Choose Heaven

We can choose Heaven at any time, but we must choose it with our brother. This idea is central to the Course: this particular pathway requires that we not walk alone. Moreover, the Course clearly says that we are not victims of the world, nor are we strangers within it. All of our fellow travelers are brothers on a common pathway. And we will choose together or not at all. If we choose not at all, we can never “make” Heaven in illusions; we can only stay in the hell and misery of this world.

The Course asserts that the time of our choosing of Heaven is in our hands. Until we use our power of choice to choose otherwise, we are left in this world, seemingly (to us) as victims, but, thankfully, this state of affairs need not remain with us.

Advertisements

Lifted Out of Pain and Destruction by the Atonement

“No one accepts Atonement for himself who still accepts sin as his goal. You have thus not met your one responsibility. Atonement is not welcomed by those who prefer pain and destruction. (T-18.VII.1)”

We are lost in pain and destruction when we remain oblivious to Atonement, or correction. We are caught in an imprisoned will, a will that because of our insanity in the ego, does not know any better way to do anything. This imprisoned will also doesn’t know how to correct itself.

There remains only one option, to look to another as our source of correction, and Jesus tells us in A Course in Miracles that he is in charge of the Atonement. For those of us who have chosen Jesus as our leader, this is the answer. We accept correction from the one, Jesus, whom we have come to love. We don’t wander, mindlessly, in madness any longer.

If we think that we are giving up our free will by choosing Atonement, we will muddle along in pain and destruction for eons more (maybe). We will be like adolescent children, still in rebellion against our Parent, God. We need to realize that we don’t want to do wrong things, we don’t want to make the mistakes that we, in our befuddled attitudes, will think are sinful. When we sin deliberately, we will think that we are cutting ourselves off from God. And we will feel guilty. And we will be lost in pain and destruction.

Give up this insanity today. There is another way, a better way. And Jesus is pointing it out to us in ACIM. We turn from our mistakes, with the help of guidance, and we walk in the pathway toward salvation by recognizing that we need help. We recognize that we did not make ourselves, God created us, and we cannot save ourselves either. We need Someone Who knows better, and that Someone is God’s Voice, the Holy Spirit. He will guide us very gently out of the morass, and we will soon—yes, soon—be home at last.

The Self-Deceiving Must Deceive, for They Must Teach Deception. And What Else Is Hell?

1 – Manual for Teachers (A Course in Miracles)

“This is a manual for the teachers of God. They are not perfect, or they would not be here. Yet it is their mission to become perfect here, and so they teach perfection over and over, in many, many ways, until they have learned it. (M2)”

2 – Perfection

This passage continues the theme of the previous passages in this blog. As we teach perfection, we gradually (almost without knowing it) become more perfect ourselves. We are not now perfect, because we are a part of this world. We would not choose to be here if we were already perfect. But there is a way that we can become more perfect, and this passage spells it out.

3 – Elusive Goal

We must not be too hard on ourselves. Perfection will probably always remain an elusive goal, and it is even neurotic to ask the impossible of ourselves. But Jesus holds out to us the promise that eventually we will know perfection. We truly cannot understand how, as we think over our shortcomings. But we need to take Jesus at his word.

4 – Description of the Manual

The manual is the shortest of the three parts to the Course. Some of us will want to start there, maybe simply because it is short. If this seems right, we should do it. Otherwise, we need to dip into both the text and the workbook, to see what seems right (guided by the Holy Spirit) for us.

5 – Salvation

“Except for God’s teachers there would be little hope of salvation, for the world of sin would seem forever real. The self-deceiving must deceive, for they must teach deception. And what else is hell? (M2)”

6 – Cooperation

This passage explains why it so important that we learn A Course in Miracles and become teachers of God. This world depends upon our cooperation in this great endeavor. If we do not take our place in salvation, the world itself is at stake. Of course, there are many courses in this world, and even ACIM students/teachers teach different versions of ACIM, each of them. So we are not to judge those who choose another pathway. The important thing is for there to be a choice to walk the high road in this sometimes troubled world.

7 – Hell

The definition of hell given herein suggests that hell is the worst that we know on earth. Nowhere is there any indication in the Course of a hell beyond death. In fact, the reverse itself is true. We are not to live in fear that we may end up, being judged of wrongdoing and cast into hell after death. The Course is very clear on its denial of this.

