Humble Asking Always Gets an Answer

“If you ask me for guidance, you have signified your willingness to give over your own control, at least to some extent. Your frequent failure to ask at all indicates that at such times you are not willing to go even that far. Failure to ask for guidance is a sign of fear. But when you at least ask, you are acting on a cooperative thought, even though it may not lack ambivalence. You are therefore entitled to a specific answer, but unless you follow it without judging it, you will become defensive about the next steps you will take.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.IX.4:1-5)

Jesus is available to us for guidance. As our elder brother, his advice is sounder than our own. It would be wise to ask.
Later on in A Course in Miracles, Jesus does not so much ask us to turn to him as to turn to the Holy Spirit. He knows that we ask of the ego, or we ask of Higher Guidance—whatever we do. While we may not be aware of these mental gyrations, they are nevertheless much a part of ourselves. We don’t make decisions just in our own superficial mind. Guidance is very real, but guidance of the ego is always wrongheaded and disastrous.

We will get specific answers, and these specific answers may very well come as the next quiet thought in our minds. Practical advice is always given. The Holy Spirit can be very practical, giving advice for the most mundane matters. The only criteria is that these matters are important to us. Humble asking always gets an answer. The solution is always found with the problem, as soon as the problem is articulated, even silently.

If we think we have decided what we want to do, and then ask, we have turned the tables on the Holy Spirit. We may not like what we hear, for the initial decision has, in all likelihood, be made in conjunction with the ego. ACIM says that the ego always answers first.

We don’t have to listen to the ego. It certainly would be wise not to do so, but simply to turn the matter over to spirit. The answer comes quickly.

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Guidance

“A giant step forward in your case would be to insist on a collaborative venture. This does not go against the true spirit of meditation at all. It is inherent in it. Meditation is a collaborative venture with God. It cannot be undertaken successfully by those who disengage themselves from the Sonship, because they are disengaging themselves from me. God will come to you only as you will give Him to your brothers. Learn first of them, and you will be ready to hear God as you hear them. That is because the function of love is one.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.VIII.21:1-8)

Do we really believe that we can hear God? We hear him in silence, not in words. Our intuitive sense carries the day. It is true that from brothers and sisters on the Other Side, we can hear what are called “locutions,” words impressed on our mind when we are quiet and receptive. We do not necessarily hear anything audible at all, but the impression of a locution does seem very powerful, when it comes. God’s silence, also, speaks volumes. We can know what God is wanting of us, and that may be only an expression of Love. He does not always expect us to work for Him; the pleasure of His company is all that He sometimes asks us to receive.

In meditation, specifically insight meditation, the focus is not only a specific mantra, but on phrases that filter through the mind. Our mind speaks to us, and sometimes this impression seems a little beyond us, as though a Higher Power were speaking to us. Feelings work, too. And feelings are primarily how the Holy Spirit speaks to us. When we are on the right beam, we comprehend that we are, and nobody else can tell us we are wrong. We do need to test out our discernment, though, as anything that might be harmful to another is definitely not coming from the Holy Spirit.

Jesus wants us to engage with him. He is able, as spirit, to live anywhere and everywhere. His consciousness can engage with myriads of human beings are one time. If this seems farfetched, let us simply listen to his words. I think that they will allow for no other interpretation.

A short period of meditation, or, at best, two such periods, will calm us and take us to the Heaven that exists in our minds. We may not stay there, but the visit is so very therapeutic.

Jesus’ Instructive Guidance

“If you will think over your life, you will see how carefully the preparations were made. I am in charge of the Second Coming, as I already told you, and my judgment, which is used only for its protection, cannot be wrong because it never attacks. Yours is so distorted that you believe that I was mistaken in choosing you. I assure you this is a mistake of your own ego. Do not mistake it for humility. Your ego is trying to convince you that it is real and I am not, because if I am real, I am no more real than you are. That knowledge, and I assure you that it is knowledge, means that Christ has come into your mind and healed it.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.VI.15:1-7)

It is likely that Jesus was speaking to Helen here, asking her to think over her life and realize how prepared she was made for the task of scribing. There were many things that she needed to have in her mind, and her upbringing assured that this happened. In channeling, Jesus must draw on the words that are already in a scribe’s mind, being limited to using words that are already known. This doesn’t mean that the ideas are in the scribe’s mind, just the words, for nobody who has taken A Course in Miracles seriously, and knew Helen, thought that she could have made all this up. She had a fine mind, of course, but she did not have the genius of Jesus.

Jesus is on a par with us, in that both he and we are real. The ego disputes this, but we all know by now that the ego is insanity itself. Jesus has walked the whole pathway back to God, and now is guiding our footsteps. His work with channeling is just one aspect of the careful instructive guidance that he gives to us all.

Listen to Our Internal Guidance

“The task of facilitators of such meetings of open hearts is to direct the reader away from ego mind and back to wholeheartedness or Christ-mind. “How do you feel?” is a more appropriate question than, “What do you think?” The sharing of experience is more appropriate than the sharing of interpretation. The sharing of process is more appropriate than the sharing of outcome. Facilitators will keep readers from attempting one correct inter¬pretation, as the only correct interpretation is that which comes from each
reader’s own internal guidance system. Group attendees will find themselves feeling less competitive or interested in asserting their beliefs as it becomes clear to them that unlike in other learning situations, there is no correct answer or specific set of beliefs to be adopted. The student begins to move beyond the need for shared belief to personal conviction and authority.” (ACOL, A.15)

Again Jesus is talking to groups who are discussing A Course of Love. We are to dwell on our feelings, not out thoughts. We are to dwell on what the heart says, not the mind. There is no one “correct” interpretation; we must listen to our heart to know what ACOL is saying to us personally.

We move into a cooperative stance with ACOL as our guide. No longer competitive, we simply see each other as equals. If there are individuals in our group who have not let go of the ego, we need to be very certain that we don’t fall into judgment of them. If we fall into judgment, we will be taking a step backward, and we will be threatened with forming a new ego to replace our old one.

This will never do. If we are to change or create a world, we must stand firm in what we know, and that means the miracle-mindedness that is the art of thought. Thinking as we have previously known it has fallen away. We wait to be told what miracles to perform, for guidance is sure. If we aren’t certain, we wait.

Sometimes our guidance comes only at the point of action, and we are held in limbo until then. This is not God playing with us, but only our own reluctance to know fully until it is time to act. We keep our minds from getting cluttered when we don’t try to figure things out in advance.

We are meant to depend on our Self, the Christ-Self who draws on God Himself. We are not meant to depend on what other people say. Our internal guidance system is the best available. Let’s use it.

Dear God,

I say often that I need to depend on guidance. Do I do it all the time? No. But I try. And that is the saving grace for me, the saving grace that You give me. Thank You.

May I look to others with a cooperative mind slant. My heart will tell me what to say and do, even what to think. And the thoughts will be miracle-ready.

Thank You.

Amen.

Ask for Divine Advice

“Only in my relationship to you am I God. Only in your relationship to me are you who you are in truth.” (ACOL, D:Day40.15)

Jesus is speaking in a metaphorical sense here. He is not saying that he is the Godhead. He is one of us, but he has advanced farther along, and so he can lead us. He is speaking from a personal relationship to us, something that he advocates throughout the ending portions of the Dialogues of A Course of Love. He is very desirous of a personal relationship with us, saying that he can do more for us if we will so accept him.

As inheritors of the Christian faith, we can accept his offer easily and peacefully. He is not speaking to those of other faiths; he knows that other religions have value. So he is not the “only” way to God. But, for us, as Christians, he is the best way. He is our leader.

Accept Jesus’ offer to guide us day by day, even hour by hour and minute by minute. We can take pen to paper, or go to a computer and type—just to see where it leads. If we quiet down and ask for advice as to how to live our lives, we will receive it. Jesus has assured us in A Course in Miracles that he will come to each of us upon a “single, unequivocal call.” I accept him at his word about this. I have first-hand knowledge of his guidance.

The best way that we can live is to ask for advice, ask for guidance. We are not smart enough to live life independently; we are not intended to so live. We are placed in this world with others for a reason. Our egoic, independent natures were all a mistake. Let us take a better route through this world now, a route holding hands with our brothers and sisters.

Dear God,

I would ask for guidance today, as I do every day. I can’t live without your advice about how to live. Thank You for always, always and forever, being here for me.

Amen.

Self-guidance

“Self-guidance is the propulsion, the fuel, for the One Self to know itself. You are ready to be so known.” (ACOL, D:Day26.8)

Have not we often heard the admonition, “Know Thyself”? This is indeed good advice, but prior to now, in our journey with A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, knowing ourselves has not really been an option. When we were ego-bound, we were lost in confusion and in dramatic highs and lows. This makes sense, because the ego is abject insanity.

But now, finally, we can know ourselves. We will be getting our guidance from the newly known Self who has emerged from our depths. We will listen, quietly, to promptings that are gentle and easy. This self-guidance is new to us, or so we think. The Holy Spirit and His guidance seemed, sometimes, to be outside of ourselves, a prompting from somewhere else (though it really wasn’t, because the Holy Spirit dwells deep within with God).

We are ready to know our Self. We have journeyed long and hard for this moment. Let us take advantage of it.

When we follow the gentle promptings of the Self, we see circumstances play out that solidify, in our minds and hearts, what we ourselves are all about. We are living out the Self in the outside world. And the inner has created the outer. We are living the truth for the first time.

We are coming home.

Dear God,

I would listen to the guidance that comes from my depths today. This is my Self, speaking to me. It is a welcome change in the way in which I receive promptings of what to say, do, and even think. It is the way of the future, the gentle way of the future. If the promptings seem hard to read, it is because I am not quiet enough.

Help me to keep a quiet interior today.

Thank You.

Amen.

Quiet Guidance

“Your self-guidance can be thought of as an internal compass. It will not necessarily know the answers as each answer is sought, but if paid attention to, it will show you the way to knowing.

“This alchemical transition, this passing of the unknown into the known, this moment when the unknown becomes the known within the Self, is the birth of creation. It is the culmination of all that has come before, the All of Everything realized in a single heartbeat, a single instant of knowing. This is the One Self knowing itself. This is not knowing that comes with a great ah ha, but knowing that comes with the awe of reverence. Creator and created are one and the homecoming experienced is that of union.” (ACOL, D:Day26.6 – Day26.7)

This explains the new way of receiving guidance! A very important topic indeed, considering how stressed was the Holy Spirit in A Course in Miracles. Now we have moved farther along our pathway, and we are being shown a new way of guidance, a way that Jesus explains in A Course of Love. The age of the Holy Spirit has passed, and we are now in the age of Christ, and so the instructions differ.

We are now to listen to the Self who lives within, and draws on a direct relationship with God, Who also dwells within. The Self and God are the same in spirit, though God is the Unlimited, and so omniscient. Our Christ-Self is still limited, but glimpses of a greater knowing do break through. Our Christ-Self is not, of course, omniscient. But the guidance that comes draws on the omniscient, and so is true, very true.

We are being shown knowing as opposed to perception. Our perception has been cleansed so completely that it has led the way straight through to knowledge. And knowledge is of God. Perception, on the other hand, started out being of the ego, and so needed to be purified before it could lead to knowing.

Guidance now is very, very quiet—with the awe of reverence. This is a tricky transition, for many of us have depended upon intuition and “feelings” from the Holy Spirit that will be absent now. There is just a very still knowing that emerges from our most quiet moments. We don’t think in any bombastic way anymore; we are being guided very gently to an understanding that is meant for us alone.

Dear God,

I was one who was confused by the lack of intuitive feelings, on which I had come to depend. Now I know that the next right step comes from a very silent, inner knowing that doesn’t make itself known loudly. I listen to my heart, in other words. And my heart is very still in my best moments, when my next right step comes through.

Thank You for this new understanding, the new understanding for this age of Christ. It is a simple reliance upon the Self who has now emerged from my depths. I thank You for this emergence.

Amen.

Turning Within for Advice

“The first transition, as you have probably already realized, is about a letting-go of any of the ideas that you may still have that an outside source exists. There is no such thing as an outside source. There are no outside sources of wisdom, guidance, or even information.” (ACOL, D:Day21.1)

Jesus’s assertion in the passage for today is very startling, but also very empowering. We have only ourselves—and our God—to consult for true advice. Depending on other sources has never been very satisfactory, for another’s answer was never certain to be ours. And now we know that we are living in the right time, the time of Christ, and living with the right demeanor, Christ-consciousness, to turn to our Self for the Answer. And our Self includes God.

So: No outside sources at all are to sway us. We will have to be diligent, for many of us have relied on others to show the way. Of course, we can still get advice, but we are certainly not to follow that advice unless it resonates with something deep within ourselves.

This is very freeing. This will work. Take a moment now to ask about anything and everything that have been bothering us. Just ask. We will receive an Answer, and from the only Source Who counts—the Self Whom we are deep within.

Dear God,

I would start depending on my Self for the answers of how to live my life. Of course, I have already done this to a degree, but now I would make a radical departure from my previous life, and listen to the guidance that comes naturally from my inner Christ-Self. The only One Who matters.

Be with me as I make this adjustment. Be with me always.

Amen.

