Tag Archives: Guidance

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.

There Will Be Temptations along the Way the Teacher of God Has Yet to Travel, and He Has Need of Reminding Himself throughout the Day of His Protection

1 – Temptations

“Yet there will be temptations along the way the teacher of God has yet to travel, and he has need of reminding himself throughout the day of his protection. How can he do this, particularly during the time when his mind is occupied with external things? He can but try, and his success depends on his conviction that he will succeed. He must be sure success is not of him, but will be given him at any time, in any place and circumstance he calls for it. (M42)”

2 – Protected

Temptations! Yes, we are still subject to them, despite how many hours we have studied the Course. But if we are convinced that we are protected, we will overcome these temptations.

3 – If in Doubt, Don’t

How do we recognize a temptation? “If in doubt, don’t.” This is an interpretation of the Course, a statement not found therein. But it seems to work most of the time. It sounds cautious, but perhaps avoiding temptation is a time to be cautious.

4 – Holy Spirit

We cannot depend upon ourselves to overcome temptation. It “will be given him,” (i.e., “us”) at any time that we call for it. We overcome temptation by calling on the Holy Spirit to guide us, to give us strength to overcome.

5 – Wavering

“There are times his certainty will waver, and the instant this occurs he will return to earlier attempts to place reliance on himself alone. Forget not this is magic, and magic is a sorry substitute for true assistance. (M42)”

6 – “Magic”

Jesus uses a particular definition of “magic” that is largely negative. He does not use the lighthearted wish for something exquisite that we have usually associated with this term. His is the term used in traditional psychology, in which “magical thinking” is seen as essentially irrational.

7 – Irrational Thinking

If we turn to irrational thinking, we will not receive the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We will be caught by egoic thinking. The guidance of the Holy Spirit is eminently better, because the Holy Spirit helps us to move into flow in our days. Our days will develop as beautiful pearls on a necklace, one right after the other, wondrously being created as we walk along our pathway through life.

8 – Certainty

If our certainty wavers, we will miss all this. So be careful today, and don’t let certainty waver. God wants us happy, and He will arrange events for us that will make us so, if we are amenable to His Will. His Guide, the Holy Spirit, takes the time and attention with us that we need. There can be no better way to craft a life than to give up personal judgments to the all-embracing knowledge of God’s Universal Inspiration.

9 – Nothing

“When all magic is recognized as merely nothing, the teacher of God has reached the most advanced state. All intermediate lessons will but lead to this, and being this goal nearer to recognition. (M42)”

10 – Nothing at All

Magic—irrational thinking—is not actually anything at all. It is illusory, but being illusory doesn’t mean that we won’t see it as real. We are very likely to see our most irrational thoughts as reflecting true reality, and when this happens, we are truly lost in the insanity to which all in this world are ultimately found.

11 – Insanity

But when we realize that all of our irrational thinking, our insanity, brings us nothing that we want, that it is truly meaningless, then we have reached the most advanced state.

12 – Today

Let that place be where today finds you.

13 – Will of God

“There is no substitute for the Will of God. In simple statement, it is to this fact that the teacher of God devotes his day. Each substitute he may accept as real can but deceive him. But he is safe from all deception if he so decides. Perhaps he needs to remember, ‘God is with me. I cannot be deceived.’ Perhaps he prefers other words, or only one, or none at all. (M42)”

14 – God’s Will = Our True Will

God’s Will and our true will are actually identical. He says, in effect, “Do this, for it will make you happiest.” That is not to say that we will be doomed if we fail to follow any and all guidance, just that we will be less than as happy as we could be. And God would not have us less than as happy as we could be.

15 – Guidance

We move with God through the day, God as speaking to us through the Holy Spirit’s guidance. And we live well this way. Nothing and nobody can take our joy from us when we are living close to God, close to His Guide. We have limitless release and pure joy (from the Manual of ACIM), and we find delight in the smallest things with which we are confronted in a given day. We no longer rue the day.

16 – Charmed Life

Even another who attacks us cannot break through our protection. When we are One with God, we walk a charmed path.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to recognize temptations when they arise. And help me to say, “If in doubt, don’t.” This has helped me before, and I pray that this statement will help me always.

Please be with me to guide me from the temptations that may beset me. May I know that this is a particular form of trial, and I know that trials do beset us in this world.

Amen.

Now Can the Teacher of God Rise Up Unburdened, and Walk Lightly On. Giving Up Judgment, His Sense of Care Is Gone.

1 – Sense of Care

“Now can the teacher of God rise up unburdened, and walk lightly on. Yet it is not only this that is his benefit. His sense of care is gone, for he has none. (M28)”

2 – Holy Spirit

This passage refers to turning over our decisions to the Holy Spirit. We carry life more easily once we have done this, and we do not feel burdened, as if we are carrying a load on our backs.

3 – Walk Lightly

Our sense of care is gone. We walk lightly in the light. These reassurances are worth their weight in gold. Who would not wish to walk the earth in peace and calm that is not abated?

4 – A Sure Guide

Why would we have a sense of care, when we have a Guide that is sure? We must only ask that we be given the grace always to follow that guidance. As we do follow that guidance, we become more and more reassured that it will always be there for us, and we drop our cares into the lap of God.

5 – Judgment Gone

“He has given it [sense of care] away, along with judgment. (M28)”

6 – Martha and Mary and Jesus

What a joy to give up the sense of care! We are, like Martha of the New Testament, worried about so many things. Martha was preoccupied with preparing a meal, and she wanted Mary, her sister, to help her instead of sitting at the feet of Jesus, where Mary was drinking in the words of Jesus.

7 – Rebuke

Yet Jesus kindly rebuked Martha, saying that Mary had chosen the best part, which in this case, was listening to him.

8 – Sit at the Feet of Jesus

May we be like the Marys of the world, not to disregard our obligations, but as often as at all possible, to sit, metaphorically, at the feet of Jesus and drink in his words. Then indeed is our care given away.

9 – Judgment

“Judgment, like other devices by which the world of illusions is maintained, is totally misunderstood by the world. It is actually confused with wisdom, and substitutes for truth. (M27)”

10 – “Good” Judgment?

Judgment seems to be wisdom, but, as we have been suggesting, it is far from wisdom. We think that “good judgment” will get us the outcome that we cry to have.

11 – Guidance

This is not true. Good judgment, whatever that is, will not get us the outcome that we cry to have. Only following guidance will do that.

12 – We Cannot Judge Rightly

“It is necessary for the teacher of God to realize, not that he should not judge, but that he cannot. In giving up judgment, he is merely giving up what he did not have. He gives up an illusion; or better, he has an illusion of giving up. He has actually merely become more honest. (M27)”

13 – Honesty

Would we like to be more honest? Of course! And this is the way—give up judgment! We cannot judge aright—ever. We may make wise decisions because we have been protected by God, but the consistent right decisions only come from guidance.

14 – Intuition

What does it feel like with intuition, the most prevalent kind of guidance? I sense a feeling tone to such guidance, in that I sense what the next right step should be. Sometimes guidance looks to the future, but in the step-to-step process of our days, intuition usually gives us the next right step. Sometimes the guidance comes to us as our own thinking rather than as a feeling. We will know that this thinking is guidance because it will seem a bit beyond us, though actually the thinking is coming up from the unconscious deep within. There God rests, and there the Holy Spirit communicates from God to us.

15 – Judgment Always Impossible

“Recognizing that judgment was always impossible for him, he no longer attempts it. This is no sacrifice. On the contrary, he puts himself in a position where judgment through him rather than by him can occur. (M27)”

16 – Relinquish Judgment to the Holy Spirit

This inner process of thinking, or the inner process of feeling (intuition), allows judgment “through” us to come out. So we do not give up judgment entirely; we just relinquish it to the Holy Spirit, Who is deep within. And His decisions are right. We will soon realize this. It takes little time to know that one’s egoic notions are faulty, and that the guidance of the Holy Spirit is on the beam.

17 – Guiltless Son/Daughter of God

“And this judgment is neither ‘good’ nor ‘bad.’ It is the only judgment there is, and it is only one: God’s Son is guiltless, and sin does not exist. (M27)”

18 – Theology

This passage is a theological construct of A Course in Miracles. God’s Son (or Daughter) is innocent of wrongdoing, for he/she has acted only in illusion, a dream. And thus he/she has not acted at all.

19 – Sin

Sin does not exist, for sin is seen as an attractive alternative. Call something a “sin,” and we want to do it again. This is lamentable human nature.

20 – Mistake

In contrast, call something a “mistake,” and the only right thing is immediately seen to be correction of the mistake. Our “sins” are all mistakes, in the theology of ACIM.

21 – Past, Present, and Future

“In order to judge anything rightly, one would have to be fully aware of an inconceivably wide range of things; past, present and to come. One would have to recognize in advance all the effects of his judgments on everything and everything involved in them in any way. And one would have to be certain there is no distortion in his perception, so his judgment would be wholly fair to everyone on whom it rests now and in the future. Who is in a position to do this? Who except in grandiose fantasies would claim this for himself? (M27)”

22 – Prescience

This passage summarizes what we have been considering. We can’t know, in a prescient manner, what we are about. Lacking knowledge of past, present, and future in all its ramifications, we no longer attempt to judge on partial understanding. We give over judgment to the Holy Spirit, who is omniscient or all-knowing.

23 – Lay Judgment Down

“Therefore lay judgment down, not with regret but with a sigh of gratitude. Now are you free of a burden so great that you could merely stagger and fall down beneath it. And it was all illusion. Nothing more. (M28)”

24 – Jesus’s Appeal

This passage is Jesus’s appeal to us to stop the foolish judging to which we are almost addicted. If possible, try to live this day without judging what to do next. Let guidance direct your footsteps.

25 – Close of the Day

And see, at the close of the day, if you did not get into a free-flowing frame of mind that offered you a good day.

26 – Reassuring Passage

A reassuring passage, as so many of the passages A Course in Miracles, are. We are bade to lay judgment down–to make no decisions for ourselves. Can we really do this? The Course elsewhere indicates that we should set our will at the beginning of the day to follow guidance, and then give thanks at the end of the day. Then our decisions will be far more likely to be right. ACIM is always practical, and asking at every juncture may not always be practical (an ACIM concept).

27 – A Guide

It is calming to know that we have a Guide who will not fail. This we can feel with gratitude.

28 – Burden of Judgment

The burden of trying to make judgments of what to do or say has always been extremely difficult for us. And we learn now that doing so has all been illusion. We don’t have to feel all alone in the universe. We have a Guide, and His guidance is the Way that makes our life a calm and gentle experience.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be led to lay judgment down forevermore. I do know in my heart of hearts that judgment can only hurt me. Let me be through with it forever.

Thank you for guiding me through the Holy Spirit. When I follow His prompting, I know that I am always taking the right pathway.

Amen.

The Teacher of God Does Not Make His Own Decisions. He asks the Holy Spirit for His Answer, and It Is This He Follows as His Guide for Action.

1 – Teacher of God

“As the teacher of God advances in his training, he learns one lesson with increasing thoroughness. He does not make his own decisions; he asks his Teacher for His answer, and it is this he follows as his guide for action. This becomes easier and easier, as the teacher of God learns to give up his own judgment. (M26)”

Affirmation: “Help me to turn to the Holy Spirit for my guide to action.”

Reflections:

2 – Guidance

This is a concise statement of how important it is to follow God’s guidance as seen for us in the Holy Spirit (an ACIM concept). It may be harder in the beginning to follow this guidance, but the difficulty may never fully drop away. Our ego dies hard. But we are promised that following the guidance that we receive will be easier and easier as we advance in our training. And that is all the assurance that we need.

3 – Don’t Make Your Own Decisions

We do not make our own decisions, based on our own faulty judgment. Our own judgment cannot but be faulty, for we are told elsewhere that we cannot know all factors in the past and future that impinge on any given decision. Once we give up trying to follow our own judgment, life becomes easier.

4 – Advanced

This passage remarks on the advanced teacher of God. Not all of us, even those of us who have studied A Course in Miracles for years, can realize this appellation for ourselves. But we will come closer and closer as we follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This is actually the easiest way in which to live.

5 – Easier and Easier

“This becomes easier and easier, as the teacher of God learns to give up his own judgment. (M26)”

6 – Smooth Flow

Would we like to develop a smooth flow to all of life? This is the Answer, following guidance that we ask to receive from the Holy Spirit. He does not force Himself upon us—never does He do this. We must be open to His help. And then the miracles happen.

7 – How “Hear” Guidance?

How do we “hear” guidance? There are many ways, and guidance may be understood, often, only by the person who receives it. I have penned an article entitled, “The Gift of Guidance,” which can be found in this blog by putting “gift and guidance and hales” in the search box. This article lists some ten ways that the Holy Spirit has spoken to me over the years. It is very personally written.

8 – Ego

Be careful of guidance, for sometimes the ego intrudes. If the message that we are getting would be harmful to anyone, know that we are misinterpreting. And if we don’t really want to listen, then don’t. Jesus says not to fight ourselves, that we are not ready in such cases. A Course in Miracles is always very practical.

9 – Fairly Slow Process

“The giving up of judgment, the obvious prerequisite for hearing God’s Voice, is usually a fairly slow process, not because it is difficult, but because it is apt to be perceived as personally insulting. (M26)”

10 – Testing Out Guidance

It is not an ACIM tenet, but I think that testing out guidance, when the results would be benign and not harmful, is helpful. It will ensure us that we are on the right path. This will help, in my experience, to eliminate the sense of being “insulted” that Jesus mentions.

