Tag Archives: dreams

Eternal Is Real

“Once you accept that only the eternal exists and that everything else—however powerful to the separated mind—is illusory, then you can go through the continuum of life without clinging, but simply flowing.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 5:III

Our world of form feels real to us, and we in our physical bodies are, in a sense, “supposed” to let it feel real.  But I believe it is illusory, that, as A Course in Miracles says, “There is no world!”  ACIM also says that projection makes perception.  This would mean that our inner Self is taking from within and sending outside of us what we would experience, also what we would see.  We are in a mass hallucination, which could also be called a dream.

If so much is illusory, we can flow through life, knowing that that blood we see is really catsup—not real pain and suffering.  This gives us an equanimity that keeps us feeling safe.  We learn, discover, from our experiences, but we do best when we don’t take life too seriously. We are meant to experience life, physical life, as real; otherwise, the illusion would have no meaning to us.

Let life flow through us.  Let the dream that is life affect us, but not to our detriment.

It is illusion, an idea only, an idea in the Mind of God.  The world of physical form is simply slowed down energy, the stuff of God.  His eternity is all that is real, and His eternity includes the intangibles of peace, calm, tranquility, harmony, love.

This can only mean comfort for us.

All that Is Asked of Us Is to Make Room for Truth

The ego is dazed by much of our reasoning, which accounts for the Heaven vs. hell dichotomies that our religions have set up. I once heard a ministerial student proclaim that [blank] religion could not be right, because it asserted that there was only Good and “there cannot be good without evil.” Jung had a similar problem, symbolized by a seminal childhood dream, which led him to feel that God Himself might be both good and evil. This was nothing less than an imperfect way to improve on Milton’s concept of Satan and God at war. Ego, all, A Course in Miracles would have us understand. We can’t make sense of it because the ideas are filled to the brim with the chaotic “reality” of insanity.

Any person who has experienced psychosis understands the troubled way in which he tries to “make sense” of the images that arise from the subconscious. Meaning can be seen only in part, because the person is having a nocturnal dream in the daylight hours. And there are virtually always huge chunks of our nocturnal dreams that remain incomprehensible to us as we seek to analyze them. It is this dynamic that is played out when we live with the ego as our guide. Our cues for inference (T-21.I.1:5) are wrong, the Course says, so we cannot see our way clearly. The daily dream that is our life is chaotic because its source (the ego) is insane.

We do not have to accept this view of Reality wholly if it would be dishonest to try to believe something that on the surface of it doesn’t make sense. The Course says only, “All that is asked of you is to make room for truth.” (T-21.II.7:6) Entertain the concept that our ego may be distracting us in our search for meaning. We need only open our minds to the possibility that in the past we may have formed a worldview wrongly. Suspend judgment for a time, drop resistance, and in the Course’s beautiful language, do as it bids: “Be willing, for an instant, to leave your altars free of what you placed upon them, and what is really there you cannot fail to see.” (T-21.II.8:1)

Dream Better Dreams

The Course states, “The state of sinlessness is merely this: The whole desire to attack is gone, and so there is no reason to perceive the Son of God as other than He is. The need for guilt is gone because it has no purpose, and is meaningless without the goal of sin.” (T-25.V.1:1-2)

What does this mean? When we perceive another as deserving attack, we are making real his errors. We believe that he does not “deserve” forgiveness because of the reprehensible nature of his crimes (against us). But the truth is that we are One with him, and if he does not deserve forgiveness, neither do we. Also: We feel guilty for retaliating, because our real Self knows that we have attacked one who, in reality, is the Son (or Daughter) of God. We therefore feel that we have done him an injustice, and we feel guilty about it. The truth is that we have done our brother an injustice, because in his depths he is pure; it is only in his illusions that he makes mad actions that hurt others, including ourselves. If we can see the truth of our brother’s real Self, we will not attack because we will perceive that he is lost in insanity.

We may feel threatened by the recognized mental illnesses in our midst, and we may get angry at the illness, but we normally do not blame the individual to any great extent, because we recognize that he is not in his real mind. The Course says that we are living a dream—and that the world we see because of our perceived dream is not real. Many of us are living a dream of attack that we do not recognize as unreal because we do not realize how much happier, under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit, we could really be.

God’s in His Heaven

There is an old saying that when one points a finger at another, there are three fingers pointing back at us. Make a fist, point the index finger, and immediately this saying can be seen as obviously true. The Course’s version of this old ego dynamic is “It is as certain you will fear what you attack as it is sure that you will love what you perceive as sinless.” (T-23.intro.2:4) Somehow we believe the old karmic truth, that if we attack, we will be attacked in return. But the glorious opposite is also true: See innocence and sinlessness, and these too will become our own.

Because all seeing is projection, in the view of the Course, we can understand that all projection makes perception. What we are seeing is a dream projected outward, and the world becomes cruel or kind based on our inner life. Even the worst of “sin” can be seen as unreal (being a dream), and as the Course counsels, we can say, “My brother, choose again.” (T-31.VIII.3:2)

All of us have had moments, perhaps fleeting, when God seemed in His Heaven, and all was right with our little world. These moments of peace can be expanded more and more to all our hours, waking and sleeping. All of our dreams can become benign. This happens when the truth that we are dreaming our world sinks in, helping us to see that what we wish is based either on turmoil or calm, the peace of God within. There is, therefore, really nothing to “forgive,” but we do need the exercise of forgiveness for ourselves (not God).

It is only as we forgive that we come to see that there is nothing to forgive. No one blames a loved one who acts in psychosis to perpetuate harm; we know that he is sick. Likewise are we insane, all together, even when not diagnosed as mentally ill. We all are trying to bring greater and greater areas of sanity to our deluded minds.

Awaken from the Dream

“The pathway that I have walked is the pathway that you are walking. And if our pathway is the same, then we walk together to God and away from illusion, pain, weakness, unworthiness, guilt and death.

. . .

“Know that you are loved, loving and lovable, and that, in truth, the only thing that is occurring is that an old dream is being released that a new dream might replace it—the dream of worthiness, peace, wakefulness and union with all of creation.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 2, Page 23)

Jesus walked the same pathway when he walked the earth 2,000 years ago. Our pathway does not end in crucifixion, as his did not. It ends in our resurrection to a life that knows the joy of being “in” this world, but not “of” this world.

We can walk this pathway when we realize that we are loved. And to be loved, we must be lovable. So many times we have rejected this idea. We have thought our sins so great that nobody could truly love us if they saw what we really are. Yet A Course in Miracles says that we have made only mistakes, that we have not committed sins. The nomenclature is changed by Jesus, here, because we think that sins are unpardonable. And they are attracting, in that we seem to keep making the same ones, unable to stop ourselves.

A mistake, on the other, is something that we just want to correct. And so we move to do so. And if we can’t go to the person we have wronged, we look to God for our peace of mind and heart. We don’t wallow in self-pity, sure that we are damned. We do something about our low moods.

We have been dreaming a world, and that world was hurtful and gave us pain, maybe suffering. We are replacing that world with the something better, an action we take that is taught to us by the Holy Spirit (or the Christ-Self, if we are reading A Course of Love in this time of Christ).

Our new dream acknowledges our worthiness. Our new dream saves.

Does Illusion Fall Away in ACIM’s Real World?

“The real world is all that the Holy Spirit has saved for you out of what you have made, and to perceive only this is salvation, because it is the recognition that reality is only what is true.” (ACIM, T-11.VII.4)

Perhaps reality, being “only what is true,” is not illusion at all, is no longer the dream in which we perceive the world. A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love do not develop this idea very much at all; it is left to tantalize us with its innuendo. Certainly the eternal in our experience, the intangibles of love, harmony, peace, joy, happiness, are not illusion, and it may be these intangibles that Jesus is discussing. Honest people have differed on what he is saying, dedicated students/teachers, all, of A Course in Miracles.

We are teased out of thought when we wonder if seeing the real world, which ACIM notes happens only briefly, is not an illusion. We are caught up in Awakening by God Himself, and through this action do we know peace for the first time. Whether or not the images that appear before our eyes are perception or knowledge is not made clear to me in ACIM. Maybe I am too dense, but I still have questions.

How could the illusion of our eyes, in this outside world, suddenly, with the advent of the real world, true reality, be “real”? This is one question for us to puzzle over, because none of us has a definitive answer. This much is certain: the intangibles are eternal, and therefore true—but the eyes don’t see these intangibles.

“This is a very simple course. Perhaps you do not feel you need a course which, in the end, teaches that only reality is true. But do you believe it? When you perceive the real world, you will recognize that you did not believe it. Yet the swiftness with which your new and only real perception will be translated into knowledge will leave you but an instant to realize that this alone is true. For as Heaven and earth become one, even the real world will vanish from your sight. The end of the world is not its destruction, but its translation into Heaven. The reinterpretation of the world is the transfer of all perception to knowledge.” (ACIM, T-11.VIII.1)

Will Heaven be a physical manifestation of truth? And will Heaven be here and now?

This quotation certainly seems to say “yes” to both questions. But A Course in Miracles can be obscure, and I seek to say nothing that is controversial, because controversy is divisive in that it separates us from each other in the study of ACIM.

We can ask to see this real world sooner rather than later. And we can do what we can to remove the blocks to love’s awareness.

This much we can do.

And it will be no mystery why we are healed.

“Reserve not one idea aside from truth, or you establish orders of reality that must imprison you. There is no order in reality, because everything there is true.” (ACIM, T-17.I.5)

This defines “true reality,” if we have ever needed a definition.

“How does one overcome illusions? Surely not by force or anger, nor by opposing them in any way. Merely by letting reason tell you that they contradict reality. They go against what must be true. The opposition comes from them, and not reality. Reality opposes nothing. What merely is needs no defense, and offers none. Only illusions need defense because of weakness.” (ACIM, T-22.V.1)

This quotation explains why we need be defensive about nothing. Defense weakens us, making what we would defend against. This is an axiom of A Course in Miracles.

We can get ourselves so caught up in illusion, and so defensive, that we let the ego run wild in our psyches again.

We do not need this. Nobody needs this. The ego, so apparent to others, will keep us weak for eons—if we let it. Now is the time to turn aside gently from the ego, take heed no longer, and know truth for the first time.

“Where once you recognized only illusion and called it reality, the mind joined in union will now, more and more, recognize only truth and experience only the truly real.” (ACOL, 1.10)

This brings back the quandary with which I became this posting. Will we experience only the “truly real”? Does this go beyond simply intangible emotions (love, peace, etc.)?

Certainly it seems to say this. And what a great promise this is, if this should be true! We don’t have to fear being lost in illusions any longer. Our dreams are over, maybe in physical manifestation as well.

Ask deep within for the answer to this quandary. I suspect that honest people will vary on their interpretations, but that is no reason for us to be divided one from the other. We do realize that the intangibles are not dreams. And joy, peace, love, harmony, happiness, will beckon us forward every step of the way, paving the way for Heaven on earth.

Misery and Despair Are Madness

“If you believe even the tiniest fraction of what is true, if you but believe you are a small part of God no bigger than a pinprick of light in a daunting sun, you still cannot believe in the reality of misery and despair. If you do, you believe this is the state of God as well.” (ACOL, 2.12)

We are one with God, and so in this context the quotation makes sense. We need to realize that the misery and despair that we wallow in is insanity, nothing more. But insanity is very hard to overcome, and the solution does not always come easily. The solution is Awakening, or Christ-consciousness, and not many people have currently reached this state. I, for one, have not, though I long for this place of “carry water, chop wood” that the Eastern religions extol.

