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.

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Love or Lack of Love

“The heart of the body is the altar at which all your offerings to God are made. All offerings are love or lack of love. Lack of love is nothing. Thus, all offerings made from a place other than love are nothing. All offerings made from a place of fear or guilt are nothing.” (ACOL, C:1.2)

Our relationship to God undergoes a change when we read A Course of Love. He is no longer seen as Someone to Whom we pray for blessings, someone outside of ourselves Who hears our prayers. This type of supplication doesn’t work when we realize that God is within, that we are part of God. Our heart within the body is where our prayers properly reside. This is totally within ACOL’s emphasis on the heart as the center of our new being, the Self. If we are fearful or feeling guilty when we approach God in this way, we are sacrificing our best interests, for we need to approach our inner heart, the God within, in a spirit of love.

Love and fear, the same two emotions that we are considering, become pivotal here. If we approach God with fear, we don’t receive the whole blessing, for we are caught in our ego-mind. The Christ Self does not know fear, for this Self knows only love. And when we are in our right minds, joining mind and heart to form what ACOL calls “wholeheartedness,” we are living in love.

That is the only way to be, the only way to be who we are.

A Quiet Heart

Fear is the act of disconnecting your cord from the only socket that can truly satisfy you, and running about trying to plug it in to somebody else’s or something else’s. I would ask you to consider this one question, as you look upon the whole of your experience: Has it ever worked? Can it ever work? (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 6, Page 74)

The only “socket” that can ever satisfy is our attachment, in the center of our being, our heart, to God Himself. We have long known this, but we “forget,” and have to be told again. We must quiet our minds and hearts in order to sense God’s presence, in order to feel His warmth. If we are trapped in a drama of fear and judgment, we are cutting ourselves off from the power that is in that “socket.”

Because God is within, as well as without—in just everything and everybody—He is unable to get through to us when we are in dire conflict. This is why the peace that passeth understanding is so important. A quiet heart opens the way to get God’s knowledge flowing into our personal, or “little,” mind.

If we look outside ourselves for peace, we will never find it dependably. Sure, we may be able to distract ourselves for a time, but the problem will recur, and maybe it will recur with greater force than previously. We are free of fear and judgment when we declare them to be in our past.

God helps us make that determination. And to make that determination, we must look within. Trying to find an answer in the outer world is an incomplete answer. The truest Answer wells up from deep within our soul, and it takes us Home to God right away, seeing a little bit of Heaven here on earth.

Finding God

When you choose to surrender, to give up the game, to give up the dream of trying to resist the Truth that is true about you always, you will become a mere channel, a mere conduit. You will become no more a seeker, for you will have decided to have found. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 6, Page 72)

We do not want to remain seekers forever; we want to find. When we open ourselves to the God within, we put ourselves in a place where we can declare that we have found. And this is very sweet indeed. Much of our reading has been seeking behavior. We have wandered in and out of treatises, ancient advice, channeled writing. This has not been wrong; we had to find something that would speak to our hearts. But if we don’t want to remain seekers forever, never to find, we must start listening to our own hearts, sans the advice.

God speaks to each of us, just all the time. His way is clear, when we get out subconscious fears and judgments set aside.

Set aside fear and judgment today. Let God know that we are serious about listening to Him. Not that we will never read again, but that we will bring our own insight to the table. Then our reading can really speak to us.

Resting in God

At times, within your hearts, there is a longing to follow me. If you would but heed that longing, if you would make that longing primary at all times, your own desire will bring you wholly to where I am. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 6, Page 71)

We are all—every one of us—residing in the Mind of God. Our longing to follow Jesus to where he is, is a laudable desire, but the way we think of it is a little misdirected. He is in that Mind of God also! Of course, we imagine that he has moved a little bit beyond us, and indeed he has. But our locus of operation, where our lives originate, in the Mind of God, is exactly the same.

So we have not moved an inch when we have come to where Jesus is, and he indicates elsewhere that we will laugh when we realize this. Jesus’ sense of humor is palpable. And he uses it to good effect in The Way of Mastery.

We don’t have to go anywhere to experience God. We are everywhere and in every way surrounded by Him, for He lives through us. We are part of Him. And He experiences right along with us.

Trust in the Mind of God to give us the grace to know that all is well. Jesus tells us not to be afraid about anything at all. If our trust seems weak, then we need to expand our love, and the trust will follow.

Nothing Is Happening by Accident

. . .[N]othing is happening by accident. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 68)

We can experience God when we allow Him to dwell, observed, in our very bodies. Of course, he (and we) are not truly bodies. But in this world of form, we experience that, and it is all good. Allowance opens the door to God’s action in our lives. It is the best thing that we have going for ourselves.

Elsewhere in the Way of Mastery, Jesus says that allowance is one of the keys to good living. It gives us salvation, the ultimate salvation of Awakening (Christ-consciousness). Allowing things to influence us is a matter of some faith, at least in the beginning, before we believe concretely that there is Another World, a place beyond us to which we go at death. Then we do not have to have faith, because we “know.” Jung said the same thing a few years before his death.

When we know of God’s reality, then our allowance for Him has taken hold.

Then we are living lives of growing joy and abundance.

Let us allow God to have His way with us. Let us let Him take the controls.

Following the Spirit

From my “ponder” series. . .

I don’t know when I encountered the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It must have been a quiet experience. I do know that when I was working as a media coordinator in the public schools in North Carolina, I went about my duties in the library with one ear tuned to what I was feeling. The Holy Spirit talked to me through my feelings. Sometimes it seemed that I was even prompting to turn left or right at a given time, not sure what I would see when I turned.

It was all a bit unnerving. My preacher had previously told me that Holy Spirit doesn’t tell you whether to turn left or right at a stop light, but my experience was different. To me, guidance spoke in particular ways in my everyday life.
Things went along well when I tuned in. The “feelings” were somewhat different from what I would term “intuition.” Intuition can be a “knowing,” and the nudges I got were not a knowing, because I didn’t understand what would transpire when I made a move in the direction prompted.

My Unconscious mind, where I think the Holy Spirit resides, must have been very close to the surface during that early period of learning how to listen. And the listening continued for long years, culminating now in a sense of knowing. I don’t get those indications of whether to turn right or left.

Is something missing, or am I just following guidance another way?

Now We Know What Love Is

No matter how deep you go into the depth of God, and no matter how deep you achieve an awareness and consciousness of union with God, what God is remains forever beyond your growing capacity to understand God. It is like an ocean of infinite depth. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 64 – 65)

We will never, if we visit a thousand worlds, know God completely. His Godhead is the All, and we can know, intuitively, only facets of His personality. He shares with us, but the sharing is not a sharing of equals. We are creations of the Creator. It is true that we are a part of Him, in that he differentiated His essence to form entities without number, an infinite number. The magnitude invites humility in us. Knowing that we are God, but we are not all that God is, can give us a realistic estimate of ourselves.

We are growing in understanding. Not so long ago, most men and women of faith believed that God stood apart from His handiwork, that we (and the earth) were His handiwork, and that the distance between ourselves and our God was so great as to be unreachable. Now we know that we can have a direct knowledge of God, and this knowledge is known to us because in the age of Christ we are not so afraid of Him. His magnitude, when we were sinners caught by the ego (read “Devil”) was beyond us. We needed a Comforter to bridge the distance, and that Comforter was the Holy Spirit. Now we know that this, a holy spirit, is a part of us, and we no longer quake in our boots at the thought of approaching His majesty as just our humble selves. We know what love is, and we sense that we are loved just as we are, mistakes and all. It is awe-inspiring. And humbling at the same time.

Let God talk to you today. He is in the silence of our meditations. He will comfort our aching minds with wisdom of our hearts.

Let the heart tell us this today.

Let God Act in Gentleness in Our Very Souls

I and I alone am the source of what I experience and perceive. I am not a victim of the world I see. Everything I experience, I have called to myself, plain and simple—no excuses, no ifs, ands, or buts. That is the way it is.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 64)

We are one with Jesus, as we are one with all other beings in our world. We are responsible for this “pebble” (Jesus’ word) called “earth.” There is one Self only, and this Self is a manifestation of God, insane though we have been in manifesting Him. He is not insane, and so we could not fully experience God in our illusory separation from Him. But we have never been victims. We did just what we wanted. We thought it smart to develop a worldview that left God out, and in the doing of it, we suffered mightily. Our suffering was chosen by our souls to lead us back to knowledge that what we were about would never work.