8 – This World – Real?

If we deceive ourselves in believing that this world is real, then we will teach this concept. It is a tenet of the Course that this world is not real; the real world awaits us as we have walked further along on the pathway to Awakening. Surely we are willing to take out places in bringing salvation to this world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I lose my fear of hell, because it is self-deception. The real world awaits my coming to it. This real world is the one of love and peace that Jesus promises to us.

I know that you need me to help save the world. This is not arrogance, but the sanest sense. May I join your great Awakening in this real world, ready to do my part in salvation.

Amen.

The Last Judgment Is a Final Healing rather than a Meting Out of Punishment

“The Last Judgment is generally thought of as a procedure undertaken by God. Actually it will be undertaken by my brothers with my help. It is a final healing rather than a meting out of punishment, however much you may think that punishment is deserved. (T34)”

Affirmation: “The Last Judgment. . .a final healing”

Reflections:

1 – Healing

The Last Judgment is usually fraught with fear. The way Jesus explains it, though, it is a healing, not an opportunity to determine if punishment is justified. This is a much more modern way of interpreting the Last Judgment, and also much more in line with the love that emanates from the New Testament. What would an angry God want to do with His children but to heal them? Why would He punish in some hell-fire-and-brimstone way? What good would that do? And how could we still believe this of a loving God?

2 – Traditional Concepts

We couldn’t believe the traditional hell of a loving God, although perhaps in an earlier era people were “scared” into heaven by sermons warning of hell. Maybe. I’m not so sure. I think that the “hell” concept has made many enemies for God, many people who don’t believe that He could do such a thing. And indeed, A Course in Miracles tells us that God cannot.

3 – Brothers

There is an indication here of our “brothers,” working with Jesus, to carry out the Last Judgment. There are no other indications in the Course of what Jesus meant, aside from the tenet that our brothers are our way home, that we learn through our holy relationships. I once had a waking dream, a kind of hypnosis, in which a brother of mine walked me through the Last Judgment. I was asked to do all kinds of things in my life (most of which I have done, later on), and I cried during the trance that I felt myself in. But was this the brother, sent by Jesus, to walk me through the Last Judgment? I think that he was, for he meant many things to me, and he was an advanced spiritual soul.

4 – Holy Relationship

We must just accept the idea that Jesus puts forth in this passage, without being able, within ACIM or without, to understand the message fully. As time passes, perhaps we will come to understand. It is perhaps in the final working out of the holy relationship that the Last Judgment actually takes place.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

My I no more fear the Last Judgment. I do not understand how my brothers will help with the Last Judgment, but I trust what Jesus has said.

May I endeavor to have holy relationships with all of my brothers. May this concept grow in time, and may I feel your blessing in it.

Amen.

The Road to Hell Is Paved with Good Intentions

van gogh - wheatfield with crows“While you continue to see the call of this course as a call to goodness, you will surely fail. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 3.10)”

Affirmation: “Being good is not my ‘goal’ today.”

Reflections:

1 – Good Intentions

Jesus makes it easy on us. We don’t have to make extravagant attempts to be “good” to fulfill his requirements in this course. Why? We would surely fail. Good intentions, we have always been told, are not enough. And it is good intentions that prompt us to be “good” (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or ACOL).

2 – Failure

Jesus makes the comparison between a failure to stick to a diet and the failure to be consistently good. We always fail to live up to our ideal.

3 – Change

Later on, Jesus says in the Dialogues that we will simply make a decision to change some trait about ourselves, because it is a mistake, and then we will simply see that trait disappear. Thus he does not feel a call to have us seek goodness in and of itself. He is not even calling us to be perfect, which seemed to be a biblical injunction. In ACIM, Jesus points out that he stands at the end of the pathway to correct all mistakes that we could not correct. Let this be enough for us. Jesus will stand by us. He will do for goodness what we cannot do.

4 – No Lament

The certainty of failure as we seek to be “good” is not a cause for lament. It is a statement of fact. And hidden in the assertion is the truth that we do not have to try to be good. This goodness will come about naturally as we walk further along the pathway. Of course, if the ego gets involved, we will fall away from the correct walk. But Jesus also says, further along in this chapter, that the ego is gone now. What a delightful thing to hear!