Listen to Guidance of the Heart

“The condition of want, like all conditions of learning, ended with the end of learning. The condition of want was a learning device—not one of divine design, but one of the thought system of the ego. It was a trick to keep you constantly striving for more, a trick to guarantee the survival of the ego-self, a trick that provided the small rewards of time-bound evolution, the small rewards that would keep you assured of progress through effort, and just as assured of ruin through lack of effort.” (ACOL, D:Day3.28)

Here the word “want” is a lack that is actually a need, not a desire. And we learn elsewhere that our needs are met at the point that they are recognized, by us, as needs. We ask for help in meeting our need, and it comes—immediately. The solution is always right with the problem.

We may not believe this. But think back. Have we ever really had a need that wasn’t answered in some way? It might not have been answered in the way that we preferred, but an answer did come, and invariably. Now we are living in a new time, and the effort that we put into answering our needs must be dropped. We don’t get our needs met through effortful living any longer, for effortful living was a ploy of the ego so that its survival was certain.

We have, by now, at this point in reading A Course of Love and taking it unto our heart and mind, left the ego behind in the dust. We may, of course, still keep a “pattern” of the ego that seems to make sense for a time. But if we think carefully, we will know that we don’t do things for the egotistical payoff any longer. This dynamic has simply lost its value to us. And we are much better off as a result.

We are asked to make progress today through listening to our heart’s guidance, not through laborious effort that might or might not pay off. We are assured of making progress when we listen to the ideas that drop into our mind from listening to our heart, from listening to our Self. This Self is the Oversoul, of which we all are a part. Guidance is particular to each of us, but we draw on the same Source. We draw on God Himself, Who leads and directs from the center of our being. And His way is always sure.

Dear God,

Help me to remember to be gentle with myself today. If I feel like resting, let me do so without guilt. If I feel sleep, let me take a nap without guilt. I would displace guilt from my mind and heart at every point that it would try to enter. I don’t have to produce always. Living is its own reward.

May I be there for my brothers and sisters in need. Sometimes you use me to answer a need. That is not a burden, but it is a responsibility, and it calls for careful listening to my heart about the right thing to do and say. Help me to follow You in any matters that confront me. Help me to love with a generous heart, especially when my brother or sister is feeling weak and troubled.

Amen.

Seek Inner Wisdom

“You may have pictured the person who first received these words as receiving them either through her thoughts or through her ears, as in the idea of “hearing” words. The receiver of these words, in fact, “hears” these words as thoughts. They are not “her” thoughts, but they also are not sepa¬rate from her. How can this be?

“They are, quite simply, not the separated thoughts of the separated thought system.” (ACOL, D:12.2 – 12.3)

Mari heard an internal voice, one that she believed (and has since been borne out) was Jesus. Helen received dictation for A Course in Miracles in exactly the same way. It might be more accurate to say the “impression” of a voice, for there was nothing audible. And Mari, as Jesus said, was hearing these words as thoughts that she knew did not originate from her personal mind. We can extrapolate from what Jesus says next in this quotation that Mari was in unity when she was listening to these “thoughts.” She had a united mind and heart, and her Self was available to her: “not the separated thoughts of the separated thought system.”

We can do the same, though the voice that we will hear will not necessarily be Jesus. Though he has promised to be with us when we call, not all of us call all the time, and, of course, how he can be with everybody who calls is a mystery that is beyond the scope of what we can know on this earth. Let the imagination have free rein. Write a question in a journal, and then “listen” for an answer. Just be free with this. Write what seems to come, using the vast powers of our imagination. A awakened individual I know would say that this is Inner Wisdom, and, of course, another way to say that is that it is the Self coming out to play, the Self newly emerging from the depths now that we have let go of our ego and are eager to see true reality. Julia Cameron, of fame as a writing teacher as well as a working artist (The Artist’s Way, etc.), suggests just the technique that I am here recommending. She says that we will get an indication of how to dialogue with our inner being.

I am not conscious of channeling from anyone while I write this blog, but I do realize that I “listen” to see what words to put down on paper. I don’t “hear” anything, but I also try not to forge ahead until I have gotten the gist of what is to follow in any given sentence. So, in that sense, I am in dialogue, I think, with my Self. At an earlier time I might have thought that I was in dialogue with the Holy Spirit, but Jesus has emphasized that we live now in the time of Christ, the time of the Holy Spirit having passed. We can have direct knowledge from God now, no longer needing an intermediary because we are no longer fearful of the Deity. I would caution not to feel that we are infallible, for we certainly can make mistakes in our journaling as a dialogue. Our finite minds, even when supported by the heart, will sometimes get it wrong.

Take nothing that I say unto yourself unless it finds a place in your heart. This is the test. Does it sound right to you? If not, ask for your own personal guidance; that is best anyway.

So: We listen to our own inner voice as we seek to discover more. This Self is informed by guidance far beyond us. And the result will be better lives. When we listen to the universe, our guidance shows us the way to greater happiness and an ever-greater contribution to God’s work.

Prayer

Be with me as I seek to write. Be with me as I seek to live peacefully with everyone. I would make progress in my own pathway by inviting mellowness, and this comes only when I first relax. I ask for a glimpse of enlightenment today. I ask for the intelligence, emotional and mental, to get across ideas that You give me, ideas that elucidate Jesus’s words in A Course of Love. Don’t let me mislead anybody.

Thank you for being here for me today. I seek to relax and stay calm, sure that then any neuroses that still trouble me will diminish and gradually disappear, falling away never to return.

Amen.

Turn to Inner Direction

“Just as obviously, all we are left with is divine design. All we are left with is what was given: A divine universe, a divine existence. That divine universe, our divine existence, is now recreating the patterns that served the time of learning. What was learned in the instant in which you came to know your Self is all that learning was for. Let us not dwell any longer on why this has taken so long or on the suffering that occurred during the time of learning. This would be like dwelling on the inmate’s life as an inmate once he has been freed. Let us simply create a new structure around the new pattern of acceptance, a structure that will provide you with the home on Earth you have so long sought and used your faulty systems to but attempt to replicate.” (ACOL, D:4.18)

Don’t look back, in other words; that is what Jesus is saying. We can regret the past, but it does no good, and it influences negatively the better present and future that await us. It is true that we have suffered much from the detour that we took away from God, a detour that has continued for many, many long years and over many lifetimes. But the future beckons to us now—a future bright with promise, uninfluenced by the learning from external sources that we can leave behind, external sources to be replaced by the one internal Source that matters—the Christ-Self, dwelling in unity and relationship with our brothers and sisters and our God.

We are heading into internal direction as our means of coming to know. This is Divinity speaking to us, from the Self that is One with God, the same God to whom we have given our allegiance, but imperfectly. We often imagined that He was external to us, and we prayed to be saved from our many troubles. We asked Him to intervene, but never without doubt that He might choose not to do so. Our impressions of God were wrong. He has never been external to us; He has always been living through us, expressing Himself in the only ways that He could while we imagined that we were separate from Him. Such folly in the midst of plenty!

Surely these wrong understandings need not be dwelled upon as we walk into the new day. A new world that we are creating because now we know that our separation from God is mended, and our unity with Him a fait accompli. We know this in the depths of our being, when we stop to listen to our heart. We know this in the depths of our being, when we let the heart speak to and inform the mind. With the ego gone, there is nothing that need stop us now from assuming our full statue in this world as creators, like unto God. We can create that new world that Jesus is so desirous of having. We have been saved from ourselves.

Turn to inner direction when faced with a dilemma. The answer may not come immediately; we may have to step away from our desk and have a cup of coffee, but then, when we return, the answer will be waiting (just as it was for an inspired thinker who reflected upon his experience in this way). Inner direction is our method to come to knowledge that is beyond perception. Inner direction from our Self, the Self we are just now coming to know. The Self who is not befuddled by the ego.

Prayer

May this new way to pray work for me. I turn to my deeper Self, the Self who is one with God, to come to know what I need to know to live my life. It is a miracle-minded way to live. And it works. My guidance is sure when I don’t get tangled up with my own insecurities. Patterns of the ego fall away, to be replaced with an assurance that is very real. Thank You for taking me by the hand and leading me away from morass and debilitation. Thank You for guiding my footsteps as I seek to stay on the path that will ensure that life ahead will look much different from the life that spreads out behind me.

Amen.

Inner Direction Prompts Us Well

“Within is where the real world and all your brothers and sisters exist in the unity of Christ-consciousness. Change within effects change without, not the other way around! Within is where you look to your own heart, rather than to any other authority, for advice or guidance. Within is where you find the knowing of Christ-consciousness, the consciousness of unity. Within is where you find the power of creation, the power to create the patterns of the new. Looking within is not an attempt to find the answers of the personal self of old, the separated self who depended on learned wisdom for answers. Looking within is turning to the real Self and the conscious¬ness shared by all for the creation of a new answer, the answer to the only remaining question; that of how to sustain Christ-consciousness in form.” (ACOL, D:2.22)

This quotation for today is a summation of what has been covered for a while in the Dialogues. It is an amplification of the idea from A Course in Miracles that “projection makes perception.” We project our outer world from within, and what we project determines what we perceive. Everything is going on within, and with this quotation in the Dialogues of ACOL, we find out just how very much is going on within.

We turn within now to get our guidance. It is amazing to realize that when we feel an impulse to do something, often that thing, however impulsive, is right on. We can speculate that this is the inner Self talking to us, guiding us. If we move on the impulse, certain not to hurt anyone nor anything, we often find a beauteous gift awaits us. We have to trust, though, or our remaining patterns of the ego will raise ear in us, and we will be too afraid to act on the impulse. We will then miss out on many bountiful blessings, blessings that could have been ours if we had listened well to what is going on in our interior.

So: Pay attention to what is inside. Wait, but not long, for what will transpire in the outer world when we have acted on inner direction. Inner direction, if right and good, tends to reveal itself to us as we take the first steps toward acting on the guidance that we have received. Guidance from within wishes us well. It only takes courage to act, but not a lot. A little willingness is all that is ever required.

Prayer

Thank you for my guidance today to act on impulse. Nobody would be harmed, nothing would be altered for the worse. And there is much good that comes from acting on the guidance that arises from within. Thank you for taking me by the hand and leading me along. I hope that You will always do that. It would make such a difference in my life. Yes, You will always lead me along, if I am courageous enough to listen. And the advantages to listening are tremendous.

Be with me for another good day. As this new year of 2017 gets underway, I pray for a good outcome for everyone who reads these words. Be with us all to allow us to walk into a future bright with promise.

Amen.

Listen to the Whispers of God-given Desire

“As the natural state of love is returned to you, judgment falls away because vision will arise. With the onset of the vision of love, many of you will make one final judgment in which you find everything to be good and full of love. Once all has been judged with the vision of love, judgment is over naturally for it has served its purpose. This is the final judgment.” (ACOL, T4:3.8)

Jesus doesn’t say it here, but judgment is the opposite of forgiveness, and forgiveness was the hue and cry of A Course in Miracles, the forerunner of A Course of Love. When we are loving and forgiving, we are in a state in which we are surrendering and re-surrendering to God at every point of departure. Surrendering and re-surrendering works; nothing else does.

We may think that we create our own reality, and we do. But if the reality that we choose to create is out of sync with what God knows is best for us, we get tangled up. ACIM and ACOL both assert that the will of God is actually our real, true will, and nothing else will work quite so well. We can rebel (and we have), but the shortest route to enlightenment is the straight line that our innermost self points out to us. This innermost self is the Christ-Self, and this Self is always in alignment with the powers that be, the God, the All, the One of everything.

We don’t seek to use our judgment to determine what to do, for we cannot possibly know all factors, past, present, future, that would determine how our choices would turn out. We turn to guidance, and we can evaluate this in several different ways. ACIM turned to the Holy Spirit, the feeling or intuitive sense that one might do a certain thing. ACOL turns to the inner Christ-Self, still ruling by feeling or intuition, but more precisely a direct route to God, of which we no longer cringe from in terror and fear. Our way is now more direct, for we know that God means us well, that He always points out the shortest route to the Christ-consciousness that we want. Every route will eventually take anyone there, but the shortest route is certainly preferred, for this world (and we ourselves) are in such agony that speed is to be desired.

Love finds all that we approach to be good and blessed. Even what seem like bad things, for things are actually neutral. We bring our interpretation to what we experience, and that interpretation puts a positive spin on our little world when we know that we are following surrender, re-surrender, and the guidance that surrender always gives us.

The way is not hard. No pathway that God points out to us, that we find to be tantalizing us with desire, genuine desire, is hard. Of course, we have to drop the egoic desires. And at this point in A Course of Love, Jesus assures that we have, in fact, dropped the ego. This will come to mean a lot to us, as we realize that our pathway just got swifter. Re-surrendering to what seems to call to us is the best way, the preferred way. And with this re-surrender comes the certain culmination of dreams we can only guess.

Prayer

Be with me today as I re-surrender to You. I have found that this re-surrender is the only way that I can have peace. There are many unknowns in the future, unknowns that could unhinge me, unless I let You take the lead. And when I step back and let You do the guiding, I am reassured, once again, of the Love that guides my steps surely.

Thank You for this good day. May the day grow ever brighter, like my future.

Amen.