We must realize that our misery and despair are insanity, and when we do believe this, we are on the road home.

Nothing bad has happened to us except that we dreamed a bad dream, and we continue to sleep in bad dreams. Happy dreams will come before enlightenment, and it is these that will save us now.

We are part of God, and so with communion with our depths, our way out is assured. Cling to this in the hard times. God is a very present Force in our lives, and the nearer we get to enlightenment, the more real He becomes. A Course in Miracles recommends the Holy Spirit as a Mediator, but A Course of Love indicates that, no longer afraid of God, we can approach Him more directly.

And this direct approach will take us out of any and all misery and despair. Approach God and see if this is not your truth as well.

Dream Your Own Dreams

“Call not to him to meet you in the gap between you, or you must believe that it is your reality as well as his. You cannot do his part, but this you do when you become a passive figure in his dreams, instead of dreamer of your own.” (ACIM, T-28.IV.5)

This quotation is a beautifully written comment meant to lead us to solidarity and love with our most significant other. All others are our brothers, but our most significant other has a particular place in the theology of A Course in Miracles. We are led to understand that in our joining with another, we jump ahead light years from where we stand. Our way is assured, our way to Awakening. We are told that contemplation (as in meditation) is a way for others, that it is a tedious way, though it too will succeed in the end. But we save time by loving our brother (or sister), our most significant other.

Not all students/teachers interpret the “brother” concept in just the way described above. Some believe that everyone is our world, being our brother (or sister), is actually meant as a beacon to bring us home. I tend to read these passages as a particular other, though, one that was most special to us but who transformed into the holiest of others to us. Our special relationship became holy, in a transformation that may have disturbed almost its very essence.

We are dreaming this dream, ACIM makes clear. We are caught in a dream with our brother or sister, and our actions come out of that dream. If we treat each other badly from time to time, still we are doing the dreaming. And we can change the dream to something else—first, benign; and then loving.

Let’s make the effortless attempt today to see our most significant other as our way back home. This is the shortcut that A Course in Miracles asks of us. And it will be no surprise that Awakening reaches us sooner for the gesture.

Illusions

“No sacrifice is possible in the relinquishment of an illusion recognized as such. Where all reality has been withdrawn from what was never true, can it be hard to give it up, and choose what must be true?” (ACIM, T-26.III.7)
We don’t have to struggle to give up our illusions. They are very easy to give up, once we recognize that they have brought us images of sacrifice and pain, pain that often turned to suffering. The giving up of illusions represent a milestone on our journey.

“Illusions are illusions and are false. Your preference gives them no reality. Not one is true in any way, and all must yield with equal ease to what God gave as answer to them all.” (ACIM, T-26.VII.6)
We have some illusions that we like, and these are the hardest to give up. But if we are clinging to what has no true reality, we will be disappointed sooner or later. Why not entertain the idea that now is the time to walk into true reality?

“This is how all illusions came about. The one who makes them does not see himself as making them, and their reality does not depend on him. Whatever cause they have is something quite apart from him, and what he sees is separate from his mind. He cannot doubt his dreams’ reality, because he does not see the part he plays in making them and making them seem real.” (ACIM, T-27.VII.7)
We made this dream in which we live, and in the making, we got what we wanted. This may seem hard to believe when we realize that some of our dreams are actually nightmares. And we can give up those nightmares as easily, and perhaps more easily, than pleasant dreams.

Do so today.

“The gap between reality and dreams lies not between the dreaming of the world and what you dream in secret. They are one. The dreaming of the world is but a part of your own dream you gave away, and saw as if it were its start and ending, both.” (ACIM, T-27.VII.11)

This explains how to outer world can seem real when it is actually just a dream as untrue as inner imaginings. We made this world, made it easily because the matter is actually illusory. This can be hard to envision, but the sooner we contemplate the truth of this assertion, the better our outer “reality” becomes. The happy dreams brought by the Holy Spirit will overwhelm us with blessings.

“What grieves is not myself. What is in pain is but illusion in my mind. What dies was never living in reality, and did but mock the truth about myself.” (ACIM, W-248)

“This illusionary world is full of things you have told yourself and been instructed that you have to do, but that you do not want to do. The more your life consists of such things, the smaller your reality becomes. All that would join with you and become part of the real world of your creation remains beyond your reach.” (ACOL, 5.18)

We don’t have to do those things that we detest. If we don’t want to do them, we need to ask why these things are a part of our “truth.” What do we gain by keeping them in our lives?

Of course, all of us have responsibilities that ought not to be shirked. Others depend upon us, especially our significant others, our spouse and our children, our aging parents. But we can change our minds in the midst of resistance, and then our resistance changes to an embracing of our legitimate responsibilities.

This then becomes a part of our real world. And we are living in illusion no longer.

“Whether you believe the virgin birth was reality or myth matters not as myth and reality have no concrete distinction in the illusion within which you live. In other words you live as much by myth as by truth and myth often more accurately reflects the truth than what you would call real. This is not a call, however, to embrace myth, but to embrace the truth.
Jesus does not answer definitively whether or not the virgin birth occurred. He leaves his message open to any and all, regardless of their beliefs about this possible miracle.


“Mary is called upon now as the myth to end all myths for in this example life alone is the key to the riddle provided.” (ACOL. 8.11 – 8.12)

Mary gets a lot of attention in A Course of Love. She is said to have lived a life of “being,” not “doing,” and this is said to be the wave of the future (not an exact quote). She was an example life, just as was Jesus.
When we contemplate the myth/truth of Mary, we come closer to understanding why the Atonement happened at all. Not the crucifixion, but the resurrection. This was Jesus’s most important contribution, and never does he say in A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love that the resurrection never happened. We are left to wonder “how.” And in the wondering, we rise above doubt and embrace truth as we see it.

“To realize the difference between truth and illusion is not to call one right and the other wrong but to simply recognize what they are. This is an important distinction that must be kept in mind as we proceed so that you are not tempted to judge those living in illusion or their reality. Their reality does not exist. Believing in the reality of illusion will never make it the truth.” (ACOL, Treatise on the Personal Self, 11.13)

Many are still living in illusion. All are living in illusion until the truth dawns. And then things are never the same again. We are freed to live in reality.

We are not to judge others. This is traditional Christian thought, of course, and Jesus says the same in the Treatise on the Personal Self, in ACOL. If we give up our judgments, we will be removing one barrier to coming Christ-consciousness.
Need we not to make this choice today?

This World Is Enveloped in Madness

“For truth brought to this could only remain within in quiet, and take no part in all the mad projection by which this world was made. Call it not sin but madness, for such it was and so it still remains. Invest it not with guilt, for guilt implies it was accomplished in reality. And above all, be not afraid of it.” (ACIM, T-18.I.6)

We have been mad for eons. We have been lost in insanity, and to a great extent (before Awakening) we still are lots in insanity. What a way to live! How do we get out of it?
We don’t get out of it by fearing it, but fear and its defenses of resistance only make the fear greater. If we feel guilt about this choice of madness, we will think that we are living reality—though we won’t be.

This quotation, once again, emphasizes that projection makes perception. We are projecting from within to see an illusory world outside of us. And this illusory world makes what we have seen within first.

This is no way to live.

“Faith in the unreal leads to adjustments of reality to make it fit the goal of madness. The goal of sin induces the perception of a fearful world to justify its purpose. What you desire, you see. And if its reality is false, you will uphold it by not realizing all the adjustments you have introduced to make it so.” (ACIM, T-21.II.9)

We continue with the theme of projection. “What you desire, you see.” And we have wished it to be so, as desire does make for wishing.

We need to realize that regardless of how vicious our dreams of reality really are, we are lost in illusion. Our dreams don’t make a true reality. Our dreams only scare us, if they are frightening dreams, and encourage us, if they are joyous dreams. But never will a dream be true in any sense of the word.

“What can He [God] know of the ephemeral, the sinful and the guilty, the afraid, the suffering and lonely, and the mind that lives within a body that must die? You but accuse Him of insanity, to think He made a world where such things seem to have reality. He is not mad. Yet only madness makes a world like this.” (ACIM, W-152)

God is not mad, and if we think that he created the world that we see, then we, in some part of our minds, either blame Him as cruel or see Him as mad. There are no other choices in how we view God.

It is part of the theology of A Course in Miracles to believe that on some level we, out of madness, made this world in which we dwell. We cannot understand this on the literal level. Certainly not. But we can rise above this mad world by rejecting, gently, the projections that are making it cruel in our perception. We can give our God a good day by gently approaching that day with the communion with God that we need.

Then our projections take on a gentle air. We don’t see a world that needs fixing nearly as often.

We are getting closer to home. And home is where we long to be.

The Detour into Fear

“The separation is merely a faulty formulation of reality, with no effect at all. The miracle, without a function in Heaven, is needful here. Aspects of reality can still be seen, and they will replace aspects of unreality. Aspects of reality can be seen in everything and everywhere. Yet only God can gather them together, by crowning them as one with the final gift of eternity.” (ACIM, T-13.VIII.3)

Our presumed separation from God has caused us all the grief. We could have taken physical form without this fall from grace, but we somehow made a tiny, mad mistake and forgot to laugh at the idea (from A Course in Miracles). We have not really separated, of course, because we are a part of God and cannot do so and live—and we live eternally. But we can imagine that we have separated from Him, and in the delusion come all the ill of humanity.

“Thus, the son’s participation in the idea of separation seemed to bring about a completely reshaped life, a destiny different than that which had already been written. Yet this participation could not but proceed from the original idea and could not proceed in reality but only in the external aspect of life that preceded it. The idea of separation changed nothing in reality, but became a drama acted out upon a stage so real that it seemed to be reality.” (ACOL, 12.22)

We are, like Shakespeare said, characters in a dream, writing and carrying out a drama in which we star. There is nothing wrong with play-acting, but we have hurt ourselves in the process of following illusions. We don’t realize that we are in a make-believe situation; we take it all so seriously. And that is part of our problem. We are in a “drama acted out upon a stage so real that it seemed to be reality.”

Let’s try to be cognizant of the drama so that we will be in a preparatory state to awakening from this insane play.

“To know what you now know, and remain aware only of the reality of the separated self, would not sustain Christ-consciousness in form.” (ACOL, Dialogues, 3.16)
We need to reach beyond just the separated state, for awareness of a mistake is not sufficient to get us out of that mistake. We need to reach out to God, immanent in ourselves as the inner Christ Self. We also need to see Christ in others, for we are not separate from them anymore than we are separate internally.

“This created the separate and the unloved in your perception, and your perception created an unreal reality of the separate and unloved, often referred to as hell or hell on earth.” (ACOL, Dialogues, Day 16, 16.15)

Are we really living in a hell on earth? In some respects we are.

But we can walk out of this hell by following guidance of the Holy Spirit (ACIM) or the Christ Self (ACOL). Our days will be brighter. We will be happier. And we will come, eventually, to know separation no longer. For it has always and alone been illusion. Our own delusion about reality.

God’s Teachers Choose to Look on Dreams a While. All Choices Are Made Consciously, with Full Awareness of Their Consequences.

1 – Conscious Choice

Do we really believe the title of this posting? Do we believe that all of our choices are made consciously?

2 – Doubt

I think not. We think that the subconscious mind undoes us, more often than not. Yet Jesus asserts that we are making conscious choices. I think that this choice is made by the inner Self, which knows no unconsciousness. When we avoid guidance, we often make bad situations for ourselves, and in this avoidance, we learn that we are making a conscious choice to make our own judgments, judgments that are always wrong.