5 – Reread ACOL

If the ego is indeed gone, we are following Jesus’s way in A Course of Love. Don’t be sure, though. The ego is wily, and sometimes we have to read and reread ACOL to get its message. But get its message we will, and then we are assured a happier walk through the earth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I was not so good yesterday, and so the message for today speaks to me as well as to my readers. Thank You for the timing of this message. It is true, so true, that my good intentions are not enough, for surely that is of the ego, and I will surely fail. May I start each day over when I get on the wrong path. Help the events of my day to stay on an even keel, with nothing going awry.

Thank You for Jesus’s help, even though I struggle with the assertion that he can be anywhere, anytime—just by my call, my unequivocal call.

Be with me so that this day goes better than the one yesterday. And may I learn from my mistakes, never to repeat the same ones. I appreciate that you call my misdeeds just “mistakes,” and not “sins.” I would see nothing attracting in a mistake, and I might be tempted to repeat a sin.

Thank You for the insights that A Course of Love gives to me.

Amen.

Solace for Our Hearts

“Into this battlefield you have bravely marched.  The war rages by day and by night and you have grown weary.  Your heart cries out for solace and does not go unheard.  Help is here.  (A Course of Love, 2.20)”

Affirmation:  “Help is here.”

Reflections:

1 – “Help Is Here”

In this “help,” Jesus is referring to himself.  In some senses, he is a much more present help in A Course of Love than we found in A Course in Miracles.  In the latter, ACIM, he was appealing to our minds in an intellectual sense (especially in the Text and Manual, and less so in the Workbook).  He was dislodging the ego, which is a concept of the mind.  But here, in ACOL, Jesus is stressing the heart, a concept which we all can understand and which does need the empathy that Jesus offers to us.  We need to know that we are supported when we delve into heart-related matters.  And Jesus offers us that support.

2 – We Need Comfort

Our hearts want solace; we want to know that we are loved.  And we are, far more than we can return the love.  Our emotions are blunted from too many long years of pain and sometimes suffering.  We need the comfort that only someone like Jesus can provide.

3 – Battlefield

Jesus sees this world as a “battlefield,” and we might do the same.  If we have not voiced the word, “battlefield,” we have surely thought it without verbal identity.  Maybe we just called this world a “hell,” which is the vernacular that is more commonly used.  We have made of this world a “hell,” but, if we follow Jesus’s message in ACIM and ACOL, we can, quite literally, turn this world into a heaven.  What more could we ask?

4 – We Are Weary

We are very weary of the trials of this world.  We are weary of our own trials, which have come to us to allow a better choice to be made this time around (an ACIM tenet).  May we spend today seeking ways to go beyond our trials, to turn a situation around for the better not far off in the distance, but immediately, now.  And may we turn this world into a heaven.  Grant us the understanding and belief that such a turnabout is not only possible, but probable.  If we follow Jesus’s word.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Today is a time for comfort.  Today is a time for solace for our hearts.  

We are weary of this world and its battles, this hell that we have sometimes made for ourselves.  May we turn today to both Jesus and to You, for with the turning to an elder brother, and with the turning inward to the Divine, we are finally taking steps that will turn our world into the heaven that we have been led to understand that this world can be.

Be with me today as I seek to live a better way.  May I choose “another way,” as the co-scribes of A Course in Miracles, Helen and Bill, learned together.  And may my good feeling not be long in coming, for I am impatient to know the way that You would show, in all your graciousness, to me.  Thanking You in advance, I am Yours.

Amen.

An Ecstasy of Unspeakable Joy

“To continue to identify love incorrectly is to continue to live in hell.  As much as highs and lows of intense feeling are sought by some to be avoided, it is in the in between of passionless living that hell is solidified and becomes quite real.  You can label joy heaven and pain hell and seek the middle ground for your reality thinking there are more than these two choices.  A life of little joy and little pain is seen as a successful life, for a life of joy is seen as nothing more than a daydream, a life of pain a nightmare.  (A Course of Love, 2.7)”

Affirmation:  “I choose a life of joy.”

Reflections:

1 – Give Up the Drama of Hell

This passage discusses the drama that all of us, to one extent or another, need to give up.  We do not need a middle way, a way of muted feelings.  But we do need to give up the drama of hell.  We do not need a passionless living, because this is the real hell.  But we need to choose, again and again, the high ecstasy of joy in daily life.  That is the only way that we can be happy.

