We Find Our Way in This World Safely by Acknowledging What Our Heart Tells Us

“And all of these, those who would admit to fear, and those who would not, would still believe that love exists despite fear’s claim upon it, and think that they are lucky to have found a love to shield them for a little while from all the other things they fear. And yet the greatest fear of all is that of loss of love. You who have given everything to be alone and separate fear most of all that which you have given everything to attain. For what is loss of love but confirmation of your separate state? What is loss of love but being left alone?” (C:14.21)

We thought that we wanted to be separate from God; this is part of the theology of traditional Christianity as well as A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. Separation would be that we would be independent, on our own, isolated. Yet in the illusory actuality (for we could never actually separate from God, being part of Him) we have been the most afraid of being alone. Try as hard as we can, we still cling, desperately, to the special love relationships that would save us from ourselves—or so we think. So the living out of isolation has actually been the source of our greatest fears.

We fear being alone more than anything because somewhere in our deluded minds is the certainty that we are living amiss, and that a furious God will take revenge on us for denying Him. This is as true for atheists as anyone else, for each of us of whatever persuasion has something in which we put our faith. If this religion is ego-tainted, we will fear all the more, and what religion in our world is not ego-tainted? It is only in giving up our false idols of isolation and separation that we come even close to finding our way safely through this world.

We find our way safely in this world by acknowledging what our heart tells us. And this heart does not require “proof” of God’s existence. It is rightly said that there are no atheists in foxholes (a somewhat outdated reference recalling the first world war). When we get scared about our predicament, we do turn to what we hope will save us. And A Course of Love proclaims that this is the saving grace for what we understand to be our heart. It alone does not seek to have divine proof; it simply knows that we are not alone in all the universe. We are not isolated and independent; we are meant to share our living with others. And A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love call these relationships, the “holy” relationships.

Most all of us have experienced loss of love in some form, with somebody. Somebody let us down, we cry. We think that if only this special someone had loved us for ourselves alone, we would be saved. This makes of love a mockery. And it places in our midst a scavenger that would devoir true love. We do not have to pin our hopes on one someone (or several someones) who can save us. We need only rest in the knowledge—and it is knowledge—that we are never meant to be alone, that divine love is there to protect and keep us safe. And once we give up the attributes of specialness, our relationships one to another will indeed be holy. We have to give up specialness in relationships, we are told. But the relationships will not be snatched from us, to leave us cowering in the dust. The special relationships turned holy will be a foretaste of Heaven, right here on earth.

A World of Love

“Now, as we reverse this set of circumstances, and replace the world of fear with a world of love, there can be no more weighing of love against fear. God did not create fear and will not be judged by it. All judgment is the cause of fear and this effort to weigh love’s strength against fear’s veracity. While you chose to believe and live in a world the nature of which was fear, you could not know God. You could not know God because you judged God from within the nature of fear, believing it to be your natural state.” (ACOL, T4:3.7)

We thought that it was protective to have fear in our arsenal of defenses. But did it ever work very well? We got anxious often, but did this really protect us?

We don’t need fear’s protection. We don’t need protection at all. We have no need for defense against anything. We will be warned when we need to do anything to “protect” ourselves because we are in danger of some kind. God does not leave us defenseless; He is our defense, if we ever need to have a defense in this world at all, and that is debatable.

Defenses do what they would protect against.

We thought that fear was a natural reaction, not realizing that it was, instead, evidence of living insanity. We need to replace this world of fear we have made into a world of love, and only then can we relax in the grace that God gives us.

We need to make a definite decision to give up judgment, and this much we can do. We can determine that we will not judge ourselves, others, or God, and we can stand by this as a promise. The world will never again look as dismal. We will have found means to emerge from a world of insanity. We will walk into the light.

Develop a More Loving Image of God

Even the most loving parent, like unto your most loving image of God, having brought a child into a fearful world, became subject to the tests of time. Thus did the world become a world of effort with all things in it and beyond it, including God, weighed and balanced against the idea of fear.” (ACOL, T4:3.6)

We were raised in a dysfunctional environment—all of us, regardless of how loving our parents tried to be toward us. They too partook of fear, and thus we were nurtured in fear. The world became a place in which we sought the approval of our parents, and this approval became something to earn, something about which we must exert effort.

Our relationships continued from this first one, of parents to children (us). We sought to grow through achievement, our own efforts, and the world became a fairly grim place indeed. We projected this fear upon our image of the God within, though we didn’t know that He was within. Most of us saw God as an external Creator, someone, something like Santa Claus, who knew everything that we thought and did, and weighed it in the balance to decide if we were good little boys and girls.

This is indeed a fearful way to view God, and we imagine that this might indeed hurt Him (if the Creator were to have an ego such as we have, which He doesn’t).

So we grew up, supported by our fearful ideas of this world. Only religious convictions can actually save us from the dilemma in which we find ourselves. And these do not necessarily have to be of a traditional sense. God is God of the secular as well. And He will provide.

We need only ask, though we are apt to forget the asking part when we are fearful. Then, focus our minds on receiving, for all too often, we ask but do not leave plenty of time to thank God for granting our wish, for receiving from Him.

Secret for Staying in This World, but Seeing It Differently

“Think you not that reason opposes love, for love gives reason its foundation. The foundation of your insane world is fear. The foundation of Heaven, your true home, is love. The same world based upon these different foundations could not help but look quite different.” (ACOL, C:14.9)

We don’t have to have blind faith in the precepts of A Course of Love. We are told, “love gives reason its foundation.” (ACOL, C:14.9) We are further told that the foundation of our insane world is fear. And the foundation of Heaven, our true home, is love. It is strongly implied that the way that we look at our world determines whether it is hell or Heaven. The way that we look. That is perception, and we know from A Course in Miracles that projection makes perception.

What we feel inwardly will determine what we see in the outer world. And if we are feeling fear, we will see an insane world that is violent and destructive. If we are feeling love, we will see Heaven.

Is this too simplistic? Is this even true? Can the same images that flow before our eyes seem fearful or loving, based on what we are projecting? Yes. For the fearful mind sees more reason to fear, and the loving mind sees with these things only lamentable things, but no cause for fear. The loving mind does not reject the outer world of insanity as not there; it sees that it is there, but it is only illusion, the illusion of insanity. And so it gives that outer, violent and destructive, world no credence.

“The same world based upon these different foundations could not help but look quite different.” (ACOL, C:14.9)

Yes! This is the secret for staying in this world, but seeing it differently. This is the secret of having peace in the midst of chaos. Choose fear or love, and all the world will change according to the emotion that is chosen.

Love which Kept Us Safe – and Happy – and Bound to Those We Love

“The desire to protect is a desire that arises from distrust and is based totally on fear. If there were no fear, what would there be to protect? Thus, all of your love—the love that you imagine you keep within yourself, and the love that you imagine you receive and give—is tainted by your fear and cannot be real love. It is because you remember love as that which kept you safe, that which kept you happy, that which bound all those you love to you, that you attempt to use love here. This is a real memory of creation that you have distorted.” (ACOL, C:9.3)

We are not able to use love to protect us, although we often try. The desire to protect ourselves is a fear-based motivation, one that can’t be what it tries to do, keep us safe. We are already safe; we don’t need anything extra to make ourselves so.

We have, Jesus says, a memory of love from eons ago (as the world judges time). Love at the beginning, before the illusory separation, kept us happy and kept together all whom we loved. Somehow, dimly, we remember this true event, and we want some of that same feeling now. We try to find it in fear that comes from distrust. If we didn’t think we were in danger, why would we think at all about being “protected”? We would know that there is nothing that we need protection from, and we would be at peace. So this desire is wholly fear-based. We do love a disservice when we attempt to “use” it at all. Love cannot be used, just as we would be wise not to use each other for our own ends. We are safe, we have always been safe, and sooner or later we will all realize our safety is a God-given gift.

When love is tainted by fear, it is not real love. Unfortunately, most of our love in this world is tainted by fear, and thus we need another way to view love. We need to realize that it is part of the long-ago memory of Oneness with God. Only our attempt to separate from God, with the concomitant rise of the ego, has kept us from real love. Let us decide today that we will be done with all of this foolishness. Ask to experience real love, remove our mind from attempts to use this love to protect your physical body, and see if a better day doesn’t dawn.

Our Feelings in Truth Come from Love

“Your feelings in truth come from love, your response to them is what is guided by fear. Even feelings of destruction and violence come from love. You are not bad, and you have no feelings that can be labeled so. Yet you are misguided concerning what your feelings mean and how they would bring love to you and you to love.” (ACOL, C:5.11)

Jesus forms a startling assertion about love and fear, one that we wouldn’t expect. He says that all of our feelings come from love, in essence because we are not “bad” (C:5.11). ACIM says that we have the “innocence of God” (T-III.17:2), and so Jesus is here asserting to the same thought. How our feelings of destruction and violence can come from love may remain nebulous to us, but Jesus believes that we have just misunderstood ourselves. We have been misguided about how to bring love to ourselves. So we have made wrong choices in our love, choices that gave us destruction and violence.

Do we not often noticed that nobody who is embroiled in violence and destruction thinks that he/she is at fault about anything that is bad? History is replete with wars that were fought in the name of God, believing that one is doing God’s will in the antagonism. This is one way of looking at love gone astray. This is one way to realize that fear has done nothing, that it is only our misperceptions about love and how it ought to be expressed that have done us in.

Our feelings are not bad, Jesus says. We only need to channel those feelings in the right direction, seeing love where it really is, avoiding feelings of destruction and violence, pain and suffering. Then we will find love’s fruits to be our chosen just desserts. We will have taken another step on love’s pathway. Another step toward Awakening/Christ-consciousness.

The Christ in Us Is Wholly Human & Wholly Divine

“The Christ in you is wholly human and wholly divine. . . .It is this joining of the human and divine that ushers in love’s presence, as all that caused you fear and pain falls away and you recognize again what love is.” (ACOL, C:5.1)
We are indeed blessed now! When we recognize the Christ in us, we are recognizing a joining the human and the divine. And in this joining, we are told, love reigns, “joining. . .ushers in love’s presence.” (ACOL, C:5.1)

All that has caused fear and pain drops away, and we finally recognize what love really is. This is the celebration, when we recognize the Self within, the Self no longer a captive of the ego.