Guidance Points the Way Back to God

“The Holy Spirit, unlike God the Creator, has known the existence of the illusion and the thought system of the ego-self and been able to communicate within that illusion. Without this means of communication with the ego-self the ability to learn the truth could not have returned to you. The “time” of the Holy Spirit has now ended because the time of illusion is now called to an end. What is finite has an end point and this is that end point for the time of illusion. The return of Christ, or your ability and willingness to live as your true Self, to live in the house of truth rather than the house of illusion, is what will end the time of illusion.” (ACOL, T3:17.8)

There are several strains of thought here, some of which pick up on A Course in Miracles. ACIM said that the Holy Spirit could communicate with us as an intermediary between God and us, that God (maybe) did not know about us, because we had retreated into illusion, ego-projected illusion. Now A Course of Love makes the same assertion, that God does not join us in the illusion. I personally find this assertion of Jesus’s hard to comprehend as well as hard to accept. I think there is a Mind to the Godhead Who knows all. But Jesus doesn’t seem to agree with me. And he is in a better position to know.

We are to turn inward, now, to the Self within, a Self who is at once the All and the part of God Whom we embody deep inside. This is the way of life in the age of Christ. We are no longer fearful of God, and though we may have a Holy Spirit in our minds and hearts, we don’t turn to Him any longer, for his time has passed. This, according to ACOL.

It seems to be certain from this quotation that we needed the Holy Spirit in times past because our ego was predominant, and this egoic orientation made us fear God, for we had made of Him a God of fear, because we were making Him in our image, an image that was fear-predominant.

We do not have to know everything to live well. We do not have to know whether or not our God knows all. Certainly ACOL would say that He knows all in reality, and that is enough for us to deal with. We are moving into reality now, far away from illusion, and when this movement is complete, we will know God in a way that has heretofore been veiled from us.

Trust your understanding of God, whatever it may be. The way back will be paved by the divine guidance that we are receiving today. And that divine guidance is lodged deep within.

Prayer

Thank You for this good day. Thank You for all my good days. Your way is best, as I have known for a long time now. Your way works. Mine does not.

Help me to reach out to others I see and talk to during this day. I need to reach out, with You telling me how, in order to be the best sister I can be to others.

Amen.

Let Gentleness Be Our Guide Today and Every Day

“The Christ-mind and the thoughts that come from the voice of the Christ-mind will be gentle. The thoughts of the ego-mind will come as disguises to certainty. Given just a little practice, these disguises will be easily seen through and the uncertainty behind them revealed. Thoughts of the Christ-mind will hold a certainty that cannot be disguised. Remember that all doubt is doubt about yourself and that you are no longer called to doubt yourself. Your Self is now your Christ-Self.” (ACOL, T3:10.9)

We are encouraged to eliminate self-doubt in this quotation for today. We have long been uncertain about our reactions to others, even when we have been following intuition and guidance. Of course, following guidance is recommended in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. But how do we know when we are accurately assessing what to do? This is where uncertainty rears its ugly head, and we wonder. . . oh, how we do wonder!

The problem previously with following guidance and being unsure if the guidance is accurate has been the ego. It has confused us no end. Now, following the Christ-Self, knowing that the ego is gone, will ease our minds and hearts considerably. We will know we are on the right path. We will feel reassured that all is well.

And the ego is gone. This far into A Course of Love, Jesus has reassured all readers that the ego is gone. Of course, a new ego can be formed, but for now we are safe. And if we truly live love, we will not let the egoic thought return. We will be safe forever.

The thoughts of the Christ-mind are gentle. This is the way that we can tell about its guidance. If the way being shown to us is a gentle path, a path with heart, we will know that we are right on—not being misled in any sense at all.

Let us let gentleness be our guide today and every day. Let us let the Christ-mind take over, as long as this mind is informed by the heart. And the mellowness that we feel from the heart will be unmistakable. We will know when to act and when to refrain from acting. Our way will be sure.

Prayer

When I am uncertain whether or not the guidance I seem to sense is true, I need to go within and ask again. If the same guidance keeps coming up to the surface of my mind, out of my heart, then I can be more assured that this guidance is accurate. Self-doubt is confusing, and it is so unnecessary. I will learn better as I progress farther back to You, leaving self-doubt in the dust below my feet.

Be with me today as I seek to find my way. My way, I have determined, is Your way. And when I am assured that my guidance is coming from deep within me, then I know that You are doing the prompting.

Thank You.

Amen.

Guidance through a Journal

“While the personal self is the subject of the next Treatise, this is my invitation to you, specifically, to enter into a holy and personal relationship with me, specifically. While you are here, you have a persona. While this persona is no longer an ego-self but a Christ-Self, it is still a persona. This is the “you” who laughs and loves and cries and shares with friends in a world now different than the one you once perceived. I know of this world and I am here to guide you through it. I, too, am friend to you.” (ACOL, T2:13.3)

I could make of this blog posting a personal witness to the happiness that comes from a relationship to Jesus. I have long believed the assertion in A Course of Miracles, an assertion that invites us to imagine that Jesus walks with us, holding our hand. And ACIM says that this will be no “idle fantasy.”

I would like to believe that my imagination has not been playing tricks on me, that imagining Jesus holding my hand through life is not an “idle fantasy.” I have often imagined dialogues with Jesus while writing in my journal. I have an entry from myself, followed by letting my imagination have free rein and writing how I think Jesus would respond to my words. And I write in my journal frequently, keeping a window on my laptop open to my journal and my dialogue. When writing on the laptop, I do often shift gears and journal for a bit. I learn a lot that way. I invite you to do the same.

A Course of Love, which many believed was channeled by Jesus, holds much reassurance for those of us who want a personal relationship with Jesus. This will be welcome news for the many who have been reared in traditional Christianity. Now we can imagine that revelation is giving us an extension of the tenets we learned in Sunday school as a child. Revelation from Jesus. Is this really so hard to believe?

Jesus will purify our persona, though he will not ask us to change into something that we are not. We can believe, as he says, that he accepts us just as we are—the persona without the ego, for he tells us that we have indeed left behind the ego. We may still respond to patterns of ego belief, but this belief is not the illusion in which we once believed. It is an echo of things from the past, and it will be gone from us sooner if we just gently turn aside rather than resist. We are OK just as we are; this is the reassurance that comes to us in the Second Treatise of A Course of Love. What more could we really wish to hear?

All too often we don’t believe this reassurance, for we have only a belief in forgiveness, but we have not fully forgiven ourselves. This belief is not enough, for the guilt will linger. We need to truly forgive ourselves for what we did not actually do in the illusion.

And a personal relationship to Jesus is a good way to begin. Dialogue with Jesus in our journals. The rewards are great, the pitfalls illusory. The imagination is meant to teach us much. And now, with the Christ-Self coming into ascendancy in our persona, we will be in a much better position to learn anew.

And to forgive.

Prayer

Thank You for this good day. Help me not to do anything or say anything that will rue it. The blessings are mighty when we set ourselves up for a good day, and with Your helping, how can we miss?

The day looms long and full. May I slowly rest in Your care, hurrying not at all. Hurry is not necessary, and it is likely of the ego. No need to rush about, to struggle so. Thank You for A Course of Love, which tells me this.

Amen.

Let Our Heart Follow where Intuition Leads

“Again let me stress the present-moment nature of being called. A call is, at its most basic level, a means of communication. If you are not listening, you will not hear the calls that are meant for you. If you are looking only for a specific type of call, you will miss many unlearning and learning opportunities. Thus recognition of the different calls that may now be heard is necessary.” (ACOL, T2:5.2)

Although not everyone reading this will think that he/she is being “called” to be or to do something, there are some calls going on for all of us. And Jesus, in Chapter 5 of the Treatise on Unity, goes into the various types of calls that are coming in our direction. Of course, most of us think of a “calling” as being a revelation, an announcement, and he mentions this first in the chapter, recognizing its importance. Other calls include receiving signs and demands, being “called to account” by others. Though perhaps not as important as revelation or announcements, these other calls do speed us along our way.

We will have many questions about discernment, how to figure out what calls are being made to us. Here guidance comes into play, and intuition is often the most common way in which guidance reaches us. At least that has been my experience. Intuition is not always certain; it will take some practice in recognizing when intuitive feelings are actually coming up, or perhaps we are simply having wish fulfillment. And when we are feeling vulnerable, a state of mind and heart that comes to all when under stress, we may see everything as a sign. And this only increases our vulnerability.

When others criticize us, this is a form of being called to account for our words or deeds. We may need to listen carefully. What lesson is there for us in this criticism? We do not always have to lament this criticism; it may be a friend to us. Jesus goes on to point out that we may be led to call others to account also for their words or deeds. Of course, it is important to ask for guidance in doing this in a smooth way. Criticism is an Achilles’ heel for many of us, and we neither appreciate criticism nor give it easily. We may turn off the person rather than help him/her.

Jesus is veering into the realm of the psychic when he talks about various calls. A skeptic would not even believe that such is possible. It takes an open mind and heart to see what we are being led to say and do. And when we believe that calls are possible, they will open up to us all the more. We will also be able, over time, to discern ever better what is being said.

Prayer

I have often listened to intuition to catch my callings. Sometimes this is easy, and sometimes not. If my own stubbornness gets in the way, I am conflicted. I would not be conflicted today.

Help me to discern what is and what is not a “call.” Help me to know when my Christ-Self is leaning me in a new direction. Be with me as You live through me. Intuition is a great blessing. Thank You.

Amen.

How to Find Flow in Life

“But again, as was stated often throughout A Course of Love, an alterna¬tive exists. It did not exist when you knew not of it and so your attempts at learning have been valiant and are no cause for anxiety. But now this alter¬native is being revealed to you, and it does call for a change of thought so extensive that all thought as you once knew it does need to cease.

“You have already succeeded in learning in this new way once or you would not be here. This is your proof that you can do so again and again until the new way totally replaces the old and the art of thought leaves behind forever the need for what the ego-mind once but seemed to offer you.” (ACOL, T1:2.8 – 2.9)

The alternative mentioned here refers to a change from the focus of the ego-mind to learn things that will get us ahead in the world. We have used our mind to win kudos in this world. We have benefited greatly from this use of the egoic way of thinking—but it is not the best way, as we are about to learn. Our former way of thinking has a replacement now. And it is miracle-minded thinking that is the art of thought. We are ready for the miracles that this new form of thought will bring to us. And this new form of thought relies often on prayer.

Jesus’s words about learning in this new way “once” are unclear. He may be referring in an abstract way to how our mind has functioned in the past—at least “once” with miracle-minded, art-of-thought thinking that has piqued our curiosity, and so we are still reading what he has to say in A Course of Love.

The new way of thinking presupposes a way of living in flow with prayer as our guiding force. Jesus says in this treatise that the miracle and the prayer are the same, that ACIM began with a summary of what the miracle means, and ACOL began with a call to prayer. Both are, as Jesus says, the same. We are living with guidance, rather than egoic function, as our way of living in flow. The miracle/prayer make life much easier, must less of a strain, and not a struggle at all. The new way of living is easeful, relaxed, and harmonious. We live joyfully, and we pursue our dreams in happiness. We don’t press our nose to the grindstone and keep working, stressfully.

I can speak from personal experience in witnessing to the easy flow of life when I live it by listening to guidance. These nudges of guidance come in various ways, but the most common is an interior word that gives me an indication of my next move. This is not an audible word, but an impression of my thinking that is perhaps coming from the Self whom I am letting out to play, finally. I have to be ready to turn on a dime, and sometimes I can get very stubborn at that point. But if I, as quickly as possible, drop the stubbornness, I can often see how the next step indicated by guidance is an intuitive thought that will smooth out my day. The easeful way is nearly always indicated. Jesus would not have us twist ourselves into knots, trying to follow the inner Christ Self.

Flow develops more easily when I never let stubbornness get a toehold.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would follow Your way and the way that my inner Self point out. I would just rest easy as I go about my day. I know that You are always here for me, showing me Your Presence in ways that give me great comfort. Thank You.

Be with me through the remainder of this day. The sunny day is joyful, the peace palpable. Thank You for granting me the understanding of how to live in flow, and give me the willingness to follow, always.

Amen.

Let Love Guide Our Steps

“That Source is Love, and it is available in every situation but for the asking: What would love have me do? What would love have me see? What would love have me say? When you call upon Love you call upon your Source. When you seek the wisdom of your heart you call upon me. When you seek the truth that is in your mind, you call upon the Holy Spirit. Thus is the Sacred Trinity always available in every situation, and for whichever learning mode you are most comfortable. All learning modes, however, will eventually return you to the Source, which is Love. The difference between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is but the same difference of which we speak when we assure you that you are of one Mind and one Heart, and that regardless of this truth you will not, in coming to know and experience this, lose your Self.” (ACOL, C:32.2)

Jesus describes in beautiful words what he interprets to be the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When we are in a particularly loving frame of mind and heart, we are seeking God, the Father, and we will be satisfied. We need only ask what to do, see, or say, and we will be answered through our Self, the Self who is never lost.

The Trinity, as a manifestation of traditional Christianity, has been particularly sacred and particularly mysterious. It is still, both of these. We use our minds when we reach to the Holy Spirit, and this is totally in line with the mind-oriented teaching of A Course in Miracles. Jesus says that when we seek through our heart, we are asking him personally for what we need or want. This does make sense, as he has championed the heart as the new way for knowledge to come to us, explained in A Course of Love.

God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit form a Trinity that meets all needs in us, the needs that the Self recognizes that are immediately met, therefore ceasing to be needs. Recognizing the Trinity is a particularly soulful way to live and work. If we react with our heart, we know warmth in everyday living that may have been missing previously. The heart knows warmth in a way that the mind, our intellect, does not. And the heart believes, without a ceaseless telling of what life is all about. We just know, and know well.