2 – Life without the Ego

A life of joy is not a daydream, though here (in this passage) we hear that we think a life of joy is a daydream.  We can truly know lasting joy, when our attitudes are straightened out and we are on the pathway home.  We need to let the ego wither away, and in A Course of Love, we find that we are well on the way to reaching that epitome.  Life without the ego (as defined by Jesus) is a glorious gift.  And it is builds upon the “happy dreams the Holy Sprit brings,” as defined in the Workbook of A Course in Miracles.  Now we are living more fully from our depths, or, if you will, our higher Self, the Christ in us.  This is Christ-consciousness, and this blessing will be present intermittently until it is made a sustainable state.  Nobody, according to ACOL, has sustained Christ-consciousness as a steady state always–yet.

3 – What is “Success”?

We would not have a life of little joy and little pain, and call this a “successful life.”  This will never do.  We are meant for better than this, we as children of God.  Let us ask Him today what He would have us do to live the best life that He can envision for us.  And let us trust that, in the silence, He will speak to us of unspeakable joys that await.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When we live a day of contentment, we know joy.  But when we live a day of ecstasy, we touch heaven.  We would not choose a passionless life, and a passionless life is not the same as a life devoid of drama.  The two may sound similar, but they differ, and we would eliminate the meaningless drama without dropping passion from our lives.

Be with me as I seek to do this, to drop the drama but to keep the passion.  I would know the ecstasy of a life led according to Your dictates.  There is no better way to live, and I ask You to help me find this blessing today.

Thank You.

Amen.

Bridge the Distance between Heaven and Hell

“Yet you will not become the bridge.  You refuse to recognize that the Christ in you provides the bridge that you need only walk across to bridge the distance between heaven and hell, between your separated self and union with God and all your brothers and sisters.  (A Course of Love, P.20)”

Affirmation:  “bridge the distance between heaven and hell”

Reflections:

1 – The Bridge

We are not the bridge that will save us.  But the Christ in us does provide the bridge.  We think too much of ourselves, even though we are children of God, when we think that we are the bridge.  The Christ in us, as I read this, has been waiting patiently for recognition, and the time is now for us to so recognize Him/Her.

2 – Union

We walk into heaven, even while living on earth, in this world, when we unite with God in our own knowing, as well as unite with our brothers and sisters.  This is our way out of hell.  A Course in Miracles also offers advice about what is our way out of hell.  The two discussions seem to my mind to be a unity in and of themselves.  We might think of A Course of Love as Jesus’s additional commentary to help us, for many of us stay “stuck” in A Course in Miracles, doing the Workbook over and over, and frustrated that we don’t seem to know Awakening, even after all of our trying.  We are to cease being our own teacher; Jesus is our elder brother, who teaches us for a time, and then, by the conclusion of the third volume in the trilogy of A Course of Love, even he has resigned as our teacher.  He presents himself at that point as our equal.  But he never deserts us, and for that we can be very, very grateful.  Indeed, the gratitude may help to make the truth of this interpretation from Jesus, the truth for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May we unite with God and with our brothers and sisters.  This is the only way for us to realize our inheritance from God, the inheritance of joy and peace and harmony that is meant for us as children of God.

May we know heaven on earth.  May our neuroses fade away even as our ego withers.

Amen.

The Way Out of Hell

“Do not, then, think that following the Holy Spirit’s guidance is necessary merely because of your own inadequacies.  It is the way out of hell for you.  (M-29.3)”

Affirmation:  “May I diligently follow guidance today.”

Reflections:

1 – Following Guidance

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

2 – Insight about Guidance

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

3 – Becoming Stronger

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

4 – Nighttime Dreams

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

5 – Still Learning

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

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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

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

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

Amen.

Herein Lie Hell and Heaven

“It is impossible that the prayer of the heart remain unanswered in the perception of the one who asks.  If he asks for the impossible, if he wants what does not exist or seeks for illusions in his heart, all this becomes his own.  The power of his decision offers it to him as he requests.  Herein lie hell and Heaven.  (M-21.3)”

Affirmation:  “May I ask for only what is true and real.”

