Ask for a Balanced Mind

“It would be very intelligent of you to set yourself the goal of really studying for this course. There can be no doubt of the wisdom of this decision, for any student who wants to pass it. But, knowing your individual weaknesses as a learner and being a teacher with some experience, I must remind you that learning and wanting to learn are inseparable. All learners learn best when they believe what they are trying to learn is of value to them. But values in this world are hierarchical, and not everything you may want to learn has lasting value. Indeed, many of the things you want to learn are chosen because their value will not last. The ego thinks it is an advantage not to commit itself to anything that is eternal, because the eternal must come from God.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.VII.10:1-7)

The ego is afraid of God, that is the insanity of it. Our mind, taken over by the ego, believes that it will be punished for imagining itself separate from its Maker, Whom it knows to be all-powerful.

If we can open our mind ever so slightly, and realize, even if we don’t feel it, that God is not vindictive, then we will have a reason to trust Him. If we can just entertain the possibility, indeed the certainty, that we have let our mind go insane, and that now we are attempting to retrieve sanity, then we will have motivation to learn A Course in Miracles. Motivation is all that it takes. Jesus can work with a reluctant learner, but he can do nothing for one who refuses the innate inclination to listen to reason. He doesn’t go against our free well. We can refuse to listen, refuse to learn—but who would when suffering and pain, in our egoic state of mind, have been so devastating.

The suffering and pain were inevitable, and these are no cause to blame God. Suffering/pain are a cause-and-effect relationship. Given our strange thinking, we need a Power from beyond us to set all things aright. Without that, the deleterious effects continue. And surely we don’t want that.

Ask for a balanced mind. This mind will welcome guidance. This mind, as prompted by the heart, will take us, finally, back Home.

Advertisements

Our Heart Knows

“In its characteristic upside-down way, the ego has taken the impulses from the superconscious and perceived them as if they arise in the unconscious. The ego judges what is to be accepted, and the impulses from the superconscious are essentially unacceptable to it, because they clearly point to the nonexistence of the ego itself. When this occurs, the ego experiences threat, and not only censors but also reinterprets the data. However, as Freud very correctly pointed out, what you do not perceive you still know, and it can retain a very active life beyond your awareness.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.V.3:1-4)

The quotation for today alludes to the concept of the mind to which Jesus subscribes. The superconscious is “above” us, devoid of the ego, and is actually a bridge to God, the Holy Spirit, the Christ-Self. Freud, misunderstanding, called this part of the mind, the “superego.” As this quotation points out, the ego actually has nothing to do with it.

The conscious is our normal waking awareness.

The unconscious sinks below thought, but is still (unlike what Jung thought in his “collective unconscious”) unique to us. Jung thought that underneath, we all think the same, and in some sense this is akin to an awareness of our Creator, God Himself—a Source found, according to Jesus, in the superconscious.

We don’t have to fully grasp these differences in consciousness to make use of them. Helen and Bill, co-scribes of A Course in Miracles and psychologists, would have been very attuned to this portion of ACIM. Jesus would be talking right up their alley.

We do still know what is in our mind, even when we are not conscious of it, and then it causes a subtle (or not so subtle) uneasiness. It can affect our actions, something that we all know. When we are driven by schemas that draw upon childhood conditioning, we are very lost in the mind.

The solution, according to A Course of Love (what many believe to be a continuation of ACIM), is to draw upon the heart. The heart by-passes the confusion of the mind, because the heart doesn’t demand proof of what it knows.

The heart just knows.

Open Our Heart to Parents & Friends

“Your parents probably did misperceive you in many ways, but their ability to perceive may have been quite warped, and their misperception stood in the way of their own knowledge. There is no reason why it should stand in the way of yours. It is still true that you believe they did something to you. This belief is extremely dangerous to your perception and wholly destructive of your knowledge. This is not only true of your attitudes toward your parents, but also of your misuse of your friends. You still think that you must respond to their errors as if they were true. By reacting self-destructively, you are giving them approval for their misperceptions.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VIII.13:1-7)

Here we find that our attitude toward our parents and our friends is pivotal for a good future for our minds. When we believe that parents and friends “did” something to us, we are giving our power away, dangerous to perception, wholly destructive of knowledge.

We still don’t believe that we ourselves, and others, are innocent creatures, children of God, who made mistakes that actually, in reality, never occurred. We are living in illusion! How often do we have to reiterate this to ourselves?

When we believe that illusions are true, we bind ourselves to the past, and we make a future like the past, a deplorable future. Let’s wash ourselves clean, now, of these misperceptions. Let’s ask God to tell us how we can all be innocent. Step out in faith, and His Voice will answer.

We don’t need to stay in self-destructive thinking. Let the heart lead, for its way is Love, and its understanding is true. We can and will come to understand what innocence is all about when we open the heart to our parents and our friends. We have closed down when we misconstrued them, and this makes a mockery of innocence.

Way Out of Fear

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

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

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

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

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

Faith Is of the Heart

“Readers who have not moved away from their desire to learn something that will feed their minds or egos will seldom continue to this next level. The next level brings with it the same situation the reader encountered in receiving the Course, but the reader will now encounter these situations in life. The reader is no longer only a reader. Their experience of this Course has extended beyond reading and beyond the classroom situation. Now a time may come when studying truly seems to be in order. The guidance provided by their reading may seem to come and go and their desire to rely on what they have “learned” will grow. They may desire to backtrack, review, or begin to highlight passages to return to again and again. New questions may arise and a desire for feedback or discussion grow stronger. This may also be precisely the time when the reader is so caught up in experience and learning “in life” that return to a group or classroom situation feels next to impossible.” (ACOL, A.26)

As we read A Course of Love, going through different phases, we reach a point that out learning/discovery moves into the outside world. We learn/discover from what is happening in our lives. But this learning/discovery is helped along by what ACOL has taught. We are applying what we now know. We will be the better for it.

If we resist this change, we will be resisting the whole progress of ACOL in both our mind and heart. And we don’t want to do this. Allow our mind/heart to be moved along by the progress that we have made. Resist nothing. It doesn’t matter that we don’t learn/discover in the old ways any longer; what we have now is infinitely better—a choice for what the heart will teach the mind. Our wholeheartedness, mind and heart combined, is the result.

We will likely be tempted really to study ACOL, intently and repeatedly. This might not be wise, for it is a return to the mind shorn of the heart. Let the heart lead where it wants. Be assured that Jesus’s words have inculcated the heart, and now our heart is taking the lead—as Jesus recommends for all of ACOL.

Jesus may have realized that A Course in Miracles could trip us up by providing, as he did, a treatise that gave the mind lots to chew upon. The mind can and will get tangled up if we don’t return to the intuitive longings of the heart. And, fresh from the ego’s clutches, we will wander as in a desert if we don’t let our Christ-Self lead the way. The Christ-Self best leads the way not by evidence, but by faith, and faith is of the heart.

Be relaxed today. Listen to the warmth that the heart prompts. Be assured that this is the best way, heart-filled, miracle-minded impulses that enfold us in God’s grace.

Dear God,

I would feel Your warmth today. This mystical sense welcomes my mind, even as it reassures me of the truths of the heart.

Help me, always, to live a good and clean life, supported in this endeavor by the truths that have come to me unsought. Thank You for guiding me so precisely.

Amen.

Way of the Heart

“The way of the heart is the way of the Time of Christ. The time of the Holy Spirit has passed. The time of the intermediary is over. The greatest intermediary of all has been the mind. It has stood between you and your own inner knowing, caught in a dream of perception.” (ACOL, A.19)

If we listen to our heart, we will be alright. Jesus is saying that failing to listen to our heart has been the problem all along. The mind has dominated, seeking for proof of God, seeking to perceive accurately from an egoic perspective.

We know now that the mind is the servant of the heart. The mind just confuses things when it seeks to analyze. Analysis is the way of deep study, and when we move into ease, we give up intense study, of this Course, of life in general. The mind tried to learn, but it got things wrong. Now Jesus has turned to our heart to have us form a new identity, an identity shorn of the ego. And, if we are fortunate, we will get it right this time.

We don’t really want to “perceive” at all, for this is the way of the mind. We want to know, and this inner knowledge is the way of the heart. We don’t need an intermediary, the Holy Spirit, to keep us unafraid of God. We trust God. We can go directly to Him/Her, and when we do so, with our heart, we are gentle and peaceful. Our solace is sure. Our inner knowing is the Christ-Self, and this Self will take us on days that are filled with smooth sailing.

The time of Christ is new and different, a time of new beginnings in this long saga of life on earth. Our way is sure now, for we turn to the closest aspect of ourselves that we can envision: our heart. No longer seeking proofs, we rest in knowledge that is non-egoic. We know that all others are our equals, and so we see aright—for the first time in eons.

Dear God,

Thank You for the rest You have given me on this morning of a busy day. May I let my heart lead, sure in its convictions of the knowledge that You alone can give.

Thank You for taking me by the hand and leading me. I am not scared of You any longer. I come directly.

Amen.

Heartfelt Knowledge

“Let me be clear. The seeming lack of difficulty in this Course is where its difficulty lies. To give up difficulty for ease is more than some egos are willing to accept. To give up effort for receptivity is more than some can accept. Why? Because it is too difficult. It goes against all you have learned and the nature of the reality in which the mind has functioned. In turning to the heart we seek to bypass this difficulty as much as possible, but each will feel it to some degree, the precise degree to which they are capable of giving up reliance on what they but think has worked for them in the past.” (ACOL, A.18)

Many of us have a work ethic, work hard and succeed, not only in our jobs but in our family life as well. This is all very well, but it won’t get us to where we want to get in our spiritual life. Studying A Course of Love as though we were going to take a test on it, is the absolutely wrong way to go. If we relax in our reading/hearing of ACOL, we will let our inner Self discover in a way that the egoic mind never did.

Relaxing in reading a difficult and complicated text goes against the grain. But it is absolutely necessary. We will “succeed” in this endeavor to the extent that we let our Christ Self come out and play—yes, play—with the concepts. We have largely lost the will to play, unless it is a night on the town and involves alcohol. Our children know how to play, and we can see what play is all about by revisiting our own childhood. What did we like to do? How did we approach our first lessons in reading? It is not likely that we screwed our foreheads and concentrated with all our might. Instead, we responded with curiosity to the words on the page. The teacher was there to correct us if we read a word wrong. The Christ Self similarly corrects. We have nothing to worry about. Put some distance between ourselves and the concepts. Know that intense study won’t teach us more. A relaxed mind is not a little gift.

Here we come back to heartfelt knowledge. Let the softness of the heart teach. We will eventually give up traditional means of learning in approaching A Course of Love, with thought processes that will move beyond what we have previously encountered as “thinking.” We will let miracle-minded impulses show us the way. Always the way. And the way will be not only illuminating but also a love-filled experience.

