Our Real Home, Our Real Temple, Our Real Self

“Being is completely without these distinctions. It is a state in which the mind is in communication with everything that is real. To whatever extent you permit this state to be curtailed you are limiting your sense of your own reality, which becomes total only by recognizing all reality in the glorious context of its real relationship to you. This is your reality. Do not desecrate it or recoil from it. It is your real home, your real temple and your real Self.” (ACIM, T-4.VII.4)

“Being” is another name for God. And when we are in communication with Being, with God, we are in communication with all that is real. This is, by the way, the term that religious teacher Eckhart Tolle uses to refer to God, because he feels that the term God has been misused.

This communication doesn’t happen until farther down the pathway to Awakening. In the early stages of our walk to salvation, we would be much too fearful of God to meaningfully communicate with Him. So we have been given the Holy Spirit, God’s Voice, our Teacher and Guide, Who is less fearful to us (in our own perceptions).

When the mind is communication with the All (another name for God), we are living rightly. We are living our reality, what is truly real.

Because we are a part of God, when we understand that we live in Him, we are coming to the intellectual knowledge that will save us. Previously, we have not recognized that God is the divine spark within us. We have seen Him as a Creator outside of His creation. Many still believe this, for the universe, in this way of thinking, is seen as God’s handiwork. But of what would He have created the universe? There is only He. His “God-stuff” created all that exists.

We need to recognize that we exist in relationship to the All. This is one of the messages of A Course of Love, which builds on the ideas, to some extent, in A Course in Miracles. We are in unity (because the All is One) and in relationship (the diversity of creation) to the All. These ideas from ACOL help us to see what is really there for us to experience in this world and worlds beyond this one.

So Being is there for us to experience. Being is God. And reality is all that is really true, freed from illusions and an illusory world.

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Share Christ-consciousness Directly for Its Sustainability

“The changes those who have existed in Christ-consciousness have wrought have been great, but they did not sustain Christ-consciousness, primarily because they were unable to share Christ-consciousness directly because of individual and collective choice. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 6.7)”

1 – Not Sustaining

This passage talks about individuals who lived in the past, and also perhaps about ourselves, when we experienced Christ-consciousness, but did not sustain it. As hard as it may be to understand, we did not sustain it because we chose not to do so. Elsewhere we learn that we returned to attack, judgment, and planning for an uncertain future (ACIM tenets), and that it is these thoughts that kept us from sustaining the elevated Self of form.

2 – Revelation and Eckhart Tolle

Twice I have experienced periods of revelation, but I did not sustain the elevated Self of form. Eckhart Tolle indicates that there may be many such moments in our lives. But gradually the Way is opened, and we do sustain the Self. A Course in Miracles talks about this Self, but is not specific about what is meant. A Course of Love is quite specific, and we would do well to study the parts of the volumes which emphasize the elevated Self of form (the physical being, but with Christ-consciousness).

3 – Elevated Self of Form

We have chosen not to sustain the elevated Self. But let us make a better choice as we come more fully to receive God’s revelation. He needs us to save His world. As has been often stated, Jesus needs our hands and feet (a biblical tenet). So there is continuity among the Bible, ACIM, and ACOL. We receive the teachings for which we have become ready. And we may pray that our world is ready now to receive the revelation directly from God. ACIM explained the means to revelation; ACOL builds on this knowledge, and Jesus assures us that it is knowledge (not perception).

4 – Time of Christ

“You have the unequalled opportunity now, because you exist in the Time of Christ, to directly share Christ-consciousness and thus sustain Christ-consciousness. You can pass on the inheritance you accept in this fullness of time. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 6.8)”

5 – ACIM and ACOL

We are said, now, by A Course of Love, to live in the time of Christ. This is a great blessing, and one that has not been made evident in A Course in Miracles, which was written in the time of the Holy Spirit.

6 – Reach Out

We must do what we can to reach our brothers and sisters, those who are at least open to the things that we are coming to believe. There is great urgency in this, for the world is in a very dire place. We are not bade to proselytize to those who are unable or unwilling to listen, but we are encouraged to share when the time seems right, what others are open to what we can say.

7 – Jesus

The way is not hard. Jesus makes it very, very easy on us. We only have to forgive (as encouraged in A Course in Miracles), let go of the ego, and establish the new, real identity that is ours as Sons and Daughters of God. We can do this, if we are open to it. An awareness of a new identity is all around us, ready to be accepted if we are only in line with the most sharing concepts that Love can offer. We are not in this alone. We are in relationship to others, and together we form a unity that cannot fail. Only time seems to stand in the way, and time is an illusion (a tenet of ACIM and ACOL). We need to walk into eternity holding Jesus’s hand. We need to put into practice the tenets of Love that we already know.

8 – Simple

It is just that simple. Slow down, be mindful of our surroundings, and invite enlightenment. The Way will open, probably first in glimpses, and then with the sustainability that Jesus so urgently wants.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I share the good news that You have given me. We can now share Christ-consciousness, and then come to sustain it. This is the secret which those of the past did not fully understand. May many of us understand, and carry out this injunction to share what we have knowledge of, what we know from Christ-consciousness. Only then will we sustain the elevated Self of form.

Please be with me today as I seek to share my knowledge, given by You. May I not assume more than I really know, and may I share only what is true.

Thank You for the glorious day that is upon us. We are living in a new time, a time fraught with great promise. Help us to do our part to share that new time in the best way that it can be shared, not in coercion, but in freedom.

Thank You for a good day. May the day extend into tomorrow, and the day after. May all our days become good ones, basking in Your light.

Amen.

Our State of Consciousness Is a Part of the Consciousness that Is Christ-consciousness

“Your state of consciousness, be you alive or dead, asleep or awake, literally or figuratively, is a part of the consciousness that is Christ-consciousness. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 6.1)”

1 – The All

We are part of the All. That is what is meant. We, in our elevated Self of form, constitute part of what is meant by “Christ.” And even before this elevation, we still hold the Christ deep within; we just don’t recognize this inner Self, at least very often. But we are never alone.

2 – Christ-consciousness

“Christ-consciousness” is a term not well-understood by those of us who are still in a state of moving toward Awakening. If the way seems long, we are to be content (according to A Course in Miracles), because, once begun on the journey without distance, the end is sure. We may know fleeting glimpses of Christ-consciousness, often before we move into the sustained state. These fleeting glimpses are the revelation that something even better is coming.

3 – Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle has much to say about the state of Enlightenment, or Awakening. He notes that this is not a constant state in the beginning, normally. It fluctuates. When we are at peace, in joy and contentment, we are seeing a glimpse of what we will experience, without drama, on a continuing basis later on.

4 – Christ

So keep in mind the Christ is within, waiting to be experienced. This change will come suddenly, in a moment, so that we will know when we have made the transition to Christ-consciousness. This is the miracle, for what can make this new state of being so sudden and so real? We are beloved of God. He would have us make this transition sooner rather than later, and He will move as soon as we have fulfilled His criteria. We will not to wait a moment longer.

5 – Believe

The best that we can do, until that moment happens, is to commune with God, to study ACIM and ACOL, to believe that what Jesus tells us will happen, will actually happen. Our own sense of skepticism may be holding us back. Drop that skepticism today, for this is within our power. Do all within our power to make the transition, and then know that God will act when the moment is truly right.

6 – Transformation

As a friend of mine says, transformation is for everyone.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I sustain Christ-consciousness today. May I realize the state of mind and spirit that is without fear. Be with me as I seek to know Your truth.

If the way to Christ-consciousness seems long, be with me as I seek to be patient. The ending is sure, once the pathway is taken. Thank You for walking along with me, and occasionally for “carrying” me.

Thank You for guiding me gently. Thank You for the new comprehension that I have today. May my gratitude to You be palpable to You. And may I sustain any glimpses of Awakening that I have.

Amen.

The Many Forms Are Made One Body through Christ-consciousness

“The many forms are made one body through Christ-consciousness. . . .Awareness of this one Source of energy, and thus that this one energy exists in everything and creates the life in everything, is Christ-consciousness. It is also what we have been referring to as heart and as the center of your being. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 5.3)”

1 – Energy

Energy is in everything, and that may (and probably does) mean that life is in everything, even supposedly inanimate objects. We do not have to believe this to have a good life, but opening our minds to the possibility enhances life for us. Many forms – one body. What a good thought!

2 – One

This one “body” means that All is One, and All includes us as well as God. We are separate in any sense at all. We know that God dwells deep within, covered over by our illusions of our self as seen in the ego—until we choose, make the choice, to give up the ego. Then there is a gradual reduction in the ego’s hold on us. Finally, one glorious day, we realize that we have walked into Christ-consciousness. And a glorious day this is indeed.

3 – Awakening

Many who subscribe to A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love have a gentle Awakening, a gentle coming to Christ-consciousness. This is because Jesus has prepared us well. He makes the transition for us non-jarring and easy. We need fear nothing. Indeed, we need do nothing, as he says in ACIM.

4 – Christ-consciousness

The day will dawn, soon, when all of us will know Christ-consciousness. Then we will ask for and receive our inheritance of joy and peace. Only what belongs to us in truth, and we will want nothing more than this. Let us ask today that this dawning day come soon for all of us. We need it, others in our circle need it, and the world needs it. We need to create a new world. Let’s be about just that, but, first, be sure that our hearts are right with God. Otherwise, all of our doings will be misguided.

5 – Heart

Surely we are aware that our heart is the center of our being. Many, throughout the ages, have spoken of this. A Course of Love joins mind and heart to “wholeheartedness,” and this is the ultimate. We use our intellects, but we are not trapped by them. We listen to the guidance that comes from within, and this is coming from the Divine within. Then we are truly living in Christ-consciousness.

6 – Inward

We are led back inward at every point. We get the guidance that we need, then, to reach outward to our companions along the way, our brothers and sisters.
7 – Energy and Matter

All is energy, the energy of God. Matter is only a form of energy in which the vibrations have been slowed down. Because of this slowness, things do not always happen suddenly. The Now is always available to us, though, as Eckhart Tolle points out in The Power of Now. We can have the Awakening that we long to have. We have been prepared, and A Course of Love is one of Jesus’s avenues to show us the way. ACOL builds on the previous understandings of A Course in Miracles.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know today that my heart is the center of my being. May this bring me ever-closer to Christ-consciousness.

Thank You for always being there for me. I say this often. You do not need to hear it, but I need to say it. Thank You for Your manifold blessings.

Thank You for the dawning of a new day, a day in which I know joy and peace. These two emotions are, in fact, all that I really want. Everything else is a detail. I would seek You first, and in the seeking I will come to know my real Self. Jesus guides me; You speak to me through the Holy Spirit and my inner Christ; and this world presents things that make the way easier. Thank You for being there for me on this long pathway. Thank You for walking further along this pathway with me just recently. Yom Kippur this year was truly a Day of Atonement for me; thank You for the many blessings of that day.

Be with me in this day. Help me to sustain the frame of mind that I have developed, with Your help. Guide me, sustain me, make me happy—for happiness is a function of mine, and only in my own happiness can I truly reach out to and help others.

Thank You. Again, today, I say “thank You.”

Amen.

We Can Be Reborn as a True Self without Dying

“To believe that you are mortal is to believe that you must die to the personal self of form in order to be reborn as a true Self. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘ A Treatise on the New,’ 4.16)”

1 – Health

How often we lament the minor and major health problems that beset us! But ACOL would have us deemphasize these problems of form. When we are reborn as the true Self, the highs and lows of health of the form will diminish in value. We will stop focusing on such, knowing that the Self is always healthy.

2 – Death

This passage highlights a frequent misinterpretation about life after death, which A Course of Love seeks to set straight. We do not have to die to experience the rewards of Heaven. We can enjoy Heaven’s benefits in the here and now, when we have experienced the diminution of the personal self (the “little” self, as I am interpreting it) and the rise of elevated Self of form. To experience all the benefits of this new Self, we must forgive (an ACIM tenet), and we must love without reservations. We must see ourselves as well as all of our brothers and sisters as innocent, or in grace (the latter, a statement occurring once in ACIM). When we recognize that all are as God created us, then we know that our mistakes have not been unforgivable “sins,” but merely mistakes that we seek now to remedy.

3 – Elevated Self of Form

This truth will be known to us when we become involved in something bigger than our little self of form. The elevated Self knows better. May we know better today.

4 – Christ-consciousness

Abiding in the elevated Self of form can and does occur when we let go of all impediments to reach this state. This state is Christ-consciousness, or enlightenment. This state is our natural inheritance, but until recent times it has not been possible on a large scale.

5 – This World

We can believe that now it is possible on a large scale. Our world depends on it, for the world is old and worn and without hope. If we are to survive as a species, we need a new lease on life, a lease that is made possible by many thousands turning to Christ-consciousness as a way of life. This is a major tenet of Eckhart Tolle, an enlightened individual who has taught widely in our world (The Power of Now; A New Earth).

6 – God’s Action

We cannot make this decision for ourselves. We are told in A Course in Miracles that God makes the decision of when, when we are ready. But we can do some things that make the time sooner. We can let go of egoic notions about how to react in our world; we can practice the Workbook of A Course in Miracles; we can seek to forgive, really forgive, for when we come to the understandings that are imbedded in ACIM and A Course of Love, we know that our brothers and sisters have never actually done anything that has harmed us. All was done in illusion, and illusion does not really exist.

7 – Little Edges of Light / Great Rays

The way is open for many of us now. Take the next step. Affirm that you would like to be ready for Christ-consciousness. Notice the little edges of light that come to mark the world that you see. Notice if the Great Rays from the sun envelop your world. These are signposts, given us by ACIM. And we will have brief moments of Awakening that do not last. These moments reveal the end to us, and ACIM and ACOL point out the means. Revelation is given us the end, and the means are being pointed out in these remarkable volumes.

8 – Vision

Take heed of the changes that occur as we begin to see our world differently. Vision will come to us. And to us all. It is only a matter of time, and time does not really exist, being an illusion also.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would accept my birthright as a Self that has been encased in a little form, but which I would elevate to a higher Self. Help me to forgive myself and all of my brothers and sisters today. May I know only joy as I seek to do this task of forgiveness.

I am truly a guiltless Son/Daughter of God. Once I realize this, I will know that as I seek to rectify my mistakes, they are taken from me. And then I thank You that Heaven on earth can truly be experienced, even though I don’t know how in all the particulars. Jesus has promised this in ACIM and ACOL, and I trust him as an elder brother who has walked the whole pathway back Home.

Amen.

Jesus: “I Am Calling You to Transform”

“I am calling you to the new. I am calling you to transform. I am calling you to Christ-consciousness. I am calling you to everlasting consciousness even while you still abide in form. To be cognizant or aware of everlasting consciousness while you still abide in form is to be fully aware that you have life ever-lasting. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 4.12)”

1 – Worry and Anxiety

Worry and anxiety and fear will hinder Jesus’s gifts for us. We will not transform if we allow these emotions to overtake our good sense. Here he is calling us to join him in understanding. We know enough with our minds. A Course of Love calls us to join our minds to our hearts in wholeheartedness. Then we will be ready to accept the Christ-consciousness that will make all the difference.

2 – Patience

If the way seems long, A Course in Miracles counsels patience (but not in so many words). We have determined our course; would the boons be denied us? I think not. We may go through dark nights of the soul, but waiting on the other side of our dark nights is the blessing of union with God that is a felt oneness (a statement by Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now).

3 – Ask

Let us today humbly ask for the gift of Christ-consciousness. And then may we believe that Christ-consciousness has been given to us. We will not always trust our feelings, as they can mislead. We know in our hearts that when we ask, we do receive. Receive today, and rest in peace–even when the “feeling” is absent. It has come, and it will be felt in the future.

4 – Barriers

The way in which Jesus speaks to us now is to let us know that he is expecting us to remove the barriers to Christ-consciousness within ourselves. He never says that we are responsible to transforming into Christ-consciousness, but he does imply that we have something to do with the process.

5 – Ego

What we have to do is not hard. We have to so live as though we are not an ego. That is all. Egoic thinking will always place Christ-consciousness farther in the future for us. And we will remain unhappy, for the ego always gives to take away. The idea that we are to live as though we are not an ego is from A Course in Miracles. But I see A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love as part of the same cloth. If we resonate with the one, we will resonate with both.

6 – ACIM Workbook

Doing the Workbook lessons in A Course in Miracles will do much to remove the blocks that are keeping us from Awakening (Christ-consciousness). If we do them the way that Jesus says (though which of us can, truly, over time?), then we will be well on our way to accepting his pathway to salvation. There are other ways to make ready for Awakening, including contemplation, but Jesus calls this way “tedious” and “very time-consuming.” Our way is to remove the ego by forgiving our brother (and sister). Our way is to turn our special relationships into holy ones. What a joyous way this indeed is!

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I know that my words today are earnest. I also know that I do not always “feel” anything. May I know that feelings can mislead. May I leave fear behind and know only love in a guiltless world.
I know that You want Christ-consciousness for all of Your children.

May I do my part, whatever You may say, and may I always do my part willingly.

Amen.

Embodying Joy, Effortlessness, and Love

“For every being there is a natural state that is joyful, effortless, and full of love. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 3.6)”

1 – Natural State

Again, today, we see that our being can embody a natural state that is, as stated, “joyful, effortless, and full of love.” What a wondrous promise! We spend so much of our time in effortful endeavors. Is it not a glorious promise that we don’t have to spend our time this way any longer? Why did we struggle so, when the Holy Spirit and the inner Self were there to help all along. God’s help is a free offer, totally free. He wants to assist us. But we have been so stubborn. Let’s seek a better way today.

2 – Can This Be?