God, our Source, is available in every instance when we call on Love to tell us what to do, see, or say. When we react in Love, we cannot miss our calling. And our calling will be effected immediately, for God would brook no delay.

All of us have slightly different callings, reflecting what we do in this world to spread Love throughout all its regions. And Love is very needed, as we all recognize immediately. Our troubled world needs the balm of Love, for in this way its difficulties will be eased, the suffering diminished and then banished for all time. We have a high calling, each of us.

May we proceed on the way of that calling today. Just ask what the tasks for today are; guidance will reveal those tasks to us. And there will be an assurance in the telling that has been missing heretofore. Ask, and we will receive.

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask for minute glimpses of guidance today as I got about every moment of my living. I know that I do not ask amiss, for the guidance is there when I am ready to listen, and the guidance will be as minute, covering every detail of living, as I am willing to hear.

Be with me throughout this day. Help me to remember to ask, for guidance is something that must be sought. If I fail to ask, guidance normally won’t come through. So guide my thoughts to find the guidance that You are trying to give me when I have a willing heart.

Thank You.

Amen.

Knowing that Is Not Human in Origin

“As the dawn is unrestrained in its bursting forth, so has been your time of innocence. Not so the approach of day as the sun slowly rises and as slowly sets. This is a time of being both guided and restrained. A time of realizing that you can know without knowing what to do, and that this is not a mistake. Many reach this stage and, not knowing what to do with what they know, begin to doubt their knowing. This is a human response to a knowing that is not human in origin.” (ACOL, C:28.10)

Today’s quotation addresses a problem we may encounter as we proceed in listening to our heart and getting guidance from our Source, the inner Self who is part of God. We must walk easy, not forge ahead into ways that we don’t yet understand. We must sometimes hold back. Our knowing is not human in origin when we listen to our Self, a divine being. And this knowing may confuse us, for this knowing is telling us things that we have not heretofore believed, or maybe even known about.

We are being guided. If we doubt this, I suggest an exercise. Sit down with a computer, or with paper and pencil, and write out a series of questions that might trouble you about ultimate things. Get still and quiet. And then listen for answers from your heart. Let the words just come to you, for nobody has to see this. See if your confusion doesn’t begin to fall away. The Self knows how to speak to your finite mind. The heart, the center of the Self, knows what to write.

We can each reach God in our own way. He is nearer than our breath, for, as I have repeatedly indicated, we are a part of Him (ACIM and ACOL doctrine). God will not let us down. We know enough to access His wisdom, and in the access will come clarity.

Try and see. None of us will be disappointed.

Dear Father/Mother,

I have used the exercise I write about many times. Thank You for guiding my fingers to type what works for me. Thank You for being there, and guiding my heart to inform my mind.

I need Your knowledge more than my perception. This is very clear today as it is every day. May the right words come to mind when they are needed. May You give me the words to say.

Amen.

Wisdom of Our Heart Will Guide

“Trust and bearing witness go together, as the validation sought through bearing witness is a symptom of distrust. Few are chosen to be prophets, and the plethora of testimony taking place is brought about by innocence more so than by wisdom. This sharing of personal testimony has reached its zenith and will no longer be as welcomed or appreciated, so even were the intent of this Course to bring testimony together in such a way as to cause an evolutionary step, it would not work. Thus we must concentrate on wisdom, the wisdom of the heart.” (ACOL, C:28.4)

This quotation for today emphasizes that we cannot depend on the testimony of others to lead us back to God. We can only depend on the wisdom of our own heart, a looking within that allows the Christ Self to speak to us in any and all circumstances.

Prophecy thus is seen in A Course of Love as an answer for other generations and other cultures. Our world looks at such things differently; we are skeptical. And perhaps, rightly so, though there are many who still are caught in prophecy and see no inherent conflict here. If we allow our heart to speak to us, we will know the truth. And our worries and doubts will fall away. We have, in listening to our heart, gone inward to our Source, God Himself. And we don’t do so any longer with the intermediary of the Holy Spirit, because we are no longer afraid of a direct route to God.

Listen to what transpires inwardly. No longer look to learned wisdom for answers that spoke to other generations and other cultures. We have new revelation now, in the truth of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

It certainly behooves us to use this new revelation well.

Dear Father/Mother,

Today’s quotation is something that I need to read and reread, for I have been mightily influenced by the learned wisdom from the past. Now I am seeing that my own heart, in league with the inner Christ Self, will give me the guidance to proceed rightly.

Thank You for this simplification of what our guidance actually means, now in this time of new revelations. May I observe well. May all of us observe well.

Amen.

In Stillness I Hear God

“When action is seen to be necessary, this is exactly when a time of stillness is needed. You might think of this time of stillness as a time of consulting with your new identity. Simply sitting quietly, and posing the question or concern that is in need of appropriate action will suffice. When an answer comes to you, acknowledge that it is an answer from your new identity and express appreciation for it. While you will at times doubt that you have received an answer or that the answer you have received is correct, you will soon learn to trust this quiet process of discernment. You will know you have succeeded when you truly feel as if you have “turned the question or concern over” and allowed it to be responded to in a new way.” (ACOL, C:25.23)

Today’s quotation is a very precise and meaningful guide to guidance from within. Previously, we relied on guidance from the Holy Spirit, Whom we have seen as an intermediary between God and ourselves. Now, though, we are no longer afraid of God, and we can approach Him directly. This means that we look to the inner Christ Self, who is the part of God within each of us. We don’t sense that we are providing a buffer between God and ourselves. Instead, we are opening ourselves to the fullness of God, His glory and His grace.

Following guidance is so very necessary, and on some days it may seem so very hard. We doubt what we sense. We get stubborn. We fall by the wayside.

These are the times that we need the inner stillness ever more. When we quiet down, allow our sense of quiet to encompass us, we will cease the stubbornness about following that quiet inner Voice. We will grow mellow, and we will grow appreciative. Then we are open to having a very good day indeed. Stubbornness, without fail, produces a bad day. And we give ourselves many reasons to have bad days.

But we want good days. Always we want this. And we can have it, regardless of what is transpiring in our inner and outer world. We can rise above difficulties, rise above suffering and pain, and take our place as esteemed children of God who are following His way. This harmonious and gentle pathway will avail much.

If the day has started awry, we can always start over in our minds and hearts. We can just drop the stubbornness about having our way, especially when we realize, once again, that God’s way and our preferred way are actually identical.

Don’t delay a moment longer. Turn to an inner, quiet voice to discern what we are to do and say. The benefits are outstanding in all respects.

We will never regret this choice.

Dear Father/Mother,

Today, as every day, I ask to follow Your guidance. I no longer want to try to be independent, a being without needs, for I have many needs. And you solve them all. Thank You.

Help us to follow guidance, not to be stubborn about letting You take the lead. The day will unfold like an opening flower if we are attuned to Your Being.

Amen.

Follow Guidance of the Inner Christ Self

“A Course in Miracles asks you to “receive instead of plan,” and yet few of you understand the meaning of this simple instruction or what it says to you of the unknown.

“What it says is that the unknown is benevolent. What it says is that what you cannot anticipate can be anticipated for you. What it says is that you could be receiving constant help if you would but let it come. What it says is that you are not alone.” (ACOL, C:17.7 – 17.8)

A Course in Miracles counsels against planning for the unknown future, usually. Jesus says in ACIM that we will be guided to make plans, if plans are necessary, and otherwise we need not concern ourselves with leaving the present to forge ahead to the future. This guidance is seen to be the guidance of the Holy Spirit. But now we are said to be living in the time of Christ, with the era of the Holy Spirit having been superseded. So our inner Christ Self will do the guiding. This is how we get constant help, when we let it come. This is how future happenings can be anticipated for us. This is how we know that we are never alone. The Christ Self, from deep within us, a Self joined with God, is now available for us.

This is very good news. To have a wiser being within us who knows better than we do what the future ought to hold for us. To have constant guidance without having even to be aware that this guidance is flowing into our lives, for it is so innately a part of us that the guidance flows smoothly, without any interference. Here we are receiving rather than planning. But our lives are functioning better than they ever have before.

Let the Christ Self come out from the depths. Listen to the whispers of guidance that come. Know that with such help, we need never be apprehensive of what the future will hold. We are protected. We are loved.

The best that we can do is to become comfortable with the concept of the Christ Self as a beacon of light in a world of confusion. Its light will keep us safe, grant us peace, and spread harmony over our little part of the world. And this Self will do more, for we ultimately affect everyone (though we can’t see how this is possible). Our salvation is the salvation for everybody, ultimately. For we are One, and this One is what will save us and them, too.

Jesus Takes Us by the Hand and Leads Us

“Now you seek to know how to escape what you have made. To do so you must withdraw all faith from it. This you are not ready yet to do, but this is what your heart will now prepare you for. As you are prepared, you walk alongside he who has waited for you with a single purpose instead of along¬side the conflicting desires you chose to let lead you to this strange world. You travel lightly now where before you walked in chains. You travel now with a companion who knows you as you are and would show your Self to you.” (ACOL, C:9.9)

A Course in Miracles contains a promise from Jesus that he will come to us upon hearing “one unequivocal call” from us. A Course of Love now makes the same promise, just in different words. The “he” in this passage is Jesus himself, ready and willing to walk beside us on the path that we are taking. Jesus “knows you as you are.” He accepts that place where we are. And he seeks to show the inner Christ Self to us. Jesus has waited for this moment that we take now, the moment to let him direct our course. And we will not be disappointed in the result.

The promises of Jesus are arresting in the extreme. I have long noted his assertion in ACIM that he will take us by the hand and lead us. To do so, he must be outside time and space, cloning himself as often as he needs. This is miraculous to our eyes and ears, but perhaps the most supreme good sense to those who walk on the Other Side. We probably have already acknowledged to ourselves that we can’t take this walk alone, that just listening to our heart is not enough to do it for us. We need help, and there is no disgrace in acknowledging this. Jesus is with us to offer that help. He becomes what we need in this hour of our need.

But we do listen to our hearts, and this is a primary theme of A Course of Love. We need to withdraw our faith from this troubled world dominated by the ego, though we don’t always know how to go about doing this. But, with Jesus with us, we walk lightly on. Troubles fall away, books fall into our hands, companions show us who guide us to the next step. There is no agony to it. There is no confusion. We have chosen rightly, and when we choose Jesus, that is the most right decision of all.

Give Up Struggle & Follow Guidance

“Struggle to succeed and succeed to struggle yet another day” is the life you have made, and the life you fear heaven would replace. To give up the idea that this is where meaning is found, fulfillment attained, happiness birthed amongst sorrow, is seen as giving up. Heaven’s help is most called upon for just this time, this time when giving up is close, for never do you feel more in need of help than when all your plans have failed and giving up becomes an alternative more attrac¬tive than carrying on.” (ACOL, C:6.13)

When we give up, paradoxically we are closer to home than ever before. We are finally open to God, and this makes all the difference.

We have become very accustomed to struggle over the eons of separation. Now, when we are told that enlightenment doesn’t come from struggle and work at all, we don’t know what to think. How do I reach Christ-consciousness, then, if I can’t work for it?

Three books channeled by Jesus have given us many answers, A Course in Miracles, A Course of Love, and The Way of Mastery. Not all believe that Jesus channeled all three, but there are similarities among the three that invite that speculation. In all, Jesus advocates a surcease of struggle, a giving up of needless effort, a following of the guidance that will come to us. This guidance will take us home. If we do nothing more to go home, then following our guidance is the only thing that will succeed where everything else has failed.

So give up struggle as a bad idea. Turn the details of our days over to a Higher Power, either the Holy Spirit or the inner Christ Self. We won’t know where the guidance is coming from, but God is within—as are the Holy Spirit and the Christ Self—and so knowing exactly which entity is guiding us is a moot point. But guidance we need, and, as we progress along the pathway, guidance is what we will want.

Give up to all except this guidance, and see what a fantastic difference it makes in our days. Guidance is my little theme song, and today is the first day of the rest of our lives.

Let’s make this day count by following the guidance that comes.

Little Nudges of Guidance

“Yearning, learning, seeking, acquiring, the need to own, the need to keep, the grasping call, the driving force, the chosen passion—all these things that you have made to replace what you already have will lead you back as surely as they can lead you astray.” (ACOL, C:4.8)

God is very smart. Of course. He chooses the very way that we have been led astray to bring us back. What would work better? I can’t think of anything, and God can’t either.

Yearning, learning, seeking, acquiring, etc., are powerful detriments to our glory. But they are also powerful incentives to come back Home. Our great power has been used to lead us astray, but that same power is now being used to lead us to a better place, the Home that we left eons ago. Is it not a fortunate thing that we live in such times, the time of Christ in which many will find their way to Christ-consciousness?

We don’t know why this epoch is now the time of Christ. Nor do we know why the time of the Holy Spirit has been superseded. Our questionings are vast, filled with the ignorance of self-betrayal. We would know more if we had experienced a transformation, the transformation that Jesus wishes us to choose. We can express willingness for this change to come about, and we need to do so, but we are not in total control of the timing—only God is. But rest assured that He will act to lead us into complete freedom, an imprisoned will no longer, when we are prepared.

