Tag Archives: elevated Self of form

Thought of Love in Form

You are here to remember that you are the thought of Love in form. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 59)

Allow God to live through us without restriction. He is doing so, of course, but our little or personal self can mess up the loveliest reality. Living in illusion, in the dream of a world that doesn’t really exist, we are trapped in matter that seems to hold us firm. But this way of viewing our lives is so defeatist. We are not trapped in anything when we let go and allow the Higher Power (think God) to have His way with us. Until that time, we make a thousand inroads into oblivion, lamenting our very existence on earth.

We are in form, and when we live with this form, we ultimately become the elevated Self of form (as A Course of Love says). We become this when we have allowed Christ-consciousness to spread throughout our holy minds. Our hearts will guide our minds to this better place. And the heart knows only Love. And Love is of God.

The way back is effortless. Sure, we don’t believe this now, but after Christ-consciousness has transported us to a new reality, we will believe it.

Allow God to make this difference in our lives today.

The Way Will Be Clear as Day

“What then is the call to creation that has been spoken of? This is the acceptance of the new you—acceptance that you are going beyond simple recognition and acceptance of the Self as God created the Self—to the living of this Self in form. This is an acceptance that recognizes that while the Self that God created is eternal and the self of form as ancient as the sea and stars, the elevated Self of form is new and will create a new world.” (ACOL, D:5.15)

The theology of A Course of Love includes the idea that there is a Self apart from our bodily form on earth, that this Self is part of unity and has heretofore been eclipsed by the little or personal self that embodies an ego-oriented form. Now that Self, who dwells within each of us (and every living thing) is being let out to play. We are no longer struggling against the “reality” (actually illusion) that a egoic personality sought to use to make life bearable. We have let go of the ego (as we learned from yesterday’s quotation), and we are inviting the Self to truly occupy our form.

We are inviting an “elevated Self of form.” Elsewhere Jesus tells us that the Self that occupies form will never be all of us, but I interpret this to mean that we will understand the larger Self, the one who doesn’t occupy form, in a mystical sense. Our body is like a dot on an expanse of white space, with the white space between everything that exists in unity, especially including the unembodied Self.

These descriptions get tricky, because nothing can really articulate what and how the true Self is in the cosmos. But we do know, and it is summarized in this quotation, that we are about something new, a newly created Self of form. That doesn’t have to mean that form is “real” (though some readers of ACOL see it that way). I view the non-dualistic universe of A Course in Miracles to be continuing in the exposition of Jesus in ACOL. How might we imagine otherwise, when ACOL is stated to be a “continuation” of ACIM?

Again and again Jesus returns to the idea of a new world, a newly created world. Obviously some of us will only change the world by our thoughts and actions, but others will bypass changing the world in favor of creating something new. And this something new is what Jesus is really after. What might such a world look like? Let day flow into day, guidance inform our every move, and we will live into this new reality. We don’t have to “do” anything by way of planning or conjecturing. The way will be clear as day, and we will wonder why we wondered about the means previously.

Prayer

Thank you for this joy that overwhelms me even as the rain comes cascading down on this warm winter day. Jesus, I have sensed, has been near to me as I have dialogued with him in my journal. Thank You for pointing out this means to me. I know that some of what I write is my own imagination, but that is how You speak to me. I can still make mistakes in comprehending, but I hope not many.

Help me to do my part in the new world that we will all be creating. Don’t let my feet of clay intrude on what could be a wonderful future.

Amen.

Self & the New Elevated Self of Form

“This is not meant to convey any division between the Self and the elevated Self of form, but to demonstrate that there is a difference in form between the Self and the elevated Self of form. The Self was and will always remain more than the body. The body, however, is also newly the Self. The body is also, newly, one body, one Christ.” (ACOL, D:3.18)

The Self of form occupies a body, but the Self is larger than just what we know on earth. And this One Self, of which we all occupy, mystically, the same One, is the Christ-Self. In the largest sense, this all-encompassing Self is composed of God, for there is no division in the universe. It is all God-stuff.

Jesus hopes that all of us will come into our own sooner rather than later, that we will achieve Christ-consciousness, and with this, the elevated Self of form, the entity that occupies a body in this world. This elevated Self of form is new, in that the world has never had a comprehensive Awakening. Previously, we had to die to this world and emerge on the Other Side to know more of what the cosmos offered. We knew, after death, things that now we will be able to know while still in a body, in form. But this elevated Self of form, though able to access the mystical One, the Self that is out of form, will never occupy all that we are. Our Self is larger than life on earth, larger than the body that we occupy.

In another sense, we need to come to realize that the elevated Self whom we are is shared with our brothers and sisters. God does not subdivide. The Christ-Self is One, not a myriad of little Selves that in any way at all stay separate from each. There is not separation any longer (and there never was, in truth, ever any separation at all). We speak, therefore, of the Self in the singular, even though it is mystically shared with everyone. It is our bodies that appear separate to our eyes, and this truth can make the truth of the One seem confusing. If we don’t consider that we are delving into mystical truth.

“The Self was and will always remain more than the body.” Yes! So life continues, unabated, on other planes and in other existences in the cosmos. In our limited way, these other planes are closed to us in a very real sense, but if we take to heart the message in today’s quotation, we can know that we cannot see with physical eyes all that exists. The physical universe is one place for a particular wave of energy, but there are other waves of energy that we cannot see.

If we take to heart this message, we will be warmed by it. We will know that we in our essence are more than we can see, that there is a part of us that is apart from this world. But this part, we can intuit, communicates with us in ways that we don’t understand. All of us have experienced intuition, and it is quite possible that this method of communication emanates from the larger Self, the one beyond this world.

Commune with the larger Self today. It is truly our link to God Himself. Though it is a mistake to think of “parts” of God, we can use language loosely to say that the Self, outside form, is our part of God.

Prayer

Help me to learn through communing with the part of my Self who does not live on earth. I would know more of You, and this is how I will come to know more of You. All if composed of You, of necessity the All IS You. Help me to wrap my mind and heart around this concept.

The way back is not far. When these matters tease me out of thought, I know that I am getting close to You, close to Your Essence. Thank You.

Amen.

Retaining Hope of Healing

“Learn this lesson well, for herein lies the cure to all disease and the hope of all healing. While the body seems to tell you what you feel and bid you act in accordance with its feelings, how can this be so? The body by itself is neutral. But as long as you attribute the body with bringing you pleasure, the body will bring you pain as well. You cannot choose one without the other, because the choice is the same. The body is a tool made for your use in maintaining the illusion of your separation.” (ACOL, C:10.1)

In reality, the body is a communication device. In illusion, it is the home of our (illusory) separation from God. The body is neutral, in that it is not supposed to feel well or ill, just to exist as communication in our world of other bodies. A Course in Miracles says that we will know that we have succeeded when the body doesn’t feel well or ill, that is simply IS. A Course of Love, in this passage, says the same thing. We can have healing of our aches and pains whenever we want, once we heal the separation by opening up to the Christ within. Our real Self.

We don’t really believe these assertions of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, because the illusory body seems very real to us. We prick our finger, and we bleed (and we hurt). Does this mean anything? The illusion is very vivid to us; that is all. We are living in the illusion, and so feeling well or ill just exists in that illusion. But feeling well or ill, in the body, doesn’t exist in true reality. And so the aches and pains that we experience mean nothing in the end. They are nothingness itself.

If we want healing from our suffering, we must welcome the Self from deep within us. We must walk into true reality as our real Selves, our Christ Selves. We must not ask for complete understanding of this miracle, for we cannot comprehend all that will await us when we know Christ-consciousness. We probably can’t believe that healing will always occur in every situation, even then. But there will be healing, even if there are lingering symptoms. Sometimes it is an emotional healing, sometimes a physical. But healing is certain. The body remains a communication device only.

Will the body be only a communication device when we occupy the elevated Self of form? That truly remains to be seen, because this would require that we predict the future, and not even Jesus in A Course of Love will do that. We will be in a new era when there are many of us who inhabiting elevated forms. And we will write a new and different future.

For now, while in separation, we feel the hurts. For the future, healed of separation, we will recognize that the body is neutral, and we won’t ask that it save us from a stubbed toe or a hurting knee. We will understand that these things just do not matter. Our body remains a communication device only, until that great day when we have walked into the elevated Self of form. Then all bets are off as to what will happen.

Jesus Points toward a Truly Spectacular Future

“This reality begins with awareness of what is beyond body and mind, form and time. It proceeds to this awareness being accepted, adopted as an ability, and then to becoming your new identity. It proceeds to the transformation we have spoken of, to the act of becoming the elevated Self of form.” (ACOL, Dialogues, 14.15)

The elevated Self of form is part of our new inheritance from God. What does it mean? We live in Christ-consciousness, in peace and love, in the House of Truth, in the same physical structures that we have called home during the period of the ego. These bodies become somewhat transformed, though, for we are encouraged to believe that they will be less prone to illness. We will be living better, without stress, and this goes a long way toward ensuring that we live comfortably in our form, our physical bodies.

We can choose to move into a reality that knows no bounds, all within the physical body. We can choose it for eternity if we wish; Jesus makes this assertion (in slightly different words). Not all of us would choose to live in physical bodies for eons, but there is that possibility. It is a new choice, a choice blessed by God, to know physicality without the false steps the ego led us down.
Jesus says that he doesn’t know what this future will bring. He doesn’t have those answers, because probable futures differ, and he has set his mind in A Course of Love not to be predictive.

At least as long as life holds for us, we ought to be glad of our physicality. It was a new choice, and now we are led to understand that we can not only maintain, but also sustain, Christ-consciousness in our physical bodies. The pages of the future that we will write will be all new. It is indeed a truly spectacular future that Jesus points us toward.

The Elevated Self of Form Knows Now What Previously Was Only Known in the After-Life

“But I tell you truly; it is no different than the time that is upon you right now. The after-life has simply been a time of increased choice because it has been a time of increased awareness. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 5.13)”

1 – Jesus
Jesus is here saying that we can know in the elevated Self of form those things that formerly we could only know after death, on the Other Side (“the after-life”).

2 – Death

Now we can have this awareness without crossing the barrier of death. What a lovely thought for those of us who have always had lots of curiosity about the true nature of reality.

3 – A Knowing

Enjoying the knowing that comes to us is a great boon. We need not fret and struggle so, but rest in the knowledge (and it is knowledge) that all is well. What happens is meant to happen.

4 – Knowledge

As we move into sustaining the elevated Self of form, we will know many things, rather than perceive many things. We will also know that we know. This new time is a time of increased certainty. We do not have to wait to know much; we are here imbedded in a course of study that assures us that our egos are gone, and that we are in an in between state that will soon be merged with a state of Christ-consciousness. This, at this point in A Course of Love.