I think that we have trouble believing that this natural state is actually attainable, at least prior to receiving Christ-consciousness. The full gift is present only in the awakened state, of course, but before that blessing we can have peace. As we give up the ego, we can and do have peace. There is no other way. Choose to do the egoless thing. Turn aside from the egotistical. We can tell when the ego beckons to us, and we fall before our face in senseless worship of what the ego says to us. This makes no sense. The ego gives us nothing that we want. Nothing that we need.

3 – Ego

Every time that the ego beckons, stand firm. And then the day will arrive sooner rather than later for the blessing of Christ-consciousness.

4 – Study of ACIM and ACOL

How do we find this natural state? Study of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love is a first step. A great deal is not said about prayer in either set of volumes, but much is assumed. A miracle, though not chosen consciously (because that might be misguided, which is an ACIM tenet), can bring about the desired natural state. It is true that we may not stay within this blessing, but, as time passes, we will see this real world (an ACIM tenet) more and more often. And ACIM also tells us that revelation may occasionally reveal the end (Awakening) to us.

5 – Mountain Top with Jesus

The journey to the mountain top with Jesus, in the Forty Days and Forty Nights of the ACOL Dialogues, ends with our acceptance of the elevated Self of form, the acceptance of Christ-consciousness. More and more individuals in our world are reaching this state, as other writers, such as Echhart Tolle (The Power of Now, The New Earth), have stated.

6 – For Today

May we take more tentative steps along this pathway today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Please be with me today as I seek an anxiety-free, natural state that is effortless and joyful. I know with all my being that this is what You wish for me. May my little self not get in the way. May the ego remain withered away.

Whatever the day brings, I know that I am surrendered to You. That in itself is a blessing, just to know that. Thank You.

Thank you for this glorious day, a gift of another day from You. May I do nothing to rue the day. May I enjoy my moments, my minutes, and my hours. Then coming home to You before bedtime is the culmination of a day well spent.

I would spend the day well today.

Amen.

Do We Really Change Much over the Years?

1 – Stasis

“Although you are different now than you were as a child, and different now than you were a few years ago, and different now than when you began your learning of this course, you are not other than who you have always been. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 2.15)”

2 – Wanting to Change

We often want to change, thinking that the person that we were years ago (or even yesterday) is not “good enough.” We would like to evolve into better people, but our personalities do remain pretty stable. Secular psychology even says this. Older adults do not change much in personality from what they have always been. If they have always coped, then they will cope as they grow older. If coping has been a challenge, then the difficulties of growing older will also take a toll on us.

3 – James Hillman’s Acorn

We do not have to be demoralized over the fact that our personalities remain mostly constant. We are, as James Hillman says, an “acorn,” in that our personalities are largely set from childhood. But we can grow in grace with God. And this is what we on the spiritual path really want. We want to grow in grace; we want to be justified before God; and we want to move ever closer to Awakening.

4 – ACIM and Childhood

A Course in Miracles indicates that our memories of childhood are so covered over with misconceptions that it is like we remember a different past. This ACIM concept is reiterated and elaborated upon in this passage from A Course of Love.

5 – Journal Keeping

We are, in many ways, the same people that we have always been. If we have kept journals, we may recognize this more clearly. I once read entries from my teen years, and thought to myself, “You haven’t really changed very much.” Now Jesus agrees with this idea. But he makes a clear distinction: We are ready to assume the elevated Self of form, because our study and learning have prepared the way, a way that we could not have known in an early part of our lives.

6 – ACOL

Much of what Jesus says in A Course of Love is meant to reassure us that we do not have to hold negative views of ourselves, always seeking for a new pathway that will give us the inner satisfaction and will eliminate the inner emptiness that is a part of the human condition. InACOL, especially in the concluding Forty Days and Forty Nights of theDialogues, he indicates that we are ready for Christ-consciousness.

7 – Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle, in an interview available on the CD, “Even the Sun Will Die,” says that our early experiences of Awakening may be brief, and that we may have experienced these brief glimpses even without being aware at the time of what was transpiring. His own experience of Awakening was significant and sudden, but other people experience a gradual opening to Awakening–nothing as dramatic as what Eckhart experienced. Eckhart also indicates that many of his correspondents are reporting evidences of a new life, that they are on the cusp of Awakening.

8 – Jesus

Certainly Jesus would feel that those of us who study A Course of Love are ready. We have only to accept this great blessing. We have only ourselves to blame if we do not ask to receive the great blessing of Christ-consciousness. If it is withheld from us, then perhaps we are not as ready as we think. But Jesus’s clear explanation in A Course of Love does say that we are ready for the elevated Self of form. It is held out to us for the taking, and what a blessing it is!

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I have had glimpses of Christ-consciousness, and for that I thank you. I hope to move gradually into an experience of Christ-consciousness continually. Help me to do this.

Help my brothers and sisters to evolve also. I know that this is Your will for all of us. Be with us throughout this day, and may we remain calm and easy in the face of any outer turmoil.

Amen.

Holy Spirit Provides Less Fearful Access to God

1 – God of Love

“I revealed a God of Love and the Holy Spirit provided for indirect and less fearful means of communion or communication with God” (The Treatises of A Course of Love: “A Treatise on the New,” 2.4)”

2 – Guidance

The Holy Spirit, as described in A Course in Miracles, is our source of guidance. How does He speak to us? There are many ways. Sometimes it is in our silence, when we have gotten quiet enough to “hear” an inner voice that reassures us of the next turn on our pathway. Sometimes it is a quiet inner knowing that comes unbidden (but usually after we have become still and quiet on the inside). Sometimes it is through the words of our brother or sister, which seem to speak to our situation, and we recognize that we have heard the “truth.” There are, perhaps, as many ways to “hear” guidance as there are people to receive this guidance. We do not usually have to wait long.

3 – Fear

We need to get the fear out if we are to listen to guidance effectively. Many people, even many advanced seekers, hold to a notion of God that is fearful. We retain the image portrayed by writers of the Old Testament, which was written in a different era, with a different culture to address. But we are now in the Twenty-First Century, and it behooves us to turn aside from all fearful concepts of God, and to see Jesus’s interpretation of a loving God. We will not see God as loving if we continue to blame Him for the bad things that happen in this world. All such unloving concepts must be abandoned. God does not wish evil on anyone; he does not “punish” anyone. These things we bring upon ourselves, as part of the higher Self (an ACOL concept) that sees a broader view than do we.

4 – Blame the Victim?

This interpretation is not a “blame the victim” mentality. We are not aware of the larger picture beyond our world. Usually we don’t see the broader picture, and where we fit into it. But trust that it is there, and that our higher Selves had a part in the planning. Then we do not have to hold onto the fear of God anymore.

5 – God

God did not bring our pain and suffering unto us. And, even when we do feel pain, we don’t have to turn it into suffering. This latter concept is gloriously described by Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now, A New Earth), who suffered tremendously before his release, miraculously, about age 30. Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that we do not have to learn through pain. Eckhart did, but this pathway is not for all. And, as students of both ACIM and ACOL, we can pray that any pain be lessened, and certainly that any pain not turn into suffering. Then the fear of God’s part in that evil can be eradicated.

6 – More or Better?

“Any text that tells you that you or those of your kind or time are more or better than any other is not speaking the truth. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 2.7)”

7 – Christ-consciousness

We have access to Christ-consciousness in this era more readily than our forebears. But we are not better than they. We just live in a different era, an era for which they helped prepare. Sanaya Roman, in channeling Orin in a book entitled Spiritual Guidance, says that we are being bombarded with light from the universe in this era, and that is why we have more access to enlightenment. Whether or not she is right, I can’t say, but this explanation would explain, in a supernatural way, what has happened to allow us to reach Christ-consciousness more readily.

8 – Different Access

We are not better than anyone else, living or dead. Our ways are just, in this era, different. And we have the potential that previous generations lacked.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to know that God is not a fearful God. He wishes only the best for us, His children. May we accept this assurance today, and walk in peace.

Be with us as we go about this day. Thank You for the quiet sense of peace that communing with You gives me.

Amen.

A Gentler and More Compassionate Alternative

1 – Acceptance / Lack of Acceptance

“What does the idea of only now coming to acceptance imply but that you were previously unaccepting? And what does being unaccepting imply but the very denial of yourself that you have come to see as your former state. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Seven)”

Our former state required denial of the self, and the New Testament and Jesus’s words said the same. We were to deny ourselves, take up his cross, and follow him. Do we still need to do this?

2 – Jesus as Our Companion

Yet, we do follow Jesus, as outlined in A Course of Love. He wants to be our companion, but no longer our teacher. He wants to be an equal to us, and if we are open to our Self, we will see how this change can be effected. It is not arrogant to think that we will eventually be equal to Jesus. It is not ego speaking; in fact, the ego would rail against such an assertion as the most supreme arrogance.

3 – Unaccepting

It is not so. We have been very unaccepting of ourselves, believing that we need to be a lot better than we are before we can be accepted by God. Jesus even is quoted in the New Testament as saying, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” What can we make of this? Is this a misquote? No, I think not. In a way, we are perfect now, but we will go on to greater perfection without struggle and completely in line with what our inner Self counsels. If we are angry a lot, we can simply turn aside from this anger (if we so wish), and it will be gone from us. We simply have to ask that the anger be removed. The universe will do the rest.

4 – Point of Improvement

Jesus says now that we are to be accepting of ourselves, however imperfect we think that we are. If we don’t accept ourselves as we are, there is really no hope that we can get even better. The point of improvement comes at the point of acceptance. If we reject ourselves, we will not be in a position to improve; we will be too demoralized. We do not want demoralization, at any cost. This is simply not the way that God works with us. He wants happiness for us (A Course in Miracles tenet). So we take the first tentative steps toward acceptance, and, lo, we find a great gift given to us. We live more peaceably, and we love our brother more completely. We forgive. All of this acceptance of ourselves just as we are holds out to us.

5 – Time

“Another condition of the time of acceptance that will be of great service to you now is that of the different relationship that you will have with time. This is a time of convergence, intersection, and pass through of the finite and the infinite, or time and no time. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Seven)”

6 – Adjust Time

Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that he will adjust time so that we can perform miracles. What is this to say except that time is malleable, and therefore an illusion? We are passing from time into eternity; that is essentially what is meant by “convergence, intersection, and pass through of the finite and the infinite, or time and no time.” In eternity, where all is One, we find our real Self. We do not dally in time any longer than we have to in order to live well in this life. We use practical time to make necessary plans, travel arrangements and the like, but we don’t get stuck in the past and the future. We live, as Eckhart Tolle has recommended, in the Now, the present. (Eckhart wrote The Power of Now and A New Earth, and he is an enlightened teacher, having sustained enlightenment for more than 30 years.)

7 – The Present

The new way that we view time will be of great help to us in our living. We will not forge ahead through our days, nor will we get stuck in recriminations of the past. We will live very much in the present, and this blessing will restore us to ourselves.

8 – Expansion

“A further condition of the time of acceptance is that of expansion. The singular self you once believed yourself to be was not capable of true expression and true sharing. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Seven)”

9 – Hologram

The Self is very large, for It encompasses everything, as a hologram of the universe(s). We will find ourselves expanding into greater contributions, greater service to our brother. We will no longer dwell in littleness, in the personal self that is only a persona. We will know peace by reaching upward and outward.

10 – The Self

This expansion will take place over some days, and we are learning of it in this time of the 40 days and 40 nights. An expanded Self is a great blessing. We will no longer feel that we are inferior to anyone or anything, but this will not be the ego speaking. This will be the Self Itself speaking.

11 – Peace

And we will know peace in Its assertion.

12 – Dominoes

“It is easy to see from here how the dominoes fall and each condition of learning is replaced, always by a far gentler and more compassionate alternative. Thus there is no need for me to list every new condition here. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Seven)”

13 – Fear

Would we not want to live more gently and more compassionately? We can do so, and the only thing that it takes is a fall away from fear, for fear is made strong when we are living in the ego. Jesus says that at this point our ego is gone, but maybe we don’t yet believe this. Do believe it now. If you have followed the volumes of A Course of Love, we are told by Jesus that we have learned everything that we need to learn, and that we are in the time beyond and pass learning. A more gentle world and a more compassionate world await us. We need only take it as a gift from God.

14 – New Conditions

The new conditions are many, and Jesus does not attempt to list them all, for that would be impossible. We live better, having better days, and we serve more, having no ego to invest in the world by reaching out to others. We no longer get our kudos by achievement; we no longer feel that we must achieve to justify our existence.

15 – Learning

Each condition of learning thus falls away as we move beyond the time of learning into observation of this world, of our projection—for projection makes perception (ACIM tenet).

16 – Certainty

“The condition of the time of acceptance that will most clearly reveal to you your status in regard to maintaining or sustaining your access to union will be that of the replacement of doubt with certainty. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day Seven)”

17 – Your Role in This World

Would you like to be certain of your role in this world? Would you like to end all doubt? You can, if you accept just where you are as perfect for the moment. This certainty in living gives great confidence. And is not confidence something that we would all long to have?

18 – Certainty

“Certainty is a condition of the present. Realize you may say you are certain of the future or the past but that you cannot make it so. Thus your ability to maintain and then sustain your access to union and thus your certainty, goes hand-in-hand with your ability to live in the present. This ability is also contingent upon your recognition of what certainty really is. (A Course of Love: Dialogues)”

19 – Christ-Consciousness

We are now supported in our progress toward Christ-consciousness. In truth, we have always been supported, but fear blocked our awareness of this support. Love will now let us see that we always have support from the divine. When we were learning, we felt that effort was required, and we did not feel support. But we are beyond this time of learning now, and the support that we have always longed for will be there for us to experience. We are now in the time of discovery, and we will learn through “thoughts that we do not think.”

20 – Time of Expansion

We are in a time of expansion, so that once the elevated Self of form has occurred, we will create a new world, a new universe. Living in this new universe will be as natural as breathing.

21 – Doubt Replaced

Our doubt will be replaced with certainty. We really have nothing to worry about, nothing at all. The union with the divine is ours to behold. Accept and be assured. And focus on living in the present at all times.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to understand the certainty in which You would have me live. Help me to live in the present, knowing that if there are plans to be made, I will be told of them in the present always.

Help me to be patient this day, in this time of desire but no sustainability of Christ-consciousness. I need to wait on Your timing, and Your timing is different from my desire. Be with all of us as we seek to follow what we know to do in our lives. May our knowledge grow as study. May we not get tripped up by traditional learning, but may we learn through observation, as Jesus says. May this day go well, observing as I walk through each hour.
Thank You for Your Presence in my life, for the feeling of Your Presence.

I long for this elevated Self of form. Help me to move ever closer to this reality of Christ-consciousness. Thank you for your constant abidingness with me.

Amen.

The Resurrection Is a Change of Mind about the Meaning of the World

1 – Reawakening

“Very simply, the resurrection is the overcoming or surmounting of death. It is a reawakening or a rebirth; a change of mind about the meaning of the world. It is the acceptance of the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of the world’s purpose; the acceptance of the Atonement for oneself. It is the end of dreams of misery, and the glad awareness of the Holy Spirit’s final dream. (M68)”

2 – Immortality in This Body?

This passage is frequently misinterpreted by Course students. Many think that somehow the fact of immortality in this body will happen. But this is not what is being said. Death has no meaning, because it is merely a change of form; death is a rebirth into a new life beyond this world. We can symbolically achieve this state while in the body in this world. We will then know the end of dreams of misery, and accept the final dream from the Holy Spirit: “the happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (a quotation from the Course).

3 – Jesus’s Resurrection

Jesus does not deny his own resurrection in A Course in Miracles, though. This Christian doctrine is upheld. The point is not that we are to follow Jesus’s way in all its particulars, though. That was his contribution. We do not have to face crucifixion. And our resurrection is a means to rebirth into the real world (a Course tenet). The real world is the one sanctioned by the Holy Spirit to be a world in which our perceptions have been cleansed, and therefore we do not project misery into our lives by our own doing.

4 – Rebirth

A rebirth is the great Awakening, one of the final steps before we reach Home. We all long for this miracle, and occasionally revelation reveals this end to us. To reach Awakening permanently, though, we need to know the means, and it is this that the Course spells out for us.

5 – Invitation

“It is the invitation to God to take His final step. It is the relinquishment of all other purposes, all other interests, all other wishes and all other concerns. It is the single desire of the Son for the Father. (M68)”

6 – Awakening

The experience of rebirth or resurrection welcomes our Awakening. It is when we feel that we are finally ready for God’s great blessing: when He reaches down (metaphorically) and lifts us up to Awakening.

7 – Eckhart Tolle

None can set this time for themselves. None of us can. We do not have to be especially “good” for this to happen. This is a statement that Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now; A New Earth) has made. The Awakening may come to people who seem to have many flaws, but God is able, for some reason, at that time to take them out of their flaws. To make them new people.

8 – Surrendered

The Awakening is not a goal to seek, as we seek goals, especially goals of the ego. To seek Awakening is to invite the ego into this greatest of all blessings, and this invitation will never succeed. We must be totally surrendered, we must not put preconditions on God. He would have us totally.

9 – Personal Experience

I have a personal friend in my town who experienced a transformation more than 30 years ago, a transformation that has been sustained. She is one of the easiest people to know whom I have ever met. And she believes that this transformation can be for everyone.

10 – Life as Salvation

“The resurrection is the denial of death, being the assertion of life. Thus is all the thinking of the world reverse entirely. Life is now recognized as salvation, and pain and misery of any kind perceived as hell. (M68)”

11 – Hell

We do not want pain and misery, which are hell to us. This means, perhaps, that the only hell that we will experience is here on earth, where pain and misery often accompany our days.