God was not punitive. He just had to have universes that were based in Love in order to keep that Creation from self-destructing. We didn’t know this, for our finite minds could not contain the ramifications of this in our delusions. We projected the ego as the Devil, and we imagined a cosmic war going on. This has never been, but we didn’t have, in separation, a certain way of knowing the truth.

Now we do. We live in the time of Christ, and certain things that have been hidden until are now, now are out in the open. Our way back is seen as the smooth path that it is. We need fret, worry, suffer, be in pain, no more. Our Self, seen as individuated entities apart from each other, will gradually return to the fold, knowing that suffering is unnecessary. We will let God have His way with us, learning through rewards, a way that is vastly superior to pain.

Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that it is not necessary to learn through pain. Believe him, and watch the agonies of this world recede.

Let God act in gentleness in our very souls, and our way will be smoothed for all time.

It Is in God’s Hands

. . .[Y]ou suddenly realize you are not the maker and doer, that you can accept responsibility for anything and everything because through you all power under Heaven and Earth is made to flow, to manifest the Love of God. So, in short, it is in God’s hands, not yours. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 63)

We are not the doers, at least not in our personality. The Doer is God Himself, Who dwells deep within each of us as One. We are, of course, One, being part of the one Self Who is manifested in the world. That’s why harm to another actually harms the self, for there are not two, but one.

The world is meant to manifest God’s Love, and it is only in our desire to see if we could create something better than He that we wandered away into separation from Him. It was never so, but we were free to be lost in the illusion that it was the truth.

Now we know better. Our separation from God was only in dreams of illusion, dreams that have played out on the stage of this world, and perhaps others. We have never left God’s bosom, and when we allow His Love to encompass us again, we will be very close to enlightenment, a stage of life, coming to all of us, that will make manifest in our world the truth that Love is the All, the Everything. God, as we know, is Love, though to think of love as an emotion is to miss the point. Love is a fact, a reality, a truth, that permeates the whole, and now we know this in our inmost being.

The eons have passed in which we walked in a fog. Now time is fleeting, and we are all passing into the knowledge of God, past perception. Now we know what was only a shadow heretofore.

Now we know. What are we to do with this knowledge? That is the only question left to answer. Let intuition rise to the surface, and that secret, too, will be revealed.

Allow God’s Gentle Direction

You come to see that you cannot think a thought without disturbing the farthest of stars. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 63)

Our thoughts contain worlds, and influence worlds. We have not believed this truth, not because it is so unbelievable, but because we feared the ramifications. If we know this, ought not we to do something major with our lives? Ought we to realize that we can affect the very course of history?

We are not powerless, but very powerful. And as bits of foam on the tips of waves in the ocean which is God, we will grow in grace as we realize how powerful we really are. When we allow God’s direction to manifest in our lives, we will accomplish much that would have seemed impossible previously. Of course, we won’t know how strong our influence really is, and perhaps this is wise, for the ego might try to win back our allegiance by guile. The ego is very cunning, and its patterns are still a part of our mind. The farther away we can run from these patterns of the ego, the better off we will be. And the greater our influence really will turn out to be.

Ask for guidance, for we do not want to harm anybody with our thoughts and feelings. We don’t want to adversely affect anything, and if we allow God’s gentle direction, we will not cause ripples in the ocean that is our home in God. We will know His magnitude, and this magnitude will erase the cunning of the ego in its false majesty.

Subconscious Cleansed from the Bottom Up

. . .[Y]our life is no longer your own to dictate and control. But that rather, you have given it over the Source of your own beingness, to that depth of wisdom in the depth of the ocean that knows best how to bring about what is required to push up the dross from within your consciousness, so that you can release it.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 62)

We are becoming enlightened by a process by which the subconscious is cleansed from the bottom up. We don’t try to dictate how this will come about. Our part is simply to allow it to happen by not focusing on the wishes of the dying ego. Allowance is the way that Jeshua (Jesus) moved Jayem to enlightenment, as described in The Jeshua Letters. His own conscious willingness to let go in surrender was all that was needed, for his own subconscious had been largely cleansed by the time that Jesus approached him, perhaps through the Eastern wisdom that he had read voraciously for years.

Likewise, allowance is our way, too. If we try to remain in the driver’s seat, we will miss the point as well as miss enlightenment, Awakening, Christ-consciousness.

God must be allowed to have His way with us, and in this ultimate surrender, He blesses us with the knowledge of His love and His guidance. Our pathway will be as clear as our next step, for we see the pathway only step by step. But we have said “yes” to the whole route, and in so doing, we have fallen into Jesus’ arms. His embrace, as described in A Course of Love, heals. And it is this embrace that contains the whole universe(s).

Thought of Love in Form

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

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

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

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

Allow God to make this difference in our lives today.

Love Is the Elixir

Rest assured, whenever you believe you have not succeeded or not completed some decision fueled by desire, it is because you were simply not wholly committed—or you decided to change your mind. And when you change your mind, you literally change what you experience in the world or the solar system in which your self spins. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 56)

Our mind does control what we experience. If we are not firmly in the driver’s seat, for God makes a difference, we have some power in our creations. If we are constantly changing our minds about what we want to experience, we will go through oscillations that seem never-ending. We will also have conflict, as one idea rubs against another.

There is a better way. We need to let desire be informed by the Holy Spirit or the Christ Mind, and if we do this, we will have a way of living that will emerge as our heart’s desire. Conflict aside, we will be well-equipped to deal with the many disturbances in our world, this world of illusory separation from God. Our way forward will be magical in a good sense, not in the lamentable way of viewing magical thoughts that A Course in Miracles describes.

Our desires fuel what we bring into our little corner of the world. And when we allow God to act in us as He would will, we know that His will and ours are inseparable. We know that we never really wanted anything but His presence in our convoluted lives. When we feel His Love, we are transported beyond ourselves, into something that offers us our dreams.

Love is the elixir. Let Love fuel the choice of our desires, and keep our will firmly rooted in the Holy Spirit or Christ Mind. God’s choices then give us a value to everyday experience that has heretofore been lacking.

And suffering is no more, for, as illusion, it retreats into mists before the sun.

Let God’s Glory Be Reflected in How We Live

Of myself, I do nothing. But my Father, through me, does all things. And it is very good. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 4, Page 55)

We too can step aside and let God’s direction flow into our lives. After all, we are composed of “God-stuff.” He is living through us, and when the separation has been healed, we will know it with a certainty that puts all confusion to rest. Our confusion will melt away, and we will be home, in God’s arms.

Our desires direct what we do. Ask those desires to be filled with God’s grace. We are immersed in Life when we feel our desires. Pray that our desires might be worthy of us—and worthy of God. A nearby statement says in WOM, “. . .[L]et the petals of the rose blossom within our holy being.”

We are not used to thinking of ourselves like this, in this exalted way. We are so used to denigrating ourselves, calling it humility. But true humility does not disenfranchise us. A false humility will mean that we have a poor self-image, and while self-images are actually a false concept (in that no image is needed), we ought to rise up to the best that we have in us.

God asks no less of us, that we let His glory be reflected in the glorious lives that we live.

Waves Rising from the Ocean of God

The mystical transformation that carries you from feeling yourself to be a disempowered little drop of foam on the edge of a wave to the sense of freedom and empowered living that flows from the Mind of God through you to express only beautiful creations filled with majesty, power and miracles is willingness. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 4, Page 49)

Jesus compares us to waves rising from the ocean, with God being the ocean. We are no more separate from God than a wave is separate from the ocean. We are a part of God.

The willingness mentioned in this quotation is called just a “little” willingness in A Course in Miracles. When we give ourselves to God, He takes our bending to His will and grows it tremendously. We may have heretofore felt thwarted in some of our projects. If we give the details of our lives, even the practical details, over to a Higher Power, we will know a success unexpected in common hours. And we will know God.