3 – Central Lesson

“The central lesson is always this; that what you use the body for it will become to you. Use it for sin or for attack, which is the same as sin, and you will see it as sinful. (M32)”

4 – Avoid Sin and Attack

We need to avoid “sin” and attack. Of course, we know this, but the flesh is weak, and we do often retaliate when faced with attack. We will then see the body as sinful, a truly lamentable self-image.

5 – Not Troubled

When we use the body rightly, we are not troubled by attack that reaches us from without. We go blithely along, untroubled by anything. Let us resolve today to so live. One does not have to be unhinged by attack or anger presented to us. We can realize that we are seeing distress that is based on error (from the ACIM Text). And we can gently turn aside, giving the poor attitudes no support from without.

6 – The Holy Body

“Use it [the body] to bring the Word of God to those who have it not, and the body becomes holy. Because it is holy it cannot be sick, nor can it die. When its usefulness is done it is laid by, and that is all. (M32)”

7 – When We Die

The body is laid by when we die. Most choose some sickness to effect a release from this world, but actually we don’t have to engage sickness to get release.

8 – Self-Preservation

Death is not a popular subject. We still cringe, wanting to live longer on this earth. Self-preservation is hard-wired into our psyches, and that is not bad.

9 – Word of God

Let us bring the Word of God to others in thought, word, and deed. Then we will see our bodies as holy, and we will not lament that we are still in this world. We will be glad of the opportunity. Thoughts of relinquishing our troubles will no longer trouble us. Our self-preservation instincts will carry us through.

10 – The Mind

“The mind makes this decision [the decision to lay the body aside], as it makes all decisions that are responsible for the body’s condition. Yet the teacher of God does not make this decision alone. To do that would be to give the body another purpose from the one that keeps it holy. (M32)”

11 – Decisions

The mind makes the decisions; the body does not. We tend to forget this when we are sick. Sickness is faulty decision-making, an ACIM tenet. We think that it gets us something that we want.

12 – Sickness

But the “something” that we want is never the sickness that has laid us low.

13 – Holy Spirit

If we do not make the decision for death alone, with Whom do we make it? The Holy Spirit guides us in the final days of our lives, just as He has guided us throughout, as long as we have allowed Him to do so.

14 – God’s Voice

“God’s Voice will tell him when he has fulfilled his role, just as It tells him what his function is. He does not suffer either in going or remaining. Sickness is now impossible for him. (M32)”

15 – The Ideal

More difficult passages about sickness. This is the ideal in A Course in Miracles, and not all of us can be ready for this ideal. But we can take steps in the direction of the ideal.

16 – Sickness

And when we do, our sicknesses are lessened incrementally.

17 – Oneness

“Oneness and sickness cannot coexist. God’s teachers choose to look on dreams a while. It is a conscious choice. For they have learned that all choices are made consciously, with full awareness of their consequences. (M32)”

18 – Illusion

What we are seeing in this world is illusion (a Course concept). The Course also calls what we see “dreams.” And we have chosen to look upon dreams, knowing on some level what will transpire for us. We may suffer, but we do not have to do so. Pain does not have to bring suffering, if our minds and hearts are in agreement with the Holy Spirit, who makes only one judgment: “God’s Son is guiltless.”

19 – External Searching

We can also be free of sickness, which is some form of external searching. The external searching may teach us something, of course, which is its purpose. But the Course would not have us learn in this way.

20 – One

We are One with our brothers and sisters. We know, on some level, what will happen in our lives. And we have chosen it–not consciously, of course, but on a deeper level. This is different from a “blame the victim” mentality, and it would be wise that we keep to ourselves this concept if voicing it would be hurtful to another. Not everyone is ready to see that choices made to experience illusion are not ultimately hurtful, however horrendous they may appear in our insane world.

21 – Awareness of Dreaming

“Awareness of dreaming is the real function of God’s teachers. They watch the dream figures come and go, shift and change, suffer and die. Yet they are not deceived by what they see. They recognize that to behold a dream figure as sick and separate is no more real than to regard it as healthy and beautiful. (M32)”

22 – Unity

“Unity alone is not a thing of dreams. And it is this God’s teachers acknowledge as behind the dream, beyond all seeming and yet surely theirs. (M32)”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be aware that my dreams–my illusions–are chosen consciously. I realize that my little self is not aware of this, but my larger Self is. And I do not blame myself or others for this state of affairs; it is simply a law of this world.

Be with me today if I seem to feel pain. May I not turn this pain into suffering by my own inner turmoil. You have promised to be with me always, and I thank you for Your blessing.

Amen.

Certain Pupils Have Been Assigned to Each of God’s Teachers, and They Will Begin to Look for Him as Soon as He Has Answered the Call.

1 – Answering the Call

“Certain pupils have been assigned to each of God’s teachers, and they will begin to look for him as soon as he has answered the Call. They were chosen for him because the form of the universal curriculum that he will teach is best for them in view of their level of understanding. His pupils have been waiting for him, for his coming is certain. (M5)”

This is a reassuring passage. There are people out there who are only waiting for us to respond to God’s call, reiterated by Jesus. When we have responded to that call, we will find these new people showing up in our lives.

2 – Maybe Old Friends/Family

And not always are they “new” people. Some may have been in our lives for years, but because we were not ready, we did not teach properly. We may have even led these long-time brothers and sisters into greater mistakes, because we ourselves knew no better. Let us let this insanity end today.

3 – Distinct Teaching

All of us have a certain way of teaching salvation. There are no two ways identical, just as there are no two fingerprints identical. The fact that these pupils have been waiting is a Course concept that we may not fully understand. The fact that our coming was “certain” is also a Course concept that may be difficult to understand. Again we must take Jesus at his word, and know that these understandings, once accepted, will speed us, as well as others, on the way to total joy and fulfillment.

4 – Separation from God

“The instant the idea of separation entered the mind of God’s Son, in that same instant was God’s Answer given. In time this happened very long ago. In reality it never happened at all. (M5)”

God’s Answer is the Holy Spirit, an Idea Who is the Universal Inspiration. The Holy Spirit is in our minds in a very real sense. Traditional Christianity recognizes the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and we know of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was given to the new church.

5 – Tiny, Mad Idea

This passage gives additional, very interesting information. It affirms that the Holy Spirit has been with God’s children since the idea, the tiny, mad idea, entered into their minds. But in time, we are told, this happened a very long time. Since time is an illusion, it actually never happened at all.

6 – Moving Backwards in Time

We are moving backwards in time to that instant of the tiny, mad idea. Time is like a carpet that rolls up, going backward. (These are ACIM tenets.) So we are hearing theological underpinnings to A Course in Miracles. We do not have to believe theology, because Jesus is concerned only that together we have a universal experience. A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary. (ACIM tenets.) This is fascinating read from ACIM, but we don’t need to get lost in the mystery of it all. We need to focus on the experience of forgiving our brother, returning to our love for him/her.

7 – World of Illusion

“The world of time is the world of illusion. What happened long ago seems to be happening now. (M5)”

More theological underpinnings that build on the previous passage. We cannot understand these assertions. They just stand in ACIM, for us to accept, believe, and build upon, or to reject as too strange. Let us not reject anything in ACIM because, at first reading and even subsequent readings, it seems strange.

8 – A Dream

We are caught in illusion, in a dream. And time is part of that illusion. Einstein taught this. And so our physics is keeping pace.

9 – The Curriculum

“As the course emphasizes, you are not free to choose the curriculum, or even the form in which you learn it. You are free however, to decide when you want to learn it. And as you accept it, it is already learned. (M5)”

We have free will. We can choose when we want to learn. The fact that this passage seems to indicate that we do not have free will in everything is not to be lamented. I do not fully understand that we seem not to have free will in all particulars. I assume that some of us, years ago, chose certain a certain curriculum, including the form in which we would learn. And for many of us, that curriculum is A Course in Miracles, and the form becomes the particular way, individual to all of us, in which we learn ACIM.

10 – No Struggle

We need struggle not to learn. As we accept ACIM with a full and grateful heart, it is already learned. Indeed, ACIM is very easy to memorize. Many students have memorized large chunks of the work. But we don’t need to be fundamentalists about its words. The Second Edition underwent extensive editing by both Helen Schucman and Ken Wapnick, working together. I personally believe that that editorial work was informed by Jesus, but I have no proof. A first draft is rarely as good as a carefully edited version, and even Jesus’s words might be, and probably are, no exception. So I have seen no need to revert to an “original version.” The Second Edition is a polished document and is well-accepted by the course community.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May my pupils find me. May I speak Your Word to them in such a way that they can come to greater love and understanding.

It is reassuring that I have a place in salvation. Thank you for making this clear to me.

Amen.

Your Dark Dreams Are but the Senseless Isolated Scripts You Write in Sleep. . . .Only Dreams of Pardon Can Be Shared.

1 – Dreams

“Your dark dreams are but the senseless isolated scripts you write in sleep. Look not to separate dreams for meaning. Only dreams of pardon can be shared. They mean the same to both of you. (T-30.VII.6)”

We cannot have smooth sailing in our relationships, even when those relationships have shifted from the special to the holy. Personalities differ, and when we live in close proximity to others, we will pick up on their unhealed natures, the parts of their personalities that the ego still rules. We will suffer accordingly, unless we invite a quick restorative, to forgive the illusion in which we live, to forgive our brother for the pain that he only seems to be causing.

2 – A Perfect Brother

For our brother is perfect in his inner Self, and only when we see him as perfect will we be freed. This can seem a long stretch, when tempers are frayed and love seems far away.

3 – Senseless Scripts

But these dark dreams are merely senseless scripts, A Course in Miracles tells us. We do not have to dwell on such misgivings. Our brother has been given up to heal. We have one purpose in our holy relationship, and that is to love despite appearances. Pray for a miracle, if the way seems hard. The miracle will not be long in coming. It may come in the form of a changed attitude on our part. Our brother may be just as vicious as he may, and it will have no effect on us, for we see that it is a script that we have written; it is our dream (from ACIM).

4 – Forgiveness

“Our common language lets us speak to all our brothers, and to understand with them forgiveness has been given to us all, and thus we can communicate again. (T-30.VII.7)”

Forgiveness, pardon, is fully deserved by every Son or Daughter of God. Because we live in illusion, in a dream, nothing bad as ever, in reality happened to us. Our brothers and sisters may have reacted to us many times out of “distress that rests on error” (from ACIM). This distress is a call for help (also from ACIM), and we are asked to run to their side with the healing for which they are really calling.

5 – Happy Dream

“The happy dream about him [your brother] takes the form of the appearance of his perfect health, his perfect freedom from all forms of lack, and safety from disaster of all kinds. The miracle is proof he is not bound by loss or suffering in any form, because it can so easily be changed. (T-30.VIII.2)”

We can, as Marianne Williamson so often reminds us, ask for a miracle. And life can quickly be turned around. But even if it isn’t, our minds will be at peace. We rest on knowing that, when we have consulted the Holy Spirit about our next step, we have done all that we can. If we realize that our own anger and attack is always unjustified, we will be well on our way to lightening the atmosphere in our personal spaces, and granting our brother or sister the healing that is needed.

6 – Happy Dream

So we do have a “happy dream” about this brother or sister who is disturbing us. We can see his/her perfect health, perfect freedom from all want, safety from disaster. And this will not be a pipe dream (an illusory belief in what may transpire that has no basis in reality).

7 – Relationships

Ask today for a happy dream about all the special and holy relationships in our lives. The dream will not be long in coming.