Dear God,

I would let my heart lead when I reread A Course of Love. I won’t read with pencil in hand, ready to mark the most enlightening passages. I will let the knowledge on the page enfold me with its blessing. This takes reading with a soft heart.

Thank You for teaching me anew how to learn, how to discover. I am now at the discovery phase of taking in ACOL. And ACOL is blessing me. Thank You.

Amen.

Heart Knowledge of God Tells Us that He Exists

“God remains God who is one in being with all, and God also is given form, or is, in other words, differentiated. God is All in All. And God is also All in One and All in Many. God is still the Creator of All, but God is also now the Creator of One, the Creator of the experience of one life, or many lives, the experience and the experiencer of life. Through differen¬tiation, God is you as you are God. God retains oneness of being and also becomes a being in union and relationship—in short—a being in union and relationship with you.” (ACOL, D:Day36.17)

Here we have more explanation about Who and What God really is. He is living through us; it is just that simple. Perhaps the pains to which Jesus is going with his theology about God will soothe and comfort us. We are not alone; we have the greatest Power in the universe fueling our true Self.

How could we separate from God at all, ever? Of course, we couldn’t, but we could imagine that we did. And this fantasy, an illusion, is what has made all our trouble for ourselves. Now we are ready to make a new choice, an informed choice, to know that God is the All, the One, and the Differentiated in unity and relationship as well.

We cannot know God through our minds. He is too big for our finite minds. But we can intuitively, mystically, sense Him through our heart. If we open our heart to be big and expansive, and forgiving, of our brothers and sisters, we will have taken a giant step as A Course in Miracles tells us. But A Course of Love expanded on ACIM’s tenets, and it is ACOL that told us just simply to listen to our heart.

If we listen to our heart, we will know that we don’t have to “prove” God’s existence. We will just know that the Whole is good, joyous, and harmonious—a Whole that is friendly.

Dear God,

Einstein asked if the universe were friendly. And this morning I am asking the same thing. And getting an answer through my heart.

I wondered when I was quite young if the universe were friendly. At that time, I was a church-goer, but not yet a confirmed believer. I am now, and I thank You for effecting the change in me.

Amen.

Let Our Heart Lead

“As you can see, it is difficult for me, even now, even in this final address to you as the man Jesus, to speak of feelings without addressing the grand scheme of things. I want to comfort and reassure you in this final message. I want to tell you to be embraced by love and to let all the feelings of love flowing through you now find their expression. I desire, more than anything, your happiness, your peace, and your acceptance of the power that will cause these things to come to be. Yet I know you and what you want to hear. I know you have long waited for your feelings to be addressed in a more personal way. But please remember that none of the approaches that have been used to “address” your feelings in the way you might desire have worked. This will work.” (ACOL, D:Day10.38)

This quotation is a big pitch for reading A Course of Love: “This will work.” And what do Jesus mean? We will be heading down the pathway to home when we easily let ourselves address God and the Christ-Self, from within, who is a part of Him. We have often believed that God is “out there,” maybe to see us and give us what we want, maybe not. But A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love both say the same thing: We are to look within for our salvation. God is, of course, both within and what we are projecting without. And He is unlimited, contrary to what we are. We are finite creatures, His children, who need solace far more than we acknowledge. ACOL will work because it addresses our feelings through their home, our heart, and it encourages the heart to teach the mind. The mind has been that recalcitrant entity that we never seemed to be able to lasso. Now we can, but in a gentle way, through the heart—the heart that doesn’t need “proofs” of God, but acknowledges that it knows of Him by the way that we feel. We intuit through the feelings; we intuit God through the feelings.

Our feelings need to receive the benefit of our consideration. Often we think that this is not necessary, that we are being neurotic, that feelings don’t matter, that actions do. This is foolishness! Feelings do matter very much, for healthy feelings lead us to action, action that will change/create a new world. And Jesus will be right here, guiding us as our leader. We will know all that we need to know to take the next right step.

Let our feelings come to the surface. Acknowledge that they actually drive us. And that drive is not pleasant when it is forced. We can live in this world in a better way. And ACOL, with its emphasis on letting the heart lead, does prepare for a future unlike anything we have known in the past.

The future looks good. Let ourselves be reassured about that. Let our heart rule the head (mind). Enjoy the new day toward which we are walking, step by step.

Dear God,

I would let my heart lead today to more compassion for myself as well as others. If I don’t have compassion for myself, how will I ever extend compassion to others? I can’t; that is the problem.

So: First things, first. I will acknowledge You in the depth of my heart, listen to the promptings of my heart, and console both myself and my brothers and sisters.

These feelings will lead to good actions, and these actions will save the world.

Amen.

Let the Heart Lead

“You are now asked to do two things simultaneously: To accept the new and to deny the old. Acceptance is a willingness to receive. Obviously, when you consider this definition of acceptance, you will see that this is not the way of the old. Willingness to receive is quite contrary to the attitudes and actions with which you have led your life thus far. You were told within A Course of Love that willingness was all that was necessary for you to be able to take this Course into your heart and let it return you to your true iden¬tity. Those of you who found within this willingness an ability to receive and left behind your effort to “learn” this Course, began the work that is being continued here, the work of replacing the old patterns of learning with the new pattern of acceptance.” (ACOL, D:2.1)

“Acceptance” is a key concept of the third and final book of A Course of Love, the Dialogues. Acceptance is akin to the allowance that is described in The Way of Mastery, and it is akin to the forgiveness that is encouraged in A Course in Miracles. We are willing to allow life to go along as it will, not in passivity, but in simple acceptance of what is. This “what is” is the way that we live now. We can still change things, but we do so from consulting with our inner Self, being sure that what we do, and what we plan to do, will be in alignment with the best of creation.

Acceptance is a willingness to receive. It is true that to feel Love, or God, best, we give. But giving and receiving are one. And when we open to receive, it is made easier for us to give. We are attempting to leave behind the old, and to latch onto the new, to accept the new and to deny the old. What does this mean? It means everything to us now, for nevermore will we be living in a refusal to trust God. He would have us deny and accept, simultaneously. And so would Jesus. Jesus wants us to deny the old world that has been lost in egoism, and to start forming a newly created world. We don’t know what this will entail, but we hold ourselves in readiness, for we will know when the time to act is at hand—if we are listening to the inner Christ-Self.

Feeling the Presence of God within is the most fruitful thing that we can do at this point. Opening to God’s Love will dictate all of our present and future choices. It will make life worth living. It will give us a better life than we have ever been able to imagine. Harmony, peace, joy, serenity, compassion—all will descend upon us when we are ready. When we have accepted Christ-consciousness from our Father, God Himself.

Nobody, not even Jesus himself, knows exactly how this transformation occurs. He can give us pointers, but the pathway is different for everybody, for the subconscious differs in what needs to be healed. It is a matter of healing the subconscious that will lead to Christ-consciousness, and so time spent in prayer and meditation is time well spent. Accept that the way may still be long, but accept that it is in God’s own perfect timing that the miracle will occur. We will get over fear and judgment before the blessing arrives for us, and leaving behind these two bugaboos will mean much to our peace of mind.

Let the heart lead; let the heart inform the mind. And let the Christ-Self make the decisions, for these will be right on.

Prayer

May this time in the history of the world be a time of culmination, a working out of things that I have been led to expect for a long time. Help me to have equanimity in the midst of what may at times be chaos. May I walk a peaceful pathway. Guide me to know what to do and what not to do, anything at all that will retain peace in my mind and heart.

Be with my friends and my significant other today. And my family. I have been surrounded by love throughout my life, even when I didn’t realize this. Thank You for giving me the insight to know that Love is always and forevermore present and accounted for. Love solves any and all problems, and Love makes life worth living.

Amen.

Always Listen to Our Heart

“Your natural state is one free of fear and judgment. This is all that makes up the difference between your natural state and your unnatural state. As your natural state returns to you through a heart and mind joined in unity, your body too will exist or abide within this natural state. It cannot help to, as it, just like your heart, exists in the state or reality in which you think you are. The only thing that has created an unreal reality for your heart and body has been the inability of the mind to join the truth with your conscious awareness. While your mind did not accept the truth of your identity or the reality of love without fear, it existed in a reality of fear and judgment, and bound heart and body to this reality. Your heart has now heard the appeal of this Course and worked with your mind to bring about this acceptance of the truth, a truth your heart has always known but has been unable to free you to accept without the mind’s cooperation.” (ACOL, T4:7.5)

The quotation for today is a summation of many concepts discussed often in A Course of Love. We have melded mind and heart, and the heart has “taught” the mind to be natural again. And being natural is our inheritance. We are in unity when we meld mind and heart to be wholehearted. But it is the heart that has to effect this change.

When we are in unity, we don’t experience fear and judgment. Fear and judgment are egoic states of mind for which patterns have still remained in us, though Jesus has told us that when we have come this far, we have indeed relinquished the ego. Fear and trembling, judgment and harsh denunciations—neither of them sound like Love or God, do they? And God is Love, pure and simple. Not simply an emotion, though, but a vast intelligence that is motivated by love for his creations—us. He gave us the free will that we used to imagine a world apart from Him, and He let us do so out of love, knowing that we were, in effect, rebellious adolescents that couldn’t be restrained without limiting us in ways that He would choose never to do.

But we could not actually be apart from God, for He is the manner and substance of our very being. He lives through us, though we vary in how much knowledge we have of the big picture. We, unlike God, are not omniscient. We are a part of Him, though, a part that wills our own reality, creating it out of our thoughts and emotions.

We need to return to the fold. We need to find God again. Our life will take a turn much for the better when we have removed, as best we can, the blocks to the awareness of Love, and that is the awareness of God. When we have returned to Love as our motivation, we will at first have glimpses of Awakening, and then lengthening glimpses, and then peace and joy uninterrupted. Fear and judgment will indeed be of the past. It will seem to be a miracle, and such it is. His Way, normally by revelation, will be unique to each of us, for He knows what it will take for us to return to the fold.

Ask the Divine to point out our way, our unique ways, today. There can be no better way to spend a day.

Prayer

Thank You for taking me gently by the hand and leading me to You. Break down my resistance, if such it is, for I would be totally enthralled by You.

May I know peace and joy today, a day that I willingly and knowingly, turn aside from fear and judgment—the steps that I can take to remove blocks to the awareness of You.

Amen.

Contribute from a Full Heart

“Again, do not let your thoughts stray to benefiting and affecting others. In unity, all others are one with you and thus what you strive for in effectiveness is your own learning. Now, rather than learning the truth, you are learning how to live by the truth. This will benefit you and in so doing benefit all others.” (ACOL, T3:20.3)

We first give to ourselves. And then we reach out to all others, not by proselytizing, but by living the truth that we have come to know. One truth has been laid out in A Course of Love. And it is enough. We don’t need to “know” more; we simply live by what we have come to know, and in that we are abundantly satisfied.

