Tag Archives: Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

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.

Life Experiences

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

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

Reflections:

1 – Reverse the Learning of the Past

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

2 – Are We Learning Aright Now?

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

3 – Follow the Heart

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

4 – Reverse the Separated State

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

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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

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

Amen.