Reflections:

1 – Personal Experience

I have been lost in illusions through one particular period early in my adult life.  My “prayer of the heart” was answered, and I was asking for what did not exist and was asking for illusion.  And they both came.

2 – Not Real

But was this real?  Indeed, no.  And God would have us to ask only for reality, the real world.  He will be there to see that we get the real world.

3 – Lost in the Ego

We are largely lost in the ego when we ask for what does not exist and for illusions.  Certainly I myself had, toward the end of my illusory journey, had discovered A Course in Miracles.  And within six months I had emerged from a 14-year illusion.  This miracle did not come of anything that I did.  I do believe that the Divine came into play.  And I have been mightily grateful for God’s action ever since.

4 – God Will Protect Us

I did not ask for anything that was bad for me.  I learned a great deal in that 14 years.  A Course in Miracles says that God will protect us when we ask for what is bad for ourselves.  It is no more than what a loving earthly father would do for his children.  (Paraphrases from ACIM.)

5 – A Kind of Hell

But we can make a kind of hell for ourselves when we ask for what does not exist or for illusions.  We need to test our prayer of the heart, to see that it is the right prayer.  And only a heartfelt desire to know and to do God’s Will will accomplish this miracle.  Especially when one’s force of will (informed by the ego) is very strong.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for walking with me through that 14 years in my early adulthood.  You knew what was best, and You, for the vast majority of the time, did not give me the “green light” to pray for what I wanted.  And so I didn’t pray for this dream, except for a brief three days, when the green light came through–not important in a 14-year journey.  Thank You for leading me to the very real life that You did plan for me.  And I have no regrets.  Part of what I was living was something that You authorized.

Be with me in the twilight years of my life.  Be with me for excellent physical and emotional health.  Help me to help others, and to attract to myself only what is Your highest and best.  May my thankfulness for the wonderful life that confronts me be something that You can see and acknowledge.

Be with all of us as we walk through the day, as we take journeys without distance, and finally find our home in You.

Amen.

All God Would Have You Do You Can Do

“To turn hell into Heaven is the function of God’s teachers, for what they teach are lessons in which Heaven is reflected.  And now sit down in true humility, and realize that all God would have you do you can do (M-14.5)”

Affirmation:  “I would turn hell into Heaven.”

Reflections:

1 – Students/Teachers

All of us are students/teachers of God.  Time is an illusion, and only time separates students from teachers.  We will all be teachers, and many sooner rather than later.  We are actually already teaching and learning at the same time.  As soon as we have answered the Call, the individuals whom we can serve best will begin looking for us, and finding us.  There are no accidents in salvation.  Who we are to meet, we will meet.  The lives we are to touch, we will touch.  And in this plan of the teachers is found much joy.

2 – Plan of the Teachers

Jesus says elsewhere that without the plan of the teachers, there would be no way for all of our brothers and sisters to find their way home again.  The detour into fear has been long and burdensome, troubling in the extreme.  Let us ask today to be free of the fear in whatever form the fear manifests.  Often it is simply a low-grade anxiety, from which our jobs and our relationships seem to offer no respite.

3 – Bill and Helen

But there is a better way, and Helen and Bill (co-scribes of ACIM) found it, perhaps Bill more than Helen.  As Vahle points out in his biography (see review in this blog), and as Ken Wapnick has made so clear, the peace that Helen gave to others eluded her.  Ken’s biography of Helen Schucman is entitled, Absence from Felicity.  And it was only in death, when Jesus came to claim his own, that her face was at peace.  Bill, on the other hands, moved to California and there, amid friends of ACIM, lived a much more peaceful conclusion to his life.

4 – Let’s Do Our Part Today

May we do our part today to turn this hell on earth into Heaven on earth.  Ask the Holy Spirit what small thing you might do today to effect this reversal.  And He will respond.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Helen’s experience has led me to understand that there are no guarantees in this life.  I know from my reading that she understood A Course in Miracles very well, but still she was without the peace that ACIM had brought so many others.  May all of us realize that we must depend on the Holy Spirit in this world, and that, even then, we may not always have happy dreams.