If we focus too much on a contribution to others, we will lose our way. What is within is projected outward, and a focus on the outward means that limited attention is given to the inward. We must first be saved, in other words, before we can save others. The social gospel works only in limited ways. The way of redemption teaches others to live by their own lights, the guidance from deep within the psyche, and it does not press our thoughts and ideas upon a disbelieving world. We will make contributions, but first we must know that we have truly learned how to do so. If we proceed to make contributions from a separated state of mind and heart, we will make abundant mistakes in our charity work. And this we don’t want to do.

In living by the truth, we do first benefit ourselves, and then this better state of mind and heart inevitably reaches out to others. They benefit in ways that we could not predict, ways that we could not imagine. The way back home is not hard, but it does take patience. We can’t put a timetable on the bestowal of Christ-consciousness. And getting downhearted about its lack doesn’t help anybody, most especially ourselves.

Seek first to live well, even though Christ-consciousness may be coming only sparingly. There will be moments of truth, for Jesus promises this in ACOL. Don’t, above all, seek to become an ideal self, for an ideal self is an idol, and idols have been forbidden in all religions. We learned this as children in Sunday school. But previously we didn’t see the ideal self as an idol. Now we know better.

We just accept ourselves as we are. If we have flaws, we can pray for their removal, and realize in our depths that that miracle will happen. Miracles happen all the time to those who keep their eyes open, those whose eyesight is focused with true vision.

Prayer

My heart is full today, the way that I would wish it to be each and every day. I am grateful for a beautiful world, sunshine, green grass—nature in all its glory. Balmy weather completes the picture. Thank You. It is easy to feel loving when the day is so grand.

Help me to develop internally before I try to reach outwardly to my brothers and sisters. I want to help, not hinder, their way. And only when I am together, inside, am I ready to make a good contribution. Thank You for guiding me in this and in all ways.

Amen.

Let Our Heart Be Warmed by God’s Love

“Thus does mind and heart join in unity in the present, in the here and now, so that you exist—even within form—as the only Son of God, the Christ, the word made flesh. Remember that the phrase, the Son of God, and the name Christ, but represent the original creation and are not to be mistaken for heavenly deities separate from you. The Christ is your Self as you were created and remain. The Christ is the accomplished Self.” (ACOL, T2:6.10)

Much of importance is packed into these few sentences in today’s passage. Basically, we were created as a Self, as a Son of God (also a Daughter), and this entity is as we were meant to be, recognizing that God is within, we are one with Him, and we are an accomplished Self. This Self is Christ, as we were all originally created. We could not call ourselves Christ until we worked with God to heal the illusory separation from Him. We had become little egos who were afraid of our Deity, of our Father, and we suffered accordingly from a creation run amuck.

God gave us free will, and we used this free will to make a world that is diametrically opposed to what He would wish for us. We are now finding our way, one by one, back to God, and when we reach critical mass, we will all begin creating the new, a new world that is a fit place to house the Son and Daughter of God.

We are within form in this world, and form is not lamented in A Course of Love. It is perhaps a misreading of A Course in Miracles to think that the illusory form was bad, that we ought to wait for an afterlife to reach a full union with God. ACIM actually never says this, but in stressing that the world does not exist, that it is illusion, those of us who read and took ACIM seriously began to question whether or not we could be justified in finding pleasure in physical form. Because most of us were still trapped by the ego, we saw things in black and white, and physical form, being illusion, seemed to be bad, something best overcome by emphasizing on the ethereal. But A Course of Love speaks more precisely to this dilemma that was largely self-made by us. It tells us that physical form is good, that we can embody the Christ in our physical forms, and that we have nothing to fear from the physical.

We will embody the Christ when we have been moved by our heart to unite with the mind, and therein to have reached wholeheartedness. A heart could not do this alone; neither, a mind. We need the intellect as well as feelings to function in this world in a self-affirming way. And when we have let our heart be warmed by God’s love, we will have taken immeasurably large steps toward Christ-consciousness. We don’t fear and we don’t judge when our hearts are warmed by God. We are living in peace, and we are on the cusp of creating a new world, a world that we will know by knowledge rather than perception. We will not have to “believe” in God, but, like Carl Jung, we will know.

And this knowing will make all the difference.

Prayer

I misstep when I let anxieties take me over. When my heart is warmed by Your love, all is well—just fine. I walk a green earth again when I have listened to Your advice, advice that comes to me from deep within my heart.

May this be a good day, a day in which I rue nothing. May the joys of living in physical form on this earth, in this world, be enjoyed by me today. I would not give up form for the ethereal. Form has much to recommend it.

Amen.

Thrill of Following Our Heart

“The source of what we have been speaking of as “calling” is your heart. It is what alerts you to the treasures that lie within. There is no time in the place we are calling within and your heart knows not of time even while it adheres to the rules of time you would place upon yourself. Cease adhering to the rules of time and see how much more the language of your heart becomes known to you.” (ACOL, T2:6.1)

Is Jesus asking us to remove our watches? Probably not, though as an experiment, this might be a worthwhile thing to do. It would jog out tendencies to pay such close attention to time. Paying close attention to time may keep us from listening to the thrill of non-linear time, the thrill of following one’s heart and knowing intuitively about what time it really is. We need to listen to our heart now more than ever, as we are embarked on a new plan to hurry Christ-consciousness to ourselves. We are getting new revelations through A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, and these new revelations will lead us to create a new world. What greater aim might we have—for all of us know that the world we see now is severely flawed?

The heart does not have a place in our bodies, for we are not speaking of the heart that is the pump for our life’s blood. We are speaking of the center of the Self, the heart that will guide us, through callings, to the next right step in our pathway home. And there are treasures within, in a place that is no place. We are a hologram, everywhere in the universe simultaneously. Yet our minds are finite, and we cannot see this for ourselves. The treasures that are within us will guide us truly to see a much larger place than we have ever viewed before.

If taking off our watch could help, might we all not try it? This is a very simplistic way of interpreting what Jesus has said. But, if we can, we just might try it. What do we have to lose? We need to use every trick in the book to enlarge our understanding and comprehension of the heart that will guide us in the present and future.

I, for one, am at least turning my watch around this afternoon.

Prayer

Time can be a millstone around our necks. And I don’t want that, for I want to enjoy You, my brothers and sisters, and this beautiful world—and I want to enjoy the Self within, newly discovered. Help me let loose from my “should’s” and “ought’s” and give You Your place in my world. You do not make demands on me; You simply, as my Christ-Self, give nudges of what to do and say. This eases my mind, for I am not under any pressures when You are in the driver’s seat.

What a difference it makes not to be under any pressure to produce! This pressure to produce was always egoic in nature, and I am seeking to leave the ego behind in the dust. Thank You for the saneness of the world You present to me to see—our world, lovely and fully acceptable, once I have helped to create this world anew.

Thank You for leading me to be happy.

Amen.

Let Our Heart Follow where Intuition Leads

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

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

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

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

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

Prayer

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

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

Amen.

The Heart Gives Us a Love for Living

“While this adjustment of your thinking may not seem to be the miracle that it truly is, as your awareness of it grows, it is going to raise it to a level you will come to think of as an ability. As your old way of responding to life causes you to struggle or resist and the new way of thinking replaces that old pattern with a new pattern of response, you will begin to see that each new response is the answer to a call that your heart alone can hear. As I have said, your heart has now become your eyes and ears. Your heart hears only one call, one voice, the language of one Source—that of unity.” (ACOL, T2:4.19)

Our heart informs our mind, for the heart is the center of our very being. This happens, in part, because the warmth of the guidance that comes from the heart is teaching new and different ways of responding all along. As we come to be aware of changes in our thinking—actually miracles—we will begin to think of this new knowledge as an ability to live in the world in a new and different way. This is when the Self takes over, the inner Christ-Self, harmonizing our projections so that the world that we perceive is much different—and much better. Previously we struggled; now our way of thinking (the new art of thought) has us responding to the miracles that we see all around us. This is how perception is cleansed, and how it finally and ultimately becomes knowledge that tells us how to live sanely.

We get our guidance through heart-based living. Other people are sometimes the source, but we would never see anything in what they say or do if we were not prepared to see a miracle there. Our eyes have been opened. We are seeing truly for the first time.

The heart gives us a love for living that has been missing previously. We may have really only “tolerated” living, hoping for the best but expecting the worse (and hoping that that worse would not unhinge us). We have cringed against the life that we knew. We have suffered with the pain, felt that there often seemed to be no way out except to cry for intervention from an external God who might (but only might) take away the bad things that had us in their grip. Now we know that God Himself is not separate from us, that we don’t pray to a distant monarch, but we commune with our own deepest part, and there we find Him. He does indeed give us a comfort that our previous notions about God never could, for we truly were afraid of Him and His power, believing that he often failed to intervene to save us (and judging Him for the omission).

Our old ideas of God gave us no peace for long. Our new way of knowing that a turning inward will work—just will work. We are warmed by a certainty that we truly are never left alone by a God Who is living through us. We are His means of Self-expression. And with this certain knowledge, we can vow to give our God a good day, every day. We will not always succeed, but with goals such as this one, how can we often fail? The love that we feel deep inside will heal us, indeed is healing us as we walk through each and every day.

Prayer

No day is meant to be lived in a struggle with what it brings. This truth from A Course of Love gives me great comfort today. Thank You. I want to live contentedly, with a Self who is living afresh in a changed world. And this can be, and indeed ought to be, if Jesus’s hopes for us are to be realized. Help me to do my part in bringing a freshness to each moment lived.

The day is bright with promise. Thank You. And may my struggles become a distant memory, never again to be revisited. I would walk in peace, with You reaching out to the world from deep within me.

Amen.

When We Unite Mind and Heart, We Unite with the Self

“Yet you have not remembered that the first union is of mind and heart. The first union is union with the Self. This union with the Self is resurrec¬tion or rebirth. All are capable of this life-giving union. All are capable of birthing the Self.” (ACOL, T1:9.7)

This passage for today is a summation of what has gone earlier (and will be expanded upon as we read farther on). First, we unite mind and heart, and when we do that, we have united with the Self Who is deep within us, a part of God Himself. What has actually happened in a resurrection or rebirth of this Self, a Self Who has been cloaked by the egoic, false, self for eons.

And this miracle is not limited in any way. All of us can—and will—have this union eventually. Our part, if we want this union now, a union that is Christ-consciousness, is to remove the blocks to love’s emergence. It is love that emerges, in full form. Our own form becomes “elevated,” in that we are living the truth in a way that has not been possible heretofore, because the ego has held sway over us.