8 – Read A Course in Miracles

And, in the meantime, read A Course in Miracles. It can become, as it has for me, a “happiness” book.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I live harmoniously with my brothers and sisters, especially my significant others. May all I encounter be led to a greater happiness by our encounter; help me to know what so say and do. Help me to relax as I interact with others. A pent-up mind does not do anyone any good.

Be with me today, to give me a happy day. I ask this so often, but it is always apropos. You want my happiness, and in the happiness, I am moved to make a contribution to Heaven. Guide me to know what that contribution ought to be.

May my significant others be relaxed and at peace today. We have a lot on our plate. Help us to stay on the same page in our discussions.

I love You.

Amen.

Dream of Your Brother’s Kindnesses instead of Dwelling in Your Dreams on His Mistakes

“Dream softly of your sinless brother, who unites with you in holy innocence. And from this dream the Lord of Heaven will Himself awaken His beloved Son. (T-27.VII.15)”

1 – The Dream

The “dream” here is the illusion in which we are caught in this world. The passage implies that we have a choice in our dreams, that we can “dream softly,” i.e., fail to focus on disappointments and instead focus on the good parts of our relationships. This dream, this soft dream, is also the tranquility out of which the “Lord of Heaven” (God Himself) awakens us. We are told elsewhere that if a light is turned on while we are asleep that we will be terrified, but when this light is perceived as the end of sleep, we are no longer terrified. We are further told that we would scream in “mortal terror” if we awakened suddenly from our “sleep” of forgetfulness. So a “gentler dream” precedes our Awakening, and all is well.

2 – Relationships

This passage also holds the hint that we are to find our way back home by our relationship to our brother or sister. This is the means that A Course in Miracles uses, always. Thus we do not need long periods of contemplation, though due to their intent, these would also work. But our way is different. We turn our special relationships to holy ones, and we know peace in so doing. We recognize the innocence is our brother who has not meant to do any harm (and has not, in actuality, done any harm at all). We live in an illusion. This cannot be said often enough. We do not pardon real offenses. There are no real offenses.

3 – Dream Softly

“Dream of your brother’s kindnesses instead of dwelling in your dreams on his mistakes. Select his thoughtfulness to dream about instead of counting up the hurts he gave. (T-27.VII.15)”

What a reassuring passage indeed this is! We have a choice of what we will dream of, of what we will think about in our waking hours in this waking dream. If we dwell on the good things about our brother or sister, we will know peace. We will be lighthearted and joyous. We will not rue the day. What better frame of mind could we ask?

4 – Kindnesses

So we remind ourselves of the kindnesses that our brother or sister has done for us. And these are many. Sure, there have been hurts, but we do not propose to dwell on these. Dwelling on the hurts is a sure way to feel less loved, and feeling less loved, we receive less love. Our very reactions will betray us. Most of us receive as much as we are capable of receiving, and the point of this is that we become capable when our hearts are warm. We can just as easily turn off the love from another, by our own chilly thoughts and reactions. But we would not have it so.

5 – Hostile Attitudes

We sometimes display a hostile attitude, years after we have been hurt by another in love. If we recognize what we are displaying, though, we can rectify the mistake, and then we will open out our hearts in a receptive fashion. Receiving is everything. If we close ourselves off, we cannot recognize a miracle if one appears at high noon. And it is miracles that we want.

6 – Illusions

“Forgive him his illusions, and give thanks to him for all the helpfulness he gave. And do not brush aside his many gifts because he is not perfect in your dreams. He represents his Father, Whom you see as offering both life and death to you. (T-27.VII.15)”

This passage is part of the theology of A Course in Miracles. We see our brother as representing God to us, and if we see God as offering both life and death, we will see our brother or sister as doing the same. This is difficult to understand, but it does make eminently good sense when contemplated. We project our image of God onto our most significant others; we see divinity in them. And so if we see an imperfect companion, we will also question God’s integrity. And this is serious business indeed.

7 – Eternity

We do not want to question God’s integrity. He offers only life (from ACIM). He does not offer death, for there is no death. We live in an eternity. Be happy today.

Affirmation: “Dream softly of your sinless brother.”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I can dream of the peace that my brother offers to me. I do not have to dwell—ever—on hurts perpetrated at any time by anyone. Let me remember the peace today.

Amen.

Fantasies Are a Means of Making False Associations and Attempting to Obtain Pleasure from Them

vangogh_cafe1888“Fantasies are a means of making false associations and attempting to obtain pleasure from them. (T15)”

Affirmation: “May I not indulge in meaningless fantasies.”

Reflections:

1 – Fantasies Are Untruths

Many of us are prone to this unreality. We are bade to leave fantasies behind, as they are untruths that do not lead to the real world. The “false associations” are just that–lies that we tell ourselves. And would we not do well to stop lying to ourselves?

2 – Personal Experience

I once spent a an unhealthy amount of time in fantasies, not just for trying to get “pleasure” in my fantasies, but because the fantasies seemed to me to be a type of dream in which I could learn something. I wanted to learn more about my life and how I fitted into my overall picture of living. I wanted to know how I fitted in with the other people whom I knew and whom I wished to know. So I let my mind rove freely in reverie, which is a kind of fantasy.

3 – Continued. . .

Of course, I derived pleasure from these reveries as well, or I would not have continued so long in them. They were particularly prevalent, as the fantasies are for many people, when in high school I discovered boys. My first boyfriend, when I was 16, was a rich source of material for fantasy. But was this healthy? And is it healthy for anybody? I think not.

4 – Fantasies from Vivid Dreams

Later on, I had vivid dreams that seemed to me to tell me something more about my life than daily life could tell. And I enlarged on these nighttime dreams by “listening” in reverie. I do not discount that some of this fantasy may have been an attempt to make contact with the knowledge of the Holy Spirit. But in this passage for today, Jesus does not recommend such meanderings in the thought process. He will later tell us that we are much too prone to “mind wandering,” and that every thought creates form at some level.

5 – Creation of Form

While we cannot understand this form creation, we can see that we are on dangerous ground. And we can pull back.

6 – This World

When we live totally in this world, it is almost inevitable that we will find ourselves lost in fantasies. These fantasies are a way of coping in a world that seems far too cruel to allow us to live easily. But there is another way, a better way. And the Course always says the same thing: Turn to the Holy Spirit for guidance. He will lead us out of an illusory present into a real world that will bring happiness.

7 – We Do Not Have to Learn through Pain

We may still know pain, though Jesus assures us that we do not have to learn through pain. In our world, though, pain as a means of learning is more common than any other way. In the pain, we turn to God. We do not have to learn this way, but if it happens to us, we would be foolish not to take the new pathway that God points to–away from the pain. Fantasies then have no meaning in a world made anew by turning to spirit for answers and finding the wholly satisfying nature of true reality.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

I have indulged in fantasies when the world seemed too cruel. Fantasies were an escape. May, instead, I welcome Your teaching that will free me from unreal concepts of the world. Then I will find joy instead of sorrow.

May I leave fantasies behind as I follow the Holy Spirit into the real world, a world of forgiveness and joy.

May my brothers and sisters in this world also see the value of leaving behind an illusory world of fantasy. Perhaps the more we leave behind fantasy, the more ready for the real world we may become.

Amen.

Embodying a State You Have Not Even Dared to Dream

Monet_Water_Lilies_1916“As it dawns upon your once slumbering mind that change on a grand scale awaits you, you will grow fearful if you do not realize that what is being proposed to you here is something completely new, something you have not even dreamed of. This state you have not even dared to dream of is a state in which only God’s laws of love exist even within the realm of physicality. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 12.7)”

Affirmation: “I would experience God’s laws of love today.”

Reflections:

1 – Physicality

The passage for today shows us that physicality is not bad, that it is a good state. This is the attitude throughout A Course of Love, which seeks to lead us to the elevated Self of form, a state in which Christ-consciousness is sustained. Of course, we are told that absolutely nobody has sustained Christ-consciousness yet. And Jesus is asking us to reach that state of sustainability. But the idea that the physical body is good is to be celebrated is a departure, in effect, from A Course in Miracles.

2 – Gnostic Influence

There was a heavy Gnostic influence in ACIM, and the world of maya, or illusion, was seen to offer us nothing that we would want. The world did not have anything to offer except the hope of happy dreams, from which we were eventually led beyond to Awakening and the real world. And we were led to believe that the Teachers of teachers were no longer born into this world, but that we receive their teachings from the Other Side (from the Manual of A Course in Miracles).

3 – Elevated Self of Form

But if we live God’s way of love, we can enjoy the physical body in this world. We are no longer looking to the ego for satisfaction in that physical body, but to our Christ Self. And then, if we are faithful to our learning, we will eventually sustain the elevated Self of form.

4 – No Curse!

What a blessing to know that the body is not a curse after all! There is much that we enjoy in this world, and we do not have to wait for the afterlife to enjoy ourselves. And we can enjoy ourselves in innocence borne of an elimination of the ego in ourselves. This analysis, unique to ACOL, is cause for rejoicing.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would embody this new state sooner rather than later. I would see that the physical body is not to be lamented, but to live in, under Your laws. Now nothing is missing. I will eventually die, and my ethereal body may be different from the physical body that I have now, but nothing has to be missing now. I can fully enter into Your laws right now, here and now.

I would choose to experience the elevated Self of form—as much as I can do the choosing, for I know that the final decision is in Your hands. Be with me as I seek to follow the path back to You. Let me turn inward today as I walk a close walk with You.

Amen.

All Lessons Are Gifts

pennsylvania impressionism2“Acceptance of what is, is acceptance that whatever is happening in the present moment is a gift and a lesson. What comes as a lesson may not seem like a gift, but all lessons are gifts. . . .They will not be lessons that you find difficult or distressing if you accept them as lessons and realize that all lessons are gifts. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 10.6)”

Affirmation: “I would accept my lessons as gifts today.”

Reflections:

1 – Everything a Gift

When something good happens, we can readily see this as a blessing and a gift. When something bad happens, we bewail our fate, and sometimes we blame God for the unfortunate occurrence. Yet everything that happens, according to what Jesus channeled in this passage for today, is a lesson that is a gift. Even the bad things.

2 – Scary Things

Does anything ever have to be truly bad? Of course, here on this earth we interpret scary, frightening happenings as bad, and we recoil from them. We think that the world chaos is deplorable. We ask how a loving God could so create, and could so place us in this world. Yet this is not the right question. We have free will, and this free will means that sometimes bad things will happen. This includes illness, for physical bodies partake of the imperfections of our world as well. We never need to blame God for our misfortune.

3 – Dreams

Of course, when we dream the happy dreams that the Holy Spirit brings (from the Workbook of A Course in Miracles), we see far more blessings as gifts—for the happenings that occur to us are fortunate and blissful. These are easy to accept as being from God’s Hand. Are they always? Yes, for we have aligned ourselves with Him and His will (which always is our own real will as well).

4 – Struggle

Accept gifts today, accept lessons today. The lessons may entail struggle, but we will hone character by struggle. And we will grow thereby.

5 – Grow, Grow

Marianne Williamson often tells a Jewish parable about a blade of grass, always looked over by an angel who says, “Grow, grow.” We can see this parable as applicable to us. God would have us grow. And He does, I believe, send His angels to help us along the way.

6 – Prayer

So may we pray that our lessons be gentle, but may we accept them also if they are harsh. They will be less harsh when we do not have an imprisoned will (from ACIM), the type of will forged by the illusory ego. Turn to the inner Christ/Self, and see if the lessons that we all experience do not immediately seem more benign. And then we can recognize those lessons as the gifts that they are.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would grow today, even if there is struggle. I do not believe that struggle is inevitable. When we align ourselves with You in toto, we walk a smooth path. And that is what I would do today. Be with me to make it so.