Be with me today as I seek, once again, to understand Your guidance.  My nighttime dreams seem to give me indications, as well as my intuitive, inner sense.  I have not put it all together yet.  Be with me, and be with other whom I touch today, in whatever way.  We are not to be without limits in this world, but we are to seek to overcome the limitations, with the guidance that we receive.  May that guidance come in Your own Way, in Your own time.

Amen.

Dreary, Hopeless Thoughts = Hell

ACIM Workbook Lesson 196 – for Sunday, July 15, 2012

Affirmation:  “It can be but myself I crucify.”

“The dreary, hopeless thought that you can make attacks on others and escape yourself has nailed you to the cross.  Perhaps it seemed to be salvation.  Yet it merely stood for the belief the fear seemed to be salvation.  Yet it merely stood for the belief the fear of God is real.  And what is that but hell?  Who could believe his Father is his deadly enemy, separate from him, and waiting to destroy his life and blot him from the universe, without the fear of hell upon his heart?  (WB374)”

Reflections:

1 – Fear of God = Hell

So the fear of God is hell!  Elsewhere Jesus says also that “guilt” is hell.  And so it seems that our own guilt at our presumed misdeeds and bad thoughts has made us fear God’s retribution, and therefore we have experienced hell on earth.  (And, if the truth be told, we have spent part of our lives, at least, fearing hell after death.)

2 – God Never Condemns

God never condemns, and so He does not need to forgive us for our thoughts and actions.  This is a sticking point for many students/teachers of A Course in Miracles, because we cannot seem to get out of our minds a God Who may have created part of the pain and suffering in our world, or at least ought to do something about it!  These thoughts misdirect our minds.  God neither created pain and suffering, but we, in a “tiny, mad idea” thought that we separated from Him, and we entered a world, built up by us, that is insanity.  And in an insane world there is pain and suffering.

3 – A Way Out

Is there a way out that we can take beginning today?

4 – Get the Madness Out

Yes, there is a way out.  And we need only learn as a student the precepts of ACIM, and, with our minds losing some of its insanity, the “dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (from the Workbook) can attract to ourselves a much better living experience.  These are benign dreams that some would say we have used through the “law of attraction” (a tenet of a bestseller entitled The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne).  But we too want more than the materialistic if we are to be happy.  The altruistic ideas of God will inform a world in much stronger terms than simply an improvement in our material conditions.  And, for the intangibles of God, we turn to our Guide, the Holy Spirit–or the Christ-consciousness within (if we have traveled this far on the pathway back home).  (The concept of Christ-consciousness is described in A Course of Love, believed by some to be a sequel to ACIM and also channeled by Jesus.)

5 – We Are Out Own Worst Enemy

So let us cease aiding and abetting our own hell on earth. We have taught ourselves the unnatural habit of not communicating with our Creator (an ACIM tenet), and we have reaped the lamentable result in our world.  Let us turn today to a different way of living, and find our way home in God with all of its attendant joys.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I think that most of us have found ways to be happy, and some of our unhappy moments are when we forget to put into practice what we already know.  Certainly our depressed thoughts do constitute a hell outside of You.  We can get medical help, and we can turn to A Course in Miracles, to prayer, to friends and family, to writing in a journal; there clearly are limitless ways that may have helped in the past.  

Thank You for the good day that I am having.  But the day did not start in a promising way, because I felt sleepy and wanted just to nod off again.  Jesus would not have us to withdraw, as he says in ACIM.  And when I began writing (one of my solutions), everything turned around.  Then I visited my mother at her retirement community, and that gesture took me out of myself.  Thank You for the good day that this has turned out to be.

May my brothers and sisters be cheered by something today, if anyone is feeling down.  May we help each other, if by no other way that good thought vibes.

Amen.

Turn Hell to Heaven

“Peace now belongs here, because a Thought of God has entered.  What else but a Thought of God turns hell to Heaven merely by being what it is?. . .It is no longer, ‘Can peace be possible in this world?’ but instead, ‘Is it not impossible that peace be absent here?’  (M-11.4)”

 

Affirmation:  “May I see peace today.”

Reflections:

1 – Heaven on Earth

We are well-informed in A Course in Miracles that we can know Heaven on earth.  We do not deny the reverse that our physical eyes show us, but we recognize what is real and what is not.  We know that the intangibles of God, the Thought of God, is real.  The peace, the joy, the patience, the contentment. . . .Everything that is not a synonym of peace is an illusion, because we are living a dream (ACIM tenets).

