Tag Archives: giving and receiving

Thought Reversal Guided by the Heart

“A major thought reversal is required now before we can go on. It has been stated and emphasized countless times before, and it will be here as well: What you give you will receive in truth. What you do not receive is a measure of what you withhold. Your heart is accustomed to giving in a way that your mind is not.” (ACOL, C:7.1)

Giving and receiving in truth can be a phrase so familiar as to lose its meaning as we read A Course of Love. But its meaning is very clear in ACOL, and it is a necessary thought of our thought reversal from the ego-mind to the art of thought (letting the Self lead the way). When we do give to our brothers and sisters, we can see immediately that they respond positively, if our giving has been positive. What we withhold from them, we in effect withhold from ourselves. And this is not something that we want to do when we are seeking to make positive decisions about positive change.

We might think that we are so downtrodden that we don’t have much to give. We might be so caught up in our own problems, so self-absorbed, that we don’t have any mental energy to devote to giving.

These are legitimate concerns. But most of us are simply making excuses. We can give, and we can give freely, when we let our heart do the choosing about what to give. Our heart doesn’t think that to give is going to leave us with less. Our heart knows better than this. It is the ego-mind that thinks that giving will mean a deficiency in our having. And this is the ego-mind that we are pledged to leave behind.

Give a little today, just to see what it is like. Tip a bit more at lunch out. Hug a little harder your loved ones. Give with no thought of what we will get in return, for this is the most genuine way to proceed.

Jesus is articulating a law of the universe when he tells us that what we give, we do indeed receive back. These laws are in place whether we believe they are the truth or not. But we can test them out and find that they are indeed truth. And the benefits that will accrue to us will determine our future pathway. They bring with them evidence of a better way to live.

Dissatisfied?

bridgepontoise2pissarro
“By saying that giving and receiving are one in truth it is being said that you are lacking only in what you do not give. The belief in lack is a temptation of the human experience. This will relate to all situations in which you feel you have something to gain from some ‘other.’ Again, this will be related to old patterns of dissatisfaction with the self. It has to do with any ideas you may still hold concerning others having more than you have, or to desires that you may feel have gone unfulfilled. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 16.10)”

Affirmation: “I will give today to my brothers and sisters.”

Reflections:

1 – Giving and Receiving

Earlier I mentioned that the idea of giving and receiving being one is so often mentioned that we overlook what it means. We do not lack, because we are constantly in reciprocal relationship with others. We both give and receive, but we do not give because we think that if we don’t, we won’t receive. This statement is an egoic notion, and it behooves us to be better than that. We do not wish to manipulative, and if we still give in order to receive, we give amiss.

2 – Relationship

Giving and receiving happen all the time. It is the condition of relationship.

3 – Union and Relationship

In A Course of Love, union and relationship are twin themes mentioned frequently. We are in union with the All—God—but we are in relationship with all others as individuals (as well as One). And when we give and receive, we are giving and receiving, frequently, one on one. Not exclusively, but frequently.

4 – Of the Ego

We have often been dissatisfied with ourselves, and this dissatisfaction takes many forms, but all are of the ego. When the Christ Self emerges, we are at peace. We give and receive freely, knowing no lack. And we don’t envy others for what they have, of course. We know that in eternity we too can have those things, if we so desire.

5 – We All Have Everything

The fact that we all have everything is a statement from A Course in Miracles. Everything is ours, and so we don’t have to imagine that we are lacking the beauty, or attractiveness, or prowess, or any other thing that a brother or sister seems to have. All gifts are ultimately ours to have in eternity. Only time separates us from other people, and time does not really exist (also from ACIM).

6 – The Good that Is Ours

Be satisfied today with what you have. Don’t be jealous, don’t be envious. The good that is ours is uniquely suited to our needs. And when we fully realize this good, we will be satisfied.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be satisfied with myself today, but not in the sense of complacency. You would not have me be satisfied from an ego standpoint, of course. But a certain settled contentment is completely in line with this course we are taking, and this contentment goes a long way toward granting us consistent peace.

May I drop neurotic ideas today. May I let stress fall away from me, and with stress, also anger and attack. Neurosis is of the ego, and all of us are leaving our egos behind. May I do so today. I ask this frequently, and yet I still slip up. I fall on my face when stress encourages me to express anger at some totally irrelevant circumstance or remark made by another. Let all of us cease this type of thought, word, and deed today. May we truly know that contentment is akin to the peace that passeth understanding, and may we experience both this contentment and this peace today.

Thank You.

Amen.

Receiving Does Not Imply Lack

degas - dancer“You who are beginning to realize that you have much to give, realize that you have as much to receive and that receiving does not imply that you are lacking! (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition<, 7.18)”

Affirmation: “I do both give and receive today.”