Pray to be prepared sooner rather than later. Live mindfully. Live attentively. Learn through observation of the events and people surrounding us. Drop judgment, something that is within our power. Insofar as possible, drop fear (though this is less easily done than dropping judgment). Above all, listen to the nudges of guidance; these will come, unbidden, when we just allow a little willingness to listen. And the nudges of guidance come in many guises: intuition, overhead conversations, feelings, words arising in the mind that we don’t seem to have “thought,” the well-meaning advice of others that seems right on the nose. God finds a way to get through to us, if we will only lend half a mind to discern what He is saying.

Recognize Love, and Fear Will Vanish

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Small Amount of Trust Is All It Takes

“Those who are seen as loveless and alone in the world are those you find to be the objects of your pity. Yet you do not realize that this is the state your ego has you endlessly striving to achieve. Your ego would have you believe that only when you need no one to achieve all you desire, only when you are satisfied with what you are and with what you can do on your own, only then will your autonomy and your learning be complete, for this is all your learning has been for. The goal of this world is for you to stand on your own, complete within yourself. This goal will never be reached, and only when you give up trying to reach it can you begin to learn anything of value. You are complete only within God, where you endlessly abide. Striving to be that which you can never be is the hell you have created… .” (ACOL, C:1.13)

This passage is so clear, so right on the point about our insane desire for arrogant independence.

Our world teaches for self-autonomy. We mature from childhood to adulthood, striving to be free of our parents in the rupture that occurs when we are teens. We think that if we can just make our own decisions, we will be happy.

A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love teach the exact opposite of this. They teach that dependence on internal guidance, not of self-will, but either the Holy Spirit or the inner Christ Self, will allow us to live best. We can never actually be independent anyway. Our autonomy is hollow, for it never takes us to an end that can keep us satisfied.

Guidance is different. When we trust ever so little, we quickly find that the choices that we make that seem providential are actually what we really want. Things turn out better. And we are happier.

It takes just this small amount of trust to start us on the pathway to better living. Allow guidance to give us the nod for what we say, do, even think.

We will not be disappointed. We will walk a better pathway, one that will ultimately create a new world.

Love Is a Greater Emotion than Worry

“Remember that your worries affect nothing. You think if your worries affect time this is an effect, but time is an illusion. It too does not matter. Remind yourself of this as well. This is part of letting go of the old world to make way for the new. Realize these things do not matter and will not be carried with you to the new world. So you might as well let them go now.” (ACOL, C:1.6)

Letting go of all our worries sounds like an impossible task. Our worries, large and small, do make up the tenor of our lives. We are shaped in daily life by whether or not we are actively worrying about something. This obsessional nature of worry ruins many a day.

How might we get over this thing called worry? We can realize that love is a greater emotion than worry. It is just that simple. We do what we can, when we can, to live life wisely. Then we let go—into the well stream of living in love. We realize that there is a Higher Power that will sustain us through all that we might ever face. Indeed, has sustained us already, when we have let Him. If we have resisted living in love, then even God does not go against our free will to fashion a life such as we would have.

Many of us think that worry is a lucky charm, that if we carry worries about with us, then the individual, myriad things to which it attaches are not likely to happen. Does this really make any sense? Isn’t this pure superstition?

Yes, many of our lucky charms are nothing but superstition. We don’t think that a benevolent Power will save us from ourselves, and so we degenerate into believing mindless magic.

We would be done with this manner of living. Today. Let the heart lead you, for the heart knows that we are all safe except in those instances that we go against divine will by asserting our own paltry desires into our life choices. We need guidance to know how to live well, and guidance will come to all if we are open to it.

When we are following guidance, our amulets and lucky charms drop away. We know within our heart that we have a Power helping us that will keep us safe. We don’t need to follow superstition any longer. We are home free. We are living in the new world that we are creating moment by moment.

Gentle Whispers of Guidance

What are good intentions but a choice to do what you can, alone, by yourself, against great odds? This is why good intentions so often fail to come to be at all, and why, when every effort has been made, the outcome seldom seems worth the effort. You cannot earn your way to heaven or to God with your effort or your good intentions. You cannot earn, and will not ever feel as if you have earned, the designation of a person of such worth that you are deserving of all that God would freely give. Give up this notion. (ACOL, C:P.19)

We have often seen ourselves as unworthy, unworthy in the sight of God. While Jesus seeks to dispel this error, he does note here that we cannot merit our way to heaven. We try to be good, but we will always fail, even in our own sight. Thus we have such good intentions, only to be thrown on the ground, totally dejected, when once again we have failed to live up even to our own hopes. We realize (or we need to) that we cannot effect salvation for ourselves. We can remove the barriers to the acceptance of love, but that is all. Yet removing the barriers is a great step forward, something that we can give ourselves—but not our ego—some credit for.

The Self acts to remove these barriers. We are guided by the inner Christ Self further to accept Jesus’s great promises for us. But we don’t try to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, an endeavor that is bound for failure.

We, in every instance that we can muster, follow the gentle whispers of guidance as to what we need to do and say next, even what to feel. We learn that this is enough. Always enough.

And Jesus’s way, pointed out in ACIM and ACOL, gets us home.

Is there anything else that we want? Just be patient in the gathering of this new era. Don’t get frustrated with yourself if Christ-consciousness doesn’t come when we wish. Jesus never intended for us to get frustrated and confused about our coming into our own as children of God, awakened children of God.

Radiant Message of God’s Love

“The only part of your mind that has reality is the part that links you still with God. Would you have all of it transformed into a radiant message of God’s Love, to share with all the lonely ones who have denied Him? God makes this possible.” (ACIM, T-14.V.1)

Our inner Christ Self is the linkage with God, the internal linkage that allows us to welcome others, to love them intensely, and to be at home in all the universe. We are no longer lonely when we recognize that we are one with God. And we reach out to others, as just something that we want to do. Not a compelling, in reaching out to others. Just something that we feel led to do, with no coercion at all.

Our Christ Self is discussed at length in A Course of Love. It is the truest of true reality, the “only part of your mind that has reality.”
Let us go forth today to reach out to others in whatever ways we can. They will welcome our interest and our words, if we listen guidance within that tells us when and where to speak.

Reality, true reality, is asking us to do the best that we can. And guidance is always there to be sure that our thoughts, words, and actions are well-considered.

A New Choice

“A choice for a new kind of experience that has led to the creation of an unreal reality so populated by the god-like and the god-less, so near to replacing creation with destruction, so hate- and pain-filled, that you have been moved to a new choice.” (ACOL, Dialogues, Day 36, 36.15)

What a promise this quotation holds: a new choice! We don’t have to live such a pain-filled life ever again; we can so create that the lamentable happenings of the past are a distant memory, never to be revisited.

We have made a god who is god-like (because we have some dim memory of what God is really like), but who is really god-less. And we have made a world of destructive tendencies, hate- and pain-filled, because we were living insanely. Nobody in their right mind would make the world that we have had to live in; certainly our loving God did not create it.

This belief is central to A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, that God did not create the world that we inhabit. Not all of us are ready to accept this idea yet, but as long as the germ of an idea is planted, we may come further along to this point of view in time.

God is here to rescue us, though. He never left us all alone in an illusory, mad universe. He always stood ready to retrieve us for a real world of joy and harmony. And it is this reality, this true reality, before which we stand poised today. We cannot give up the pain-filled illusion without realizing that someone quite out of their mind made this insanity. And God is not insane. Our new reality rests on a solid Foundation.

Let us make the new choice today. Let us look within for guidance as to what type of true reality we wish to inhabit. And then take the steps given us to create that new peace in a new world.

There can be no better way to spend today.

Abiding within Love’s Presence, by Ivor Sowton

I am deeply struck by this quote from Mari Perron’s recent audio recording of Chapter 4 of A Course of Love (ACOL), which is available by joining A Course of Love USA on Mari Perron’s Facebook page:

“The world you so struggle to navigate is what you have made of it, a place where love fits not and enters not in truth. But love has entered you and leaves you not, and so you too must have no place in this world that you have made but must have another where you are at home and can abide within love’s presence.”(4.20)

I am so aware now in my life now of the great desire to know and express more Divine Love, but the actual life experience often does indeed seem much more about boundaries–maintaining a safe place INSIDE where I can affirm love for people and the world while I do what I have to do OUT THERE in the external world, where it is a very mixed bag of energies and agendas, requiring tough love a lot of the time.

I think many people are dealing with this type of experience, and would readily say so if they were to take the risk of being honest with themselves. And Jesus appears to be allowing for this, saying that that very desire for a place of harmony in which giving and receiving love is NATURAL is actually a good and positive step toward drawing down that Divine Love more and more into all areas of life.

Jesus is wanting us to grow into a greater and greater experience of Divine Love, that being our true nature. He makes this comment at the very end of the Chapter: “This foreign world where you have been so lonely and afraid will linger for a while where it can terrify you no longer, until finally it will fade away into the nothingness from which it came as anew world rises to take its place.” (C:4.27)

So I’m given a lot of guidance here about the actual unreality of many of my current perceptions of my world. I do actually feel a lot of sincerity around wanting to close the gap here between much of my current life experience and this great goal of being totally immersed in Divine Love that Jesus is pointing to here. The thing is that ACOL is literally full of encouragement to be real with our current feelings as a very necessary first step in approaching this goal.

This is my current feeling, then: dear Jesus, may I be teachable–by YOU–for I do really want more of that experience of love and harmony right here in the world that you seem to be pointing to.

Thank-you Mari, first Receiver. And thank-you Celia Hales, whose long-term blog MIRACLES EVERY DAY has been representing this work wonderfully for a long time.

Warmest regards in Him,

Ivor Sowton

CHAPTER 5: JESUS’S ROLE IN ATONEMENT

Jesus Cancels Errors that We Cannot

“My part in the Atonement is the cancelling out of all errors that you could not otherwise correct. When you have been restored to the recognition of your original state, you naturally become part of the Atonement yourself. (T-1.III.1)”

Here Jesus specifies that he cancels out the errors that we can’t. What a gift! And how very reassuring this word is. We don’t have to be perfect; Jesus is perfect for us. He rectifies what we could not. He finds a way to restore us to God and to our Self, and this Self is our original state, before illusory separation entered our picture.

We will, once this restoration has been effected, take our part in Atonement. We will reach out to others in a sharing that is as comprehensive as it is all-loving. We have a part to play, and we will be told (by the Holy Spirit) what that part is. We do not have to thrash about in mystery, lost in a fog. We will receive explicit instructions when we are ready to listen to guidance. And having accepted Atonement for ourselves, we will be open to receiving all the guidance that the Holy Spirit is wont to make.

Life following the Holy Spirit Is “in the Flow”

“The Holy Spirit is God’s Answer to the separation; the means by which the Atonement heals until the whole mind returns to creating. (T-5.II.2)”

This is what these quotations in this Atonement series have been leading up: the primacy of the Holy Spirit. We follow His guidance, and thus we know what to do every minute and every second. Life assumes a flow, an easy flow—and life becomes easy. Which of us would not like that?

How do we hear the Holy Spirit? He speaks in a myriad of ways, but a personal “feeling” is the way that He speaks most often. We have earlier called this intuition, and we would be right to think of it in this secular fashion if it makes us more comfortable. The Holy Spirit nudges; He does not command. We are led to think, “Wouldn’t this make me happier?” The Holy Spirit often speaks through our sense of happiness, for is not happiness something that Jesus has said is our function?

The whole mind will return to creating when we have embodied the Self. This is the mind that we enjoy when we have Awakened. This is the mind that we all want, and, indeed, that we deserve to have.

A close following of the guidance of the Holy Spirit will bring that Awakening (chosen by God) sooner rather than later.

The Holy Spirit and the Atonement Will Resolve Problem Areas

“The progress of the teacher of God may be slow or rapid, depending on whether he recognizes the Atonement’s inclusiveness, or for a time excludes some problem areas from it. In some cases, there is a sudden and complete awareness of the perfect applicability of the lesson of the Atonement in all situations, but this is comparatively rare. (M-22.2)”

The solution that Atonement offers to us in trying to get out of the mess that we have made is to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance. We often don’t want to do so, because we think that following Another’s guidance is personally insulting. (Jesus says this in ACIM.) We need to exclude no “problem areas” in our lives. The Holy Spirit can really help us in every respect when we bar Him nowhere, but let Him in willingly and with gladness.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that there is a way to know how to do and say whatever is right? That we don’t have to wander in darkness anymore?

The benefits are great; the drawbacks missing entirely. Let us try to encompass as much willingness in opening to the Holy Spirit as is humanly possible.

Then our trust will grow, as we see that the Holy Spirit’s way is best.

From time to time, we will recognize that all problems areas are resolved when turned over to the Holy Spirit, when we recognize guidance. Some will recognize this resolution all the time, but Jesus says that this reaction is rare. We need to enlarge our perspectives, to recognize that regardless of how angry we get, the Holy Spirit can take that anger and dissipate it. Many people get angry only when stressed, and this is something to consider. But virtually all of us live with stress every day; our lives are sometimes consumed by stress. And so stress is not a good excuse.

We need God’s help, and this He gives when we submerge our emotions in the largess of His greatness.

Do so today, and so if problems don’t disappear likes mists in the sun.

Accept Atonement, Choose Miracles, & Offer Healing

“This [being a teacher of God as a channel for healing] is what is really meant by the statement that the one responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for himself. (M-7.3)”

We cannot heal if we have not accepted the Atonement for ourselves. Any healing that might occur will be temporary, lacking in staying power. But we can invite miracles as one who accepts Atonement. And these miracles are forever, with healing often being an aspect of the miracle.