I would accept all things that happen as a gift from Your hand. I do know that some things surely happen that are not optimal, that You allow but do not condone. But traditional Christianity often talks about what You “allow,” even when this allowing does not seem good. And surely You do stand aside so that our free will is not violated.

Be with me today as I seek to do Your will, which ever is my own.

Amen.

THE GIFT CALLED GUIDANCE

Published in Miracles for November/December 2012 (publisher Jon Mundy).

by Celia Hales

A Course in Miracles would have us defer to the Holy Spirit in our decisions.  This guidance is true, and it does not always have to be constant in our lives.  But it can be.  Let me explain.

“Does this mean that you cannot say anything without consulting Him?  No, indeed!  That would hardly be practical, and it is the practical with which this course in most concerned.  (M71)”

Jesus goes on in this passage to recommend consulting with the Holy Spirit in the morning, asking for the His guidance when it is feasible to do so, and then thanking Him at night.  In other passages throughout the Manual, though, Jesus goes further in recommending that we turn over our decisions increasingly to the Holy Spirit.  He speaks of this need particularly in regard to judgmental thinking, which he indicates that accuracy is impossible for us, because we do not know all the facts–past, present, and future–that impinge on a given decision.  If Jesus really means this (and I feel certain that his words are very intentional), how might we turn our decisions, especially our judgments, increasingly over to the Holy Spirit?  How do we know when the Holy Spirit is speaking to us?

My own reflections over the years of studying ACIM have evolved from a primary dependence upon feelings, or intuition, to a broader recognition that the aspects of life that we cannot get out of our minds may be the Holy Spirit speaking to us.  Here is a 10-point list with some commentary of the ways that I have discovered guidance acting in my life.  Do not take anything unto yourself unless it finds a place in your heart.

1 – Listening in Prayer.  The “listening” time of prayer is the best way that I believe that I receive guidance.  I am careful, though, not to forget that my own desires may interfere with what I “hear,” and that I may make a mistake.  Many have said that God speaks in the silence, and I think this is an appropriate way to seek His Will.

2 – Keep a Prayer Log.  In the early eighties the spiritual writer Catherine Marshall recommended keeping a prayer log, very specifically, with prayers listed succinctly and then the answer, when it was received, recorded and dated.  I followed this recommendation for the remainder of the eighties and into the nineties, and I found it very, very useful.  (Probably I should return to this practice.)

3 – Intuitive Advice.  In daily life I receive guidance through a feeling that I ought to take a given course of action.  “Feeling” is akin to intuition, but that is not the whole of it, I think.  I believe that our minds, our intellects, frequently interfere with receiving the Holy Spirit’s messages, and that the Holy Spirit finds it easier to reach us through our emotions, our feelings.

4 – Intrusive Words.  Sometimes I am able to be in a spirit of inspiration, and, much as if I were writing without being sure what I would say next, words come into my mind from my unconscious that suggest a given pathway.  I do not actually hear a voice; it is my own thinking, but it also seems to be a bit beyond me.

5 – An Inner Knowing.  Quiet times may bring forth an inner knowing of how to proceed in a matter that is troubling us.  This is non-verbal, akin to hearing the Holy Spirit in our innermost hearts.  This “knowing” without being able to verbalize “how” we know is powerful stuff.  I think that it is certainly one of the most potent forms of guidance.

6 – Journaling.  Writing out our struggles in a journal is a way to invite the Holy Spirit’s input.  I try to let my conscious mind die down and to invite thoughts from my deepest spirit.

7 – Dreams.  In especially faithful times, we may have a dream that appears vivid and suggests the next step for us in our life.  Certainly dreams and visions are important ways in which God spoke to His people in the past, as recorded in Scripture.  I have had two significant “warning” dreams in my life that I still recall vividly.  The dreams came when I was contemplating a pathway that I now realize would not have been healthy for me.

8 – Agitation.  Occasionally in my life I have become severely agitated when I was walking along a given pathway.  I have come to see such agitation as evidence from the Holy Spirit that I am walking the wrong way.

9 – Visions.  Many years ago, when I was 25, I had a series of nighttime hallucinations, or visions, that became important to me in setting the pathway for my life.  Perhaps there was a reason that this gift came at an early age.  The visions have not recurred.

10 – Signs.  Signs are welcomed by many, but I would caution against too much an emphasis here, because it is very easy to twist signs around to mean anything that we want.  (Jesus says in ACIM that we can twist symbols around.)

I have not followed blindly.  Jesus would not have us check our minds and spirits at the door.  I have tested out my perceived guidance, and that is how I have found it true.  I invite you to do the same.  Intuition is a right-brain activity, and, as such, it does not respond well to our timetables.  We may need to present a question to the Holy Spirit, and then go about our day in full confidence that the answer will come when the matter has retreated from the forefront of our minds.  Present a problem or question, and then let go.  Trust the Holy Spirit to make His will known to us.  He will not fail.

In my twenties I heard a very dynamic preacher of the gospel speak on the topic of guidance.

He stressed, “I have known people at the end of their lives who said, ‘I knew that God was telling me to do that.  But I didn’t do it, and I regret it.'”

He went on, vehemently, “I have never known anyone to say, at the end of their lives,  ‘I knew that God was trying to get me to do that, and I did it, and I regret it.'”

Jesus may be commenting on the same guidance when he says the following in the Manual, in a passage that is comforting in the extreme:

“Do not, then, think that following the Holy Spirit’s guidance is necessary merely because of your own inadequacies.  It is the way out of hell for you.  (M70)”

By this statement, I think that ACIM is telling us that we make our own hells on earth.  Listening to the Holy Spirit with increasing frequency shows us the way out of our self-made hells.  I believe that in fact there is no limit to how the Holy Spirit speaks to us,  for our God is not a limited God in any way.  He will find a way to get through to us.  He asks only that we try to discern.  If we miss the first glimmering of guidance, God will bring the same message to us in yet other ways until we get the message.    Remain flexible.  Learn to turn on a dime.  Following the Holy Spirit in this way is joyous.  It is the enlightened way to live, even before we know the Awakening that the Course holds out to us.  As A Course in Miracles makes clear, there can be no better way to live, in the time of the Holy Spirit,  than in following the guidance of Universal Inspiration.

I once read, “Why beseech heaven for a miracle one would not recognize at high noon?”  After actively seeking guidance, we are perhaps in the right frame of mind, for the first time, to recognize miracles when they occur.

Joining = End of Illusion = Beginning of the Real

“What you join with becomes real.  As you take it into yourself you thereby make it real because you make it one with your real Self.  This is reality.  All you do not join with remains outside and is illusion, for what is not one with you does not exist.  (A Course of Love, 5.17)”

Affirmation:  “I would join today with that which is one with my real Self.”

Reflections:

1 – Fool’s Gold

This passage is a further elucidation of what was discussed in the passage posted yesterday.  “What you join with becomes real.”  We need to join with all that is laudable, and we need to refrain from joining with those things that appear shiny to the ego.  We need not to resist those things that satisfy the ego, for to resist is to make stronger in our concepts.  We just need to turn aside, and not give feeling, to those shiny objects of what is fool’s gold, not real gold.  The material is often only fool’s gold.

2 – Material Blessings

This statement does not mean that God does not want us to have material blessings.  He does indeed, and He will move to help us to acquire material things when we have so worked with our minds that we attract what we wish for.  But we must realize that the material, being outside of ourselves, is not real.  It cannot be brought within us, and joined with, and that is why the material is not ultimately satisfying.  We need the love, joy, harmony, tranquility–all of which are intangible and thus can be brought within ourselves, and there “joined with.”

3 – Perfectly Calm and Quiet

This interpretation means that we assent to the “perfectly calm and quiet” goal that Jesus would have us reach (from A Course in Miracles).  It means, in the words of Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now and A New Earth), that we no longer seek for drama in our lives.  Drama is distracting, and also very satisfying to the remnant of the ego that will always be a part of ourselves.  (The ego will not be destroyed, because we made it, but it will be deemphasized into insignificance.)

4 – Intangibles of God

Let us seek for the intangibles of God today, and join with those intangibles within our heart, our Christ within, our love within.  Then love has truly done its best to make us ready for Christ-consciousness.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would feel tranquility today.  I would turn aside from anxiety, regardless of what transpires.  I have this in my power, because of the cause-and-effect power of my thoughts, my mind.  I will “listen” with my heart today.  The heart knows how much better life can be when we do not become embroiled in the egoic.

Help me to leave anxiety behind from this day forward.  I do know what to do; I just have to implement.  I know what to do because You have shown me.  And Jesus has given words to Your Wisdom.

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.

The Authority Problem: Who Created Us?

“You must realize it is your desire to make of yourself your own creator that has caused all your problems.  This is the authority problem.  It is pervasive in the life of your physical form and in the life of your mind.  It is only your heart that does not consider this an issue of concern.  This is another reason we appeal to the heart.  (A Course of Love, 1.11)”

Affirmation:  “Listen to my heart today.”

Reflections:

1 – Did We Make Ourselves?

We sometimes, when especially trapped by egoic thinking, believe that we made ourselves, that we are our own creator.  This is an understandable belief, because we are told in many places (especially in Jane Roberts’s Seth books) that we “create our own reality.”  We do, in all likelihood, make the world that we see.  It is a tenet of A Course in Miracles that projection makes perception.  And another tenet:  “There is no world!”

2 – We Are Never Told that We Created Ourselves

But we are not ever told that we created ourselves.  In some of our grandiosity, we may think this, and it is a major stumbling for some of us.  We think that somehow the world evolved with us ourselves somehow creating ourselves.  This could not be farther from the truth.  We may find it difficult that we could make the world of illusion, the universe of illusion, in which we live.  Traditional religion sees a guiding hand behind all of this.  But nowhere, in no religion, are we taught that we created ourselves of our own volition.  Yet we somehow believe this, sometimes.

3 – Made the World but Not Ourselves?

Do we understand this how we could make our world and not ourselves?  Of course not.  And we do not have to rely on exhortations to have “faith.”  We can simply entertain the possibility that these interpretations of illusion are accurate.  If we do accept that what we are seeing is an illusion, and a dream, then we do not have to try to make sense of everything that we see.  None of us accords much credence to the fantastical things that happen in our nighttime dreams.

4 – Are We Real?

We may even doubt, sometimes, that we are real, and instead think that we too are as illusory as the world in which we find ourselves.  But when we look out, projecting from within, we need to know that there is an invisible divinity within.  We are not in touch totally, for we are human.  But the divine is within, and we project the perceptions outwardly that we see.

5 – Our Heart Does Not Fret about These Matters

But our heart does not worry about such things.  This passage makes that clear.  And, if we disregard the body and the mind for a bit, we will see that we really don’t care to get involved in controversies that body and mind would have us seek out..  Our heart knows that love is the only true answer–that, and the forgiveness that brings us to accept our brothers and sisters, and to correct our own mistakes and thereby forgive ourselves as well.

6 – Listen to Your Heart

So let’s listen to our hearts today.  What does our heart say to do or say?  We will find ourselves easily in a forgiving spirit if we listen to our heart.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I listen with my heart today.  May I rest in the understanding that You have given me (I believe) that while the world is illusory, I am not.  There is a divinity in back of all this illusion, and though this is my interpretation, not stated precisely in either A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love, this belief is one that I find comforting and palpable.  Thank You for granting to my questioning mind this level of understanding.