Reflections:

1 – Trite Expression?
Giving and receiving as one has been so much talked about and written about as to be almost trite. Yet giving and receiving are very profound terms, which we must understand if we are to walk the path to salvation. Especially with A Course of Love. We are told repeatedly that we are in unity and relationship in this world, whether or not our ego still reigns. (And we are told that the ego’s reign for us is well nigh over.) Being in unity as one, but in relationship to the many, mean that giving and receiving occur naturally. It is what we are meant to do constantly in our world.

2 – Give More?

We often think that we ought to give more than we receive, though we pay lip service to the concept that giving and receiving are equal. And in today’s passage, Jesus reminds us that to receive does not mean that we are lacking. He even uses an exclamation point at the close of the sentence to emphasize his point!

3 – Lacking?

Why do we fear that we are lacking? What is the fear of being in lack so threatening to us? I think it is because of our own guilt that somehow we don’t measure up. This is an error, as we are still as God created us (from A Course in Miracles). But we are prone to disbelieve this assertion that ACIM makes, primarily because we can see, internally, so many mistakes and so much lack–as we perceive lack.

4 – An Ego-Driven Thought

All of this second guessing is ego-driven. And we are told in ACOL that we are turning aside from the ego. So we need to accept the truth that guilt is not honest, that we are not being honest with ourselves when we struggle with this complex of ours. We need to take Jesus’s word that we are not lacking! He has even told us that we are The Accomplished, though I doubt that many of us yet believe this. Any vestige of ego could not believe it, and that vestige thinks that we are wrong to contemplate such a joy! Keep in mind that the ego does not mean us well, even though we made it and we have been told that it will not be destroyed (from ACIM).

5 – Joy

We need to think today of ways that giving and receiving can be joyously felt. We need to offer our service to others, even as we accept what others do for us.

6 – Unity

Therein are our brothers and sisters one with us, in unity.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for being with me today, as the day has not particularly begun well. I would start anew and make the whole better. Thank You for the guidance in A Course in Miracles that tells me that I can start a day over just anytime.

May I give at least as much as I receive, though I think I recognize that there may be differences in giving vs. receiving on any given day. Be with me today to let me do for others what they need. And may I especially touch my significant others. I would offer to them the comfort and solace that they need, and I would strive not to be overly needy myself.

Amen

Law of Karma

Monet-Irises-II-font-b-famous-b-font-hand-made-Oil-font-b-Paintings-b-font

“The laws of God or the laws of love can be summarized by the simple statement of giving and receiving being one in truth.  The implications of this statement are far broader than at first might seem indicated. . . .The most essential of these implications is that of relationship for giving and receiving cannot occur without relationship.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 2.11)”

Affirmation:  “Giving and receiving are one.”

Reflections:

1 – Giving and Receiving

We are very, very familiar with the truth that giving and receiving are one.  We are so familiar with this concept that we may have trouble understanding it anew.  But to give is to know that what we give will be returned to us in like manner.  We will receive that which we gave.  This is the old law of cause and effect, or of karma.  An Eastern concept, it is not often identified as such by Christianity, but it is indeed a principle of karma.

2 – Relationship

The emphasis in this passage is the fact of relationship.  Union and relationship are hallmarks of A Course of Love.  We are in relationship to All.  And in the All is the giving and the receiving.

3 – Special Transformed to Holy

We understand the most about this law of cause and effect, receiving and giving, in our most significant relationships.  If we have diligently followed A Course in Miracles, we will have morphed our special relationships into holy ones.  We know from our intimate relationships that when we treat our holy other with love, he/she returns in kind.  When we are attentive, we turn the relationship ever more into love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask to create for myself today only good karma, only good cause and effect, only good giving and receiving.  May my relationships transform, every one, into the holy.  May the specialness that we have all known in relationships be seen anew as a holiness that knows no bounds.

Thank You for leading me to understand that karma is at work in our lives, but in a more benign way than is usually believed.  You do not ever “punish” us.  We do that to ourselves.  May I make certain, within the bounds of my limited human mind, that I create only the good as I walk throughout this day.  Thank You for being with me, night and day, and thank You for Your perceived Presence.

Amen.

Worry Explained

van gogh - flowers4“All your worry over the future and the past is but a worry about the return of gifts given.  What gift of opportunity did you not accept in the past, might you not recognize in the future?. . . .What peace might you know if you realized, truly realized, that all gifts come but once and are forever?  The past nor the future matter not.  All is available in the here and now where giving and receiving occur.  (A Course of Love, 29.25)”

Affirmation:  “I would cease worry immediately, for gifts are given permanently.”