5 – Christ-consciousness

Know that Christ-consciousness is not a change at all, but much more a new awareness of knowing. Because we are listening to Jesus and following his Way, the transition will be smooth and gentle. That is a great blessing, because previously many individuals went through much turmoil at the time of transitioning to Awakening. But we are not hurled into reality; we are carried each step of the way. And more and more of us are experiencing the new reality.

6 – Home

Be assured today that we can all find our way back home, and soon. We do not have to wait long. Be careful, though, of affirming Christ-consciousness until enough time has passed that we will be certain that this is not just a glimpse of Awakening, but a sustained state of being. It is wise to keep one’s own counsel in these matters, because many there are who do not understand at all. Others do not recognize miracles for what they are, and the miracle of Awakening, maybe least of all. Many do not even know yet the possibility of this blessing.

7 – Transition

Just walk easily in our world, glad that the transition, when it comes, has actually come. Keep your own counsel. Be restrained. The time of Christ is upon us, and we would be wise to follow the pathway pointed out by A Course of Love. Of course, there are other pathways for people who have not chosen Jesus has their guide. But if you are reading this, still, you have chosen Jesus as your guide in life. And he guides well. Listen, and be reassured that all is well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I rest in certainty that the after-life will be something which I will enjoy tremendously. But let me not live in longing for that which is ahead. May I live in greater awareness and greater choice today, in this world, as well. May I enjoy the real world that shows before my eyes as I let illusions, the dream in which I am caught, dissipate.

Thank You for the greater awareness and greater choice for today that You have already granted me. May my gratitude color the interactions that I have with others today.

Be with me today to help me to overcome those aspects of my personality which I feel still hold me back. I would walk gently, avoiding anger. I would be grateful for all blessings, eliminating attack. I would seek beyond perception to a knowing about ultimate reality. These are the things that are on my mind and in my heart today. Help my wholeheartedness to effect a cure from undesirable traits. And thank You.

Amen.

True Vision Is Seeing with the Expectation of Revelation

“. . .[T]rue vision is seeing relationship and union. It is the opposite of seeing with the eyes and the attitude of separation. It is seeing with an expectation first and foremost of revelation. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 2.32)”

1 – ACIM

In A Course in Miracles, Jesus assures us that true vision does not have anything to do with the vision that our eyes have, or the world that our eyes behold. True vision sees beyond the illusion that is this world. It is an internal concept that one can enjoy when he or she has left behind the belief in separation from God as well as separation from our brothers and sisters.

2 – ACOL

A Course of Love, as we have repeatedly described, is based in large part on this theme of relationship and union (often called “unity and relationship”). The words are repeated so often that perhaps we lose sight of their true meaning, but a simple return to what the words themselves mean can set our minds and hearts at rest. We are in relationship to the All, which includes our brothers and sisters as well as God, but this All is actually One (i.e., unity). This easy definition will go a long way toward helping us to understand that Jesus is not asking us to believe or to live the impossible. We can live in unity and relationship, and indeed we will want to do so. Only in that way can we come to know the fullest meaning of salvation, the fullest extent of Awakening to Christ-consciousness.

3 – Perception

We all too often depend on our perception to determine our reactions in this world. This is discussed at length in A Course in Miracles. But we are also told in ACIM that projection makes perception. And who would want to live a projection from ourselves that shows us an evil and suffering world? We will not be blind to suffering when we move beyond seeing in this way, but we will see the larger picture–almost miraculously–and in no way will be tempted to blame our God for this state of affairs. Just as Jesus promises, we can know “pure joy” and “limitless release” on a daily basis. These two phrases can be the way that we view this world, as Jesus has bade us to do constantly. Only then will we know the peace that is held out to us in both ACIM and ACOL.

4 – Revelation

We want revelation to review the end to us, and this glimpse does frequently come when we study A Course in Miracles. Jesus indicates that revelation will occasionally reveal the end to us, but to get there the means are needed—and those means are being carefully explained in ACIM. Revelation is intensely personal and cannot be meaningfully communicated. The revelation cannot be “proved” to anybody (nor would we want to do so). God uses our inner sight to appeal to that which we can understand, said in a way that only we could understand.

5 – Visions

Visions (hallucinations) are miracles, not revelation, because visions are perceptual. Knowledge is revelation. This distinction between perception and knowledge is given repeatedly in A Course in Miracles. Our Guide, the Holy Spirit, and God Himself give knowledge, for knowledge is only of God.

6 – Ask of the Holy Spirit / Christ Self

What would we like to know that we don’t? Ask questions of the Holy Spirit, and He will answer. He will never leave us bereft. We have a Guide Who does not fail. In this era, we are bade to ask questions of the inner Christ Self. So there is a progression between A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

7 – Magic

Our own attempts at magic are pitiful in comparison to the knowledge that we will get by asking of the right Source. We put our faith in pills, incantations, affirmations—and some of these are good, at least some of the time. But we don’t get the full benefit of God’s grace until we put our faith in Him and Him alone—and His Communicator, the Holy Spirit.

8 – Our Lives Smooth Out

Then our lives smooth out, and all goes quite a bit better. Maybe, first, just a little bit better, but this little bit expands as our dedication increases. And when we do the Workbook lessons of A Course in Miracles, our minds change to accommodate the knowledge that God wills for all of us.

9 – Personal Interpretation

I see the Bible, A Course in Miracles, and A Course of Love, as progressions to match our culture of the time. God’s revelation in the Christian orientation is one way that we find our way home. Jesus is the leader whom we have chosen. There are other ways for people not receptive to Jesus, but his way is our chosen way, and in this we can rest secure. We will find our way home, and soon. In ACIM and ACOL Jesus is leading us, step by step, to Awakening to Christ-consciousness. In the latter part of ACOL, we see this as the elevated Self of form, the form that we occupy in this physical world. And we need to sustain this form, a feat that Jesus declares has never been achieved in this world.

10 – Time of Christ

Times are different now. We are living in the time of Christ, and light floods our planet. We will find our way home, and soon.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

You would have me to experience true vision–the revelation of a new world that only You can bring to me. In revelation, You reach down to me, and You bless me. I ask for this blessing today.

Be with me as I go about our sometimes woeful world. May I keep my head in the clouds, but my feet on the ground, grounded in You.

Amen.

Finding Inner Vision

1 – Day 27

“You have been asked to let go of uncertainty, not certainty. You have been assured of a certainty you never before believed you were capable of. This certainty is beginning to form within you but will not come into its fullness except through experience. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 27)”

2 – Guidance

We will reach certainty about what we say and do only when we have consistently followed guidance. This can be hard to do, especially when we are having a bad day, when we are overwrought, or when we are being stubborn. We may rebel against the intuitive nudges that come to us. And rebelling is never a good idea.

3 – Uncertainty

We need to let go of uncertainty. We need to walk surely and easily in this world. And we will when we let the Holy Spirit (as A Course in Miracles says) or the Christ Self, within (as A Course of Love says) take precedence in our lives. If we believe that the Holy Spirit is our best guidance, we have not yet moved into the time of Christ. And this is OK. Many enlightened people still depend on the Holy Spirit.

4 – Holy Spirit

There is an implication in ACOL that the world’s people will have to “grow out of” the time of the Holy Spirit. We who were born in the time of the Holy Spirit will, in the natural course, leave this world. And then all people in the Twentieth-First Century will have been born in the time of Christ. This may or may not make any difference to us, but it will make a huge difference in the way that the world works. We need to contemplate moving into the time of Christ, asking our inner guidance if we are ready for this.

5 – Certainty

To reach certainty is to be consistently following guidance. Of course, I believe that the Holy Spirit knows on any given day whether or not we will be rebellious. And He tailors His guidance appropriately. We can’t fool Him, though we can fool ourselves.

6 – External Life

“Experiencing life without the insight of spirit was to experience external life. . . .Most of you have had well-examined external lives. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 27)”

7 – Well-Examined

All of us lived for years, probably, without benefit of the Holy Spirit, or the inner spirit. We didn’t know any other way to live. But we analyzed our lives quite a bit, especially when we embarked on the spiritual pathway. That leads to the “well-examined external lives” that Jesus speaks of here.

8 – Decisions

We have previously been experiencing external life, making decisions that would fall in line with what we were experiencing externally. Now the time is ripe to look within before making decisions. The inner life prompts much better, and we start having a rich internally-focused life. The life that we live will smooth out accordingly.

9 – Coming to Know

“Coming to know if not an aspect of the mind alone. It is not an aspect of the spirit alone. Coming to know is a quality of inner-sight, of wholehearted human experience combined with spiritual experience. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 27)”

10 – Inner-Sight

We want to know, of course—all of us. And we will really know only when we have inner-sight, experiencing the world while living with the spiritual understandings that we have come to have through experience. Here Jesus is talking about combining the mind and heart to be wholehearted in experience. This was a major emphasis of the first volume of A Course of Love.

11 – Internal and External

“To be able to hold onto, apprehend, and carry with you the ability to experience both levels of experience, the internal and the external, the form and the content, the human and the divine, is to elevate the self of form, or, in other words, to be what you have always been: Whole. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 27)”

12 – Elevated Self of form

A central theme in ACOL, the elevated Self of form is what Jesus wants for all of us, the elevated Self of form sustained. Many have had glimpses of this Awakening, but Jesus says in ACOL that nobody has sustained this. And he needs sustaining. We can reach the sustenance of Christ-consciousness if we refrain from judging and if we lose all fear (from the Treatise on the New). A tall order, but easy if we have the grace from God that calls these traits forth.

13 – Judging and Fear

Certainly returning judgment and fearful thoughts will both abort the Awakening experience. How do we live without judgment and in a relaxed state that eliminates fear and anxiety?

14 – What We Do

Just being aware of the pitfalls will make a huge difference. But grace is the Answer to completely foiling these negative states of mind and heart. God’s grace in our lives. And we cannot totally control this, even though we know that His Will for us is Christ-consciousness, a sustained, elevated Self of physical form in this world. Knowing that the natural state of human beings is Awakening helps a great deal. When Christ-consciousness comes, we are not doing anything special, but are merely moving into the realm that has always been there for us.

15 – Life

“Life, your humanity, is the variability. Spirit, your oneness, is the constant. Life is oneness extended into separation and variability through experience. The elevated Self of form will be the expression of new life lived within the constant of wholeness but continuing to experience the variability of separation. This is what you practice as you gather on the mountain top while remaining on level ground. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 200)”

16 – Apprehension

The apprehension of which Day Twenty Seven speak is not an apprehension of fearfulness, but a comprehension, an apprehension, of life itself. We are asked to reach for life itself in all its variability. We seek for variability through wholeness. This is actually more familiar to us now than we realize, because in studying ACOL from the mountain top, while simultaneously remaining in our daily world, we have been experiencing two levels at once. This is the basic reason why we were asked to go to the mountain top while not removing ourselves from daily life.