The Christ in us is wholly human and wholly divine, not omniscient, of course, because of our humanness. We are ready to experience true reality in the fullness of the Christ-consciousness (Awakening) that now engulfs us. We may as yet have captured only glimpses of this Christ-consciousness. But the purpose of A Course of Love is to lead us to understandings that will cause the impediments in our psyche to drop away. Jesus wants us to reach Christ-consciousness. A consolidation of awakened individuals is the best hope that we have for a world in disarray, lost in pain and suffering, lost in conflict of one brother and sister against another. But God, we might add, is the omniscient Presence that makes the decision of when we are ready. Thus, there is an indecisive quality about Christ-consciousness and its coming that we can’t predict. Only the omniscient God of us all knows when any one of us is truly ready.

There are things that we can do. Things we must do. We must give up judgments, one of the other. We must give up fear (a biggie). We must give up attack and planning that is not the direct result of guidance. A Course of Love highlights the giving up of judgment and fear; A Course in Miracles highlights the giving up of attack, judgment, and unguided planning. These directives are meant to remove impediments to the coming of Christ-consciousness, and we can all recognize how difficult these directives will be if we don’t have divine help.

We do have divine help. We need only ask. The part of ourselves, the inner part, that is God, will respond. Angels will also come to our aid, for we are not all alone in the universe. Those of us who are in close contact with the Other Side will also come to recognize other entities that move to help us, though Jesus does not point this truth out, in so many words. Jesus has said that he is always with us, always guiding us by the hand. He is our rock, our salvation to a higher world in this world.

We do not have to die to enjoy the benefits of a higher presence directing our efforts.

How Could We Not Have Been Fearful with Doubt as Powerful as This?

“All fear ends when proof of your existence is established. All fear is based on your inability to recognize love and thus who you are and who God is. How could you not have been fearful with doubt as powerful as this? How can you not rejoice when doubt is gone and love fills all the space that doubt once occupied?” (ACOL, C:4.5)

We have often doubted God, and not just in our youth, when many of us became agnostics and atheists because the chronology of Genesis did not jive with evolution. We have doubted that there could be a Higher Power Who could hear our prayers. We wanted to be intellectually honest, but we didn’t listen to our hearts. Our hearts knew all along that we weren’t alone in a fearsome universe.

A Course of Love questions, “How could you not have been fearful with doubt as powerful as this?” (C:4.5). This lack of love that we felt when we were being intellectually “honest” is a reason to feel fear. What better reason could there be?

Now that most of believe in the Other Side, that channeling is possible and also probable, we are in a different place. Our doubts have subsided, but we still are living the remnants of too much fear. Fear has become a habit for us. And this has to change if we are to live full lives in a new world that we are seeking to create.

When we put away our doubt, we will make substantial progress. Just give the heart a chance to speak to you. You will not be disappointed. This may be the first indication that the Christ Self is coming into its own, in us, in all of us.

Love Is Not Something We Do; It Is What We Are

“You feel you are capable of loving acts of heroic proportions and fearful actions of horrific consequence, acts of bravery and acts of cowardice, acts of passion you call love and acts of passion you call violence. You feel unable to control the most extreme of these actions that arise from these extremes of feeling. Both ‘ends’ of feelings are considered dangerous and a middle ground is sought. It is said that one can love too much and too little but never enough. Love is not something you do. It is what you are. To continue to identify love incorrectly is to continue to be unable to identify your Self. (ACOL, C:2.6)

We know from the title of this book that being who we are is very important in A Course of Love. And what and who we are, are love. We sometimes see this love as passion, and that is not wrong, just incomplete. We have sometimes engaged in extreme forms of behavior due to our passion, and we have sometimes been fear-prone when we have been doing so. Pure love is not drama; we make a mistake in believing that it is. We think that if we love in an all-embracing way, we will be embroiled in a drama that will take us outside of ourselves.

Love is not something that we do. Instead, it something that we are. We won’t succeed in identifying our Self if we continue to think in terms of doing rather than being. And identifying our Self is what A Course in Love is all about. We are trying to establish a new identity, and the new identity is the source of our being one with God. We have left the illusory separation behind, and we are at one with God, no longer afraid of Him. We don’t have to fear a traumatic experience in those times that we approach God. Like A Course in Miracles says, we will instead have a beatific experience.

Sexual Behavior that Is Not of Love, Is of Fear

“There is only one distinction that need be made: what comes of love and what comes of fear. All expressions of love are of maximal benefit to everyone. While you may, for a while yet, not see that all that are not expressions of love are expressions of fear, I assure you this is the case. Thus any behavior, including sexual behavior that is not of love, is of fear. All that comes of fear is nothing. What this means is that cause and effect are not influenced by what comes of fear.” (T3:19.8)

So love is everything and fear is nothing. If behavior is not of love, Jesus says that this behavior is based in fear. He specifically mentions sexual behavior, and we know that much of our sexual lives have heretofore been more or less a “secret” from God. Not really, but we like to think so. Jesus brings this secrecy out into the open, letting us know that we are not getting away with anything. Our fearful sexual behavior, that is, our sexual behavior that is not love-centered, is actually nothing. It doesn’t amount to anything in any substantial way. It is just a lesser way to spend time.

We are encouraged to let our actions and our behaviors come out of love always. Then we will have no reason to regret. We will be home free in sexual behavior, in particular.

Love Is the Name We Give to Much We Fear

“Love is the name you give to much you fear. You think that it is possible to choose it as a means to buy your safety and security. You thus have defined love as a reaction to fear. This is why you can understand love as fear’s opposite. This is true enough. But because you have not properly recognized fear as nothing, you have not properly recognized love as everything. It is because of the attributes you have given fear that love has been given attributes. Only separate things have attributes and qualities that seem to complement or oppose. Love has no attributes, which is why it cannot be taught.” (ACOL, C:2.4)

We have confused love and fear, and in A Course of Love, we are told that love is everything, fear nothing. Love and fear are the two emotions, and love is fear’s opposite in every way. But understanding these points is not enough, for we have called “love” much that we actually fear.

This is most important to note in regard to special relationships, a topic of great interest in A Course in Miracles also. We actually find fear in our special relationships, the particular others that we seem to love better than other people in the world. These special relationships we fear to lose, for they seem to be everything to us. And this is where the fear is seen most strongly. Only when we have transformed the special into what Jesus calls “holy relationships” do we see our mistakes in making “special” anything in a relationship.

In A Course of Love, Jesus indicates that the time has come to give up our special relationships. They have never brought us anything that we truly wanted. They were flawed, borne of fear in a fear-ridden world. Holy relationships, though, are filled with true love. We know that regardless of how much a person might reject us, we will keep on loving. And love all we encounter, though not in physical or sexual terms, obviously. There is a place for discernment, still, in our relationships.

Lack = Fear

“All feelings of lack are synonymous with feelings of fear. Where there is fear, love is hidden. Love is rejected when a choice for fear is made. You cannot be without love, but you can reject love. When you reject love, it is hidden from you, because receiving completes giving. Each of your brothers and sisters are love inviolate. What each gives is incomplete until it is received.” (ACOL, C:25.5)

Loving each other, and giving and receiving as part of the same continuum, are mandatory in this world we hope to inhabit. If we are feeling in any way lacking in something that we need, we are in a fearful state that is best left behind. We have everything that we need, for our needs are met at the point that need is first recognized. The universe does provide; the only missing part might be that we don’t recognize that our needs are provided for. This would be a recognition of lack, and lack means that fear has the upper hand. Not something that we want; we don’t want to go there.

We are meant to share with each other in relationship one to the other. This naturally means that nobody will experience lack, for the giving and receiving that we do ensures that our needs are met.

Our brothers and sisters embody love. When this is all that we see in them, we will have walked a long way on the pathway back to God. We don’t need to see weaknesses and a sense of misplaced trust. These are egoic structures in others that are actually illusory.

All of us are strong in the Christ Self. And it is this strength that we draw on when we relinquish fear in favor of love.

Two Choices

“The choice that lies before you now concerns what it is you would come to know. The question asked throughout this Course is if you are willing to make the choice to come to know your Self and God now. This is the same as being asked if you are willing to be the chosen of God. This is the same question that has been asked throughout the existence of time. Some have chosen to come to know themselves and God directly. Others have chosen to come to know themselves and God indirectly. These are the only two choices, the choices between truth and illusion, fear and love, unity and separation, now and later. What you must understand is that all choices will lead to knowledge of Self and God, as no choices are offered that are not such. All are chosen and so it could not be otherwise. But at the same time, it must be seen that your choice matters in time, even if all will make the same choice eventually.” (ACOL, T4:1.11)

We choose between love and fear always. And in the coming to know of our true Self, the inner Christ Self, we are choosing love. Many have made this choice throughout time, some directly to know God and some, directly, through the Holy Spirit. We are led to approach God through the Holy Spirit when we are too fearful to approach God more directly. This choice evolves at the conclusion of A Course in Miracles, the conclusion of the Workbook, as well as in A Course of Love. Love wins out, finally, and we no longer fear God. We are not traumatized by Him. We can go to Him, be heard, and come away with the softness of love experienced.

We are always choosing between truth and illusion, love and fear. Love is always the way of truth; fear is always the way of illusion. There are no other choices.

We who have been caught in illusion for eons do not really comprehend, in the beginning, what is being asked of us. We are being asked to turn aside from illusion in all its guises. And with this choice to turn aside from illusion, we know truth in the form of love always. We cannot, on our own, turn aside from illusions. In A Course in Miracles, our guidance—which we always need to follow—was seen as coming from the Holy Spirit. Now, Jesus says, we have left the time of the Holy Spirit, and we are in the time of Christ, and so our guidance will be perceived in a new and different way. The all-encompassing Christ Self, which engulfs all of us, is the means that we now are encouraged to address. We are encouraged to listen to this inner Christ Self, to follow the guidance that comes from within. It is important to realize that we may not actually feel much difference in where our guidance comes from. And that is not too important. We know when we are following guidance, just as we know when we are turning aside from it.

And happiness comes with the choice to follow guidance. In doing so, we are choosing truth in our daily lives. And we are choosing love.

To Separate or to Remain Whole

“You have been told there are but two emotions, love and fear. What this is really saying is that there are but two ways to respond to what you feel—with love or with fear. If you respond with fear you expel, project, and separate. If you respond with love you remain whole.” (ACOL, D:Day16.10)

What is the difference in reacting between these two emotions?

Fear is always separating, removing us farther from the sense of God’s Presence within us. Love allows us to be whole, at one with God, with others, and with ourselves.

When we are caught in the egoic fear that has engulfed us for so long, we project a fearful world. We project that which we believe to be true about our world. But this projection is all coming from within a fearful self-concept, and so this projection is really a nothing, dressed up in clothes that make it seem something important and right. But it is never right, and most of us are tired of the same old world of fear. We need a new attitude, a new projection, a projection of love. And this we can have, when we follow the guidance of Jesus in these examples of channeling.