11 – Intuition

We also don’t want to go off the deep end in following intuition. Sometimes the ego is very wily, and we embark on all kinds of dubious means to justify something that only the ego wants to do. We convince ourselves that it is God speaking to us. You can probably recount many, many incidents in history in which people have so thought. We cannot judge these encounters, for they are unique to the individual involved. But sometimes we have to wonder.

12 – Give Up Judgment

So we have to make a decision to give up judgment, our own little understanding that needs to be augmented. If we are stable enough, we will soon—very soon—come to recognize the difference between the “guidance,” the false guidance, of the ego, and the true guidance of the Holy Spirit. We will have a self-authenticating Word from God to us, we will simply “know,” but not to know why we know. Yet this inner assurance will be enough to take steps to follow guidance. Now that if we feel peace within, we are in a much better position to believe that it is truly the Holy Spirit Who is guiding us. Later on, when reading A Course of Love, we learn that the era of the Holy Spirit is over, and that the time of Christ is at hand. Then we listen to the inner Christ Spirit. But at this juncture in A Course in Miracles, we are not there yet.

13 – The World’s Training

“The world’s training is directed toward achieving a goal in direct opposition to that of our curriculum. The world trains for reliance on one’s judgment as the criterion for maturity and strength. Our curriculum trains for the relinquishment of judgment as the necessary condition of salvation. (M26)”

14 – Contrast

Here the contrast between the world’s learning and the learning associated with A Course in Miracles is encapsulated most precisely. We think that when we have “grown up,” we will be self-reliant, judging wisely, able to make our own decisions without help. Oh, we may pray sometimes to know God’s direction for us, but we often don’t do so consistently. And not praying consistently ensures that we will listen to our own judgment.

15 – Our Judgment Is Faulty

But our judgment is faulty. Elsewhere we learn that nobody can know all of the past, present, and future, so that we make wise judgments. But the Holy Spirit does have such prescience. And this is why we would be wise to ask for His guidance at numerous junctures throughout each day. Jesus says that we don’t have to become preoccupied with each step, because this is not practical, but that the proper mind slant, adopted upon awakening, will set us on the right course.

16 – Confused

If we become confused, we need to turn inward to the Holy Spirit right away. He will never let us down. Only if we are so overwrought and agitated that we can’t hear His Voice will there be a problem (and sometimes He gets through to us even then).

17 – Commune with God

Go apart and commune silently. Know that the upset will pass (“This too shall pass,” though not an ACIM tenet, is nevertheless true.) Relax into Your day. Know that decisions made in the heat of an argument are virtually always ego-driven, for the Holy Spirit is very quiet.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to make a determination to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit at every turn of my life. May I be reassured that this is the best way to live, the only way that leads completely to happiness.

Thank you for my Guide. May I know if I am misperceiving, and may I turn from that to true guidance.

Amen.

What About Love, Sinlessness, Perfection, Knowledge, and Eternal Truth? These Are the Son/Daughter of God’s Inheritance.

1 – Our Inheritance

“You may have noticed that the list of attributes of God’s teachers does not include things that are the Son of God’s inheritance. Terms like love, sinlessness, perfection, knowledge and eternal truth do not appear in this context. They would be most inappropriate here. (M16)”

Affirmation: “My inheritance as a Son (or Daughter) of God includes love, sinlessness, perfection, and like concepts.”

This appears to be a somewhat mysterious passage. Perhaps the best explanation is that these terms listed–sinlessness, perfection, etc.–are assumed rather than given to the teacher of God as a new attribute to signify his or her more lofty status. Even this description is misleading, though, because “lofty status” is an egoic concept, not one that we associate with the A Course in Miracles. Perhaps it is enough to say that everyone–student or teacher of God–has the attributes listed by birthright. This is the reason that the word “inheritance” is used in this context.

2 – Trust

This passage is part of a lengthy explanation of attributes of God’s teachers, of which “trust” is the most important. It is elsewhere explained that all of these attributes are achieved as time goes by and learning proceeds. Learning within the context of ACIM, it is believed that the teacher will acquire all of these attributes over time.

3 – Egotistical?

To acquire all of these attributes sounds daunting, and perhaps even egotistical. Yet it is anything but. No egotistical attribute is meant by any of the terms given in the passages in the surrounding pages to M16. God’s teachers learn what they need to learn to acquire these attributes, and, once learned, they will have left the ego far behind.

4 – Unlearning

“It is the function of God’s teachers to bring true learning to the world. Properly speaking it is unlearning that they bring, for that is ‘true learning’ in the world. (M16)”

5 – Questions

What does this mean? Why do we bring “unlearning” to the world, if we are following our mission?

6 – Self-Reliance

The world trains for self-reliance, believing that as we grow older, maturing, we will almost stand alone, certain in the truth of our judgments. A Course in Miracles indicates that we are not ever intended to be solitary creatures, that our relationship to our brother (and sister) is our way home, to salvation, to Awakening. This holy relationship to our brother/sister is the means that ACIM uses to save us time. We don’t have to spend long hours in contemplation, which can be tedious. We simply need to forgive our brother for what he has not done in truth, because we live in an illusion and in his/her heart of hearts, he/she is innocent of wrongdoing. (All of the ideas in this paragraph of ACIM tenets paraphrased.)

7 – Judgment

We don’t easily give up judgment. We think that it is personally insulting to give over our judgments to the one Answer, the guidance of the Holy Spirit. But do so we must, if we are to have a free will. It is only in bowing to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who chooses for us, for what we really want, that we finally lose our imprisoned will and become free. God set the limits on our miscreation, for otherwise his creation would be flawed and fail to work. So all will return ultimately, sure finally that God’s Way is the only correct, right Way.

8 – The Secular

We may state this truth in more secular terms. That does not matter. God is God of the secular as well as the religious.

9 – Guidance

So we are bringing unlearning to this world, for the world and the ego teach amiss. Rather than self-reliance, we depend on guidance from either the Holy Spirit (as in ACIM) or the inner Christ Self (from A Course of Love). Once we taste the difference, we will not want to turn back (though we may, if we fall away from ACIM teachings). Our days will develop a flow, a smoothness, that will have us only wanting more of that smoothness.

10 – Happiness

We will finally be happy, a sustained happiness/joy that is unlike the cheap thrills that the ego offers.

11 – Forgiveness

“It is given to the teachers of God to bring the glad tidings of complete forgiveness to the world. Blessed indeed are they, for they are the bringers of salvation. (M16)”

All of us are teachers as well as students. The teacher of God teaches to himself/herself as much as to others—often more, for in teaching we truly learn.

12 – Time

Only time separates the teacher from the learner, the student. And time does not really exist, a tenet of modern physics and Einstein, and his followers, as well as A Course in Miracles.

13 – Salvation

We are to bring salvation to the world. That is one of the functions to which A Course in Miracles calls us. (The others are happiness and forgiveness.) We do not become overbearing, for not all are ready for our message. In a favorite passage of mine, we learn from the Manual that some of our brothers and sisters are ready only for a smile. We do not press, unless others express interest in knowing how and why we have changed. So to my mind a good example is one of the best things that we can present to the world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to realize that my inheritance as a Son or Daughter of God includes love, perhaps most importantly. I receive this and many other things as a birthright.

This is not egotism. I appreciate very much the gifts that are mine as one of Yours.

Amen.

Do You Still Select Some Aspects of Your Life to Bring to Your Learning, While Keeping Others Apart?

“The extent of the teacher of God’s faithfulness is the measure of his advancement in the curriculum. Does he still select some aspects of his life to bring to his learning, while keeping others apart? (M15)”

1 – Upset the Apple Cart

In the beginning of our walk to Awakening, we remain careful not to upset the apple cart. We bring part of our life, sometimes the small part that we formally devote to devotionals, to our learning toward salvation. We don’t surrender all. Oh, we may surrender, even surrender anew, from time to time, even frequently. Yet in our daily walk we keep some parts of our lives separate from Who we perceive God to be. We don’t want Him “controlling” us.

2 – Fallacious Reasoning

This type of reasoning is fallacious. Only when we bring all parts of our learning, in life, to God and the Holy Spirit do we really make progress along the way. Although at first, selectivity in what we bring to God is almost inevitable, later on we need to keep a tight rein on ourselves to be sure that we are not falling away. We need to relax in God’s love, knowing that nothing that the Holy Spirit bids us to do will undo us. Of course, we are fallible, and so we can misconstrue the Holy Spirit’s messages—His guidance—but not for long, if we stay close to the Divine. We will get hints that what we are about to say or do is not kosher.

3 – Judgment

At first we don’t give up judgment very readily; at first we don’t choose guidance consistently. This is because the world’s training has consisted of reliance upon judgment, our own judgment, about what to do or say. As we grow, we think that we are honing judgment to be a more complete and competent person. Eventually, we think, we will stand on our own two feet, not making mistakes, or at least not making as many.

4 – False Persona

This is wrong, for this type of thinking is of the false persona that we have adopted that is the ego. The ego is a part of our belief about ourselves, but a false part. The definition of the ego in A Course in Miracles is, I am quick to say, not the definition of Freud. He saw a strong ego as necessary to our effective survival and our living. But he defined ego differently. Freud saw ego as a unifying, coalescing piece of the psyche that mitigated between the id and the superego. A Course in Miracles, in contrast, sees the ego as a false persona, but one that we all develop. Yet life constantly undoes this false persona, because that is the way that life is set up. The ego, constantly being undone, throws us on a shift between joy (false joy) and despair. The thrills that the ego shows us in our dramas always cause tears of pain. ACIM notes that every flight of joy is matched by these tears of pain, bought at the cost of tears.

5 – Why?

Do we really want to live this way?

6 – Faithfulness

“Faithfulness is the teacher of God’s trust in the Word of God to set all things right; not some, but all. (M15)”

To believe the Course in all situations is to remain faithful to its tenets. This makes us faithful followers of its tenets. This only is faithfulness.

7 – All Things Set Right

We must believe that all things will be set right, not in some far-off future, but here and now. It all has to do with our perception. We project what we perceive (a Course tenet). If we can believe that the Word of God will set all things right, we do not have to take upon ourselves the “sins” of the world.

8 – Trust

“Trust” is mentioned in this passage. Elsewhere we learn that trust is the bedrock of the teacher of God’s faith. If trust goes, all else follows. We lose our faith, and we have slipped once again into egoistic thinking. If we attack, make judgments, or plan defenses against an unknown future, we have lost our way. We need to regain trust, and study of the Course is our way, our way Home.

9 – One Answer

“To give up all problems to one Answer is to reverse the thinking of the world entirely. And that alone is faithfulness. (M15)”

This passage identifies the giving up of self-control is favor of God-control, or control by the Holy Spirit, through our willingness to be led. Most people make this shift only very gradually, because the shift is seen by us, in the throes of the ego, to be personally insulting (a Manual tenet). The world has taught us to rely on our own judgment; we do, usually, not easily give this choice up, and we usually do so only in fragments. We choose some aspects of life to bring to the Holy Spirit, keeping carefully limited what we “tell” Him.

10 – Happiness

This is not the way to live well! All of us want to live well. Indeed, the Workbook, as well as other parts of ACIM, counsel us that happiness is God’s one intention for us. We may question this, thinking that happiness is not a lofty goal. Yet can we really help others from a position of misery? In such states of downtrodden living, we are normally turned inward on ourselves, and only begrudgingly offer solace to others at all. When I was in my early twenties, and in the grip of neurosis, I was not outgoing, and I did not like other people to the extent that would be normal. I felt that it was all that I could do to keep myself going, to solve my own problems. Little did I realize at the time that turning outward miraculously cures neurosis, curing personal problems at the same time.

11 – Readiness

“Yes each degree, however, small, is worth achieving. Readiness, as the text notes, is not mastery. (M15)”

God will take us where we are and go from there. When we are in readiness, the miracle happens. We are still a long way from mastery, but we need, at least, to cultivate readiness.

12 – Guidance

Readiness means that we do make a decision to follow guidance of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives. We develop flow, and flow feeds on itself. We have a good day in flow, and the next day we want to have yet another good day in flow. “In flow” means that we move freely throughout our day, choosing easily because we are in constant touch with the Divine.

There is no better way to live.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

May I acquire this faithfulness that You describe. May I have the trust that You will set all things right.

If I study the Course, I will come to understand faithfulness. I do not fully understand now, but I hope to do so, with Your help. Help me to understand the Word of God in this matter of setting all things right.

Amen.

Steps on the Way toward Awakening

1 – Period of Undoing

“First, they must go through what might be called ‘a period of undoing.’ This need not be painful, but it usually is so experienced. (M10)”

At this point in the development of trust, the movement toward Awakening, we find that many of things in which we placed great value are, very suddenly, no longer in our lives. We may experience substantial grief at this point.

This period of undoing may occur relatively early in one’s life. College is an awakening experience, in another sense, and the changes that one undergoes are not always happy. We may lose touch with our treasured friends from high school, college may be much tougher than high school, and all in all we experience identity crises as the old props of home and family are removed.

Not everybody, of course, goes through this stage at this point in life. There are many variations.