12 – Life

When we see that our very life is our salvation, then we are home free.

13 – Truth

May we see this truth, that life is salvation, today.

14 – Christ’s Face

“Christ’s face is seen in every living thing, and nothing is held in darkness, apart from the light of forgiveness. There is no sorrow still upon the earth. The joy of Heaven has come upon it. (M68)”

15 – Home

When we can see Christ’s face in everyone, then we are home. We forgive all their trespasses against us; we hold nothing against anyone. We are happy in God’s grace; nothing fazes us.

16 – Grace

Surely all of us have experienced such moments of grace already. This are mini-blessings, a foretaste of heaven on earth. We do not know or feel sorrow. We are happy. May we pray today that this blessing descend upon us sooner rather than later.

17 – Curriculum

“Here the curriculum ends. From here on, no directions are needed. Vision is wholly corrected and all mistakes undone. Attack is meaningless and peace has come. The goal of the curriculum has been achieved. Thoughts turn to Heaven and away from hell. (M68)”

18 – Vision

Our vision has been corrected when we are able to see Christ in everyone. We actually perceive his face as though he were the other person, male or female. This is no hallucination. This is very real.

19 – In Snatches

And it may first come in snatches. Be present when it comes. Be thankful. And pray that this vision might be sustained.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I need rebirth today. I feel weak, and I am fallible. Please give me Your insight. May the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” come upon me, and then may they give way to Awakening.

Be with me today as I try to live Your Word. Thank You for Your promise always to be near.

Amen.

Can God Be Reached Directly?

1 – God in Our Prayers

“Can God be reached directly? God indeed can be reached directly, for there is no distance between Him and His Son. His awareness is in everyone’s memory, and His Word is written on everyone’s heart. (M64)”

2 – Bible

This passage recalls to mind the biblical quotation, “The kingdom of God is within.” Certainly many passages in the Course suggest that God is within, that there is no division between God and ourselves. We see here that there is no distance between God and His Son (or Daughter). This is the Self that is the larger part of ourselves, the part that has never left God.

3 – Memory

How reassuring to know that the awareness of God is in everyone’s memory! And that we can indeed, as the Bible says, “Ask, and ye shall receive,” because His Word is written on everyone’s heart. The sentence from the passage that says this is particularly beautifully written, and it encourages peace and inner quiet by its reassurance.

4 – Be Quiet

We can receive God’s Word directly in the midst of our busiest activities, but more often we hear His word when we are quiet and therefore more receptive to the still, small Voice within. May we turn to Him when perplexed, and may we know that our prayers are heard, and, better still, our prayers are answered.

5 – Barriers

“Yet this awareness and this memory can arise across the threshold of recognition only where all barriers to truth have been removed. In how many is this the case? (M64)”

6 – Projection Makes Perception

God can be reached directly when barriers to His coming have been removed. If God is within, if projection makes perception, then we are projecting an illusory world. But God is akin to a hologram, and Each is present in the One, the All, the every bit. So we turn inward, seeking to diminish the ego’s static that would prevent us from knowing the inner Christ Self.

7 – Awakening

All barriers to truth have not been eliminated in the vast majority of us. These barriers are eliminated only in Awakening, or enlightenment. And in how many is this manifested? Eckhart Tolle indicates that more and more of us are experiencing enlightenment, but the phenomenon is not yet widespread in society.

8 – Soon

May we move into this new day sooner rather than later.

9 – Teachers

“Here, then, the role of God’s teachers. They, too, have not attained the necessary understanding as yet, but they have joined with others. This is what sets them apart from the world. And it is this that enables others to leave the world with them. Alone they are nothing. But in their joining is the Power of God. (M64)”

10 – Join with Others

We must join with others to have enough power to effect change. This does not mean that we try to change the world from an unhealed perspective. The inefficacy of the unhealed healer is a phenomenon described in A Course in Miracles. And we don’t want to be unhealed healers.

11 – How Do We Join?

So, in whatever way we can, we join with others. This may be only a telepathic joining, or it may take other forms. We may choose to join a study group of A Course in Miracles, we may join other prayer groups, we may attend traditional church services. All of these practices have a place in salvation, in spreading the word.

12 – Proselytize?

The only thing that we are forbidden to do is to proselytize, of to attempt to do so, when the individual(s) in front of us are not yet ready. This would be a sure turnoff.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I turn to You often during the day. I know that I can reach You directly. Help me to reach into my memory and into my heart to find You.

Only if I turn to You will have a truly good day. I know this. Help me to live it.

Amen.

A Tranquil Mind Is Not a Little Gift

“Stop for a moment now and think of this: Is conflict what you want, or is God’s peace the better choice? Which gives you more? A tranquil mind is not a little gift. Would you not rather live than choose to die? (M51)”

1 – Would You Rather Be Right or Happy?

The question in this passage is akin to a question asks elsewhere: “Would you rather be right or happy?” The idea is similar, because we so often get caught up in our own turmoil, thereby making the turmoil worse.

2 – Drama?

Surely all of us would choose a tranquil mind, unless our ego has us so addicted to drama that we choose the negative drama over peace of mind. A negative drama is a form of dying, because real living is meant to be peaceful. Elsewhere Jesus says that we are intended to be perfectly “calm and quiet” all the time. Most of us find this hard to accept, so accustomed to conflict are we. The ego has a deep inroad in us.

3 – Tranquility

Tranquility is a better gift, though, and as we progress in our training as teachers of God, we will readily recognize this. A lack of drama in living is an attribute of those who have awakened, and one goal of the Course, for us, is an Awakening. We may not all reach this, but we can have moments of time in which we are awake. This is advice from Eckhart Tolle (author of The Power of Now and A New Earth), not from the Course per se.

4 – Joy

“Living is joy, but death can only weep. You see in death escape from what you made. But this you do not see; that you made death, and it is but illusion of an end. Death cannot be escape, because it is not life in which the problem lies. (M52)”

5 – Warning?

If read in one way, this passage is a stern warning. If we have envisioned our problems as ending when we die, perhaps—just perhaps—we are told here that if we do not resolve our problems in this life, we will still face those problems after death.

6 – Comforting

It is comforting to imagine that our aches and pains, physical and emotional, will disappear when we cross the veil into life after death. We can imagine that we won’t need to take medication any longer. We can imagine that our back won’t ache, for example. And I think that this would be true.

7 – Psychic Pain

But inner psychic pain may take its toil even beyond death. If we have not worked out our problems in this lifetime, perhaps we will face some of that working out in another realm. It behooves us to walk carefully, for I am actually commenting on something that only psychics have described. And their commentaries differ.

8 – Pray

If we diligently seek to pray away our difficulties here, facing those difficulties but also seeking an end to them, then whatever comes in the next life will be a blessing. We will be ready for that next life.

9 – God

“Life has no opposite, for it is God. . . . Forgive the world, and you will understand that everything that God created cannot have an end, and nothing He did not create is real. In this one sentence is our course explained. In this one sentence is our practicing given its one direction. And in this one sentence is the Holy Spirit’s whole curriculum specified exactly as it is. (M52)”

10 – Powerful

This excerpt, “Everything that God created cannot have an end, and nothing He did not create is real. In this one sentence is our course explained,” is a powerful statement that cries out for explanation. It is akin to the epigraph at the beginning of A Course in Miracles. We don’t have to fear the physical, for it is illusion and therefore not real. And the mind’s genesis, the inner Self, is real, for God created it. And this Self has no end. What a blessing! We don’t have to fear mortality. We don’t have to fear that life does not continue, for we do have immortality.

11 – Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit would have us realize that nothing here that we experience is, in itself, a tragedy, for it can be easily undone if understood as the learning experience that it is. The Self approves all things that happen to this mind and body. Nothing escapes. Nothing occurs that was not agreed upon by the Higher Self, the Christ who is within us all.

12 – Turmoil

We need to remember this truth when we seem beset on all sides by turmoil. When we are in anguish. And pain. And just the minor, numerous irritations of this life. We may stay too busy in this life, because we see no way to live differently. We may feel that our jobs are asking for their pound of flesh (from Shakespeare), but on some level we have agreed for this circumstance to be our lot in life. If we don’t like what we are experiencing, sometimes it takes only prayerful contemplation to rectify the situation. We do have helpers from the Other Side. And we can ask for, and receive, help whenever we need it. Help will always, always, arrive. And we will recognize this help when we have gotten calm enough to accept it.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask for Your peace. I ask to be happy being perfectly calm and quiet all the time. May I leave drama behind as I move toward Awakening. May I have a tranquil mind.

Your peace is all that I want. When something upsets me, let me think of my real goal of peace before all else. Thank you for Your help.

Amen.

You Do Not Have to Learn through Pain!

1 – Awaken in Pain?

Many New Age writings emphasize the coming of Awakening, or enlightenment as a coming of pain first. Eckhart Tolle, the most obvious example of enlightenment in the modern world, endures great depression with accompanying anxiety for upwards of 30 years, before in one significant night, he fell into an abyss and awoke to find himself entranced by the ordinary objects in his bedroom. He now embodied enlightenment, and this all happened some 30 years ago. Likewise, I have a friend in my town who experienced three days of crisis that were filled with pain, and then she emerged into enlightenment. She has written a manuscript which details this experience. Her experience has also been sustained for more than 30 years.

2 – Our Way Will Be Different

Our way, when we follow A Course in Miracles, will be different. Jesus asserts that we are being prepared, the means are being given to us, to awaken without pain. It will be as if a light is turned on when we are dreaming, but instead of awakening with a mortal scream of terror, the means are being given to awaken gently and without fear. (These are all paraphrases from ACIM.) What a blessing this benign way would be for us!

3 – Learning through Rewards

Listen to this significant passage:

“No one who learned from experience that one choice brings peace and joy while another brings chaos and disaster needs additional convincing. Learning through rewards is more effective than learning through pain, because pain is an ego illusion, and can never induce more than a temporary effect. (T68)”

So we want to encourage learning through rewards, because learning through pain may be temporary. As we have seen with Eckhart and with my friend, the Awakening still may be sustained. But what a pity to let pain be the means! We do not have to let pain be the means, for Jesus assures us that we can have a joyous awakening, a freedom from pain. Both individuals whom I have cited knew joy as soon as enlightenment descended. But they knew pain just previously. Yet neither had been a student of A Course in Miracles.

4 – Revelation

Jesus says in ACIM that revelation may occasionally reveal the end to us, but to get there the means are needed. And these means are being carefully explained to us in A Course in Miracles. I myself have known two glimpses of Awakening, and, though not sustained, I remember details of the experience, the satori, and I expect that when Awakening descends, I will immediately recognize what has happened.

5 – Important Passage

The above passage is very important. It assures us (as Jesus also does elsewhere in ACIM) that we do not have to learn through pain. Here he even tells us that learning through pain will be a temporary learning at best. We long for a breakthrough to the joy that is ours to claim, and then the learning can commence in earnest.

6 – Peace and Joy from ACIM

Anyone who has studied the ACIM sincerely over years will have experienced the increased peace and joy that come with this study. Of course, if there were no peace and joy, the effort would probably have been given up fairly early upon discovery of the teaching. Not everyone, of course, finds his or her “home” in A Course in Miracles. But many do, and if you are reading this, it is likely that you are one of those who will benefit greatly from your study of ACIM.

7 – Happiness

Jesus would have us learn through rewards, because he would have us happy. Elsewhere he defines happiness as our function. This may be hard to believe for individuals who think that some sort of higher goal would not mean true happiness for the self. But the Self does not know this logic. Happiness is intended for us, even here in this world. May we go forth to let our light shine in the joy that the Course ;promises.

8 – Temporary Effect

“Learning through rewards is more effective than learning through pain, because pain is an ego illusion, and can never induce more than a temporary effect. The rewards of God, however, are immediately recognized as eternal. (T68)”

So Eckhart and my friend were experiencing, we can imagine, an ego illusion when they walked through pain to enlightenment. But ACIM aims at relinquishing the ego as the means to attain Awakening, and A Course of Love shows us what lies beyond the ego—the Christ Self, who will direct our every move into joy beyond description.

9 – Ego

“[Y]ou and your ego cannot be identical. You may believe that you have already accepted this difference, but you are by no means convinced as yet. The fact that you believe you must escape from the ego shows this; but you cannot escape from the ego by humbling it or controlling it or punishing it. (T68)”

This is a bit of a confusing passage, for elsewhere we deduce that we do need to escape from the ego. But if the ego is a part of our belief about ourselves (and it is just this), then there is another Self that has continued unabated during this time of separation from God (or presumed separation, a separation that has not been real). We need not try valiantly to cause the ego to wither away; this would only strengthen it, for this type of mental activity affirms the importance of the ego. And resistance makes what it seeks to eliminate. The correct method is simply to turn away from the ego gently. Try to avoid acting egotistically toward one’s brother or sister. We throw away our indebtedness to him/her when we act egotistically toward him/her. And this will never do.

10 – Head in the Clouds / Feet on Earth

Live with your head above the clouds but your feet on the ground. “Love and do as you will” is another statement that may be helpful to us. If we love sufficiently, we draw all good things to us, and we are less inclined to allow fear a toehold in our lives. The best way to live is to recognize that our purpose here is to live in love.

11 – Magic

And then all good things will come to us—magically, we might say (though this use of the term “magic” is different from the definition that Jesus uses in ACIM).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know that pain is an unnecessary way to learn. I ask that I learn through rewards, which is the only lasting learning.

What a grand promise this is! Thank you. That You want my happiness is a great blessing for me to realize. May I know that any so-called higher goals do not entail my sacrifice or my unhappiness.

May I live today in love. Love and do as I will. I won’t make mistakes with this mind slant, at least not when I am fully in the mind slant. Only the ego is capable of the type of mistakes that will separate us from God and the Holy Spirit. I would not resist the ego today, but would turn aside from it gently.

Thank You for Your many blessings. And I do know many, and I have known many. This encourages me to believe that the future is bright indeed. May my brothers and sisters see this brightness for themselves as well.

And may we thank You with heartfelt gratitude.

Amen.

In This World You Need Not Have Tribulation because I Have Overcome the World. This Is Why You Should Be of Good Cheer.

1 – New Testament

The title of this posting, a passage from ACIM, sometimes causes problems for students of A Course in Miracles, because it is a statement directly contrary to one that occurs in the New Testament. On a number of occasions, Jesus clarifies and refutes words attributed to him in the New Testament, but I do not think that a refutation is what is happening in this instance.

2 – Before Resurrection

In the New Testament, he is speaking before his resurrection. He says at that time that we will have tribulation in this world. But in A Course in Miracles, he is speaking after his life, death, and resurrection, from the Other Side, and he is saying that he overcame the world. He has made the journey before us. He has paved the way. So we need not have tribulation (a caveat: we sometimes do), but ought to be of good cheer.

3 – Tribulation

Why do we have tribulation in this world when Jesus says explicating in ACIM that we need not endure tribulation? I think that we don’t know any better. We use the law of attraction by thinking of disaster, and so disaster all too often comes. When we think of the joy that Jesus promises, we are much more likely to live a life of equanimity.

4 – Humility

When we have understood Jesus’s lesson, we will be in the spirit, and we will beyond humility. Note the following passage:

“Humility is a lesson for the ego, not for the spirit. Spirit is beyond humility, because it recognizes its radiance and gladly sheds its light everywhere. (T56)”

We do not have to worry about whether or not we are humble enough. The ego will always tell us that we are being arrogant when we claim “great” things for ourselves, but Jesus reassures us that it is not us, but the ego in us, that is really the source of arrogance. When we are meek, as Jesus encourages both in the New Testament as well as A Course in Miracles, we will know great things and not be moved, egotistically, by them.

5 – Meek

“The meek shall inherit the earth because their egos are humble, and this gives them true perception. (T56)”

True perception comes before knowledge, and knowledge is of God. Our true perception will not last when knowledge has arrived via Awakening. But most of us have not yet known Awakening, at least to be sustained. What may we hope for in that regard?

6 – Awakened

I think that the Awakened are meek people, and the adjective “meek” is not soft or downtrodden or falsely humble. They have let their egos go, and with that omission from their minds, they see truly. I know two enlightened people, one from books and one from my circle of intimate friends (right here in the town where I live). The first is Eckhart Tolle, and his accounts are engaging in the extreme. He is a distinctly and quietly happy individual, with no sense of ego involvement as he tells his story. He has sustained enlightenment for over 30 years, and so his experience is not just a glimpse, or satori.

7 – Personal Experience

Similarly, in the town where I live, my personal friend is to all accounts an ego-less individual. But she doesn’t push herself forward. I have known her for eight years, taking part in a writing group in which we share our impressions of religious themes. She always writes poetry that is deep and heartwarming. But I never suspected that she was Awakened until she requested that I read a manuscript that she drafted some 30 years ago. For several reasons, she has not tried to publish until now. But now she is eager to share her story. And I hope that she will succeed in finding a publisher. My friend’s demeanor is quiet and gentle. The words in her manuscript are convincing of her experience of enlightenment.

8 – Christ-consciousness

I feel blessed to have read, and to know, of experiences of Christ-consciousness. It gives hope to all of us that this blessing is perhaps not far away and impossible of accomplishment. But I hasten to add that we must be patient and wait on God’s timing, for it is He who makes the decision about when we are ready to Awaken. As my friend notes, God gave us free will, and if we impose preconditions on our desire for enlightenment, God will hold off. There must, in her belief, be a total surrender, no preconditions.