So let us decide, once and for all, that we will respond to what we see with love. This decision changes everything for us. Not only do we forgive, but we see with the eyes of love. And our little world changes accordingly, for (as A Course in Miracles makes clear) projection makes perception.

Only Two Emotions

“You label love a feeling, and one of many. Yet you have been told there are but two from which you choose: love and fear. Because you have chosen fear so many times and labeled it so many things you no longer recognize it as fear. The same is true of love.” (ACOL, C:2.3)

We have been pretty mixed up. We have, all too often, confused fear with love, labeling them both two of many other feelings. But we learn from Jesus that there are only two emotions—love and fear—and that all other emotions are variants of these two.

This simplifies life for us. But how do we move away from fear, toward love?
We need help, and it is help that Jesus is giving us. We have confused fear and love, often making choices that gave us fear when we were seeking to experience love.

This dynamic is especially true in special relationships, those relationships in our lives in which certain other people are emblazoned, by our ego, with qualities that seem to set these people apart from all others. This is especially the case with romantic relationships, which nearly always start out as special. We think that he or she is the best thing that we have ever encountered, and we want to appropriate these good qualities to ourselves. We complete in the presence of the other. We feel joyous. And we feel a sense of grandeur that is perhaps as yet unparalleled in our experience in this world.

But such thoughts are actually a grandiosity. And these feelings do not last. Our special person is found to have feet of clay, and we fall away disillusioned—sometimes almost immediately, sometimes years later. And then we often turn away, for we feel that we have somehow been misled. We misconceived what was before. He/she was not “special” at all.

But that other really was special. The problem is that we didn’t realize that we needed to turn the special into the holy, something that Jesus counsels us about. Ultimately, he tells us that none of us is special, or, conversely, all of us are—for we are no different one from the other. (Only in time do we differ, and time does not really exist; we live in eternity only.) We need to make an end, as A Course of Love counsels, to the whole idea of special relationships. They will never bring us what we want. And in turning from the special to the holy, we will finally know genuine love for the first time.

The special relationship fosters fear, for we sense that we “need” this other person for our completion. And we fear, rightly, that he/she may not always be there for us.

Relationships are the primary way that we confuse fear and love. A particularly poignant way that actually holds great promise for us. But only when we take away the fearful aspects of our relationship to another. And it is hard indeed to do that, when we are new to Jesus’s channeled teachings.

A Course of Love counsels us that we must indeed give up special relationships, but also that we will not really lose anything—for special relationships are nothing, being borne of fear. We will transform these relationships with particular others into a holy experience, and then we will know true love for what it is.

We have not heretofore recognized that fear is predominant in many of our relationships. We have had our eyes blinded. But now we can come to know. We recognize that feeling uncertain in relationships fosters fear only, not love. And we want love, the real thing.

And we can have love.

Tension of Opposites

“As a separate being, you have been in a relationship with fear. This relationship with fear is all that has provided the ‘I’ of the separated self. But because you exist as an extension of love, you have always held within you the Christ, who is the relationship with love. This is why individuation has become the conflict between, or the tension of, opposites. Because you have relationship with both fear and love.” (D:Day40.22)

We need to have the fear fall away, but we are doomed from that prospect as long as the ego rules and separation from God rules. We are heading into a new dimension of our personhood, a Christ-consciousness that will mean that we occupy a physical form in this world, but our minds and hearts are elsewhere, in a new consciousness that means that we live very much in the present. But we are getting ahead of ourselves.

For eons we have been in a relationship with fear, because we were governed by a false view of self that has come to be known as the “ego.” This relationship with fear meant that any pain was very likely to turn into suffering, and more pain, and disaster, even. To rescue us from this dismal situation, Jesus has channeled both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, the former to dislodge the ego, and the latter to establish a new identity. To establish a new peace.

We have never really snuffed out the Christ within. This is our true Self, the entity that is one with God, Who also dwells within. But our relationship with this false part of ourselves called the ego has meant that we couldn’t sense the Christ, and we couldn’t live well, and all in all we have been in a bad way. This is because we have been attached to fear rather than to love. And now is the time to remedy that.

Love and fear do not mix very well. Love is harmonious and kind, as we know, but love is not just an emotion. It is truly what we are, what we are meant to be. Fear, on the other hand, is the great pollutant of what we are. Because we bought into fear through the self ruled by the ego, we have never really stood a chance to be happy.

The ego gives but to take away. We have had flights of fragile joy, but egoic joy is never the real thing. And just as soon as we experienced one of these joyous flights, we were hurled downward, face on the ground, to a devastating sense of doom. It is clear that we can never enjoy peace of a lasting nature when this is the reality in which we live.

Is this not the way that we have experienced reality? But this is not genuine reality. Jesus is telling us now, in ACIM and ACOL, how to so live that we are in peace and happiness continually. If we heed his words, we will live in what is true reality. And we will have a calm peace that remains undisturbed by outward events in our physical and emotional world. We will truly have learned how to live.

And we will be who we truly are.

The Embrace

“To know who you are and not to express who you are with your full power is the result of fear. To know the safety and love of the embrace is to know no cause for fear, and thus to come into your true power. True power is the power of miracles.” (ACOL, C:20.28)

Seeing that we don’t express who we really are out of fear, let us contemplate what we might do to turn this situation around.

Jesus includes in A Course of Love a sensitively-written passage in which he takes us into his arms and embraces us. The passage exudes warmth, peace, and safety.
Here is the most cogent part:

“This is a call to move now into my embrace and let yourself be comforted. Let the tears fall and the weight of your shoulders rest upon mine. Let me cradle your head against my breast as I stroke your hair and assure you that it will be all right. Realize that this is the whole world, the universe, the all of all in whose embrace you literally exist. Feel the gentleness and the love. Drink in the safety and the rest. Close your eyes and begin to see with an imagination that is beyond thought and words.” (C:20.2)

This reassuring passage is emblematic of the tone of all A Course of Love, for ACOL looks to the heart, first of all, to entice us to give up the false values of the ego, the false identity to which we have clung for so long.

In letting this memorable passage fill our minds, we are led beyond the bounds of the fear-ridden ego. We will know that we want something different from what we have had all of our lives. We know that the enticement that Jesus represents is the true value of love, the way that we will come home to ourselves.

When we come home to ourselves, we will be fully powerful for the first time, and who among us does not want a right sort of power? The egoic power that we have known previously has given us flights of joy, but evermore it has dashed our feet on stones, and prompted tears of grievous regret. We can be finished with these tantalizing fits. We can stop sensing electric joy that dissolves into abject misery. Jesus is showing us the way out when he encourages us to be who we truly are.

When we don’t fear anything, in the embrace, we are primed to come into our real power. We are primed to be who we really are, in love with the whole world. And for this miracle, we need give up nothing! Nothing at all, for what the ego has given us has truly been nothing. The ego gives but to take away. And, even the giving is time-bound to be of short duration. The “gifts” of the ego don’t satisfy very long at all. Then we are off to a new goal. And, ultimately, what we have accumulated becomes ash and dust at our feet. No joy in the “everything” at all, for the everything is not enough. “Is this all there is?” becomes a legitimate question for the vast majority of us. And that is because we are looking for love in all the wrong places.

The best place to look for love is within the miracle. Both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love say a great deal about the power of miracles. We aren’t to decide personally what miracles ought to be done, because we would be misguided if that were our attitude. Jesus makes clear that he decides when and if a miracle is timely, because he is in charge of the Atonement. But when we ask for something, such as love and the centrality of love in our life, we can be sure that Jesus is right there with us, cheering us along. We can’t know how the miracle will happen, only that it will. We are asking in God’s will for the relinquishment of fear and the shift to love in all our dealings. Prayers such as these do not go unattended.

The power of miracles is said in A Course of Love to be the true power. Would any of us want any other power? We need and want to be reverent in our asking, supportive of whatever guidance we get. We don’t need to launch into pipe dreams that become meaningless. With the attraction of true power in our minds and hearts, we will know Love sooner rather than later. And the fear that has hampered all our doings for many years will gradually fall away.

A Course in Miracles Sets the Stage

“The further teachings of the original Course were designed to turn fear into love. When you think you can go only so far and no further in your acceptance of the teachings of the course and the truth of your Self as God created you, you are abdicating love to fear.” (ACOL, P11)

Many come to A Course of Love from A Course in Miracles. And Jesus has made clear that A Course of Love is a continuation of A Course in Miracles. Here we find the continuity that Jesus wanted. Here he expresses this continuity in terms of love and fear.

We are told, in no uncertain terms, that when we feel that we cannot fully accept A Course in Miracles (and, by implication, A Course of Love), we are “abdicating love to fear.” (ACOL, P11) We think we don’t know how to live a life fully in love; we don’t dare let go of fear.

What is this but the ego talking to us? It is nothing but: It is pure ego.
We have such a problem in letting go of the fear-ridden ego in favor of the heart-felt place of our love. We think, wrongly, that the ego has protected us from unnamed disasters—when it is actually just the reverse. We are abject cowards in the fact of the loud voice of the ego that we hear shouting to us to be careful.

We think that if we don’t heed these shrieking sounds, we will be lost. But it is actually the reverse. We will be lost in a hell of our making by refusing to listen to the still small voice that whispers of Love.

So let us take a look at what we are really meant to be, the person that Jesus sees in us. The person who chooses love over fear, consistently.

Choose Love – Not Fear

Note: I am going to move to a consideration of love and fear as presented by A Course of Love, with some inclusion of A Course in Miracles. I will return to The Way of Mastery later on. – Celia

“All feelings you label joyous or compassionate are of love. All feelings you label painful or angry are of fear. This is all there is. This is the world you make. Love or fear is your reality by your choice. A choice for love creates love. A choice for fear creates fear. What choice do you think has been made to create the world you call your home?” (ACOL, C:1.180)

So we are off on an adventure, a decision to shed fear for the much better value of love. The question in the quotation begs itself, for we know that previously all of us, encrusted with an ego that is destructive and violent, have chosen fear as our guide to walking through this world. We don’t have to make this choice anymore. There is another way, outlined in A Course of Love, scribed by Mari Perron, just as Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford chose another way that way culminated in A Course in Miracles.

