Tag Archives: egotism

Prayer

female impressionistA Course of Love began with an injunction to pray.  A Course in Miracles began with a definition of miracles.  Both are the same.  Prayer and the art of thought are the same.  This should serve to make it clear that the request I have made of you is once again far more broad and generalizable than your old habit of thought has led you to see.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 4.3)”

Affirmation:  “May I pray often and deeply today.”

Reflections:

1 – Speaking Abstractly

These frequent statements by Jesus in A Course of Love that two phrases mean the same can be confusing.  He is speaking from an abstract basis.  We are still thinking concretely, specifically.  We need to change that, so that the egoic mind does not gain a toehold again.

2 – Choose a Miracle

The request that Jesus refers to is his injunction to choose a miracle.  He is encouraging us to see the broader implications of miracles, the miracles that are present all the time in everyday life.  When we pray, we receive miracles as a matter of course.  When we employ the “art of thought,” then we are praying by definition.  The art of thought is the abstract, generalizable way of thinking and speaking.  It is not something foreign to us any longer.

3 – Drop the Ego

Our old habit of thought was informed by the ego.  And we would not have our new habit of thought unless we drop the ego.  Let us all choose to fail to reinforce anything that smacks of egotism.  We will know disaster unless we drop the ego, and we will know peace when we have done so.  Any pleasure is short-lived when it involved the ego.  And we pay for that pleasure with tears of despair.

4 – Pray without Ceasing

May we remember to pray as we go about our day.  It is the most satisfying way to live.  The Bible enjoins us to “pray without ceasing,” and many of us find this injunction beyond us.  But we don’t have to be foxhold pray-ers either.  We can pray often and deeply, and the blessings that will be ours will surprise even ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You that prayer has meant so much to me throughout my life.  It is the way that I go to sleep at night.  It is the way that I calm anxieties.  And it the way that my entreaties reach Your ears.

Be with me today so that I do not deep into worries.  Prayer heals that tendency in me.  And I thank You for it.  Fear and worry are of the ego, and, as I have said to You many times, I would quit the ego immediately.

Help me to reach out to others today, to answer whatever needs are mine to answer.  Be with all other whom I touch in any way today.  And may the day go well.  Thank You.

Amen.

Overcome Depression

“Impossible learning goals lead to depression.  This is why we must learn anew with a mind Green-font-b-Wheat-b-font-font-b-Field-b-font-with-Cypress-II-By-Van Goghand heart joined in wholeheartedness.  (A Course of Love, 31.13)”

Affirmation:  “May I avoid depression today by not seeking impossible learning goals.”

Reflections:

1 – Egoic Goals

We have all too often sought to learn things that are impossible for us to learn.  These were goals of the ego.

2 – A Better Way

But Jesus assures us that there is a better way.  We do not have to get depressed, trying to learn something strange that is not “for us” at all, for we do want to leave the ego behind.  The ego always leads to depression, for it is an idle thought that is not really idle.  There are no idle thoughts, for all lead to form at some level (a tenet of A Course in Miracles).

3 – Wholeheartedness

May we seek the wholeheartedness that gives heart and mind in conjunction with each other.  May our minds be so cleansed of egoic attitudes that we can listen to our hearts, and then we can invite the mind back into the equation with a major welcome.

4 – Heart Knows

The passage for today gives a major theme of A Course of Love.  It is not a hard theme to learn.  We know that the heart “knows” in a way that the mind does not.  And we would be wise to listen to our hearts in lieu of convoluted thoughts of our minds.  When the mind is cleansed, then is time enough to welcome it back, with great joy.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not court depression by seeking to learn things that are impossible to learn.  I would forsake egoic goals forever, and I would take a stance today to do so.  Depression is major life problem for many people, and it just may be that many of us thrive–or fail to thrive–because we are ego-oriented.  The ego is always being undone.  It is always that way.  For every up moment, there is a down one, and the down ones ultimately predominate.  I would be free of this foolishness forever.

Thank You for leading me to understand that the egoic goals that I courted in my youth and early adulthood were false thinking.  I did not know any better.  But now I do.  And I pray to You that I will not let myself be misled by a part of myself–the ego–that refuses to wither away.  I do not need the ego to live a fully satisfactory life, and, indeed, I cannot kowtow to the ego and still lead a satisfactory life.  The ego as defined here is a false way of viewing life, not the organizing principle that another definition would have it be.