17 – Wholeheartedness

We experienced external life for many years in out past without the benefit of spirit. Now we are beyond such evidence of limitedness. We are experiencing life through the spirit as well as the mind. We are experiencing the wholeheartedness that is the hallmark of A Course of Love.

18 – Whole

To experience the human and the divine simultaneously is to be what we have actually always been: Whole. This is leading to the sustaining of the elevated Self of form, a basic tenet of ACOL. We are heading toward an experience of variability within wholeness rather than within separation. The biggest revelations are ahead of us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I welcome the chance to experience both my humanity as well as my spirit. This is a new contribution of A Course of Love, and I find this concept enchanting.

May I learn in this period of 40 Days and 40 Nights all that the “mountain top” experience is meant to hold out to me. Be with me as I seek. Help me to learn through thoughts that I do not think, even as this trilogy that is A Course of Love has encouraged learning to cease, and observation and experience to continue as I walk further along my personal pathway..

Thank You for the many blessings that this day has brought to me. Help me to forgive myself for the mistakes that I have brought to this lovely day of Yours. I know that You don’t need to forgive, because You have never condemned. But I need to realize, once again, that I am very fallible, and that regardless of good intentions, I do sometimes stumble and fall—as I did earlier today. I would begin again, start the day over. And I know that Jesus would say that this is entirely possible, for he has pointed out the way for starting the day over in A Course in Miracles.

Thank You for these blessings of ACIM and ACOL. We need so much to learn what Jesus has been trying to get across to us. We need to heed his words, to walk into the sunlight with him.

Amen.

The Time of Christ

monet's garden“While this has been called the time of Christ, it is obviously no longer the time of Jesus Christ. My time came and my time ended. The time when a single baby born of a virgin mother could change the world has passed. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 21.21)”

Affirmation: “I meditate on Jesus’s place in this world today.”

Reflections:

1 – Jesus Clarifies

Jesus clarifies for us today: He says that this is the time of Christ, but not the time of Jesus Christ. He is saying that the example that he set a couple of thousand years ago is for an earlier time, though we can still learn from this era. One person, even such as he, cannot change this world any longer. He anticipates that many of us will move to make changes that we are led to make by our own internal Christ Self.

2 – Christ Does Not Just Mean Jesus

Also intuited in this brief quotation is the fact that “Christ” does not just mean Jesus. Of course, we have known this, because repeatedly I have referred to the Self/Christ or the Christ Self, and many other current day writers have done the same. “Christ” is an umbrella term for the individual manifestations of God in human beings who are living salvation, living Awakening or Christ-consciousness. And we do not have to sustain the elevated Self of form to live, intermittently, this Christ Self. Indeed, in the beginning, most people see only glimpses of the Self, glimpses that are carefully contained for a while, perhaps a long while.

3 – Personal Experience

I myself have had two extended periods of such glimpses: one when I was 23, for ten weeks over a relaxed summer; and the other when I was 34 to 35, for six months in an altered state of consciousness. I did not sustain either time, and both were many years ago. The second period was while I was first reading A Course in Miracles, and I suspect that I was one of those who was asked to change life experience almost immediately. I moved to another state in the US, and there lived and worked for that six-month period. Later, I returned to home grounds, and proceeded with my life—but a life that would not be the same after this experience.

4 – Continued. . .

Why have I not sustained Awakening? I try not to ask this question, for it suggests that I have somehow failed. I know that such an interpretation is not the whole answer, and so I focus on what I learned in those two altered states of being. In the first and in the second, I was anxiety-free, and so I had left fear behind. Would that this were still possible! But I try to be patient, and to recognize that the elevated Self of form is not often sustained, and I may do more good by detailing my experience of “glimpses” than if I had actually experienced all that Jesus holds out to us as promise.

5 – Listen

So we listen to the Christ Self within. I can imagine that many times we are free of stress and free of fear/anxiety. At such times the ego withers away from our perception. And each such time can be sustained for a while. The fact that we don’t sustain this wonderful state keeps us humble. We realize that we cannot merit this form of heaven, of home. God takes the initiative of reaching down to lift us up when He deems that we are ready. And that first step, we must remember, is His and His alone.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for this day, this day of joy. May tomorrow be a harbinger of good times ahead as well. I ask for patience as I run the race that I am set upon. Help me to fulfill Your way in my daily life. Help me to be tolerant and kind. May I be ever more loving.

Guide me each moment, even when I forget. Thank You for Your Presence which fills my life from time to time. Daily life would not be same if You withdrew. Thank You for staying near.

Amen.

Our True Identity

“Now monet - water lilieshowever, you are being called to accept your true identity even while you retain the form of your personal self. As your true identity is that of a Self who exists in unity and the identity of your personal self is that of a self who exists in separation, this would seem impossible. Even while your belief system has changed and you believe that you exist in unity, all the things we have enumerated above will act to challenge these beliefs unless you are able to see them in a new light. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 21.17)”

Affirmation: “I would seek the elevated Self of form today.”

Reflections:

1 – Elevated Self of Form

This passage, above, highlights, in different words, the call that Jesus will make to us later on—the call to embody the elevated Self of form. In other words, we understand that we are One, in unity with All, including our brothers and sisters, but we retain the physical body, and that is identified so far with the personal or “little” self. To effect this change, we need to see life in a new light. We need to alter our beliefs to realize that we can embody the physical while keeping our hearts and minds on a higher plane.

2 – Christ Self

Our true identity is the Christ Self within, and we are called to accept this identity even while we embody the physical that has always been ours. We do not truly exist in separation, and we truly never have. But we have thought that we existed in separation, and so that became our “reality.” Now we are asked to relinquish this belief in favor of something far better as well as far greater. Our shift in perception (the definition of a miracle in A Course in Miracles) will truly embody the best change that we have ever known.

3 – Separate from Others?

We have always, when caught by the ego, believed that we were separate from each other as well as separate from God. This was always false, but we made it true for ourselves because we wanted it to be true. We thought that we lost something if we merged with God, following His will. We did not know that our real will is the same as His. But now we do know this. And we have, many of us, tested it out in daily experience. We know that when we follow intuition that we know to be true, guidance, that our lives turn out better. We know that our lives evolve more smoothly. And so we have the proof that heretofore we have lacked. Yet we got this proof by testing it out in daily experience. We followed guidance, as we perceived it, and when we perceived guidance rightly, we benefitted.

4 – Not Impossible

Don’t any longer think that what Jesus is asking of us is impossible. I trust him enough to believe that if he says we can do it, we can do it. We can embody the Christ Self, i.e., we can remain true to the Self within even as we continue to occupy a personal self that has become (in words described later in the Dialogues) a “spacious” self that no longer just “observes,” but who informs and is informed by the Whole of what we have found.

5 – Knowledge

This transition is not complex, though explaining it becomes a bit too complex. Just rest in the knowledge—and it is knowledge—that we can embody the elevated Self of form, and that Self is the Christ Self in physicality.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live mindfully today, letting the Self within shine forth. I would pay attention to the specific things that I do, knowing that living in the moment is the best preparation for embodying and sustaining the elevated Self of form

Help me to do this, for I know that I need Your help to effect change in the way that I go about my day. I would embody presence, which is a quiet realization that You are there with me. I would embody stillness, knowing that meditating upon what You guide me to think, say, and do will get me home more quickly than any other way—in fact, the only way to get me home.

May I do right by my brothers and sisters today. May I do right most especially by my significant others, for they are most affected by what I do. Guide all of us to do the will that is Yours, the will that we all share as what we truly want.

Amen.

Marriage

flower in forest“Often, those within the relationship of marriage have had occasion to choose to forgive the past and begin again to build a new relationship. Others, in a similar relationship, might have chosen to let the past go and enter into new relationships. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 15.1)”

Affirmation: “I will contemplate forgiveness in marriage today.”

Reflections:

1 – New Beginning

We are after a new beginning now as we proceed with A Course of Love and its Treatise on the Personal Self. Jesus exemplifies what he is saying by appealing to marriage as an example of a state in which we may constantly seek new beginnings. Or we may end a marriage, and seek a new beginning with someone else. But we cannot have a true new beginning of either kind in a special relationship, for special relationships partake of the past.

2 – Truly New

We often think that the future cannot be different from the past, and this hinders new beginnings. Jesus is leading up to saying that now we can expect a true new beginning in our lives in the matter of salvation. We can expect the elevation of the Self of form.

3 – Glorious Promise

What a glorious promise indeed this is! If those of us in marital relationships would contemplate all that is promised us by new beginnings, our relationship would flourish. And this is just the idea that Jesus wishes to get across.

4 – Special to Holy Relationships

We can know new beginnings, with the intent to leave the past behind. If we cling to the past too tenaciously, our current relationships will be hindered. We are not asked to give up the past, but only to leave it in its place as a cherished part of ourselves. And anytime that special, as opposed to holy, relationships have disturbed us, we ought to mentally transform the special into the holy (an interpretation, not stated in A Course in Miracles or ACOL).

5 – Today We Look Forward

So let us look to new beginnings in marriage today. We owe a lot to these words of Jesus, words that promise us a new beginning in marriage as in salvation leading to Christ-consciousness and the elevation of the Self of form.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

You know, dear God, that I said to my husband a couple of days ago that now that my mother has just died, I would have to transfer all of my caregiving to him. Of course, he does not need all the caregiving that my mother did. But he will get more and more attention as the days pass.

Thank You for being with me in the most recent days. It is not a tragedy when a 93-year-old individual goes home to You. And without pain. May You shine Your blessings on all my departed family, who are greeting her into the fold again.

And thank You for the support that I have enjoyed in my marriage. This is indeed a time of especial closeness to You.

Amen.

Self-Actualization

Pierre-Auguste-Renoir-painting-ren05
“While the foundation of fear, like the ego, will have left you now, a pattern of behaving fearfully may still remain and as such be a deterrent to new ideas and to action. As long as these patterns of fear remain as deterrents to action, you will not experience the freedom of living from the new thought system. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 14.1)”

Affirmation: “I would be free of fear today.”