9 – Tribulation

Let’s return to the title of this posting:

“In this world you need not have tribulation because I have overcome the world. This is why you should be of good cheer. (T56)”

10 – ACIM Differs from the New Testament

This passage from Jesus is a paraphrase of what he is quoted to have said in the New Testament. But in the New Testament, we are led to believe that we will have tribulation. His resurrection is meant to counter all of that; the resurrection happened after his teaching that said the reverse. And the Course stands by the resurrection as truth. A Course in Miracles does not say if the resurrection was revelation or a miracle, but, given the definitions found therein, it seems to be a miracle.

11 – Avoid Tribulation

Tribulation is pain that we would want to avoid at all costs. Remembering that Jesus overcame the world, and harkening to good cheer are mental actions that we can take at any time.

12 – Be of Good Cheer

When we are feeling down, it is wise to recall such passages. We can conjure up good cheer, even when the day seems drab. It takes only a moment to recall us to ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank you that in this world we do not have to have tribulation. We can be of good cheer, because Jesus has overcome the world. Help me not to be confused by the difference that this quotation from A Course in Miracles constitutes from the New Testament. Help me to take from this ACIM quotation what it can do for me, something that is considerable.

It takes only a moment of reflection or of prayer to recall us to ourselves. We can know peace as well as good cheer, even in this world that too often seems filled with woe.

Amen.

The First Obstacle that Peace Must Flow Across Is Your Desire to Get Rid of It

1 – Masochism

I think all of us have some masochism in us that we need to overcome. Certainly if we take this passage to heart, we will realize that we do have symptoms of masochism, though we don’t often call it that, and this passage certainly does not use the term. But here it is:

“The first obstacle that peace must flow across is your desire to get rid of it. For it cannot extend unless you keep it. You are the center from which it radiates outward, to call the others in. (T-19. IV.A.1)”

2 – Why?

Why would we try to get rid of peace? Why indeed? Is it not what Marianne Williamson, lecturer/teacher of A Course in Miracles, has said in her books: We are addicted to the adrenaline rush. Certainly we must push ourselves often in this world of which we are a part. We have jobs, we have families, we have obligations. And so time is short and stress is severe. We do produce adrenaline in our bodies, and we get addicted to the high that it gives. But is this wise?

3 – Adrenaline

Most assuredly to become addicted to adrenaline is not wise. We need the peace of God. We need the felt oneness of Being that Eckhart Tolle recommends. We need to feel the presence of God in our inner body (also a recommendation of Eckhart).

4 – Peace

Peace needs extension, an extension which is the way of creation. And as much as we need peace, so do others with whom we come in contact. There is no limit to what we can do when we extend the love that we feel within. Love knows no bounds even in this world of ours, our flawed egoic world. Others need the peace that we can extend, but to be willing to extend it, we first must experience that peace ourselves. And to experience that peace, we need to “keep” it. Let us vow to do so today.

5 – Feather of a Wish

“This feather of a wish, this tiny illusion, this microscopic remnant of the belief in sin, is all that remains of what once seemed to be the world. (T-19.IV.A.8)”

This “feather” can light on anything, marring the beauty of anything. But it is only a feather, a wisp of unreality. And with our wish, it is gone. The love that we share with our brother or sister is the best example of when this feather can interfere. If we feel conflict arising in our relationship, we can know that the belief in sin has reared its ugly head once again. And we will be disquieted.

6 – Distress that Rests on Error

Know that this unreality is “distress that rests on error” (from ACIM). Seldom have I found any quotation from ACIM so useful as this one, this distress based on error. It immediately counsels forgiveness, for mistakes are being made, mistakes that can be corrected.

7 – Home

“His home is in your holy relationship. (T-19.IV.A.6)”

The “His” is the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit is our way of guidance, as recommended in ACIM. (A Course in Miracles uses the inner Christ Self as our guidance.) And it is through our holy relationship that we see God, that we experience Him. And that we awaken. A Course in Miracles sees our holy relationship as a means of saving time, a means to further salvation by collapsing time. Let us ask for this blessing today, for the world, as ACIM says, is worn and very weary.

8 – Accept Peace

Let us accept the peace that is ours today. We cannot know what blessings are ours until we walk in peace throughout the day—not in an adrenaline rush that has become addictive.

Affirmation: “I would accept and extend peace today.”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

So many times when I awaken too early in the morning, and I get up to listen to music, I eventually find myself agitated. After all, before 5 in the morning is not what I would wish to be awakened. But You have plans for me. I think that there are times when You want me all to Yourself, and early in the morning, with the black sky dotted with stars, You have me. All of me.

The next time that I awaken early, help me to remain calm, to let Your peace overwhelm me. That is what You would wish, of that I am sure.

Be with me today as I seek to walk through another day with peace and comfort and joy. I wish to be contented, and, so far, this has been a good day for that. Thank You. May I carry out Your wishes, which are also my own, in a tranquil and serene spirit.

Amen.

If You Attack Error in Another, You Will Hurt Yourself. You Cannot Know Your Brother when You Attack Him.

“If you attack error in another, you will hurt yourself. You cannot know your brother when you attack him. Attack is always made upon a stranger. (T41)”

Affirmation: “Attack is always made upon a stranger.”

Reflections:

1 – Very Little Rightmindedness

It takes very little rightmindedness to see the truth of the quoted passage. How often have we responded in anger to another’s words, felt a surge of self-righteousness, and then sunk into a depressed spirit? Why did you fall into a depressed spirit? Why did the moment of “triumph” not last? We thought that we had gotten the guilt out (an interpretation by Ken Wapnick). But the guilt resurges, because even when in the ego, we are misled, and we know it, somewhere in our minds. The ego, in fact, always oscillates between triumph and depressed spirit, because the ego is constantly being undone. That is the way of salvation, so that we will eventually see that the boons that the ego holds out to us are mirages.

2 – Seeing the Unholy

When we attack, we are not seeing the holy in our brother. We are not seeing his (or her) innocence. So we are not seeing truly. We have made of him (or her) a stranger. But do we want our nearest and dearest to be a stranger to us? Of course not. So we must reevaluate, and in the reevaluation, we come to see that making a stranger of our brother or sister is not going to lead us to salvation. It is our joining in relationship to our brother or sister that we know God, that we walk the pathway to Awakening–for this is the way of A Course in Miracles. Once one has known even once the joy of a heartfelt kinship, in a holy relationship one to another, we will never be satisfied with less than this best. We are ruined for any other kind of unholy alliance.

3 – Feeling

When we attack, we may feel momentarily better, but then the insanity of guilt will overcome us. We will feel worse than before, and this comes from knowing that we have betrayed both our brother and ourselves. Attack is rarely physical, but often verbal. And it is in response to anger borne of stress. The world we live in is a very stressful place, and so anger and attack dog our steps.

4 – Anger and Attack

Yet would we have it so? Would we have anger and attack as our constant companions? I think not. We recognize, however dimly, the insanity of such a defense against the truth of the holiness of our brothers and sisters. We know that we have done them a disservice when we attack them or respond in anger. Their own anger may have sparked the lamentable exchange, but we need to recognize, then, that the anger was distress based on error (from the Text of ACIM). Many times our significant others will bait us when in a low mood. And always we can respond by remembering the distress that is at the heart of this response. Remembering this will pave the way for our forgiveness, for momentarily the “pain-body” (a concept of Eckhart Tolle) is in ascendancy. Our brother or sister wants to experience pain at such times, but we do not have to oblige. We can fill our bodies with presence, and the pain-body will dissipate, sooner rather than later.

5 – Innocence

Recognizing the innocence in our brother even if he (or she) has attacked us first, is to know the evidence of insanity in our world. A special relationship is usually filled with attack, once the bloom of infatuation is off the relationship. A holy relationship, however, has moved beyond the specialness (which was always a lie), and knows one’s brother as the loving Self that he (or she) truly is.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I make no brother or sister a stranger by attacking that person. May I realize that I have always made him or her a stranger when I have attacked.

May I see the innocence even in attack received from another. Attack is a form of insanity–nothing more. May I forgive and walk into the light.

Amen.

Mind Awakens from Its Sleep and Remembers Its Creator

“Nothing can prevail against a Son of God who commends his spirit into the Hands of his Father. By doing this the mind awakens from its sleep and remembers its Creator. (T39)”

Affirmation: “the mind awakens from its sleep.”

Reflections:

1 – Awakening

This statement by Jesus is a paraphrase of one of the cries made from the cross. Here we are asked to also commend our spirit into the Hands of the Father. What happens is the greatest miracle A Course in Miracles holds out to us: Awakening. “. . .[T]he mind awakens from its sleep and remembers its Creator.”

2 – Is There Anything that We Can Do to Hasten Awakening?

There may be some things that we can do to hasten Awakening. Eckhart Tolle, in The Power of Now, identifies certain “portals” that are possible. The principal one is living, as he says, in the Now, the present. And we will have glimpses of Awakening before this blessing is sustained. We will have satori, an Eastern concept, of these glimpses. Most that I have read about come when the individual is very, very present. There is a story, told by Eckhart, in which a master and his pupil go along, and the pupil asks, in effect, how one enters into greater life. The master is quiet for a while, and then says, “Do you hear that mountain stream?” The pupil had not heard it, but then he did. The master continues, “Enter through that.” And the pupil, the seeker, receives his first satori, his first glimpse of Awakening. So living in the Now is a very, very powerful way to see what Awakening on a sustained basis might actually become.

3 – Glorious Promise

Awakening is such a glorious promise! Here, in the passage for today, is the way is pointed out to us in a very few words: Commend our spirit to God and all will be well. We will be at home with God, even while in this world. We will inhabit the real world, where projections are cleansed, and thus perceptions are seen afresh. We may know pain still, but we will not know suffering. And to know pain without suffering is a glorious promise as well. It has been said that Jesus did not suffer on the cross. Maybe this is wishful thinking on the part of his followers, who love him. But maybe there is something grander at heart in this assertion. He was at one with the Father, and so he knew that his pain was not personally intended. The fear that God is bringing pain upon us is often the reason that pain turns into suffering. And this is indeed anguished suffering, for which of us would wish to believe that God is cruel? Jesus says elsewhere in ACIM that none of us have escaped this thought in this world, that God is cruel. Yet if we turn to our heart, as A Course of Love, encourages us to do, we will know that there is nothing at all cruel in God. We ourselves are responsible for the sorry state that our world is in, and we have brought this upon ourselves by the wayward practicing of our own free well–a blessing that could and should be our greatest blessing.

4 – Surrender

“Nothing can prevail against. . .” is a powerful introduction to this idea. “Nothing!” What a boon this really is. And what a beautiful promise from God. We do not have to fret that the world of special relationships, not yet holy, will impede our progress. True, we want our special relationships to transform into the holy, but until they do, we are protected, because we have accepted God’s protection (from ACIM). “Nothing” can prevail against us once we have made the decision to surrender completely to God and to His guidance through the Holy Spirit, or if we are following A Course of Love, His guidance through the inner Christ Self.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I know what it is to commend my spirit into Your hands. By so doing may I awaken from my sleep in this world.

All will be well with me when I do commend my spirit into Your hands. Thank you for this great promise.

May all of my special relationships turn to the holy, for my brothers and sisters are my way home, according to A Course in Miracles. These relationships are the special means that we find our way back to You. I would return to You, yet remain a part of this world, today. Allow me to do so, for my inner guidance is that this is Your will, and my own as well.

Amen.

Wholly Satisfying Nature of Reality

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“Fantasies become totally unnecessary as the wholly satisfying nature of reality becomes apparent to both giver and receiver. (T15)”

Affirmation: “the wholly satisfying nature of reality”

Reflections:

1 – Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now) says a good bit about his own Awakening and his joy in the immediate experience of the reality he knows now. His reality is now wholly satisfying, and, as he once said, no thought has made him unhappy since the shift into Awakening.

2 – At What Point Is Reality Satisfying?

Certainly if one has awakened, in the sense of enlightenment–what we are headed for, being prepared through A Course in Miracles–we will know the wholly satisfying nature of reality. We would under those circumstances feel little need to drop into fantasies, though I can imagine that a reflective, moving panorama of the world would elicit reveries that reflect a happy state of consciousness. Indeed, Eckhart tells of just such a state in The Power of Now. The outside world–as well as the inner–seemed fresh and new, and he was awed by what he saw and otherwise experienced. But is it right to call this reaction “fantasy”? I think not. Fantasies seem, in the teaching of ACIM, to be an example of miscreations of the mind, an idle wandering that is not actually idle at all. ACIM says that form is created on some level all the time. Now we cannot understand this, but we can imagine what is meant. And it behooves us to watch our minds and not drop into idle thoughts, thoughts that are actually not idle at all–as Jesus tells us. ACIM notes that the concept of idle thoughts is mistaken, because of the forms that are created. We are lost in miscreations of a mind ruled by the ego.

3 – Life as Easy and Joyous

We learn through A Course in Miracles that we will leave fantasies behind when we see how satisfying reality really can be. Of course, this is not the reality that most of us find ourselves a part of now. But, as we walk the pathway pointed out by the Course, we will find that life becomes increasingly easy and joyous.

4 – No Need for Escape Thoughts

With life now easy and joyous, we will feel no need to escape into fantasies. We will thank God for the new ease that we have found, now that we follow His dictates instead of trying, in vain, to depend solely upon ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

Fantasies are seductive, but ultimately unsatisfying. As we follow A Course in Miracles, we see the world turn into a wholly satisfying place. We have no need for fantasies then.

May we turn to the Holy Spirit for guidance as we seek to enter the real world, the one where fantasies are not needed.

Amen.

Bored? Tired of the Way Things Are?

van gogh - landscape“This [your wandering attention] has been necessary so that the realization will come to you that you are ready to leave the personal self and the concerns of the personal self behind. You have needed to become bored with what has been, tired of the way things were, uninterested in matters of a personal nature. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 22.10)”

Affirmation: “I would leave the personal self behind in favor of the Self today.”

Reflections:

1 – Transition

Elsewhere we learn that the personal self does not really get left behind (the way that is described by Jesus here), but is transcended into the Self who is the Christ within. How do we make this transition?

2 – Bored with the Ways of the Personal Self

Jesus says that the way has been paved for us in A Course of Love when we recognize that we have become actually bored with the ways of the personal self. We don’t want things to be as they have always been. We don’t care so much what happens to the personal self, and by this it is likely that Jesus means the personal self as embodied by the ego (an interpretation, not stated in A Course in Miracles or ACOL).

3 – Bored with the ACOL Discussion?

We can even become bored with the discussion in ACOL that we are reading, and, believe it or not, I think that this is a good sign. We are once again examining the ego, and examining the ego, when encased in it, is praised by that same ego. This focus on ego dynamics proves to the false self (the ego) that it is important and worthy of study.

4 – Madness

Nothing could be further from the truth. The ego is dysfunctional, a persona that is mad or insane. And all of us have experienced insanity for eons, not knowing any better, and not being able to extricate ourselves from the insanity.

5 – Eckhart Tolle

We can do so now, but it takes great learning and much patience (paraphrases from the Text of ACIM). Eckhart Tolle, a spiritual teacher who experienced Awakening some 30 years previously, has said that more and more of us are reaching Awakening, that he hears of this in his mail and in encountering individuals in his work just all the time. He feels that he is at an epicenter of what is happening, not that this appeals the ego in him (which is dead), but that his own commentary and teaching make him a logical contact for those who wish to understand more of what is happening to them.

6 – Flowering

May this be true! May many of us “flower” in this way, the way of Christ-consciousness or Awakening. Eckhart feels that unless humankind makes the shift soon, we are doomed, and he cites the huge murder of countless innocent people in the Twentieth and Twentieth-First Centuries as evidence of the doom that may await us.

7 – Home

I would not be so pessimistic, but I would try to be realistic. God is at work in our world, and He will lead all those who are ready, lead us home. And we will not have long to wait.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for another good day. Thank You for this good period. It helps to have smooth days and days without major troubles of any kind. The smoothing out of my days comes when I stay close to You, and help me always to remember this.

Thank You for the inspiration that comes to me in my reading and listening to audio books. Thank You for the words of wisdom that friends say, sometimes without fully realizing how much their words will impress on my heart. Be with me, and guide my speech as well.

All of us need You. We need to be aware of how great that need really is so that we are never tempted to go it alone. For going it alone never works well. We are not meant to walk this world in encased bodies, separate and apart from You and others.

Amen.

A Persona

Garden_at_Sainte-Adresse - monet
“As was said at the beginning of this treatise, by the time the learning of this treatise is complete, the personal self will continue to exist only as the self you present to others. It will be a representation only. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 21.18)”

Affirmation: “May my personal self be a true representation of who I am.”

Reflections:

1 – Persona

The personal self does not leave us, because all of us need a persona to present to the world. But now, if we believe this treatise, we can present an accurate version of who we really are. We do not have to present a persona that is falsified by our own sense of inadequacy. This personal self, for us now, is a representation only. And by that, I think that Jesus means that it is not the whole of who we are. A representation means that the self presents a version of itself that is not reflective of the whole, because that would be impossible. No one can see the whole of who we are. We cannot even see it. But it is there, and it is the Christ Self, the Self living in Christ-consciousness, once this blessing has descended upon us.

2 – Christ-Consciousness

Christ-consciousness is the term used in A Course of Love to replace the word, Awakening, from A Course in Miracles. Another word, meaning the same, is enlightenment. And in the Bible, salvation is used. Christ-consciousness and Awakening, though, are the final step in a long process, a step that many of us cannot yet reach. God takes that final step for us, for we do not “achieve” enlightenment. We are merited by the grace of God. But to reach this pinnacle, we have to understand certain things. And these things cannot be learned in the usual meaning of that word. They are glimpses of a higher reality, a satori (an Eastern term). The glimpses ultimately end in the sustaining of Christ-consciousness.