May I just turn aside from ego ideals.  May I not actively resist them, for the ego become strong in strife.  Be with me as I seek to take my place as an equal among peers.  There is no need to seek for superiority, for superiority is a false value.  All talents will one day be shared equally among Your children.

Amen.

Love in a Loveless World

“What could cause you to yearn for love in a loveless world?  By what means do you continue to recognize that love is at the heart of all things even while it is not valued here?. . .[L]ove is what you are as well as what you strive for.  Love is means and end.  (A Course of Love, 1.16)”

Affirmation:  “Love is means and end.”

Reflections:

1 – This World Has Nothing to Offer

This passage about a “loveless world” is well suited to a comparison to what A Course in Miracles says:  that the world has nothing to offer.  And if we recognize, as A Course of Love seems to say, that love is all that we really want, then the two works are in agreement with each other.

2 – Why Is Love Not Valued Here?

Why is love not valued here?  The reign of the ego, which borders, in part, on the egotistical.  And love can never be egotistical.  If we try to compete with each other, we will just make enemies, even though, in the short run, we may seem to get ahead of our brothers and sisters.  Cooperation is a much more efficacious way to live.  And cooperation is one of the attributes of love (an interpretation, not stated in ACOL).

3 – We Remember God

We yearn for love in a loveless world because on some level we are remembering God and all that He brings to us.  This is the key to knowing that God exists, this remembering unconsciously and sometimes consciously.  We recognize, however dimly, that in the ancient past there was a place that we loved and where we were loved.  This before we allowed separation to enter our minds.  And we will know this place, this Heaven, again, once we and all of our brothers and sisters have been brought home again.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Even in this world we can know love, but not when we fail to seek it out.  And we do fail to seek out love when we are trapped by the ego.  Let us know that this world of materialism does in fact offer nothing that we really want.  But may we live in the abundance of God’s blessings, which are intangibles of peace, harmony, tranquility, joy, stillness, quiet, etc.

We know that You want our material needs met as well as our spiritual needs.  You know that we pray for the same, but we often, foolishly, pray for the material when the spiritual is what our heart longs for.  Our heart knows better than our limited mind what will make us happy.  May we pray for that which will give us lasting joy, lasting peace, today.  May we go to sleep tonight knowing that our work is not in vain, that we are learning even as we seem to suffer or to be in pain.  We will be taken care of, though we need to pray for the right direction for our efforts.  May we thank You that You are guiding us every step of the way.  We need only listen, and Your guidance comes through to us.

Then we are ready for a new day’s dawning, a better day than the one previously spent.

Amen.

Overcome Misery / Find Lasting Happiness

“‘Seek but do not find’ remains this world’s stern decree, and no one who pursues the world’s goals can do otherwise.  (M-13.5)”

Affirmation:  “I would seek and find, not the reverse.”

Reflections:

1 – We Find Only to Lose

We do not ever really “find” anything permanent in this world, when we are following this world’s dictates.  We find only to lose, later on–sometimes immediately, sometimes delayed.  Does this make any sense?  Would we follow the world’s dictates when we are sure to be losers in the process?

2 – Peace, Joy, Harmony, Tranquility

I think not.  We need to ask for the intangibles of God–the peace, joy, harmony, tranquility–and we will be richly rewarded.  We will know happiness, lasting happiness, for the first time indeed.  And happiness, according to A Course in Miracles, is a laudable goal.

3 – Egotism Leads to Misery

The ego is mixed up in this confusion.  Following the world’s dictates really means seeking for that which is egoistic.  And we know, by now, where that leads.  Straight to misery.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would find happiness in my daily round today.  I would keep in mind what You have led me to know:  the solution is always with the problem.  When I tell myself this, my mid calms down, and I can think–not worry.  And then the answers come.  May I live out this understanding in all that I do and say and even think today.

I would not be miserable, which I view as actually an affront to You.  You have should me much, and would I reject that knowledge in a low point of mind?  Emotions play tricks on us all too often, and I would choose the harmony that only Love can give.  Help me to be consistent today in my good humor.  Help me find time to laugh, to enjoy Your world.

Thank You.

Amen.