2 – Period of Sorting Out

“Next, the teacher of God must go through ‘a period of sorting out.’ This is always somewhat difficult because, having learned that the changes in his life are always helpful, he must now decide all things on the basis of whether they increase the helpfulness or hamper it. (M10)”

Once the props have been removed, we need a new stasis of personality, a new way to accept the life that we have been given. One important made in the Manual, in this passage, is that we have here learned that all changes are always helpful. This is akin to the biblical injunction, “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.” This quotation meant a great deal to me when I was going through this step.

We do not have to fret. We will come through this mixed up period and be the stronger for it.

3 – Period of Relinquishment

“The third stage through which the teacher of God must go can be called ‘a period of relinquishment.’ If this is interpreted a giving up the desirable, it will engender enormous conflict. (M10)”

Sometimes we have to give up something that seems, at the point, very precious to us. We may be asked to follow God’s will, as we perceive it, without reassurances that all is well. God sometimes withdraws and lets us make our own decisions. While guidance is very much a part of this step, it does not mean that we understand the “why” of what we are being asked to say and do. I think very often we don’t. We follow blindly, if we stay true to the pathway. We know what we are to do, but we may not fully want to do it, not yet realizing that God’s will for us is always our real will (ACIM tenet).

4 – Period of Settling Down

“Now comes ‘a period of settling down.’ This is a quiet time, in which the teacher of God rests a while in reasonable peace. Now he consolidates his learning. (M10 – M11)”

We do have periods of respite on this gentle path to Awakening. This identifies such a time. We are told, shortly after this passage, that we will go on from here with “mighty companions.” This seems to indicate help from the Other Side, whether angels or not is not clear. We may be helped by Teachers of teachers, those who have gone on to beyond this life to help those of us still left behind (ACIM tenet).

We need these quiet times, for without them the way would be too arduous, and we might drop out—choosing to make our way blindly, without listening to the Holy Spirit. We might lose our way on the path to Awakening. There are no guarantees.

5 – What Do We Really Want?

“And now he must attain a state that may remain impossible to reach for a long, long time. He must learn to lay all judgment aside, and ask only what he really wants in every circumstance. Were not each step in this direction so heavily reinforced, it would be hard indeed! (M11)”

This is the real disappearance of the ego, in my understanding. What one really wants is not egoistic things of this world, yet the call of the ego has been strong in us, and we relinquish the things of this world with some struggle.

What do we really want? Ah, that is the question. We do want the peace of God, and we cannot have this on a sustained basis as long as the ego is strong in strife.

6 – Period of Achievement

“And finally, there is ‘a period of achievement.’ It is here that learning is consolidated. Now what was seen as merely shadows before become solid gains, to be counted on in all ‘emergencies’ as well as tranquil times. . . .This is the stage of real peace, for here is Heaven’s state fully reflected. From here, the way to Heaven is open and easy. In fact, it is here. Who would ‘go’ anywhere, if peace of mind is already complete? (M-11.”

I think I can say without ego that the first part of this passage is where I am now—but not the second part of the passage. I can see my learning being consolidated, even as I write my blog. Part of my “solid gains” can be seen in difficult times, “emergencies.”

I have not yet reached the state of real peace, with Heaven’s state fully reflected. I still have difficult days part of the time. I still forget all my learning sometimes, especially when stressed.

It seems to me, from where I sit, that the final half of this passage, the “period of achievement,” identifies the state in which one has been awakened or enlightened.

7 – Recapitulating

Affirmation: “Help me to ask what I really want in every circumstance.”

This passage explains one of the steps on the way to Awakening. It sounds easy, but the playing out of the passage is hard indeed. To lay all judgment is not easy, as the ego thrives on judgment. And the ego it is that we need to lay aside.

But Jesus assures us that we have “heavily reinforced” help to lay all judgment aside. This is a great blessing. This help comes from the Holy Spirit. In addition, Jesus himself has said that he is always with us. We have only to ask for help, and it will be forthcoming.

This passage represents a stumbling block to many. This is where we get stuck in our pathway to Awakening. We must recognize that the way may be long, and that there may be setbacks along the way. But the glorious end is certain.

“This is the stage of real peace, for here is Heaven’s state fully reflected. From here, the way to Heaven is open and easy. In fact, it is here. Who would ‘go’ anywhere, if peace of mind is already complete” (M11)”

This passage represents the ultimate achievement in matters of salvation. The passage tells us that peace of mind is possible even in this world, and that therein lies Heaven.

The theology underlying the Course is not always easy to follow. But here we have a definite stand that Heaven is possible of achievement even in this world. And this is a grand promise indeed.

The way to Heaven is “open and easy,” and, in fact, it is “here” now. What more glorious release could we wish to have? This is a goal worth striving for, and Jesus’s promise is that we shall know Heaven even here, once we have walked the pathway that the Course sets out.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I long for Heaven on earth. Jesus has promised it to me, and I claim his promise.

May I have the peace of mind that gives Heaven to me, even in this world. I thank you in advance for the fulfillment of this glorious promise.

Amen.

The Ego Believes that by Punishing Itself It Will Mitigate the Punishment of God

“The ego believes that by punishing itself it will mitigate the punishment of God. (T84-85)”

Affirmation: “The ego believes. . .mitigate the punishment of God.”

Reflections:

1 – Masochism

This passage seems to explain masochism. We think that if we cause pain to ourselves first, then God’s punishment of us (in which we erroneously believe) will be lessened.

2 – Insane Thinking

This is insane thinking. The ego is insane. Let us not forget this concept of A Course in Miracles.

3 – Punished Less?

We think that we will be punished less if we level the punishment on ourselves. We are trying to manipulate God, who actually does not punish at all. But we ourselves make a grievous mistake when we seek to bring down hell fire on our heads. What a waste!

4 – Arrogance

“Yet even in this it is arrogant. It attributes to God a punishing intent, and then takes this intent as its own prerogative. (T85)”

The ego is always arrogant. That is why, when we give ourselves noble intentions, the ego often tells us that WE are arrogant. We are children of God, who when we are in our Self, are not arrogant at all. God has given us a very lofty purpose—forgiveness, salvation, happiness—that we are not meeting, and therefore we feel guilty. But our sense of guilt needs to be overcome. And it certainly does not merit punishment, which is masochism.

5 – Egotistic Thinking

We in our egoistic thinking do not have to punish ourselves at all. To do so actually is the reverse of what we want, for any number of reasons, including the fact that punishing ourselves strengthens the ego. We want to let the ego wither away. In no way does God punish us. This concept of A Course in Miracles is in line with the New Testament, but opposed to the Old Testament. May we accept Jesus’s teaching in both ACIM and the New Testament, and know God as a loving and accepting God who wants only the best for us. Anything else we have unconsciously chosen, and this can be changed with the right understanding, and the right reflection upon what we are actually doing to ourselves.

6 – What Do You Want?

“The ego cannot oppose the laws of God any more than you can, but it can interpret them according to what it wants, just as you can. That is why the question, ‘What do you want?’ must be answered. You are answering it every minute and every second, and each moment of decision is a judgment that is anything but ineffectual. (T85)”

We must ask ourselves, not the ego, but our real Self, what we want in every moment which we view as a moment of choice. We get guidance, sure, but we still have the right to refuse that guidance (though that is not wise). And when we set ourselves on the right course, we take the next right action without consciously asking for advice from the Holy Spirit.

7 – The Question

“What do we want?” is an especially potent question, filled with meaning and lofty with purpose. If we want God and God alone, we are on the right track. If we want the things of this world first, we have our priorities skewed. If we want God first of all, all of the things of the world will be added according to our need and often according to our want. This is New Testament thinking that is supported also by the later ACIM. Jesus does not change his mind in that regard.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I know that there is no need for me to punish myself for anything that I have done. I may know guilt, and this is a form of punishment. God would never punish; it is always us that are doing this.

May my ego wither away. I have prayed for this often, and so I have not accepted the truth of this promise that it can wither away. May I accept this promise now and forevermore.

May this day go smoothly for myself and all who read this prayer. May we walk in Your way, sure of our purpose and certain of Your love. Thank You for the presence of Yourself that so often I feel.

Amen.

I Am Here Only to Be Truly Helpful. I Do Not Have to Worry about What to Say or What to Do, because He Who Sent Me Will Direct Me.

“I am here only to be truly helpful.
I am here to represent Him Who sent me.
I do not have to worry about what to say or what
to do, because He Who sent me will direct me.
I am content to be wherever He wishes, knowing
He goes there with me.
I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal.
(T28)”

Affirmation: “I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do.”

Reflections:

1 – What Am I to Do?

One of you who reads this blog frequently finds a favorite post by typing into a search engine the question, “What am I to do? Where am I to go?” Today’s passage just happens to be a precise answer to this question, a question that affects all of us to one degree or another. We are here to represent God; that is the spiritual answer. But not all who read this blog are ready for such spiritual talk. It is enough to know that those of us in the secular world, as well, can see that we do receive guidance about what to say or do next. This guidance can be very precise: Turn left at the next corner, even. Of course, if we are unbalanced, everything can seem to be a sign. But if we are reasonably well put together, our guidance will come in rational ways, though we will need to enlarge what we think of as “rational.”

2 – Lovely Prayer

The passage for today is a lovely prayer, set in the form of a blank verse poem. The “He” and “Him” referred to in the poem mean the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Universal Inspiration, the part of us that is in communication with the Father, with God. ACIM uses the triume God as a part of its theology: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But we are all the Son or Daughter, in a departure from traditional Christianity. We all have the Christ Self within as part of the inner Being whom we are.

3 – Holy Spirit

Two of the most beautiful lines are Lines 3 and 4, in which we are assured that the Holy Spirit will guide us. We do not have to reach ahead to the future, wondering what to do. We will be told in the present. If there are plans that need to be made, we will be told of them at the point of need. There is no need to worry. This lack of a need to worry is powerful incentive to let the Holy Spirit makes decisions for us. If we turn over our judgment to Him Who knows all circumstances–past, present, and future–the cause of worry is negated. We have previously shown a lack of trust in the universe when we have worried. We have shown a lack of faith. But we do not have to stay in this state of unrest. We can move with a surety that is not of this world. We can move in God’s grace.

4 – Guidance

We will follow guidance to go wherever in this world we are led to go. This is truly being led by the Holy Spirit, and it may not take what is commonly known as blind faith. We will know inwardly and with assurance what pathway is best, and where that pathway is physically located. We will go with knowledge that we are there with the Holy Spirit.

5 – Our Brother’s Keeper

We are also our brother’s keeper. “I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal,” which is the last line, is an assurance that our relationship to our brother is where healing lies. This points out a frequent emphasis in this blog, that our holy relationship to our brother/sister is our means home to God. Here is the healing. And we heal him/her as surely as we heal ourselves. This is the means that A Course in Miracles is using to save us time. Each of us will save a thousand years as the world reckons. The world is old and worn down, very weary. It is a place of joylessness, but we can turn it into a place of joy. (These are paraphrases from ACIM.)

6 – Study the Poem

If we study this poem, we will have its blessing, for it is indeed dense with meaning. Let the Holy Spirit speak to us as we read.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

Thank you for helping me to make decisions through the Holy Spirit. Let me realize that I do not have to worry about what to say or do, because I will be guided. This is Your promise.

Help me to be helpful to others in my daily life. As I am healed, I will be better able to effect healing in others through Your grace.

Be with me this day. I ask You to give me good energy as I walk through the day. Give your blessing to my brothers and sisters as well as to myself. May I follow the guidance that I receive. May I not be stubborn in my own alienated will.

Amen.

The First Obstacle that Peace Must Flow Across Is Your Desire to Get Rid of It

1 – Masochism

I think all of us have some masochism in us that we need to overcome. Certainly if we take this passage to heart, we will realize that we do have symptoms of masochism, though we don’t often call it that, and this passage certainly does not use the term. But here it is:

“The first obstacle that peace must flow across is your desire to get rid of it. For it cannot extend unless you keep it. You are the center from which it radiates outward, to call the others in. (T-19. IV.A.1)”

2 – Why?

Why would we try to get rid of peace? Why indeed? Is it not what Marianne Williamson, lecturer/teacher of A Course in Miracles, has said in her books: We are addicted to the adrenaline rush. Certainly we must push ourselves often in this world of which we are a part. We have jobs, we have families, we have obligations. And so time is short and stress is severe. We do produce adrenaline in our bodies, and we get addicted to the high that it gives. But is this wise?

3 – Adrenaline

Most assuredly to become addicted to adrenaline is not wise. We need the peace of God. We need the felt oneness of Being that Eckhart Tolle recommends. We need to feel the presence of God in our inner body (also a recommendation of Eckhart).

4 – Peace

Peace needs extension, an extension which is the way of creation. And as much as we need peace, so do others with whom we come in contact. There is no limit to what we can do when we extend the love that we feel within. Love knows no bounds even in this world of ours, our flawed egoic world. Others need the peace that we can extend, but to be willing to extend it, we first must experience that peace ourselves. And to experience that peace, we need to “keep” it. Let us vow to do so today.

5 – Feather of a Wish

“This feather of a wish, this tiny illusion, this microscopic remnant of the belief in sin, is all that remains of what once seemed to be the world. (T-19.IV.A.8)”

This “feather” can light on anything, marring the beauty of anything. But it is only a feather, a wisp of unreality. And with our wish, it is gone. The love that we share with our brother or sister is the best example of when this feather can interfere. If we feel conflict arising in our relationship, we can know that the belief in sin has reared its ugly head once again. And we will be disquieted.