3 – Eckhart Tolle

Does this happen often? No, but it is happening more frequently than ever before, for the world needs enlightened beings or we are doomed. Eckhart Tolle, who himself has experienced enlightenment (The Power of Now; A New Earth), says that individuals contact him frequently to have him explain the things that are happening to them, the things that come almost unbidden. Eckhart relinquished his self because of intense mental suffering when he was about 30 (some 30 years ago now), but A Course in Miracles indicates that we do not have to learn through pain. Learning through rewards is more lasting.

4 – Gentle Awakening

So we can hold out for a gentle Awakening, as promised in ACIM. We would avoid the scream of mortal terror (from the Text of ACIM) that would precede Awakening, unless we have been prepared. And ACIM and ACOL are preparing us. Let us listen well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would present a persona to the world that tries, as best it can, to be an accurate reflection of who I am. And I hope that that representation is worthy. Be with me to change me in ways that I need to change, to more accurately reflect the Self who is within.

May I see the satori, the two of them, that I have lived through expand into a larger concept of sustainability. Like everybody else who reads this, I too want a sustained Awakening. Help me to be patient, if patient is what I need to be. And may I not delude myself into thinking that I have awakened when in fact I have not. That would be a false representation of myself, and I would not have that.

Amen.

No Need to Learn through Pain

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“The thought system of the truth sees no value in suffering and so sees it not in truth. The thought system of the truth is a thought system that is not split by varying goals and desires. It is a thought system of unity. It is a thought system of one thought, one goal. That goal is the original thought that began the experience in physical form, the thought of expressing the Self in observable form. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 19.9)”

Affirmation: “I would follow the thought system of the truth today.”

Reflections:

1 – When Captured

How do we escape from suffering when captured by it? Is there a way out? If we don’t get out of suffering, are we thinking wrongly? What about people who grow in faith through their suffering? What do we say to saintly people who fall victim to illness or misfortune?

2 – Illness

The questions above all come to mind swiftly as I read, “The thought system of the truth sees no value in suffering.” And truth sees not suffering at all. What can we make of these assertions? Are they just for the very advanced? What if the very advanced soul gets cancer, or heart disease, or diabetes? What do we say to them?

3 – An Ideal

I think that here, in this passage for today, we are dealing with an ideal, and this world does not always support ideals. Even the most advanced teacher of God makes mistakes here, and would all others be bereft of help if that teacher of God falls down? No, Jesus assures us in A Course in Miracles. All of us here fall victim to temptation, but there is a way out.

4 – No Need to Learn through Pain

What is that way out? We can recognize, however dimly, that we don’t have to learn through pain (from the Text of A Course in Miracles). And, as Eckhart Tolle has said so eloquently, we don’t have to turn pain into suffering. We have that much available to us. Even here we will not always succeed, but the way is clear, once we are calm enough to call on God’s help and turn to Him for the way out that we need. He is always there.

5 – Choose Once Again

So we can choose again. We can choose once again (also from ACIM). The disease may not abate, but we are no longer trapped by it, even if it is a sickness unto death. After all, death comes to all, and normally there is a physical cause, either identified or not. We can cry out to God, in our infirmity, and he will lessen the burden of this physical life. He will see to it that our truth does not see pain, or suffering, or death, for He always chooses for life—which equates to health, abundance, peace, and happiness.

6 – Change in Circumstances

This is not pie-in-the-sky thinking. The mind and heart, working in conjunction with each other, are very powerful, and a change of mind moves to a change in circumstances. We don’t have to wallow in our misery. We can, through a change of mind, effect an acceptance that sees the truth that God does not bring suffering upon us. However bad the situation, always is this true. We have chosen the events through which we live. And though those events can get very bad, they are not the master of our lives. We can affirm for the truth in the creation of the life that we live, and we can recognize that if bad things have come upon us, we had a hand in creating those bad things. We may never know the “why,” but our heart knows. And our heart and the Christ Self within can offer, in alignment with God, the answer to our most fervent prayer for release. We may not know an end to this “thorn in the flesh” (from St. Paul in the New Testament), but we will live peacefully in this world until our time comes to leave it.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would accept suffering, first of all, if it comes to me. I recognize this acceptance as the first step to overcoming suffering. If the ego is dislodged from my mind, then this step becomes easier.

Thank You for the insight that suffering need only to be accepted, and then it is oft likely to dissipate. Let me never blame another if this dynamic fails to happen in his/her life. But let me help the other to a newer life, free of those impediments to happiness and peace.

May this day go well, as I give myself up to flow and ease in that flow. If I follow my intuition, then the day will turn out well, regardless of what pain it may hold. I ask for no pain, of course, but I accept the pain if it comes. Then and only then can I transcend the pain, and especially transcend the suffering into which the pain may turn.

Amen.

You Are Doing This unto Yourself

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“The suffering that has been chosen has been mighty. The choice now is not a choice to explore the why behind it or to look for remedies for the past. The choice now is whether you want suffering to continue or want to abolish it for all time. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 14.11)”

Affirmation: “I would choose to abolish suffering today and every day.”

Reflections:

1 – Eckhart Tolle

I have often quoted Eckhart Tolle in this blog, to the effect that pain does not have to turn into suffering. (Eckhart wrote The Power of Now and A New Earth, and he is an international spiritual teacher not limited to any particular religious tradition.) Now we are bade by Jesus to leave suffering behind forever. Jesus says that we can do this. It is a choice.

2 – Choice

How might we make that choice? It is easy. Just make the decision that you will recognize that you are doing this unto yourself (from A Course in Miracles). And choose not to do it any longer (a recommendation from Dr. Phil). We have this much choice. We can stop suffering in its tracks by recognizing that we can exert our power to overcome it. We can and will still experience pain in this physical and emotional body on earth, but, as Eckhart says, we don’t have to turn that pain into suffering.

3 – Blame and Bitterness

The two principal reasons that we hold onto suffering are blame and bitterness borne of guilt (from A Course of Love). We may think that we do not deserve a happy life, for we have done so many things wrong.

4 – God Has Never Condemned Us

This is false reasoning. God has never condemned us, and therefore He has no reason to forgive (from ACIM). But we ourselves must forgive ourselves, and this we can do. We would wish others to forgive themselves; would we withhold this blessing from ourselves?

5 – Madness and Forgiveness

I think not, when we reason it out. There is much madness still in us, though the madness is diminishing. We can make others as well as ourselves happier when we have forgiven. And forgiveness is the principal message of ACIM. That we have moved beyond forgiveness is perhaps not true. We will ebb and flow as we move toward Christ-consciousness.

6 – Guilt

So let us choose today to give up our guilt, and with it our blame and bitterness. With this choice, we make the decision to give up suffering, even though pain may still be present. And when we turn to happy dreams, we will even find that often we are free of the pain.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When the day goes badly, I must realize that I am doing this unto myself. I will get clues when I need to slow down and be careful, if I am open to listening to an inner Voice. May I be so open today.

Let us choose to have good days. Let us be patient with ourselves when we falter. And may the times of faltering lessen.

Amen.

An End to Suffering?

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“Could suffering really gone on for countless ages simply due to your inability to birth the idea of an end to suffering?

“Has not a part of you always known that suffering does not have to be even while you have accepted that it is? Let us now put an end to this acceptance through the birth of a new idea. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 8.12 – 8.13)”

Affirmation: “I may have pain, but I will not suffer today.”

Reflections:

1 – Eckhart Tolle

The passage for today develops an idea that Eckhart Tolle has propounded at length (The Power of Now; A New Earth). Eckhart is a modern-day spiritual teacher who is not affiliated with a particular religious tradition, but has quoted from A Course in Miracles, and is noted especially for the radical transformation he underwent around age 30, a number of years ago.

2 – Pain-Body

Eckhart notes that the “pain-body” emerges from time to time (different for each person), and that when this pain is sought, we all too often turn that pain into suffering. He says that this does not have to be the case. In physical bodies, we will experience pain, but we do not have to turn this pain into suffering.

3 – Jesus

Jesus and Eckhart agree in this regard. A Course of Love, in this passage, indicates that suffering might have been discontinued in our world if we had only realized that this was a possibility.

4 – A New Day

And we are now ready for a new idea: The end of suffering as we have known it. We will still have pain from time to time, but we do not have to activate the pain-body (given divine help), and we do not have to turn pain into suffering.

5 – Divine Help

What a blessing these ideas are! The ideas seem too good to be true, yet if Jesus has said it, then I personally find the ideas to be true. We need help, obviously, and divine help will be on the way.

6 – What Can We Do?

Practically, what can we do to eliminate the suffering? We can pause a moment and ask for help when we realize that a situation is getting out of hand, especially if someone, someone close to us, is baiting us. We can say a prayer. And we will be answered, for we are asking in God’s will. He would not have us suffer, and he would not have us activate Eckhart’s clarification of the pain-body. We do not have to invite pain.

7 – New Idea

A new idea is dawning on our world. We are living in the time of Christ now, and the blessings that will be ours are manifold. Let us set aside our doubts, and realize that we can live in a world that is better than has been previously. But for the better to emerge, we need to commune with God. And, in line with A Course of Love, we need to hold Jesus’s hand as we walk through this world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would hold Jesus’s hand today as I walk through my world communing with You. I am happier when I commune with You. This ought to tell me something. You want us happy, and our struggles are to be overcome so that we can experience happiness. I would not suffer today. I would rise above any pain.

Help me to keep a rational head. I know that confusion can be generated by too much analysis, because I have long be guilty of too much analysis—and analysis is of the ego nearly always. The ego approves of our analysis of it, for this reaffirms the ego’s importance. I would see the insignificance of the ego today.

And I would walk through my world in peace.

Amen.

Negate the Choice to Suffer

pennsylvania impressionists“What happens when you believe the choice to suffer, as well as the choice to leave suffering behind, has always been found within? Who then are you to be angry with for all that has occurred? Do you blame yourself and your ancestors for the history, both ancient and recent, that you think you would have given anything to change?. . .And do you not thus attempt to see it [suffering] not and then blame yourself for looking the other way? (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 8.6)”

Affirmation: “I would leave suffering behind today.”

Reflections:

1 – Eckhart Tolle

We do not have to suffer. Such a current spiritual advisor as Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now and A New Earth) says the same as Jesus, and he was influenced by A Course in Miracles. Certainly as long we embody the physical, we will know pain, but we do not have to turn that pain into suffering, for suffering is mental. Do you believe that? Note that emotional pain is always suffering, but physical pain is just that—pain. And we would feel pain when we must, but suffering, never.

2 – Blame

We do not need to blame our parents and our upbringing for the lacks in our lives. And we do not need to blame ancestors from farther back in regard to our genetic disposition. We have chosen this life, and we have chosen its lacks. Now Jesus would have these lacks removed, very easily and with virtually no effort on our part.

3 – Choose Once Again

The reason that we suffer is found within, not in any ancestral reason. And we can just as easily choose again. Indeed, we must choose once again (from A Course in Miracles).

4 – Mental Turmoil

Know that a quiet contemplation of suffering will ease the suffering, as well, very often, as the pain. Know that mental turmoil is aggravated by our own choices. Know that there is a way out.

5 – Commune Inwardly

And find that way today in communion with that which is within, the Christ Self informed by God Himself.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would begin the day again if I think that I suffer over anything. I do not have to suffer, though in this physical world I will, from time to time, experience pain. I do not have to turn pain into suffering. And I vow not to do so today.

May I commune with You when the way seems hard. And thank You for giving me a smooth pathway most recently. May I not chaff under restrictions if that pathway turns harsh again. I have the secret—praying to You. Your smile lights my life and calms my turbulent emotions. And then, with no overwrought emotions, I don’t exacerbate the pain, turning it into suffering.

Help me to walk Your pathway, my prayer always.

Amen.

Growth and Change

China_Edouard_Manet_oil_paintings_world_famous_oil_paintings2011151746002 - roses“As a tree exists fully accomplished within the seed and yet grows and changes, you exist fully accomplished within the seed that is the Christ in you even while you continue to grow and change. Physical form and action of all kinds are but expressions of what already exist within the seed of the already accomplished. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 6.8)”

Affirmation: “I will focus on the seed that is I today.”

Reflections:

1 – Still Grow and Change

This passage for today explains how we can be The Accomplished, and still need to grow and change. This explanation has not been apparent earlier in the Treatise. We are like seeds, embryos, who are growing and changing with every expression of Self. Like the tree, which is fully formed in the seed, we are fully formed also. But our expression of that form is not yet complete.

2 – Elevated Self of Form

But the expression of that form will become complete, when ultimately we become the elevated Self of form, the Christ Self who currently is hidden deep within ourselves. We do not have to struggle to make this transition. It will come naturally, in the course of things. And we will never be the same again.

3 – Transformation

In the meantime, the transformation may come in spurts; we may experience the Christ Self in glimpses only, maybe for quite a long while. And these glimpses will not last, although some lucky people do undergo a sudden Awakening (as did Eckhart Tolle, who details his experience in The Power of Now).

4 – Help the Seed Grow?

Do we need to help the seed grow? Somewhat, but not entirely. Anything resembling struggle will be of the ego, and we want to turn aside from the ego. We can contemplate, meditate, pray, read, and in the doing of it we will learn by observation where we are headed. But intense study is not required, and indeed would be counterproductive.

5 – Easy Does It

Go easy with yourself, and all will be well, in time, in God’s time.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I need to understand fully what You are asking of me. I need to know that You don’t want me to struggle to transform. But that you do want me to transform.

This change is elusive to me, and I wonder if there is anything else I need to do to comprehend more. Your way is being spelled out, but I still don’t always feel that I am The Accomplished, as said in this treatise. I see weaknesses.

Be with me to transform those weaknesses into strengths.

Amen

Giving Up Nothing

Paul-Cezanne-Landscape-25122“Are you being asked to give up extremes? Yes. You are being asked to give up all that would take peace from you. But as you have been told before, you will be giving up nothing. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Art of Thought, 10.7)”

Affirmation: “I would choose peace today.”

Reflections:

1 – Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle in Stillness Speaks has a great deal to say about what is described in the passage for today. We are giving up drama, giving up extremes. And it is important to note that in so doing we are actually giving up nothing–nothing of any value. We are choosing God’s Peace over extremes, over drama.

2 – No Drama

Eckhart indicates that he does not have drama in his primary relationship. We can see his peace by listening to him on CD, CDs which are widely available. He has the light touch, the essence of an awakened individual. He also has a sense of humor, for he does not take himself too seriously. This too is a mark of an individual freed from the egoic mind.

3 – No Extremes

So we do want to ask ourselves very sincerely if we are ready to give up drama, to give up extremes in our daily lives. A friend of mind once doubted that being “perfectly calm and quiet all the time” (from A Course in Miracles) was the best way to be, whether or not it was the way that she wanted to be. I did not remonstrate with her, but I think that experience of calm and quiet makes the decision for us. We are happier when the extremes are gone, for then the ego is gone–and gone for good.

4 – Nothing Given Up

We are giving up nothing. We must come to understand this, or we will not be willing to give up drama or the extremes. And this understanding may come only gradually.

5 – Be Patient

Be patient. We will see that “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time is a desired state of mind and heart. We will know joy, and we will know ecstasy. These will become part of the calm and the quiet, and we will know that we are making the decisions that Jesus would ask of us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for letting me know that I will be giving up nothing when I give up extremes, give up drama. May I make this choice for all time today. May I give up extremes, give up drama. And may I walk home to You.

Thank You for the books which I read that help me. Thank You for the testimony of individuals who have already walked the pathway home to You.

And may I walk the entire pathway sooner rather than later.

Amen.

Christ-Consciousness

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“As I awaited my death, I was given the gift of knowing what would come to be through my resurrection.  This I tried to pass on in the simplest of terms.  I tried to make it known that while I would die and resurrect into a new form, you would also, that this new form would exist within you, that you would become the Body of Christ and giving and receiving would be complete.  (Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 9.9)”

Affirmation:  “I would resurrect in a new form, the elevated Self of form.”

Reflections:

1 – A Glorious Promise

In this passage, Jesus is saying to us that nothing that he experienced is closed to us.  We do not have to die in a crucifixion, but his resurrection is our own as well.  We too will resurrect, and sooner rather than later.  The time is upon us now.  What a glorious promise this is!

2 – Perfection?

We do not have to perfect ourselves for this blessing to befall us.  Jesus, according to A Course in Miracles, will correct all mistakes that we cannot correct.  And, in A Course of Love, he tells us that if we decide that we don’t want anger anymore, it will just fall from us.  We will make the changes in our personality that we want to make.  And nowhere does he say in ACOL that we have to be perfect to “merit” Christ-consciousness.  Even the Dalai Lama admits to getting angry sometimes.

3 – Body of Christ

What does it mean to become the Body of Christ?  I think that this characterization means that we are to be one with Christ, including but not limited to the man Jesus.  Giving and receiving will be one.  As we give to others, we receive.  And when we give the gift of love, we are giving of our fullness.

4 – Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle notes that his correspondence is replete with accounts of the coming of Awakening to people in many parts of the world.  He sees himself as at an epicenter, in that he has described his Awakening in several books, and people naturally write to him when they experience something similar.  The time seems ripe now for more and more of us to experience Awakening.  This is not only in line with what Eckhart says, but also indicated by Jesus in A Course of Love.  ACIM dislodged the ego, but we need to replace it with something, and that something is the Self/Christ.  The ego-oriented personal self is dying away in many, many of us.  But we need to do our part to eliminate egoic and egotistical thinking from disturbing our minds and hearts.  We need to realize that all of us are equal in the eyes of God, and this is not a new concept.  But, perhaps, it is a concept that only now we are fully ready to accept.