It is through knowing God that we know what next step to take. When we have walked far along the way, knowing becomes a most intimate part of ourselves. We don’t have to stop and think. We just know what to say and do. We act in innocence in our world. If our initial impulse would hurt anyone, then we need to go within and recognize that our response is not, in fact, from God.

When we, children of God, act on His side, what we say and do is not harmful to anyone. It is permeated, through and through, with the innocence that is our very being.

We Need to Blossom

And God wonders, “Well, it is interesting. These roses that I have created seem to have a mind of their own. As the elixir I tried to give them rises through the stems, they tie themselves in little knots and only a little bit of the elixir reaches out. So the petals never quite blossom fully.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 4, Page 49)

The “tie themselves in little knots” is, of course, exactly what we do when we worry. And many of us are prone to worry a lot of the time.

How do we get beyond this worry, this tension? We cast all our care on God. We allow His life-giving sap to rise in our limbs, and when we do, we know the expansion that Jesus is talking about in this quotation.

To expand is to grow. And that oft-quoted idea from the Talmud is that an angel leans over every blade of grass, saying, “Grow, grow.”

We are like that blade of grass. Our growth is extension. We might not get it right the first time when we try. But our batting average rises exponentially when we let God have the reins of our life. The Holy Spirit speaks for Him; let the Holy Spirit into our lives. Then the growth that we will experience, the expansion, will be noble and good.

And we will know what it means to truly live for the first time.

What We Decree, Is

Remember that what you decree is, and the thought you hold in the mind will be reflected through the nature of your experience. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 4, Page 47)

The sentiment in the quotation is an affirmation of the law of attraction: What we decree, is. This truth lets us realize that we have to watch our thoughts, even getting out of bed in the morning. The way in which we begin our day will decide whether the day will go well or ill. Of course, we can always start the day over, as A Course in Miracles tells us. But wasting time is not to be desired (something also ACIM says).

Answer honestly, first thing in the morning, about what we want. This will put us in the right relationship to God, Who can then lead us gently to purify our thoughts.

Ask what is best that we want.

And then be assured of an Answer.

Nothing to Fear in Guided Desire

You have learned, therefore, to fear desire because that fear is the effect of fearing yourself, and that is what cripples you. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 4, Page 46)

Our fears have done us in, mostly just fearing ourselves.

Now is the time to change, to alter trajectory to a new and glorious word. There is nothing to fear in desire, IF it is informed by following guidance. If we think we are not looking to guidance, then we are just falling back on asking the ego what to do. And the ego will always lead us wrongly.

We are right in loving ourselves. The lack of self-love also means that we don’t love God in the way that we ought, for if we cannot love ourselves, then we also think (wrongly) that our love for God is something too elusive to join in faith.

If love of God does seem elusive, then look to what in our lives we do love. One woman, in a story told my Norman Vincent Peale, said that she knew that she loved her little nephew. And Norman said to her that this was where her mission lay. In loving the nephew, she would come to see from whence all Love comes, the very Godhead Itself.

We have not trusted ourselves to know where to turn and what to do, and this psychological disturbance has caused much inner turmoil.

Make the decision today to reach that which is higher and more all-encompassing than our little egoic self; make the decision for God.

Love in Which We Swim

If you were to walk down one of your city streets and to truly look into the eyes of everyone you see, would you not recognize that death seems to have already made a home in the minds of many that are living? (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 4, Page 45)

Yes, I too have had this experience, seeing death in the eyes of a loved one, a family member. There was a glazed-over expression, a deadness that seemed to me at the time to reach her very soul. And she lived for several more years, and so actual death was not imminent. Jesus says that all of us reading these words has had this experience.

I have often wondered what I was seeing. Now Jesus’s words in this statement bring home to me again what I experienced long ago, looking within the eyes of a loved one. I have often wondered if my loved one had not experienced God in her lifetime. Certainly she had led a life that would seem circumscribed and a disappointment in many ways. Was failing to know salvation one of her problems?

We don’t have to live like this, for we are especially fortunate to have Jesus’ newly channeled works to help us live well. If we sense our own eyes as being too dull, let us ask for a surrender to God that will remedy this death-like reflection. We need God, and He will rush to our aid immediately, for the Godhead knows His children. I believe that God knows his children, for I don’t subscribe to the idea that God doesn’t know what we are about because we live an illusion.

Ask for encouragement today. I think this is all that any of us need, encouragement borne of the Love in which we swim.

Hero’s Journey Is Our Journey

As you know yourself to be, you are the effect of God’s desire to extend Love.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 4, Page 43)

Yes, we are the extension of the Godhead as Love. We just fell into separation, wanting to explore how we might be different if we “forgot” that we are Love. We didn’t know what a magnificent entity we could be if we remained in Love. Yet God chose this pathway for us, along with us. It was a mutual decision. We will return to Him, ready to be embraced by Love, much more knowledgeable and much more mature than new souls who had previously not embarked on any journey.

This is the “hero’s” journey. Ultimately, we return to where we have been. And there, T. S. Eliot, the poet, says, “to know the place for the first time.” This is what life is all about, to explore, to make mistakes in our ignorance of the whole picture, to finally know that God is all we want. Jesus says this elsewhere in WOM (Christ Mind Trilogy), that he is still constantly wanting to know more and more of God, still progressing as an entity. He encourages us to move fast if we want to be where he is, because his place in the universe is not static. He will yet be farther along than we, if we hesitate.

God created us as a way to extend Love. His Love acted in the cosmos to individuate portions of His Self so that He could truly experience existence. Neale Donald Walsch, in his conversation with God series, describes this well. Neale goes on to say that God in His totality would be as unknowable as “nothing,” if He did not differentiate His Self into component parts. Yet we may believe that, like a hologram, each part (each entity) contains the Whole. So we can reach deep within, and intuitively, just “know.” This knowing takes us a very long way on our pathway back home.

We Are in Union with God like Waves in the Ocean

You must make the decision to desire—above all things—awakening into perfect remembrance of your union with God. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 4, Page 42)

In an excellent metaphor, Jesus likens us, as individual entities, to waves that have emerged from the depth of the ocean. The ocean is the All Who is God. He asks to identify with God, with the ocean and its depths. We do have uniqueness as waves, and our uniqueness is celebrated in The Way of the Heart. This will sit well with all of us as we emerge from the ego.

We like our individuality, as it is part of what we are, what we embody. In this, we are affirming the magnificence of God’s plan to differentiate, or individuate, all of us as entities that operate, often, seemingly on our own. He will use the inner Being to direct our pathways, though. This inner Being is called the Holy Spirit by A Course in Miracles and the Christ-Self in A Course of Love. It is simply recognized as our inner self by The Way of Mastery.

This analogy, of us and the ocean and its waves, from The Way of the Heart is especially apt and also especially beautiful. The imagery is superb. Jesus knows how to communicate with us, to reach our heart.

Let him.

God Enthralls Us

I believe that this moment of coming into our own can be likened to God taking the last steps into our Reunion with Him all by Himself. There is nothing that we can “do” to merit it, and if we had continued to struggle in our chaos, it might have seemed to be endless. And by retracing our karmic steps, we will regain Heaven, and the ladder leading us in the direction of the egoistic world can be withdrawn so that never again will we be tempted to dive into illusory worlds.

We have had enough pain to realize that the egotistical way is not appropriate. We will love God too much, appreciate the joys of Heaven too much, ever to be tempted to feel that following His Will is somehow a contrast to our own. We will see others as the equals that they are, and we will not be tempted to ask God to give us special favor. The desire for “special favor” is, in fact, what A Course in Miracles sees as the reason for our present predicament. And that defines the ego in two tiny words. We wait for God to take the final step in freeing us as individuals. Yet the Course looks to the individual first; in that sense, it does not preach a “social gospel.”