6 – Distress that Rests on Error

Know that this unreality is “distress that rests on error” (from ACIM). Seldom have I found any quotation from ACIM so useful as this one, this distress based on error. It immediately counsels forgiveness, for mistakes are being made, mistakes that can be corrected.

7 – Home

“His home is in your holy relationship. (T-19.IV.A.6)”

The “His” is the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit is our way of guidance, as recommended in ACIM. (A Course in Miracles uses the inner Christ Self as our guidance.) And it is through our holy relationship that we see God, that we experience Him. And that we awaken. A Course in Miracles sees our holy relationship as a means of saving time, a means to further salvation by collapsing time. Let us ask for this blessing today, for the world, as ACIM says, is worn and very weary.

8 – Accept Peace

Let us accept the peace that is ours today. We cannot know what blessings are ours until we walk in peace throughout the day—not in an adrenaline rush that has become addictive.

Affirmation: “I would accept and extend peace today.”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

So many times when I awaken too early in the morning, and I get up to listen to music, I eventually find myself agitated. After all, before 5 in the morning is not what I would wish to be awakened. But You have plans for me. I think that there are times when You want me all to Yourself, and early in the morning, with the black sky dotted with stars, You have me. All of me.

The next time that I awaken early, help me to remain calm, to let Your peace overwhelm me. That is what You would wish, of that I am sure.

Be with me today as I seek to walk through another day with peace and comfort and joy. I wish to be contented, and, so far, this has been a good day for that. Thank You. May I carry out Your wishes, which are also my own, in a tranquil and serene spirit.

Amen.

You Do Not Need Judgment to Organize Your Life, and You Certainly Do Not Need It to Organize Yourself

Edouard+Manet+The+Railway“You do not need judgment to organize your life, and you certainly do not need it to organize yourself. (T47)”

Affirmation: “You do not need judgment. . .to organize yourself.”

Reflections:

1 – A Simple Statement

This passage is stunningly simple in its words, but has profound implications. We are told elsewhere in A Course in Miracles that the world teaches us to rely upon our judgment and to monitor our actions by judging the best action to take.

“The world’s training is directed toward achieving a goal in direct opposition to that of our curriculum. The world trains for reliance on one’s judgment as the criterion for maturity and strength. Our curriculum trains for the relinquishment of judgment as the necessary condition of salvation. (M-9.2)”

2 – False Reasoning

Relying on ourselves is false reasoning. We cannot know the whole context in which our judgment occurs–the past, the present, and the future that we try to judge in incompleteness. These are tenets of ACIM:

“In order to judge anything rightly, one would have to be fully aware of an inconceivably wide range of things; past, present and to come. One would have to recognize in advance all the effects of his judgments on everyone and everything involved in them in ay way. And one would have to be certain there is no distortion in his perception, so that his judgment would be wholly fair to everyone on whom it rests now and in the future. Who is in a position to do this? Who except in grandiose fantasies would claim this for himself? (M-10.4)”

3 – Rely on the Holy Spirit

If we do not need to organize our life by judgment, then upon Whom should we rely? The oft-repeated assertion to rely upon the Holy Spirit is meaningful in this context. How do we do that? By listening to the still, small Voice within–what is commonly know as “feelings,” or intuition. By “feelings,” we do not mean emotional response; emotional response, especially that made in haste and under pressure of the moment, may be the ego prompting us to undertake a false pathway. By “feelings,” we do mean the inner sense of rightness about a given action or thought. With practice, we will learn to distinguish the difference.

4 – Give Up Judgment

But it is enormously freeing to give up the judgment of the world. We walk freely and peacefully as we let the moment guide us by insight not of ourselves. We know that if there are plans to be made, we will be told of them; they will occur to us at the proper moment for planning.

“As the teacher of God advances in his training, he learns one lesson with increasing thoroughness. He does not make his own decisions; he asks his Teacher for His answer, and it is this he follows as his guide for action. (M-9.2)”

5 – Walk as Free Spirits

We can walk as free spirits in a world set free from our judgments–a world lit from within by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I be led along the pathway that relinquishes judgment in favor of the guidance of the Holy Spirit. May I be flexible, be able to turn on a dime. May I not be stubborn in following this guidance.

Judgment, as taught by the world, is incomplete. Judgment, as given by the Holy Spirit, takes into consideration all the variables. I want to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. That is my intent. Help me to stand firm in this resolve.

Help me not to be headstrong. Sometimes when I am intent on a given direction, I resist You and Your Voice, and this is wrong. It will not get me where I want to go. Help me today to be flexible in the extreme. Never resistant to Your direction, however much I had determined to walk along a certain pathway, before I heard Your Voice inwardly speaking to me.

Amen.

God’s Will Identifies My Real Desire

van gogh - sunflowers
“What you desire now is the Will of God because it is your true desire, your will and God’s joined as one. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 22.14)”

Affirmation: “I desire God’s will, which is the same as my real will.”

Reflections:

1 – Guidance

An echo of A Course in Miracles, this passage for today emphasizes why we ought to listen to guidance or intuition, or whatever way in which we understand God’s Voice reaching us. If we are following ACIM, this way will be the Voice of the Holy Spirit. If we are following A Course of Love, this way will be the inner Christ leading us home. In actuality, because All is One, I see no effectual differences between these two. We can appeal to the triune God to see how this might be: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

2 – Choice

The realization that God chooses for us (or the Holy Spirit chooses for us) is the realization that we want no alternate will. He chooses the way that will make us the happiest, and happiness is a laudable goal. He also chooses the path toward Awakening, or Christ-consciousness, or enlightenment, or salvation (there is no real difference in these terms).

3 – God’s Will

For those of us, myself included, who have wrestled as Jonah did with God’s will, we can now recognize that the wrestle is a false issue. God does not bend us to His will if we are unwilling. But, in effect, He says, “Choose this way, for it will make you happiest.” The Holy Spirit in ACIM chooses very small details of our everyday life, setting up the flow of events and circumstances so that we have good days. Even when times are tough, still is this true. The times will not be experienced as tough when we stay close to guidance and God. We will sail through as though there were no barriers to our happiness.

4 – Listening Internally

So the Holy Spirit (in ACIM) chooses “for us” (from ACIM). His way is the one that we would choose if we understand all circumstances, past and present, as well as future. Of course, it is impossible for us to know all of this, and this is why we need an informed Guide. We need to give up our personal judgments, which are always false, and listen to an inner voice.

5 – The Pathway

We will walk the pathway with surety when we follow that inner voice.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would listen to inner knowledge, knowing that I am guided every step of the way—if I listen correctly. May I recognize that I can still make mistakes, even big mistakes, but I pray that I will follow instead, Your way, accurately.

Be with me as I go about my day. Help me to correct my wrongs. Give me the grace to see Your way in everything. There is no better way to live an egoless existence than to follow You moment by moment.

Amen.

Have No Fear

pissarro - trees“By saying that there is no loss but only gain within the laws of love, you are being told to have no fear. Fear of loss is a great temptation of the human experience. If it were not for this fear of loss, you would not find it difficult to live by the thought system of the truth. This fear relates very strongly to your ideas of change and as such is the greatest detriment to your new beginning. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 16.12)”

Affirmation: “I would recognize today that there is no loss.”

Reflections:

1 – No Loss

We do not have to fear loss, because there is none. This idea is also developed in A Course in Miracles. Until we realize that we lose nothing, we will have some hesitancy about the route that we have taken (a paraphrase from ACIM). Closely aligned, therefore, is a fear of change. The old is familiar, and even if it is not wholly pleasant and life-affirming, at least we think that we know what to expect. So we plod along, like Sisyphus with his rock, and we never know what we are missing, though we intuit that we are missing something.

2 – Comfort in Religion

There is a benefit to religion that is often missed. There is a comfort that makes of religion very, very practical. Our fears and anxieties subside when we pray, and that makes of prayer a very practical decision. We must not fear censure for “using” religion, for practical religion, in the most elemental sense, leads us to the joy that is characterized by a vibrant faith.

3 – Leave Behind the Old Life

We have nothing but our old, stale lives to lose by change. We ought not to cling to the familiar, for there is plenty of fear in that. The old and familiar did not serve as very well. It was the egoic perception of this world, and we know by now that this is a false “religion.” The ego only gave to take away, and its flights of joy were paid for in tears of pain (a paraphrase from ACIM).

4 – Salvation Works

We lose nothing when we turn to the salvation outlined in A Course of Love. On the contrary, we only gain. So don’t let another moment’s hesitation keep you from what God wills. His way is joy. His way is the more subdued happiness. And contentment follows as well. The salvation that ACOL holds out to us works.

5 – The Accomplished

Remain vigilant against the ego’s dictates, and recognize, in humility, that we have traveled far along the pathway. We may not understand what Jesus means by calling us The Accomplished, but if he says it, perhaps we ought to listen.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would embrace change today, knowing that the old, egoic life is over, and only better times are ahead. I know that this does not mean that there will nevermore be pain in this life, but I do know that I don’t have to exacerbate the poorer experiences that do come. And with God’s help, I won’t exacerbate pain into suffering.

I would not fear change, knowing that the future is always brighter than the past when I follow Your way. You are there for me, always. And I sense Your presence in my better moments, and that is a very great blessing. Thank You for gently leading me ahead. Always gently.

Amen.

Temptations of the Human Experience

renoir - boating party“Thus we begin to address the temptations of the human experience. Two are spoken of in tandem here: The temptation to judge and the temptation to accept the existence of a reality other than the truth. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 11.12)”

Affirmation: “I will seek the truth today, not judging anything or anybody.”

Reflections:

1 – Judging

This passage for today echoes part of a passage from A Course in Miracles: the prohibition not to judge, lest we lose our salvation, our walk toward Christ-consciousness or Awakening. The indication that we try to walk away from the truth is the fact that we, in bowing to the ego, all too often stay lost in illusions—the opposite of truth. Truth is, however, a slippery concept.

2 – Truth?

I once met a man who was trying to employ people in his political operation, and he put great emphasis on publishing the “truth.” But I realized that his mind was lost in illusions, and I felt that he honestly did not have a handle on a “truth.” Many zealots in our world think that they set forth the truth, but we ourselves may have misgivings about the particular brand of truth to which they ascribe.

3 – How Can We Know?

How can we know? In the bottom line, we cannot be sure, even when we have prayed long and hard. Zealots also pray long and hard, and they are certain that God is on their side. The litmus test is whether or not what we believe will hurt someone else. And if there is any chance that what we do will hurt, we can be sure that this particular pathway is not God’s.

4 – Hurt

Of course, our own proclivities in life may mean that we inadvertently hurt others when we tell our truth. This is particularly prone in romantic relationships, when another loves us (or vice-versus), and the love is not reciprocal. This is not the kind of hurt to which I refer. The kind of hurt to which I refer is the kind fraught with violence. And we all know that our wars and rumors or wars, sometimes fought for the noblest of reasons, are examples of hurting, though sometimes, perhaps, unavoidable.

5 – Attack, Judging, and Planning

And we must not judge. ACIM goes further: We are not to attack, and we are not to make plans against contingencies to come (unless prompted by guidance). Judgments hurt us, for we are not in a forgiving state of mind. And so judgments are examples of temptations best avoided.

6 – Today’s Task

So avoid temptations today: Avoid judgments and avoid trying to evade the truth as we see it. We will all make different decisions, based on our personalities and backgrounds, but the way seems clear when we walk the pathway of love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I need to realize that my greatest temptation right now is to plan for the future, even if guidance has not led me in that direction. This is a path that I would not take, though my idle mind bends in that direction. I would also avoid attacking others, and I would avoid judging others. Right now those two temptations do not hurt me so much as the planning that I am wont to do. Be with me to put a stop to this planning.

I would follow your pathway. I would live as long as you deem right for me, doing healthy things to keep my physical and emotional body is good shape. I would be there for my brothers and sisters. They have been there for me, just as You always have been. Help me to walk the straight pathway back to you today. And guide me ever-closer to Christ-consciousness at the time that You deem appropriate.

Thank You.

Amen.

No Matter What the Cost

sainte-victoire-lauves - cezanne“The ego-self’s only desire was for you to ‘grow up’ into its version of an independent being. . .no matter what the cost. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 2.12)”

Affirmation: “I would be independent only with God giving me guidance home.”

Reflections:

1 – Independence

We like to feel that we are independent, and Jesus, just earlier than this passage for today, indicates that previously we have seen ourselves as rebellious adolescents. This is not far from the truth, but it is time, perhaps, to let the image go. We are adolescents no longer, but The Accomplished, however much we may resist this assertion as a malady set forth by the ego. It is not egoic thinking to realize that we have learned much in the course of studying A Course of Love. Jesus is ready for us to recognize that our seeking needs to end, for otherwise we will be on an endless treadmill.

2 – Ego

The ego-mind’s version of independence is deplorable. We thought that we would use our right judgment to make all decisions independent of any Higher Power. But we can’t know enough to make wise decisions; we can’t know all features of the past and future, let alone the present. So we are stymied if we don’t accept God’s guidance. We will make little headway.

3 – Suffering

We accepted many costs associated with the reign of the ego. We suffered. But though we may still know pain, being finite beings in a physical body, that pain does not now have to turn into suffering. We can rise above.