But, as I told You, I will listen to my heart today.  I will leave aside metaphysical interpretations that perhaps cannot be accepted by everyone who reads this blog.  May we join together in common ground that celebrates the wonders of You and this world, however difficult, in which we find ourselves.  This world’s beauty is unmistakable, and it is this in which my heart finds resonance.

Amen.

Hope of Heaven / Remembrance of God’s Love

“Yet he must rejoice that he is free of all the sacrifice its values would demand of him.  To them he sacrifices all his peace.  To them he sacrifices all his freedom.  And to possess them must be sacrificed his hope of Heaven and remembrance of his Father’s Love.  Who in his sane mind chooses nothing as a substitute for everything?  (M-13.4)”

Affirmation:  “I would value the valuable only.”

Reflections:

1 – The Ego

This passage is about the ego and its supposed benefits in following it.  What a mistake we make when we try to follow the ego.  We are cast down as often as we experience ecstasy, and the ecstasy is always short-lived.  This is the way that we are, ever so gently, taught that the ego is not “the way.”  We, in harmony with the Holy Spirit, have found a new way that will benefit in far greater dimensions.

2 – This World = A Dream

We do not see that this world is a dream, and, while it may be a pleasant dream at times, it is still a dream.  The Holy Spirit beings us happy dreams (from the Workbook), so that when we are finally ready for Awakening, we will not be scared of it.

3 – Sacrifice

Sacrifice is a notion totally rejected by A Course in Miracles.  And well it should be.  Our
world has been a place where most people thought that sacrifice for others was a virtue.  Not so, according to A Course in Miracles.  We do not have to give up anything to do right by our brothers and sisters.  We will all be cared for.

4 – Don’t Make This World Important

When we make this world too important to us, we do sacrifice, though.  We sacrifice our happiness and hope for ever-increasing joy to a dubious, impossible dream.  We do this injustice to ourselves when we follow the ego instead of the Holy Spirit.

5 – Follow Our Guide

May we follow the right Guide today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I do rejoice that I am getting the madness out, the madness that all of us, to one extent or another, have while in this world.  I would not choose the insanity of the ego anymore.  Help me to be true to this declaration.

Be good to me today.  It will be a busy day, and I want to promise to You that I will not forget my prayers to You.  Be with me as I seek to follow my Guide.

Amen.

Happy Dreams the Holy Spirit Brings

“God’s teachers choose to look on dreams a while.  It is a conscious choice.  For they have learned that all choices are made consciously, with full awareness of their consequences.  The dream says otherwise, but who would put his faith in dreams once they are recognized for what they are?  Awareness of dreaming is the real function of God’s teachers.  (M-12.6)”

Affirmation:  “awareness of dreaming”

Reflections:

1 – The Degree of Insanity

We dream, but our progress back to God is either pleasant or unpleasant, depending on our degree of insanity in the dream.

2 – We Dream

To say “we dream” is to mean that are in an illusion, not the real world.  We live with an imprisoned will when we are caught by the ego, and all of us have experienced the bad times of the ego.  When we follow its guidance, we know pain and suffering.  We may know heights of joy, but these are eclipsed by an equal number of low points (a paraphrase from ACIM).  We would not choose to live a labile life, when we know better how to live.

3 – “Happy Dreams the Holy Spirit Brings”

The better way is to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Who changes the kind of thinking that we do.  We start attracting a better life, the “dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (from the Workbook).  And we know a quiet peace that heretofore may have been unwelcome to ourselves.  In fact, in ACIM we learn that being “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time is to be expected as we reach home.

3 – The Real World = A Condition of Mind

The real world is not easily identified, but it is the condition of mind that we enjoy when we are almost ready gor Awakening, when God Himself metaphorically reaches down and lifts us up.  We know happiness, which ACIM says is our function.

4 – Insane World

When we know that we are dreaming in an insane world, we will not be upset by what we see.  We will know that it is all illusion.  We will empathize with our brothers and sisters who are caught in pain, but we will  not overdo our sympathy, lest we contribute to making pain part of their self-image (a paraphrase from ACIM).

5 – Have a Better Day

Let us be aware of dreaming today.  And, with that, a better day is set before us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would have a better day today, ever better, day by day.  Thank You for the many blessings conferred upon me so recently.  When I am unsure of what to do, I just need to listen to guidance.  And the Answer will come, unfailingly, into my mind.  A Course in Miracles promises this; You promise this.  The Holy Spirit fulfills His role splendidly.

Be with me today in my dream of what life can offer.  May I know the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings.  And may I move ever closer to Awakening, an Awakening that will be sustained.

Thank You.

Amen.

We Are Living a Dream

“They [teachers of God] seek for God’s Voice in this brother who would so deceive himself as to believe God’s Son can suffer.  And they remind him that he did not make himself, and must remain as God created him.  They recognize illusions can have no effect.  (M-5.III.3)”

Affirmation:  “I remain as God created me.”

Reflections:

1 – Salvation

When we are trying to bring salvation to another, we must seek for the Voice for God in that other.  This Voice is another name for the Holy Spirit.  The Manual makes it clear that we are only separated from our brothers and sisters by time, and time does not really exist.  We can quickly fall from teacher to student by missteps, and often these missteps come because we have failed to listen to the Holy Spirit or Christ-consciousness (the latter is described in A Course of Love).

2 – When We Suffer

We are deceived when we are suffering, and similarly deceived are our brothers and sisters who are suffering.  This does not mean that we deny the sight of our physical eyes, but just that we recognize that what we are viewing is illusion, and therefore, ultimately, unreal (ACIM tenets).

3 – The Personal Self and the (Larger) Self

We are still as God created us.  We may have trouble understanding how this can be, when we see our failings and even our travails as evidence that we have fallen from greater heights.  But the real Self has not changed, and it is the essence of the personal self that is the Self (sometimes called the Christ).

4 – Illusions

We do not always recognize that illusions are, in fact, illusions.  We look with our physical eyes, and we empathize and sympathize with those whom we see as poor, suffering individuals.  This may in fact not be a hindrance to us, as long we ask for healing as soon as we recognize the need for it.  We may not see a physical change, and maybe not even an emotional one.  But the request for healing is always granted, and the healing will be received when the individual is ready for it (ACIM tenets).

5 – Not to Choose Healing

I should note that the view of A Course in Miracles is an ideal, and not all will experience healing.  Most of us choose an illness to cause our death at the end of our lifespan.  And then healing does not appear to have been received.  But who knows what remains beyond the veil of death?  We do not know, and we normally believe that life on the Other Side is free of illness, suffering, and pain.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Be with me as I continue my study of Jesus’s statements on sickness in A Course in Miracles.  I do not expect to understand fully; some things are veiled on this earth.  Be with me, though, as I try to understand.

I would choose physical and emotional healing today.  I would not knowingly choose illness.  Be with me in this choice.

I know that learning through rewards lasts, whereas learning through pain is only temporary.  ACIM tells me this.  May I learn through rewards today and every day.

Thank You.

Amen.

Need the Last Judgment Be a Fearful Prospect?

“The Last Judgment is generally thought of as a procedure undertaken by God.  Actually it will be undertaken by my brothers with my help.  It is a final healing rather than a meting out of punishment, however much you may think that punishment is deserved.  (T34)”

Affirmation:  “The Last Judgment. . .a final healing”

Reflections:

1 – The Last Judgment Is Healing

The Last Judgment is usually fraught with fear.  The way Jesus explains it, though, it is a healing, not an opportunity to determine if punishment is justified.

2 – Personal Experience

I once had a real phone conversation  in which I wondered later if I had been hypnotized during it.  For six months later, I seemed to remember, through admitted fantasy, that I had been asked questions that were akin to a Last Judgment.  Of course, I was reading A Course in Miracles at the same time that this experience happened.  And it is possible that I imagined the whole experience, much as in a waking dream that John Keats wrote poetry about in the early Nineteenth Century.  From this distance in time, there is no way to know, for I am not in touch with the individual in the phone conversation.  But I do wonder.  Was this fantasy a real example of the “brothers” of Christ conferring the Last Judgment on one who seemed ready, being at the time in a vulnerable state of mind?

3 – Brothers Working with Jesus

There is an indication here of our “brothers,” working with Jesus, to carry out the Last Judgment.  There are no other indications in the Course of what Jesus meant, aside from the tenet that our brothers are our way home, that we learn through our holy relationships.
4 – An Understanding for the Future

We must just accept the idea that Jesus puts forth in this passage, without being able, within the Course or without, to understand the message fully.  As time passes, perhaps we will come to understand.  It is perhaps in the final working out of the holy relationship that the Last Judgment actually takes place.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

My I no more fear the Last Judgment.  I do not understand how my brothers will help with the Last Judgment, but I trust what Jesus has said.

I do not know if I was actually under hypnosis so long ago, when I imagined that I was asked question akin to a Last Judgment.  Perhaps I was so exhausted that I fell into a dream.  But, given this experience, I thank You for it.  The experience has led me to understand, somewhat, how the brothers of Jesus and myself could effect a Last Judgment.  It could happen just as Jesus says in this passage, and for that I am grateful to You.

Be with me now as I seek to join in sharing with my brothers and sisters, to love them, and to avoid fear and judgment.  These aspects of the truth are paramount as we move farther along in the way pointed out by Jesus.  Thank You for this revelation, coming to us now, now that we are all ready.  May the credo of A Course of Love influence my reading of A Course in Miracles, and point out the whole way back to You.

May I endeavor to have holy relationships with all of my brothers and sisters.  May this concept grow in time, and may I feel Your blessing on it.

Amen.

Fear

“There is nothing to fear. (WB77)”

 

Affirmation:  “There is nothing to fear.”

Reflections:

1 – Anxiety

Anxiety will dog the way of the ego-prone.  And is that not all of us at some point(s) in our lives?

2 – A Passage to Remember

If I could only remember this passage when anxiety rears its ugly head!  For I am still not perfect in remembering and in putting into practice this glorious promise.  Anxiety has been a thorn in my side (from St. Paul in the New Testament) for virtually all of my life.  There was only one six-month period in which anxiety did not visit me, and my consciousness was altered at the time.  (I was in a moment of revelation that would reveal th end to me, as Jesus says in the Text.).  St. Paul does not reveal what his particular “thorn” is, though there has been much speculation over the centuries.  But nobody knows the genesis of his statement.

3 – All Have Problems

All of us have thorns.  All of us have problems, some of which can be seen by others and some of which cannot be seen.

4 – Nothing to Fear

Jesus says that there is nothing to fear.  We probably do not yet see the world that way, but do we doubt Jesus?

5 – The Better Way

I think not.  We can ask to be shown the better way, the way of quiet and peace.  In a calmer frame of mind, we truly will recognize that there is nothing to fear.  When we slip from a broader perspective, we can make an affirmation of this statement.  Repeatedly saying these words in times of stress will help tremendously.  And the time will come when it becomes a truth to recognize at all times.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I awoke last night, after a bad dream, in an anxious state.  I did remember that fear is not necessary, that I do not have to feel fear.  I finally prayer myself back to sleep.  Thank You for being there.

Help me to realize that, even when I fall down, You are there to pick me up.  When I realize this, I am calmed, and that is at least one reason why communing with You in the middle of the night, is so welcoming and brings Your peace.  

Amen.