All of us can birth this Self. As A Course in Miracles says, God Himself reaches down and lifts us up—when we are ready. And so asking for this miracle is in His Will. We don’t have to ever be shy about asking. It is the way of creations created by a Creator. It is the way that life is meant to be lived.
“Ask and ye shall receive,” as the New Testament tells us.

The passage for today can be memorized to good effect. It gives us the gist of much that Jesus is telling us in the totality of A Course of Love.

Prayer

I would seek to realize the union of mind and heart, the union that I have been wanting with my deepest Self. When I am deep within myself, I can feel Your warmth, and this warmth is a great blessing, a great blessing indeed. Thank You.

I would feel Your warmth when I am out and about in the world, not just when I am quiet and focused inwardly. I thank You for this assurance that You are always with me, that You love me unconditionally. Help me to love the people in my life unconditionally as well. We all are starved for love. May each of us give it as best we can, leaning on You and our Self for guidance as to how to do that.

Amen.

Heartfelt Remembrance

“While A Course of Love has led you to a state of wholeness of mind and heart, or wholeheartedness, your realization of this state of being requires further guidance.
. . .
“The first instruction I give to you is to seek no more. All that you are in need of knowing has been provided within A Course of Love. That your learning does not feel complete is not a failing of this Course or of your¬self. That your learning does not feel complete is the result of forgetfulness, which is the opposite of mindfulness. Your further learning then is learning based on mindfulness or remembering.” (ACOL, T1:1.2 – 1.3)

It is certainly welcome news to all of us that we have found, that we need seek no more. So many times in the past we have gone from one spiritual teaching to another, never satisfied. This seeking could perhaps go on indefinitely, but Jesus would not have it so. He has counseled us to combine mind and heart into wholeheartedness; this from the first book of A Course of Love. But the further guidance that he would impart to us is the art of thought, the theme of the first treatise, from the second book of A Course of Love. And the art of thought is miracle-mindedness, for which mindfulness is a handy prerequisite. By mindfulness, Jesus does not mean some Eastern philosophy, but the remembrance that he would now encourage. We forget much, but when we turn the art of thought on our remaining memories, we are making headway toward the goal of ACOL.

Remembrance is what we are here for, but not in the sense that we would live in the past. We will bring our memories to the present, with living in the present. And we will not look ahead to the future in fruitless planning that guidance does not ask of us. This living in the present brings a present moment awareness that smooths out our days. A present moment awareness gives us happiness, for not even suffering and pain are present in just a single moment. Nearly all of our perturbed feelings when overwrought are the result of remembering past pain and looking ahead to the dreaded future suffering ahead. In the present there is calm and peace.

We can reread the first book of A Course of Love numerous times, if we feel so led. The learning continues into the second book, the Treatises. But we live behind traditional learning, in traditional ways, in the third book, the Dialogues. We are finally getting somewhere in our seeking. And we know that now seeking further is not needed. ACOL will answer our final questions, take us to the next stage in our unfolding, the Christ-consciousness about which we obsess so much.

Mindfulness aids living in the present. If we pay attention to what we are doing, and why, with full awareness, we will make real progress. And our days will be like a string of pearls, all perfect and perfectly rounded into an experience that is whole. We need not anguish any longer; the way home is shown us as we live wholeheartedly, with A Course of Love (and A Course in Miracles) as our guide.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live in the present, feeling the warmth of the sunshine, sensing Your Presence. Help me not to dwell in the past, or to look ahead to an uncertain future. Just be here now. And everything will fall into place.

May I find You today as I live in the warm and peaceful Presence that You are. Be with me as I seek to overhaul fruitless ways of living and to make a new beginning. Now is the time; today, the day.

Amen.

Wisdom of Our Heart Will Guide

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

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

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

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

It certainly behooves us to use this new revelation well.

Dear Father/Mother,

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

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

Amen.

We Need the Clarity of a Full Heart

“As a being birthed by a thought of God, you grew simultaneously with God’s thought. You knew your place in the pattern of creation from the outset. A full life is quite simply a fulfillment of that thought and that pattern. The only way to know it is to think it once again. The only way to think it once again is to be wholehearted, for a split mind and heart do not think clearly.” (ACOL, C:26.25)

Jesus is here calling us to recollection and reflection, to reliving our lives so that we truly “know” them. He wants us to relive what we have been through, before we leave it behind for the eternal present. Our lives take on meaning when we give some thought to what has transpired in earlier years. We don’t, if we are smart, fall into self-pity, but we do relive as we reflect. We heal by so doing. And the healing is the real reason that Jesus here counsels us to “know” it by thinking it once again.

There is some theology in this quotation as well, the idea that we are a thought of God that grew simultaneously with that very thought. This means, actually, that we are part of God, for His thoughts do not leave Him.

We want full lives, and we can have them. When our mind and heart have been reunited into wholeheartedness (as Jesus terms it). As Jesus says, a split mind and heart do not think clearly. What does this mean? It means that what our head tells us is something different from what our hearts say—a concept that has been around in our culture for a very long time. Now Jesus is using this concept to bring us back to God.

We want to think clearly. We don’t want anger and attack to derail us, because when this happens, we most certainly don’t think clearly with either our mind or our heart. We need the clarity that a full heart can bring, and that is why A Course of Love emphasizes the heart so often and so completely.

The way home is clear. It only takes a little willingness to bring us there.

Dear Father/Mother,

I am struggling with some of the theology of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love today. Take this from me, for Jesus has said (in ACIM) that a universal theology is impossible, but that a universal experience is not only possible, but necessary. May I think in terms of “both – and” as I see differences between my thinking and the thinking of others. We may both be right, each in our own way.

We need the warmth of the love that is in our hearts. This solves all dilemmas. All dilemmas.

And we will know that warmth when we turn to You. You never forsake us; You never leave us to get by on our own devices. This is especially true today, just as it is every day.

Thank You for always being here, deep within me, deep within my soul—the part of me that is You.

Amen.

Reflection Eases Our Mind and Heart

“The “meaningless” category might include such things as the happen-ings of your daily routine, chance encounters, illness, or accidents, while in the “beyond meaning” category exists the relationship that broke your heart, grief, poverty, war, the events that seemed to alter your destiny, the search for God. By using the word sit, I mean to imply that these things have not passed through you and in the act of passing through formed a relation¬ship and a partnership with you.” (ACOL, C:22.13)

In this quotation, we are back to the “onion” analogy: We are to let those things in our lives that have been meaningless or beyond meaning just pass through us, and then we will have absorbed their shock and can move on to a better future. When we don’t absorb the meaningless or the beyond meaning, these things clog up our minds and hearts, and we can’t make progress toward enlightenment. We are stuck. And nobody likes this feeling.

Jesus is giving us very practical advice in these words of the passage for today. He knows that we let the bad memories from the past hold us back. We need simply to reflect on what has happened, to re-experience the memory, and then to be ready to leave these bad memories behind, lest they trip us up.

Ask today to move into the future, unburdened by the trials and tribulations of the past. Reflect for a while, and then just move beyond dwelling on what has gone amiss.

This is the best way to move into the New.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

I want to move into the New today, the new reality, the new world. I want to let my old mistakes fall away, my old regrets be no more. This is a new day in Your world. Help me to treat this new day right.

Be with us as we seek to have a future unlike the past, a better future with You, reaching out from deep within us, from the Christ Self, to reform this world. We don’t proselytize, though, but we do share with others at every point that seems right. We reach out in this sharing, and in this doing the world will never seem the same again.

It will be a better world, seen from within, projected outward. May I walk in Your light today.

Amen.

Mind and Heart Join to Effect Change

“No matter which path you follow, the path of the mind or the path of the heart, you will not get where you are wanting to go until they are joined. You might imagine three paths—one path representing mind, one path representing heart, and one path representing wholeheartedness. The path of neither mind nor heart alone will take you where the path of unity will take you, and the journey will not be the same.” (ACOL, C:21.7)

Jesus here tells us precisely what he tells us, in other words, in many places in A Course of Love: that we need the mind and heart, joined together in wholeheartedness. Our heart has always known the truth of our unity one with another and with God, but the mind rebelled, and this prevented the heart and body from elevating to a Self that exists with the All in unity and in relationship. Our minds were just too eager to jump ahead, in this physical form in which we found ourselves, too eager to be patient and learn all that needed to be learned in a new way of existing, the physical form itself.

But we are coming to see, through, I would hasten to add, both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. ACIM dislodged the ego, but without the ego we were still mired in a sense of purposelessness, unsure of any new identity. ACOL came along to solve this personal problem, many believe, to establish a new identity and to elevate the self of form, to see that we became the elevated Self of form. This Self is the inner Christ, and when we live by the new rules, we are embodying Christ-consciousness. We finally know where we are going and what we are to do. We receive this knowledge by observation, vision, revelation. The words will become clear as we move forward in the pages of A Course of Love.

Our path IS clear when we join what we know in our hearts to a newly discovered mind that is free of the ego. We join heart and mind together, for we cannot proceed far without their cooperation. This new phase is called “wholeheartedness,” the joining of heart and mind to create a new world while we sustain Christ-consciousness.

If we have not walked far enough long the path to realize all that this path holds out to us, we must counsel patience. We will see the end point, the ever-expanding work of creating a new reality in this world.

This change is coming not a moment too soon, as all of us who listen to the daily news know so well. A Course in Miracles created great change in the hearts and minds of many who had never read it, because its tenets found their way into spiritual and psychological literature without attribution. Now we are on the cusp of a similar spreading of the message of A Course of Love.

This world will never be the same again.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank you for guiding my thoughts as I seek to contain my enthusiasm for this latest revelation in A Course of Love. May its message spread in our troubled world. May more and more of us see glimpses of Christ-consciousness, then longer experiences, then maintain the new consciousness, and then fully sustain it. This is a lot to ask, but I know within my being that I am asking within Your will.

Be with us as we seek to make the choice for Christ-consciousness. You will reach now at the right moment and lift us up. The ultimate decision is Yours. I pray that this time of change may envelop all of us sooner rather than later.

Amen.

Forgiveness from the Compassion of Our Heart

“Forgiveness, which replaces judgment, must come from your heart. To forgive based on the logic of your mind rather than the compassion of your heart is to only give thought to forgiveness. This many of you will give, even to deciding to forgive despite your better judgment. See you not how little sense this makes, how insincere this even sounds?” (ACOL, C:17.16)

We are told in A Course of Love that to reach Christ-consciousness, we must give up fear and judgment, for these are incompatible with God. This quotation for today tells us how to give up judgment. Replace judgment with forgiveness! And be sure to forgive from the heart, or the heart is a place that doesn’t have to have “good” reasons to forgive. The heart knows that love is the only answer. Our mind, especially when still influenced by the ego, will try to incorporate judgment into forgiveness. It is this last attempt at incorporation of judgment into forgiveness that decides to “forgive despite your better judgment.” And it is clear that Jesus takes a dim view of such mental shenanigans.