The Course would see most of our efforts in the world as doomed from the start unless we are right with God in the beginning. Jesus knows that we cannot give what we have not received. If we are not first healed, we have no healing to share with others. If we try still, we are “unhealed healers,” and Jesus is particularly negative about this. (T-9.V.3:3)

We Are the Energy of God

In our madness, we revolted against God, possibly believing that we could not be free unless we exercised that freedom by choosing a way of living that was opposed to His Will. Doesn’t this sound very much like an adolescent revolting against the reasoning and life patterns of parents? I suggest that this human perennial pattern is a metaphor for our rebellion against our Perfect Parent. The fallacy in this mad reason (because it is mad) is that God is ultimately not only our Parent and Creator, but also the very Energy out of which we are born. We are not separate from Him except when we identify ourselves as ego in a bad dream. Even on the human level we can see some parallel in the humor elicited by varieties of the story we have all heard: “When I was 14, I thought that my father didn’t know anything. By the time I turned 21, I was amazed by how much he had learned.”

On the human level, where this world is opposite from Heaven (T-16.V.3:6), there is good reason to build up a personality separate from our parents. Yet never have our minds been truly separate in this universal growth process. The latter point illustrates profoundly the way of the universe. We are built of the very Existence of God, thus not being separate, we can only retreat into madness and fantasize that we are, lest God be divided against Himself. This God could not allow, and we fancy ourselves apart only; in actuality, we are still at Home in Him.

Wholly Correctable Mistakes – Not “Sin”

It is particularly hard for newcomers to the A Course in Course to believe it when they are told that they have never sinned: They have only made wholly correctable mistakes. People with background such as mine may think that this is the deception of which we are warned from a “devil.” So what are we to make of this?

It one can just entertain the notion that our minds are, to greater or lesser degrees, at one time or another, in one person or another, insane, then we are well on our way out. Even our society treats the insane criminal differently from the one judged sane, controversial though a given case may be. We recognize diminished responsibility, an inability to see clearly right from wrong. Is this not what we are faced with on a daily basis? We see so dimly without the Holy Spirit’s guidance; sometimes we hardly know which way to turn. Would a loving God condemn us for our lack of clear understanding? No! He would merely give us a Guide who would lead us out of the maze.

Does a loving God demand payment, sacrificial payment, because we have done something bad and need to be punished for it? Certain traditional Christian theology teaches this, in that Jesus “died for our sins” and is the “sacrificial Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.” The Course reinterprets all of this into a much more benign concept. “I was not ‘punished’ because you were bad,” Jesus says. (T-3.I.2:10) He goes on to explain that this interpretation is an egoistic projection borne of the insanity of the ego. So we are back to the concept of insanity.

Surely no parent or loved one who sees his child or family member commit violent acts when diagnosed as mentally ill holds that person by the same standards as she holds a “sane” person. Let us entertain the notion that we only need to enlarge our definition of insanity to accommodate all people, to a greater or lesser degree. Jesus condemned no one. He recognized while on earth that most people did the best that they could with what they had. It behooves those of us who follow in the footsteps of Jesus, however blindly, to try to do the same.

Madness & Illusion

The Course even maintains that the world exists only in our minds: “There is no world!” (W-pI.132.6:2) Jesus says that this is the central tenet that the Course attempts to teach, and that we will go as far toward accepting this as we can. For those of us who have longed to know the metaphysical basis of Reality, these words are welcome indeed. We are told that when we awake from our nocturnal dreams, we simply “awake” to a new dream, in a new form not easily recognizable. The Course also says that awareness of dreaming is the real function of God’s teachers. (M-12.6:6)

When we recognize that what we see and do is illusion, we do not have so much trouble forgiving our brother, for in truth what he did to cause pain never happened. Our real self has been unaffected, and we are led gently to realize that this real Self is far greater than the tiny, mad part of ourselves that longs to be separate. If we can believe it, we are even instructed that the Whole does not know of the tiny part that wishes to be different and “special.” Only the Holy Spirit is the linkage that pulls this bit of madness back to the one Whole.

This is another of the difficult concepts of the Course: Does God Himself really remain unaware of our doings, with only the Holy Spirit to mediate between God and us? If we see God as within, layered over by much unreality, the concept makes more sense. Frequently we can reach God only in silence, so far have we gone into madness. And if we cannot know the Living God, it is obvious that the communication between Him and us has been disrupted. This then perhaps is the basis for recognizing that we in our madness have limited the very knowledge of God.

Can He reach us, if He is hidden within us and we are mad? I think not. But the Course is adamant that God’s Holy Spirit does provide the communication link that we have thrown away. I do not believe that these concepts are possible of understanding in a world of madness. Do let us go as far along the pathway of understanding as we can, leaving it to God to take the final step of uniting us to Him, once again. What we need is faith to see us through.

God’s Answer

There is an old story, retold by Hugh Prather, in which a man was allowed to see his life at his death, symbolized as steps along a sandy shore. He noticed two sets of footprints during much of the walk, but from time to time noticed only one set, and it occurred to him that these were his most trying times. Why, he asked God, did you desert me when times were tough? God responded, “Yes, it is true that I walked beside you throughout life, holding your hand. But when there was only one set of footprints, that was when I was carrying you.”

God’s Goodness

The idea of suffering has long been a stumbling block for individuals who wished, in fact who always intuited that God is good. But it has especially been a stumbling block for people who have blamed God for suffering. They look around at a world torn by war and famine, the slaughter of innocents, and say, “How can God be good if this is what I see?”

The Course offers a way out of this dilemma, a dilemma that is indeed highlighted in particular passages of the books. Jesus acknowledges that all of us, at some point, have believed that God is cruel, because life so frequently seems to mock our good intentions. The way out is the assertion that this is illusion that we are seeing, illusion without any real effects. In our very Spirit, we are not affected by the suffering of ourselves nor others. There is still a part of us in Heaven and unchanged by these appearances. That part recognizes that the harm done by our fellow men and women is actually done out of insanity, that nothing that they do to us is done out of malice; it would not be done at all if our brothers and sisters were in his right mind.

Ah! But that is the crux of the matter. None of us here on earth are in our right minds. We live the insanity in order to work our way out of the maze. We struggle through years of not understanding before we finally find the right tools to lead us back to sanity and release in God’s care. We are never left alone, however much we may think that we are.

Illusions

The Course says that we (not God) made the world that we see. It is an illusory world, but it does not appear illusory to us. We have “micreated,” but still what we have made cannot have power over us. It is as if to say that a god (Baal), fashioned of gold by the Israelites, has more power over their minds than does the Holy One at that very moment of fashioning tablets on the mountaintop with Moses. It simply isn’t so. We are one with God, and we never leave Him.

This understanding requires the knowledge that All is One. The Thought that is God extends Himself to create all living things. Only if God is mad could a part turn on the whole to destroy it. We have many times tried to turn on the whole and destroy, but to no effect. But God allowed this to happen only in illusion, assuring us that we have not in truth hurt either anybody–ourselves or others. Thus Return becomes possible at any time, although, practically, it may take millions of years for all of us to return.

A million years sounds daunting, but when we realize that we can have the “happy dreams that the Holy Spirit brings,” we know that we are not bereft in a hostile world. God needs many hands and feet to do His bidding in His world; he needs us to spread salvation upon the earth.

Let us do our part today, not by proselytizing, but by example.

Reassurances of God’s Love

There is a reassurance in the Course that saves us from the impasse of failing to forgive others and thus not meriting forgiveness one’s self: “. . .if you choose to see a world without an enemy, in which you are not helpless, the means to see it will be given you.” (T-21.VII.9:4) This new insight requires a reevaluation of all the negativity coming from others. We must instead recognize that our brothers and sisters are really calling for love. Our power (i.e., being “not helpless”) comes in large measure from this realization. Refuse to accept the dagger in the words of others. Know that, unless we help them, it is as though they held the dagger against their very throats. And for us, in initiating attack, Jesus make the analogy that a sword is being held over our own heads. (W-p1.192.9:4)

When we are still mired in attack vs. innocence, not sure of where we stand, we often look ahead to an uncertain future, and try to make plans that we think will protect us from the uncertainties to come. We are trying to avoid confronting the pitfalls of our habitual reactions to the world: attack when we are attacked. Jesus says that not often do we recognize that planning is a defense; we believe, instead, that “sin” causes effects from which we must save ourselves. And this “sin” is often seen as the negative behavior that others take out on us.