5 – Small Strides Daily

So let us become the Body of Christ, making small strides each day.  When glimpses of Awakening come to us, let us retain the feeling and prolong the experience.  Eventually the glimpses will smooth into a continuity that will assure us that we are well on the way to an ultimate transition to Christ-consciousness.  Some of us see this suddenly, but most are giving a gradual learning process (from the Manual of ACIM).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would walk slowly, as You lead, to a greater future than I have yet known.  May I live the kind of life that You wish for me.  May I love and serve You.  May I find joy in the companionship of my brothers and sisters.  And may I know salvation in its fullness.

Thank You for the steps toward Awakening that Jesus has outlined in ACIM and ACOL.  I may not be ready, but You have given me glimpses, and for this I thank You.  May I do nothing to dishonor You.  May my days be well-filled, doing the deeds that You would have me do.  May I make the choices that You would recommend.  And may I share what You teach me as best I can.

Thank You for showing me Yourself by means of the felt sense of Your presence that comes over me.  I would walk in Your way, living by Your rules, and I would have no anxiety for the morrow.

Amen.

Choice to End Suffering

4_Boating_Realism_Impressionism_Edouard_Manet“While I can tell you suffering is illusion, you cannot still your fear of it nor tear your eyes away from it or remove from it the feelings of your heart.  While I came to reveal the choice of Love to you, the choice that you each must make to end such suffering, the illusion of suffering has continued and in its continuation made the choice of Love seem all but impossible.  (Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 5.3)”

Affirmation:  “I would end any personal suffering today.”

Reflections:

1 – Maya

It is not enough to say that we live in a world of maya, illusion, or dreams.  As long as we suffer, we will find it impossible to be satisfied that we do not blame God because all except the real world is illusion.  This attitude, expressed by Jesus in this passage, is electrifying and very practical.  He knows our limitations.  And he knows that we will continue to see God as less than loving when we have not yet given up suffering.

2 – Eckhart Tolle

Pain does not have to turn into suffering!  That is the secret.  Eckhart Tolle says much about this in The Power of Now and A New Earth.  His understanding of the “pain body” is described in great detail in both books, but especially in A New Earth.

3 – Pain into Suffering

How do we accomplish feeling pain that does not lead to suffering?  Ah, that is the rub.  And the truth may be that we cannot overcome the tendency to turn pain into suffering without divine help.  But we do need to end suffering in order to experience all the blessings that the elevated Self of form has been promised (from the Dialogues of A Course of Love).  We do need to pray for help, to commune with God, when challenged by pain.  He will find a way to get through to us when we are at our lowest point.  Indeed, individuals often turn to God at their lowest when they do not do so at any other time.  When human resources are exhausted, we relinquish our own attempts to solve our problems, and we turn them over for divine solutions.

4 – Prayer of Relinquishment

Catherine Marshall, an inspirational writer of the last century, said much about the “prayer of relinquishment.”  We would do well to pray that prayer often.  We do not give up, but we do surrender the problem to a higher solution, that of God’s solution.  We wait to be told what to do to make things better, and we do not have to wait long, because A Course in Miracles promises that the solution is with the problem.

5 – Jesus

Let us turn today to consideration of how to end suffering in our lives.  This may seem a pipe dream, but I trust that if Jesus channeled A Course of Love (and I think he did), and he says that giving up suffering, seeing an end to suffering, is possible for us, I believe that it is.  Let us seek within for the guidance that will tell us what and how to proceed.  Everyone’s answer will be different, but the end is sure, and the end is the same for all of us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would release suffering today.  Any little aspect of suffering needs to be gone.  And with Your help it will be.  Pain does not have to turn to suffering.  There are remedies.  May my brothers and sisters know freedom from suffering today.

Guide me to any and all remedies that I need to feel totally well in all respects.  I sense that You will do this today for me.  Thank You for that intuition.

Help others whom I encounter in any way.  We need to be there for each other in this sometimes difficult world.  Help us to have good days in Your care.

Amen.

Disengage the Ego-Mind

images -garden visit“The closing pages of A Course of Love instructed you to think no more.  A break in time was needed for you to disengage the ego-mind that produced the type of thinking that needs to come to an end.  This ending is but a beginning in truth and has led you to readiness to learn the art of thought.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 2.1)”

Affirmation:  “May I remember that thinking is not always required.”  

Reflections:

1 – Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now; A New Earth), an enlightened current-day teacher, tells us that his own thinking processes are much reduced in number.  We ourselves usually have such busy minds, busy minds that match our busy bodies.  But we would not have it so.

2 – Break in Reading ACOL

A break is recommended between reading A Course of Love, the original volume, and the remaining two volumes in the trilogy.  The Treatises are the second volume, and to be read next, after the break.  Here we learn the reason for the break.  We needed to teach the ego that it was not in charge any longer.  And the ego has been bent on its kind of learning.  We are now to learn to think a new way, because that is what this treatise is about.

3 – Observation

We are beginning something very new.  The art of thought is basically observation without engaging the thinking mind and its egotistical bent.  We have in truth left the ego behind by now, but we may not fully comprehend what this means.  The Treatise on the Art of Thought will tell us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I truly leave the ego behind in the days and weeks ahead, as I study the art of thought as described by Jesus.  I would not be buffeted about by fate, succumbing to times of depression brought on by an egoic thrust toward ecstasy.  The ego always knows highs and lows, and I would have my right mind seek drama no more.  Drama is not necessary, and the sooner that all of me recognizes this, the better off I will be.

Be with my brothers and sisters today.  May I respond in a compassionate way to real need, though I would not take on obligations that do not belong to me.  May I love with my whole heart, but in no way seek love from another who is unwilling to offer it.  May the blessings of this earth be bestowed on others whom I know, and may these blessings also come to me. 

Amen.

Akin to Eckhart Tolle

claude-monet-poplars-on-the-epte-81679“In the sense of time described by the word present, there is no infinitude, but only a vague concept of now.  This is the key concept that I not only knew but demonstrated.  This is the legacy, the inheritance, I left to you.  (A Course of Love, 30.8)”

Affirmation:  “I would live in the Now today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Now

This passage from Jesus is well-described by Eckhart Tolle in his book, The Power of Now.  But our minds are like runaway puppies, eager to explore past and future, seemingly impossible to pin down to the present.  Yet the Now is Jesus’s legacy to us.  He lived in the Now, and he wants us also to do so.  It will not come to us by trying, but only by the grace of God.  And we will not lose anything thereby.  We can and should ask now for the experience of living in the present, the present that is eternity.  All moments that we experience are always Now.

2 – A Richness of Life

Why do many spiritual leaders stress living in the Now, if it is so difficult to do?  They do not choose to encourage us in such a practice because it is difficult, but because it works in our lives.  Living in the now allows a richness of life that nothing else can satisfy.

3 – People’s Choices

Many people choose daring adventures that force themselves in the Now.  They report that at such times of such peak experiences, they, for once, felt really alive.  And that is what living in the present will do for us.  It will make us feel truly alive, truly grateful for the opportunity of a life spent on earth.

4 – Just Stop

How do we slow down and stop enough to experience the Now?  The only way to stop is to stop.  Give a few moments to prayer, contemplation, meditation, and the like.  Let the mind become still.  Do not fret.  If we are especially fortunate, then the experience that we have at such moments of stillness will give us a hunger for more times like this.  We will be hooked on the Now.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would recognize eternity.  This is the idea that Jesus is truly getting across.  I would understand eternity by living in the Now.  And all will be well.

I can practice living in the Now by being mindful as I go about routine tasks during the day.  Help me to follow Your way as I go through this day.

Thank You for the revelations that You have given to Eckhart.  

Amen.

The Now for Christ-Consciousness

“This Course is but a trigger.  These words the prelude to the explosion.  It is as if you have been Wheat Field with the Alpilles Foothills in the Background - van goghwaiting for someone to whisper:  Now!  The whisper has come.  The time is now.  (A Course of Love, 26.25)”

Affirmation:  “The time is now.”

Reflections:

1 – “Explosion”

The words of this passage refer to the “explosion” that will occur, from a whisper, when we are ready for Christ-consciousness.  We need, some of us, simply to accept that the time is now.  The time has arrived.  We do not have to do or say anything further.

2 – Awakening

Not all of us are ready for this blessing.  But we can rest in assurance that when we are ready, God Himself will act to (metaphorically) reach down and lift us up.

3 – Always Seeking

Always we have thought that there was something else that we had to read, something else that we had to do, some other pathway that we had to explore.  It appears to me that one of the reasons that Jesus wrote this sequel is that students of A Course in Miracles could not seem to cease their seeking.  Here in A Course of Love Jesus gives us the signal to cease our seeking.  We know enough.  We are ready.  Even, we are told, we do not have to be perfect (a belief that many of us have, at least subconsciously).  Just rest and receive from God.  Again, I emphasize that Jesus says that “now” is the time.

4 – Ready for the Awakening

Does not this passage for today seem too good to be true?  We have waited long to read such a passage, such an assurance that we really are ready to receive Awakening or Christ-consciousness.  At first we will see in glimpses, but these glimpses will lengthen, and when they do, we will almost imperceptibly be living in Christ-consciousness all the time.  It is true that some, such as Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now; A New Earth) have sudden experiences of union.  But it would appear from my reading of A Course of Love that such individuals are in the minority.  Most are given, as A Course in Miracles points out, a slowly evolving pathway.  If the light were suddenly turned on for those of us still asleep, we would be very, very frightened.  ACIM makes this clear.  Our happy dreams from the Holy Spirit have prepared us, though, and now we are ready to move into the great blessing of Awakening, or Christ-consciousness, without fear.

5 – Wait Long?

Will we have to wait long?  Not if we take Jesus at his word.  But neither do we want to claim this great blessing before we sense its true arrival.  We do not want to be false prophets, here as we reach the culmination of a long road to the epitome of salvataion.

6 – Christ-consciousness

Pray for Christ-consciousness, and assume that if Jesus has said that we are ready, it is only a matter of time before we will find that his word is indeed true.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I rest in Jesus’s assurance that the time is now for Christ-consciousness.  But I know that the “now” in eternity is not the “now” of this world.  And so I will be patient.  But I will need seek fruitlessly.  Constant seeking is a deterrent.  And I would not defer Christ-consciousness.

Help us to follow in Your way, knowing that You make the decision of the rightness of Awakening.  I would have it no other way, though I admit to being impatient.  Take this impatience from me, and give me peace and comfort in Your grace.

Be with all my brothers and sisters.  We need each other, perhaps as we have never needed each other before.  Help us to say and do and think what You would wish.

And may Christ-consciousness be not long delayed.  Thank You.

Amen.

Happiness So Fulfilling

“Each of you is aware of a threshold you would cross that leaves no route open for return.  That threshold is often a happiness so fulfilling that once you have experienced it you say, ‘I will take this despair no more.’  For others this threshold is the opposite, an experience of pain so great that they would rather die than continue on in such a way.  (A Course of Love, 10.21)”

Van-Gogh-sunflowersAffirmation:  “May I choose despair no more.”

Reflections:

1 – Dark Night of the Soul

When we reach the threshold that today’s passage proclaims, we are on our way to better times–that, or we choose to die (but normally not by suicide).  We have often heard that it is darkest just before the dawn, and it helps me to realize this when I feel a dis-ease or discomfort, or agitation (any negative emotion, in fact).  The turning point that is called the “threshold” is, though, an example of living in the midst of the dark night of the soul (a characterization by St. John of the Cross).  Most of us choose to put one foot in front of the other, and to go forward.  Very few choose to end their lives before the span of their years has run out.  (I speak now of choice in regard to physical ailments rather than the taking of one’s own life, for the physical ailments, even unto death, are a choice.)

2 – Accept Despair No Longer

Choosing to accept despair no longer is a choice for life, and a choice for a healthier life, both emotionally and physically.  It is also a better life spiritually, though we do not often think in those terms.  Sometimes the despair drives us to our knees, and we have an experience of God that has not come heretofore in our experience.  This is the blessing of dark nights of the soul.

3 – We Do Not Have to Learn through Pain

But we do not have to learn through pain (from A Course in Miracles).  It is said in ACIM that learning through pain is temporary, and that learning through rewards is lasting.  Here in the threshold, though, I think we are dealing with something qualitatively different.  We have reached the limit that we can withstand  in regard to pain.  And we choose pain no more.

4 – Eckhart Tolle

The experience described in the above paragraph hints at the experience that Eckhart Tolle so clearly has described as leading to his Enlightenment (i.e., The Power of Now and A New Earth).  The way of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love is not so extreme, but this very low point can and does come to students/teachers of these two works.  We cannot predict the future; we can only ask that God be gentle with us.  And then we need to cooperate in that gentleness.  He cannot reach us until we open the door from the inside.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose a happiness so fulfilling today that there is no turning back to despair.  I would reach the threshold that is You.  You are my goal as well as my Blessing.  Be with me as I walk along the path that You point out today.

May we live through dark nights of the soul, but may we not linger there.  They are teaching devices, but we are reaching the point that we come to know by observation, not learning, as A Course of Love tells us.  Be with me today as I seek to “learn” in the old way no more.

I cannot change overnight.  I need You to make the transition to a better life.  Help me to thank You for the blessings that You give so abundantly.  And may I never forget to thank my brothers and sisters who are also there for me.

Amen.

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.

In an Instant of Time Join with God

“One can as easily give God only an instant, and in that instant join with Him completely.  (M-16.4)”

Affirmation:  “I join with God in my quiet time.”

Reflections:

1 – Eyes Closed

This is an excerpt from a passage in which we are told that one can also sit with eyes closed for an hour and yet accomplish nothing.  So time, being an illusion anyway, is of insignificance when we are trying to “reach” God.  We are trying to sink downward, into ourselves, enough to be able to “touch God” (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).

2 – God Is Within

If God is within, and our projections make perception (whether of the ego or the Self), then what we see outside ourselves is actually part of the ego or the Self.  We are all One, and God is One with us.  This understanding tears holes in the idea of a Fatherly presence above the clouds, wearing a long, white beard.  We need to get over making God into an image that we can comprehend (or think we can).  He can “appear” anyway that would be valuable to us in our understanding, but my interpretation is that He is the All.  (Much New Age thinking has asserted this.)  But the All is One, not polytheism (or that everything is a god).

3 – Personal Experience

If we give God that moment of immediate joining, I have found that quietness is essential.  Often I pray aloud while alone in the kitchen, preparing breakfast.  This is not the first moment of the day, but it is close.  And I find that I calm down, am free of anxiety about an upcoming stressful day, when I have given these moments to God.  Jesus says that it is with the practical that A Course in Miracles is most concerned.  And so this practical turning to God, while my hands are busy but doing something that I know how to do very well, is illustrative.  God needs our attention to bring our minds and hearts back into His fold, and we need to remember that length of time is not the most important aspect.  Sincerity in reaching deep within is.

4 – Reaching God

Experiment a bit today with reaching God.  He is not hard to find.  We have often heard that He is as close as our hands and feet, or our breath.  Indeed!  For we are part of Him, though that is not the whole of it.  He has individualized, or differentiated, Himself into the many brothers and sisters that we see–indeed, of all that we can see and much that we cannot (for there are other levels of existence which our physical eyes cannot see).  Be with God often today.  It is the very best way to live.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me today to be good to others in my life.  Life sometimes throws us curves, and I would not send back any attack that seems to be aimed in my direction.  Help me to remember to take a timeout when life throws me a curve.

I need my quiet time today, and be with me during that time, please.  Our busy lives should not mean that we edge You out.  We always need to feel Your presence.

Thank You for so often letting me feel Your presence.

Amen.

We Are Holy

“Holy are you, eternal, free and whole, at peace forever in the Heart of God.  Where is the world, and where is sorrow now?  (M-15.1)”

Affirmation:  “We are all holy.”

Reflections:

1 – Comfort

This passage is comforting, even when we do not find it (at first reading) to be believable.  We do want to be whole people, able to give and receive love.  And we do want to be free and at peace.

2 – Being Free

Before we follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we have an “imprisoned will” (from the Text).  Once we begin, ever so tentatively, to follow Him as our Guide, we learn, slowly at first (usually) what being free actually entails.   The Holy Spirit guides us to our real will, which is totally at One with God’s Will.  The Holy Spirit choose for us (from ACIM); he leads us to our heart’s desire.  But this is our real desire, not the frivolous and useless “pleasures” of the world that soon turn to ashes and dust in our hands.

3 – Heart of God

When we live in the Heart of God, we do not fret or worry.  Of course, and certainly in the beginning, we do not consistently feel God’s mercy.  The transition normally takes some time (though it can happen instantaneously).  We have glimpses of the real world, the world we see just before Awakening.  But we have to realize that these perceptual differences, while miracles, will not last, because miracles are perceptual and nothing perceptual is lasting.  (These are paraphrases from ACIM.)  So let us take one tiny step after another in the direction of God today.  Let us ask for His “felt presence” (a quotation from Eckhart Tolle).

4 – God’s Felt Presence

Sorrow is no more when we are experiencing God’s felt presence.  We know that we are beloved, and we do not agonize about the future (or even the present, and certainly not the past).  We are living in the present, as God would have us do.

5 – Peace

And we are at peace.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Most of us do not really believe that we are holy, and when we are consumed by the ego, being called “holy” seems to be not credible.  But we have not changed from our creation; we are as You created us, and we only made a detour into fear–an egoic mistake because of a “tiny, mad idea.”

Help me to leave all such foolishness behind today.  You know that we all try the best that we can at even given moment.  We make mistakes, but You and we together can correct those mistakes.  I would correct my mistakes today.