2 – Peace

When we experience a Thought of God, we know that peace is meant to follow our footsteps wherever we go.  We can be mistaken in thinking a given thought is actually a Thought of God, but mistakes can be corrected.  We do not arrogantly determine that we are understanding God’s Mind, for we are not ready for this.  We humbly take what we are given, and we give thanks for it.  Then we realize that peace is indeed home in our world.

3 – Pain and Suffering

What of the pain and suffering, the terrors and war, that engulf our world?  We can make a difference, and when we pray for guidance, we will be directed what difference it is that we are to make–what our particular part in the cosmic drama is meant to be.  Until we know that much, we walk a dimly lit path.

4 – Save This World

Ask today for your part in God’s plan to save the world.  The Holy Spirit will respond, and, we can imagine, in our anthropomorphic way, that He is glad that we asked.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would do today what I can best do to help the individuals around live a good life.  I know that I do not experience Heaven on earth consistently, but this blessing happens more frequently than it did when I was in my early adult years.  I knew when to be contented with what I had, because I had gone “without” for so long.  I thank You now that I discovered ACIM so early, in my mid-thirties, and that its tenets have guided me to happiness many times over.

Be with all of us as we seek to learn A Course in Miracles.  When we fill our minds with ACIM‘s glorious words, we edge out defeatism, and we find ourselves attracting better and better things.  These things do not have to be materialistic only; they certainly can be emotional joys that provide us with a gentle happiness that no bad occurrence in our world can long overcome.  Thank You for leading me to this understanding.

If we attract Jesus’s blessings, we do so because we have accepted the non-dualism of his world.  We no longer seek for what will actually harm, seeking in ignorance precipitated by egoistic thinking.  I would let the ego wither even more today, leading me ever closer to Awakening on a consistent basis.

Be with me as I seek to do for the significant others in my life the things that they need me to do.  This has been a hard week, for personal reasons, but You know those personal reasons.  And I wish to continue to see improvement in the individuals with whom I share my life.

Amen.

My True Identity Abides in You

ACIM Workbook Lesson 283 – for Monday, October 10, 2011

Affirmation:  “My true Identity abides in You.”

“Father, I made an image of myself, and it is this I call the Son of God.  Yet is creation as it always was, for Your creation is unchangeable.  Let me not worship idols.  I am he my Father loves.  My holiness remains the light of Heaven and the Love of God.  Is not what is beloved of You secure?  Is not the light of Heaven infinite?  Is not Your Son my true Identity, when You created everything that is?  (WB439)”

Reflections:

1 – We Make Personas

We all, in our egoic state, make personas, and then we live out what we are trying to present to the world.  This is an egoic image, and images cannot talk.  We find that others see through our personas, straight to our hearts, though they do not frequently see the love that actually resides there.  They think, sometimes, that they are seeing something that deserves rejection.  But nothing deserve rejection.  If we are prone to attack or anger, we are actually making calls for help, an an ACIM student/teacher, in his/her better moments, will recognize this.  We are acting at such time out of an ego that needs to wither away.

2 – We Are the Light of Heaven

We are the light of Heaven, though we do not often believe this.  It is not arrogance to so believe, because we are talking about the Self that is Christ, the Self as God created us.  But it is up to us to save the world, though not through overbearing means.  Not everybody is ready for our message, and many will actively discount it, believing that what we say is of the “devil.”  But there is no devil; there is only an ego that projects a devil.  This is part of the theology of ACIM.

3 – Hell Is Guilt

Even hell is not real, according to ACIM.  Hell is guilt that we experience right here on earth.  Of course, we can make images that appear to be hell, but that does not make them real.  Jesus asks if the number of pitchforks a devil carries make us believe in him/her more readily (a paraphrase from ACIM)?  Certainly not.  We either believe or not, but the extent of the delusion matters not.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I live today the real person that I am, the Self that You created.  May I not remain mired in an image of myself that is not true.  May I not wear a mask before the world.  Let me show my real Self, the Daughter of You, as You would have me do.

May today be good in all respects.  May I remain patient in trials, if they come, and may I realize that trials are but a chance to make a new choice, a better choice than something that I once chose before.  Be with me as I seek to live the Self whom You would have me be.

Amen.