The Course has an answer; it teaches us to look to the “now” for release. Miracles work only in the “now.” The Course further teaches us that all such maneuvering is meaningless once we have made a “change of purpose for the good.” (T-26.VIII.7:9) This change can be that we refuse to return attack for attack, and instead see it as the “plaintive cry for help” that it really is. (T-27.VI.6:6) In another passage, the Course calls this almost universal reaction, “distress that rests on error.” (T-30.VI.2:7) If we can just recognize the truth of these words, many an interpersonal problem will evaporate in the light of the real truth.

Get the Madness Out

How do we let illusions recede? The world that the ego shows us is illusion indeed. The Course counsels that one need not even oppose the ego (which is to oppose illusions), suggesting that the illusions will go of their own accord when nothing opposes them. We welcome reality because it is true, because it opposes nothing and simply is. Would not we feel glad tidings if such could be our state of mind always?

We do get into trouble by fighting against reality and against God. It is He that we would fortify ourselves against. Doesn’t reason tell us that this looks like a losing battle? God is real, and He created our real selves, and would not have us hide forever in meaningless insanity.

This blessing—that God will find us—is the blessing hidden in the “unreality” we have made for ourselves. Ultimately, we cannot stay in a fog of uncertainty. Eventually we seek better answers, and God has “hidden” Reality in the depths of our hearts and minds, where we will surely find it if we but look. Eventually the sights and sounds of a chaotic world become too much for us, and we are thrown back to our inner depths, where God is. He waits only for this, and this alone is what he needs to turn us from madness. Yet we may look outward at a projected dream for many years. It is frequently only in turmoil that we are led to turn inward to our best resources, those resources found only in God.

Do not fight against the world, when events turn against us, and all seems lost. This is the turning point! This is what God has waited in great patience for us to find. He waits with great patience because He loves deeply, and He knows His creatures. Cause and effect will ultimately make untenable the world of madness. And He waits for that realization of another way, a better way, to dawn upon us. We do not have to seek blindly. Madness cannot keep this better way out of our saner mind. And we can “get the madness out” by simply choosing to look on our chaos and recognize, quietly, “This is not truth.” Sanity thus comes to the quiet mind. We need actively oppose nothing chaotic, for it will disappear when we withdraw our belief from it.

God Offers Comfort

The third law of chaos affirms that God must accept His Son’s belief about what he has become, and hate him for it. This illusion seems to be humility, saying, in effect, that we are miserable sinners in need of grace. But this is actually arrogance that would seek to circumvent the Creator. Now do we dare not turn to God for comfort, because He has become our enemy. Salvation, under this law, seems actually impossible. The ego cannot help in escape from this interpretation, but the Course was made that we might choose another way.

The fourth law of chaos is that you have what you have taken from another. By his loss, we win. This illusion says that there is a finite amount of treasure in the world, and if we gain treasure, we have it because we have taken it from our brother. In its most extreme form, this law says that we must destroy our brother to save ourselves. But Jesus affirms that we can only take away from ourselves. Instead of an “enemy” having our treasure, from whom we must wrest it, we are in firm control, and it is we who would deny ourselves. The enemy does not hold our inheritance away from us—it is we who have rejected it for the dubious “values” of the ego. There is a portion of this law that believes that we act unkindly because our brother has been unkind to us—forcing us into justified attack. But all of this illusion!

Finally, the last law of chaos is that there is a substitute for genuine love. This substitute is given us by the ego when we take back from our brother what we feel is rightfully ours. This is the ego’s secret gift. This secret gift has apparently been torn from us by our brother, and must be reclaimed if we are to have the ego’s notion of salvation. Our brother, by tearing this gift from us, has kept salvation from us. This is why enmity, one to another, can be seen as salvation.

When studied carefully and dispassionately, we can see clearly that these laws of chaos do not make sense. The illusions upon which they are based can be seen as illusions, and thus identifying the “laws” that illusions have, we are in a better position to seek further for the true laws—God’s laws—creating reality. Because these laws do not make sense, we are free to discard them for something better. Therein lies our true salvation. We have used our intellect to help us out, and while intellect is never enough (love and forgiveness, emotions of the heart, are required fundamentally), it is a start. And the lack of a satisfying worldview has kept many a skeptic in his darkness. I can imagine nagging Jesus for just such an elucidation of ultimate Truth that Course provides for us. “. . .seek, and ye shall find,” ((Luke 11:9 – KJV)and the world was finally ready in 1975 (the year A Course in Miracles was published) for this new way.

The Course declares that we think we do not believe in these laws. When articulated bluntly, their insanity becomes evident. But do we believe in these laws on an unconscious level? It is only their plain statement that allows us to reject them. Normally the actual intent is well-hidden. If, when raised to the light of day, we do reject the laws of chaos, then Jesus has done us a great service. It becomes clear that these laws govern chaos (illusion), never reality. A crucial three sentences explain: “There is no life outside of Heaven. Where God created life, there life must be. In any state apart from Heaven life is illusion.” (T-23.II.19:1-3)

Find God in Quietness

There is a stark contrast between fear and love that we need to understand. Seen in its simplicity, the dynamic between fear and love encourages us to find God in quietness when turmoil threatens to overcome us. The most likely reason for the turmoil is something held against our brother, some patch of unforgiveness that would threaten our equanimity and then, because we fear retribution, causes us to feel fear. All this need not be. That is the joyous answer that Jesus gives us in the Course. To lead us gently down the intellectual way that tells us “why” all this senselessness need not be, Jesus bids us look at the “laws of chaos.” When we look at these five “laws” dispassionately, we see that they cannot make sense. Let us turn now to these laws of chaos and see if we can recognize ourselves and our world in their tenets. (T-23.II)

Is the truth different for everyone? The first law of chaos would say that it is. Our illusory values are then always seen in contrast to the values of others, which are deemed inferior. This attitude is, at base, a separating tactic. One ought never to find “good” reasons to separate one’s self from another. Yet in this law, what one values is seen as superior to what another values, and this illusion is “proved” by attacking the values of another. We believe under this law that there is a hierarchy of illusions, making some easier to forgive than others; but this is not so. Jesus points out that a hierarchy of illusions is similar to believing that some miracles are easier to perform than others—and the principles of miracles affirms that this is not so. This idea may yet be a sticking point as we walk on the road to salvation; as before, let us go as far along this road that we can, knowing that farther down the road, we will know and understand more than we do now.

Jesus’ second law of chaos is that each one must sin, and therefore deserves attack and death. This illusion overlooks the possibility of correction, seeing only punishment at the hands of an angry God. It pits God and His creatures at war, and this war includes not only self and God, but also self and everyone else. This law would affirm that there are some errors that are beyond simple correction without punishment, and the Course affirms that all errors (or “sin”) are correctable without any punishment at all. We are always free to choose punishment, but this is not God’s will for us.

Chaos is the opposite the quietness in which we find God. Turn aside from chaos in whatever form it appears, and all will appear miraculously changed.

Returning to God

When this pathway back to God is begun, the way at first seems hard, because the ego is still strong within us, and it sniffs defeat in the air and would be violent to retain control of one’s mind and heart. Consistently listening to the Holy Spirit, prayerfully considering the promptings of intuition, will quickly smooth the way so that one knows, deep in the heart, that a withered ego is one’s only salvation. Then is one’s real Self actually strong, no longer a will ‘o wisp in the breeze, batted about by every foreign opinion thrust upon it. And we see that it was always the ego that suffered defeat at the hands of its “enemies.” Always being undone, for that is God’s way, the ego is abandoned by our real Self as well. And then the way is paved for great and faster growth as the creatures of God we truly are. A Course in Miracles tells us that the mind is very powerful. It also says that the reason that we don’t believe this is because we are afraid of its power: “You prefer to believe that your thoughts cannot exert real influence because you are actually afraid of them.” (T-2.VI.9:10)

Surely we are afraid when we look around and see a ravaged world. Did we do this? Yes, the Course counsels, but only in illusion and only in madness.