4 – Only the Ego’s Independence Is Deplorable

Be sure that independence is not bad–just the ego’s version of independence. And growing up to all of our powers, our Self’s powers, is what Jesus would have us do now. We think too little of him if we do not follow this wholly welcome advice.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would drop the ego today. I have made this declaration repeatedly, but always the ego tends to sneak back in. I must make my resolution stick. Help me to do so.

A big part of my succeeding in leaving the ego behind will hinge on my relationships to my significant others. My brothers and sisters are my way. And I would be good to them today. Help me always to be good to them.

I would listen to guidance today. It has never failed me, when I have been tranquil enough to catch the right drift. But I would not act in an emotional way, which can confuse my mind. Help me to be rational and peaceful, not overwrought. And then my decisions will be right on the beam. Thank You.

Amen.

From Ego Self to Christ Self

degas - dancer2“The alternative is replacing belief in an ego self with belief in a Christ self. Total replacement. As long as you hang on to both identities the world will not change and you will not know who you are. You may think you know, and you may waste much time in perceived battles, valiantly fighting for good to win out over evil. But this is not the new way and the lack of value from this type of effort can surely now be seen. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 11.16)”

Affirmation: “I will contemplate my Christ self today.”

Reflections:

1 – Move Away from the Ego Self

We need to move away from the ego self into allowing (and that is the salient word) the Christ self. We don’t have to worry that we are not ready. We are ready as soon as we start our contemplation. While we may not know Awakening now (and maybe not for a long time), we can–in all likelihood–catch glimpses of this new self. And we will be the better for it. We will drop our conflicts and our complexes. We will drop our anger and our attack. And we will see peace where conflict, complexes, anger, and attack had been.

2 – Pipe Dream?

We cannot live in two different worlds simultaneously. We need to realize that we would not hold on to the ego self any longer. While this may seem a pipe dream, it is anything but. It is the way of the New, and the Treatise on the New (previously considered–see the About page, above) spells this out for us.

3 – Real World

We drop the egoic world by becoming more mindful of the real world (an interpretation, not stated in A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love). Mindfulness is recommended in ACOL, though not in ACIM. We are living in the time of Christ as we study ACOL, and that time means that mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and affirmations are all ways that we can draw closer to God. Jesus gets very specific with us in his helps.

4 – Drop Battles

We do not need to worry about whether or not good will win out over evil. It will. We do not need to engage in various battles in our own minds or in our world about the relative validity of truth or falsity as a way of life. Or of good over evil. These battles are false ways of engaging with our world. And false ways of engaging with ourselves.

5 – Guidance

The best way to live in this world is to know God through guidance, and this guidance comes most of the time through our heart. We know, without knowing how we know. And when we act on that guidance, that advice, our world becomes smoother out and all is well. We are home, even while on earth, in this world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I choose today to walk a smooth pathway. I choose to invite glimpses of the Christ Self who is within all of us, and I choose to invite that presence into my life today. I would not say that this can’t happen, because I know that it can. I will prove my invitation by trusting in God, living a serene and tranquil day.

Be with me as I seek You. I would not presume more than I feel, but I would not have my ego say that these dreams of mine are pipe dreams.

Take me home for a little while today.

Amen

Considering Miracles and Time

degas - ballerinas“The recognition that you are already accomplished is a condition of your recognition of the state of unity. It is a recognition that you exist in unity outside of the pattern of time. Miracles create an out-of-pattern time interval. Thus living in a state of miracle-readiness is the creation of a new reality outside of the pattern of ordinary time. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 6.9)”

Affirmation: “I will live in miracle-readiness today.”

Reflections:

1 – Miracle-Readiness

What does it mean to live in “miracle-readiness”? First, it assumes that we believe that miracles are not only possible, but likely, and likely to happen to us. This sometimes takes a giant leap of faith, though neither A Course in Miracles nor A Course of Love say very much about faith being required. When even once, one has experienced a miracle and recognized and remembered it, then the way is smoothed for more to follow. We don’t need to ask for a miracle that we wouldn’t recognize at high noon. But we do need to ask for miracles that we would recognize.

2 – Outside of Time

We are outside of time when we are in miracle-readiness. In A Course in Miracles, Jesus indicates that he will adjust time so that we can work miracles that he himself has chosen. So this is an example of A Course of Love following A Course in Miracles, with the same explanation–just in different words.

3 – Misguided Miracles

Why can we not choose our own miracles to perform? Consciously selected miracles are apt to be misguided (from ACIM). We do not know enough to know when to do any specific miracle. We would try to judge, and we are trying to leave judgment behind completely, because we don’t see the whole picture. In ACIM, we leave judgment to the Holy Spirit. In ACOL, we leave judgment aside, because we are following guidance from the Christ Spirit within. In ACIM, we are in the time of the Holy Spirit. In ACOL, we are in the time of Christ.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for guiding me to consider miracles today. You want me to see them as natural and inevitable, once I am following Your way. I know that miracles are outside time, but I do not always recognize the miracles that I do encounter. Often I overlook what You have given to me. May this pattern of events change for the better. I would recognize miracles given to me, and I would perform miracles that guidance show me to perform.

I do not want to doubt the validity of miracle-readiness. I do not want the ego to get involved, for this would mean great calamity. I thank You that You indicate in inspired writing that I can indeed perform miracles, under guidance that is devoid of ego.

I ask for Your help today to move beyond conventional wisdom to a knowledge of higher realms that includes a knowledge of my place in Your scheme of things, Your place in miracles.

Amen

To Live the Life Dreamed Of

Manet-Portrait_Berthe_Morisot_with_Violets
“The only difference between the life you are living and the life you want lies in your willingness to express who you are. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 3.1)”

Affirmation: “I would seek to know who I really am today.”

Reflections:

1 – Self-Expressive

We need a certain freedom to be self-expressive in this world. We will live the life that we have dreamed of when we let ourselves go and not try so hard to conform to dictates from others that find no place in our heart.

2 – Our Childhood

Many of us grew up trying to conform to the wishes of our elders, usually our parents. Others rebelled against their intentions, but still this was a reaction of “no,” and doing the exact opposite was still an influence from elders.

3 – Guidance

How exactly do we live the life that we want? We follow guidance from God. The inner Self/Christ will know, just know, what to say and do. Our will and that of our God are identical. He speaks for us (a tenet of A Course in Miracles, speaking of the Holy Spirit). God would have us express who we really are, but we are such confused beings on this issue. We wonder, “Who am I?” And we ask this question in a thousand ways and more. Yet inside we know the answer. Only the ego prevents our emergence into the Self/Christ that will blossom one day.

4 – The Past

We need to stop living the constricted life that is based on the past. We need to start afresh each day, turning to God each morning for the marching orders for the day. He will not be harsh or stern with us; He will love us. And we will benefit greatly from our times of communion with Him. Living the life that expresses who we are is not hard at all. It is going against the truth of who we are that is contrary to God’s will and our own will.

5 – Starting Over?

Now, many of us can get some rather crazy notions in our heads, in an impulsive way, about throwing over the life that we have so carefully built and starting all over. Lest this direction be your bent, think again. Impulsively throwing overboard our loved ones for a life of “freedom” is not what being who we are is really about. We need each other, and God has given each of us significant others for whom we are chosen people. Impulsivity is not living who you are. Insufficient thought before change is made is a detriment to the right change. So think carefully, with the heart, before chucking it all to be “free.” There is not greater freedom than the joy that we get from attending to the needs of our loved ones.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask for Your guidance today. It is easy to want to be independent and free, freed of ties. But I would not live thus. My significant others are given to me for a purpose. And I am given to them. The blessings that we enjoy together come from You. I know that independence is best lived when it is actually interdependence.

May we leave behind the chains from our past, our childhood. We need to forgive our families, for they did the best that they could. Even if it was imperfect.
I too am imperfect. And I thank You that Jesus can heal those imperfections of mine if I will give him half a chance.

I would give him a chance today.

Amen.

No Idle Thoughts

1873 Dance School - degas
“There is no more self-contradictory concept than that of ‘idle thoughts.’ What gives rise to the perception of a whole world can hardly be called idle. Every thought you have contributes to truth or to illusion; either it extends the truth or it multiplies illusions. You can indeed multiply nothing, but you will not extend it by doing so. (W-16)”

Affirmation: “May I stop my mind wandering today.”

Reflections:

1 – Mind Wandering

I have been guilty of mind wandering, and this mind wandering does form illusions that, on some level, have a form of their own. These are idle thoughts that are actually not “idle” at all. We need to stop such displays whenever they occur. Just saying “Stop!” can do more than might be thought.

2 – Essence of Salvation

Jesus would not have us destroy our good mind with images of illusions. We live in a dream, at least until the real world is seen, but to us this world is quite real already. How can we navigate through this world best? We need to ask for guidance. We cannot do it alone, nor should we. The best advice that Jesus gives is included in the Manual, when he recommends giving up judgment to follow the guidance that comes to us. This alone will save us. It is the essence of salvation.

3 – Misuse of Time

Perhaps we all might recognize that mind wandering and “idle” thoughts are a misuse of our good time. We need to live well in this world, and we usually only succeed in scaring ourselves when we indulge in such fantasies. May we drop this foolishness from our repertoire of emotions today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for guiding me to the understanding that following Your guidance is the only way to live a life well. And I do try, though often I fall on my face. Help me to pick myself up and try again. Always to try again.

May I understand and act on the guidance that comes to me as it unfolds. May I never substitute ego-oriented thoughts, emotion-drive thoughts, instead of what is really best for myself as well as everyone I touch. May egoic thought die in me. Thank You for having the patience to show me the way when I am capricious and headstrong. Such attitudes have no place in my communion with You. I know this, and I pray to act upon this knowledge today and every day.

Amen.

Glass in which the Ego Sees its Face Is Dark Indeed

pennsylvania impressionists - house
“If you cannot hear the Voice for God, it is because you do not choose to listen. That you do listen to the voice of your ego is demonstrated by your attitudes, your feelings and your behavior. Yet this is what you want. This is what you are fighting to keep, and what you are vigilant to save. Your mind is filled with schemes to save the face of your ego, and you do not seek the face of Christ. The glass in which the ego seeks to see its face is dark indeed. (T-4.IV.1)”

Affirmation: “I would hear the Voice for God today.”

Reflections:

1 – Holy Spirit

A Course in Miracles is written for the time of the Holy Spirit, the Voice for God, the Universal Inspiration. A Course of Love is written for the time of the second coming of Christ, though in this trilogy no predictions are ever made about a physical second coming of Jesus. Now that we are taking a look, again, at part of ACIM, we need to realize that there is great importance in listening for the Voice. Do we actually hear anything? Probably not. If we did hear something, we probably would fear for our sanity.

2 – Guidance

But the guidance of the Holy Spirit comes in promptings, feelings, intuition. The guidance comes in a chance word overheard from friends or even strangers. The guidance from a word written in a book that we are reading. And there are innumerable other ways that the Holy Spirit speaks. (“The Gift of Guidance,” available in this blog as a lengthy article, identifies ten common ways that the Holy Spirit speaks to us. Click on “Articles and Book Reviews” in the bar at the top of the screen.)

3 – The Voice

At this point in reading ACIM we are still listening to our ego. We don’t know anything else to do. The idea that there is a Voice that can accurately tell us what next to do is foreign to us. It means relinquishing our own judgment, and we find this difficult, because the world has focused on educating our judgment to try to make sound decisions in this world. ACIM takes the opposite tack.

4 – No Harm

It is important to know that guidance, the Voice, the Holy Spirit, will never counsel us to say or do anything that is harmful to ourselves or to others. So we need to test our this guidance until the guidance becomes a reliable guide for us. The ego is wily, and we can sometimes interpret the voice of the ego for the Voice of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is quiet; the ego is raucous. The Holy Spirit is gentle; the ego is insistent. We will not be forced in any way by the Holy Spirit. It is always our decision to follow Him.

5 – Pathway

And the decision to follow becomes easier as we see how much more smoothly our pathway becomes.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I listen to guidance today. I say this to You a lot, and I do mean it. I find that my life flows much more smoothly with the helps that You give me. Thank You.

May my brothers and sisters have a good day today. And may I as well. The day is starting off brightly, and I have hope. Thank You for that hope.

Amen.

Miracles

cezanne - jas de bouffan - pool
“Ask me which miracles you should perform. This spares you needless effort, because you will be acting under direct communication. The impersonal nature of the miracles is an essential ingredient, because it enables me to direct its application, and under my guidance miracles lead to the highly personal experience of revelation. A guide does not control but he does direct, leaving it up to you to follow. (T-1.III.4)”

Affirmation: “I will ask what miracles to perform today.”

Reflections:

1 – Selecting Miracles to Perform

This passage for today is a return to A Course in Miracles, and we will focus on ACIM for the next several days. In this early passage in the Text, Jesus is asserting his authority as our guide. He tells us that we ought simply to ask (internally) what miracles we ought to perform, and we will be told. Elsewhere we are told that consciously selected miracles are apt to be misguided, and so it is necessary to follow his guidance. Then, we are also told, we will be led into experiences of revelation.

2 – Revelation

Others will not understand our experiences of revelation, should we try to describe these experiences. They are very personal to us, in the same way that dream symbols are frequently unique to ourselves (at least according to Jung). But this is not solely an illusion, as dreams as seen to be in ACIM. The miracle still is of perception, and thus of the personal self, and because it is of perception, the miracle will not last (an ACIM tenet).