We do want to make sense; we do want to be sincere. And the mixing of judgment and forgiveness is an ego’s dream, unlikely to achieve the desired result. Turn to our heart when we are confronted by analysis of the mind that thinks in such a convoluted way. Our heart will not lie to us. Our heart will show us the way home.

And forgiveness is the antidote to judgment. They are polar opposites, as we can tell by simply defining the two. All of us want Christ-consciousness, or enlightenment or Awakening, and we want it sooner rather than later. Our glimpses of Christ-consciousness (which usually come first) will show us what attitude of thought is necessary to maintain, and ultimately, sustain this new state. Our glimpses let us know that a mellow spirit, a thankful heart, and a receptive spirit all invite a glimpse.

Let us invite glimpses of Christ-consciousness today. And if any judgment seeks to intervene between us and our greatest desire, let us banish that judgment forthwith—with forgiveness.

Choose the Heart over Reason & Intellect

“You who have made a god of reason and of intellect, think carefully now of what your reason and your intellect have made for you. How terrible would it really be to realize that although you have tried mightily, a creation such as this cannot be made to make any sense at all? Those who have turned their backs on God and refused to believe in such nonsense have simply refused to make reason try to fit the unfitable without seeing that an alternative exists.” (ACOL, C:14.7)

Those of us who have carefully studied in school may still believe that reason is something of a god. We were also told in our religious studies that nothing in faith has to contradict reason, making of reason a god again.

Jesus feels differently about reason. He thinks that it can go only so far, and that the matters of reason and intellect have gotten out of kilter with matters of the heart. He has us turn, repeatedly, to the heart to find our answers. He suggests in this passage that we have tried and tried to make reason and the intellect solve our problems, but we have failed, because our intent was wrong. The heart, on the other hand, can lead us rightly.

The heart is the alternative. Nobody needs to think long and hard when Jesus says to “turn to the heart.” We know immediately what he is saying, and it resonates with us. Later on, he clarifies by saying that mind must be taught by the heart, and we must move into a fusion of heart and mind that he calls wholeheartedness. But the mind, made up of the reason and the intellect, has failed us mightily in the past, and if we are not careful, it will continue to fail us mightily in the future.

The mind developed the ego. We are trying to leave the ego behind as the prime mover in the realm of separation from God. Even though separation from God is actually impossible, in illusion we can make many things seem possible to us. Let the heart lead the mind into new and different realms. We will never regret this new direction, whereas we have much to regret from the ascendancy of the mind alone.

Our reason and intellect have been, all too often, misguided. Let the heart right their wrongs.

We will never be sorry that we have tried this new way.

Trust Your Feelings

“You will never fully understand what unity means, but you will come to feel what unity means, and this I promise you. This is what we work toward in this Course, for once you have experienced the feeling of unity, you will need no understanding of it.” (ACOL, C:13.1)

This very reassuring passage encourages us to trust our feelings. Our feelings don’t lead us wrong, unless they are quite negative feelings, and then we are dipping into something egoic, very different from unity. We are seeking to unify with the All, the Everything—God, our brothers and sisters, the world and everything in it. This unity indeed knows no bounds.

If we trust the feeling of unity, we will be home free. Unity is not something meant for the mind to “understand,” something that Jesus says here would be impossible.

But we can feel the difference between the ego and the unity that the heart leads us to. And this difference is phenomenal.

Let your heart lead today. Let your heart lead everyday. The way will clear when we are open to the feelings of unity that the hearts leads us to find.

Love Is All that Will Fill Our Emptiness

“You need not concentrate on where to find love, for love will find you. You need not concentrate on giving love, for you cannot give what you do not yet know, and when you know it you need not give it, for it will extend from you naturally in miracles called love. Love is all that will fill your emptiness, and all that will never leave you empty again as it extends from you to your brothers and sisters. Love is all that will not leave you wanting.” (ACOL, C:11.17)

Jesus makes statements in A Course of Love that indicate that we would take him more seriously in regard to the primacy of love if he gave it some new and different name. He says that we have been hearing for so long that love is the Answer, and because of this long history, we don’t take the assertion seriously enough.

But love is the Answer. And when we pay attention to all that Jesus says, and we look to our heart for verification, we know without a tedious telling. Our heart knows that love will give us everything that we have ever wanted. And when we are on our deathbed, we will know that the only thing that matters in the whole wide world is love.

How do we experience love more deeply? We relax “into” our heart. We stop some of our egoic machinations, many of them, and we wait for a warmer feeling to arise. Our love does not need to be a struggle. We do not need to try to force ourselves to love people that we really don’t much care about. We will care about everyone when we listen to our heart. We will not necessarily associate closely, if certain others are a danger to us, but we will not find ourselves in a hate relationship either. Our lives will be filled with giving and receiving, receiving and giving, and in this new venture we will recognize what we did not before: that giving and receiving are two parts of the same dynamic. And the dynamic gets its impetus from love.

We will stay in a condition of constant and continual wanting as long as we refrain from loving full out. Love answers all our needs, and we recognize that while we may have wants that are not satisfied, we have no needs that are not satisfied.

Imagine that love is a something “out there” that you have never heard of. A feeling, an emotion, of warmth and compassion, a joyous feeling that makes all things One with us. We share in love, as we share in imagining that this new thing is a discovery of enormous proportions. Let this new thing speak to you of what your heart has long sought to give. Now we know how to receive, and the fact that love is not new to us is an advantage. Heretofore we just did not understand well enough to act on the promptings of our heart, the prompting to love.

Now we do.

Become Aware of What Love Is

“What love is cannot be taught. Remember that your task here is to remove the barriers that keep you from realizing what love is. That is the learning goal of this Course—your awareness of what love is—and no earthly course can take you beyond this goal. It is only your willingness that is required.” (ACOL, C:11.5)

Several people have critiqued A Course of Love by quoting A Course in Miracles to the effect that love is beyond what can be taught. But they had not read ACOL, for here is the same sentiment. What we can do is remove the barriers to the awareness of love; that much is without our power.

And A Course of Love goes a step beyond ACIM, in that we have something to replace the ego, once it has been disavowed. We have a new Self, an elevated Self of form, one that takes us where we are and grants us peace. We know that the time of the Holy Spirit has been superseded by the time of Christ. And we know that the inner Christ Self is what animates us. These truths were not apparent from A Course in Miracles. So Jesus did have unfinished business with us before he channeled ACOL.

Now we know that the heart is the center of our being, and the guiding point for our way home. The Christ Self speaks to us through our heart. We “feel” rather than “think.” And the feeling is always warm and inviting. We know the peace that passeth understanding. And we know love.

We need our willingness to embrace these concepts. And then we will have taken more steps along the pathway. We may, indeed, be farther along than we imagine. Just remember to keep the faith, and all will indeed be well. Very well indeed.

Open Our Hearts to Union

“Joining happens in relationship, not in physical form. Joining is not the obliteration of one thing to make another—joining makes each one whole, and in this wholeness one with all. This union has never really ceased to be, but as long as you do not realize that it exists its benefits are unavailable to you.” (ACOL, C:10.2)

A Course of Love talks about “joining” in a way that A Course in Miracles never did. This joining is the way in which we come into holy relationships with our brothers and sisters. We are in union with them, union and relationship. We are made whole by this joining, as the quotation says. We don’t need to feel any longer, at all, that we are separate and apart in this disastrous world. We are One with the All, including all others as well as God Himself.

As long as we thought that we needed to be independent and autonomous, we couldn’t know the benefits of joining. “Joining,” for us, only meant a physical bonding. This is not all that joining means, though. It is a spiritual bonding one to the other. And by it we are saved; it is out way home.

We know joining when we left down our barriers against love. And all of us have these barriers against love, thinking that we will be safer if we don’t open our heart. Of course, we are learning that just the reverse is true: We need to open our hearts to others and to God. This is the ONLY way that we can finally be at peace.

And it will be no secret that we are finally and ultimately saved, when we open our heart to joining with each other. The blessings are many, the drawbacks, none at all.

Try to soften your heart today for the love that is all around us. As we give, we receive. And there is nothing better to give and receive than love.

A Warm Heart Is a Gift of Grace

“As long as you do not want to be forgiven you will not feel the gentle touch of forgiveness upon you and your world. While there is no need in truth for this forgiveness, as there is no truth to this big change that you believe you have undergone, your desire to be forgiven is a first step away from your belief that you can fix things by yourself and in so doing earn your way back into your Father’s home. Being willing to be forgiven is the precursor of atonement, the state in which you allow your errors to be corrected for you.” (ACOL, C:9.35)

Forgiveness is said in this passage actually to be unnecessary. While we believe that it is necessary, however, we will not take steps toward receiving the atonement until we have opened ourselves to this forgiveness. And we do want the atonement, which is the undoing of all that has gone before, including especially egoic consciousness. Jesus has led the way to the atonement. Would we not be foolish to refuse the forgiveness that will make every pathway toward the atonement smooth and easy?

We cannot correct our own errors. This may seem a radical statement, but if we recall how many times we have tried to correct errors, only to have the same mistake crop up again and again, we will see the validity of what Jesus is telling us. We will be gently and easily led to remove a mistake-prone inclination. But we would be egoic indeed if we thought that we were making ourselves better all the while. And we are trying to diminish the ego in ourselves, not build it up.

We cannot fix things ourselves and thereby win back the Father’s home, heaven. But we can open ourselves to change and thereby become the recipients of our inheritance, which includes heaven. Our inheritance has been waiting for us for eons. And now we are on a smooth pathway, heading for what we have wanted most in all the world. We must not jinx the matter now. We must not try to take things in our own hands, for we would surely foul it up.

Jesus will guide us gently and in an encouraging manner. He is doing just this in A Course of Love, a course that doesn’t demand a studious attitude, for its words are entering our heart. Call upon him now, today, this moment. See if a warmth doesn’t overtake you.

This warmth is the gift of grace to which we have all been heading since time began. We simply didn’t recognize it until now.

Wonders Felt by the Heart

“Child of God, you need no imaginary friend when you have beside you he who is your friend always and would show you that you have no needs at all. What you truly are cannot be used, not even by God. See you not that it is only in illusion that you can use others who are like yourself?” (ACOL, C:9.31)

Jesus is here talking about himself, not as an imaginary friend but as a real entity taking us by the hand and leading us to ultimate salvation. He has often in A Course of Love indicated that he is with us, guiding us. He apparently clones himself, outside time and space, to be anywhere that he wishes, with anyone, simultaneously.

We will have to believe even in the face of our disbelief. We will have to realize that there are wonders possible in this universe that we cannot comprehend. Jesus’s omnipresence is one such mystery. But if his assurances give us comfort, should we not make the tiny effort to understand and to believe?