The Course says that faith, belief, and vision, shared with us by the Holy Spirit, are our way out. As the goal of salvation replaces the goal of sin, our steps in the mist become clearer. Faith inevitably gives us the power of persistence, but we don’t recognize the tremendous power that is unleashed until we place our faith not in sin, but in love. It is then that the power becomes the reliable lifesaver that it is meant to be.

I was once described in a letter of recommendation as having an “indomitable will to succeed.” I took this as a compliment in the almost 20 years ago in which it was written. In this, I see a glimpse of the personal power that I (and everyone else) have. I now know that this “indomitable will” of that era was far too informed by the ego. It was a competitive bent that later would alienate some of my co-workers. What had worked well in our educational system worked less well in a work environment where cooperation was necessary to accomplish shared goals.

Now I know that this drive to succeed is laudatory only when it is not threatening to others.

When we turn to God, we know that our own will is weak without Him. Let His will inform our own, and we will soon be on the pathway back to God. We need to bend our “indomitable wills” to God’s way.

Want He, and we, want us to do.

God’s in His Heaven

There is an old saying that when one points a finger at another, there are three fingers pointing back at us. Make a fist, point the index finger, and immediately this saying can be seen as obviously true. The Course’s version of this old ego dynamic is “It is as certain you will fear what you attack as it is sure that you will love what you perceive as sinless.” (T-23.intro.2:4) Somehow we believe the old karmic truth, that if we attack, we will be attacked in return. But the glorious opposite is also true: See innocence and sinlessness, and these too will become our own.

Because all seeing is projection, in the view of the Course, we can understand that all projection makes perception. What we are seeing is a dream projected outward, and the world becomes cruel or kind based on our inner life. Even the worst of “sin” can be seen as unreal (being a dream), and as the Course counsels, we can say, “My brother, choose again.” (T-31.VIII.3:2)

All of us have had moments, perhaps fleeting, when God seemed in His Heaven, and all was right with our little world. These moments of peace can be expanded more and more to all our hours, waking and sleeping. All of our dreams can become benign. This happens when the truth that we are dreaming our world sinks in, helping us to see that what we wish is based either on turmoil or calm, the peace of God within. There is, therefore, really nothing to “forgive,” but we do need the exercise of forgiveness for ourselves (not God).

It is only as we forgive that we come to see that there is nothing to forgive. No one blames a loved one who acts in psychosis to perpetuate harm; we know that he is sick. Likewise are we insane, all together, even when not diagnosed as mentally ill. We all are trying to bring greater and greater areas of sanity to our deluded minds.

Being Whole

Being whole is being present. Being whole is being all you are. Being whole is being present as all you are. When this occurs you are All in All, One in being with your Father. (ACOL, C:26.26)

“Being whole” is the way that we are heading. It means being in unity, one as heart and mind joined, one with the Self of unity joined with the elevated Self of form.

When this occurs you are All in All, One in being with your Father.

Being One with God attests to our acceptance that God is living through us, that there is no division between Creator and the created. And we are the created, something we tend to forget when we are being arrogant. The “authority” problem, as Jesus describes it, is a main factor in our confusion anyway. This authority problem is the fact that we consistently forget that we did not create ourselves, that there is a Deity Who did.

And this Deity is living through us, with no division between Creator and created.

Our Experiences Are Stepping Stones Home

“The very thought that you would claim as your own from which you have created the world of your own personal experience is also literally the result of your prayer to awaken. And the Father is creating—assisting you to create—just those experiences as stepping stones that carry you from where you are to where God is.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 3, Page 31)

Yes, stepping stones show us the way. The way to where God is. And these stepping stones are smooth and stable so that we don’t dash a foot against a stone, causing a tumble.

When we create our personal experience, that personal experience shows us the way to awaken. Our prayer to know what to do is all that it takes. God does the rest. That is an unequal contribution, and perhaps we think that somehow, in some way, we need to do more.

This is a false thought. We need, as A Course in Miracles says, only a “little willingness.” God does the rest, ALL the rest. Our unequal contributions from the Holy Spirit, and from ourselves, have nonetheless accomplished what seemed impossible.

We are home, in God’s arms, at last.

Healing from Within

“You are literally creating everything you choose and nothing is forced upon you.

“Now we are going to take that thought just a little deeper for a moment. It literally means that if you have decided you want to awaken, you have already called to yourself every experience that can truly best serve your awakening. The friends, family and people you have relationships with are those who likewise can best gain from the experiences elicited through relationship with you. It means that right here and right now you are already demonstrating the power that you are seeking—the power to truly choose to awaken, and to command the whole of creation to serve you in that awakening.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 3, Page 30.)

We seem to have something to do with our Awakening. This is a step beyond what we were told in A Course in Miracles, when we were told the fact that God makes the decision, and we must simply wait. We were told, of course, that we can remove the blocks to the awareness of love, and this will make a huge difference.

The Way of Mastery stresses that each subconscious thought and feeling must be brought to the surface of the mind to be healed. We can aid in this process, and thus have a more direct influence upon when the Awakening for each of us occurs.

We are surrounded with everything that will prompt our Awakening. We have always been.

We are particularly surrounded by relationships that are mutually helpful. And we have always been.

The Way of Mastery is designed to lead us to Awakening. That is its stated purpose. We can contrast this to A Course in Miracles, which was designed to dislodge the ego; and A Course of Love, which was designed to establish a new identity. But all three recently channeled works do work together, for their message is the same—heal the illusory separation from God, and rejoin His fold.

In Peace with the Divine

“Imagine then, being able to experience whatever arises without losing the sense of spaciousness, innocence and ease that you now experience in fleeting moments. For instance, know you the experience when things are going well, you are singing a happy tune, and life seems to be moving ahead? Imagine that same quality of trust, faith, and certainty of purpose, even when the buildings are crumbling around you and the bank account has gone dry. Imagine being able to look at those events with the same sense of innocence and wonder with which you would look into the eyes of your beloved.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 2, Page 17)

Surely this time of no time, when we are just flowing along, has been glimpsed by all of us in moments of enlightenment. The problem is that these moments, for most of us, do not last. Yet they promise a future that will be unlike the past, they promise one long stretch of time spent awakened. The glimpses that we have all seen just prepare us for a taste of the time divine.

We need to empty ourselves of our preoccupations to invite a glimpse of something better. This creates the spaciousness that Jesus refers to; this creates the joy and the happy tune that we would sing always. When we open ourselves, in emptiness, we are inviting the Holy Spirit or the Christ-Mind, to fill us up to overflowing.

We will have our wish, sooner or later. When we meet the conditions set by God, He will act. He will reach down (metaphorically) for us, raising us up to a high level that we have not been able to appreciate earlier. We didn’t think we deserved this high level. But as beloved children of God, this is our birthright. This is what has been waiting for us since the “separation” took hold, the illusory separation in which all of us have found a home.

Look for our real home today. Invite Jesus to bend low to us, and lift us up. God will do the rest.

We have nothing to fear.

BE STILL IN SPIRIT

by Celia Hales

Note: This column has been recently published in the November – December 2018 issue of Miracles magazine (Jon Mundy, publisher; Eileen Katzmann, editor).

“If you speak from your spirit, you have chosen to ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.I.3:3)

“When action is seen to be necessary, this is exactly when a time of stillness is needed.” (ACOL, C:25.23:1)

We want to speak from our spirit, and when we do, we will not be cast downward in depression, “dispiriting” ourselves. Yet in this time before the ego is relinquished, we oscillate between spirit and ego. As we spend more time with our spirit, we will be welcoming Awakening. Our goal. The place we want to be. And when we speak from our spirit, we will be blessing ourselves and our brothers and sisters as well.

Jesus says that the quotation that begins, “Be still,” are inspired words, coming from knowledge. This is definitely opposed to what we have become accustomed to coming from, which is speaking from the ego. When we speak from the ego, in this dispiriting, and depression happens, we are seeing the reason that the world can seem at times to be such a very demoralizing place.