Help me to feel the gratitude for You that keeps me safe from all harm.

Amen

Stab of Anger

ACIM Workbook Lesson 192 – for Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Affirmation:  “I have a function God would have me fill.”

 

“Therefore, hold no one prisoner.  Release instead of bind, for thus are you made free.  The way is simple.  Every time you feel a stab of anger, realize you hold a sword above your head.  And it will fall or be averted as you choose to be condemned or free.  Thus does each one who seems to tempt you to be angry represent your savior from the prison house of death.  And so you owe him thanks instead of pain.  (WB366)”

Reflections:

1 – See the Sword Averted

A very important passage, this lesson for today is telling us what we must do when we feel a stab of anger.  And who among us does not still feel anger, even if one believes himself/herself to be enlightened?

2 – Stress and the “Pain Body”

We are likely to be stressed at the time that we seem most out of control.  As Eckhart Tolle would say, our “pain body” is in the ascendancy, and we want pain at any and all costs.  We are not in our right mind; we are even more insane than the usual.

3 – The Ego = Strong in Conflict

If we can realize that averting the sword above one’s head actually makes us free, we might be more inclined to follow this passage when the daily pathway turns grim.  We want to be free, but we cannot be free if we are caught by anger and attack, for the ego is strong in conflict (paraphrase from ACIM).

4 – Temptations to Anger

Our brothers and sisters who tempt us to anger are actually doing us a favor, for without their input, we would not be inclined to choose the good more often than the bad.  They, in turn, are merely asking for help at such times.  A brother or sister who attacks is calling for help, and the only sane response is to rush to his/her side with that help.  We must be reasonable, and ACIM does not counsel doing anything that will escalate the conflict.  If we are in danger, bodily or mentally, it would be wise to act later on, when the heat is out of the moment.  (These are interpretations, not stated in ACIM.)

5 – Venting and Our Anger

Do we really owe our brother or sister thanks for the stab of anger that his/her venting has elicited?  According to ACIM, we do.  We can recognize that we will not likely ever be free of moments of being tempted into anger, but we can fly into a great calm rather than into a great fury.

6 – This Lesson for Today

Making that choice is what today’s Workbook lesson is all about.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose today to be free of stabs of anger.  If my brother or sister tempts me to anger, help me to turn aside from attacking verbally.  Help me to realize that in all likelihood, this brother or sister is stressed, and I have been there, throughout my lifetime, many times.  I would want someone to forgive me when I am letting Eckhart’s “pain body” rise to ascendancy.  May we all pray today that our pain bodies will be released, and that we will enjoy the peace and harmony that You want for us above all else.

Be with me as I walk the pathway to You today.

May I take a timeout, leaving the room temporarily, if my temper is threatening to get the best of me.  It is actually the “worst” of me.  And I would not indulge my ego today by venting when I am stressed.  And I don’t get angry unless I am stressed.

May my brothers and sisters adopt what coping mechanisms they find most useful in avoiding anger and attack.

Thank You.

Amen.

Do Not Turn Pain into Suffering

“How can you who are so holy suffer?  All your past except its beauty is gone, and nothing is left but a blessing.  I have saved all your kindnesses and every loving thought you ever had.  (T83)”

Affirmation:  “I have saved all your kindnesses and love.”

Reflections:

1 – Suffer?

This is a hard passage to understand.  It is true that Awakened individuals acknowledge feeling pain, but not suffering.  Eckhart Tolle is one of these individuals.  But most of us have not yet known Awakening on a sustained basis, and what are we to do when bad things happen?

2 – Think Kindness

I think that the Answer is the one we so often find in the Course.  The Answer is turning to guidance from the Holy Spirit.  Jesus himself says in this passage that he has saved our kindnesses and loving thoughts.  We can, without self-satisfaction, realize that, almost despite ourselves, we have had moments of kindnesses and loving thoughts.  If these were ever a comfort to our brother, they can also be a comfort to us in our times of pain.  This recollection will help to ensure that suffering, even in the midst of  pain, will not arise.

3 – Pain but No Suffering

We can find in the pain a blessing.  The passage seems to say this.   The passage also notes that we ourselves are holy, a concept that we find difficult to accept, because we usually feel so unworthy.  May we take Jesus at his word, and believe that we do not have to suffer in this world.  As we study the Course, perhaps we will come to see this concept more clearly and to feel pain, when it comes, but no suffering.

4 – Difficulty in Avoiding Suffering

We need to realize that we transform pain into suffering by our own thought processes.  Certainly in physical pain, it is hard not to get the mind involved.  We feel so bad physically that our bodies temporarily seem to take over our minds.  Whatever we do, in this world there probably will never be one correct action to take–other than asking for the Holy Spirit to give us the guidance that we need to remedy the situation.  He will answer, though if we are agitated, we may not “hear” what He has to say.  Seek calm and quiet, not agitation, and see how much more readily the physical pain ceases to be an affliction that can only be called “suffering.”

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I know in my innermost being that I do not need to suffer.  In the Course, Jesus says that we do not have to learn through pain.  May I feel the truth of this reassurance.

It is good that my loving thoughts have been saved.  This seems to mean that my unloving thoughts will fall away.  Thank you.

Amen.

Depression / Sadness

“When you are sad, know this need not be.   Depression comes from a sense of being deprived of something you want and do not have.  Remember that you are deprived of nothing except by your own decisions, and then decide otherwise.  (T63)”

Affirmation:  “I am deprived of nothing except by my own decisions”

Reflections:

1 – Change What Hurts

This passage is part of a group in which Jesus negates negative emotions.  He makes clear at this point that we make our own decisions, and we can change conditions that hurt.  In particular, in this passage he indicates that sadness can be overcome, even when it is depression.

2 – Pills

Elsewhere Jesus notes that pills are a form of magic, but that they may be necessary if we are already fearful.  They are an intermediate step that will assist us, still caught in illusions, to overcome what is wrong simply because we believe that it will work for us.  Certainly medication for depression would seem to fall in this category.

3 – Change the Circumstances

Pills are not magic potions, though some people may disagree.  We need to change the life circumstances that are causing our discomfort, but this does not necessarily mean an outward change.  It may be enough to change our inner reflections, turning to prayer and meditation, contemplation and reflection.  God will always be there for us when we seek Him.  The Holy Spirit guides us inwardly, and He will prompt us to make change in our outer circumstances if these seem warranted.  I have found, though, that most change is best made internally, by a readjustment in thinking and feeling.  And it is the thought that leads to the feeling (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).

4 – An Explanation of Why Depression Happens

Note the explanation of why depression happens:  a sense of being deprived of something you want and do not have.   The vast majority of us can relate to this, sometimes on a daily basis–and certainly over our lifetime.  It is a great relief to know that we have actually chosen these instances of deprivation.  We are trying to learn something.  The fact that we are learning through pain is not good, because elsewhere Jesus says that it is not necessary to learn through pain.  Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now) indicates much that supports A Course in Miracles, but his pathway toward Awakening was in fact through tremendous anxiety and depression.  A later book by Tolle, A New Earth, makes this point even clearer by his explanation of the “pain body.”  Jesus, though, would not have us take this route if we can follow him to the uttermost that he promises.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I leave sadness behind, by my own decision.  May I choose the gladness that can come, also by my own decision.

If I need to use pills to combat depression, may I do so knowing that they are an aid, but not a cure.  The real cure comes through changing our minds about what we want.  And what we want is joy.

Amen.

Finding a Wholly Satisfying Reality

“Fantasies become totally unnecessary as the wholly satisfying nature of reality becomes apparent to both giver and receiver.  (T15)”

Affirmation:  “the wholly satisfying nature of reality”

 

Reflections:

1 – Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now) says a good bit about his own Awakening and his joy in the immediate experience of the reality he knows now.  His reality is now wholly satisfying, and, as he once said, no thought has made him unhappy since the shift into Awakening.

2 – Personal Experience

In my own glimpses of Awakening (which have not been sustained), I too know that the reality in which I find myself is totally satisfying.  Like Eckhart, I enjoy sitting in public places, such as a restaurant or a library, and just observing my surroundings.  I feel totally at peace with my world at such times.  And the joy is not an overwrought joy, but a peaceful one, though occasionally a thrill of ecstasy can arise.  These are the mystic moments that are not cause for praise, for then the ego will quickly move in, and we will be caught in pride that such spiritual blessings have been granted us.  Instead, in such joyful, mystic moments, we are best to feel glad for the experience, but realize that we have not done anything grand that has caused the experience to visit.  All of this is borne of the grace of God.

3 – Leave Fantasies Behind

We learn through A Course in Miracles that we will leave fantasies behind when we see how satisfying reality really can be.  Of course, this is not the reality that most of us find ourselves a part of now.  But, as we walk the pathway pointed out by the Course, we will find that life becomes increasingly easy and joyous.

4 – An Easy and Joyous Life

With life now easy and joyous, we will feel no need to escape into fantasies.  We will thank God for the new ease that we have found, now that we follow His dictates instead of trying, in vain, to depend solely upon ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Fantasies are seductive, but ultimately unsatisfying.  As we follow A Course in Miracles,  we see the world turn into a wholly satisfying place.  We have no need for fantasies then.

May we turn to the Holy Spirit for guidance as we seek to enter the real world, the one where fantasies are not needed.

Amen.

The Secret of Salvation

“The secret of salvation is but this:  That you are doing this unto yourself.  No matter what the form of the attack, this still is true.  Whoever takes the role of enemy and of attacker, still is this the truth. (T587-T588)”

 

Affirmation:  “I am doing this unto myself.”

Reflections:

1 – Are We “Blaming the Victim”?

If life seems very hard, we can think of these words.  They are not easy to understand, because they sound like a “blame the victim” scenario.  But the Course never intends this.  We do not consciously bring bad things upon ourselves, at least most of the time.  And the evil that is in the world is not our own personal fault.

2 – Some Misinterpretation of ACIM

This aspect of the Course has been misinterpreted by many people.  And many have rejected it because of the “victim” problem.

3 – Pain vs. Suffering

Do not reject any longer.  With the help of the Holy Spirit, we will see happier days.  We will ponder the happenings around us, and they will cause pain.  But suffering is our own choice, and we can choose to turn over to the Holy Spirit all things that hurt.  This includes for others as well as ourselves.

4 – From Eckhart Tolle

We never have to let pain turn into suffering, though most of us are not so evolved as to miss this mistake in all instances.  Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth says a great deal about the fact that it is ourselves who turn pain into suffering.  He has a concept called the “pain body” that he believes is activated either frequently or infrequently in virtually everyone.  This concept is not a part of A Course in Miracles, but Eckhart quotes from ACIM, and so his study, following his Awakening, included ACIM.  And he does not, in the reading that I have done of Eckhart, ever say anything that contradicts ACIM.

5 – Choose Again

When we realize that we are doing this unto ourselves, we can choose again.  And that is a very important concept.  We need simply to start the day afresh, regardless of what hour on the clock the day actually is.  (ACIM recommends starting the day afresh if we begin amiss.)  I often start the day again, because I have a tendency to arise with a great deal of pressure to get started on what I need to do on any given day.  (This compulsion dissipates in an hour or two, but why stay with such a compulsion even an hour?)

6 – Choose to Be Free of Neurosis

We must choose again.  That is the only way that we will be free of the neurosis that has dogged our days.  And Jesus can heal us of our madness, our insanity–the state of virtually everyone in this world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When my day turns grim, may I pause just a moment and remember that I can choose again.  I absolutely do not have to turn pain into suffering, an idea that Eckhart reminds me.  I would not let fears that I am blaming myself for my misfortune turn me into bitterness, even for a second.  I would know that bitterness is a form of insanity, of neurosis, and I would be free of the madness that is surely elicited by listening to the ego’s madness.

I would not be egotistical today.  I would let my ego wither away, and I would ask Your help in doing this.  Any time that I am tempted to let pride intrude, a false pride that is disastrous, I would ask that my Guide gently remind that I have turned aside from walking the pathway to You.  And I would walk the pathway to You on a constant basis.

Be with me on this, a sunny day outside. May the joy that spring will surely bring help me to remember to thank You for this beautiful world.  We have spoiled the environment in some ways, but may we know that the beauty is always there, waiting to be reclaimed.

I thank You in advance for keeping me “in the flow” of You and Your gifts today.  May I follow my intuition unfailingly, unless I am misled by an egotistical thought that would take me away from You.  

Thank You for Your felt Presence.

Amen.

Miracles and Revelation

“The Holy Spirit is the highest communication medium.  Miracles do not involve this type of communication, because they are temporary communication devices.  When you return to your original form of communication with God by direct revelation, the need for miracles is over.  (T6)”

Affirmation:  “May the Holy Spirit be with me today.”

Reflections:

1 – Turning to the Holy Spirit

Here is the reason that we are to turn to the Holy Spirit for guidance.  He is the “highest” communication medium.  When we turn to Him, it even seems that miracles are not as necessary or important to our daily life.  We have gone to the highest when we listen to the Holy Spirit.

2 – Christ-Consciousness

Only in the next step, Christ-consciousness, do we move beyond the Holy Spirit and His time, and into the time of Christ (a tenet of A Course of Love).  This is the state after Awakening, and there has been no general movement in our world toward Awakening for everyone.

3 – A View from Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle addressed this point in a CD entitled, “Even the Sun Will Die.”  He is an awakened individual (author of The Power of Now and A New Earth) who is now a teacher without to a specific religion.  But he does quote from A Course in Miracles in his writings.  He believes that the Awakening is coming for more and more individuals, and he notes that he hears from many who have experienced Awakening.  They turn to Eckhart when they cannot understand their own experiences.

4 – Miracles

Miracles, a different type of communication, do show us the way when our understanding is limited.  We will be buoyed by miracles in a way that we miss if we try to depend upon ourselves alone.  We always make mistakes.  With miracles, a way is shown that will lead down the pathway of truth.

5 – Direct Revelation from God

Finally, we see direct revelation from God.  It is likely that ACIM is here speaking of the Awakening, though elsewhere Jesus speaks of occasional revelation that reveals the end (T16).

6 – This ACIM Passage One of the Best

Nowhere are there greater promises in A Course in Miracles than in this brief passage, quoted above.  It reveals the pathway from Holy Spirit to miracles to direct revelation.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would welcome Your involvement to bring me closer to Awakening.  I have long intuited the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and in recent times I have felt a inner assurance that may (or may not) be evidence of the Christ-consciousness that comes intermittently.  I would sustain the Self of form, the Christ-consciousness.  But You must show me how.  I turn to You in humble request today that I might use all that You grant to me in the service of Your cause for our world.

Be with me when I am tired today, when I do not feel Your presence.  And help me to relax into Your guiding care.  I trust You completely to lead me home, not through death, but through making everythin in this world fresh and clean.

Thank You for guiding me through another day.

Amen.

I Do Not Recognize God’s Gifts

ACIM Workbook Lesson 316 – for Saturday, November 12, 2011

Affirmation:  “All gifts I give my brothers are my own.”

“Father, I would accept Your gifts today.  I do not recognize them.  Yet I trust that You Who gave them will provide the means by which I can behold them, see their worth, and cherish only them as what I want.  (WB458)”

Reflections:

1 – “Perfectly Calm and Quiet”

Jesus says that where we are headed is to be “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time.  I have had a friend, a non-student of A Course in Miracles, question this.  Why would anybody want to be perfectly calm and quiet all the time?  My friend, I can speculate, believes that leaving out drama would not be a good thing.  (She was not specific.)

2 – Leave Out Drama

Yes is leaving out drama bad?  Isn’t it, after all, the drama that makes our lives turn full of conflict?

3 – Eckhart Tolle’s Response

Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now, A New Earth) says that he and his girlfriend do not have drama in their relationship.  (Eckhart is a spiritual teacher who has detailed his experience of Awakening at age 30, after years of deep depression and accompanying anxiety.)  I believe that as we come closer to God, we will become quieter.  We will not seek acclaim (an egoic notion) for ourselves.  We will be still.

4 – Gifts of God

Quiet and stillness are gifts of God.  He has many more gifts to give us as well, gifts specifically designed for what we really need and want.  Our desires are very personal, as our personalities are also different.  So no “one size fits all” in the universe.  Let us ask God today for the gifts that He has held in waiting for each of us, the gifts that will warm our hearts and give us the blessings, material and otherwise, that He has waiting for us.

5 – God Cares about Our Material Needs

It is a misreading of God to believe that He does not care about our material and/or physical needs.  They are as important as our emotional and spiritual needs.  He would answer both.  It is true that a big part of the answer may come from what we are guided to say and do by the Holy Spirit.  But the Holy Spirit does most of the work.  Our own way to God is easy and peaceful, effortless (an ACIM tenet).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would seek to recognize Your gifts today, knowing that I frequently am not able to understand and to appreciate those gifts as I should.  Help me to go as far toward understanding and appreciation as I can go today, given my spot on the pathway back to You.  I would drop drama from my list of emotions, as drama is frequently of the ego, and I would leave the ego behind.  Help me to be satisfied by the calm and quiet that only You can give.

Be with me today, as I seek to walk Your world in peace.  Be with me as I seek to understand what You would wish for me to have.  If I have material needs, help me to know what my part is in resolving this as a problem of mine.  Be with me through thick and thin, as I do know that You are.

Thank You for granting me the blessing of feeling Your presence.  You are all that I want.  You will see that everything that I need is graciously provided.  

Amen.

God Himself Shall Wipe Away All Tears

ACIM Workbook Lesson 301 – for Friday, October 28, 2011

Affirmation:  “And God Himself shall wipe away all tears.”