We are encouraged in ACOL not to use others, but to serve them. Our service to others is the important point. Never do we get anything lasting out of trying to “use up” the value of another, to our own benefit. This is an egoic urge, a very selfish one, and one of which we need to be forewarned. In this world, previously, we have often “used” others to our own benefit. We have offered conditional love, predicated on getting something from another. And then, when we get the something that we want, we think we love in return.

Such is not love, but use. We have diminished the worth of our exalted brothers and sisters by turning them into agents of our need. But we learn that we have no needs, that our needs have all been met and are being met. So why do we continue to seek to use others? And why do they comply?

It is a matter of wanting love. We learn in ACOL that giving and receiving are one, and in learning this, we are sure that service is our best response to others. When we serve them, we set ourselves up to receive the best that they can offer. But we have not “used” them to gain. It is an even exchange.

We don’t use Jesus when we accept his free offer of help, of guidance in this world, of him being with us in this world. He offers to serve us, and we accept, knowing that in turn we will serve others. And the mission that Jesus is upon becomes clear to us in this equal exchange.

We love and are loved in return, but not in a conditional sense. The love is freely offered, and then given in return, and we are free of egoic using of another free individual. Our minds and hearts are in the right place, finally.

Fear Blocks the Vision of Our Heart

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus Takes Us by the Hand and Leads Us

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

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

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

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

Safe within Our Heart Is Love’s Reality

“Safe within your heart lies love’s reality, a reality so foreign to you that you think you remember it not. Yet it is to this reality we head as we travel deep within you to the center of your Self.” (ACOL, C:8.9)

Why has Jesus been encouraging us, previously, to follow our heart? He is heading us toward love. Here, in this passage, he is focusing on the Self, which is the center of our being and the home of the Christ Who is within us all. This Self is known both by the heart and the new mind, the mind shorn of the ego. This Self knows love, for here we also find God.

We have not yet gone back far enough. We don’t remember love well enough, and love requires a recollection from eons ago—before the ego-mind took hold in an illusory separation from God. We are merely traveling a road, retracing steps back from a journey without distance that we took to detour into fear. We need to leave fear behind, in whatever ways we, and Jesus, have determined we might best do that. Fear will eclipse the love that our heart wants to feel, for our heart seems to have a mind all its own. In wholeheartedness, we are in fact joining the heart to the mind, and so the heart does have a mind of its own. But not an egoic mind.

We need to reach deep within us for this blessing. This means prayer with depth, nothing superficial. Or meditation. In A Course in Miracles, Jesus seems to discount the form of meditation called contemplation as tedious and time-consuming. But the Workbook ends with prayers to God our Father, and short prose statements that are essentially meditational in nature. We need quiet to read these passages. And so prayer and meditation does seem to be a part of the pathway that Jesus is pointing out for us to take.

Jesus often speaks of “reality” in A Course of Love as well as A Course in Miracles. True reality is something quite different from the illusion, the dream, with which we have been concerned so very long. Certainly love is a big part of true reality. And safe within our heart is the love that we seek. Because we seek with earnestness, we will surely find. God does not hide Himself from us, though we are likely to think this when we are lost in egoic contemplation. The type of contemplation that we are trying to have now will be a far cry from the ego’s understanding. We seek, and we find. And the ego falls by the wayside.

Prayer Warms the Heart

“Accept a new authority, even if only for the little while that it will take you to read these words. Start with this idea: You will allow for the possibility of a new truth to be revealed to your waiting heart. Hold in your heart the idea that as you read these words—and when you finish reading these words—their truth will be revealed to you. Let your heart be open to a new kind of evidence of what constitutes the truth.” (ACOL, C:7.23)

When we are feeling down and also confused, it helps to find a friend who can advise us. This is what Jesus is doing in this passage for today. He is offering to be our new authority. And because he is Jesus, we can accept his authority with grace.

We can open the heart to allow new truth to come in. We can live better than we ever have before; A Course of Love welcomes just such an opportunity. The idea that we turn to our heart instead of our mind is helpful in the extreme. All of us know immediately what is meant by turning to the heart. This in itself emphasizes the brilliance of Jesus’s idea. He knows that we will understand. And this understanding of the pivotal place of the heart in our future decision making is necessary for success in the new endeavor in which we find ourselves.

When we turn to the Christ Self, Who is a part of God, we learn anew what it is to trust the heart. We need to let our Christ Self totally consume our mind. Then when the mind, the new mind, is joined to the heart, we have the wholeheartedness about which Jesus speaks so eloquently.

In prayer we can open to this Christ Self in a way that we never have before. Our prayers have previously dwelt upon the idea that God was external to us, and thus we prayed, in the darkness, to an Entity Who would decide whether or not to give us what we were asking. This is not the logic of prayer as presented in A Course of Love. We turn inward, to our heart, and then we listen for the guidance of the (inner) Christ Self. It is not clear from A Course of Love if this guidance is coming directly from God, though I would be inclined to say that it is (an interpretation). I don’t think that God turned us out in the illusion, knowing nothing of our activities. (This again is an interpretation, not shared by all students/teachers of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.) I see God as omniscient, and this includes knowing what His beloved creations are doing once they (we) lost themselves (ourselves) in illusion.

So open the heart and mind to wholeheartedness. Know that the truth can and will be revealed to a listening Self. This Self does not know illusion. This Self knows the truth that we hope to have revealed.

The way is not hard. Jesus has walked this way before us, and why not learn from his pioneering effort?

Listen to Our Heart

“The world does not keep you separate. You keep yourself separate from the world. This is what has made the world the world it is. What you withhold allows illusion to rule and truth to be locked away in a vault so impenetrable and so long secured that you have thought it forgotten. You have not realized the vault is your own heart, or that the truth is what you have chosen to keep secure and set aside there.” (ACOL, C:7.9)

This highly interesting passage explains that what has happened in our separation from God: We have also separated from each other in this world. Separation has become a plague that we didn’t know how to overcome, because we thought that separation was normal.

Separation is not normal. It is not as God intended. Our heart holds the key to understanding the way that living can really be. Our heart will project these answers onto the world and therefore transform it—when we let our heart speak to us. Until we risk a little exposure and open our hearts to each other, we still are mired in separation and distrust of each other.

Distrust of each other is a legitimate fear in this troubled world. But until we take the risk of exposing our real Self, the Christ Self, to others, we will be caught by the dangers imposed by the ego-mind, the egoic self, the little self that has not known transformation. And transformation is what we want. Opening the heart to others, even ever to slightly, will let us see that our projections now are much better than when those projections were informed by the ego-mind. We won’t get hurt in the same ways. Our projections from our Christ Mind will be healing in a way that projections from the egoic mind never were.

Make no mistake about: What we see outside of ourselves is a projection—a projection of the physical world as well as intangibles that we can’t place a finger upon. Projection makes perception, as A Course in Miracles is fond of saying. And with our choice to let the inner Christ Self out to play, we have far less to worry about. Our projections will be benign and healing.

Listen to our heart. That advice is promulgated through and through A Course of Love. Of course, we must join the heart to the mind, because otherwise our heart feelings might needlessly confuse us. But the heart takes the lead in ACOL. When we listen, we learn in new ways what Jesus is telling us.

And we project a new world. This is when creation of the new world really begins.

Thought Reversal Guided by the Heart

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learn What Our Heart Would Have Us Learn

“All this forgiveness can do for you. Forgiveness of the original error—the choice to believe that you are separate despite the fact that this is not so and cannot ever be. What loving creator would create a universe in which such a thing could be? A thing alone would be a thing created without love, for love creates like itself and is forever one with everything that has been created. This simple realization will start you on the path to learning what your heart would have you learn.” (C:6.6)

We already know that we need to forgive ourselves and our brothers and sisters, and even God Himself. But now we hear that we have to forgive the original error of supposed “separation,” that we once thought that we could ever be separate from one another and from God Himself. Love creates like itself, and love is forever one. This is enough for us to listen to today. This is enough for many days.

Our heart wants us to learn many things, but love is the principal thing that the heart would have us learn. And forgiveness of our misconceptions is a long way on the road to love.

Why would we ever want to be separate? We would just want to experience this, to see what it would be like to try to make a universe separate from our Creator. Just to do it. And God Himself joins in this endeavor, for we are part of God, and to do so without His cooperation would have been impossible.

We need today to put such foolishness aside forever. We don’t really want to retain a philosophy of living that is contrary to what is sane and rational, and being “separate” is not sane and rational. Why would we choose such agony for ourselves, for agony it is. The choice to be alone in all the universe is not a choice that can make any sense.

Our special relationships have taught us that we don’t really want to be alone. But they have their drama, the highs and lows of acceptance and rejection, and we don’t want that either. We must transform these inferior loves into holy relationships of joining one to the other in forgiveness and genuine love, not to get something, but to give. And in the giving we receive as well.

We do get tired of hearing that we have to forgive. But this is the basis of A Course in Miracles, and, as such, the starting point for A Course of Love. Let us proceed on this pathway a little longer, and then we will ultimately realize that we don’t have anything to forgive at all. It has all been an illusion, a dream, and we are willing to give it up in exchange for true reality—a dream no longer.

Overcoming Intellectual Doubts about God

“Your desire to be separate is the most insane desire of which you have conceived. Over all your longing for union you place this desire to be separate and alone. Your entire resistance to God is based on this. You think you have chosen to be separate from God so that you can make it on your own, and while you long to return to God and the heaven that is your home, you do not want to admit that you cannot get there on your own.” (C:5.22)

Separation, being alone, independent, not needing anything or Anybody else, is just insane. We have invented our special relationships to accommodate this insane desire to be separate but merged. And our special relationships are normally full of drama, highs and lows, separation and mergers, and we know no peace. Only when we transform those special relationships into holy ones, reminiscent of our true relationship to God, do we know any peace. This is why the relationship to our brother (or sister) is the way home for us as described in A Course in Miracles.

The true relationship is one of joining with God, and with our brothers and sisters. We think that to be autonomous is a good thing, but we fail at it repeatedly. And we chastise ourselves for this failure, when actually this failure is a symbol of the fact that we don’t get along very well when we attempt to separate ourselves from our faith in God.

We are part of God; He is living us. So the very idea of separating from Him (or Her) is insane. It is impossible. And the sooner we give up the idea of living an independent life, separate from our Creator, the sooner we will live in happiness. We taught ourselves the very unnatural habit of not communicating with our Creator. And did we ever suffer for such a ridiculous notion!