We will also find that, like Jesus, we want knowledge, as opposed to perception. In knowledge, we have a certainty about what we discover, whereas perception is so variable. When we know a thing, we relax in that knowledge. It is the easiest way to live, for we are listening to the Holy Spirit. We usually have to get quiet to hear His promptings, and getting quiet is something that we often fail to do in our busy lives. We may devote a while to devotionals, but then we head off into our work lives, and there busyness characterizes the day. In welcoming the promptings of the Holy Spirit, we listen to our intuition, what I have found to be the primary tool of the Holy Spirit in His attempts to reach us.

We have our own spirit, one that indwells, from a personal standpoint, with the all-embracing Holy Spirit. As we progress on to A Course of Love, this spirit is known as the Christ-Self. One with God, Who also dwells within, our minds are teased out of all thought as we seek to understand what can be glimpsed only intuitively.
Ask today that intuitive knowledge might be ours. We want to discover how to live well, and we can’t do that in hectic lives unless we take this time out that I am recommending. Our depressed spirit can be the catalyst for us to slow down. Ask today that we speak from the spirit, and in this, bless all others.

“And in all situations, no matter what another is doing, your first response will be to enter into the quiet stillness within and merely ask the Holy Spirit: What would you have me say?” (WOM, Bk. 1, Lesson 3)

In the relaxed, peaceful frame of mind and heart in which we find ourselves, we will know that we will say what guidance prompts. And at this point Awakening, for us, is but a moment away.

Ask to see a glimpse of Awakening today. Ask to be safe and secure in God’s arms.

Beloved of God

“Understand well, The Way of the Heart requires that you allow yourself to rest in the simplicity of this truth:
“I am pure Spirit, undefiled and unaffected by anything or anyone. I am given full power to choose and therefore, to create my experience as I would have it be.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 2, Page 10 – 11)

We are, of course, both human and divine—but the Spirit rules, and that is what Jesus means in this quotation. Our essence is Spirit, energy, and the energy has only coalesced into a slower form that we call “matter.” It is still pure Energy, without form and spread out upon the cosmos in a way that we cannot discern. Our Spirit is like a hologram, where each Part is cognizant of the Whole, Who is God. We just don’t know it when we are encased in bodies. Intuition is our only link with the Divine.

Yet we retain power, and part of that power is the wherewithal to create what we will in our everyday life. Of course, there is a delay in what we create, for matter is slowed down energy, and since we are caught in time and space, it takes time and space to create something out of whole cloth.

We CAN create our own experience, though we are bade not to “blame the victim” if it seems that someone has created a bad situation. The personality did not do that creating; it was on the soul level, and the soul knows the essence of suffering in a way that we do not. We can never, in this world, understand the “way” of suffering. We can, though, turn our pain (inescapable for everyone) into something that blesses us.

Rest in the knowledge that by our thoughts and feelings, our focus, we create what is ahead for us in time.

This truth gives us great power. Let us use that power today.

Everything Is Conspiring to Take Us Home to God

“Each gesture, each thought, the way that the body breathes, all of these things are going on constantly, and they are communicating or revealing the effect of what you have allowed to make a home in your mind.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 2, Page 12)

Everything is conspiring to take us home in God. Our every gesture is either a conscious or subconscious, unrecognized, desire to heal the separation that is not real, but in which we have believed. This separation from God has taken us on a long journey that is ending.

If we allow our mind to open to Love, we will gesture differently, think differently, breathe differently. We will be in a flow that takes us through the day with an ease that we have not imagined possible.

If our thoughts and actions are anger-oriented, then we know what we have given a place in our mind. And A Course in Miracles says that anger is never warranted, not that we will never feel it, but that it is not necessary. While this doesn’t mean that push the anger down into the subconscious, or that we are passive-aggressive, it does mean that we need to go back to the beginning, before we felt anger. What prompted it? What exactly was going on?

We may find that we are stressed, or tired, lonely, or hungry. Our bodies may be betraying us, for though we imagine the body to be illusory, it does seem to have effects in this world. Physiology of the body does make a difference.

But the mind and heart can rise above. Turn over unpleasant thoughts, too-fast breathing (maybe), to a Higher Power. The Holy Spirit knows how to heal us, and by bringing up these concerns in the mind, we are healing these concerns. All from the subconscious has to eventually be brought up (something Jesus says elsewhere in WOM).

Let our greater understanding of exactly what is going on with us, eventually free us to love more fully.

The Father Heals the Subconscious Mind

“I give you this thought, and I would ask that you consider it well. What if the very life you are living, and each and every experience that is coming to you now since the moment you decided ‘I have got to awaken her,’ was being directly sent to you of your Father because your Father knows what is necessary to unravel within your consciousness to allow you to awaken? What if the very things you are resisting are the very stepping stones to your homecoming? What if you achieved a maturity along this pathway in which you were finally willing to let things be just as they are?” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 1, Page 7)

“Sent” by the Father does mean that the Holy Spirit or the Christ-Self is in control of everything that is being sent to us.

We don’t know what will heal us. But we need to bring up the layers of the subconscious mind that have been lost in egoistic thought for eons. These layers are just that—layers. So the different layers will come up, over time, differently. And the layers of the subconscious are different for everyone, so the schooling by a Higher Power is very precise, unique to each of us.

It is true that we can depart from this schooling. We can go off on tangents, forgetting what we are about, and what we are about is a return to God. We function best, though, when, in the flow, we listen to guidance.

The guidance takes us home in God. Let us listen and discover.

Experience the Soul

“I speak from experience that separation is an illusion. When death occurs in your plane, in that very moment you still have the power to choose to recognize that something has changed, and to shift your attention to a different faculty that the body could never possibly contain. One in which you perceive and hear and communicate with that spark of divine light—the soul—that seems to have given up the idea of trying to keep a physical form animated. This is imperative. In fact, it is the very first step of The Way of the Heart.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 1, Page 4)

We here get a glimpse of what it is like to die. The body is given up, and our souls emerge in full light of day. The soul, “spark of divine light,” will emerge at death if it has not already. I believe that the soul, in The Way of Mastery (The Christ Mind Trilogy), is part of the all-embracing Self, and the same as our personal self, here, called the Christ-Mind, in of A Course of Love. Jesus uses different words over the years, but his meanings remain stable.

We are not actually separate from God (and never have been). He emerges from deep within all individuations of Himself, what we and our brothers and sisters really are. My comprehension is that this differentiation of “God-stuff” was necessary that God might experience. He differentiated His Self into parts, and we are part of those parts, His creation. Totality, or the All, is not experiential. “All” and “nothing” often, ultimately, are experienced in much the same way. But there is an “All,” and we are participating, as an individuated entity, in that All, Who is God. He lives through us. And our soul, when freed from the depths of our entity, knows this.

We shift energy when we die. That is all that happens. We can experience the soul here on earth, too.

And it is that which we would do today.

Reach Out & Touch God

“The Bible repeatedly states that you should praise God. This hardly means that you should tell Him how wonderful He is. He has no ego with which to accept such thanks and no perceptions with which to judge your offerings. But unless you take part in the creation, His joy is not complete because yours is incomplete. And this He does know. He knows it in His Own being and its experience of His Sons’ experience. The constant going out of His love is blocked when His channels are closed, and He is lonely when the minds He created do not communicate fully with Him.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.X.8:1-7)

This quotation is a favorite of mine, for it acknowledges that the God we know may have very human emotions, though spiritualized and non-egoic. After all, it is even said in Genesis that God created us in His image. So why would the One Who created us not share some traits with us?

This may sound blasphemous, but it doesn’t to me. I like to think, even, of God as a new husband, keen on pleasing his new wife, eager to do things for her that make her happy. In this analogy (imperfect though it may be) God enjoys hearing our appreciation, wants our gratefulness, not because it is necessary for His joy, but because He knows that it is necessary for ours. If we aren’t grateful, we take this glorious life for granted, and we drop into the doldrums at the first instance of suffering/pain that comes our way.

Keep our minds and hearts elevated. That is the great secret of living life with a joyous spirit. If possible, make a list of those things that give happy moments, and so more of them. This is frequent advice in the self-help literature to increase one’s experience of happiness.

But elevating the mind and heart works. Even if circumstances surrounding us do not seem to warrant a positive outlook. Everything improves with positive emotions. Positive emotions are half the battle in any and all challenging situations.

