by the frame, not noticing until up close that there is nothing at all within the frame.  In contrast, we see a slim frame, held in light, that holds a picture of what is really true and what we really want.  We are bade to disown the ego, not to be misled by the frame that holds nothing of value, and to look instead to the frame that is framed in light–holding a picture of what we really desire, God’s kingdom.

3 – Conflict and Doubt

Conflict and doubt are of the ego, of course.  And the light of forgiveness shines all this nonsense (and it is nonsense) away.

4 – Do Not Underestimate the Ego

It is wise that we not underestimate the wily ways of the ego, especially as we approach ever nearer our union with God.  The ego becomes very subtle when some of the more gross distortions of value have been laid aside.  The ego may try to reassert strength by guile, and it may be very ingenious about how it attempts to do this.  Do not be fooled, at this late point, by egoic notions that will only delay our homecoming.  Be at peace with God, our brothers and sisters, and be at peace in one’s mind and heart.  Then the ego will know that its days are indeed numbered.

Prayer:

 Dear Father/Mother,

 I would see a picture of my world framed in a “light frame,” which substance rather than illusion found therein.  Help me to forgive my brothers and sisters, and myself, for the illusions that I might previously have sought.  May we leave illusions behind, because the fantasies that encourage illusions are not the best way to proceed.  May I live in the real world, however fleetingly, today.

 Be with all of us as we had into the Christmas season.  May we bring joy to troubled individuals, and may we find joy in this endeavor.  Help us to live a good day, as all of our days are truly meant to be.

 Amen.

Give Up Suffering, Loss, Sadness, Anxiety, Doubt. . . to Enable Love

ACIM Workbook Lesson 323 – for Saturday, November 19. 2011

Affirmation:  “I gladly make the ‘sacrifice’ of fear.”

“Here is the only ‘sacrifice’ You ask of Your beloved Son; You ask him to give up all suffering, all sense of loss and sadness, all anxiety and doubt, and freely let Your Love come streaming in to his awareness, healing him of pain, and giving him Your Own eternal joy.  Such is the ‘sacrifice’ You ask of me, and one I gladly make; the only ‘cost’ of restoration of Your memory to me, for the salvation of the world.  (WB463)”

Reflections:

1 – God’s Love Flows In

If all of us in this world could believe these comforting words of A Course in Miracles, we would be a long way toward overcoming the suffering that besets us.  We are not asked to sacrifice.  We can give up suffering, anxiety, doubt.  The only way to effect these blessings is to believe that God’s Love is flowing into us now.  When we ask to feel His Love, we are reassured that all will be well.  We can let our anxieties go.  We do not have to feel the suffering that can arise from pain.  We can rise above the pain.  Then we are truly Home–living with the assurance that we are beloved of God and that we are free of the fear that has beset us for eons.

2 – “Suffering”

Note that “sacrifice” in these quotations is set apart by quotation marks.  This indicates that what is being asked of us is not really a sacrifice at all; it is the acceptance of a blessing from God, from Love.  When the memory of God is restored to us, we truly have reached Awakening.  And this is where we are all headed.

3 – Awakening / Christ-Consciousness

The study of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love both holds out these blessings for us.  We are told in A Course of Love that the time of learning is over.  We know enough just to accept our Home in God, our Christ-consciousness.  We may be mistaken in thinking that we have reached Christ-consciousness, but the inevitability of this blessing is never mistaken.  It may be sooner or it may be later.  We need not fear; it will come.  And in the meantime, we can prepare by turning to the Holy Spirit (if we are reading ACIM) or the Self within (if we are reading ACOL).  There is a logical progression from Jesus’s words in the New Testament, his words in ACIM, and his words in ACOL.  Would that we could only accept what he says at face value!  There is very little that we need to do to effect these changes in ourselves.  Our contribution is indeed small, and we are sometimes chagrined by this (paraphrased from the Text).  But why should we let the arrogance of the ego tell us that Awakening/Christ-consciousness is difficult?  Let us rest in God’s mercy, and we will know that He wishes us to have these blessings.  We will not have to seek pathways innumerable; the blessings will come with a sincere desire.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would find You today, and I would do the little part that you ask of me to effect change for the better in my life.  I would come home to You.

May my brothers and sisters feel Your Love, and may they leave behind fear with all of its component parts.  I would do the same.  I am not above feeling fear, as much as I try to avoid anxiety by trusting in You.  We are all very human with the frailties that accompany the human condition.  May we help each other to rise above to the joy that You hold out to us when we have been made ready by Your guidance.

Be with me today.  Help me to know that sacrifice is never asked, and that I am misperceiving when I think that You might be asking this of me.  Your Way is the Way of Love, and when I know that in the depths of my heart, I will also be at home in You.

Amen.