Reflections:

1 – Fear

I talk a great deal about fear in this blog, because it is the single most inhibiting characteristic of our lives when we are still dwelling with the personal self that has not been elevated to the Self of form. And that includes all of us, because Jesus says in A Course of Love that nobody has yet sustained the elevated Self of form. As time passes, perhaps a chosen few will sustain enlightenment and then the elevated Self of form will seem to be and will be a goal that all of us can visualize ourselves reaching. We do not make the decision of when, though. That is entirely out of our hands, though we can study to be ready when God calls. He makes the decision of when Awakening will come to each of us.

2 – New Life

We cannot live the new life to which we are called if we cling to vestiges of fear. The continuing pall that such vestiges will drop over our lives would make a better life for the personal self impossible. And we do not want to allow this better life to escape our hands. We need to know how to act, what to do, and what to even think.

3 – Prayer

The best way to prepare is communion with God (a personal interpretation, not stated in ACOL or A Course in Miracles). When we live with the shadow of the Almighty, we live on sacred ground indeed. We live safely, sure of our protection always, as He watches out for us. He does not always save us from pain, but He will always show us a way to prevent turning that pain into suffering. And we do not have to learn through pain (from the Text of ACIM). We can learn through rewards. And the rewards insure that the learning will be permanent. All too often what we learn through pain is temporary, and we forget as soon as the pain goes away.

4 – Christ-Consciousness

We need to live the new life that is held out to us. We catch glimpses of Christ-consciousness, and, even if this is not sustained, we return to level ground with more of ourselves realized. And we are intended to head toward the realization of our Self/Christ. We are meant to be self-actualized. The fact that we cannot snap our fingers and get God to respond should not be a deterrent to our slow and easy acquisition of His words. He will guide us surely to Christ-consciousness. And what He does will last, one day, of that we can be sure.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be self-actualized today. I realize that I may not have walked far enough along the path to reach this blessing. But I want to think, say, and do the things today that will advance my progress. Help me to do so.

Christ-consciousness is the blessing that we all seek. May I be patient as I catch glimpses, but do not sustain the epitome. I know that there is a reason for this. I am not yet ready, but I pray that I will be soon. I ask this prayer on behalf of my brothers and sisters as well.

Amen.

Embodying a State You Have Not Even Dared to Dream

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

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

Reflections:

1 – Physicality

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

2 – Gnostic Influence

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

3 – Elevated Self of Form

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

4 – No Curse!

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

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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

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

Amen.

Treatise on the Personal Self

van gogh - pasture“The choice to represent your Self in form was a choice for separation but not because separation itself was desired as you have assumed. This is the assumption you have accepted in much the same way you have accepted your free will as that which allows you to be separate from and independent of God. Once this assumption was accepted, the duality of your existence became paramount, became the only means (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 2.3)”

Affirmation: “There is a good way to view the separation, and I seek to find that way today.”

Reflections:

1 – ACIM vs. ACOL

We have, most all of us, been taught that the separation from God was a bad thing. We were also taught, in A Course in Miracles, that this separation was an illusion, that we could not separate from God because we are part of Him. Now Jesus is expanding upon ACIM to let us know in A Course of Love that a separate form and the independence that it implies do not always mean that we leave out God.

2 – Gnostic Influence

In ACOL, the physical form is championed much more than it was in ACIM. There was much Gnostic influence in A Course in Miracles, and the maya (illusion) in which we are caught seemed to imply that we would be better off without physical form at all. But A Course of Love ends, in the Dialogues, with a new being for us: an elevated Self of form. And this is seen as desirable, a new experience for humankind. The Self is the Christ Self, the Self who has been lurking inwardly, waiting for emergence at our new being.

3 – No Dualism

We do not actually live in a dualistic universe. What does that mean? That there are boundaries among various worlds and concepts, including most precisely the body and the mind. But repeatedly in ACOL we are told that unity is our way, that everything is One, and that that One exists in disparate parts with which we are to be in relationship. And that One is God. There are not gods everywhere, but one God immanent throughout all that exists, whether seen or unseen.

4 – Separation

So we ought to seek to make our separation meaningful, and that sense of meaning comes from knowing that we can be as independent as we wish, but that the best life is one in which we accept guidance from the Unseen, God. Our judgments pale in comparison to knowing what to say or do next. Our inspired ways become the way that life becomes joyful to us.

5 – One = All

And then separation loses its negative aspects. We are One in relationship to All.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would realize today that my personal self is part of the whole, part of You. And this monism is a cause for rejoicing. Thank You that You are here for me, and thank You that You have always been here for me, even when I didn’t recognize the blessing that this is.

May I enjoy my physical body in this world. I do not have to lament that I live on this earth. There is a way to find You even here. And I ask to find You today and every day.

Amen.

Elevated Self of Form

sainte-victoire-lauves - cezanne2“[W]e are talking now, in a certain sense, of an elevation of form.  While this is actually an elevation beyond form, it must begin in the reality of where you think you are.  In other words, it must begin with form.  You cannot await some changed state but must create the changed state you await.  (Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 9.3)”

Affirmation:  “I would choose an elevation of form today.”

Reflections:

1 – Do Not Give Up the Physical

Here Jesus is introducing the concept that will be elaborated upon later as the “elevated Self of form.”  We do not give up the physical, but we elevate it.  A Course in Miracles, in contrast, downplays the physical as illusory and perhaps therefore as less important to us.  Yet even though we live in a dream (until we experience the real world), the dream seems very, very real to us.  And Jesus is aware of that, very much so, in A Course of Love.

2 – Living Christ-Consciousness

The two works, ACIM and ACOL, have a continuity, though.  The elevation is actually an elevation “beyond form,” and that is the state that is described more frequently in ACIM.  We are told that we will experience the real world only briefly (but we are not told what “briefly” means) before God will reach down and lift us up in Awakening.  Awakening in ACOL is called Christ-consciousness, but the concept is the same.  And we are let in ACOL to see that we can live Christ-consciousness on this plane as the elevated Self of form.

3 – The Body

What a blessing this is!  We are all too happy with our physical bodies, and we are not so sure that we want heaven if we have to give them up.  (There are exceptions to this idea among human beings.)

4 – We Create the Change

We are told that we must create this changed state.  We do not wait for something to happen to us, but we are conscious co-creators with God in welcoming the elevated Self.  In ACIM, the word is that we wait, quietly, for God to act.  There appears to be a change, possibly because of our evolution, in what ACOL teaches.  We are needed to hold ourselves in readiness, but we are also to act when we see what we are to do.  And Jesus is spelling out what we are to do in the subsequent pages of the trilogy of A Course of Love (including the Treatises and the Dialogues).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would create the elevated Self of form sooner rather than later.  I realize that perhaps I can do something, that because of progress in time with A Course of Love, I am able to effect some change.  Help me to understand if I am, instead, to leave everything to You.

Be with me today as I walk through this world.  The elevated Self of form will heal me from anything that is currently wrong.  Thank You in advance for this blessing.

Amen.

Transformation

Paul-Cezanne-Painting-012

“Your experience here is but an extension of mind into a realm in which experience can occur.  Your ego has made of this something different than it is.  Rather than extension of mind your experience has become a projection of ego.  This can change.  (A Course of Love, 31.35)”

Affirmation:  “I would withdraw from the projections of my ego.”

Reflections:

1 – ACOL vs. ACIM

A Course of Love is more welcoming to experience in this world, in my opinion, than is A Course in MiraclesACOL sees real benefits to an experience in this world, provided that we are moving toward the elevated Self of form.  This elevated Self of form is the sustained awareness of the inner Self/Christ which we will know when we have walked the whole pathway, the pathway to Christ-consciousness, or Awakening.

2 – The Insane Ego

Our experience here is of the physical.  In ACOL, such an experience is not denigrated.  But our problem is that our minds have dipped into insanity by way of the creation of an insane part, the ego.  And the ego does not love us or wish us well.  We can frequently see in the ego the old devil, or enemy, concept of traditional Christianity.

3 – The “Devil”

Just what was the devil, or enemy, in traditional Christianity?  It was a fallen angel who took on God as its rival, at times (as in Job) causing God to engage in contests that sought to prove that the devil knew better.  And there is in many of us this dualistic nature of thought still raging.  We have not left behind this egoic interpretation, for that is exactly what the devil really is, an invention of the ego.

4 – Battle with God?

We are not in a battle with God, and neither is our ego.  The ego just thinks that it is battling God.  God doesn’t respond.  He knows that eventually all of us will choose to eliminate the pain from our lives and choose again His way.  We, unfortunately, do not always understand the truth that His will and our will are actually identical.  We want what He wants for us, but we are just unsure about this.  We think that it is an infringement on the free will that he gave us.

5 – An Imprisoned Will

Actually this is a misnomer.  Our will is actually imprisoned when we choose against God (an ACIM tenet).  And we would not choose to live a life that is, essentially, a loveless and painful experience.  We find joy in turning to the God within.  There is no greater joy than communion with Him or with His Universal Inspiration, the Holy Spirit.  Once we realize that truly His will for us is the same as our true inner will, we will no longer be in conflict.  We will no longer be Jonahs, railing against His will for us.  We did not create ourselves, though an agnostic or atheist might have trouble with this assertion.  We need to set to one side our intellectual doubts, and just allow the experience of God to infiltrate our minds.

6 – Agnostic or Atheistic?

We will then not long remain agnostics or atheists.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would transform my experience in this world from a battleground for the ego to an experience of a transformed Self for whom God is very real.  I would see that my ego’s idea that I am battling God is not true.  I would seek to know only the true.  

May all of us walk together toward an experience in this world that is the best that this world can offer, the best that life on the earth can offer.  We will be surprised at the transformation that can occur.  And we need to take steps toward that transformation today.  Thank You for guiding us.  Thank You for Jesus’s inspired words in A Course of Love.

Amen.

My Child, Return to Me

monet - lily pads2

“If God were to speak to you Himself and tell you of what means your service would be to Him, He would but tell you this:  My child, return to me.  God has no Will apart from yours.  Your return to unity is all God seeks for you, for Himself, and for all His children.  The return to unity was my [Jesus’s] accomplishment, and all that is meant by what I have often repeated here:  Only you can be accomplished.  Your service is but dedication to this goal.  (A Course of Love, 29.6)”

Affirmation:  “I would return to God today.”

Reflections:

1 – Beautiful Passage

This passage for today is indeed beautiful.  If all God asks of us is to return to Him, then we would do well to heed Him.  Our will and God’s are actually identical, and therefore we do not have to fret that we will be led down paths that we don’t want to take.  We need to realize that we are part of the while, and in returning to the One (God) we return to unity.  We are living in relationship to all at the same time that we are unified with all.  Unity and relationship are touchstones for A Course of Love.

2 – The Accomplished

We will serve, ourselves and others, and in this service we will become like Jesus, in that we will be “the accomplished.”  We need not fear that this is arrogance of the ego, for it is not.  It is the way that things actually are when we are living the Self/Christ.