Anger Is Never Justified

“Anger is never justified.  Attack has no foundation.  It is here escape from fear begins, and will be made complete. (T638)”

Affirmation:  “no anger and no attack”

Reflections:

1 – Attack and Anger = Out of Bounds

Let’s just recognize the truth of these statements, even when the withered ego rebels.  Remembering that attack and anger are out of bounds is a great liberator.  It will help in the tough times that we go through with our loved ones.

2 – Never Getting Angry?

How do we accomplish never getting angry?  We may not, and I do not believe that A Course in Miracles is recommending stifling anger, suppressing or repressing it–a result that would, according to current thinking in psychology, invite disaster in our emotional bearings.  I think that the anger doesn’t arise as readily when we are at peace, secure in the love that we feel is available to us, and aware of ACIM‘s tenet that we live in illusion, in maya (an Eastern term not used in ACIM).  If all that we encounter in life is illusion, and we are doing this unto ourselves (another ACIM tenet), we can even come to laugh at our moments of rising ire.  We can realize that our ego is rearing its head.

2 – Anger Arises = Stress

I personally have found that anger does not arise in me unless I am stressed.  I do not actually how true this is for other people, or whether or not this might be true for you.  But give it some thought, if you are so inclined.  When anger arises, I know that I need to have a timeout.  I am not yet disciplined enough never to express anger by attack, and, of course, this admission flies in the face of the truth of the passage for today.  But that is my aim.  And I ask for help when I am overwrought.  Peace invites compassion and forgiveness.  Serenity is catching.  Other people will not negatively affect us nearly as much if we are not inwardly seeing something that needs “fixing” in ourselves (a paraphrase from the ACIM teacher Hugh Prather).

3 – Relinquishment of Fear

There is a great boon here as well:  Leaving behind anger and attack leads to the relinquishment of fear.  Fear has dogged our every step, even when we have not been aware of this.  As the Course teaches, there are only fear and love, and, of the two, only love is real.

4 – Innocence

The underlying idea here is that our brother is actually, in his essence, innocent.  He has, like we all, been guilty of mistakes, but these can be overlooked–if we don’t at first make them real by thinking too much about them.

5 – Dream = Nothing Real Except Love

We are living a dream in which nothing except the love is real.   That is why anger and attack are never justified.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would ask You to help me to live peaceably this day, not allowing the normal stress of the day to impact my temperament.  I know that I never get angry and am then tempted to attack verbally, unless I am stressed.  I do not believe that stress is Your will.  I realize that some stress is even good, but all too often my stress escalates, and then I do not walk the pathway that You have laid out for me.

I would relinquish anger and attack with the assertion of my will, believing surely that it is Your will also.  Be with me in my weak moments.

Thank You.  You are always there; it is myself that chooses to look outward rather than within.

Amen.

An Ancient Truth

“The world but demonstrates an ancient truth; you will believe that others do to you exactly what you think you did to them.  But once deluded into blaming them you will not see the cause of what they do, because you want the guilt to rest on them. (T587)”

Affirmation:  “I think that others do to me what I think I did to them.”

 

Reflections:

1 – Blaming

This passage sounds hard to understand at first glance.  Do we, we ask ourselves, really want the guilt to rest on others?  If we reflect a moment, we will realize that we do.  This is what “blaming” is all about.

2 – Projections Makes Perception

The philosophical basis of the Course is hinted at in this passage.  Our perceptions determine what we see, because what we see is a projected dream.

3 – The World Prompts Us

We believe that others do not always wish kindness upon us, and therefore we see that.  And we think that we have been guilty of unkindness.  The “we” comes first.  We project the dream that we are bad people, guilty of much “sin,” and then we see others doing bad things to us.  This is the way that we learn.  This is a reason for the world’s existence in its present form.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would see only kindness today.  I would not blame another if, during the day, I am feeling down.  This is just a continuation of the dream, the illusion.  I would escape from fantasies of attack by not attacking myself, not attacking myself or others at all.

Guide me today to the way of right living in this world.  I long to be at home in You, hour by hour and even minute by minute.

Amen.

Dream of Your Brother’s Kindnesses

“Dream of your brother’s kindnesses instead of dwelling in your dreams on his mistakes.  Select his thoughtfulness to dream about instead of counting up the hurts he gave.  Forgive him his illusions, and give thanks to him for all the helpfulness he gave.  And do not brush aside his many gifts because he is not perfect in your dreams.  He represents his Father, Whom you see as offering both life and death to you. (T585)”

Affirmation:  “I dream of kindnesses.”

Reflections:

1 – How We See God

The final sentence in the above passage is pivotal; we see God as offering both life and death to us, and we think that it is our brother (or sister).   In other words, as long as we are caught in the ego, we will see our brother as offering both life and death to us, because we see God the same way.  We see God in our brother, though we are not usually aware of this.  When we progress, we gradually realize that God offers only life, and then our brother’s significance to us becomes clearer and more benign.

2 – Intimate Relationships

The earlier portions of this passage help a good deal in our intimate relationships.  We can choose what to fantasize, what to think, about our loved ones.  We can think of the times that we have been disappointed or hurt, or we can dwell on those times of happiness, when our brother has been all that we might wish in a loved one.  The obvious choice, for happiness, is to choose to focus on the good aspects of our relationships.

3 – Overlook Mistakes

Note that the more negative times with our brother have signified his mistakes, not his real self.  We may also see that we contributed to the situation by our own mistakes.  But the Course stresses that mistakes, once recognized, will be corrected, because we will desire to correct them.  We will dream of happiness rather than sadness.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I forgive totally all that I have not yet forgiven of my brothers and sisters who, I think in my weaker moments, have mistreated me.  I realize that there is no other way to You.  And there is not value in clinging to grievances.  I will know that I am safe when I have given up all grievances.  I would know that I am safe today.

May I dream, in my illusory world, of all that my brothers and sisters have done that is right.  May I recall to mind the good times, the times when we were very close and all was well.  May I never dip into negative thoughts that I do not immediately forgive myself for this irrationality.  There is no better way to approach You than through my holy relationships to my brothers and sisters.  It is the way to You, the salvation that A Course in Miracles counsels.  May I never forget this.

I am not so advanced that I am free of dipping into negative thoughts about my loved ones, my closest relationships.  But help me to realize that this is my most important task, to let go the negativity and turn to You for the guidance of what to do next.  And You will always counsel forgiveness, because nothing has gone wrong in the real world.  It has all been illusion, my dream.

Amen.

Idle Dream

“Nothing more fearful than an idle dream has terrified God’s Son, and made him think that he has lost his innocence, denied his Father, and made war upon himself. (T584)”

Affirmation:  “An idle dream has terrified me.”

Reflections:

1 – What Does the “Idle Dream” Mean?

The world we view is seen by the A Course in Miracles as an “idle dream.”  But ACIM also says that there are no idle thoughts.  Form happens.  This tiny instant from the distant past caused the nightmare in which we are caught.  It all seems to be happening now, but Jesus  places time in the distant past, being relived now.  This is part of the theology of A Course in Miracles, and we probably will not fully understand, regardless of how often we revisit these passages.  That does not matter.  Jesus said that theology can delay us, and that it is an experience that he wants us to find.  A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is possible, and it is the latter that we should seek.

2 – Millions of Years to Escape

This is, nevertheless, a reassuring passage.  If it truly was an idle dream that caused what we see today, then the way out cannot be difficult (though the return for everyone may take millions of years, another concept of ACIM).

3 – We Are the Lucky Ones

We are the lucky ones, the ones who have ACIM to show us a simple pathway out.  We have not actually denied our Father.  That is part of the dream.  We are not terrible individuals; we have not lost our innocence.  All of our attack and anger take place in the dream.  And we think that we have made war on ourselves.  Again, the dream.

4 – We Are the Dreamer of the Dream

And we are the dreamer of the dream.  We can change the nature of the dream, with the help of the Holy Spirit, once we know that we are merely dreaming.  He will guide out steps out of the nightmare into the sunshine.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would remember today that my dreams are personally directed by me.  I can choose the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings,” or I can get lost in dreams of revenge and unhappiness.  What will give me more peace today?  Your way is obvious, and it is obviously the way I plan to go.

May I not be daunted by the prospect of millions of years for all to return.  We are here to shorten that time, and Jesus says that each of us will shorten the wait by one thousand years.  Thank You for this reassurance.  And may I do my part today to chip away at that one thousand years.

Amen.

Murderers in Dreams

“A brother separated from yourself, an ancient enemy, a murderer who stalks you in the night and plots your death, yet plans that it be lingering and slow; of this you dream.  Yet underneath this dream is yet another, in which you become the murderer, the secret enemy, the scavenger and the destroyer of your brother and the world alike. (T584)”

Affirmation:  “I would not choose ‘murder’ today.”

Reflections:

1 – Nightmares in an Illusory World

These are the deplorable dreams that we dream in an illusory world.  This is why the world seems so hard.  We think that both our brother and ourselves are “murderers.”   We have nightmares, and this passage details one of the worst.  We blame ourselves for these nightmares that we live in our illusory world.  We think that we mean our brother and sister ill.  And that God will not forgive us.

2 – The Ego Speaks Nonsense

But all of this is simply the nonsense taught to us by the ego.  The ego is a part of our belief about ourselves (from the Text), but we are not doomed to remain in that part.  We can drop the belief that the ego does anything good, because it never does.  And when life moves to undo the ego, we suffer, for we often feel humiliated by false pride.  We must leave behind the ego, let it wither away, if we are to have peace and joy consistently.  No joy brought by the ego exists that was not paid for by tears (an ACIM tenet).  But we would weep no more; we would find joy in our spirits, and the way to that joy is to see the ultimate equality of all our brothers and sisters with ourselves.  We will all eventually share the gifts of God.  Presently, some know more, but this is not a lasting condition.  All will eventually share everything.  We are meant to share.  That is why we learn through our relationships–special turned holy.  We need to realize that our brothers and sisters are not meant to be held apart from ourselves, with us thinking that we are “better” in any way.  This is not the pathway that A Course in Miracles would lead us down.

3 – Bring on the Holy Spirit’s Happy Dreams

Until we leave these evil dreams behind, we will be immune to the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings.  (WB270)”  May we leave these evil dreams behind soon.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would dream happy dreams today.  I would not project from my ego anything that would be disturbing to experience in this illusory world.  I do have that power, that is, my real Self does.  But my personal self does not have this much control.  And so often I find myself lost in my personal self, a self that still is sometimes in the control of an ego that has not yet withered away.

I know that when I ask for happy dreams, I find myself experiencing a much happier world.  The Holy Spirit does seem to listen and to respond, though I do not read this specifically in A  Course in Miracles.  But the Holy Spirit is Your Voice, and Your Guide for me, and I thank You today for making this so.

May the day be met with courage and resiliency.  May I know Your peace in the midst of every busy doing on which You send me.

Amen.

Vicious Dream Figures

“. . .[Y]ou would not react at all to figures in a dream you knew that you were dreaming.  Let them be as hateful and as vicious as they may, they could have no effect on you unless you failed to recognize it is your dream. (T588)”

Affirmation:  “I am living a dream.”

Reflections:

1 – An Insane World

This is the solution to individuals who, in our opinion, treat us badly.  It leads easily to forgiveness.  It suggests to me that we can call these lamentable actions “insanity,” and then let it go at that.  Over time, we may find that calling bad words or actions from another just “insanity” will help to initiate our own sanity, our own living in the real world.  At such times of forgiveness, when we are truly living ACIM, we recognize that there is really nothing to forgive.  But most of us have not reached this pinnacle yet.  We still need to have the gesture of forgiveness, as much for ourselves as for the other(s) involved.