So we have to do only one thing if we wish to be miracle workers. Do we so wish? I think all of us do, and certain all of us who have read this far. We have no choice. We must accept Atonement for ourselves. We must have expressed the willingness to have all our mistakes undone for us—and this will come about through the grace of the Holy Spirit, whose guidance we now follow.

We need more healing in our lamentable world. So sorrowful, so downhearted, so violent. This world needs our help, needs a healing.

Let’s do what we can today by first vowing to be willing to have all our mistakes corrected.

Start Walking the Right Pathway, Led by the Holy Spirit

“Accept Atonement with an open mind, which cherishes no lingering belief that you have made a devil of God’s Son. (WB-101)”

At this point we need to take a look at the contents of our minds. Do we still believe that we are failures,that we don’t measure up, that we are not “good” enough? These beliefs will drag us down like nothing else.

We are not devils at all. We are good people, children of God, who have only made mistakes. And in many cases, these mistakes are correctable. Even when not correctable, the mistakes are, and always will be, forgivable.

We have nothing to fear. God is on our side. The only thing that we have to do is to accept the Atonement, the correction, so that we start walking the right pathway. We choose to do things aright, and in that choice we find our way home again. The Holy Spirit guides us when we are willing to listen. And that is the secret: Listening to guidance.

Share the Atonement when So Prompted

“My part in the Atonement is not complete until you join it and give it away. (T-5.IV.6)”

Jesus says repeatedly in A Course in Miracles that he is in charge of the Atonement, that his resurrection was the event that started the Atonement principle (not the crucifixion). He does not express any understanding for the skeptics among us about how his resurrection might have been a true happening. He never downplays his resurrection also. He simply assumes that, somehow, in some way, the resurrection happened, and it started the whole movement of Christianity that transpired from then on.

How do we “give away” the Atonement? We share. We don’t share indiscriminately, because we are not called to proselytize. We are told, in one vivid point, that sometimes a smile may be all that another person is ready to accept. Salvation has come for that moment.

Thus we accept the Atonement for ourselves; that is “joining” it. Then we give it away in whatever manner the Holy Spirit prompts. And when we are on the beam, we may give it away without even being aware of a special prompting. We will just act in line with Jesus’s plan, his plan of Atonement or correction to the ways of the world.

We Make the Better Choice when We Move Beyond Learning to Creating

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

1 – New World

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

2 – Learning

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

3 – Teaching

Teaching, though, is a form of creation. It is both “doing” and “being.” But not all will choose to be teachers, though teaching and learning were the hallmarks of A Course in Miracles. This course, A Course of Love, takes us a step farther. We will know internally, from revelation from God, in an elevated Self of form (still a physical being).

4 – Teachers of Teachers

In ACIM, some were described as “Teachers of Teachers,” individuals who had eventually cast aside the body, not to return in any form to this world, but instead to impart their ideas to those living in physical body. And sometimes these Teachers of Teachers appeared as visions. In ACOL, we are concerned now with what we will do when we live in the elevated Self of form. We will still have physical bodies, and it is up to us–our choice–how we live our lives in this form.

5 – New Creations

It seems apparent from this, and similar passages, in A Course of Love, that Jesus is not asking for new teachers so much as he is asking for new creations in this world. What will we do to create anew this old and weary world? How do we move beyond learning to create anew?

6 – Guidance

We need guidance for this, and living, focused on the world, will give us the answers. We are not to selfishly pursue more learning that simply makes us feel better or more accomplished. These goals were emblematic of the ego. We need to learn enough to know how to help others, how to create anew, but learning for its own sake is not what the new world is all about.

7 – Adapting

Some of us will find it hard to adapt, to move beyond learning, because we are comfortable with learning. It has gotten us this far, and we do not easily leave the familiar behind. But creating the new in a new world will be the way in which we receive the most gratification as time passes. This is not going to be egoic gratification, because we are beyond that, but a more satisfying, all-inclusive, giving that will be making things fresh in our world. Jesus himself, he says, does not know what direction these changes will take. He is not predictive in A Course of Love. But together we will, in sharing, come to see how and what we need to say and do to create a new world.

8 – Blessings

And the blessings that will derive from seeing a fresh world will be innumerable.

9 – Right Pathway

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

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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

Creating is what You do, and so for me to hear that I am encouraged to create is a welcome blessing, but a puzzling one. How do I create? What do I create? It is up to You to lead me aright, for You know all the circumstances surrounding me in my world. Thank You for Your willingness to give me guidance.

May the Christ Self be actualized in me on a sustained basis. May this new spirit come into my world, alter it for the better, and then reach other to others in their individual worlds. May I balance being and doing in this new era. And will You be with me constantly?

Thank You.

Amen.

Seeing with the Vision of Christ-consciousness Is upon Us

“Seeing with the vision of Christ-consciousness is already upon you. You are in the process of learning what it means. This treatise is here to help you do so. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 2.33)”

1 – Transition

This passage clarifies the point of transition. We are ready for Christ-consciousness, but we may still have questions, and it is these questions that the “Treatise on the New” seeks to explain to us.

2 – Give Ourselves to the Experience

Certainly no transition is without bumpy spots. Neither will this one. But it can be effortless if we give ourselves to it wholeheartedly, as Jesus asks in the first volume of the series of A Course of Love. We are used to hearing the Holy Spirit, and most of us are used to rejecting His advice from time to time, even when we know in our deepest being that what He bids us say or do is the right choice.

3 – Inner Knowing

Now we will take the next step into the time of Christ. We will follow our inner knowing without the struggle that we sometimes experienced when trying to follow the Holy Spirit. Previously, we were often weak, often indecisive, when the Voice of the Holy Spirit asked us to say or do something that made us uncomfortable. Jesus described this situation well in A Course in Miracles. He even said that what the Holy Spirit bade us to say or do might be embarrassing to us. But this, he said, was a misperception coming from a “shabby self-perception,” and would best be left behind. All of us have struggled with this advice, sometimes with more success, sometimes with less.

4 – Unconsciously

Now we are at the point of allowing the guidance that we receive to be received unconsciously, if we so will. God has promised this; Jesus has passed the Word along to us in A Course of Love. This becomes the effortless way that we will live in the future, once we have accepted the promise of all that this way of life holds out to us. This is the essence of living in Christ-consciousness. Let us not allow indecisiveness to delay us further. May we accept this promise today.

5 – Internal Guidance

It seems right to say that our guidance will come internally, but how will we hear it? Will there be nudges of guidance such as the Holy Spirit gave us?

6 – Nudges

Based on my limited experience, I think that the nudges that we get from the inner Christ-consciousness will be virtually indistinguishable from the nudges of the Holy Spirit, except that I do think that Jesus is working with us as more willing followers. We will not get stubborn nearly so often. We will recognize that nudge as a celestial accompaniment to our day, something that is going to give us a better day.

7 – Identical to Holy Spirit

The nudges themselves are, I think, identical to the nudges that were given by the Holy Spirit. When I had glimpses of Awakening on two occasions many years ago, my guidance was exactly the same in “nudges” that I had earlier come to recognize as being from the Holy Spirit. The intuition is identical. But how we respond to it is not.

8 – Respond More Readily

If we are on the beam, we will respond much more readily. We are more willing followers of Jesus now. And we know that what he encourages us to say and do is right on.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I see the vision of Christ-consciousness today. May I know what lies ahead for me, if I follow what Jesus has been saying to me. May I offer the words that he gives to me without embarrassment, and may I listen to the Voice of the Holy Spirit until such time as my guidance is received internally, without any strain at all.

Be with me today as I seek to leave attack, judgment, and unneeded planning of the future behind. When I have done that, I will know that God will be willing to take the final step for me to reach Christ-consciousness. Thank you.

May this day go well. Remove any confusion that I still have over the guidance that I receive. If the guidance in a given day seems to change, help me to know if I have edged into a new probable reality. Help me to follow Your guidance, minimizing my own confusion.

Amen.

Know with an Inner Knowing that Will Aid the Eyes’ Sight

“Have you thought your instincts will be sharpened and that you will know with an inner knowing that will aid the sight of your eyes? (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 2.31)”

1 – Jesus

This passage describes succinctly what Jesus has explained earlier in the “Treatise on the New,” but in less cogent terms. We will know with an inner knowing, once we have accepted the Christ-consciousness that he holds out to us as awaiting us at the end of the “journey without distance” (an ACIM quotation) that we have taken. This inner knowing is somewhat different from the intuitions that we have come to recognize from the Holy Spirit. In my experience of the Holy Spirit, there was a definite statement, felt internally, of what the next step was to be. There was a bit of a delay as the Holy Spirit stepped back and let me make a decision of whether or not to follow His guidance.

2 – No Delay

But in this inner knowing of the Christ-consciousness, there is no delay. The way is effortless and easy. We want to follow the instinct that has suddenly, almost imperceptibly, arisen in us. This is akin to allowing Jesus to guide us without our conscious awareness, a step that he told us in A Course in Miracles still awaited us. He said there that most were not yet ready for this type of guidance. In A Course of Love, we have become ready. We are asked to become ready. We are told that we need not seek for yet another way, another pathway that will give us more peace. The time of peace has arrived. We are justified. We do not have to wonder if we are worthy.

3 – Misleading Us?

This type of reassurance is very important at this juncture. Many will feel that it is too good to be true, and many will believe that Jesus is misleading us–but if we take him at his word, we will experience the truth of what he says. ACIM also talked about the fear from us that Jesus might be misleading us. But no one who has studied those volumes long and faithfully still clings to this early misinterpretation.

4 – ACOL

Now we are asked to accept A Course of Love with the same acuity. We need to recognize that perfection on our own part, achieved by ourselves, is not the goal. Has the belief that perfection of our little personalities not always been the sticking point? But in A Course in Miracles, Jesus reassures us that he stands at the end of the journey to reach to us, to correct the mistakes that we cannot correct. He stands ready to help us at our point of failure. This he is doing in A Course of Love (though he does not say this specifically). Jesus would have us to realize that mistakes do not impede the “perfection” to which he draws us. He wants only a perfect faith, and even though we demur, this perfect faith is, as A Course of Love indicates, within the power of all of us–with Jesus as our always loving guide, ready to correct our errors as we move toward Christ-consciousness (and indeed, as we live Christ-consciousness).

5 – Inner Understanding

The decision to listen to inner understanding is not lost on those of us who might still be living with the Holy Spirit rather than the Christ Self. All of us have access to a knowing that is vastly superior to anything that we had access to when the ego was in the foreground.

6 – Internal Asking

If we don’t feel that we have a real sense of what to say and do, just ask internally.

7 –

That is all that is required.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I live Christ-consciousness today, living with the knowing that is inner entirely. I recognize the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and I find that actually there is an oscillation between the two ways of coming to know the right pathway.

You would have me just to “know,” but I will be patient and wait for Your messages, however they are given to me. In A Course of Love, Jesus indicates that what got us in trouble in the first place was our impatience; this is when the “tiny, mad idea” crept in. May I know patience today. And may You walk with me every step of my day today.

Amen.

The Christ Self Comes into Its Own Again

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

1 – Secular Psychology

As I mentioned yesterday, even secular psychology says that our personalities don’t change a great deal over the course of our life. We may not actually like this; we might want to be very different from what we were when we were insecure teens. And certainly some of the superficial changes are obvious. We grow more self-confident; we are less reticent to speak our minds; we don’t feel that being popular is the most important thing in the world.

2 – Self

But A Course of Love is saying here that our Self (with a capital “S”) has always been with us, but we just did not know this. This Self is the Christ Self, the inner Self that the ego sought to override and to rule. This Self is the tie to God that had been missing when the ego was in the ascendancy. This tie to God, so long missing in the separation, is the reason that the Holy Spirit was created (according to A Course in Miracles).

3 – Guidance

Now we are seeing this Self again, and we are listening to its guidance. This is the time of Christ, and are well-received by our whole Self when we listen to what this Self says.

4 – Remembering

This passage indicates that we “remember,” that we have never really lost, the true Self that was covered over during the time of our separation from God. Our separation, given elsewhere in A Course of Love, was a plan in which we participated because we were eager to experience life, and God had no other way to deal with us but to let us go (much as a parent lets a teen who is rebellious find their way through a sometimes troubled world). But if we “remember,” we have not really lost that Self that existed prior to the separation. And we are now ready to remember, in the form of the “elevated Self of form” (an ACOL tenet).
What a joy to know that this new way of living has always been available to us, but that our culture covered it over with concepts of God and the Holy Spirit meant for another time and place. We are ready now to walk into the light. May we do so today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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

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

May this day be good. May I listen carefully to my inner Self as I seek to follow the good guidance that only You can give.

Amen.

Self – Guidance

1 – Day 26

“It has been said that you are the source and the power of coming to know and making known. It naturally follows, then, that you are capable of self-guidance. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 26)”

2 – Guidance

We have not been accustomed to thinking in the manner that this quotation leads us to think. We have believed that self-guidance was certainly guidance of the ego, and we have turned to the Holy Spirit. We have not attempted to make judgments by ourselves.

3 – Jesus

Now Jesus is telling us that we can know self-guidance. I think this is because we have walked further along the pathway. Note that he is not saying that we ought to give up guidance, relying on our feeble minds. Self-guidance, as he views it, is guidance of the the Self with a capital “S,” the Christ Self. This is the new way in the time of Christ. Jesus has already told us that we are leaving the time of the Holy Spirit.