3 – Elevated Self of Form

The Self/Christ is the elevated Self of form, which means that we are living a physical existence in this world, but we are elevated to the union with God that we all so need.  Union with God, the unitive state, is what mystics of all generations have found, and in the finding they have known peace indeed.

4 – Of Service

Let us ask today to be the accomplished, and with this accomplishment, we will want to be of service to ourselves and others.  We can ask no great blessing than this, to be One with God and our brothers and sisters, one with the All.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be patient as I am of service to others today.  May I make sure that I am embracing You at every turn.  This is what You want.  This is what I want.  May I not let impatience for more hold me back even further.

My I embody the elevated Self of form as soon as You deem possible.  May I enjoy the days that lie between now and then, and may I remain patient always.  Only You know best.

Amen.

What the Elevated Self of Form Means

“This is the invitation to the celebration.  This is the invitation to greet this day with no worry, disappointment, or planning.  This is the invitation to greet your Self and to find your Self within this day.  (A Course of Love, 26.18)”

Affirmation:  “I will look to my Self today.  May my Self be evident to me.”cezanne - houses

Reflections:

1 – Do We Have What It Takes?

The passage for today is very optimistic, and we might wonder if this reflects Jesus’s optimism about us.  Will we really prove to be who and what he wants us to be?  Do we really have what it takes?

2 – Start the Day Aright

A day started out right has much to recommend it.  If we decide, early today, that we want a celebration, then we might well have it.  We can drop worry, disappointment, and planning–if we have the right support from God.  And we will have that right support when we know that Jesus’s affirmations are true.

3 – Experience the Christ/Self

We need to experience our Self today.  It is the only way that we can be truly peaceful in a world that grows more difficult every day.  This Self does not hamper the growth of a better world in any way; living this Self is the way.

4 – Elevated Self of Form

How do we reach the elevated Self of form?  What, indeed, do these words even mean?

5 – What the Elevated Self of Form Means

The words, “elevated Self of form,” means that we will live in this world as physical beings but we will be living in Christ-consciousness.  The Self/Christ in us is an elevated being when we compare to the personal self, the little self, that was dominated by the ego.  The Self in form has thrust aside the ego as a bad idea, though as a part of ourselves it will simply cease to be; it will not be destroyed in any violent act.  We just turn aside from thoughts of the ego in making our decisions; indeed, we do not make our decisions alone, but in concert with the Christ within.  We assume guidance to be a constant factor in our lives, and we do not recoil from it–ever.  We know that the guidance that we know to be true is the next right action to take.  And so we live, simply and peacefully, fully reconciled to God and fully in harmony with the world in which we find ourselves.

6 – The World Will Change

The world will change when these changes have reached a critical mass.  And we can help that day be sooner rather than later.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would start this day aright.  I would leave aside worry, planning, disappointments.  I would sense my Christ/Self within today.  All will be well if I can stay true to this resolution.  I do have plenty of help.  Help is only a call away.  You are with me, and there are helpers abounding.  Thank You.

I would live the elevated Self of form today, if only in fleeting moments.  Your guidance will bring this out in me.  I am grateful to You for the assurance that we are meant to live the elevated Self of form.  The physical does not have to be downplayed.

Be with me as I seek to drop worry today, worry and obsessions.  I must do my part, and, with Your help, I will succeed.  Thank You.

Amen.

Thus Was Fear Born

“The complex set of criteria needed to create a world of separation was, in the instant of creation, anticipated and provided in a form consistent with creation’s laws.  While this world was created with love, as all of creation was, it was also created to provide the desired experience.  Thus was fear born, for a separate self is a fearful self by its nature.  How could it not be?  (A Course of Love, 19.2)”

Affirmation:  “I would avoid a ‘separate self’ today.”iris-1914-17 - monet

Reflections:

1 – Not Separate

If we realize that we are not really separate at all, perhaps, this passage seems to say, we will not experience fear.  It is the belief that we are alone that makes the fear, and who would not be fearful with such a belief?  If we turn to God and His helpers consistently, then we will not feel alone.  We will know that we live in a benevolent universe, and we will experience the peace that such a universe will give us.  And what more would we seek?

2 – Elevated Self of Form

We need to ask for this blessing of an end to the separated state.  When we experience the elevated Self of Form ( as described farther on in A Course of Love), we will know that we, though in physical form, presumably separate from others, are not really alone.  We will know that we chose physical expression for our experience of reality, but we did not choose to actually be alone.  We have many companions in this world and the world beyond, and it is wise for us to remember this.  The knowledge will give us comfort and a deep sense of security.

3 – Tiny, Mad Idea

God responded to our tiny, mad idea (from A Course in Miracles) with the world of separation.  It is said that we, on some level, made this world.  And then the separation began, extending over millions of years, for others were attracted to physicality as well.  So fear was born where it had been not.

4 – Solitary?

It seems sensible to think that we are solitary creatures when we are encased in physical bodies.  And that is the role that we are playing.  But it is a facade, an illusion.  We are actually still at home in God, and we can know this at any time by asking to have a divine experience.  Why not do so today?  It will make all the difference, for once again we will know that we are One with the All, and we will feel secure in the Love that the All emanates.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know today that I am not isolated in a world of form.  I have many helpers, and You are at the top of the list.  I would recognize that separation is an illusion brought on by the fact that w are encased in physical bodies.  But we are not separate from one another nor from You.

Be with me today for a tranquil day.  Thank You for the affirmations from the Bible that I say frequently, for they are very calming.  Thank You for the many ways that You help.

And I ask for Your help as I seek to overcome my lingering belief in separation.

Amen.

Inner Life Becomes Fuller

“The world is but a reflection of your inner life, the reality unseen and unprepared for by all your strategy and defenses.  You prepare for everything that goes on outside yourself and nothing that occurs within.  Yet it is a joining that occurs within that brings about the joining of all the world for all the world to see.  This joining of the world within is but your recognition of what love is, safe and secure within you and your brother, as you join together in truth.  (A Course of Love, 4.26)”

Affirmation:  “Love is safe and secure within my brother/sister and me.”

Reflections:

1 – Inner Life

We might ask that our inner life become fuller, because so often we are outwardly focused.  Jesus would have us look within, to the heart, in A Course of Love (and, ultimately to a union of the mind and heart, which he calls “wholeheartedness”).

2 – The Psychic

If our inner life is well-developed, it is very likely (according to A Course in Miracles) that we will “know” things that we have no earthly way of knowing.  There are psychic powers that come to us, and as long as these new powers are not used for self-aggrandizement, all is well.  We need the support of this inner life as we try to navigate a sometimes difficult world.  Despite our best efforts, our minds intrude and attract poor choices, and then we feeling badly and thinking badly.  Jesus would not have this for us; God would not have this for us.  We need to learn to be quiet enough that the inner truths, deep inside, have an avenue for rising forth and touching ourselves consciously as well as others in our circle.  Indeed, we influence the very world itself when we turn to the inner Self for guidance.

3 – Love Is Within

Love is within us, safe and secure, as well as within our brothers and sisters.  We do not have to look far, for we ourselves are Love, in a word reminiscent of the “God is Love” emphasis of the Bible, A Course in Miracles, A Course of Love, and other sacred works.

4 – Love Is a Force

We need to realize that love is a force, that it is not solely an emotion.  We think of romantic love when someone mentions love, but there are many kinds of love, and all are good, wherever the experiences of love are found–as long as we do not harm another person.  We need to be careful with ourselves about this, for we may make mistakes, and reach for love where we are not welcome.

5 – Attract Love

Be with us today as we seek to attract only the love that You countenance.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

This joining that I would know today is the joining of the inner Self to the outer elevated Self of form.  And this joining also includes everyone, for we are One.  May I come to understand and to recognize the benefits of these understandings today.

Be with me as I seek to reach out to my brothers and sisters in love.  If they are resistant, help me to desist.  You would not have me go where I am not wanted.  Your love will reach to them, when mine cannot.

Amen.

God / Real World / Love / We Ourselves = Formless

“You are not form, nor is your real world.  You seek the face of God in form as you seek for love in form.  Both love and God are there, but they are not the form that your body’s eyes see.  Just as these words you see upon this page are symbols only of meaning far beyond what the symbols can suggest, so too is everything and everyone around you, those you see and those you only can imagine.  To seek the ‘face’ of God, even in the form of Christ, is to seek for what is forever without form.  (A Course of Love, 3.4)”

Affirmation:  “The real world is not form.”

Reflections:

1 – Being without Form

This passage, like many others that we have considered, is a part of the theology of A Course of Love.  We do not have to be delayed by theology (A Course in Miracles tenet), unless we so choose.  We need only to seek the practical (also an ACIM tenet).  But we may be interested in this theology.  Just what does being without form really mean?

2 – Positive vs. Negative

If the real world, as well as God and Christ, are without form, then we do not have to pay too much attention to the images that we make in our minds.  They are images that are symbols only–symbols of a great reality that we cannot, in this world, fully comprehend.  But we can get some idea that the intangibles–the love, joy, peace, harmony, serenity–are real.  The negative emotions that the ego/fear make, though, are not real–the anger, hate, stress, anxiety, attack.  These negative emotions will only hold us back from experiencing our inheritance in this world.  Let us leave these negatives behind today.

3 – Symbols of the Real World

We are in a world that is composed of symbols of the real world.  Even, Jesus says, the words on this page are symbols of a more real reality.  May we seek the fact of God today, but may we realize that seeking His face is a dead end, for He is not there in our images.  Be with God in communion today, and see if His reality does not touch us.  He will answer when we call.  Jesus will also, as he promised in A Course in Miracles.

4 – Time of Christ

We are heading into Christ-consciousness, for now is the time of Christ.  This is a further development from A Course in Miracles, which was the time of the Holy Spirit.  Let us try to come to terms with these differences between ACOL and ACIM.  But let us take unto ourselves the concepts only that we are ready to accept.  And then our lives will smooth out and we will live at peace in this world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Of course, most of us have recognized for years that to image what You might look like is to make an image of a human being out of You, and we know that this is an incorrect way to imagine You.  But we are just beginning to learn that we too are formless, that reality is actually formless, and, of course, that love is formless.  In illusion, but in illusion only, is there a form.

Later on in A Course of Love, we will be led to join our inner Christ/Self with an elevated Self of form that we will live in as part of the physical world.   This is where we are headed when we head for Christ-consciousness in this world.  May we all accept the things that Jesus tells us so that that day might be soon.  And thank You for the blessings that such a transformation promises.

Amen.