2 – An Illusion

Of course, there are times that we will react first, and then, maybe much later, remember this passage from A Course in Miracles.  It is hard to recognize that the “reality” that we see all around us is not really real, especially if things happen in that reality that hurt us.

3 – Patience

May we have patience with ourselves when we fail.  There will be times when we do not handle an attack from another in the best way.  We will retaliate, only to recognize later that we have acted amiss.  Then we need to retrace our steps, and make amends.  But first we need to recognize our own frailty, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide our minds ever more carefully.

4 – Resist Attack

ACIM suggests the remedy in these two sentences in the passage, above.  May we incorporate this passage so firmly in our minds that we are able to resist striking out verbally (or any other way).

5 – It Is Our Own Dream

We are in a dream that we ourselves made up.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would remember today that I live in a dream, and so if someone attacks me for any reason, I can know that I had something to do with finding myself in that situation.  Attack can be forgiven as a call for help.  Help me to have the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” today.  I would thank You repeatedly through the day for the gift of the Holy Spirit, Who will take me back home to You.

May I resist responding in attack.  Give me the forbearance to refrain from retaliating.  May my emotions remain calm, as well as joyous, and may Your presence keep me serene.

I love this life that You have immersed me in, and I thank You everyday for my many blessings.  Even though it is a dream, it is a good dream, and only with Awakening will I progress farther along the pathway to You.  May Awakening come sooner rather than later.

Amen.

An Idle Dream Has Terrified Me

“You are the dreamer of the world of dreams.  No other cause it has, not ever will.  Nothing more fearful than an idle dream has terrified God’s Son, and made him think that he has lost his innocence, denied his Father, and made war upon himself” (T584).

Affirmation:  “I am the dreamer of the world of dreams.”

Reflections:

1 – The Dreamer of the Dream

This is one the more comforting passages in A Course in Miracles.  It suggests not only that our world is maya, or illusion, which is a concept from another tradition, but it also says that our dream is “idle,” which suggests that the dream is easily modified.  We are, as the passage says, the dreamer of the dream.

2 – We Are Dreaming

If we believe that we are dreaming, we will probably be less hard on ourselves, judging ourselves less harshly.  We will be more forgiving of ourselves as well as others, knowing that we are dreaming and that the results of our dream have no real consequences that are permanent.  This does not mean that we can do anything that we like; this is a misconception that ACIM does not support.  In this world, we still can say and do things that will hurt our brothers and sisters, who are also caught in the dream.  And, as said elsewhere, we have “sinned” in time, but there is no time.  We have not “sinned” in eternity, where all is One.  We do need to forgive the mistakes (errors) we have made.  Perhaps we first forgive ourselves for perpetrating a wrong, and then we do what is feasible to right that wrong with our brothers and sisters.  Walk a gentle pathway, and all will be well.

3 – Awakening

There is a solution to our dilemma:  Awakening.  Then we live in the real world all the time.  But we cannot force this solution.  It is God Who reaches down to us, when we are finally ready.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would recognize today that what I see in this world is all illusion, a dream that I am dream with most others,  Only the Awakened see clearly.  So my real prayer for today is for Awakening.  I know that I have had glimpses that You have given to me, but I would long for sustainability.  Help me to change in the ways that You would wish so that I am ready for You to reach down, metaphorically, and transform me.

Thank You for listening.  And may today be good not only for me, but especially for the others whom I reach in any way at all today.

Amen.

I Was Born into This World but to Achieve This Day

ACIM Workbook Lesson 340 – for Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Affirmation:  “I can be free of suffering today.”

“Father, I thank You for today, and for the freedom I am certain it will bring.  This day is holy, for today Your Son will be redeemed.  His suffering is done.  For he will hear Your Voice directing him to find Christ’s vision through forgiveness, and be free forever from all suffering.  Thanks for today, my Father.  I was born into this world but to achieve this day, and what it holds in joy and freedom for Your holy Son and for the world he made, which is released along with him today.  (WB472)”

Reflections:

1 – A Holy Day

This is a holy day, according to our lesson from the Workbook.  It promises that, through our forgiveness of ourselves and our brothers and sisters, we will live in a personal world from which suffering is absent.  Note that this does not say that we will never experience pain, but we know from the Text that pain is not necessary.  We do not have to learn through pain; rewards as a way to learn are more lasting.

2 – A Pipe Dream?

Does this seem to us to be pipe dream?  Perhaps.  Certainly we need only turn on the radio and catch the news broadcast, or read the world news on the web or in a newspaper, to know that all is decidedly not well in this world.  But we can look at these things, and make one judgment in line with the Holy Spirit:  This that I see is unreal (from ACIM).  Then we are made ready to project another way from our inner world.  We can project an experience for ourselves that does not hold suffering, even if it should, from time to time, hold pain.  In this world we are not to be without limitations (an ACIM tenet), but we will be given the grace to rise above them.

3 – Project Good Dreams

Let us focus on this prayer to God.  We learn through following the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who wills only good for us.  And when we follow that guidance, we are well on our pathway back to God.  We do not make our own misery.  We have moved beyond that vale of tears.  We learn to depend on guidance for all aspects of our lives, and following what the Voice for God says, we project only good dreams.  We accept life in all its fullness, even when pain is present, and so we do not add our lamentable rejection of that pain, making it suffering (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not get lost in pipe dreams today, but I would choose good dreams today and everyday.  Help me to realize anew that this wish is in line with Your desires for me.  And we will all know good dreams, happy dreams, until You reach down, metaphorically, and make this day the time that I am awakened by You.  I would wish for You to come sooner rather than later.  But I will be content to remain securely within Your timing.

May all of us project happy dreams.  Thank You for granting me the will to follow the Holy Spirit, and thereby to do my part in following Your will.  I would be flexible today, secure in Your love, ready to do Your bidding instantaneously.  Be with me so that this wish becomes a reality.

Thank You.

Amen.

My Body = Wholly Neutral

ACIM Workbook Lesson 294 – for Friday, October 21, 2011

Affirmation:  “My body is a wholly neutral thing.”

“My body, Father, cannot be Your Son.  And what is not created cannot be sinful nor sinless; neither good nor bad.  Let me, then, use this dream to help Your plan that we awaken from all dreams we made.  (WB445)”

Reflections:

1 – We Made the Physical

We made the body and the rest of the physical world.  This is part of the theology of A Course in Miracles, but we do  not understand this assertion.  We cannot, while still in this world.  We make, but God creates.  And only what is created is real.  Only what is created is lasting.

2 – Dreams

We also made the dream in which we find ourselves lost.  We would awaken from this dream, sooner rather than later.   We begin to awaken from the dream that we made when we accept the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (from the Workbook).  We are eased in our minds, so that we do not fear Awakening.

3 – The World Is Illusion

The world that we see is illusion, or maya (in Eastern terminology).  So nothing that happens in illusion is real, and it is on this solid foundation that forgiveness becomes real.  If nothing real has happened when our brother or sister acts against us, then forgiveness is the only sane response.  It protects our minds, and it protects our brothers and sisters.  We and they are issuing a call for help, and forgiveness offers this help as a first step.

4 – Vanities of the Body

We put too much emphasis upon the body.  It is true that in this world, it is wise to be neat and clean in appearance, but usually we go far beyond this practical necessity.  We adorn the body with meaningless trinkets of gold and silver, bracelets that are meaningless, watches that are gold and diamonds, rings that sparkle with the false value of wealth.  Why do we do this?  It is our own self image that is at fault.  We think, from the ego, that we are not worthy unless we adorn ourselves.

5 – The Elaborate Frame that Surrounds Illusion

This picture is described in the Text as an elaborate frame that covers a tiny picture of an illusion, where nothing really is.  The real picture is framed with a slim frame, and it shows off the picture framed in light, the reality in which we ought to be found.  These images in ACIM are powerful indeed, and they carry messages that we can spread to greater meanings in other parts of this illusory world.  Nobody needs to live long in illusion.  Ask for the real world, and glimpses, at least, will be given us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not look to any elaborate frame that masks the illusion that it frames.  I would see reality instead.  May I invite the happy dreams from the Holy Spirit, knowing that these are precursors to Awakening.  May I understand, intuitively, what is meant by the assertion that we ourselves made this world.  It is not real, for only what God created is real.

Help me to walk in the light, the light of reality which is framed by a slim frame–a frame seen in light.  May these images–the elaborate frame surrounding nothing, and the light frame offering a picture of reality–tease my mind out of thought today.  May I come to recognize the real world when I see its glimpses, and I feel its peace and joy.

Thank You for always being here for me.  I ask for many things, but You and Your Presence are all that I really need.

Amen.

I Can Elect to Change All Thoughts that Hurt

ACIM Workbook Lesson 284 – for Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Affirmation:  “I can elect to change all thoughts that hurt.”

“Loss is not loss when properly perceived.  Pain is impossible.  There is no grief with any cause at all.  And suffering of any kind is nothing but a dream.

“Father, what You have given cannot hurt, so grief and pain must be impossible.  Let me not fail to trust in You today, accepting but the joyous as Your gifts; accepting but the joyous as the truth.  (WB439)”

Reflections:

1 – Attend to This Message

Today’s lesson is a reiteration of earlier writing.  We need to attend to this message and attend to it carefully.  We may not believe it fully, so lost in the illusion are we.

2 – Loss, Pain, Grief, Suffering = Dreams, Illusions

This lesson says clearly that loss, pain, grief, and suffering are dreams, illusions.  They are not real.  It is true that all of us feel these emotions, and sometimes their physical manifestations, but I think that this passage is letting us know that we are mistaken in believing that such feelings and physical manifestations have to determine our destiny.  We need only look to the religious dimensions of poverty-stricken peoples to realize that many of these individuals have a faith that has lifted them above the suffering.  Not all of us have this kind of faith, but we can always ask for a strengthening of faith in the face of obstacles and disappointments, loss, pain, grief, suffering, to know that God is real and that He is always here for us.

3 – What Are Some Practical Ways to Change What Hurts?

The best thing that we can say is that we are still living in insanity, in an insane world.  The comments that other people make may seem humorous to them, but they may sting us.  We need to let go of this judgment, for judgment it is.  And we will not know Awakening as long as we judge.  Indeed, we are told that when we cease to judge, we are made ready for Awakening.  Prayer helps, prayer that is a very practical way of turning aside from the insanity in which we find ourselves.  Communing with our God is the very best way to change what hurts.  He will lead us down a better pathway.  And then we will be well on our way to joyously redeeming the day that we are about to rue.  When we know in our hearts that judgment is keeping us from the joy of Awakening, we will turn aside from these negative thoughts and focus on the all-powerful messages of ACIM.

4 – The Uncompromising Truth of A Course in Miracles

This lesson is the uncompromising truth of ACIM.  Not all of us are ready to accept the message of this passage, but to the extent that we do, even in hardship we can experience the peace of God and Heaven on earth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

If I am tempted today to think that I am actually in pain or am suffering, may I realize that I am making the illusion too real.  In this world, we experience many bad things, but with Your help, we can overcome.  We do not have to turn negative experiences into anything that even remotely resembles true reality.  We are living in a dream world.

May I experience in my dream today only happiness.  This is what the Holy Spirit brings to me, when I am ready and open to receive His blessings.  May I be open today.  May I not turn a twinge of pain, of whatever degree, into a question about Your love.  You are all Love, and may I never forget this.

Be with me as I plan to live a day free of suffering.  I do not have to turn any negative aspect of life in this dream into something to make my day go badly.  Let me rejoice in the knowledge that You are always there, carrying me when the despair gets bad.

Amen.