3 – Perception vs. Knowledge

But revelation is never defined as being of perception, though whether or not it is might be open to question (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM). Revelation reveals the end to us, the end that I believe A Course of Love spells out. We are heading beyond the personal or “little” self (ruled by the ego), and toward the Self/Christ, within, who will guide us once we are awakened (living in Christ-consciousness). Revelation, being intensely personal, could not be described adequately, even if we tried. Visions or hallucinations may be seen as miracles, and they too do not last, for they are perceptual.

4 – Unrecognized Miracles

Most miracles will, at first, not be recognized as such (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM). Others may benefit from miracles that we do about which we have been totally unaware. We will just sense that there is a right action that we ought to take, we will take it, and others will benefit. We ourselves will benefit as well. And, later on, we will look back and proclaim, “That was a miracle!”

5 – Salvation

The way of salvation is indeed miraculous.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask You and Jesus what miracles to perform today. May I follow guidance always, never trying to do my personal will alone–for this would be misguided all too often. I would love the ones whom I see, with whom I make contact.

Thank You for this interlude of peace. May the peace extend to other times, other places. I am aware of feeling intensely grateful for my many blessings. You have been extraordinarily gentle with me as I have walked through this lifetime. May my future smooth out even more. I have need for harmony and joy as I walk ahead. May these blessings come to me, as well as to others whom I encounter.

Thank You for leading me to understand more fully about miracles. I would work miracles today, those that You and Jesus indicate, and I would do so in a joyous spirit. I have the intuition that indeed this prayer will be answered, and answered today.

Amen.

Time of Second Coming of Christ Is Here

renoir - crowd scene

“I [Jesus] have said that contrast is a favored teaching device of the Holy Spirit.  But I have not yet said that the time of the Holy Spirit is ending even though I have stated that the time of the second coming of Christ is here.  (Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 7.4)”

Affirmation:  “I welcome the time of the second coming of Christ.”

Reflections:

1 – Guidance in a New Era

This passage will be of especial interest to students of A Course in Miracles, for ACIM was focused on following the Holy Spirit for guidance, very specific guidance in daily life.  The Holy Spirit was defined as the Universal Inspiration (from ACIM).  How do we get guidance in this new era?

2 – Holy Spirit

I think that we look to the Christ within, the Self/Christ that is one with God.  This Self can be misunderstood by our personal (or “little”) self, but if we are vigilant, we will choose aright when we look within.  If we listen to our hearts and minds in merger for wholeheartedness, we will not feel bereft to hear that the time of the Holy Spirit is ending.  He was with us for 2,000 years, beginning with Pentecost (described in the New Testament).  His role, Jesus seems to be saying, is ending because we have moved beyond Him.

3 – Second Coming of Christ

When the second coming of Christ is upon us, we will see and know much that we only dimly recognize now.  We will be able to contrast the past with the present, and we will welcome a future that is better in all respects to what preceded it.  We will love with a greater love, and we will respond from a full heart.  Our brothers and sisters will truly be soul mates–all of us (an interpretation, not stated in ACOL).

4 – A Welcome

Let us welcome the time of the second coming of Christ, even though, of course, we do not as yet fully understand what such a time can bring us.  The contrast between the old and the new will be instructive to us.

5 – Better World

And we will live in a better world.  A heaven on earth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the assurance that the time of the Second Coming of Christ is upon us, though nowhere does Jesus promise that this means a physical return.  He is silent on that question.  And so we must wonder:  Will the Second Coming be metaphorical, or will it be a fleshly being?

I do not have to torture myself with these questions.  The Answer will be as right as the question.  

May all of us come to understand, as time goes by, what the Second Coming really means, and may we thank You for that understanding.

Amen.

Being in the Right Place at the Right Time

images - pissaro with chalk pastels

“But now this alternative [learning with the heart] 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.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 2.8)”

Affirmation:  “May I comprehend the new way of thinking.”

Reflections:

1 – What We Need

We do need to learn with the heart.  The heart knows things that our mind does not understand.  Frequently the mind wanted proof of God, and the heart knows of His existence without proof.  I do not mean that we never question, for that would not be realistic, but we rest in assurance that all that we need to know will be provided us.  And it will be.  We do not need to check our minds at the door of salvation.  But learning through the heart takes us through the door of salvation.

2 – Cease the Old Way of Thinking

It does seem daunting that we are asked to cease to think in the old way.  How will this be accomplished?  It seems so impossible and perhaps even impractical.  But it works.  We are reminded, at the point of need, of plans that need to be made.  When we listen to intuition, we know without being told.  We follow guidance, and we are where we need to be at the right time.

3 – Jesus

Can we make this shift?  Yes, but not totally alone.  Jesus promises to be with us, and in A Course of Love, he says that it is necessary that we accept him.  He does not mean that he is the only way to salvation, but if we have made our home in ACIM and ACOL, then he is our way to salvation.  We have made our choice, and we need seek no longer.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I follow the guidance that comes with today’s passage.  May I listen to intuition, guidance, and may I follow–turn on a dime.  May I learn to even think in a new way.  May I listen with my heart, and not second guess.

Be with me today as I seek to make these changes that will be more in line with Your will for me.

Amen.

Lightheartedly in the Flow

pissarro - artist's garden“When you are guided to act in ways that are contrary to usual patterns of action you have taken in the past, you will often meet resistance.  Try to be lighthearted at such times and to remember that if it ‘doesn’t matter,’ you might as well try the new way.  Remind yourself that you have nothing to lose.  You will soon learn that this is so.  (A Course of Love, 25.24)”

Affirmation:  “I will follow guidance consistently.”

Reflections:

1 – Guidance

One of my favorite topics to think about is the question of guidance.  And this passage for today is directly on this topic.  What might I say to you about guidance?

2 – “Turn on a Dime”

First, it is hard to be consistent in following guidance.  I still pause and consider before acting, and this may not be a bad thing.  Our emotions can carry us away, and we can do unwise things.  We would not do insane things, and insanity is an attribute of an undiminished ego.  I often ask to be able to “turn on a dime,” once the guidance appears to be sure to me.  And when I do, I never regret it.

3 – Clear Mind

Guidance is also lighthearted and clear to the mind.  We do not have to obsess or to analyze.  Something within us just “knows.”  And, when we act accordingly, we will soon come to see that it is as Jesus has said, we will find out that all is right.

4 – No Pressure

Guidance is not pressured.  If we feel pressured, it is likely that the ego is involved, and that we are misleading ourselves.

5 – How to Know Guidance?

How do we know guidance?  Feelings, intuitive feelings, mainly.  But dreams do figure prominently in the Bible, and I do also listen to my dreams.  If the dream is particularly lucid, it becomes a touchstone for my life.

6 – In the Flow

When we are “in the flow,” so to speak, of life, then guidance comes easily and is welcomed.  When we are resisting, we ought to wait.  We are not ready.  Do not fight yourself, as Jesus says in A Course in Miracles.

7 – Great Blessing

Guidance is one of the greatest blessings of God.  And we ought, therefore, to take it seriously, but, paradoxically, with a light heart.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

We all live too highly strung lives, even those of us who are not working full-time.  Our emotional lives are too much in turmoil.

Jesus can help us with this, as he tells us what to do in A Course of Love.  Follow guidance, but with a clear mind and a light heart.   Guidance comes in many ways, and it behooves us to try to listen wisely.  Not passively or without thinking, but with the full use of our faculties.  But we must not make a big deal of evaluating guidance, for by its very nature, it is a bit beyond us.  Guidance comes, frequently, in intuition.  But a word from a book may just as easily speak to us.

Help me to turn on a dime, if I am on the wrong pathway.  Be with all of us today to give us, with Your help and our cooperation, a good day.

Amen.

No Longer Use People / Serve Them

“The inanimate as well as the animate is called upon, depended upon for service.  All use Farmhouses in a Wheat Field van goghis replaced with service, and appreciation replaces the callousness with which use once occurred.  (A Course of Love, 20.38)”

Affirmation:  “I will not use another person today.”

Reflections:

1 – Use

We are led to understand in A Course of Love that much of our time on earth has been a reaching out to others to “use” them in some way.  We have known that we need others, but rather than love those others with a wholehearted embrace, we have chosen to “love” those who can do something for us, who can answer some need within ourselves.  This is to use the other person.

2 – Self-Interest

What a sad way to live!  And, most importantly, it won’t work, even if our egoic notions are telling us that it will.  Other people, whether religious or not, know when our interest in them is tainted by self-interest, and other people naturally recoil from this.  Only in special relationships, in which it seems that each person has something that he/she can gain from the other, is there even the illusion of a mutual exchange.  And the special relationship does not stay special.  Frequently, if it doesn’t evolve into a holy relationship, the special relationship deteriorates into hate.  Our needs fail to be met by the other, and we hold that against him/her.

3 – Service

We do not need to use others.  We need to be of service to them.  And the best things that we do will justify us in our own eyes.  We will feel guilt no longer.  We will experience the love that we are meant to experience, for we are giving, not “using” another.  When we give, we also receive, for both are equal in God’s sight.   Only when we give and receive in equal parts do we share the holiness that is ours by birthright (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or ACOL).

4 – Appreciation

When we are of service, we naturally appreciate the one whom we are serving.  We do not treat him or her with contempt or callousness any longer.  Our way has brightened, and we are once again on the way back to God.  What better way than to walk with Jesus along a brighter path?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I serve others today, in the best connotations of what Jesus meant.  May I not let self-interest cause me to “use” anybody for any reason whatsoever.  May I not stoop to that level.

Help me to ask You how I might best be of service to others.  Let me not see the need for service where it would be unwelcome.  Help me to withdraw if another does not want me near.  Help me to follow Your guidance in such matters.

Be with me as I seek to expand my service over the coming days and weeks.  I would do more for You, but only the more that You ask.

Amen.

We Need to Know What to Do

“As long as you fear your own ability to know what you do, you cannot be fully imagescooperative.  (A Course of Love, 20.32)”

Affirmation:  “cooperation”

Reflections:

1 – Tiny Little Statement

This is a tiny little statement with deep meaning.  If we don’t trust ourselves to do the right thing, we will not be fully cooperative with our brothers and sisters.  We will think, subconsciously, that we may lead them astray.  And well we may.  We need to ask for guidance at every turn, and when that is assured, we can be cooperative without fear of making wrong decisions.

2 – Guidance

We do have the ability to know what we do, and we can do the right thing when we look to God as our guidance.  Many of us have sought over long years to “do the right thing,” but we have remained unsure of ourselves.  Have we really always made the right decisions?

3 – Mistakes

Probably not!  But mistakes do not ultimately matter, for we have received Atonement.  We are one with God, by the time that we have walked the whole pathway.  We are both human and divine, and we know that we are on the right track.

4 – God Will Provide

Nobody needs to be fearful in his/her daily life.  God will provide, and when we make the determination to “do the right thing,” we can rest assured that His guidance will be forthcoming.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

As You know, guidance is one of my favorite topics.  I welcome the advice that You give me.  The only problem is when I wonder if the advice is coming from my ego and not from You.  Then I can easily get confused.

Take the confusion from me today.  Help me to discern exactly what Your will really is, and I do know that it is my will as well.

Amen.

THE GIFT CALLED GUIDANCE

Published in Miracles for November/December 2012 (publisher Jon Mundy).

by Celia Hales

A Course in Miracles would have us defer to the Holy Spirit in our decisions.  This guidance is true, and it does not always have to be constant in our lives.  But it can be.  Let me explain.

“Does this mean that you cannot say anything without consulting Him?  No, indeed!  That would hardly be practical, and it is the practical with which this course in most concerned.  (M71)”

Jesus goes on in this passage to recommend consulting with the Holy Spirit in the morning, asking for the His guidance when it is feasible to do so, and then thanking Him at night.  In other passages throughout the Manual, though, Jesus goes further in recommending that we turn over our decisions increasingly to the Holy Spirit.  He speaks of this need particularly in regard to judgmental thinking, which he indicates that accuracy is impossible for us, because we do not know all the facts–past, present, and future–that impinge on a given decision.  If Jesus really means this (and I feel certain that his words are very intentional), how might we turn our decisions, especially our judgments, increasingly over to the Holy Spirit?  How do we know when the Holy Spirit is speaking to us?

My own reflections over the years of studying ACIM have evolved from a primary dependence upon feelings, or intuition, to a broader recognition that the aspects of life that we cannot get out of our minds may be the Holy Spirit speaking to us.  Here is a 10-point list with some commentary of the ways that I have discovered guidance acting in my life.  Do not take anything unto yourself unless it finds a place in your heart.

1 – Listening in Prayer.  The “listening” time of prayer is the best way that I believe that I receive guidance.  I am careful, though, not to forget that my own desires may interfere with what I “hear,” and that I may make a mistake.  Many have said that God speaks in the silence, and I think this is an appropriate way to seek His Will.

2 – Keep a Prayer Log.  In the early eighties the spiritual writer Catherine Marshall recommended keeping a prayer log, very specifically, with prayers listed succinctly and then the answer, when it was received, recorded and dated.  I followed this recommendation for the remainder of the eighties and into the nineties, and I found it very, very useful.  (Probably I should return to this practice.)

3 – Intuitive Advice.  In daily life I receive guidance through a feeling that I ought to take a given course of action.  “Feeling” is akin to intuition, but that is not the whole of it, I think.  I believe that our minds, our intellects, frequently interfere with receiving the Holy Spirit’s messages, and that the Holy Spirit finds it easier to reach us through our emotions, our feelings.