Living in Love = No Wish to Attack

“Understanding the lesson of the Atonement, they are without the wish to attack, and therefore they see truly.  (T39)”

Affirmation:  “without the wish to attack”

Reflections:

1 –  Definitions of Atonement

In not too many places in A Course in Miracles is there a definite definition of the Atonement.  Sometimes Atonement is simply called “correction.”  My favorite definition reads as follows:  “the restoration of the integrity of the mind. (T74)”  There are also broad explanations that encompass a definition that is at odds with traditional Christianity.  Jesus asserts that to cling to the crucifixion is a mistake; the crucifixion points out to us that he did not launch a defense under the extreme situation in which he found himself.  Not to be defensive is a major Course tenet.

2 – Looking to the Resurrection

Instead, we are to look to the resurrection, the overcoming of death–the promise of eternal life.  This step will bring us peace.  Our binding of ourselves to God is a lesson of the Atonement.  To do so constantly is a challenge to the neophyte, but not to the advanced teacher of God.  We learn more as we progress through the Course.

3 – At – One – Ment

Atonement is sometimes viewed as “at-one-ment,” but this is a bit limited in its interpretation.  It is this and more.  Atonement is the surrender of the little self to the larger Self that is allied with the Holy Spirit.  When we make this surrender, we see the futility of attack, and our perceptions are therefore cleansed.

4 – Personal Experience

Twice for fairly lengthy periods have I experienced the mystic arrival of an unsustained Awakening.  Once, for ten weeks, when I was 23; and then again, for almost six months, when I was 34 to 35.  There is nothing else like it.  I lived without fear for those marvelous months.  And I felt love for all others whom I encountered.

5 – A Course of Love

A Course of Love says that nobody has ever sustained elevation of the Self in form.  This elevation is roughly akin to Awakening, and we remain in the physical body and do not die.  This Awakening is what we are meant to do, akin to the next evolutionary trend.  I think, though, that the idea of elevation of the Self in form, and the idea of Awakening, are somewhat different (an interpretation), because I have read of awakened individuals on this earth.  I do not put much trust in self-reports of Awakening, though, especially when they are said to be sustained.  Most people in this situation are very quiet about what has happened to them.  May we move ever closer to a sustainable elevation.  According to A Course of Love, we find ourselves now in the time of Christ, the time of Christ-consciousness.  We are rapidly moving beyond the time of the Holy Spirit (the time described in A Course in Miracles).

6 – God Acts

May God find us where we are, and then take us a step farther on our pathway.  And may nothing said or done by our withered egos interfere.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I see the futility of attack today, and if and when I am tempted to attack, may I refrain.  Often no response is better than a vicious one.  But You have taught me that the best response is to run to my brother’s side with love, for he is hurting.

May I look to the resurrection of Jesus as I realize that there is no death.  We will all live eternally, because this is Your great promise.

Be with me now as I slow down to Your pace.  I feel closer to You when I am living effortlessly, when I am not struggling to get something (anything!) done.  If there are plans to be made, we will intuitively recognize what those plans are.  Help me to remember Your advice to live effortlessly, not to struggle.

Thank You for always being there for me.  I ask for physical and emotional health as I go about Your world today, doing Your bidding.

Amen.

The Long Journey Is Over

“You have arrived!  The long journey that brought you here is over.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 12.15)”

Affirmation:  “long journey – over”

Reflections:

What a marvelous statement from Jesus!  And yet it is the highest way of viewing his words.  We can still lapse.  We can still have moments when we are not the sustained, elevated Self of form.  Indeed, the Dialogues themselves are written so that we can travel farther along the journey.  There are two levels to A Course of Love, just as there are two levels of A Course in Miracles (the former my interpretation, the latter the interpretation of scholar/writer Kenneth Wapnick).

But we do not have to struggle as we have.  We can have Heaven on earth.  Jesus promises this elsewhere.  And may we take him at his word.

Remember, from ACIM, that this has been a “journey without distance.”  We have always had the potential to be realized,  to realize ourselves as Awakened beings.  It is only now that this potential is being actualized in more and more of our brothers and sisters, and in ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I hope that, in some sense, I have arrived.  I recognize the long journey, but the way has sometimes been hard, and I do immediately know what joy lies all around me.  Help me to see and feel the joy today.

I ask for Your help as I assimilate the fact of arrival.  Help me even to know what “arrival” means.  Be with me throughout the day, and help me always to acknowledge Your loving presence.

Amen.

Eradicate Learning in Separation – Choose Sharing in Unity

“. . .[B]e vigilant of your thought patterns so that you eradicate the idea of learning in separation and replace it with the idea of sharing in unity.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 12.10)”

Affirmation:  “no learning in separation. . .instead sharing in unity”

Reflections:

1 – Learning in Separation

We did learn in separation, and this explains in part the self-centeredness that we knew in our phase of learning.  But when we reach out to our brothers and sisters, we are sharing in unity.  And this is the right place to head.  Never neglect those individuals to whom we are close.  Do not withdraw unto one’s self.  This in itself would be enough for the ego to gain another foothold.

2 – Unity and Relationship

“Sharing in unity” is akin to the oft-repeated assertion that in the time of Christ we are to share in “unity and relationship.”  “Unity and relationship” are hallmark words in A Course of Love, and they are used so frequently that we may forget exactly what they mean.  Basically, these words mean that we are “One in the many” (an interpretation, not stated in ACOL).  As One, we are in unity, and in the “many,” we are in relationship to our brothers and sisters.

3 – Creating a New World

Unity and relationship, the One in the many, are the twin ways that we will create in a new world, a world which we inhabit by the sustained, elevated Self of form.  This Self of form is the physical form that we know now, but it is moved by revelation from God, direct and normally unmistakable.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to refrain from the learning that separates, instead opting for the sharing in unity that I can experience with my brothers and sisters.  Learning, I recognize, is often separating, but I am less clear about sharing with my brothers and sisters.  Help me to understand more fully today.

If I make missteps today, please remedy them for me.  Not everyone I meet is ready to understand A Course of Love.  Help me to offer only what my brother or sister is ready to accept.

Amen.

Self-Centeredness

“Realize that the self-centeredness of the final stage of your learning has been necessary. (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 9.7)”

Affirmation:  “May I understand the things that are necessary for me.”

Reflections:

This passage, in talking about our self-centeredness, is reassuring.  We probably realize that our search has sometimes removed us from our surroundings, including our brothers and sisters.  We need to be ready to return to them, but we are not to discount our self-centeredness as a lamentable aspect of our search.  Jesus says that it was necessary.

If we had not turned inward, we probably would understand far less than we actually do now.  And turning inward naturally turns one to the self.  Jesus would have us to reach outward again once the elevated Self of form has been sustained.

We do not reach outward always, though, as Jesus himself spent hours in prayer, all alone, when on earth.  We will always need a certain degree of inwardness, and sometimes this does become self-centeredness.

On this Christmas Day, may we not stay within ourselves if it is at all possible to spend quality time with our loved ones.  This is a day to rejoice and be glad that Jesus indeed did come to earth as a physical being.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for reassuring me that my own, recognized, self-centeredness is not a thing to be lamented and for which to beg forgiveness.  We need inwardness, which self-centeredness really is, and we need it to make progress toward the time when we will be free and easy with our brothers and sisters, reaching outward.

If our life situation allows it, today, Christmas Day, is a time for reaching out to those who have been closest to us.  May we forget ourselves today, at least part of the time.  But may we also say a prayer of thanks for the baby born so long ago in a manger in Bethlehem.

Amen.

From Learning to Creating

“But the choice many of you will make–the choice to move from learning to creating–will create a new world.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’
7.9)”

Affirmation:  “a new world”

Reflections:

We are asked here to create a new world, one in which it is commonplace to experience Christ-consciousness.  We will create, rather than continuing to seek our way through further learning.  How will we “create”?  Only God can tell us that.  When we stay close to Him, we will know what to do next.

This passage continues the comparison between those who still find value in learning, and those who leave learning behind and create a new world.  Just as with the ways of Jesus (the “doing”) and Mary (the “being”), there are no hard and fast rules about how to handle this choice.  If we find value in learning, Jesus gives us his blessing.  But many will move onward,, and this, he says in this passage, will create a new world.

Teaching, though, is a form of creation.  It is both “doing” and “being.”  But not all will choose to be teachers, though teaching and learning were the hallmarks of A Course in Miracles.  This course, A Course of Love, takes us a step farther.  We will know internally, from revelation from God, in an elevated Self of form (still a physical being).
In ACIM, some were described as “Teachers of Teachers,” individuals who had eventually cast aside the body, not to return in any form to this world, but instead to impart their ideas to those living in physical body.  And sometimes these Teachers of Teachers appeared as visions.  In ACOL, we are concerned now with what we will do when we live in the elevated Self of form.  We will still have physical bodies, and it is up to us–our choice–how we live our lives in this form.

Let us pray today for the right pathway for our talents.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to make the best choice in deciding what I will be or do in this new world.  Help me to have Your guidance in making this choice.

May I realize that “being” and “doing” can be done separately, or together, and that there is no judgment on Your part of which is better.  Either way can and will work in the new world.  Help me to to help create this new world.

Amen.

Continue to Learn?

“Some will choose to continue to learn through the full variety of the human experience even after it is unnecessary.  Why?  Because it is a choice, pure and simple.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 7.8)”

Affirmation:  “full variety of human experience”

Reflections:

This suggests that many of us will live on earth long after the time that the elevated Self of form has been accomplished.  The elevated Self of form, of course, is the sustained Christ-consciousness.  Most of us will leave “learning” behind, but there are those who love to learn, and this will not be denied them.  They will still make their contributions to the All.

We are always given choices in this world.  Free will is a probable will (an ACOL tenet).  God placed the limits on our ability to miscreate, but only to save ourselves from destroying ourselves (an ACIM tenet).  We will know by studying both ACIM and ACOL that our real will is actually the same as the Will of God.  We will not vacillate between following guidance (as the thought of the Holy Spirit or through direct revelation from God) and following what we perceive as our “own” will.  This “own” will is likely to be a holdover from the days when the ego held sway.

Let us resolve to let the ego wither away.  And God will help us to do just that.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I have always loved learning, but maybe I need to realize that there is a stopping point.  Continued seeking for religious truths is not needed when the Answer has been given to me.  May I move forward today with the assurance that I can “let it be.”

Thank You for given me the assurance that there will be an Answer, an assurance that came in the night.  I know now what You were trying to tell me.  Please be with me today as I live out Your promise.

Amen.

The Secret = Sharing Christ-Consciousness

“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)”

Affirmation:  “May I come to understand the importance of sharing Christ-consciousness.”