We Are of One Mind with God

“Creation and communication are synonymous. God created every mind by communicating His Mind to it, thus establishing it forever as a channel for the reception of His Mind and will. Since only beings of a like order can truly communicate, His creations naturally communicate with Him and communicate like Him. This communication is perfectly abstract, in that its quality is universal in application and not subject to any judgment, any exception, or any alteration. God created you by this and for this. The mind can distort its functions, but it cannot endow itself with those it was not given. That is why the mind cannot totally lose the ability to communicate, even though it may refuse to utilize it on behalf of being.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-X.5:1- 8)

We are created of “God-stuff.” This is the basic message of this passage. We are beings in communication with each other and with God. We never lose this ability to communicate, however deep into egoic darkness we have traveled.

We are meant to communicate. We were never meant to attempt independence from our brothers and sisters, nor independence from God. Moreover, we cannot be happy in such a scenario. Our mutual joining with others prepares us to live a full and glorious life. Isolation from others keeps us in defeat.

We can open to fuller communication by looking to others with love. When we look to others with fearful thoughts, we will always find reason to be threatened by these others. Then the dialogue breaks down. The fact that others may be on edge, frustrated, or otherwise unavailable to us, is not germane to our communication.

Communication, in love, can also be silent.

Reaching God

“When I told you to concentrate on the phrase ‘Here I am, Lord,’ I did not mean ‘in this world’ by ‘here.’ I wanted you to think of yourself as a distinct consciousness, capable of direct communication with the Creator of that consciousness. You must begin to think of yourself as a very powerful receiving and sending channel.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.VIII.8:1-3)

Jesus is first talking to Helen, but, as usual, we can appropriate his words to ourselves. We can communicate, as a “very powerful receiving and sending channel,” with God Himself. If this is too threatening to us, then the Holy Spirit will mediate. This is the whole purpose of the Holy Spirit, of course, to draw us back to God when we are in fear that would prevent a direct channel to the Almighty.

A Course of Love, sequel and continuation of A Course in Miracles, postulates a more direct route to God. In this age of Christ, it postulates, we are capable of direct communication with God, no longer so fearful of Him that we need the Holy Spirit as mediator. The age of the Holy Spirit, ACOL says, has now passed. We are to derive our guidance from the Christ-Self who dwells within each of us. This Christ-Self, still a learning being until morphing into discovery through observation and an informing by the heart, is capable of accurate choices. This Christ-Self is being healed, through and through, all layers of the subconscious. And when this healing is complete, we will know Awakening/Christ-consciousness/enlightenment.

God dwells within and without, though we project the world from the Mind. I believe this world does not really exist, because the Mind is all, and the Mind is, at base, Spirit. This non-dualistic world view gives a way to understand that God is everywhere at one time. We are “God-stuff,” and out of his individuations/differentiations of His Being, we develop as His children.

God then knows us as His own. Finiteness does serve a purpose, to experience, because knowing the Whole, as God does in His Godhead, would make experiential effects not separate from Cause, and thus unknowable. (This interpretation is based in part on Neale Donald Walsch’s “conversations” with God, and is not found in ACIM/ACOL.)

Gladden Ourselves

“Have you really considered how many opportunities you have to gladden yourself, and how many of them you have refused? There is no limit to the power of a Son of God, but he himself can limit the expression of his power as much as he wills. Your mind and mine can unite in shining your ego away, and releasing the strength and beauty of God into everything you think and will and do. Do not settle for anything less than this, and refuse to accept anything but this as your goal. Watch your mind carefully for any beliefs that hinder its accomplishment, and step away from them.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.VI.11:1-5)

Certainly everybody has experienced times when, in retrospect, we might say that we have been our own worst enemy. This is, I believe, what is happening when we have refused opportunities to gladden ourselves. We seem to wallow in self-pity, never a very laudatory experience. When we are so absorbed by self-pity, it certainly makes it hard for anybody else to sympathize and to emphasize with us. Our own self-centeredness at such times makes inevitable the truth that the ego will be in the ascendancy.

Jesus will join his mind to ours, and the two of each of us can shine the ego away. His offer is a free offer, with no strings attached. And should not we make the tiny effort to accept his free offer? Only a “little willingness” is necessary, as Jesus says elsewhere in A Course in Miracles. The Holy Spirit will take our little willingness, and make it into something mighty. Jesus will cooperate with us as we seek to leave the remnants of the ego in the dust under our feet.

We need God’s strength to finally take tentative and hesitant steps toward accepting His great blessings for us, His blessings in a world that is slowly giving up the ego as a very bad idea.

When tempted to indulge in the misery of self-pity, let us lift our thoughts with an effort of the will, and let God’s grace show us a world that will gladden us.

Relax in God’s Grace

“In your own unconscious, deeply repressed by the ego, is the declaration of your release: God has given you everything. This is the one fact which means that the ego does not exist, and which therefore makes it profoundly afraid. In the ego’s language, to have and to be are different, but they are identical to the spirit. It knows that you both have everything and are everything. Any distinction in this respect is meaningful only when the idea of getting, which implies a lack, has already been accepted. That is why we made no distinction between having the Kingdom of God and being the Kingdom of God.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.V.16:1-6)

So: God has given us everything!! This declaration surely doesn’t mean right now, but intuitively it can mean just that. When we draw on ultimate meaning, we draw on what we both have and are, and this is the infinity of God Himself. Like a hologram, the Whole of everything is within us, though our finite mind cannot comprehend this universal blessing. Our ego cannot comprehend, period. And so it shivers in dread and fear. But we don’t have to do that; we can immerse ourselves in the love that God’s greatest blessing to us. And in this blessing, we know that we partake of His grandness.

We do not have lacks. Oh, we think we do. But the fulfillment of need is only a motion away, a creative motion in which we rest in what we have, in gratitude that it is enough. We may, it is true, lack for material things, but this need be only temporary, for God’s storehouses are full to overflowing with what He can and does give to us.

Our spiritual needs are met immediately at the point of asking, for these intangibles do not wait on time or place. Our emotional needs, sometimes the greatest of our needs, may be resolved with a heartfelt prayer asking for help. And in asking for help, we know that we are not truly experiencing lack, for the help arrives, and all is well.

If this seems “pie in the sky” thinking, just relax in God’s grace. Try not to let skepticism stop the good from coming to us. This is egoic thinking, and we have determined to leave the ego behind. If we fall into egoic thinking at the first sign of trouble, we are asking of the wrong source. Ask for God’s help, and we are asking aright.

We both have and are the Kingdom of God. Ask what this means, and rest in surety that the Holy Spirit will answer, in terms that we can understand.

Ever Mindful of God’s Love Given & Received

“Let us ask the Father in my name to keep you mindful of His love for you and yours for Him. He has never failed to answer this request, because it asks only for what He has already willed. Those who call truly are always answered. If you become fearful at this, remember: ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before Me’ because there are none. You still think there are.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.V.12:1-5)

Do we still imagine gods that are other than our Creator, God Himself/Herself? The ego certainly does, and by this I mean the endless desires that we have for many, many things in our life, often material things. These become gods in their own right. We don’t have to subscribe to a “devil” figure to imagine that we are being tempted to put other gods before our Maker. We do this automatically and incessantly when we cozy up to the ego.

The many things that we admire and love more than God are mirages in the desert. Jesus says elsewhere in this complete edition that the thing to do with a desert is to leave. Certainly that is what we have to do with the ego; we have to turn aside, ever so gently, so as not to be sucked into a quagmire. We need to turn aside and give our allegiance and love to the One Who truly deserves it.

Remember that God loves us. And, buried deep within us, is our response of love. We know that love makes the world go ‘round, and when we love God, we come to see that the universes as well thrive on love.
If we think that we don’t love God, think a bit about what or who we do love. If this is true love, and intangible, then we can find God in this source. Loving this known bit of God can turn us on to God Himself.

Sometimes it is easier to love something little than the big, all-encompassing Source of Love Himself.
This small, intangible, love will take us to God. We have trouble because God is ineffable, and we don’t know how to get a handle on Him. This is as it should be. Turn within, and see if we don’t sense Love from the Almighty.

His blessings will lead us to Him.