4 – Wither Comes Guidance?

We may not know where we are getting guidance, and, this, I think, is an important point. We get a nudge or an intuition, we act on it, our life goes smoothly—and we never know if the Holy Spirit is guiding us or if it is the Christ Self. If it is the Holy Spirit, the Universal Inspiration, He is still part of us—for we are part of the All, Everything, God Himself. And if the guidance is coming from the Christ Self, we have tuned into that aspect of us, that at least temporarily, is experiencing Awakening. We may not yet have sustained Awakening, but we are getting glimpses.

5 – Self

“Now let’s speak a moment of the Self as guide. This simply means that you turn to the Self as the source of coming to know of the unknown. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 26)”

6 – A Progression

This quotation simply builds on the previous one. We turn to the inner Self, the Christ Self, when we want to know what to think, or say, or do. We don’t depend on our little minds, minds that have given up the ego but are perhaps floundering, not knowing where to turn.

7 – Inward

We turn inward, we are moved from within.

8 – The Garden

“You can trust in your Self. Will you? By tending your garden you will develop this trust and prepare for your descent to level ground.

“Your self-guidance can be thought of as an internal compass. It will not necessarily know the answers as each answer is sought, but if paid attention to, it will show you the way to knowing. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 196)”

9 – Holy Spirit

We have often prayed for guidance from the Holy Spirit. This was the way laid out for us in A Course in Miracles. We may not have fully understood exactly Who the Holy Spirit was, but we knew that He was our true guidance, as the Course made clear. Now we are led to understand that we can get guidance from our Self–the grander Self, not the little self of the ego. We have traveled farther along the pathway.

10 – Internal Guidance

Turn inward for this internal guidance of the Self. This Self will lead us down the mountain top to level ground.

11 – Previously

Previously, not only have we listened to the Holy Spirit, but we have sought external guidance from other teachers and books. Now we reach inward, and we find the guidance that we have sought so fervently. This Self-guidance is the way that we will come to know the one Self, the Self that we share with all the universe.

12 – Birth of Creation

“This alchemical transition, this passing of the unknown into the known, this moment when the unknown becomes the known within the Self, is the birth of creation. It is the culmination of all that has come before, the All of Everything realized in a single heartbeat, a single instant of knowing. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 26)”

13 – Dawning

This “birth of creation” is the dawning of Christ-consciousness, or Awakening, or enlightenment. And we know in an instant. Or perhaps we don’t. But the moment is there in an instant, waiting to be discovered.

14 – Unaware

I think that many of us catch glimpses of Christ-consciousness quite unawares. When we are loving, when we have dropped fear and judgment, and when we have walked the pathway as far as we have, then we are open to Christ-consciousness almost without knowing it. The requirements are to drop fear and judgment. Indeed, if we don’t drop these consistently, we cannot sustain Awakening (said elsewhere in ACOL). And nobody has yet to sustain Awakening consistently. But now is the time for us to do so. Jesus is depending on us. The world is depending on us. And it is God’s Will that we live naturally, and natural living is what Christ-consciousness is all about.

15 – Heartbeat

To realize in a single heartbeat is a powerful metaphor, for we have learned in A Course of Love that we want wholeheartedness—the union of mind and heart. To know in an instant that we are living in Christ-consciousness is a great blessing. And we can have this blessing at any moment that we are not fearful or judgmental. The heavy curtains of fear and judgment drop upon us sometimes, and then we are lost again. We have not walked with Jesus, with God, or with our better Self.

16 – One Self

“Self-guidance is the propulsion, the fuel, for the One Self to know itself. You are ready to be so known. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 26)”

17 – Jesus’s Words

Jesus says here that we are ready for Self-guidance, and this is the same as saying that we are ready to follow the inner Christ. Note that the Self is capitalized here. This is our real Being, our God within. And He will never let us down.

18 – Home

We walk home to God in listening to our inner Self.

19 – What Matters?

If you don’t recognize when guidance is coming from the Holy Spirit or from the inner Self, don’t be perturbed. Does it really matter that we know this? Do we have to know this? The Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—is One, Everything. Jesus does not discuss the Trinity as such in A Course of Love, but the evidence for the Trinity is here in everything that he says.

20 – Trinity

I think A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love build logically from the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament, and these teachings build on the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible. There is a beautiful rightness about this.

21 – Other Teachers
Note that other teachers are available for those who are not open to Jesus. But to follow as we have, Jesus is our way. Let us go with him in peace.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I come to know through listening to guidance from my Self. May I never mistake the Self for the little self that is frequently informed by the ego.

When I am overwrought, I can’t hear the voice of the Holy Spirit or of my Self. Thus it behooves me to stay close to guidance when my mind is calm and easy. I think that this is true for many people. We just can’t think in realistic ways when we are agitated. May agitation fall from us, even in the midst of it. May we know Your peace. May we handle our upsetting moments in the best way, by going to You for an Answer.

Thank You for this logical progression, in the time of Christ-consciousness. Our heretofore dependence upon the Holy Spirit is tempered by the understanding that we live in the time of Christ now.

Amen.

Holy Spirit = Teacher Who Cannot Make a Mistake

1 – His Answers

“Be glad you have a Teacher Who cannot make a mistake. His answers are always right. Would you say that of yours? (M70)”

2 – Holy Spirit

The Teacher here is the Holy Spirit. And this is yet another prodding that we will follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

3 – Probing Question

The probing question, “Would you say that of yours?,” referring to the correctness of our answers, if insightful. Certainly we know that we make mistakes, and that our answers about what to do in various situations are not always correct. Indeed, they are perhaps more frequently wrong than right. This is what behooves us to follow a higher guidance.

4 – Intuition

We have earlier indicated a number of ways that the Holy Spirit speaks to us. Probably the most common is what we usually call intuition. This means that we go against the teaching of this world, in that we are taught to rely on our judgment. The Course counsels just the reverse, noting in significant passages that our judgment is frequently wrong because we cannot see the whole picture.

5 – Advantage

“There is another advantage,–and a very important one,–in referring decisions to the Holy Spirit with increasing frequency. Perhaps you have not thought of this aspect, but its centrality is obvious. To follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance is to let yourself be absolved of guilt. It is the essence of the Atonement. It is the core of the curriculum. The imagined usurping of functions not your own is the basis of fear. (M70)”

6 – Guilt

To be absolved of guilt is actually the primary reason that we ought to follow the Holy Spirit, for guilt is madness, and madness and judging are why the Awakening do not come to us. As long as we are lost in madness, we will judge; it is just that simple. And when we give up judging, we will welcome, by God for us, the Awakening. We will awake when we give up judging (an ACIM tenet).

7 – Judgments

When we take on functions that are not ours—making judgments about our own pathway—we are actually usurping what belongs to Another. And that Other is the Holy Spirit. Our world trains for a totally different world view. Our world trains for self-reliance, but how good has this been for us? Not very good at all, because we can’t know all the circumstances when we make a decision. We can’t see the past, present, and future—all that impinge on a given decision. So how much better it is to rely on One Who does know! Let us not forget this.

8 – Not Folly

So let us give up our judgments about what to do to the Holy Spirit, Who will guide us in daily life. This is not folly; it is the soundest good sense. Nobody can make accurate judgments when so much depends on what we don’t know. And we are not omnipresent.

9 – Fear

“To return the function to the One to Whom it belongs is thus the escape from fear. And it is this that lets the memory of love return to you. Do not, then, think that following the Holy Spirit’s guidance is necessary merely because of your own inadequacies. It is the way out of hell for you. (M70)”

10 – Hell

Let us escape from fear today. Let us get out of hell. Fear is hell, the hell on earth that we make for ourselves. And there is a simple way out.

11 – Misinterpretation

Now, we will not always follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. There will be times when we misinterpret, when we think we understand and really don’t understand. We will think that we see two ways to go; there is only one, but we are not infallible.

12 – Stubborn

We will also get stubborn sometimes. We will decide where and how we want to go, and when we get a nudge to change directions, we won’t want to do so.

13 – Change Directions

Change directions as soon as you can bring yourself to do so, to make that altered direction the one that you really want. The Holy Spirit will make it easy for us. He will let us know what to do, and as soon as we can make the switch, our lives will smooth out.

14 – Jesus

This is Jesus’s promise.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Once again I find that I am negligent in always following the guidance that I receive. I fall down when I don’t follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. May my understanding be honed so that I ascertain rightly, and may I then walk quietly and calmly into Your light.

Thank you for providing this sure guidance. I have not always followed, but I have known of Your guidance for many years. When I have followed Your guidance, I have been happy.

Amen.

Who Needs Prayers? Who Needs a Smile?

1 – Giving What Is Needed

“Who would profit more from prayers alone? Who needs but a smile, being as yet unready for more? (M70)”

2 – Interactions

Our interactions with our brothers and sisters always must be attuned to what they are ready to accept. Perhaps a vocal witness is the wrong tactic. Then we will be let to pray for them, or, as this passage says, to give only a smile. We do not want to turn off others by unwelcome proselytizing.

3 – Catherine Marshall

Catherine Marshall, a spiritual writer of earlier times, counseled putting a “golden zipper” upon our lips when around unbelievers who are not actively seeking our help. This is Mrs. Marshall’s advice particularly where significant others are concerned. Those closest to us do not want to be inundated by unsought advice about their salvation.

4 – Questions

If we are lucky, when they see that we have changed, they will begin to ask questions. Then is the time to take off the “golden zipper” from our lips, and to witness to them. May this day come soon for all of us, especially with those closest to us.

5 – The Curriculum

“The curriculum is highly individualized, and all aspects are under the Holy Spirit’s particular care and guidance. Ask and He will answer. The responsibility is His, and he alone is fit to assume it. To do so is His function. To refer the question to Him is yours. Would you want to be responsible for decisions about which you understand so little? (M70)”

6 – Individualized

The phrase, “the curriculum is highly individualized,” means, I think, that we all have, tailor-made for us, the pathway that serves best. We learn what we are ready to learn, and we run across the guidance, in the form of reading (often), or words, or intuition, the particular reactions that we are prompted to have. We are not left to our own devices. We are led every step of the way.

7 – Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit, the Universal Inspiration, is chosen by God for this task. We can appeal to Him, and, without exception, be answered. We may not recognize this Answer immediately, but if we are attuned at all (not overwrought), we will come to understand sooner rather than later.

8 – Guidance

We are to ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. That is our function, to refer to Him in all things. To defer to Him in all things. Let us proceed cautiously, sometimes, through our days, especially when the way seems confusing and we don’t know what to do.

9 – Be with Us

Be with us as we seek this guidance on a constant basis. This guidance will lead us back to God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be a good witness for You. May I not let my own troubles interfere with helping those who surround me. May I choose rightly what they are ready to accept by way of salvation.

Help me today. I need Your help. I am hesitant to choose what my brothers and sisters can best accept from me now.

Amen.

Help from Beyond This World

1 – Teachers of Teachers

“There are those who have reached God directly, retaining no trace of worldly limits and remembering their own Identity perfectly. These might be called the Teachers of teachers because, although they are no longer visible, their image can yet be called upon. (M64)”

2 – Not Long Stay on the Earth

This passage proclaims that when we have reached God directly, we will not long stay on this earth. We will no longer be seen on earth, but our “image” can be called upon. We are then “Teachers of teachers.”

3 – Lay Down the Body?

Elsewhere Jesus says that very few of us willingly lay down the body simply to be of help to others in a greater way. So most of us will not attain this degree of salvation while in this world.

4 – Help

We do have help from beyond the earth. We can call upon this help, and we will receive assistance. No greater bounty can be ours, than to know that we are never alone, that God and His Teachers care for us always.

5 – Appearances

“And they will appear when and where it is helpful for them to do so. To those to whom such appearances would be frightening, they give their ideas. (M64)”

6 – Beyond Your Thinking

Have you ever felt that you got ideas that were actually beyond your scope, your thinking? Of course, and we often saw this as God speaking to us—which it may have been.

7 – From Whom Are We Hearing?

But we must also recognize that we may be hearing from those whom Jesus called “Teachers of teachers” in regard to A Course in Miracles. He seems to indicate that these are noble individuals who have gone over, made the transition to life after death, and then reached backwards to help us. He doesn’t say that these individuals are angels, but human beings, we might believe, who have let all barriers come down.

8 – Frightened?

We might be frightened if we had a visitation. Some in the Course community have claimed visitations, but their assertions were widely disbelieved, and who is to know for sure? Many have been visited by a departed loved one, shortly after death. This has become a common practice.

9 – Whom Do We Know?

Do we know these Teachers of teachers? Sometimes, perhaps, but perhaps more often not.

10 – Hugh Prather

Jerry Jampolsky and Gayle Prather have both been visited by Hugh Prather in the hours and days following his fatal heart attack. The Holy Encounter, a publication by Beverly Hutchinson McNeff, so reported. And the words from Hugh were profoundly comforting. Toward Jerry, Hugh affirmed that we live in an illusion, just like ACIM says. Toward his wife Gayle, he spoke up about the little daily matters of living—glad that he didn’t have to clean the house, encouraging her to hold their cat longer.

11 – Communication from the Other Side

These reports do not have to be believed, but our lives are immeasurably enriched if we can crack the doubt a bit and entertain the possibility that communication from the Other Side is very evident, very possible.