4 – Intrusive Words.  Sometimes I am able to be in a spirit of inspiration, and, much as if I were writing without being sure what I would say next, words come into my mind from my unconscious that suggest a given pathway.  I do not actually hear a voice; it is my own thinking, but it also seems to be a bit beyond me.

5 – An Inner Knowing.  Quiet times may bring forth an inner knowing of how to proceed in a matter that is troubling us.  This is non-verbal, akin to hearing the Holy Spirit in our innermost hearts.  This “knowing” without being able to verbalize “how” we know is powerful stuff.  I think that it is certainly one of the most potent forms of guidance.

6 – Journaling.  Writing out our struggles in a journal is a way to invite the Holy Spirit’s input.  I try to let my conscious mind die down and to invite thoughts from my deepest spirit.

7 – Dreams.  In especially faithful times, we may have a dream that appears vivid and suggests the next step for us in our life.  Certainly dreams and visions are important ways in which God spoke to His people in the past, as recorded in Scripture.  I have had two significant “warning” dreams in my life that I still recall vividly.  The dreams came when I was contemplating a pathway that I now realize would not have been healthy for me.

8 – Agitation.  Occasionally in my life I have become severely agitated when I was walking along a given pathway.  I have come to see such agitation as evidence from the Holy Spirit that I am walking the wrong way.

9 – Visions.  Many years ago, when I was 25, I had a series of nighttime hallucinations, or visions, that became important to me in setting the pathway for my life.  Perhaps there was a reason that this gift came at an early age.  The visions have not recurred.

10 – Signs.  Signs are welcomed by many, but I would caution against too much an emphasis here, because it is very easy to twist signs around to mean anything that we want.  (Jesus says in ACIM that we can twist symbols around.)

I have not followed blindly.  Jesus would not have us check our minds and spirits at the door.  I have tested out my perceived guidance, and that is how I have found it true.  I invite you to do the same.  Intuition is a right-brain activity, and, as such, it does not respond well to our timetables.  We may need to present a question to the Holy Spirit, and then go about our day in full confidence that the answer will come when the matter has retreated from the forefront of our minds.  Present a problem or question, and then let go.  Trust the Holy Spirit to make His will known to us.  He will not fail.

In my twenties I heard a very dynamic preacher of the gospel speak on the topic of guidance.

He stressed, “I have known people at the end of their lives who said, ‘I knew that God was telling me to do that.  But I didn’t do it, and I regret it.'”

He went on, vehemently, “I have never known anyone to say, at the end of their lives,  ‘I knew that God was trying to get me to do that, and I did it, and I regret it.'”

Jesus may be commenting on the same guidance when he says the following in the Manual, in a passage that is comforting in the extreme:

“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)”

By this statement, I think that ACIM is telling us that we make our own hells on earth.  Listening to the Holy Spirit with increasing frequency shows us the way out of our self-made hells.  I believe that in fact there is no limit to how the Holy Spirit speaks to us,  for our God is not a limited God in any way.  He will find a way to get through to us.  He asks only that we try to discern.  If we miss the first glimmering of guidance, God will bring the same message to us in yet other ways until we get the message.    Remain flexible.  Learn to turn on a dime.  Following the Holy Spirit in this way is joyous.  It is the enlightened way to live, even before we know the Awakening that the Course holds out to us.  As A Course in Miracles makes clear, there can be no better way to live, in the time of the Holy Spirit,  than in following the guidance of Universal Inspiration.

I once read, “Why beseech heaven for a miracle one would not recognize at high noon?”  After actively seeking guidance, we are perhaps in the right frame of mind, for the first time, to recognize miracles when they occur.

Such Foolishness as the Heart Desires Will Save You Now

“You who think this idea [to appeal to our hearts] is rife with sentiment, sure to lead you to abandoning logic, and thereafter certainly to cause your ruin, I say to you again:  take heart.  Such foolishness as the heart desires will save you now.  Remember it is your heart that yearns for home.  Your heart that yearns for love remembered.  Your heart that leads the way that, should you follow, will set you certainly on the path for home.  (A Course of Love, 3.18)”

Affirmation:  “take heart”

Reflections:

1 – Different Appeals Work for Different People

A Course of Love is sometimes a circular path of reasoning, with the same thought expressed by Jesus in several different ways.  We need all these ways, for what will appeal to one of us will not appeal to another.  And Jesus is speaking to all of us.  He is leading us to observe our world, to observe with the non-physical eyes and therefore to understand true vision, and to accept him as our teacher and, then, our companion (for we have no more need for a teacher other than our own Christ-consciousness).

2 – Far Along Our Pathway

These are words that can be misconstrued.  Surely we must be far along our pathway if we are not in need of Jesus as our teacher.  First, we must master, with our hearts, the first volume of this trilogy.  This volume gives us the almost-final words that will teach us how to learn.  (And the second volume, the Treatises, goes a few steps farther on.  It is the final volume, the Dialogues, that take us to the mountain top with Jesus and that assures that all is well with us.)

3 – Foolishness with a Purpose

The heart is said to be “foolish,” but it is a foolishness that has a purpose.  The partially sane are apt to be quite foolish at times (from A Course in Miracles).  And we are still, at this point, only partially sane.  We can commune with God to take us farther into sanity.  And we can ask Jesus’s help in this endeavor.

4 – The Heart Not All Emotion

Do not think that the heart is all emotion, though it is the love (in one definition, an emotion) that draws us closer to God and closer to Jesus.

5 – Fear Not to Follow the Heart

We need not fear to follow our hearts, that we will take steps that are amiss.  They are our new route home.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I follow my heart today, the guidance that through my heart I know what to say and do.  May I cease doubting.  Let me lean not unto my own understanding, but acknowledge and follow You.

Following the heart is not actually foolish.  It is the shortest route home.  

And we all desire home.

Amen.

Guidance from Our Hearts

“It is to our hearts that we appeal for guidance, for there resides the one who truly guides.  (A Course of Love, 3.17)”

Affirmation:  “May I appeal for guidance to my heart.”

Reflections:

1 – Christ Within

Christ is within our hearts, our higher Self, the elevated Self of form (the latter being what A Course of Love eventually explains).  We are not different from Jesus as the Christ; he just walked the whole pathway back to God, something that we have yet to do.  But in this first volume of ACOL, he is seeking to teach us, through our hearts, what we need to do to walk that pathway with him as our teacher.  By the final volume in the trilogy, he will have resigned as our teacher, saying that we no longer have need of him as a teacher.  He then becomes our companion along the pathway.

2 – God Seen with Inner Sense

The heart, as we have been saying, does not demand intellectual proof of anything.  We just sense, or intuit, what to say or do, and when we follow this guidance, we are led home to God.  We do not die; we live in this world, but we see God with an inner sense, an inner vision with non-physical eyes.  (A Course in Miracles implies the same.)

3 – Avoid Discouragement

We must not get discouraged along the way.  As A Course in Miracles pointed out, we are not meant to be without limitations in this world, but we are to overcome them.  Previously, in ACIM, we followed the guidance of our Guide, the Holy Spirit (or Great Communicator, or Universal Inspiration), but now, in ACOL, we are to follow the guidance that comes from our hearts in the Christ spirit, for we are now in the time of Christ.  I would believe that there is some overlap, and that here Jesus is speaking specifically to those of us who are students of A Course of Love, who are those who have studied and understood A Course in Miracles.

4 – Be Vigilant Against the Ego

Be vigilant today against letting our minds take over, for this is a prime egoic tendency, and with the ego in ascendancy, we will be unable to hear what our hearts are trying to tell us.  Jesus is bypassing the mind, the intellect, for just this reason–that the ego lives here, sometimes beyond the time that we would wish it.  We may have made a decision to let the ego wither away, just disappear, some time before this actually happens.  And we are especially prone to making mistakes (though not “sins”) if we don’t listen to these new words from Jesus, and open our hearts for their counsel.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be contented today, sure in Your love.  When challenges seem to arise, I will recognize that there really is no challenge that Your love cannot solve.  We are not meant to be challenged, because when we follow Your guidance, we choose for all humankind, sure of Your guidance and sure of what we ought to do.

Thank You for the improvement in my day as the morning ebbs.  Help me not to drop into melancholy, but to know that You have everything in hand.  With You we are safe.  With You we are loved.  Your way is best for us.  And I ask that all that I touch today, including myself, find Your way to the blessings that You hold out for us.  May we know tranquility.

Amen.

The Christ in Us

“It is easy to imagine how the Christ in you differs from your ego but not as easy to recognize how the Christ in you differs from spirit.  The Christ in you is that which is capable of learning in human form what it means to be a child of God.  The Christ in you is that which is capable of bridging the two worlds.  (A Course of Love, P.7)”

Affirmation:  “Help me to recognize the Christ in me.”

Reflections:

1 – Christ = the Self

This passage is part of the theology of A Course of Love.  The Christ in us is the Self in us that A Course in Miracles mentions.  And the Christ mitigates between the mind in this world, the mind of the personal self, and the spirit, which is akin to the soul and has never been born.

2 – Beautiful Words in ACOL

While I have given you this quotation to give some context for A Course of Love, we do not need to let theology delay us, if we find the words difficult to understand and, especially, difficult to accept.  Jesus is ever-practical, and in this blog we will assume that it is indeed Jesus who is talking in A Course of Love.  But even if this belief is too much for you to accept, just pay attention to the words, which are lovely indeed.  See if there is not something that will captivate you, as the words did for me.  Give A Course of Love a chance.

3 – Christ-Consciousness

The Christ in us will lead us eventually to Christ-consciousness, or the Awakening, or the Enlightenment.  The words all mean the same.  But in A Course of Love, Jesus says that nobody, just nobody, has sustained Christ-consciousness yet (the trilogy was written ten years ago or so).  He doesn’t even make an exception for himself, and this seems difficult for me to accept, something that I can’t quite know he meant to say.

4 – Glimpses Come First

I do know that many of us have had glimpses of Christ-consciousness, either over a few days, months, or, perhaps, even years.  So we may know what to expect more than we realize.

5 – Christ-Consciousness Ever More Constant

Pray today that Christ-consciousness might come upon more and more of us, sooner and sooner.  Then this world would indeed morph into something much grander than we know today as a troubled and difficult place, with light coming only from our spirituality.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would ask You, today, to lead me by the hand and show me another glimpse of Christ-consciousness.  I know that You have done this before for me, at first a long, long time ago–long before I found A Course in Miracles.  Help all whom I encounter today to be happy and at peace.  Help me to increase their happiness and peace.  Joy is the best form of reward for those of us who find Jesus’s message compelling.

Thank You for being there for me when I needed guidance.  I ask for guidance, and the guidance came to me.  At first I rejected it as just my notion, but a day later, I know that what I experienced was really meant to be followed.  A day later, I followed your guidance.  And tomorrow will be the better for an obedient turn of my mind and spirit.

Thank You for even the shocks of this day.  In the past day, I have learned of one death, and there is someone clinging to life, now without life support.  Be with us in these matters of life and death.  And help us to know, as Ruth Montgomery’s Guides said, that death is like walking through an open door.

Amen.

The Way Out of Hell

“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.  (M-29.3)”

Affirmation:  “May I diligently follow guidance today.”

Reflections:

1 – Following Guidance

I am not yet consistent in following guidance, and some of the ways in which guidance comes to me are not entirely clear.  Perhaps this is the way for all of us:  We don’t follow consistently, and so we don’t always hear accurately.  We have not done our part.

2 – Insight about Guidance

May we recognize that the ways in which guidance comes to us may differ from person to person, and even differ for a given person over time.  The words that come into my mind that sometimes appear to be guidance are actually egoic in intent.  And the ego does not mean me well.  I pray for help in watching this ego of mine just dissipate, just wither away.  But the ego still dogs my footsteps, and when I am ego-driven, I am likely to be angry or in verbal attack mode.  Neither of these states of being are of God.  And I choose to follow His pathway.

3 – Becoming Stronger

My weakness, I know, can become my strongest point, with the Holy Spirit or Christ[-consciousness leading the way.

4 – Nighttime Dreams

Often my dreams are reflective of the guidance that is confronting me about any and all problems that may develop in my life.  So I try to listen to my dreams.  The ego has been silenced, I think (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM), in sleep.  Intuition works, and frequently works immediately after the intuition is received.  But all of us can make mistakes in following what we perceive to be guidance, and so we must apply the test of love to what we perceive.  Will this guidance harm anyone?  Or will it just make be feel uncomfortable?  We need to discern wisely, and sometimes kindred spirits in our inner circle can see clearly more than we can.

5 – Still Learning

There is much that I still do not know about guidance.  But I make learning about the way to travel a priority.  And I do trust that I will be led aright.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Sometimes I get stubborn about guidance, and I am reluctant to do the things that I feel are being asked.  This dynamic needs to cease in me.  Help me today to be a willing acceptor of guidance–all the time.

If I am being stubborn, ease my willful mind.  My heart would do Your bidding, for my heart is not influenced by the ego.  May the ego become a non-issue.

Thank You for walking with me today.  And tomorrow, and the day after.

Amen.

God’s Will Is My Will

“The contrast between His Will [God’s Will] and yours but seemed to be reality.  In truth there was no conflict, for His Will is yours.  (M-20.6)”

Affirmation:  “God’s Will is my will.”