Of course, some of us have intellectual doubts about God. To those who feel this way, I would say to look, as A Course of Love, encourages, to our heart. Our heart doesn’t need the proofs that the egoic mind demands. Our heart will soften and seek to love. And in that love we will find a love for a Higher Power, for in our heart we know that we are not all alone in the universe. It has been said, borrowing from World War I imagery, that there are no atheists in foxholes. But, closer to home, there are no atheists who listen to their heart in this matter of the reality of God. We try to be intellectually suspicious, but we can’t sustain such an idea when we feel such warmth in our heart. Where is this warmth coming from? How do we know that God exists? For these two questions are identical. And our heart knows the answer to both questions.

Stop the mind from raising objections. Just consider that we have been wrong to trumpet independence as the way to live in this world. Reach out to the others in our lives, and see if that reaching out doesn’t touch the heart. Then and only then, with soft and sweet feelings in the heart, are we open to eliminating our skeptical attitudes toward the loving God Who created us.

Our Heart Knows Love

“We are beginning now to paint you a new picture, a picture of things unseen before but visible to your heart if not your eyes. Your heart knows love without a vision of it.” (ACOL, C:5.7)

Both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love tell us that our physical eyes do not really see anything except illusions. So the physical eyes cannot be depended upon for real vision. And by “vision,” Jesus means an intuitive as well as rational understanding of what true reality really is. And this always includes love, harmony, peace, joy, and the like. It doesn’t includes anything material, and we are urged not to ask for the materialistic, because it normally means that we are feeding the ego.

As we get this far along in A Course of Love, Jesus is introducing to us what the heart can see and the physical eyes cannot. He knows that our heart is for feeling, and that feeling envelops us in a way that the mind does not. The heart draws us in, and when we are open to listening to our heart, we are drawn ever closer to the Christ-consciousness (enlightenment, Awakening) that is the purpose behind ACOL. We are meant to awaken, and when we make a decision that we want to do so, heaven and earth move to give us our request. When we have been purified, meaning that the fear and judgment from the depths of our being has been brought to the surface and opened to the light, then God is ready to grant us our request for enlightenment. He waits on us. He is always ready, but we are not.

Our heart does know love. And making Love our priority is of major importance in our desire to awaken. So it stands to reason (at least my reason) that when we listen to our heart and know love, we will walk ever closer to Christ-consciousness. This interpretation is an emphasis in The Way of Mastery, another work that is attributed to Jesus (as Jeshua, said to be his preferred name, because it emphasizes his humanity).

We cannot will our way to enlightenment. To try to do so is to have a demanding spirit, and surrender—not a demand–is the only correct attitude toward God. We surrender to Him, we live for His purpose, and we know love—for He teaches it to us.

Living Love is the best way to live. And, indeed, in the new world that we will be creating when we walk God’s pathway, it is the only way to live. Think of Love today often. Our day will go better, indeed, it will go the best.

Listen to the Heart in Every Instance

“When you think of acting out of love, your thoughts of love are based on sentiment and must be challenged. Love is not being nice when you are feeling surly. Love is not doing good deeds of charity and service. Love is not throwing logic to the wind and acting in foolish ways that pass as gaiety but cannot masquerade as joy.” (ACOL, C:4.12)

If we are “acting,” we are indeed acting. Just playing a part in the masquerade that passes for true living in this world. We don’t choose to act in illusion any longer. We choose really to live in love.

If we are feeling irritated, or, as Jesus says, “surly,” then what do we do then? Do we give vent to the emotion that we are feeling?

Surely not. But we can’t suppress it, either. So what do we do?

The best and surest antidote is to pray the bad feeling out of our system. God will answer us when we are lost in the egoic tenor of bad feelings. Of irritability. Of surliness. He knows our limitations, and these bad emotions are a hangover from our days of letting the ego rule us. If we were to ignore the sane solution of praying to get our emotions straightened out, we would be living a lie. Being “nice” is a solution that won’t work, for almost anybody with whom we come in contact will see our negativity below the façade of a sweet face.

If we do charitable deeds, they must come from the heart. Trying to merit heaven won’t work, either. We can’t do anything to merit heaven, for it is beyond the concepts of good and bad. Heaven is there, waiting for us, when we have tried all the pathways to peace, and we have found all but one untenable. The one that works in the genuine emotion of choosing love in every situation without smoothing over negative emotions with niceness. God will help. Without Him, there would be no hope at all.

We are insufficient to save ourselves. Perhaps we have always known this, but the ego has hidden this fact from our minds. But our hearts know this truth, and our hearts also know the way Home.

Listen to the heart in every instance. God will speak through our hearts. Turning one’s mind over to the influence of the heart is the way to make good things happen. The heart is the best thing that we have going for ourselves.

Open Our Hearts to Love

“These words of love do not enter your body through your eyes and take up residence in your brain, there to be distilled into a language that you can understand. As you read, be aware your heart, for this is where this learning enters and will stay. Your heart is now your eyes and ears. Your mind can remain within your concept of the brain, for we bypass it now and send it no information to process, no data for it to compute. The only change in thinking you are asked to make is to realize that you do not need it.” (ACOL, C:3.14)

This passage denotes the huge change in orientation to the Self that A Course of Love advocates: a movement from the mind to the heart. The heart that doesn’t need proofs and ruminations and thinking and resultant confusion that the mind exhibits. If one is told to consider a given idea with our heart, we will know immediately what is being asked. And we will do it, gladly, for somehow we recognize that the heart has knowledge that the mind doesn’t. We feel loved by our heart. We feel that whatever we take in in that way is chosen by us for a better life.

Later on, we will see that in actuality we merge the mind and the heart into what Jesus calls “wholeheartedness.” But we never forget the primacy of the heart as we seek to reach the better end to life on earth. The mind doesn’t get sent information to process; we just rest in the warmth that we feel from the heart when we are embracing love.

What better way is there to spend a day? Wounds of the heart heal when we magnetize love to them. We know that God loves us, though we can’t always know how or why. We just recognize that He will not let us down. We turn to Him, and everything is almost magically made right.

Open our hearts to love. That is one key to a better life in this world. Even this sad and troubled world. We will never find a better way to live. A way that is less likely to wound the heart afresh. Let God shower His love down on our hearts today.

He will not fail us.

An Idea of Love Is Planted in the Garden of Our Heart

“You who are looking for help wonder now how this would help you. What is there left to say that has not been said? What are these words but symbols, by my own admission? It is in what they symbolize that help arrives. You do not need to believe in the words nor the potential of the exer¬cises to change your life, for these words enter you as what they are, not the symbols that they represent. An idea of love is planted now, in a garden rich with what will make it grow.” (ACOL, C:3.9)

A Course of Love emphasizes love, as we might imagine would be appropriate for a course that focuses on the heart. We understand immediately what the heart feels; we are not lost in complexities of the mind that an ego would foster. The words that occur in ACOL are intuitively understood. Jesus doesn’t try to teach us what love means; he merely points the way. He has said that the meaning of love is not something that can be learned. And with the words in this passage, we may well see a further indication of this truth. The words hint; they do not teach.
Jesus says that he is planting an idea of love, “in a garden rich with what will make it grow.”

That garden, I believe, is our heart, and it is rich with the desire to be One with God. This yearning actually increases the likelihood that the idea of love will take root, that we will begin to act on our feelings of love for ourselves, for God, and for each other. We will dwell on the good things that we know, the good that we have done, and others have done. And we will not be so quick to lose our temper, to attack, to drop into all sorts of negative reactions.

Yes, Jesus is dropping into our essence the idea of love. And it is up to us to do something with that idea. Love is our inheritance from God, an inheritance that we have all too often not known because of our egoic thinking. Our egoic minds got in the way of the truth of our heart’s desires. Let the heart rule again, and love will blossom in this beautiful garden of the heart.

Comfort for Our Troubled Hearts

“Look not to figures from the past to show you the way beyond illusions to the present. Look within to the one in you who knows the way. Christ is within you and you rest within God. I vowed to never leave you and to never leave you comfortless. The Holy Spirit has brought what comfort you would accept to your troubled mind. Now turn to me to comfort your troubled heart.” (ACOL, C:2.15)

Jesus offers his best to us, the comfort that we all long for and are entitled to have. He is part of the Christ Mind which we all share. And in this passage, he is offering his healing to us. Would we not be foolish indeed to turn aside from this healing?

Christ is within us. And as we emerge from the time of the Holy Spirit into the time of Christ, we need to begin looking within for our answers, looking within for our guidance. We can do so, and we will not be disappointed with what we find. We may not be certain any longer whether our guidance comes from the Holy Spirit or comes from the inner Christ Self, but the All is a part of God, and so why would it even matter which? Jesus is leading us to a new understanding of what the Christ really means.

Our hearts have been troubled, our hearts as well as our minds. Today let us walk a new way back to God. Try a fresh approach. Talk to Jesus in your mind and heart, asking him for his blessing as we seek to come to understand. He will not disappoint us. He is always there, though we don’t understand how he can clone himself for everyone who might ask at any given point.

We don’t have to understand cloning to believe that there is a mystery that we don’t get. But Jesus says that he will come in response to “one unequivocal call,” and I believe him. His promise is one of the great blessings of my life, and the fact that I believe him keeps me on an even keel.

I would wish that even keel for all of us. Turn aside from the ridiculous notions of insanity. Let Jesus talk to you internally, for he can do so. This is what a savior is for. It is not an inconvenience to him to reach out to us. He wants us awakening to the new world that he would have us create.

Be sure that our wishes for a better future are the same wishes that Jesus would have for us. Leave insanity behind by touching the best that is within. And this best is the inner Christ that we share with Jesus.

The Heart Knows Love

“This time we take a direct approach, an approach that seems at first to leave behind abstract learning and the complex mechanisms of the mind that so betray you. We take a step away from intellect, the pride of the ego, and approach this final learning through the realm of the heart. This is why, to end confusion, we call this course A Course of Love.” (ACOL, C:P.44)

We are approaching God through our heart when we read A Course of Love. The heart doesn’t need the proofs of God’s existence as the mind does, or at least as the mind often does. The heart simply knows. And in this knowing are we led gently, the by the hand, back to the eternal that we have neglected heretofore, for eons.

How might we effect this change from the intellect to the heart? Try relaxing. Just that simple. We get ourselves so tangled up with the mind. And the heart knows. It really knows. The heart will lead us home to God. The heart is the pathway of A Course of Love.

Jesus understands that the egoic nature of our minds, right now, have betrayed us. If we haven’t reached enlightenment, the mind is a great betrayer. But the heart leaves aside this convoluted thinking. Those of us who have lived within our intellect, and been proud of our intellect, will be particularly drawn to this new message of Jesus. We will say, “Ah, yes, what a relief!” And listening to the heart will be a true relief for us.

No longer do we need to make sense of our meandering thoughts about ultimate reality. Jesus is saying just to leave all that behind, and join him in a new place. We have been just thinking too much.

So listen to your heart today. It will love more freely than the misguided mind. Later on, when we have become affixed to the heart, we will draw into the mind as well. But for now, our heart will be enough for us. Don’t let the habits of a lifetime of thinking hold us back now. Just relax in God’s love, which we will recognize resides in the heart.