Reflections:

1 – Obscure Passage

The meaning of this passage is a bit obscure until we dissect the sentences.

2 – Past and Future

First, we are to cease worrying over past and future.  We have been afraid that the peace that we know in the present is a brief peace that will disappear when circumstances.

3 – Giving and Receiving = One

This does not have to happen.  Our faithfulness to the truths that Jesus gives us in A Course of Love, the giving and receiving as one, is all that is required.

4 – Accept God’s Plan

Second, we have the opportunity to accept the plan of God today.  We do not have to let this opportunity slip by the wayside.  And we must not.  We need not fear that this opportunity will not be offered again (for it will), but why wait?

5 – Christ-Consciousness

Third, the peace that we feel can and will be permanent when Christ-consciousness is sustained.  This may be a long time off, but in the meantime, many of us will be given glimpses of the revelation that all is well.  We will know Christ-consciousness in ever-greater intervals of time.  And that is the great promise.

6 – Giving and Receiving

Giving and receiving are one.  How often and how long have we known this?  But perhaps these words are simply words to us.  To give is to invite the receipt of the gift given.  We find that like attracts like, and this is the law of attraction, about which so much has been written recently.  Many have found the truth in this law, but we would find amiss if we stop with just the material benefits.  The material benefits will not long satisfy.  It is the intangibles of God that count for the most–the joy, the harmony, the peace, the tranquility.  And in these intangibles do we learn the most about giving and receiving being of one.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would cease worry, the worry that has dogged my steps for many years.  All of this is such foolishness.  Do I or do I not trust You?  I know that if I follow Jesus, everything will be alright.  And Jesus’s words in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are manna unto my spirit.  Thank You for his part in Your plan.

May I return also to the Bible in my contemplative moments.  I see the Bible, especially the New Testament, ACIM, and ACOL as part of a continual tradition.  Others may not agree, but I thank You that this interpretation gives me peace.

May all of us have a good day.  May none of us turn pain into suffering.  With You in our lives, welcomed in, then all indeed is well–regardless of outer circumstances.  Thank You.

Amen.

The Christ/Self Avoids Bargains with God

“Rejoice that there is something in this world that you will not bargain with, something you hold sacrosanct.  This is your Self.  Yet this Self that you hold so dear that you will never let it go is precisely what you must be willing to freely give away.  This is the only Self that holds the light of who you are in truth, the Self that is joined with the Christ in you.  (A Course of Love, 7.7)”

Affirmation:  “May I freely ‘give away’ my Self today.”

Reflections:

1 – Human / Divine

We are meant to be both giving and receiving human beings, human and divine in one in our Self.  This Self is the Christ within.  We need to be careful, lest our ego, still present, has a field day with this idea.  We can easily slip into grandiosity, inflated notions of ourselves, and that would only strength the egoic notions that we have held for eons.

2 – Give the Self Away

There is something better for us.  We can give ourselves away to others, constantly, because we are receiving constantly.  This is the way that our union of the human and the divine in the Christ within is supposed to work.  And in the giving and receiving with our brothers and sisters, we will know joy, for we will be accomplishing what God has ordained that we do.

3 – Christ/Self Is Not Blasphemy

This Self does take some understanding.  We are not accustomed to thinking in these terms.  We think that to say that Christ is within us, the Self is within us, is the height of blasphemy.  Yet it is not.  Jesus indicated while on earth that he had nothing that we did not also.  Yet he had walked the whole pathway, and we are just beginning.  Yes, our egos have been weakened, but not dispelled, and we would do well to depend mightily upon the power of God to do for us what we cannot accomplish for ourselves.  Jesus will be with us also, in some ineffable way that we ourselves cannot understand, but which I take as a promise.  Jesus said in A Course in Miracles that he would come with “one unequivocal call” and he recommended that, if it would help us, we imagine that he is holding our hand, saying that this will be no “idle fantasy.”

4 – The Self Is Inexhaustible

Let us take Jesus at his word as we seek to give to our brothers and sisters today.  We can give and give, because the Self is inexhaustible.  We do not have to worry that we will burn ourselves out, for this is no sacrifice being asked of us.  This is pure love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I give myself away today, certain that I am inexhaustible–as I give, I receive.  And may I think it not blasphemy to know that the Self is the Christ within.  May I see glimpses of this Self today.

Be with me all day long, as I try to walk the path that You would have me walk.  Help me to own my power, and to cooperate with You in guidance.  You do not mean for me to be a passive creature, pushed around as a puppet.  We are partners in guidance, and I seek and am certain that You will see that I find.

Thank You for this glorious day.  May all of us find You, but each in his/her own time.

Amen.