Reflections:

1 – Only in Illusions Do We Differ from God about Will

We only, in illusions, believe that we want something for ourselves that God would not will for us.  When we are thinking this way, we are thinking through the ego.  When the Holy Spirit prompts us to say or do or think something, He is speaking for our real will, the one we share with God.  He is getting ready to give us what we really want.  Would we turn aside from this?

2 – Jonah

The distinction between God’s Will and our will then disappears.  We do not have to feel like the Jonah of the Old Testament, a lesson that would have us believe that we cannot escape God’s Will, even when we are acting as hard as we might to do something else.  I don’t know all the nuances of that type of thinking, but it is fallacious reasoning.  Jonah’s best action was actually to do what God wanted him to do.  In that alone would he find the joy and happiness that he, and all others, seek.

3 – Personal

I spent a long time in my early adulthood puzzling over God’s Will.  He seemed to be asking me to do something that I wasn’t sure I wanted to do.  But in my deepest heart of hearts, I did want to do what it seemed I was being asked to do.  I still do not have all the answers, but I followed that pathway for 14 years, and 30 years beyond, I have no regrets.  I expect that as time goes by, I will come to understand more than I do even now, 30 years later.

4 – How to Live Magnificently

Be with God.  Let His Universal Inspiration, the Holy Spirit, guide our steps.  There is no more magnificent way to live the best life imagined.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for putting to rest my conflict over Your Will for me.  We actually wanted the same things so many years ago!  I did not ask for my prayer to be answered, because I wasn’t sure that You wanted it.  You walked with me through 14 years, and now You have walked with me through more than 30 more.  You taught me much in that 14 years, and certainly I hope that You have done the same in the years since that pivotal time.  Be with me now ias I follow my heart and try to write in a way that will be beneficial.

Be wtih all of us.  Lead us to see the way that we can follow our hearts.  May we not toil and sttrive and worry in our lives.  There is so much stress in the world as we live it.  Let us realize that the stress originates in our own minds, and there it can be overlooked.  Let us have a flow to our das, following Your guidance.  May we turn to the Holy Spirit or the Christ deep within.  May we know what to do and say to help other people and ourselves.   We are One with You.  Thank You for the knowledge that this declaration is a truth for all of us.

Amen

Answer to Call for Help Comes Unfailingly

“The single aim of the teacher turns the divided goal of the pupil into one direction, with the call for help becoming his one appeal.  This then is easily responded to with just one answer, and this answer will enter the teacher’s mind unfailingly.  From there it shines into his pupil’s mind, making it one with his.  (M-17.3)”

Affirmation:  “May the Holy Spirit tell me what to say today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Holy Spirit’s Part

This brief passage for today does not mention the Holy Spirit, but that is the context in which the passage occurs.  And the Holy Spirit will specifically tell us what to say:  “. . .this answer will enter the teacher’s mind unfailingly.”  What a blessing this is!  If only we can believe, and indeed many of us can.

2 – Shabby Self-Image

Sometimes we get an indication of what to say that is embarrassing to us (from the Manual).  We need to be willing to let go of this “shabby self-image” (quotation from the Manual), and go ahead and say the words.  Jesus says that these “embarrassing” words will be far wiser than our own.

3 – Ego

May we have the strength to offer the words that come to us, if we are sure that they are not hurtful.  The Holy Spirit would never offer words to us that are hurtful, but the ego might.  And we sometimes do make mistakes in believing that the Holy Spirit is speaking when the speaking is actually coming from the ego.  (Interpretations, not stated in ACIM.)  We are not above making mistakes, though we may be tempted to think otherwise.  The ego is very wily.

4 – Be Quiet and Listen

But Jesus would not have us in conflict this way.  We will be shown the right words, the right way, if we quiet ourselves and then move in the direction of the leaning from the Holy Spirit.  If we are quiet and peaceful about the decision of what to say, we are more likely to be right, to have heard the Holy Spirit accurately.

5 – Follow Guidance as Soon as Possible

If at first we don’t do the bidding of the Holy Spirit, let us do that bidding as soon as we can get ourselves to act.  Sometimes we are walking a given pathway with a certainty that is misguided, and it is hard to turn on a dime.  But turn on a dime we must, and as soon as we can get our stubborn wills to cooperate.

6 – The Outcome is Joy and Peace

We will say to our brothers and sisters what the Holy Spirit wants said.  Then we will know both joy and peace.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Give me Your guidance, through the Holy Spirit, as I seek to help my brothers and sisters, and myself, today.  You would never lead me astray, but the ego’s wily ways might confuse me.  May I not know confusion today.  May the words that I say to others, and to myself, be right on target with Your will.  Make this happen, almost beyond myself, please.  

I ask You to stay with me if the words seem embarrassing.  I have felt this aspect of guidance, but carried out saying the words, and even then I was still embarrassed.  My self-image was not the best at the time, and so I know that this was the “shabby self-image” of which Jesus speaks.  I would leave that image behind, as I move into the Christ-consciousness that You would provide for me, when the time is right.

Help me to reach others today who may need to hear words of comfort.  May I remain calm and peaceful, even in the midst of any brewing storm.  And thank You for the blessings of this day already received.

Amen

How to Avoid 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  (M-16.9)”

Affirmation:  “avoid temptation”

Reflections:

1 – How to Avoid Temptation?

How might one avoid temptation?  There will be temptations along the pathway that we walk, and there is no getting around this.  We are not perfect, even, perhaps, when we have awakened.  (A Course in Miracles is not definitive about this, but A Course of Love
indicates that we will still not be perfect.)  The best way to avoid temptation, or, more precisely, not to accept the tempting thing that is offered, is to ask for help at the “point of contact.”  When we are tempted, we are seeking something of the ego, the part of ourselves that thinks that it has separated from God.  We think that another will (our imperfect will) will get us something that we want, something more than the everything that we are promised.  (Yes, we are promised “everything” in ACIM.)  Jesus says that it is as though we would say that we want this one (little) thing, and it will be as everything to us.  But this one little thing would not satisfy for long, and in so doing we are making a pact with our ego–and the ego always fails us.

2 – ACIM‘s Definition of “Magic”

What does “magic” mean in this context?  It is akin to mental illness, the “magical thinking” that secular psychology describes so precisely.  We are thinking things that are not true, and never can we make the true out of the false.  The false will remain false, and it will take us down with it.  We do not want this.

3 – Following the Will of God

If we have love for God (and all of us do, or we would not have read this far), then we will want to follow the Will that grants us everything that we really want.  We really want the intangibles, the promises that God gives; but we also want the material, and we should not think, wrongly, that God Himself cares little for the material.  Jesus recalls to our minds the lilies of the field, and their beauty, and the lilies do not toil.  Yet they cannot compare even to Solomon’s glory.

4 – May We Avoid Temptation

May we not fall prey to temptation today.  May we know that the idea that there is something out there that is better than what God would give is an anomaly.  We will always get the best when we attract it through our gratitude and love for God and our brothers/sisters.  And we must always love ourselves as well, even when we have disappointed ourselves.  We cannot measure up, ever, because we are trying to be perfect, and that is essentially a disheartening message.  The Bible does quote Jesus as saying that we should be perfect, even as the Father in Heaven is perfect.  But I think that there are mysteries here that we cannot understand until we have walked the whole pathway back to God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would stop, consider, and not go forward when I sense that I am trying to somehow get around Your will for me.  Please help me in this endeavor, today.  I would not seek to walk a different pathway, an egoic pathway that will take me far from You.  You want Awakening for me; I know that this is Your will.  But I need help.  And You are there for me.  This I know.

May I say the right things to reach my brothers and sisters, especially those in my immediate circle and those who read this blog.  I would help and not hinder in any way.  

Be with me through this glorious day, this harbinger of better days ahead.

Amen

Awakening / Christ-Consciousness

“Yet there will be temptations along the way the teacher of God has yet to travel, and he has need of reminding himself throughout the day of his protection.  (M-16.8)”

Affirmation:  “I have God’s protection.”

Reflections:

1 – Awakening / Christ-Consciousness

We must remember that temptations are simply attempts to place another will above God’s–choosing this other will as our lodestone or our (inaccurate) guidance.  We are not perfect.  In fact, A Course of Love questions whether perfection is necessary for Awakening.  I have experienced a few spans of time that seemed to be Awakening, but these were not sustained.  And I can certainly attest to the truth that I am far from perfect.  So perhaps we can hope for a sustainable Awakening without “perfection” (whatever that might be).  Jesus, in A Course of Love, asserts that nobody has sustained Christ-consciousness–nobody at all.  And Christ-consciousness is very close to Awakening, though the two are not compared in either A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love.

2 – Temptations

A temptation may be as simple as an inclination not to follow the intuitive guidance that one is getting.  We may be heading in a given direction, get a “stop,” and just not feel very much like stopping–so we forge ahead, and often, later on and sometimes immediately, find out why we should have stopped.  A temptation can be just this benign.

3 – Struggle = of the Ego

And we are human.  We are used, over the years of the ego’s rule, of struggling, but still of following what we perceived to be our own will, whether or not that will seems in accord with the divine.  But now is the time that we ought to listen more carefully to guidance, and to see every instinct not to follow that guidance as a likely intrusion of the ego.  The ego does not wish us well.  This ego is defined as a part of ourselves that we have made, a part that does not follow divine guidance.  And so we suffer as a result.

4 – No Fretting / No Worry

We are protected by God, and His Communicator, the Holy Spirit.  The passage for today says this.  And surely this affirmation warms our hearts.  We need not fret; we need not worry.  We are under God’s protection, but He does need our cooperation to carry out the best and right things that we deserve to have.  He will not violate our “free” will, which is actually the part that the ego controls (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  Our real will and God’s Will are actually identical.  So, when we get that nudge, it is best to follow it, unless we have reason to suspect that emotion has carried away our reason, and, with it, our accurate assessment of intuition.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When I sense an intuition that seems to come beyond my personal self, help me to realize that this intuition may be genuine guidance of my higher Self–the Christ in me.  I do not, in saying this, make any egoistic claim, because all of us are the same:  the Christ, the higher Self, is in all of us.  Help me to make this point clear in what I write today.

May we ask for and receive Awakening/Christ-consciousness.  Jesus has used both words in different channeled writings, and to my limited mind, the two words appear to be synonymous.  May today be an especially good day, with glimpses of Awakening/Christ-consciousness.  May I do my part to be ready, though my part is very limited indeed.  This visitation, this glimpse of a higher Reality, is Your decision alone.  And may I not seem to pressure You before I am ready.  I do not want my ego to appropriate good things, good experiences to itself, and thus make of me a more limited being that I am already.

Be with all of us as we walk the pathway to Awakening/Christ-consciousness.  May we know that the time will be as right as the Answer.  And that You are observing us, knowing when we are ready for this blessing.  You will not act precipitously, and I ask that You keep me from acting precipitously in my desire for this blessing.  May I remain humble, yet assured in Your love.  I do not want arrogance, but arrogance is often of the ego (Jesus says), and so obviously I need Your help in sorting all of these concepts out.

Thank You for being there for me.  Thank You for granting me glimpses of what will one day be my norm.

Amen

It Is Well to Start the Day Right

“Broadly speaking. . .it can be said that it is well to start the day right.  It is always possible to begin again, should the day begin with error.  Yet there are obvious advantages in terms of saving time.  (M-16.2)”

Affirmation:  “I start the day aright today.”

Reflections:

1 – Before Arising

While our heads are still on the pillow, we ought to have a word with God.  We need to dedicate the upcoming day to His purposes.  And we need the strength and gentleness that turning to Him will bring without fail.  Then as we get up, may we say a word of two of gratefulness for the lives that we have.  (This is a recommendation from Rhonda Byrne’s books).  The fact that we start the day aright does, as Jesus says, save time; and ACIM notes that, at least in the beginning of our study, we ought to think about saving time.  This world has worn on wearily for eons, and if we believe nothing else from ACIM, perhaps we ought to realize that we too think that there has been enough suffering.  Let us do nothing that will bring on more suffering.  May we choose to offer joy to ourselves (we do have this as an option), and our brothers and sisters.

2 – Start the Day Again

If we do not begin the day aright, or if we try and fail, then Jesus offers us a way out:  We can choose to start the day again.  And this can happen as often as we fail in our thoughts, words, and actions throughout the day.  He will be there to help us.  And the Holy Spirit will offer the guidance that we so desperately need in living our lives.  He knows all circumstances–past, present, and future–that impinge on any decision, and He will never lead us wrong.  Perhaps we mistake His Words, but that is a different issue.  If discerned correctly, His Words are always on the beam.

3 – Begin Again

So:  Let us resolve today to begin again whenever necessary, but, optimally, let’s get the day started right from the very beginning.  And we will then know the blessing of a good day, optimally lived.  We will surely save some time in that thousand years that we are promised in ACIM we will save for ourselves, and our brothers and sisters.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the reassurance that even when things get started badly on any day, there is a solution.  Jesus offers it:  Just start over.  Thank You for this insight from my elder brother.

Be with me throughout the day today.  Even as I write, I sometimes need to reread what I have written, for You speak to me and correct what I have said.  I may be misinterpreting about this, but I do believe that You guide me.  I do not always know when, and I can make mistakes about guidance.

Help me to have a good day.  Help me to be good to those who are struggling through the day.  They won’t tell me that they are having a bad time of it, but I will recognize in the ways that I am spoken to.  Be with me to offer compassion.

Amen.