“Father, unless I judge I cannot weep.  Nor can I suffer pain, or feel I am abandoned or unneeded in the world.  This is my home because I judge it not, and therefore is it only what You will.  Let me today behold it uncondemned, through happy eyes forgiveness has released from all distortion.  Let me see Your world instead of mine.  And all the tears I shed will be forgotten, for their source is gone.  Father, I will not judge Your world.  (WB450)”

Reflections:

1 – Judging = Lose Our Way

Judging is one sure way to lose our way.  We can see the happy dreams of the Holy Spirit for years, even, and then drop into judging, and feel lost again.  We are not lost, actually; we never are.  But we will feel lost, and we will not feel the “felt presence of Being” (from Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now).

2 – No Weeping, Pain, Feeling Abandoned or Unneeded

This is a reassuring passage if we see that we cannot weep, suffer pain, feel abandoned or unneeded–unless we judge.  This statement seems almost too good to be true.

3 – Vow to Judge Nothing that Occurs

But try it out.  For one day, vow to judge nothing that occurs.  If we start to judge, we must say firmly (even shout) inwardly, “Stop!”  And watch to see if the day does not unfold better than any previous one in which judgment has gotten a toehold.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not judge today.  I know that I tend to judge when I am stressed–as I tend to get angry or to attack when in that same frame of mind.  All of this foolishness, and it is foolishness, is the extent–on any given day–that I have forgotten You, that I have let the ego rule again in my little world.  I would choose anew today, on this day that you warn me against judging.  The solution is always to allow my Guide, the Holy Spirit, to judge the right pathway for me to take.  His is also the means by which other people ought only to be judged.  It is never for me to do.  Help me to remember this truth wherever I walk today.

I would leave aside pain in all its forms.  I especially would leave aside anxiety, which is a particularly potent form of pain for me.  I would turn to You for the equanimity that allows a free and easy walk through this world.  

Help me to stay close to You all day long.  Thank You.

Amen.

Little Senseless Aims / Pointless Little Goals

ACIM Workbook Lesson 258 – for Thursday, September 15, 2011

Affirmation:  “Let me remember that my goal is God.”

“All that is needful is to train our minds to overlook all little senseless aims, and to remember that our goal is God.  His memory is hidden in our minds, obscured but by our pointless little goals which offer nothing, and do not exist.

“Our goal is but to follow in the way that leads to You.  We have no goal but this.  What could we want but to remember You?  What could we seek but our Identity?  (WB423)”

Reflections:

The ego would send us on imaginary journeys away from God to satisfy all manner of “senseless aims.”  But all of our needs are met when we are at home in God.  He is actually Who we have been searching, in vain, when we have sought substitutes in this world that our egos tempted us to own.  We have followed meandering routes away from God, believing that we have separated from Him.  We have, it is true, not been communicating with Him, and this, according to the Text, is a “most unnatural habit.”  We would change all of that nonsense as we seek to be at home in Him.  He will give us the real aims of our hearts.  He will give us his “felt presence” (a favorite phrase of Eckhart Tolle).

These goals that we have sought have actually been illusory nonsense.  We have never found anything that the ego prompted without paying for it with tears (a Text tenet).  Why continue along this pathway any longer?  Why not let go today?

Perhaps we are not sure that God is the only gift that we really want.  Perhaps we would try additional pathways, but to do so is to follow the ego’s mistaken bent.  God does not lead us down these illusory pathways; we do this to ourselves.  One of the most seminal tenets of ACIM is that we are doing this unto ourselves.  And much that we experience as a result is “distress based on error” (from the Text).

The great preoccupation of this world is to try to determine our identity, who we are.  We often think that we do not know ourselves.  This is actually the beginning of wisdom, as cited in the Text.  There is a lovely sequence of thoughts in the Text that ends with the desire of God that we say to Him that we do not know what we are.  We are then ready to open our minds to His revelation.  And revelation will occasionally reveal the end to us (we are told in the Text).  These glimpses of Awakening are evidence indeed that we are seeking the goal that God would have us seek, however often we are tempted to follow the errant pathways to the world’s goals.  The world has nothing to offer that we really want, and the sooner we recognize that, the sooner we will drop our defense of the ego.  This does not mean that we cannot be happy in this world.  ACIM would have us happy; indeed, repeatedly, happiness is seen as our function, and, as such, it is synonymous with forgiveness (also said to be our function).  These are goals in line with ACIM, and then we can know the Heaven on earth that we would all desire, if we were not so deluded as to fail to know how to find just that.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not follow senseless aims and try for pointless goals today.  Much that we seek in this world is pointless, and I sometimes seek the pointless just because it is so meaningless.  This is insanity of the ego, and I would leave that behind today.

I have spent years of my life bolstering the ego, all to no avail.  I know now that the ego is constantly being undone, that this is the way of the world.  The ego must be undone if we are to find a way that actually makes sense.  We need You today, as always–perhaps, today, more than usual.  When the ego calls to me, then I must be sure that I turn aside and seek Your presence instead.  Help me to seek Your presence in today’s chaotic world.

Amen.

Walking in the Real World with My Brother

ACIM Workbook Lesson 250 – for Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Affirmation:  “Let me not see myself as limited.”

“He is Your Son, my Father.  And today I would behold his gentleness instead of my illusions.  He is what I am, and as I see him so I see myself.  Today I would see truly, that this day I may at last identify with him.  (WB418)”

Reflections:

This prayer is another example of the idea that we are all One, including being One with God.  Perhaps we are forgiving of another to the extent that we identify with him or her (not stated explicitly in ACIM).  Certainly identifying with another is a sure way to invite intimacy, a term used often by Mari Perron, who scribed A Course of Love and authored The Given Self.  We need the intimacy that Mari extols, because otherwise our sense of separation from each other in this world, and perhaps our perceived separation from God only is accentuated.  As we have noted previously, we have not separated from God; we have simply made illusions and lived in an illusory world.  We would return home to the real world as soon as our learning can take us there.  (And A Course in Miracles is very helpful to returning us to the real world.)

The real world is not defined precisely in ACIM.  We are told that our stay in that “place” will be of short duration, that shortly after we perceive the real world, God will act to awaken us.  We will then not be identified with God (unless we are not drawn to stay on earth any longer), but we will recognize ourselves as His Sons and Daughters.  We will embody the Self that we have been meant to be all along, before a “tiny, mad idea” came along about which we “failed to laugh” (the quotations are from ACIM).  When the tiny, mad idea came along, we thought that we wanted to have a will different from God’s, and, while we could not actually separate from Him, we could imagine that we had.  That was the beginning of our insanity.  ACIM does not state precisely when in our history this occurred, but does used the symbolic Adam to illustrate.  This first man fell into a deep sleep, and ACIM notes that nowhere in the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible) is it said that he awoke.  There has been no comprehensive Awakening in all the eons since, but we may be on the brink of a breakthrough.

Eckhart Tolle, an enlightened teacher (The Power of Now and A New Earth), sees himself as at the epicenter of a new Awakening.  Those who sense that enlightenment (another term for Awakening) is upon them frequently contact Eckhart for counsel.  He is arguably the most visible example of an Awakened individual in our midst, at least in that he talks openly and writes often about how we too might have what he has.  He quotes from A Course in Miracles, but his pathway to Awakening was one of pain rather learning through rewards (as ACIM counsels).  Jesus tells us in ACIM that pain can bring only a temporary effect, and that the lasting comes through rewards.  But Jesus also recognizes that pain is part of the human condition, as he says that the threshold for pain may be high, but that sooner or later all will recognize that there is a better way.  (These are paraphrases from the Text.)

One of the inheritances of the Son or Daughter of God is trust.  It is the one trait on which all the rest are built (an idea from the Manual).  We need to trust our God to join us a we seek to leave illusions behind and to experience the real world, with Awakening promised soon to follow.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would notice only the gentleness that is in the Self that my brother has, the inner Self that is as You created him.  And I would see this gentleness in the real world, which I hope that he and I will share sooner rather than later.  Help us to be good to each other in our holy relationship.  May my most significant other love me as I love him.  May we be there for each other, both under Your loving gaze at all times.

I would find You inwardly.  Please help me to understand this fully, and to project the best of You that I can reach within.  When I project the best, my perception is cleansed, and then my brother and I walk into the sunlight always.  Thank You for the many blessings that are ours today.

Amen.

Fear Is Deception

ACIM Workbook Lesson 240 – for Sunday, August 28, 2011

Affirmation:  “Fear is not justified in any form.”

“Fear is deception.  It attests that you have seen yourself as you could never be, and therefore look upon a world which is impossible.  Not one thing in this world is true.  It does not matter what the form in which it may appear.  It witnesses but to your own illusions of yourself.  Let us not be deceived today.  We are the Sons of God.  There is no fear in us, for we are each a part of Love Itself.

“How foolish are our fears!  Would You allow Your Son to suffer?  Give us faith today to recognize Your Son, and set him free.  Let us forgive him in Your Name, that we may understand his holiness, and feel the love for him which is Your Own as well.  (WB412)”

Reflections:

So many of us are caught in fear.  It is the normal condition of mankind prior to seeing the light of salvation.  And fear may return even after experiences of being “saved,” though perhaps not of being Awakened.  Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now and A New Earth) declares that no thought has brought him pain since his Awakening (from a compact disk entitled, “Even the Sun Will Die”).

If this be true, perhaps all of us would wish for Awakening in great haste.  But the time of Awakening, ACIM says, is God’s Own choice.  Metaphorically, He will reach down and lift us up when we are ready.  We are prepare for this revelation by understanding the means of getting to this culmination (a Text tenet).  The means are carefully explained by Jesus in A Course in Miracles.  In the meantime, we may have instances of revelation that do not last.  But perhaps they are meant to point the way to what awaits us at the end of our journey (the “journey without distance”–a quotation from the Text).

We are Sons of God, so-called not because Jesus or God is sexist, but because the language of the sixties, when ACIM was channeled, included the feminine within the masculine.  Now we can readily say “Sons and Daughters” of God, and this will be more accepted by our culture.  When “Son” is capitalized, it means the Self that belongs to God in innocence.  It is not the little self that has been consumed by the ego.  We would leave the ego behind as we open to the God within.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would experience no fear today.  May I realize that the stress of daily living is actually a form of fear that what we find facing ourselves, or what we have just been through, is fearful in its essence.  We are afraid of being hurt by some circumstance, but it is usually a circumstance that we cannot control in its entirety.  May I turn over the day to the Holy Spirit, and may my daily stress be lessened by the guidance that He gives me.

Be with me today as I pray for a relinquishment of the fear that I once knew.  I am thankful that stress in my life is currently reduced, and I pray that this circumstance will continue.  May I do nothing to increase the stress that I must face.  And since I know that projection makes perception, I have it in my power to see that the circumstances that I face do not make me fearful.  I have this power, but I do not always use it, because I am fallible.  Guide me, therefore, as I walk the pathways of this earth.

Amen.

The “Felt Presence” of God

ACIM Workbook Lesson 232 – for Saturday, August 20, 2011

Affirmation:  “Be in my mind, my Father, through the day.”

“Be in my mind, my Father, when I wake, and shine on me throughout the day today.  Let every minute be a time in which I dwell with You, and let me not forget my hourly thanksgiving that You have remained with me, and always will be there to hear my call to You and answer me.  As evening comes, let all my thoughts be still of You and of Your Love.  And let me sleep sure of my safety, certain of Your care, and happily aware I am Your Son.  (WB408)”

Reflections:

1 – Joy in Spending a Day with God

This is an especially lovely description of the joy that awaits us when we spend a day with God.

2 – Eckhart Tolle

The “felt presence of Being,” described by Eckhart Tolle, seems especially relevant here.  Eckhart is a current spiritual teacher not associated with one particular tradition, but her quotes of A Course in Miracles upon occasion in his books (The Power of Now and A New Earth are primary).  He experienced Enlightenment spontaneously around the age of 30, and eventually became well-recognized for his teaching.  The “felt presence” is the sense that we can have of “God with us,” not sometimes, but all the time.  It assumes that dark nights of the soul are not being experienced currently.

3 – Turn to God

If we turn to God in prayer or “communing” (as the Text calls prayer), then we will know what the prayer, quoted above, is all about.  There are great practical benefits to living this way.  We stroll through our days in flow, with an inner sense of what to do next.  We are not left to our own devices.  We live in grace, and by “grace” is meant the good will of God as our Heavenly Father.

4 – Follow Guidance Moment-by-Moment

Following guidance on a moment-to-moment basis is extremely rewarding.  We must be flexible enough to easily change directions if we move awry.  We must also be willing, as ACIM says, of starting the day over, if we make mistakes in attitude that spoil the good feelings.  But, Jesus says, there are obvious advantages to starting each day right in terms of saving time, and time is an early emphasis in ACIM.

4 – Let’s Go to Sleep with Peace on Our Eyelids

When the day is over, a day given to God, we go to sleep with peace on our eyelids.  We have done all that we can.  We let God handle the nighttime.  And then we realize, just before falling asleep, that a one day, just over and spent with God, is the best assurance that the next day is going to be good also.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would spent this day with you, feeling Your presence as I go about my activities.  I would feel anxiety for nothing, as You have assured me I need not.  I would begin the day with a thought of you, walk in peace with You as the day unfolds, and go to sleep, sure that You are still awake and keeping me safe.

Help me always to thank You for Your attention to me.  I never have to feel along.  Not only are there mighty companions surrounded me, companions I cannot see, but You are within me–directing the vision that I have of what surrounds me, outside of my body.   May all of my sights today be benign.

Amen.

My Untouched Identity

ACIM Workbook Lesson 229 – for Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Affirmation:  “Love, Which created me, is what I am.”

“Father, my thanks to You for what I am; for keeping my Identity untouched and sinless, in the midst of all the thoughts of sin my foolish mind made up.  And thanks to You for saving me from them.  Amen.  (WB406)”

Reflections:

This prayer affirms that our Identity in safe in God.  Elsewhere we read that our Self is innocent, that this Self never separated from God, and even now this Self is at home with Him.  We have departed into feverish dreams (a Text tenet), and in our misery and pain, we have realized that there is another way to live.  We do not have to learn through pain (a Text tenet), but, being human, we often do.  Eckhart Tolle learned this way, before his spectacular Awakening around the age of 30 (see The Power of Now; this blog has a review of the book).

We know that we do not have to learn through pain, though.  If we are flexible enough, we will learn through rewards.  Jesus says that learning through rewards is more lasting, and that pain can induce only a temporary effect (Text tenets).  We can ask today that we learn through rewards.  And it will be so.  The power of our word is that great.  God would not have us suffer; that is our contribution to living in this world.  And the world is very weary and worn now (a Text tenet), and our brothers and sisters in it are very dejected.  We need to free ourselves so that we can better help others.  And we need to free ourselves time, which miracles can do.  They collapse time, making changes that might have otherwise taken thousands of years (Text tenets).  Jesus is in charge of miracles, and we are asked to let him be in charge.  Consciously selected miracles on our part can be misguided (a Text tenet).

We offer gratitude to God, not because He has an ego to accept it (He doesn’t, which is a Text tenet), but because we need to feel that gratitude.  We will be the better for giving thanks.  It will open our minds to accept more blessings.  And the blessings will overflow.  A single purpose, consistently followed, will lead to miracles beyond our greatest dreams.  And these will be something more than the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (a quotation from the Workbook).  These will indeed be the forerunners of Awakening.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

It helps me to read today that my Identity is untouched.  This helps me to understand how I can be innocent, even though I have made many mistakes over my life.  Help me to forgive myself, especially for the mistakes which cannot now be changed in any good way.  Help me to know that You do not condemn me for my mistakes; You simply love me as Your child.  For that I am blessed beyond anything that I can say about it.

Help me to lead a day free of conflict, attack, anger.  In the troubled world that we inhabit today, help my brothers and sisters to live safe and secure in Your love.  May they know that regardless of how miserable the world might become, the world can never depart fully from You.  You set the limits on how far we could stray.  And we will all find our home in You eventually.  May that time be sooner rather than later.

Amen.

God’s Peace = the Only Peace

ACIM Workbook Lesson 220 – for Monday, August 8, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.”

“There is no peace except the peace of God.  (WB397)”

Reflections:

God is primary to our life, even when we do not recognize this truth.  All of us want peace, even when drama seems to be at the center of our life.  This drama means that we do not recognize our real desire.  And God’s peace is the only true peace that we have.

The “peace that passeth understanding” (from the New Testament) is surely the peace of God.  What else could it be?  There are peak experiences there for all of us who ask for this peace.  And eventually the peace of God (upon our Awakening, or Enlightenment) will be a constant state for us.  Eckhart Tolle, in a CD entitled “Even the Sun Will Die,” says that since his Awakening, no thought has made him unhappy.  It was quite different before his sudden awakening at the age of 30.  He was constantly depressed and carried with him the ever-present anxiety of depression.

But, before Awakening, we can still know many moments, however fleeting, of this peace.  We need to cast aside all attack and anger, not by stuffing it down deep inside ourselves, but by genuine forgiveness of the wrongs that we think we have done or have had done to ourselves.  Forgiveness is the way of ACIM to all the great boons that await us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would find peace today.  I know ahead of my day that there will be times when I will be tempted to get upset.  I may find that this undercurrent of stress will try to come out as attack or anger.  But I would have none of that today.  I would turn inward and experience the peace that only You can give.  I would turn to You when tempted to attack because of my stressful inclinations.

May all of those with whom I interact today see a person who is poised and serene and secure in a deep faith.  May I serve the individuals in my circle in the way that You deem best.  If the day turns fretful, may I remember, as often as possible, the fact that the only peace is the peace that You grant.  And this peace is always a possibility when I let You influence my mind and heart.

Amen.