Tag Archives: Hugh and Gayle Prather

Living in the Flow

“What you perceive in others you are strengthening in yourself.  (T80)”

Affirmation:  “perceive in others. . .strengthen in myself”

Reflections:

1 – Without Reflects Within

This passage shows us a way to know what is really going on internally with ourselves.  Whatever we perceive in others, we have, usually unconsciously, looked within and found (a Course concept).

2 – The Prathers

Hugh Prather and his wife Gayle once wrote that they were aware that when everyone that they encountered seemed to need “fixing” in some way, it was their own perception guiding them to take a look internally.  (Note:  This is a paraphrase of their writing.)  Certainly we can easily see the truth of this assertion.  If we are living “in the flow,” and all seems right in our little world, then it is likely that we are at peace and that we are not trying to change anybody.  A Course in Miracles does not emphasize changing our brothers and sisters.  Repeatedly we are encouraged to take a look at a brother or sister, and to try to determine what, if anything, they are ready to accept by way of salvation.  We are not meant to be aggressive (an interpretation of ACIM, not stated directly therein).

3 – How Do We Live in the Flow?

How do we easily live in the flow?  We do not hold such strong, stubborn attitudes in our daily lives.  We are flexible, and we guide our lives by the guidance that the Holy Spirit so often gives to us when we are receptive.  If we are having a good day, it is very likely that we are, consciously or unconsciously, giving up our self-will and living in the flow of the Holy Spirit.  What would it take for us to do this, to follow His guidance, all the time?  It takes the flexibility that I alluded to, just above.  We need to stop being so certain that we are right in the plans that seem necessary for our day.  We may have first decided that something is so, when actually the truth is far from us.  We need to ask that the truth about what we need to do with our day be shown to us, as the day unfolds.  The day is not often shown far in advance.  (This is personal interpretation, not stated in ACIM.)

4 – Changing What Is Within

This truth of perceiving in others what we really hold within is a powerful teacher.  The “sins” that we perceive in others are, first of all, within ourselves.  Seeing this, we can see what needs to be changed.  And it is not our brother.  It is something within ourselves.

5 – Projection Makes Perception

Our brother will seem much more loving as our own thoughts become loving.  “Projection makes perception” is a Course concept.  May we learn from our brother, even as we sometimes note lamentable emotions in him or her.  These emotions (and often actions) have first been within ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I learn from others:  What I see in them is actually something that is within myself.  May I use this knowledge to improve my disposition, my mind and spirit, and my behavior.

When I am in a critical mood, I am not happy.  In fact, I would say that a critical mood is the primary factor if I run into a rough patch in which I seem to experience unhappiness.  Take this habit from me, dear God.  I would be tolerant of my brothers and sisters, and I would reap the benefit of a more benign attitude toward all of them.

As my thoughts become more loving, my brothers and sisters will be perceived as more loving.  This is a great boon for us.  May we realize the truth that projection makes perception, as we learned in the Course.

Amen.

A TRIBUTE TO HUGH PRATHER

by Celia Hales

We of the Course community owe a lot to Hugh and his wife Gayle.  He died on November 15, 2010, from a presumed heart attack, but he had not been ill, and now he is not really gone.  Already he is making his presence known from the Other Side, as reported in The Holy Encounter, a publication of the Miracle Distribution Center (publisher Beverly Hutchinson MeNeff) in the January/February 2011 issue.

Gayle reports:   Hugh “made me pet Binkley [their cat] much longer than I wanted to.  Saturday he informed me that he was glad he didn’t have to clean the house.”   These are the lighthearted moments, which we so need right now, those of us still in this world.  But Gayle also recounts several other anecdotes designed to describe Hugh’s influence from the Other Side toward a gentle and communing spirit in daily life with his immediate family.

Jerry Jampolsky, in the same newsletter, reports hearing Hugh’s voice when Jerry awoke in the middle of the night, saying, “Jerry, Jerry, A Course in Miracles is absolutely correct.  It is all a dream world you are in.  It is all illusions.  It is time for you to not stop laughing at all the stuff we took so seriously.”

This second report underscores a passage from one of Hugh’s (and Gayle’s) early books, There Is a Place Where You Are Not Alone (Doubleday, 1980).  This is the first of the Prathers’ books that was directly inspired by ACIM, their very first attempt to put into words all that ACIM was coming to mean in their lives:

“Today, as every day, you have agreed to sit in a special movie theater and play a game.  The theater is very comfortable and is equipped with the ultimate in ‘sensurround’:  it simulates every sensory experience appropriate to the script.  On the screen is playing a story of your life which you never remember seeing.  Everything has been  made so real that you could easily forget that it is just a movie, but the point of the game is to not forget  Anytime you start to decide what you, the main character, should do next, special equipment will detect this, and a pleasant voice will say, ‘It is only a movie, and you cannot decide what the main character will do next because the script is already written.  So please sit back and enjoy it.’  If you add one more fact to this exercise, it will be true to life:  You wrote the script. (p. 196)”

Hugh wrote his last column for The Holy Encounter a couple of weeks before his death.  In it, he has these intimate revelations:

“There is indeed ‘a still small voice,’ but I need to have more faith in it, because it speaks as clearly to life decisions as to seemingly innocent conversational comments.  The voice is every present, but my faith in it is sporadic, and I am determined to change that. (p. 13)”

The same early book, There is a Place Where You Are Not Alone,  has this telling assertion:

“What I now see, and what anyone can discover for himself, is that this intuition, this quiet sense of direction, is always present and can be consulted directly. (p. 29)”

If Hugh, gentle and advanced teacher of A Course in Miracles that he is, still had trouble at the end in following guidance consistently, how much more can we forgive ourselves when we, too, don’t follow guidance?

On a personal note, I recall an encounter with the kind spirit of the Prathers, in this case, Gayle.

I wrote to the two of them some years back, asking the name of their editor.  I had written a book inspired by A Course in Miracles, and, as I told Hugh and Gayle, I thought that their editor might listen to what I had written with a “friendly ear.”  After a very long time, I arrived at work one morning to hear Gayle’s sparkling voice on my voice mail.  She apologized for the delay, which had happened because my letter had to be forwarded to a new publisher.  And she gave me the name of their editor.  Her voice sounded just like I would imagine an advanced teacher of God would sound–friendly, sweet, and, above all, willing to be helpful.

And her editor responded to my manuscript. She gave me several lengthy paragraphs of critique, much appreciated by me.

It is clear that Hugh has not really left us.  He is very much still interested in this world, though we don’t know everything about the Other Side, and he may go on to other interests.  I can imagine him talking to Bill and Helen (co-scribes of ACIM) right now.

May all of us ultimately leave this world the better place that Hugh made it by his presence and his love.

____

Note: Information about The Holy Encounter can be found at <www.miraclecenter.org>.

The manuscript about which I consulted with the Prathers’ editor is available on the web at <http://elainehill.wordpress.com&gt;.  Its title is Images in a Reflecting Pool.