We want our reality to be love, whether or not we are thinking about this all the time. We often make decisions that are steeped in fear, thinking that we are making a choice for love. Our special relationships are the most obvious example of this dynamic. We find a “special” someone, we fall “in love,” we think that we cannot live without this lovely thing—for the person has become a “thing” to us. We want to possess the other individual for ourselves, but we are fearful about losing this precious object. What do we do now? How do we find a way out of fearing and loving, seemingly at the same time?

This is the dilemma of our world. And , in taking a look, directly, at love and fear, we will be directed to a new and different, never way tried by ourselves before. It is a fabulous journey without distance to a goal that has been ours for eons.

We just didn’t know it before.

Heaven Blesses Us with Peace

Having free will does not mean that you can elect to take the only curriculum that life is offering you in every moment. It means only that you do have the right to put it off yet another day. And each time you put it off, you slumber in your suffering. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 6, Page 73)

We would “slumber” in our suffering if we put off confronting God with every fiber of our being. We need to be fearless as we approach living in this world. How might we effect this?

We look to living in the present, not putting off the eternal questions of Love, peace, joy, harmony. When we are rooted in the moment of the present, there is no fear. And fearlessness is the primary characteristic of mastery. When we make the decision to stop entertaining our own dark places, when we ask Heaven to bless us with peace, we are making a decision that will change the content of our days. We are coming Home to God. We will eventually be approaching mastery.

When the day goes badly, and our heart is pounding, our bodies jittery, what then?

This is fear personified. The best that we can do is to turn within, to the peace that is always present inside. Know that this peace is not far away, because God would comfort His children when we ask. We need simply to rest in the knowledge—
and it is knowledge, not perception—that outside of our jittery bodies is a truth that is currently eluding us. We allow God to act upon our confusion. We allow Him to grant us peace.

Enough times of simply turning away from fear will do the trick. Enough times of allowing God to touch us with His healing balm will promote the fearlessness that we all want.

If we are distraught today, know that there is a better way. Know that God is trying to get through our tangled emotions. Quieten down, in any of the ways that we have used previously—meditation, prayer, quiet reading, even distraction.

We will know God’s peace, because He wishes it for us. He wishes it for us just all the time.

Our Healing

It is part of the worldview of A Course in Miracles that we are all One, and this One is God. Ideas (and we are all at base an idea) leave not their Source, and so we are created creatures, extensions of God Himself. Our mistake in wanting to be apart and separate can never satisfy, because we are meant both to have and to be everything. Our egos would want a little separate treasure, apart from what our brother has, but all this false belief can ever give us is isolation, loneliness, and fear. And God has protected Himself and us by seeing that this separation happens only in illusion, in dreams. And thus it does not happen in Reality at all.

This explanation can only be understood metaphorically in this world, because we are not yet back Home in God. But miracles can and do happen without a fuller understanding. We can be healed of our guilt over separation (and the illusory effects that it has brought) without sacrifice and without pain. All we need are open hands to accept the miracle.

Specifically, what we have to give up to be free of pain is fear. Jesus sums up how in one concise sentence, “Being wholly without attack, it [love] cannot be afraid.” (T-19.IV.A.10:7) Without attack, there is no fuel with the pain that it brings. The pain may, and frequently does, visit ourselves or others in the form of sickness. This, Jesus explains, is the faulty problem solving mechanism meant to illustrate the frailty of the ego’s home, the body.

In these few sentences is a summation of what Jesus tells us about the origin of pain. Is it understandable? Not at its introduction, because once ego defenses immediately activate to suggest a thousand reasons why this simple answer cannot be the whole of it. Give the ideas a while to prove their validity.

Continue in Faith

“That resistance is fear. And fear is one of the energies out of alignment with the truth of the Kingdom. Therefore, fear not, but continue in faith. For I say unto you, what you will discover at the end of this pathway is perfect freedom, perfect power, perfect spaciousness, perfect joy and perfect peace of living—literally—in the Kingdom of Heaven.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 2, Page 22)

“. . .[F]ear not, but continue in faith.” Doesn’t this sound like the New Testament? Haven’t we been urged all of our lives to have faith? Faith without seeing, faith in knowing that our Creator is here for us?

Too many of us have spent large volumes of time in fears and anxieties. I know that I have. Anxieties have dogged my pathway all of my life, even as a fretful child trying to make good grades in high school. Now I am seeking to walk a better way, a way free of anxieties and saturated with faith. Faith is the “evidence of things not seen,” and in The Way of Mastery platform, we are asked to believe many things that might, at first glance, cause us concern.

Do we really want to be skeptical? What has skepticism ever got us? If we open our minds ever so slightly, we will see a new day dawning, a new world coming up in that dawn. The end of the pathway is the enlightenment (Awakening, Christ-consciousness) that Jesus wishes for all of us. He wants a world full of Christed beings.

And this can be so. Our subconscious will be healed as we let Jesus’s words wash over us. “[P]erfect freedom, perfect power, perfect spaciousness, perfect joy and perfect peace.” Yes! These can be ours. The spaciousness means that we empty ourselves of anything but God’s will and His way, so that He can fill us with that which will never make us hunger and thirst again.

Yes! The Way of Mastery (the Christ-Mind Trilogy) takes us by the hand and leads us to a brighter future. Would we still resist?

Einstein: “Is the Universe Friendly?”

“Again I tell you that when you are afraid, be still and know that God is real and you are His beloved Son in whom He is well pleased. Do not let your ego dispute this, because the ego cannot know what is as far beyond its reach as you are. God is not the author of fear. You are. You have willed, therefore, to create unlike Him, and have made fear for yourself.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.II.18:1-5)

Yes, we made fear. What other emotion were possible when we thought that we were a teeny point in the universe, cut off from all the rest? Would that not be reason enough to be afraid?

Know that this mirage is just that—an illusion made of nothing. When we know that we are merged with the cosmos, melted together in love, we will know that we are not and have never been alone, solitary creatures that had to make it on our own. We have a Guide, the Holy Spirit, Who will metaphorically take us by the hand and lead us back from whence we came. He will take us into heaven, when the time is ripe. And God Himself will transform us, when we are ready, by something called the “Awakening.” When this transformation happens, we will know that whether the time for us on earth is short or long, we are accepted and beloved children of God who can know bliss anywhere. Because God is everywhere.

Drop the ego, and when we do this, we will know far more than beforehand. We will know that fear is easily avoided in a universe that is cooperative, with all beings sharing in the glorious Light of the Creator. We live in a friendly universe, what Einstein queried: “Do we live in a friendly universe?”.

This query is one of the most important, if not the most important, queries we could ever have.

When we can certainly answer in the affirmative, our worries are behind us.

Jesus: “I Have Made Every Effort to Teach You Entirely without Fear”

“The role of a teacher, properly conceived, is one of leading himself and others out of the desert. The value of this role can hardly be underestimated, if only because it was one to which I very gladly dedicated my own life. I have repeatedly asked my pupils to follow me. This means that, to be effective teachers, they must interpret teaching as I do. I have made every effort to teach you entirely without fear. If you do not listen, you will be unable to avoid the very obvious error of perceiving teaching as a threat.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.IX.6:1-6)

When we perceive teaching as a threat, we are living in fear. This is the exact opposite of what Jesus hopes for us, the exact opposite of what he intends. His words, when considered rightly, envelop us in a sense of love. We do not have to “accept” him for this to be true, but we do need to open our mind and open our heart, at least ever so slightly. When we live in harmony with love, we appreciate the truth in teaching, and we can become good teachers ourselves. No other way, no way other than love, can do this for us.

We are still making our way tentatively out of fear. There will be missteps, of course, but the way is still upward, toward love, away from fear. We are blessed by the channeled writings of Jesus. When we reflect on how we accept these teachings, we will realize that his love for us has been palpable. The love has drawn us in. And there is no better way to set our foot on the pathway back to God than to realize that a loving brother is leading us by the hand.

Leaving Fear Behind

“Intrapersonal conflict arises from the same basis as interpersonal. One part of the psyche perceives another part as on a different level and does not understand it. This makes the parts strangers to each other, without recognition. This is the essence of the fear-prone condition, in which attack is always possible. You have every reason to feel anxious as you perceive yourself. This is why you cannot escape from fear until you know that you did not and cannot create yourself. You can never make this misperception valid, and when you at last perceive clearly, you will be glad you can’t. Your creation is beyond variance by your own errors, and this is why you must eventually choose to heal the separation.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VI.6:1-8)

We cannot damn ourselves, though that is exactly what we are about when we let the ego rule. God created reality for His children with Love at the helm. When love is in force, we know that we can ascend to great heights, letting God’s action in us allow the transformation that we all need.

“Your creation is beyond variance by your own errors, and this is why you must eventually choose to heal the separation.” Yes! We “make” only illusions, for God’s creation is protected. True reality is harmony, peace, joy, lightheartedness—all the attributes of intangible factors that are hidden, just beyond the reach of illusions of materiality in which we find ourselves.

We have lived with anxieties for eons, for this is the outcome of the fear that is the opposite of love. Is there not a better way? We know that there is, but now we have become so caught in our fear that we don’t know how to extricate ourselves. This is why we need the guidance of the Holy Spirit, for He is a Spirit Who can see that God’s way becomes understandable to us. He shows us how to extricate ourselves from fear/anxieties. As we heal each part of the subconscious by bringing it up to the Light, we are made new. We are remade in the image of God, full of illusion no longer.

It has been a long and arduous battle of the ego. Now, we hope, that battleground is silent, and weapons of destruction are gone. We know, for in our seeking, the ways of God have been made plain to us. Jesus’ contribution in his channeled writings have hit the mark.

Now we are being guided, step by step, into the Awakening that will eventually become widespread on this earth.

Seek to Master Love, Not Fear

“We began this section with an attempt to correct the fundamental human error that fear can be mastered. The correction was that only love can be mastered. Even if you are ready for revelation, though, that does not mean that you have in any way mastered that form of communication. Mastery of love necessarily involves a much more complete confidence in the ability than you have as yet attained. Readiness, however, is at least an indication that you believe this is possible. This is only the beginning of confidence. In case this be misunderstood as a statement that an enormous amount of time will be necessary between readiness and mastery, I would again remind you that time and space are under my control.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.XII.10:1-7)

Yes, time and space are under Jesus’ control, and here he is trying to get us to do what seems impossible to us—to master love. We often attempt to do the reverse, master fear. We are in pain when we experience anxiety, and we just want to get rid of the feeling. But we are limited in what we can do until we turn our bodies and souls over to love. Then, when love is attained, and even mastered, our fears drop away. It is just that simple.

I have long been prone to anxieties; they have dogged my every step through this life. But when I am immersed in love, feeling love with every bone in my body, I notice that there is no trace of fear/anxieties. And this is what Jesus is talking about. We master fear by first mastering love.