12 – Off the Deep End?

Of course, we don’t want to go off the deep end. Test out these unembodied words that come to you. If they recommend anything harmful, then we are not ready. Don’t get carried away.

13 – Not in Vain

“No one can call on them in vain. Nor is there anyone of whom they are unaware. All needs are known to them, and all mistakes are recognized and overlooked by them. (M64)”

14 – Welcome

This reassurance, that no one can call on Teachers of teachers in vain, is a welcome statement. We have many helpers from the Other Side. We here on earth have long believed ourselves isolated, and that belief has been very damaging to our psyche.

15 – Help

We are not alone. We live in a very peopled universe. And when we open our minds to the possibility of help, that help comes immediately, if we are calm enough to recognize what is happening.

16 – Ask for Help

“The time will come when this is understood. And meanwhile, they give all their gifts to the teachers of God who look to them for help, asking all things in their Name and in no other. (M64)”

17 – Understood

“The time will come when this is understood.” Yes! We are rapidly coming to that time now.

18 – Good

And good it is for our culture.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to understand the concept of “Teachers of teachers.” May I reach for their help often once I comprehend whom I am asking.

Thank you for providing all this help to me in this uncertain world. May I be quick to take advantage of this help as I go about my day today.

Amen.

Judge Not the Words that Come to You

1 – Chosen Words

“Gradually, he learns how to let his words be chosen for him by ceasing to decide for himself what he will say. . . .Judge not the words that come to you, but offer them in confidence. (M54)”

2 – Holy Spirit

This passage explains that the Holy Spirit, if we listen with a keen ear, will indicate to us what to say. This is not necessarily in a “voice,” but internally we have an indication of what to say. We can misinterpret, especially if we are confused or mentally unstable, but if we are of sound mind, very soon we will be able to distinguish what is the Holy Spirit and what is not.

3 – Many Ways

There are many ways that the Holy Spirit reaches us: words spoken by a brother or sister that seem especially pertinent to our situation and cue us to words or behavior; a “feeling” that we should (or should not) say or do a certain thing; dreams; in rare cases, visions or hallucinations. Sometimes words may come into our minds that seem a bit beyond us; we did not actually choose to “think” those things. That is likely to be the Holy Spirit’s communication.

4 – Diligence

If we are diligent in following, the guidance will continue. If we resist, the guidance will seem to cease until we are more willing. The Holy Spirit does not force Himself upon anyone. We receive best when we are in a relaxed manner and mood. Tension may break the connection, because it makes us unsure of ourselves. If we persist, the time will come shortly that we can be certain of the Holy Spirit’s communication. But because God deals with all of us differently, depending upon what we are ready to accept, there can be no firm guidelines that fit everyone.

5 – A Special Case

“This process is merely a special case of the lesson in the workbook that says, ‘I will step back and let Him lead the way.’ The teacher of God accepts the words which are offered him, and gives as he receives. He does not control the direction of his speaking. He listens and hears and speaks. (M54)

6 – Intuition

This section of the Manual offers a way of understanding our intuition that is hard to follow when we are stressed or in a bad mood. Our overwrought nature will make us doubt whether or not we actually hear anything at all, certainly anything at all that is relevant or accurate.

7 – Overwrought

When we are overwrought, the best thing to do is go within, to quiet one’s self. The little self, the personal self, is what needs quieting, for the Christ Self is always calm. We won’t know where to turn when we are in the throes of a deepening mood. We will wonder if anything that we perceive is accurate. And getting quiet will put us back into flow. Flow is when the day just moves along peacefully and gently; we are busy, but not too busy; we are calm and at peace in the midst of chaos, even.

8 – Hear Internally

If we hear internally words that we believe are those of the Holy Spirit, this passage indicates that we ought to offer those words to whomever we are with. These words may make us uncomfortable, but they will not hurt. If they seem to be hurtful words, then we are misperceiving, the Holy Spirit is not talking, but the ego is.

9 – Discernment

Listen to the Holy Spirit, but discern whether or not our inclination to talk is divinely inspired, or otherwise. Don’t speak if uncertain. Wait until we are sure.

10 – Hindrance

“A major hindrance in this aspect of his learning is the teacher of God’s fear about the validity of what he hears. And what he hears may indeed be quite startling. (M54)”

11 – Uncomfortable

This aspect of “hearing” means that we may find ourselves confronted with divinely inspired words that go against the grain. It may make us feel uncomfortable or ill at ease. We may doubt whether or not God is really with us. I would say that we must refrain from speaking if we have doubts. We will know the change when we switch out of egoic mood and into the flow that only the Holy Spirit can inspire.

12 – Easier Later On

This discernment becomes easier as we walk further along our pathway toward Awakening. The Society of Friends (Quakers) talk often about “discernment,” and this aspect of their faith is what I want to hold out to you now. We do not willy-nilly offer up anything that occurs to us to say. That would be very detrimental to our hearer. We calmly and peacefully wait until we are sure that the words that we hear internally are meant to be said. The Holy Spirit will speak to our hearts when we are confused. We do not have to doubt that God will get through to us.

13 – Irrelevance

“It may also seem to be quite irrelevant to the presented problem as he perceives it, and may, in fact, confront the teacher with a situation that appears to be very embarrassing to him. All these are judgments that have no value. They are his own, coming from a shabby self-perception which he would leave behind. (M54)”

14 – Embarrassment

This is the embarrassment passage that so many find puzzling and contraindicated. We do not want to be embarrassed. But let us consider the words of Jesus here, the fact that he is pointing out that we actually have a “shabby self-perception” which he would remove from us.

15 – Speak Out

Don’t hesitate to speak out, even though we think that we will appear foolish. Make sure that it is divine guidance, and when you are sure, offer those words that come to you. You will find a quick acceptance on the part of your hearers. You will quickly be assured that the Holy Spirit is directing your speaking.

16 – Judge Not

“Judge not the words that come to you, but offer them in confidence. They are far wiser than your own. (M54)”

17 – Judging Rightly

So even here we don’t “judge,” for to judge is to be mistaken. Only the Holy Spirit judges rightly.

18 – God’s Word

“God’s teachers have God’s Word behind their symbols. And He Himself gives to the words they use the power of His Spirit, raising them from meaningless symbols to the Call of Heaven itself. (M54)”

19 – Listening

We will find a following among those who listen to us, if we listen aright. We will find that our words will take on new meaning, even to ourselves. We will grow strong in confidence, certain of the Holy Spirit’s entries into our lives.

20 – Authority

And our words will have an authority that our personal, little self has never known. We will speak with a candidness and a certainty that known no bounds.

God will be pleased with us. Take care that the ego does not attach itself to this new found confidence, and all will be well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I always hear the words correctly that you wish me to say. May I not doubt, and may I not make mistakes in speaking what You will. May I not be confused in my thinking.

Your guidance is sure. When I doubt, perhaps I am still relying on the ego. May I not rely on the ego today.

Amen.

What Is the Peace of God?

1 – God’s Will = My Real Will

“What is the peace of God? No more than this; the simple understanding that His Will is wholly without opposite. There is no thought that contradicts His Will, yet can be true. The contrast between His Will and yours but seemed to be reality. In truth there was no conflict for His Will is yours. (M52)”

2 – Job

This passage is a sticking point for many. How can we have free will in this world? We think of Job in the Old Testament, and the ego tells us that what God wants for us not what we “will.” But it is. There is actually no conflict between our real will and the will of God. The farther we progress in our study of the Course, the more certain of this tenet we will become.

3 – Peace

When we accept that our real will and that of God’s is the same, we will have the peace that heretofore has eluded us. Take this tenet to heart, and see what a difference in our lives it does make.

4 – Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit will guide us to God’s will. His whispers are true; the feelings that we have to do or say certain things can, unless we are very confused, be trusted. The Course elsewhere says quite a bit about how to follow this guidance. The Course assures us that our own judgment is flawed, and we are encouraged, even bade, to leave our judgment behind and turn to the Holy Spirit. He alone knows all circumstances and can guide us surely. We then will truly know the peace of God. And anything else is counterfeit.

5 – Tiny Frail Imaginings

“Now is the mighty Will of God Himself His gift to you. He does not seek to keep it for Himself. Why would you seek to keep your tiny frail imaginings apart from Him? (M52)”

6 – God Too Busy? Of Not in Illusion?

We sometimes think that God is too busy to deal with us. And some students/teacher of A Course in Miracles think that God is outside of illusion, and therefore does not know about us, having turned over a link to us to the Holy Spirit.

7 – Workbook

I think that both suppositions are faulty. The Godhead would be able to tune into anything at all, anywhere. That is part of omnipresence. As well, the final Workbook lessons seem to assume a personal relationship between ourselves and God. We are praying to Him. So I think that Jesus knows that we are known by God.

8 – Insignificant

We have tiny frail imaginings. We fret so much about so much that is insignificant. God’s Will, for us, is to let us know what is right for us to entertain in our lives. We don’t need to fret, and all of us realize this when in our better moments. But most of us have long swaths of time in any given day when we are discontented, even bored, certainly anxious—unless we are in a stress-free environment.

9 – Our Heritage

“The Will of God is one and all there is. This is your heritage. (M52)”

10 – Predestination?

Yes, we are One with God’s Will. We have no reason to suspect that something else is our heritage. Does this mean predestination? Does this mean that everything is already decided about our lives?

11 – Allowing

No, I think not. The Will of God allows many things to happen that are not optimal for us. We can always switch to the optimal at any time, just by adjusting our attitudes. Our physical bodies and their situation are not significant because they are illusion. Our minds are real, and often caught by the ego. We don’t have to live like this. We can let the inner Christ emerge, and this Self will work to smooth out our living.

12 – God’s Peace

“The universe beyond the sun and stars, and all the thoughts of which you can conceive, belong to you. God’s peace is the condition for His Will. Attain His peace, and you remember Him. (M52)”

13 – Home Free

If we truly feel the peace of God, we will be home free. We will know that life is as it should be, that nothing that happens to us has to be lamented.

14 – Remember God

Would you like to remember God? Jesus says in ACIM that if we attain God’s peace, we will remember Him.

15 – Drama

We need not to allow drama to subsume of our lives. The drama is a separating factor from God. The ego loves strife, and loves drama, because it helps the ego to believe that it is really living. But real peace is a far more enjoyable state of mind. Try for even moments every day, and you will see.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I recognize the truth that Your Will is mine as well. May I be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in this matter of following Your Will. May I not doubt, but rest in surety when I am prompted to think or act in certain directions.

Thank you for delivering me from the question of Job in the Old Testament. May I rest in this knowledge and be happy.

Amen.

Attempts to Supplant God’s Will May Indeed Seem Frightening, but They Are Merely Pathetic.

1 – Avoidance of Magic = Avoidance of Temptation

“The avoidance of magic is the avoidance of temptation. For all temptation is nothing more than the attempt to substitute another will for God’s. (M42)”

2 – God’s Will = Our Real Will

Elsewhere in the Course we learn that God’s will is actually the same as ours. It is the same as ours if we only knew ourselves better. Studying the Course will open up ways to know ourselves better. And much study will convince us that we are not like Job of the Old Testament, unwilling recipients of guidance, but instead willing recipients of guidance because we know that what we “hear” is legitimate and will bring us closer Home.

3 – Ego

“Magic” thoughts are those inspired by the ego (an interpretation of the Course, but not stated directly therein). Often magic ideas are superstitious ideas that have become a part of us through long years of following the ego.

4 – God’s Way

If we set our will each morning to following God’s way, we will be well on our way to avoiding temptation. We will know that what God wants for us is what we too desire. Anything less is magic.

5 – Pathetic

“These attempts may indeed seem frightening, but they are merely pathetic. (M42)”

6 – Heaven Restored

“Rooted in sacrifice and separation, two aspects of one error and no more, he merely chooses to give up all that he never had. And for this ‘sacrifice’ is Heaven restored to his awareness. (M42)”

7 – Irrationality

Magic, as defined by Jesus, is irrationality (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM). And the magic, the irrationality, is rooted in the belief in sacrifice and in the separation from God. Sacrifice and the separation are both the “detour into fear” (from ACIM) which happened when the ego arose in our thought processes. But we don’t really have anything worth having when we have the ego.

8 – Heaven

When we give up the error that is the ego, Heaven is restored to our awareness. Can we believe this? Can we willingly give up egoic and egoistical strivings? If we can assess carefully, we will acknowledge that the puffed-up ego does not mean much in the final analysis. When we are on our death bed, we won’t put much store in anything that the ego had us striving to do; we will know that it was all vanity. Why not reach that conclusion while most of us have many years left of life? Why not enjoy Heaven on earth, the promise that is here held out to us by Jesus himself?

9 – Helen and Bill

The truth of these statements is found in the living out of them—nothing more. Reflect on where you have been and where you hope to go. See if ego is still managing your pathway. And just wonder, just wonder, if there might not (and Helen and Bill found, co-scribes of ACIM) be another way?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am still not flexible enough to turn aside from my own self’s wishes to follow the guidance that I am perceiving from the Holy Spirit–at least not always. Please help me toward this willingness. I know that it is the very best thing for me.

Please be with me throughout this day, as I perceive, through my intuition, the will of the Holy Spirit. This may be my greatest need. Please help me to perfect following guidance as I go about my normal life.

Amen.