Reflections:

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.

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).

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).

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.

Amen.

My State of Consciousness = A Part of 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)”

Affirmation:  “May I fully realize that my consciousness is a part of Christ-consciousness.”

Reflections:

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.”  We are never alone.

“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.

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.

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.

Amen.

The After-Life

“The after-life has simply a time of increased choice because it has been a time of increased awareness.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 5.13)”

Affirmation:  “increased choice because increased awareness”

Reflections:

Jesus is here saying that we can know in the elevated Self of form those things that formerly we could only know after death, on the Other Side (“the after-life”).

Now we can have this awareness without crossing the barrier of death.  What a lovely thought for those of us who have always had lots of curiosity about the true nature of reality.

Enjoying the knowing that comes to us is a great boon.  We need not fret and struggle so, but rest in the knowledge (and it is knowledge) that all is well.  What happens is meant to happen.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I rest in certainty that the after-life will be something which I will enjoy tremendously.  But let me not live in longing for that which is ahead.  May I live in greater awareness and greater choice today, in this world, as well.  May I enjoy the real world that shows before my eyes as I let illusions, the dream in which I am caught, dissipate.

Thank You for the greater awareness and greater choice for today that You have already granted me.  May my gratitude color the interactions that I have with others today.

Amen.

A Call to Choose Christ-Consciousness

“I am calling you to make this choice now.  This is not a choice automatic to you in human form or even  upon the death of your human form.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 5.11)”

Affirmation:  “make this choice now”

Reflections:

Jesus would have us to accept Christ-consciousness now.  He says that we are ready.  Will we forever doubt?

Often we think that there is something else that we need to learn.  We believe that the next book, or the next speaker, or the next documentary, or the next prayer, will lead us more easily than what we know already.  This is not so.  Jesus would have us rest in the present moment, sure of him and sure of ourselves.  Our union with Christ will be the only Guide that we need.

Often self-help literature implores us to improve ourselves, but this is not what Christ-consciousness is all about.  Frequently self-help is to improve the dream that we are in.  Christ-consciousness is the call to awaken.

When we are called to awaken, we cease turning to the next book, the next system of thought, the next whatever.  We rest in surety that we know, because God has granted us knowledge, and we are leaving mere “perception” behind.  Let us choose for knowledge today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to follow the guidance that comes to me inwardly.  This guidance will surely and safely lead me to Christ-consciousness.  This is the elevated Self of form, about which A  Course of Love speaks so eloquently.  This means that I do not have to die to experience the knowledge that only You can give.  Please grant me knowledge to live and love today, this day in all its fullness.

Thank You for Your guidance.  If I do my part, it is most certain that You will do Yours.  You have only been waiting until I was ready.  I am ready today.

Amen.

What the Physical Form Does Not Contain

“Your form does not contain your heart, or the Energy of Creation, or God.  Your form is but an extension of this Energy, a representation of it.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 5.5)”

Affirmation:  “My form. . .an extension of Energy.”

Reflections:

By “form,” here, is meant the physical form.  And Jesus says that this physical, little self, can be the elevated Self of form at any time that we truly desire it.

Surely we return to daily living with a greater understanding once we have made this understanding our own.  We live with more patience, and, when stumble, we reach out and reestablish our equilibrium.

Keep a clear head and heart as we progress.  Do not let despair of attaining our goal deter us.  We have attained, but perhaps we live in unawareness of this.  Let the awareness come today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I recognize that my physical self does not contain my Essence.  My physical self is only a representation of God’s Energy.  These words do seem obscure, but help me to understand today.

May I attain the elevated Self of form on a sustained basis.  This is the Christ-consciousness that will elevate my life to that level to which You wish me to rise.

Amen.

Remaining in the Physical Body

“What this treatise is saying to you is that if the physical experience appeals to you, and if you create the union of the human and the divine as a new state of being, this choice will be eternally yours.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 4.18)”

Affirmation:  “union of the human and the divine”

Reflections:

This statement means that the physical may remain attractive to us.  We do not necessarily want to achieve Awakening, and then abandon the world.  We may want to enjoy the physical, but with a new emphasis on the divine in the physical.  This is heaven on earth.

Edgar Cayce, an early 20th century psychic, indicated that many of us come to this world to help those who are “trapped” in matter.  If this is true, and it very likely may be, then we would want to return to this world to help those who cannot free themselves without our help.  We are doing God’s work; we are his hands and feet.

Jesus will help us to know the right pathway for our future.  We can choose to live the physical, or, after death, we can remain on the Other Side.  We do have choice in this matter.  We are not pawns of the universe.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I do not know if the physical body will remain attractive to me, that I will return to this earth time and again in different bodies.  ACIM recommends that we not take a stand on reincarnation.  Help me today to be true to ACIM.

I do know that I thank You for the physical body that I have today.  May this body remain healthy and strong, and may my emotions remain peaceful.

Amen.

Returning to Our True Identity

“Have we not worked throughout this course to return your true identity to you now?  The joining of heart and mind in relationship is the joining of the personal self with the true Self in the reality in which you exist now.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 4.16)”

Affirmation:  “in the reality in which I exist now”

Reflections:

This passage encapsulates the primary theme of “A Treatise on the New.”  We are not to look for some far-off and distant culmination for the blessing that we seek.  Christ-consciousness is ready for us, here and now, if we are ready.  And we can be ready.  That is spoken to all who are studying A Course of Love.

We will not always feel the truth of these words.  We will fall down, often many times, before we know Awakening to be a constant state.  These lapses should not deter us.  We will find our way Home.

There is no time.  This is an implied message of ACOL.  All time, in fact, exists simultaneously, which is one of the laws of those who follow the newest findings of physics.

Do not fail to reach the pathway today.  Know that lapses in understanding that happen today will fall away tomorrow.  Know that the reality in which we now reside is the best place from which we can grow to the elevated Self.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

In this Thanksgiving season, I thank You for my true identity, especially for the truth that my true identity can be known now–without tedious waiting for some distant future time.

If I find myself prone to doubt this truth, may I rethink my position, and accept Your words as true.  We can know ourselves in our true identity in this world, and may we recognize this glorious truth today.

Amen.

How to Be Reborn

“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)”

Affirmation:  “reborn as a true Self”

Reflections:

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.

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.

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.

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.

Embodying a New Self

“The change in the form you now occupy, the change I have spoken of as that of elevation of the personal self, is a natural part of the pattern of life-everlasting.  It is long over-due.  It is long over-due because you have rejected rather than accepted your inheritance.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 4.8)”

Affirmation:  “May I know the elevation of the personal self today.”

Reflections:

We have to be open to the change in our form that Jesus asks of us now.  What does this mean?  It means that we will accept the promise of Christ-consciousness that he is holding out to us.  At first we may not sustain this Christ-consciousness, but we will see glimpses.  When fear or judgment or planning for the future in a defensive way intrude (ACIM tenets), we will fall down.  But when fear, judgment, and planning are left behind, we can once again invite God to show Himself within our hearts.  And He will do so.

Christ-consciousness is our rightful inheritance.  Let us accept it today, regardless of whatever outward difficulties may remain.

We cannot just will, though, this change in our personal selves.  As A Course in Miracles makes clear, it is God Himself who “reaches down” (a metaphor) and calls us to Awakening.  Awakening and Christ-consciousness are identical (an interpretation, not stated in either ACIM or ACOL), though the term “Awakening” is used consistently in ACIM, and the term “Christ-consciousness” is used consistently in ACOL.  We must open ourselves to God’s action by prayer and reflection.  Preparation is necessary, as ACIM makes clear.  As ACIM says, revelation may occasionally reveal the end to us, but to reach the end, one must understand the means (which are being explained in ACIM, and, by extension, also in ACOL).  Once we have made our preparation, we can rest easy.  If the way seems long, we can still rest content.  We are assured that once begun, the end of the journey (Awakening, Christ-consciousness) is certain.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I realize that Christ-consciousness may come into my life gently and easily, almost as though it is nothing “special.”  We will know that it has come, first, in glimpses.  May I enjoy those glimpses today.  Jesus would have me to sustain Christ-consciousness while in my physical form on this earth, and I would have it so as well.  That would take me beyond just “glimpses.”

Let this affirmation be Your Will as well as mine, since I know that Your Will is also my real will.

Amen.

The Original Nature of Our Being

“There is a reason why the original nature of your being cannot exist in a form unnatural to love.  A form whose nature is fear cannot house the creation of love.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 3.12)”

Affirmation:  “May my form house only love today.”

Reflections:

This passage explains further what was begun in the passage quoted yesterday.  We can know our “original nature,” even in physical form, but we cannot know this original nature if we still live in fear.  Fear is the home of the ego, and we are told in A Course of Love that we have left the ego behind.  If vestiges seem to remain, they are illusory, and are meant to be thrust off as unworthy of a child of God.

So the physical can house a being of love, which all of us are aiming to be.  But if we don’t reach for this love, we will not know our “original nature.”  The elevated Self of form, the Christ-consciousness housed in the physical, cannot shine through.  We will be stuck in fear-ridden unreality, the world of the ego.  And we will not know our ultimate glory in this world.

The “New,” as described in this treatise, is meant to convey that we are living in a new time, a time in which we can experience the love that we have lost through separation from God.  We can actually “remember” the state of union with God, and thereby realize that we truly never lost it.  But having forgotten it through the succumbing to the ego’s wily ways, we were unaware of all the joys that could be ours.  The “New” would have us forget all of our former nonsense, and to walk into the sunlight with Jesus (an ACIM concept).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know only love today, not fear.  So often fears still try to intrude, even though I have read and studied the words of Jesus in ACIM and ACOL.  I would not have fears to intrude today.  You do not wish me to have fear intrude.

When the day seems difficult, guide my ways into more peaceful pathways.  I know that You wish the best for me, and that is found only in loving relationships with You and with my brothers and sisters in this world.

Amen.

Vision

“The physical form is not the natural or original form of the created.  Vision is the means by which the original nature of the created can once again be known.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 3.12)”

Affirmation:  “May vision come to me today.”

Reflections:

This passage suggests that we existed in a spiritual form before we were born into the physical world, to have the physical form that we accept as natural.  And the elevated Self of form, which we have oft said, is what we are reaching for in this world.

A Course in Miracles does not make the specific statement that we existed in a spiritual form prior to birth into the natural world.  But ACOL does.  Perhaps many of us who are students of ACIM have assumed our spiritual pre-existence, though.