Surprised by Joy

“The heart is needed to guide the mind in a way that it does not desire to be guided, a way that is one of joining, a way that does not allow the mind’s separate stance, its rules, or its right answers. The heart is needed because it is who and where you are and responds in love to what is one with it. We are one heart.” (ACOL, C:I.6)

This assertion places love at the center of this new Course, A Course of Love. We are using the heart to join with others in love. Not meant to be living in splendid isolation, we are in a world with other people for a reason: relationship. And we are united as One with our brothers and sisters in this relationship.

Jesus emphasizes this unity by saying that we are “one heart.” Later on he will also emphasize that all of us are joined in an embrace, with him, and all the world. This is union or unity. This replicates the unity that we share with God, of Whom we are a part. We extend that unity to our brothers and sisters, and we live a happier life as a result. No longer seeking, as the mind is wont to do, to be independent, we join with others to create a new world.

We don’t listen to the rules that the mind has set up to structure this new world. Especially not when the ego hold sway. We listen to what the heart wants. And we will be surprised by joy in the undertaking that we are about. Listen to the heart today, and see if we don’t all find a new beginning in the works.

Jesus in A Course of Love–Love’s Focus, the Heart

“This course was written for the mind—but only to move the mind to appeal to the heart. To move it to listen. To move it to accept confusion. To move it to cease its resistance to mystery, its quest for answers, and to shift its focus to the truth and away from what can be learned only by the mind.” (C:I.1)

This quotation seems, at first glance, to give primacy to the mind, as did A Course in Miracles. But the second part of the first sentence changes the purpose to appeal to the heart. So we are talking about a radical change in ACOL from the direction that Jesus took us in A Course in Miracles. In a sense, he had to appeal to the intellect in ACIM, because the ideas about the ego were so mind-dominated. We wouldn’t have listened to anything that seemed too soft, as the heart is apt to seem.

The heart is not soft and mushy, though, and especially not so when you consider that Jesus moves very shortly into a fusion of mind and heart into what he terms “whole-heartedness.” He at first appeals to the heart, so that we don’t become lost, once again, in egoic notions—that this Course can be learned through the mind, even the right mind untainted by the ego.

We focus on the “truth” in A Course of Love. While this can be a term fraught with misunderstanding and even controversy, we are here seeing the truth as understood by Jesus, putting us on very solid ground indeed. The mind by itself cannot learn this truth, and that is why so many of us have gotten stuck in reading A Course in Miracles. We have been trying, intellectually, to understand the difficult passages in ACIM. Jesus sees where we are coming from, and says, in effect, to put the mind aside for a while. Just focus on the heart, which doesn’t need the proofs that the mind demands. We believe in God in large part because of our heart’s leanings. No “proof” is good enough for a confirmed atheist. And no proof is needed by a believer who is listening to his heart.

This is what Jesus is about in A Course of Love. Love’s focus, the heart.

Turn Aside from the Mind to the Heart

“What is learned by the mind only rearranges reality. The mind then holds to the new reality as a new set of rules without change. It sees reality through these new mental constructs and calls this way of seeing new. In order to support its new reality it must insist that others follow these new rules.” (ACOL, 1.2)

We must understand that A Course of Love downplays the mind, in large part, I think, due to the fact that the mind has previously been ego-oriented. ACOL emphasizes the heart, which doesn’t get changed by the egoic mind, and which often gives us the solace that the mind cannot. We do learn, as we get deeper in A Course of Love, that the mind and heart need to combine into a state termed “wholeheartedness,” because we cannot function without the mind and heart working together. Our mind is now pretty much free of the ego, if we have been faithfully reading and taking to heart the instructions in ACOL.

Thus we learn at the beginning of ACOL that the mind is dealing in constructs that mislead. We also want others to follow the rules that our mind has laid down.

Quickly we can realize that this won’t work, not long and not well. What are we to do, but deemphasize the mind as we move farther into A Course of Love?

“All the mind can do is rearrange reality and hold it still and captive and rule bound.” (ACOL 1.5)

This is what the mind does to reality. Is this anything that we would want?

“The mind will attempt to understand with its own logic and fight the logic of the heart. The mind will see new rules and perhaps be willing to rearrange its reality once again.

“The mind is its own reality. You cannot escape the mind’s reality with the mind. You cannot learn how to escape the reality of the mind with the mind’s pattern of learning or of logic. You cannot live in a new and fresh world and retain the mind’s reality.” (ACOL, 1.8 – 1.9)

These quotations do not say so, but the way to turn aside from the mind’s view of reality is to trust the heart’s prompting. We have to get outside the mind to see what it is really doing. It won’t destroy its own constructs about reality. We don’t want to destroy anything, because violence makes what we would eliminate. We simply gently turn aside, basking in the warmth of the heart’s inner knowing.

And by so doing does our little world come around alright again.

We Dwell in the Reality of the One Heart

“We dwell in the reality of the One Heart, creation’s birthplace, birthplace of the new.” (ACOL, 1.12)
A Course of Love recognizes that our minds get us into trouble. Our minds need all kinds of proof that God is good. But our heart knows the truth, the true reality, without the kind of proof that cannot be forthcoming because it is beyond our world.

In the One Heart, we are back at the beginning, where creation occurred, and we are seeing that our future will be like our past; our future will be “new.” We are living in the One Heart in the birthplace of the new.

“The heart that is the center of your being is the center of everything that exists. This is reality. None of these things make you less than what you have perceived yourself to be, but they do make it impossible for you to be separate.” (ACOL, 6.2)

We are interdependent, wholly joined one to the other, not separate in the least. We have so tried, and failed, to be separate. Only in illusion were we ever separate from God, because we are a part of Him and so it is impossible to be separate from our Source.

We recognize that our heart is the center of our being. We have always known this. We know, without being told, what to consider when we are asked to look to our heart as the source of credence, belief. The heart is our true reality. The heart knows without asking a lot of meaningless questions. The heart will enable us to find our way back to the God that we never actually left at all.

Mind and Heart Can Heal Just as the Body Can

“Atonement, or correction, is not of you but of God. You might think of this in terms of nature and look upon nature’s ability to correct itself. You are a part of nature. Your body can correct or heal itself, and so can your mind and heart. . .if they are allowed to do so.” (T3:14.12)

We can heal much as nature heals. This is a new idea from A Course of Love, not given in A Course in Miracles. But, like, ACIM, this message from A Course of Love emphasizes that atonement, correction, is of God. In a sense, we have to get ourselves out of the way. We have to let God do His work in us.

We already know that our physical body can heal itself. Here we learn that our mind and heart can heal as well. And we get out of ourselves, and into God, and then the healing occurs.

We will not have to wait long. One good thing about both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love is that Jesus never tells us that we have to wait to experience blessings from God. Even if the healing of the separation will take millions of years (which he says in ACIM), still they can be happy years for us, living the elevated Self of form, and ministering to others who are coming to know what we have come to know.

The future looks bright for us. Once begun, the ending is sure. We will experience atonement, and we will experience Christ-consciousness, and we only need a small willingness to walk into those experiences.

Let us give the Self that small willingness today.

The Disjoining of Mind and Heart / The Rejoining into Wholeheartedness

“The separated state was nothing more than the disjoining of heart and mind, a state in which mind attempted to know without the relationship of the heart and so merely perceived its own creations rather than the creations birthed in unity. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 2.26)”

1 – Wholeheartedness

This passage alludes to the joining of mind and heart into “wholeheartedness” that the first volume of A Course of Love makes so beautifully clear. We are meant to live in wholeheartedness. In fact, we see that A Course of Love is to the heart what A Course in Miracles was to the mind. Now we have both joined–wholeheartedness.

2 – Separation

We are now ready to leave separation behind, separation from God and separation from our brothers and sisters. We are ready to leave a separated self behind also, to have an elevated Self of form that is wholehearted. Mind and heart are once more joined in unity. And in this state we are able to understand, once again, what it means to be in relationship to all that surrounds us, especially our brothers and sisters.

3 – A Fortunate Fall

We have long lamented the separation from God. But ACOL indicates that this separation was part of the plan. In A Course in Miracles, we learn that this separation happened when a tiny, mad idea crept into the mind of God’s Son. There was nothing to do but to find a plan that could not be subverted, and this plan ultimately culminated in the plan of forgiveness for each other and ourselves. Our egos wanted to call our mistakes “sins,” but to call these mistakes by such a term did tend to make them attractive to us on a continual basis (an ACIM tenet). When we have a mistake, we naturally want to correct it. We have changed its status from a sin to a mistake, and we respond accordingly. ACOL makes the same pronouncement, in slightly different words. Elsewhere we learn that we can turn aside from the things in our personalities that we dislike; we are not bound to keep these lamentable traits. But we are ready to accept Christ in Christ-consciousness, despite what we may still view as flaws. ACIM says that Jesus stands at the end of the journey to undo mistakes that we have not been able to undo. These twin ideas in ACIM and ACOL thus meld into one.

4 – Elevated Self of Form

If we come to understand these concepts, we will be well on our way to the elevated Self of form. We must not let theology delay us; if anything in this interpretation does not resonate with you, then just turn aside from it. A universal experience is mandatory, a universal theology impossible. Why? We see things from different perspectives because our personalities differ. What one may need by way of his/her religion is different from another. Many of us need a personal God, and some find this personal God in the Holy Spirit. A Course in Love, though, says that today the era of the Holy Spirit is over, that we are to learn through the Christ inside of us. This Christ is a part of God Himself, as ACOL teaches. We are a part of God, and so we think with His Mind (an ACIM tenet). We may also come to realize that we feel with God’s heart, in the manner of A Course of Love’s “wholeheartedness,” and this will indeed make our pathway much smoother.

5 – Theology

Don’t let theology delay you, especially if differing interpretations of God’s Word are causing you conflict. Conflict is of the ego, not of either the Holy Spirit or the inner Christ, and certainly not of God Himself. If we are experiencing conflict, we have let the ego intrude once again in our lives, and the results of allowing that mistake could be deplorable.

6 – Come Home

Come home to God today. Never let interpretations lead you to cut back on your moments of solitude with God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Be with me today as I try to meld my heart and mind into wholeheartedness. Thank You for being with me in the difficult moments. Life is not always smooth, but You are there for me always.

May I turn aside from my mistakes, and may I let Your grace repair my wrongdoings. It is with joy that I look forward to this day.

I find that reading interpretations of Jesus’s words sometimes confuses me. I would not have it so. I would go to his words directly, and interact with those words in as elemental a fashion as possible. Help me to do so. Help me to listen to what You are saying to me about Jesus’s words. Be with me today as I seek to have a good day in Your grace.

Amen.