Of course, we don’t stay in a cloud of love all the time. This world drags us back. But as often as we retreat from love, and then feel fear, we can try again, take another step in a better direction. We move forward and retreat throughout our lives. Only in Awakening are the vicissitudes altered. Then we have smoother sailing.

So: Seek to master love, not fear. The benefits are stupendous. The way opens to God Himself, for God is but Love.

How to Drop Fear

“No one as yet has fully recognized either the therapeutic value of fear or the only way in which it can truly be ended. When you miscreate, you are in pain. The cause and effect principle here is temporarily a real expeditor. Actually, Cause is a term properly belonging to God, and Effect, which should also be capitalized, is His Sonship. This entails a set of cause and effect relationships which are totally different from those which humanity introduced into the miscreation.

“The fundamental opponents in the real basic conflict are creation and miscreation. All fear is implicit in the second, just as all love is inherent in the first. Because of this difference, the basic conflict is one between love and fear.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.XI.9:1-5 and 10:1-3)

Jesus talks about love and fear in a new way in this passage, a way that explains that our own miscreations in this world have made our fear. When we get on the beam with him, we won’t be miscreating any longer. And so there is no reason for fear. What a glorious promise!

Our next step is to ask the omniscient Jesus how to create anew, how to drop the miscreations that have caused us such grief. If there is something particular in our life that is making us miserable, there is our opening. There is a miscreation, for nothing God has created, or which we have truly “created” (as opposed to “made”) can harm us.

We need help. We must not be too proud to ask for it. Jesus, our teacher, is ever near to guide and direct. And his way works.

Let love overshadow us today, let us create well, and then fear will drop from sight.

Move Easily through Life

“You who complain about fear still persist in producing it most of the time. I told you in the last section that you cannot ask me to release you from it, because I know it does not exist. You don’t. If I merely intervened between your thoughts and their results, I would be tampering with a basic law of cause and effect, in fact the most fundamental one there is in this world. I would hardly help you if I depreciated the power of your own thinking. This would be in direct opposition to the purpose of this course.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.X.8:1-6)

We chafe at these words of Jesus. If a tranquilizer can calm us, if this magic can calm us, then why, really, does Jesus not intervene and give us a miracle?
He wants us, he says elsewhere, to get his help in the conditions that have brought the fear about. This makes for real change, not a bandaid that cannot last any more than a tranquilizer can. These conditions are always a willingness to remain separate, and this is our problem. Unless and until we give up our illusory separation from God as a bad idea, we will continue to experience turmoil. Pain will cause us to reconsider, and sometimes this pain will escalate into suffering.

There is a better way. Jesus tells us in A Course in Miracles. It is better to learn through rewards, because rewards are more lasting than the expedient of pain/suffering. What reward would lead us to see that separation is not the way? A simple choice, taken one time and then repeated, will let us realize that we are much more joyous without our stubborn will to go our own way. When we relax into the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we know a flow in our minutes, hours, days, that is like the difference between day and night—prior to the Holy Spirit, and after we welcome Him into our life. We know real happiness for possibly the first time. It then becomes up to us to sustain this link to Wholeness, for only the Holy Spirit knows the way.

So: Do ourselves a favor, and choose happiness by the only way it will come. Get help in the conditions that have caused fear, and these conditions are always a choice to remain separate. We don’t do well “separate.” Our merger with God, in intent and purpose, is the only sure way to joy that we will ever know.

Way Out of Fear

“Whenever you are afraid, it is a sure sign that you have allowed your mind to miscreate; that is, you have not allowed me to guide it. It is pointless to believe that controlling the outcome of misthought can result in real healing. When you are fearful, you have willed wrongly. This is why you feel you are responsible for it. You must change your mind, not your behavior, and this is a matter of will. You do not need guidance except at the mind level. Correction belongs only at the level where causation is possible. The term does not really mean anything at the symptom level, where it cannot work.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.IX.4:1-8)

Jesus knows that we have not given up fear, that we still have misthought, and we feel the results, in pain often. He emphasizes that a change of mind is far more important, and pivotal, than a change in behavior. A change in behavior will happen when we have changed our mind, then and only then.

He wants us to correct our thinking, and then we will see an improvement in our behavior. It seems that he is not so much concerned with the outcome of misthought as he is with the problem of the mind itself. He wants us to think aright.

A Course of Love, channeled later, emphasizes that we change our mind when we listen to our heart—a heart that has always known what to think, say, and do. Our heart does not need any teaching, but our mind, so long egoic, has still patterns of the ego lingering. And so we need a sounder basis for making decisions, and that sounder basis is our heart.

Everyone knows what the heart means without a tedious telling. Our heart will inform our mind, which will inform our behavior. Then we will really be healed.

Escape from Fear

“All fear is ultimately reducible to the basic misperception that you have the ability to usurp the power of God. It is again emphasized that you neither can nor have been able to do this. In this statement lies the real justification for your escape from fear. This is brought about by your acceptance of the Atonement, which places you in a position to realize that your own errors never really occurred.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.II.16:1-4)

God’s world is still in His hands. We can’t change ultimate reality; we just fall into illusion. It is this that will save us. It is this that will save us from the debilitating experience of fear.

When we accept the Atonement, the place of Christ in history, the rapprochement of man/woman and God, then we have by-passed the separation forever. We have also eliminated the ego from our way of thinking. Of course, all of this is easier said than done. Often, the Atonement is felt over years, years in which we slowly come to see that God’s will and ours are actually identical. We stop trying to play God ourselves. We acknowledge that we did not create ourselves, something the ego wanted to have us believe.

We have been living in illusion. In the Atonement, we may still find illusion clinging to our feet, but we have nevertheless made progress. True reality, the intangible benefits of peace, love, joy, contentment, harmony—will become a tangible, viable result of healing the separation. True reality offers us what an illusory separation never did: peace of mind and, as A Course of Love says, a heart that informs our living.

Love and Fear

“In sorting out the false from the true, the miracle proceeds along these lines:

“Perfect love casts out fear.

“If fear exists, then there is not perfect love.

“But

“Only perfect love really exists.

“Therefore, if there is fear, it produces a state which does not exist.

“Believe this and you will be free.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.50.2:3-8)

This quotation is a favorite part of A Course in Miracles for its students and teachers. Of course, saying that we love, and that we want to be free of fear, is easier than having it done for us. But it can be done for us, by the Holy Spirit. And by God, when He reaches down and lifts us up to Awakening.

In the meantime, for us lowly mortals, we know that we need to love more completely to get line for these great blessings. Any attack will move us farther away from our goal, and attack/anger are the result of fear. When we don’t have stress/fear, we may proceed in a harmonious way through our days.

But life is life, and things happen, prompting us to leave our good intentions for something that doesn’t work at all. Keep in mind that we think awry when we fear and stress, and that we are on the beam when we love. And the more completely we love, the better off we can be.

Our Natural State Is One of Pure Love

“In this time of Christ, this time of direct revelation and direct sharing, the probable future you imagine, envision, desire, will be what you create. This is the power of the devotion of the observant. A shared vision of unity and a return of all to the state natural to all is what I ask you to imagine, envision and desire.” (ACOL, T4:6.4)

We are in a new time now, the time of Christ. And Jesus is asking us here, in A Course of Love, to envision that all of us will return to our natural state, a state of love rather than fear, a state of Christ-consciousness. The ego was never a natural state for us, and that is why, regardless of what we did, we were in the process of eliminating it from our being, our psyche. The ego was constantly being undone, or who would choose fear if we knew how to avoid it? We choose to experience anxieties when we are afraid of what the present or future will hold, and this “being afraid” is the very fear that Jesus would eradicate. We experience what we, in the depth of our being, want to experience. We may sometimes choose fear out of ignorance and insanity, but there is a way out, and it is to turn to love, love of God, love of our very being, love of others.

We turn from fear when we choose forgiveness, recognizing that others have been acting in innocence borne of insanity as well. And forgiveness is the opposite of judgment. So when we forgive, we are setting aside that second bug-a-boo that Jesus would have us eliminate from our thoughts and evaluations. He would have us set judgment aside, and the best way to do that is to forgive. Everyone deserves forgiveness, for everyone has been doing the best that he/she knows to do, given the state of their knowledge of what’s right.

Why would we ever choose fear and judgment unless we didn’t know any better? Yes, patterns of past ignorance do still pervade our minds, and so what we think does make a difference here. Patterns of fearful thoughts may still assail us, and when this happens, we need to get quiet and go within, pray, spend time in communion with God. Quiet reading can also help. And often judgment comes when we are angry with someone, but have not acknowledged that anger. We sometimes think that a judgment can keep us from fear, if the words or actions of another have indeed seemed to cause fear in us, and we decide that rejecting that person, his words and actions, can save us. This is thinking that is somewhat amiss, because we never benefit very long from rejecting another. Rejection is the opposite of love, and God would have us love our brothers and sisters.

If we know that fears and judgments assail us at certain times, that doesn’t mean that the ego has returned, or that a new ego has formed. We have been in the habit of holding to fears and judgments, and even though we have now turned aside from both, the habit persists from deep within us, and so these patterns of the ego also need to be left behind. We are creating our reality, and when we ask for God’s help in creating better images, His help will be forthcoming. Patterns of the ego will be left behind; sometimes it just takes a little time, and this calls for patience on our part.

Prayer

Be with me today and every day. May I choose love, and in that choice may my fears and judgments simply drop away. I would choose love to eradicate fear, and I would choose forgiveness to eradicate judgment. All of this is within my power, especially now in the time of Christ.

May this day offer me a glimpse of enlightenment. I know that when I get very calm, I see such a glimpse, sometimes passing very quickly. Stay and dwell with me a while. I know that I ask for what You would will for me.

Amen.

End Fear and Begin Miracles

“From time immemorial, fear has been associated with God. This was the thinking I came to reverse. While I succeeded in revealing a God of love, this revelation has not been reconciled with your experience here. This is what we will now seek to do by putting an end to fear and ushering in, with this ending, the beginning of a time of miracles.” (ACOL, T1:4.27)

Fear is a precondition for suffering, and so when we remove the fear, we will then remove the suffering. And we can have pain, part of the human condition, without suffering, because much of what we endure is emotional turmoil. Any physical pain becomes lessened when we get out minds in league with God, with the Self deep within, in the perfect calm and quiet of Awakening. And we can have these glimpses often, even when in pain.