In ACOL, we are told that we can use our newfound vision to recapture the essence of that spiritual state, but we do not have to die to recapture it.  Physicality is not a false state, one to be lamented.  ACOL is quite specific about the heights to which we can climb while still encased in the physical.  ACIM refers more specifically to the illusion that is the physical world, and this has led some students to deemphasize the physical as one to be regretted because of our fall from grace.  ACOL is more optimistic.  It definitely does not champion immortality in the physical form (it denies this elsewhere), but the fact that the physical seems real to us is less discounted.  We are to take advantage of the joys that such physical reality can bring to us, not in any immoral sense, but in more of a joyous way than ACIM suggested.

When we turn to vision, we are led to understand that we can see with our wholeheartedness the joys of physical form.  Note that this vision is not of the eyes, but of the mind and heart combined.  We know in a way that we can only know when we are whole.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I revel in my physical form, especially when I feel that it has been elevated to my Self.  This may not happen all at once, but I may have glimpses of this glorious state.  May I have glimpses today.

Thank You for being there for me, in good times and in bad.  Nothing can be really bad when I know that Jesus is holding my hand as I walk through this world.

Amen.

Judgment and Vision

“As the natural state of love is returned to you, judgment falls away because vision will arise.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 3.8)”

Affirmation:  “May vision come to me today.”

Reflections:

This statement is very much akin to one in A Course in Miracles.  We are told that to attack, to judge, and to make plans against contingencies to come will all cause us to lose our way.  In this passage from ACOL, the negative factor of judgment is addressed.  We are to turn to vision, our real salvation from God

Judgment is an aspect of fear, and so long as we judge, we are still caught up in the fears brought on by the ego.  ACOL assures us that we are moving beyond the ego, or we would not still be reading these volumes.  If we have truly left the ego behind, our fear will not long hinder us.  We will live a blessed life, helped through it by the vision that ACOL suggests in this passage.

What is “vision”?  It is simply the right way to view the things of this world.  We are not often conscious of viewing through our vision.  We think that our eyes see, but ACIM says not.  Our eyes see illusion.  Vision is an internal thing.  And it is the way that we will reach higher and higher, or, if you will, deeper and deeper, until Christ-consciousness comes to overshadow us, and we are at Home at last.  This does not mean that we will die; it does mean that we will live, as oft repeated, the elevated Self of form (a tenet of ACOL).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I leave judgment behind today, knowing that to judge rightly is absolutely impossible for me.  I cannot see the whole picture, and therefore I cannot judge rightly.

Thank You for granting me the vision that I ask for.  I know that I need only fulfill the conditions that you spell out, and then ask, and then vision is mine.

Amen.

Original Intent = Cause

“Original intent has everything to do with the nature of things for original intent is synonymous with cause.  The original intent of this chosen experience was the expression of the Self of love in observable form.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘ A Treatise on the New,’ 3.4)”

Affirmation:  “May I express my Self of love today.”

Reflections:

The “chosen experience” discussed in this passage is the advent of mankind on earth, the human form that we inhabit.  But we did, in fact, have a “fall from Grace,” (as depicted metaphorically in the Old Testament), and we detoured into the ego (a part of our belief about ourselves, as discussed in ACIM).  The ego led us to all kinds of fear, manifested mostly in anger and attack, and led us away from the love that we so desperately crave.

Because we thought that we had rejected God, we were reluctant to do what we perceived as His bidding, His “Will.”  ACIM tries to change all that, explaining that to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit is to do our will, that He speaks for us.

So, as A Course of Love makes clear, we did not hold to the original intent of our entry upon earth.  Now later reading in ACOL will support us as we endeavor to become the elevated Self of form, the original intent.  May we take a few steps along this pathway today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I show the Self of love that I really am this day.  May I not fall into attack and anger, as these are illusory and evidence of the ego having its way with us.

God created me loving.  My Self has not changed from this, though we have fallen into an ego-oriented little self that knows much pain and suffering.  Please take the pain and suffering from me today as I live the Self of love which God meant for me.

Amen.

Shared Vision

“You have lived with the vision of the separated self for so long that you cannot imagine what shared vision will mean, and do not yet recognize it when you experience it.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 2.29)”

Affirmation:  “May I feel alone no longer.”

Reflections:

Shared vision will be one with All, including God as well as our brothers and sisters.  Vision is more an attribute of God than is observation, a concept that refers to the physical manifestation of what vision has first shown.  But, as this passage says, we have long become accustomed to a separated self.  And now we are being asked to move into a shared Self of form, the elevated Self of form.

The elevated Self of form is a manifestation of Christ-consciousness in the physical world.  We do not leave this world by death to experience this revelation, and it is revelation from God to us (never the reverse, as A Course in Miracles makes clear).  We do not achieve immortality in the physical form that we inhabit, though; this ACOL makes clear elsewhere.  This idea of immortality in the physical form that we have now is a frequent misinterpretation of A Course in Miracles.  :Perhaps it is merely wish fulfillment for those of us who still fear death.  But some have said that death itself is like walking through an open door, and who could fear that?

We do not fully recognize, always, when we are in fact experiencing the elevated Self of form, the revelation of Christ-consciousness.  We think that we are not worthy, and so we do not open ourselves to the truth that these altered states of mind and heart are indeed something new and different for us.  We need to leave behind the feelings that we experienced when separation was all that we knew.  With Jesus as our guide, there is now something more out there, just waiting for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I believe that the unitive state, the one no longer felt as separation, is my way Home.  You are waiting eagerly for me to return.  The way has been long and hard.  May I find my way Home today.

When I pray, I feel the end of the separation that we have all known so  poignantly for so long.  You are there, inside and outside, and may I know Your presence today.

Amen.

ACIM Workbook Lesson for Day 247:

Without forgiveness I will still be blind.

The Omnipresent Self

“Your awareness of the Self that you are now was not present in the past, but you can truly now, with the devotion of the observant, see that the Self you are now was indeed present, and was the truth of who you were then as now.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 2.15)”

Affirmation:  “The Self that I am now was present also in the past.”

Reflections:

This passage indicates that we “remember,” that we have never really lost, the true Self that was covered over during the time of our separation from God.  Our separation, given elsewhere in A Course of Love, was a plan in which we participated because we were eager to experience life, and God had no other way to deal with us but to let us go (much as a parent lets a teen who is rebellious find their way through a sometimes troubled world).  But if we “remember,” we have not really lost that Self that existed prior to the separation.  And we are now ready to remember, in the form of the “elevated Self of form” (an ACOL tenet).

What a joy to know that this new way of living has always been available to us, but that our culture covered it over with concepts of God and the Holy Spirit meant for another time and place.  We are ready now to walk into the light.  May we do so today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I truly know, in the depth of my being, the Self that You have said I really am.  May today know no attack nor anger.  May my little self not intervene in the glory that I can feel when the Self is in ascendancy.

Thank You for these words of reassurance in the passage for today.  I know that if You say that I have always been this Self, then my awareness of this Self will expand and develop.

Amen.

ACIM Workbook Lesson for Day 216:

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.

It can be but myself I crucify.

Day Eighteen: The Way to Paradise

“The new visual pattern is that of spirit resurrected in form.  It is the ascension of the body, or elevation of the self of form.  You are called to demonstrate this pattern.  The choice is to demonstrate this pattern through interaction with the world, or through incarnation through relationship.  Neither is exclusive.  Both are contained within the other.  (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 177)”

Affirmation:  “May my spirit be resurrected in my form.”

Reflections:

This passage encapsulates the essence of Day Eighteen.  Some will follow the way of Jesus through interaction (the active way) with the world, some will follow the way of Mary through relationships (the receptive way), and some will combine both ways in their time in this world.  All ways are needed in this time of transition.

Feelings are now our way of coming to know.  This idea has been expressed previously, but now is reiterated.  We lay aside all sickness as a temporary manifestation of external searching, and we turn within to find our knowing.  The way that we exemplify this knowing, though, differs–whether the way of Jesus, the way of Mary, or a symbiotic relationship of the two.

This passage also encapsulates the entire Forty Days and Forty Nights quite well.  We are to become the resurrected self of form, elevated to the Self that has always been innate in us.  This Self has never left God, and when we welcome this Self into our little self, we will know love and peace and joy as we have not known them for many eons.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I earnestly want to fulfill your plan for me:  that my little self elevate into the Self that I truly am.  This means that earthly being is not less than heavenly.  What a joy this means that life in this world can become!  Thank You.

I do not yet know whether my way is the way of Jesus, the way of Mary, or a combination of the two.  Guide me in this dilemma.  I will listen to Your Voice today.

Amen.

ACIM Workbook Lesson for Day 111:

For morning and evening review:

Miracles are seen in light.

Miracles are seen in light, and light and strength are one.

Day Eight: Accept the Present

“Now, however, it is crucial that you come to acceptance of yourself–in the present, as you are–for only by doing so will you come to full acceptance of who you are and be able to allow the Self of unity to merge with the self of form, thus elevating the self of form.  You will also, only in this way come to true expression of the elevated Self of Form.  (A Course of Love:  Dialogues, p. 136)”

Affirmation:  “May I come to full acceptance of who I am.”

Reflections:

The title for Day Eight, “Accept the Present,” is particularly apt.  Virtually everything in the chapter explains this assertion in some way.  We need to accept the present of being in normal life as we spend this time on the metaphorical mountain top.  We do not need to separate ourselves from our brothers and sisters, for they are the only way to the love that will give us unity with them.  We also do not need to separate ourselves from our normal living routines.

We are not called, however, to accept what we do not like.  We are not called to any passivity.  We are called to total acceptance of our Self.  Once we have accepted the Self, sometimes it will take some time for conditions to change, and sometimes conditions change immediately.  This is one of our blessings.   Change will not come without first having acceptance of our Self.

We should accept our own feelings.  Distancing ourselves from our feelings is not only dishonest; it will prevent us from further movement forward.  We are called to unity with our brothers and sisters through love.  We cannot err when we follow our feelings–for these feelings have now been cleansed.  If, however, we have not accepted all that Jesus holds out to us, we must be wary of feelings that take us away from the Self that we want to be, the Self of Christ-consciousness.  Then and only then do we need to be wary of following our feelings.  (This latter point is an interpretation, not a tenet of ACOL.)

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to accept myself as I am, knowing that You do.  I chastise myself so often, and I think so often that I am not worthy.  Jesus would have me to drop these thoughts and the actions that result from them.  I am not perfect, but I must accept that You accept me as I am.

If there are things about myself that need to be changed, please give me the grace to change easily.  I understand that I have made real progress, and that the elevated Self of form is something that I can attain.  I am apt to forget this.  Help me to remember this.  And thank You for the blessing of the Christ-consciousness that You hold out to me.

Amen.

ACIM Workbook Lesson for Day 101:

God’s Will for me is perfect happiness.