Jesus did show us a God of love, and we often forget that this was not the Israelites’ experience of God. They believed that He was a God Who had to be mollified by good deeds and sacrifices. They would not have understood “love” as the prime attribute of their God. But Jesus changed all this.

We have not experienced the change, though! This is the irony, what Jesus is working now to change. Something, in a perfect world, a perfect creation, has gone wrong. And suffering is that thing. If we saw love in everything, we would have forsaken suffering; and the reverse is true as well, if we forsake suffering, we will see love everywhere.

How exactly can we bring this about, the end of suffering, the all-encompassing gift of love? We need just to call on the deeper Self, to be ourselves, or, as Jesus puts it, to “be who we are.” This is actually being ourselves, and this is folk knowledge in our culture from a long way back. If we experience pain, it most definitely does not have to turn into suffering, regardless of how bad it may be. It is the emotional turmoil that renders us frantic. It is the emotional pain that is our real enemy (an interpretation, not stated in ACOL).

Even though we probably believe what Jesus said from 2,000 years ago, we have not experienced that truth of love being everything. Not in our personal experience. We can change this. And we must change this, sooner rather than later, if we are to have inner peace. When we give up the highs and lows, the drama, we will be happy. And not until.

Dear Father/Mother,

May I spend my day in calm and quiet, for this will bring me happiness. I know that when I have conquered my egoic need for drama, I will be alright. I will not turn into an uninteresting person, though some may find me less engaging. This does not matter. Ordinary people living extraordinary lives will turn others to God, to wholeheartedness, to union with the Self, and the Christ-consciousness. Let me do my part today.

Thank You for helping.

Why Do We Fear to Choose Miracles?

“See you not the choices made in each of these scenarios and the reasoning or lack of reasoning behind them? You are not worthy. You are not saintly, godlike or even holy. You might choose incorrectly. You might invoke retribution. You might be selfish. You might be proved to have no faith. You might succumb to thoughts of grandeur.

“In short, you are too afraid, for a variety of reasons, to try. In short, you are not willing and have many reasons for not being willing. What we have done here is bring your fears to light, fears that you did not even realize you held so closely or would be so terrified to let go.” (ACOL, T1:3.24 – 3.25)

These are the reasons that Jesus has explained that we are afraid of choosing a miracle. He has brought us along a long pathway to figure out why we have such fears. He has not asked us to choose something specific, a specific miracle, though we think at first that he has asked this. He is trying to move us into the art of thought, the miracle-mindedness that is necessary to live well with the Self in charge. This Self is our inner Christ Self, and this Self becomes available when we live with mind and heart united, a mind free of the ego, a heart living in love.

We have been afraid of many things in our lives, not only the fact of choosing a miracle that will increase our faith in miracles and miracle-minded living. Jesus knows of our fears, but he also knows that until we release these fears of our own free will, we will remain trapped. We need to release fear and judgment to have a chance at Christ-consciousness. And we are led to believe in A Course of Love that this is God’s wish for us as well. His Being, deep inside us, will direct us. And we will not be afraid any longer.

The list, above, given for fear of miracles would work for many other fears as well. The tenets of ACOL are broadly based and fit any number of scenarios. Now I would relinquish these fears as I go about my business today. When I am tempted to be fearful, I will simply ask for the miracle of love to overtake me.

And then I will rest in peace.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would leave both fear and judgment behind today. Judgment seems more in my power to relinquish, because fear sometimes just seems to take me over, unbidden. But I am colluding with this fear, or it would not arise. And I would cease colluding with fear. And with judgment. These are the two aspects of life in this world that I would relinquish today.

Be with me, and please give me a good day, a day with good energy to be up and about Your way and the way of salvation.

Thank You.

Amen.

Wisdom Discounts Fear-Based Living

“How can what is closely guarded extend? How can what is controlled create? How can what continues to give in to fear know love? All your reasons for fear-based living have been discounted one by one. And yet you dare not try to live without it. Why? Because of the thoughts of the ego-mind. The ego-mind is concerned only with its own survival but it has you convinced it is your survival that depends on it. How can you be convinced to live as if the truth were otherwise? For only if you begin to live as if the truth were otherwise can you see that it truly is otherwise, or based on a wisdom other than what has come before.” (ACOL, T1:3.5)

We need to base our living on a better mind than the ego-mind; we all know this. And the Self knows best, the best that is part of God. This inner Christ is there to help us live by wisdom that does not seem to be entirely our own. This belief is based on the fact that the ego has never led well; we have stumbled time and again when listening to its counsel.

Now there is a better way: living in love with the Self guiding us as to our next step. We don’t live in fear when we are living in love; they are diametrically opposed to each other. And in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, we have learned why fear-based living is a mirage. We think it saves us from something worse, from living without judgment. But the judgment and fear are what have caused us to live inferior lives.

The ego is the insane portion of our mind that knows that its days are numbered, and so the ego is desperate, trying to convince us that our survival depends on keeping it (the ego) strong. This is wrong, and we know this. But in our weaker moments we give in to fear, and we don’t live from love, and so the whole house of cards seems to fall down around us.

We know better than this. We have no good reasons for appealing to fear to save us. Fear cannot save us, not in the least. And when we realize that the love that we sense all around us is genuine, we will sustain a better way of life. Things will get easier. Our hearts won’t beat as fast in pain. We will live with our heads high, but not in pride. We will live with our heads up, knowing that we are listening to a guidance from our inner Self that is true and good.

And when we listen to that inner Christ, we are healed.

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to live peaceably in this world, without the ego pulling at my mind to let it (the ego) reign. I would not live with the ego in the ascendancy. I would live from love, knowing that in this decision, all future decisions are made easy.

Be with me today, drawing out the peace that is deep within me. Help me to know when to act, when to speak—and when not to do either. The peace that You give me is the only real peace in this world, the only real peace in the only true reality.

I would listen to my inner Self today, with a smooth heartbeat, slow and easy. Fear has no place in me when I have made this decision.

Amen.

Love & Fear Contrasted

“This cooperation is natural when fear has been rejected. You have long embraced fear and rejected love. Now the reverse is true. This reversal of truth has changed the nature of your universe and the laws by which it operates. The laws of fear were laws of struggle, limits, danger, and competitiveness. The laws of love are laws of peace, abundance, safety, and cooperation. Your actions and the results of your actions in a universe of love will naturally be different from your actions and the results of your actions in a universe of fear. You set the laws of the universe when you chose fear. The laws of the universe of love are God-given.” (ACOL, C:20.31)

Nobody, even those who reject religion, would believe that to live in fear is preferable to living in love. Even the most agnostic or atheistic among us want significant others to love unconditionally. And there must be a reason for this. Why do we need love so much? Why have we wandered around, alone and lonely, in a world that scared us so, scared us in our fear?

We didn’t know that there was a better way to live, at least not for many years. We thought that anxieties about our doings actually helped us to achieve more, and achieve better. We were lost in a competitive world where scarcity seemed the norm. The fact that sharing might give everyone enough, and more than enough, was discounted.

We can’t blame our families, because they do were products of a fear-ridden environment. They learned from their parents, as we learned from them. And to be protected in an unsafe world, it seemed that holding certain fear-ridden ideas would offer this protection. We made the world that we experienced, and this world was indeed fear-ridden.

Now we come to a better knowledge. And we aren’t asked to take this on faith, without any proof. We just need to experiment a little with what all of us knew from the beginning, that we wanted (and needed) love to thrive. We might not have known the words to express this when we were children, but as we grew into the teen years, we knew it mightily, as peer pressure exerted its influence upon our behavior.

Don’t let the truth that love is the way for now sound trite. All religions have stressed love, but few have been able to turn their adherents from their fear-based thinking. Perhaps we are ready now, in this age of Christ. Perhaps things are a little better now. Jesus says that A Course in Miracles has made a difference in our world, and certainly the ACIM concepts have made their way into many books that never cite their sources. With A Course of Love, we are taken a step farther, not only to relinquish the ego (as ACIM counseled), but to establish a new identity, based in mind and heart together.

The heart will always speak for love. And our doubts that there is something superior in fortifying ourselves with protection by fear can be cast aside forever.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank you for the warmth that my heart feels today. Thank You for A Course of Love. May the recurrent anxieties that dogged my steps previously just fall away as I catch glimpses of what it means to feel mellow and justified in Your sight. I drop the ego from my world view. And with a genuine humility I seek to know Your ways.

Be with me as I walk in the pathway that is set before me. If fear seems to be a factor in my walk, hold my hand and remind me that You are always with me. I am a part of You, and, as such, I can draw on my inner Self at any time, draw on my inner Self to feel and experience love.

Amen.

A Forgiven World Eliminates Judgment & Overcomes Fear with Love

“Only your heart can lead you to the forgiveness that must overcome judgment. A forgiven world is a world whose foundation has changed from fear to love. Only from this world can your special function be fulfilled and bring the light to those who still live in darkness.” (ACOL, C:16.8)

This quotation, once again in A Course of Love, emphasizes the heart and its primacy in our decision-making. Our heart will lead us to overcome judgment by forgiveness—and judgment is one of the two main impediments to a speedy Awakening (the other impediment is fear). Heretofore we have not known how to overcome judgment; we may have felt stymied in wishing to get over judgment, but not knowing how.

Now we do know. We can practice forgiveness of ourselves, others, God Himself, and with this gesture of goodwill, we will know peace. This peace is a way that we move from fear to love. Nobody who is peaceful experiences abject fear. And we would be loving, without fear, at all times—if that is humanly possible. And Jesus is telling us that this change is possible, even probable.

The foundation of the world can change from fear to love; this is what a forgiven world constitutes.

So here we see two ways that we can move closer to Christ-consciousness or Awakening. We can forgive, and this will eliminate judgment; and when we have forgiven, we will automatically move from a world dominated by fear to one embraced by love.

This passage is very important, for the primary impetus behind the curriculum of A Course of Love is to move us to the elevated Self of form in this world, physical manifestation in this world while living enlightenment (Christ-consciousness or Awakening. Our physical Selves, we are told, are actually One with each other and with God. And we can live perfectly satisfactory lives on this earth if we embody the principles that Jesus is encouraging. We will move into Christ-consciousness soon. We will not have to wait long. And once this state is maintained, and then sustained, we will be seeing things differently. Our inner vision will change everything.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for this information, from Jesus, about how to move beyond judgment. By forgiveness. May I forgive any and every one whom I encounter today, even if I am not aware, at the time, that I am judging them.

And may I look on a forgiven world with fear gone, only love remaining.

This information is vital to my well-being. Thank You again.

All of us need to know specifically how to move into the state of mind and heart that You want for us, and this is the elevated Self of form who is experiencing Christ-consciousness. I ask for this movement to occur within me sooner rather than later.

And I ask this for all my readers as well.

Amen.

The Key: Love Freely & without Fear

“You who do not know how to trade your separated state for that of union have still done so when you have loved freely and without fear. In this state your memory returns to you of who you are, and you are innocent and joyous and one with love itself. That this memory does not last, and these feelings seem unsustainable, is the result only of that which does discard and replace.” (C:14.28)

This is the key! We have union of mind and heart when we have “loved freely and without fear”! And this union of mind and heart leads to true vision, true reality. At such times we are ego-free. Our memory has returned to us, the memory that we buried deep within eons ago, and left to rot. It did not rot, but now has been restored to us with all its brilliance.

This truly is the secret kept from nobody but ourselves: love, loving freely and without fear. We have long realized from reading A Course of Love that fear and judgment are all that hold us back from Christ-consciousness. And love leads us to Christ-consciousness. But we have not known how to apply love, and we may not fully understand now. But we all have moments of loving freely and without fear, and these moments lead to a glimpse of Awakening.

That these moments do not merge and offer us sustainability of Christ-consciousness is only because of “that which does discard and replace,” and that comprises the remnants of egoic consciousness. Though Jesus tells us later on that the ego is gone from us, it is not gone early in our reading. It will be gone when we are able to turn from fear and judgment, and much of that is within our power to alter.

So this is the key that has been missed until now. Think back to the moments when love has embraced us. Did we not feel that God was in His heaven and all was right with the world? That is a glimpse of Awakening, a powerful glimpse, and it behooves us to entice love into our illusion. Then the illusion will gradually fall away, and we will be living true reality. At such times, our mood will improve dramatically. This is the sign that we are living truly in a new reality. Though this heightened mood may not last, it is a harbinger of what is ahead for us. And having the experience gives us clues about what to do to entice the experience again later.

Ultimately, the clues lead to sustenance of the mood. And who among us would not want a happier mood to accompany all our days?

Love freely and without fear. We CAN do this; we have done it. Just expand those moments into hours, and then into days. And sustenance of Christ-consciousness will overwhelm us sooner rather than later.

Make a Determination to End Fear

“Only fear breeds the feelings of lack that stand with it, the cornerstone of the foundation of your separate world. You do not realize that you have created a universe for yourself, a universe that you are required to main¬tain, and that without your effort would dissolve.” (ACOL, C:14.16)

We need to just let “our” universe dissolve, for it is a universe of illusion that seeks to remain separate from our God. We know by now that this has never worked, can never work. When we let God heal the separation, we will still live in this physical universe (if we choose), but the universe that we look out upon will be very different. With separation from God healed, we will be One with Him, one with each other, one with nature.

Fear (and judgment) are the great dividers as we seek to return to Oneness. How do we eliminate fear? How do we realize that we actually lack for nothing in a world that is no longer separate from God, even in illusion?

The only emotion stronger than fear is love, and when we intend, mightily, to love our God, each other, ourselves, and our physical world, we are putting ourselves on the right track. Often it is insecurity that breeds fear. We are insecure with each other, fearing that we won’t even be accepted, much less loved. And this leads directly to a lack of love for others, for we become self-centered in our interactions. And others pick up on this, and are turned off.

When we make a determination to feel love, often the determination will precede the emotion. The determination will lead us into the emotion of love. And our mood will rise dramatically. And with this elevation of mood, our insecurity in the company of others will dissipate, for our self-confidence will rise.

These dynamics work, but they don’t work well if we are trying to use ego to set in motion the dynamics. We need to make a determination also that we will do nothing that smacks of egotism, that we will not seek to raise our worth in our own eyes nor the eyes of others. We will simply be ourselves, regardless of the company. If we can manage it, this choice is eminently freeing. And it leads directly to a feeling of love and caring for those with whom we are dealing.

Choose to eliminate fear. Of course, in our limitations this won’t work all the time and it won’t work perfectly. But it is a start. And when transformation comes (for transformation comes after fear and judgment have ceased), the change will be immediately evident to ourselves. Some others will see and notice, but many will not.

But the way in which we survey the world will undergo a sea change. And because nothing will ever be the same again, we will maintain, and then sustain, Christ-consciousness.

Now this is a goal worth having.

Think “Love” when Tempted by Fears & Judgment

“Joined minds cannot think separately and have no hidden thoughts. They are, in fact, not minds in the plural at all, but all-one-mind. What this Course is saying is that at some point that does not exist in time, God’s son made the choice for separation. Whether God’s son had one form or many at that time matters not, for one form or many, there was still one mind, the mind of God’s son joined in unity with that of his Father. Many of you have been taught this mystery of faith. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are One.” (ACOL, C:12.15)

This quotation is an explanation of the truth of the Trinity, traditional Christian doctrine indeed. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are One. Our mind was One mind when joined with the Father prior to separation. We were “all-one-mind.”

Now we are asking to return to that unity with God, our minds One with His. It is not hard, but certain responsibilities are necessary first. We must leave behind our fears and our judgments, and for those of still trapped in the separation, this injunction may sound impossible to do. How would we proceed? How would we leave fear and judgment behind, when it has been such a part of the egoic mind?

The single Answer is that we allow ourselves to be enthralled with Love, the Love of God, the Father. When tempted (for it IS a temptation) to lapse into a lower state of mind, we think “love,” and then this affirmation moves us away from sinking thoughts into something better.

When we allow our Self to merge once again with God, and when our conscious mind is enthralled with the Self, we will know a new way of being. We will be who we are, which is a risen Self that dips into egotism not at all. We will be Home, finally.

Consciously think “love” when tempted to judge, when tempted to let fear reign once again. Maybe this thought will not always save us, but it will save us often enough that we will know that we are on the right track. The track moving toward Christ-consciousness.

Fear Blocks the Vision of Our Heart

“This need not be, for you are not separate! The relationships you seek to end your loneliness can do so if you but learn to see relationship differently. As with all your problems in perception, fear is what blocks the vision of your heart, the light the Christ in you would shine upon the darkness.” (ACOL, C:9.18)

We only think that we are separate from other people. This has been what the ego has taught us, as it also taught us that we must be competitive for limited resources. The resources are not limited! There is enough to go around if we wisely allocate, something that in this difficult world we often don’t do at all. Thinking that we are separate has fueled the competition in which we normally find ourselves embroiled. And believing that we need to beat out the other guy is just plain insanity masquerading as the truth.

When we see relationship differently, we cooperate rather than compete. And A Course of Love says that much indeed is relationship, that relationship is how we know God, even. We cooperate with God, of course, if we are attuned to Him. And, as a part of Him, it behooves us to go ahead and cooperate, not shrivel in fear.

We often don’t do all that we ought to do with our days because of our neurosis, a neurosis that is often fueled by fear. If we are to establish a new identity while reading ACOL, we need to understand that egoic fear has no place in our developing identity. We need to realize that we indeed have nothing to fear at all. Jesus says in The Way of Mastery that the FDR quotation, “The only thing that we have to fear in fear itself,” is 98 percent right. We might come to understand that we don’t even have to fear, fear. It is a non-issue when our new identity has been thoroughly established, a condition that Christ-consciousness will bring upon us—securing our invulnerability for all time.

We aren’t to test out our invulnerability though in a way that would tempt fate. We are not about “proving” anything. But we are seeing the vision in our heart, the vision that fear would block.

Ask to have fear removed today. Ask to see clearly this new vision of which Jesus so eloquently speaks. We may not get a positive Answer all at once, but we are preparing the way for the end of fear. And the coming of a new vision that will enhance our contribution in this world.

Eliminating Fear from Our Lives

“Fear always lies one step beneath the surface of a situation because it lies one step beneath the surface of your self. Peel back the first level of what your eyes allow you to observe and you will find fear lurking there.” (ACOL, C:9.15)

This passage indicates that we are controlled by fear. This is the situation when we are living in, or just emerging from, an egoic present. We need to walk further along to escape from the fear, because the fear lurks just below the surface of our little self, the self that has blessed the ego.

Our situations seem fearful because we are fearful. How could it be otherwise? Our projections make our perceptions, as A Course in Miracles tells us. Now A Course of Love uses other words to say the same thing. We will make very little progress as long as we don’t face, then accept the fear, float past it, and then let time pass as we walk yet further along our paths. These tips come from a book on anxiety disorder by Claire Weekes.

The nerves of our physical bodies have become sensitized to fear. The stress has gotten to us, and we cannot be at peace for very long at all. We know what to do, but we conveniently forget. This will never do for long.

We can use our fear to come closer to God. If we are anxious, we are likely to pray more often for a surcease to our anxiety. And we may try meditation as a way to calm our minds.

These practical ways do help, but the most efficacious is to listen to the heart, as encouraged in A Course of Love. What is the fear lurking underneath the anxieties? What in our lives need to be changed in order to walk a smooth pathway?

Test out your own solutions to fear and anxiety. Talking to a sympathetic person can help, but we need ultimately to depend on the Self within to be let loose from bondage by the egoic, little self. Until we let the inner Christ Self take over and run our lives, year in and year out, we will remain one short step from our fears.

Recognize Love, and Fear Will Vanish

“All fear ends when proof of your existence is established. All fear is based on your inability to recognize love and thus who you are and who God is. How could you not have been fearful with doubt as powerful as this? How can you not rejoice when doubt is gone and love fills all the space that doubt once occupied? No shadows linger when doubt is gone. Nothing stands between the child of God and the child’s own Source. There remain no clouds to block the sun, and night gives way to day.” (ACOL, C:4.5)

When we don’t recognize love, we don’t recognize our Self and thus we don’t recognize God. This is bound to make us fearful, is it not? We are living in doubt about who we really are. While this is not perfectly clear to us, this living in doubt, we can accept the truth of the statement and then see if understanding dawns.

When we don’t understand something, it is because we have not forgiven. To understand all is to forgive all. And when we have forgiven, understanding comes next. We need to forgive ourselves for our own mistakes, our own lacks. God does not hold mistakes against us, and that is why we have never sinned. Sin would be a mistake that would be much harder to forgive, for we think that we have betrayed God, and that He will not forget nor forgive.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. God will see that we are guided, either by the Holy Spirit or the Self, and He holds no mistakes against us. He created us! He knows that we are fallible! But it is only the personal, little, self that keeps making mistakes. Once we turn over our jurisdiction to the Self that embodies us, our error record drops immensely.

We are so stubborn! We don’t always follow guidance, and if we did reverse this trend, we would be so much better off. God sees out actions, and He knows when we are about to reject guidance in our daily life. He acts to ease our discomfort, but he won’t step in and obstruct free will. So we are in a quandary.

The only wise choice is to make the decision, once and for all, that even if we don’t understand the “why” of a given directive, we will choose to follow it. God doesn’t put heavy demands on us. He takes us where we are, and then builds upon it to lead us back to Home and to Him.

Our self-doubt will diminish and eventually pass away when we become certain about who we are. This is just the definition of having self-doubt fall away. Right now we are surely unclear about true reality and who we truly are. But it won’t always be that way. We will come to clarity. And in the clarity we will thank God for His generosity. He has taken us by the hand and led us Home. And everything will get better. Nothing will ever be the same again, and this change is the great blessing of our lives.

Do Not Be Afraid to Look upon Fear, for It Cannot Be Seen

“Laws do not operate in a vacuum, and what leads to nothing has not happened. If reality is recognized by its extension, what leads to nothing could not be real. Do not be afraid, then, to look upon fear, for it cannot be seen.” (ACIM, T-11.V.2)

So often we have heard or read that we need to walk right up to fear, look it in its face, and it will disappear. This quotation says the same. And it goes further: There is not anything there to be seen at all.

My experience has sometimes been different, because I am able to scare myself with my own desert places. I can panic when I look upon fear too closely. But, given that I know A Course in Miracles, it is a panic based on nothing, on illusion only. There is nothing there that can actually harm me. Nothing at all.

We are not dealing with the real when we deal with fear, however we deal with it. We are dealing with illusion, with the scary thoughts of our deluded minds, and we are walking away, at the same time, from reality. Reality is not scary in the least. And so we don’t have to scare ourselves with our own desert places. Not at all.

Reality builds upon itself; that is what is meant by the “extension” comment in the quotation. The more we look on true reality, the bigger it gets, the more of our force field is taken up by the sweet beauty of reality.

Choose reality today. Gently turn aside from fear, not with resistance (for fear grows strong with resistance), but with love. Love overcomes fear, always and forever. And it is just such love that will save us.

The Reality of Everything Is Totally Harmless

“Wrong perception is the wish that things be as they are not. The reality of everything is totally harmless, because total harmlessness is the condition of its reality. It is also the condition of your awareness of its reality. You do not have to seek reality. It will seek you and find you when you meet its conditions.” (ACIM, T-8.IX.2)

We have made a world from our projections from within, a world that is perceived rather than truly experienced. And this perception has been wrong, has gone awry. We don’t have to stay with these misapprehensions, though. There is a better way. And true reality is what it is.

How do we experience true reality? When we recognize that we can be harmed by nothing, we are well on our way. Of course, in this world, this assertion strikes us as irrational. Surely there are many things in this world that hurt us. But our real Self is not hurt, and it is this Self that is able to experience true reality. This Self does not spend time lamenting perceptions of the world that are not accurate. This Self sits in the sun and is contented. Would we not all long for this experience?

Our conditions to meet include harboring no fear and no judgment. These are the twin conditions that keep us stuck in illusions, in our dream world. We may think that stress, fear, is always with us, but we need to think again. Fear is not with us when we are open to the God within. Judgment does not overtake us when we are communing with Him.

So: Today, let loose the misperceptions with which we have peopled our world. Know that fear and judgment can be left behind, and that the quickest route to that right choice is to touch base with the inward God. Meditate on Him, and see if there are not bright spots in your perception. Soon knowledge will replace perception, and we will know that all is well. Let us choose that all will be well today.

Choose Not Be Affected by Lack of Love from Without

“In reality you are perfectly unaffected by all expressions of lack of love. These can be from yourself and others, from yourself to others, or from others to you.” (ACIM, T-2.I.5)

This quotation doesn’t seem to make sense when we first read it. Of course we are affected by the lack of love expressed by others! But are we, really? We are our own Self, the entity whom God created, and we are not actually changed by anything that happens outside ourselves—including expressions of lack of love. In such a situation, we need only turn within, to the God within, and feel the love percolate up to the surface from deep within. We are fine; we are loved by God; we need fear other people in the world not at all.

This explanation needs some “sitting with” to reach full agreement with your very human mind. And perhaps the mind cannot comprehend this idea at all. Maybe it takes the heart. Our hearts know things that the mind, especially when caught by the ego, can never know. Ask the heart if it feels unloved when a significant other turns his/her back on us. Is it not pride, an egoic notion, that is truly hurt? If we ask deep within, we will know that our essential Self has known no pain; this essential Self is right there, waiting for our little self to come to its senses. We are loved, and we are not hurt when the source of that love changes.

We will always have love in our lives. We need never wonder if we will go lacking, for we won’t. This is a characteristic of true reality; this is the truth of what we experience in this sometimes sad world. Love never goes away; it just hides sometimes. But communing with our depths, communing with God, will right our little world again when we have suffered loss.

Ask today from whence your love might best come. You will sense an answer, and the pain and suffering (if this is your experience) will subside. Remembering God’s love is all that it takes.

Prayer Says Good-Bye to Fear

“To use prayer only as a means of reaching out to a god seen as separate is to attempt to use what cannot be used. . .Prayers such as these emanate from either heart or mind and have not the power of the wholehearted. Prayers such as these emanate from the state of fear that is the reality of the separated self.” (ACOL, 6.5)

All of us have prayed as though we were in a foxhole. These are the desperate prayers, when we are very vulnerable, for whatever reason. And all of us grew up seeing God as an all-powerful Eye Who could see anything that we were doing, and Who would mostly punish us if we did something that was “wrong.”

It is impossible to avoid these concepts of God. But the time has come for a more mature concept of the Deity. We believe, if we follow A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, that God is within, that we are all “God-stuff,” and that when we turn inward, we connect with Something both very deep and very high. We see this illusory world as a product of projection from within, yet we sense also that there is a Higher Reality, a reality that we long to experience.

When we turn inward and pray real prayers, our prayers are heard, but by a God Who does not feel inspired by our illusory fear. He will still listen, of course, but we are in a compromised state of mind and heart when we pray out of fear, and we often feel that our prayers have not reached the ceiling, that we have not been heard. This is because fear is a barrier to touching the Divine. It keeps us from what we most want.

There is a way around this. First, calm the mind and heart in whatever ways you have discovered work for you. For some, this is meditation. For some, it is reading the Workbook lessons that are a part of A Course in Miracles. For some, it is as mundane as deep breathing. But unless the mind and heart are somewhat calm, our prayers convict us of things that we think we have done wrong. And this isn’t a fruitful state in which we touch God.

We aren’t reaching to a God beyond the stars. It is nearer than our breath. And always there. He does not punish, however much we think that we deserve punishment. He is always present to listen. But from deep within us. Not outside.

“While your mind did not accept the truth of your identity or the reality of love without fear, it existed in a reality of fear and judgment, and bound heart and body to this reality.” (ACOL, Treatise on the New, 7.5)

This is the old way of thinking, a way that ACIM and ACOL sought to dismantle. We used to fear mightily, and we may still have flights of fear, but there ought to be some lessening by now. Our egoic mind is falling apart, finally, and we are living in a better personal world than we have ever known before. We may still have painful elements to our world, but the suffering (you may have observed) has lessened. This is because the ego has smelled defeat, and while the throes of the death process may be acute, they are not unending.

Leave behind fear and judgment as a decision of the mind and heart. Walk into the sunlight of a new world created by a loving God Whom we are coming to recognize, often for the first time.

In Separation from God, We Have Distorted Reality

“Is it so impossible to imagine that what God created was distorted by your desire to have your reality be other than what it is? Have you not seen this kind of distortion take place within the reality you do see?” (ACOL, 9.28)

Eons ago, when the “tiny, mad idea” (from A Course in Miracles) took hold, we thought that we would make a world that we would like better than the one that God envisioned and created for us. This was indeed madness. But, like adolescents, we forged ahead, and he made the decision to let us exert the free will with which He had endowed us. And what a mess we made for ourselves!

This was the detour into fear, the detour from true reality. And it is only now, in Christ-consciousness, that we have a chance to recoup what we have lost—the true meaning of reality as God intended it for us.

We know that this world is a place of madness. We know this if we have even an inkling of how badly things have gone for us. We have pain that escalates into suffering, and we feel so alone in all the world.

But now we are finding our way back, making out way back on the carpet laid out before us. We are heading backward into time (an ACIM concept), to the place that we left. And we tell ourselves that everything will be better this time. We know better now, we know better from hard experience. We cannot get along without God, as much as we might think we can. He made us to commune with Him, our Maker, and the extent to which we do so fuels the pace at which we right our world again.

Don’t be satisfied with a partial world of adolescent rebellion today. Free will is a great gift, but not when it is misused. Ask deeply, today if you like what you have made. The answer, if asked honestly, will be “no.” Then set about to get the guidance needed to create as elevated Selves of form with the God of our greater imaginings.

He will be there waiting for our return. He has never left us. He has always been waiting for our return to sanity. And that sanity is now beckoning us for a great Awakening.

The Detour into Fear

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We Were Created Perfect

“God in His devotion to you created you devoted to everything, and gave you what you are devoted to. Otherwise you would not have been created perfect. Reality is everything, and you have everything because you are real. You cannot make the unreal because the absence of reality is fearful, and fear cannot be created. As long as you believe that fear is possible, you will not create.
Opposing orders of reality make reality meaningless, and reality is meaning.” (ACIM, T-9.I.13)

We have been given everything, each of us. And so there is never any reason for envy. Of course, we do not all have everything at any given point in time, but we do have everything in eternity. We cannot really make the unreal, which are illusions. We cannot make nothing out of nothing. We can see illusions, but we can never make them real. And in that sense we are desirous of returning to true reality, for in our heart we recognize that this is all there is. It is the true meaning of anything and everything that is actually real. Illusions, being unreal, are inferior props for experiencing an untrue reality. And this is all that we can experience until we open to God and His way to salvation.

We were created perfect, and it is only in illusion that we fell from grace. We are still perfect in our innocence—not in the illusion, but in reality. So there has really been no separation from God, for we are part of Him, and to separate in reality would be impossible. But we can not “know” God in His entirety, in a mystical sense, when we are lost in attack and anger, and all other negative emotions that spring from fear. Fear is unreal, but we don’t recognize this, and so we think that we experience it. The truth of reality is far bigger and far better than anything fear would introduce into our world. Love has a way of creating the happiness that we all crave. And in the love do we find true reality.

Tomorrow’s blog posting will take up the term, “love.”