It Is in God’s Hands

. . .[Y]ou suddenly realize you are not the maker and doer, that you can accept responsibility for anything and everything because through you all power under Heaven and Earth is made to flow, to manifest the Love of God. So, in short, it is in God’s hands, not yours. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 63)

We are not the doers, at least not in our personality. The Doer is God Himself, Who dwells deep within each of us as One. We are, of course, One, being part of the one Self Who is manifested in the world. That’s why harm to another actually harms the self, for there are not two, but one.

The world is meant to manifest God’s Love, and it is only in our desire to see if we could create something better than He that we wandered away into separation from Him. It was never so, but we were free to be lost in the illusion that it was the truth.

Now we know better. Our separation from God was only in dreams of illusion, dreams that have played out on the stage of this world, and perhaps others. We have never left God’s bosom, and when we allow His Love to encompass us again, we will be very close to enlightenment, a stage of life, coming to all of us, that will make manifest in our world the truth that Love is the All, the Everything. God, as we know, is Love, though to think of love as an emotion is to miss the point. Love is a fact, a reality, a truth, that permeates the whole, and now we know this in our inmost being.

The eons have passed in which we walked in a fog. Now time is fleeting, and we are all passing into the knowledge of God, past perception. Now we know what was only a shadow heretofore.

Now we know. What are we to do with this knowledge? That is the only question left to answer. Let intuition rise to the surface, and that secret, too, will be revealed.

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The Ego as Satan

A Course in Miracles says, “Sin is not error, for it goes beyond correction to impossibility. Yet the belief that it is real has made some errors seem forever past the hope of healing, and the lasting grounds for hell.” (T-26.VII.7:1-2) This passage points to the old idea of a duel between God and the fallen angel Lucifer (Satan), in which the two battle it out for control of men’s and women’s minds.

We must realize that this myth is a projection of the ego, which is the “Satan” in all of us. But as part of God, as an extension of God, our Will and His have not truly been out of sync. It is only in our mad and unnatural way to operate independently of God that the trouble began–the trouble that is an illusion of reality, but an illusion in which, nevertheless, we still believe.

God does not attack our ego (our “Satan”), knowing that it is only a dream and without substance at all. He waits for us to understand that the way of the ego does not work; He waits for our reestablishment of communing with the Holy Spirit, the only natural way to live. As finite minds, we cannot succeed if we try to live separately from our Source.

So we must give up our inferior judgments to the Holy Spirit, who sees the whole picture. This is natural; this is the way life should be experienced, and we learn this as our bad dreams turn to happy ones under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit.

Forgiveness

People who are particularly fearful of sin (though they may not call it that) will be particularly prone to find a victim in an attempt to ease their consciences at their own “unforgivable” wrongdoing. Their attacks upon another will be very pronounced, reducing her to an object deemed unworthy of esteem, but very worthy of damnation for “sins.” This is projection! The one who feels guilty, who cannot accept those mistakes of hers that seem black enough to be sins, will thrust her poor self-image onto another–the scapegoat. Know that this is simple insanity, and try no longer to make sense of it. Forgive the indiscretion, and this understanding will dawn upon an overwrought mind. Know that if we are the victims today, in other times we have been the perpetrators. Leave this insanity behind for all time. It is a replay of the mistaken message that we have long viewed by looking at the old, rugged cross.

We do not need the cross as expiation of sins. We do need the wholly benign lesson of the resurrection, and Jesus in A Course in Miracles bids us look to the resurrection rather than the crucifixion. A Course in Miracles affirms that all sickness is an illusion caused by our belief in unforgivable sin and brought into being by our guilt (over the “sin”) that asks for punishment. The Course does not really believe that sin, if true at all, is forgivable. And it implies that we do not believe sin, if true, is forgivable either.

The Course’s way out of this impasse is to say that the wrong that we do is really illusion, and that Reality has not be affected at all. So sin is not “real,” and only in illusion have we made errors that cry out for correction.

Calling an error a “sin” seems to make it “real,” and to call for punishment. And because belief makes an illusion, we will experience the punishment that we have asked for. We can seem to make error “real” by concentrating upon it, thereby elevating its status. What we need to do is overlook the error, perhaps offering simultaneously our forgiveness of it. But certain it is that we will make it “real” to ourselves if we focus on it, analyzing it as the ego is always prone to do. If we forgive first, we will then come to understand. We ought not to seek to understand before forgiving because that is a certain way to engage the ego and ensure that we will find it harder and harder to forgive, having made real to ourselves the deeds that we need to overlook.

Madness & Illusion

The Course even maintains that the world exists only in our minds: “There is no world!” (W-pI.132.6:2) Jesus says that this is the central tenet that the Course attempts to teach, and that we will go as far toward accepting this as we can. For those of us who have longed to know the metaphysical basis of Reality, these words are welcome indeed. We are told that when we awake from our nocturnal dreams, we simply “awake” to a new dream, in a new form not easily recognizable. The Course also says that awareness of dreaming is the real function of God’s teachers. (M-12.6:6)

When we recognize that what we see and do is illusion, we do not have so much trouble forgiving our brother, for in truth what he did to cause pain never happened. Our real self has been unaffected, and we are led gently to realize that this real Self is far greater than the tiny, mad part of ourselves that longs to be separate. If we can believe it, we are even instructed that the Whole does not know of the tiny part that wishes to be different and “special.” Only the Holy Spirit is the linkage that pulls this bit of madness back to the one Whole.

This is another of the difficult concepts of the Course: Does God Himself really remain unaware of our doings, with only the Holy Spirit to mediate between God and us? If we see God as within, layered over by much unreality, the concept makes more sense. Frequently we can reach God only in silence, so far have we gone into madness. And if we cannot know the Living God, it is obvious that the communication between Him and us has been disrupted. This then perhaps is the basis for recognizing that we in our madness have limited the very knowledge of God.

Can He reach us, if He is hidden within us and we are mad? I think not. But the Course is adamant that God’s Holy Spirit does provide the communication link that we have thrown away. I do not believe that these concepts are possible of understanding in a world of madness. Do let us go as far along the pathway of understanding as we can, leaving it to God to take the final step of uniting us to Him, once again. What we need is faith to see us through.

Self Unharmed

Why does karma exist? It is the old law of cause and effect, an immutable law of the universe from which a loving God does not exclude us. This law is largely the reason that God is seen as cruel. We make mistakes, and suffer the (bad) consequences, and then we blame God for not saving us from ourselves! Yet how else could the universe operate? If we are ever to lift ourselves out of madness, we must learn what works and what doesn’t. Only by learning this well can we ever hope to be co-creators with God. If He were to alter magically the illusions in which we have encased ourselves, we would never find our way out of the mists.

It is true, according to the Course, that what we do is illusion. It is a game a child might play, a playing of pretend that will one day, when we have left our madness far behind, be the instigator of real effects. At this point we will have learned fully the “causes” that bring destruction upon us.

We must be firmly convinced that it is ourselves who are living in madness, not God. And even in this world God’s higher laws prevail. The principal higher law is activated by forgiveness, a forgiveness in which we acknowledge that our illusions of whatever nature, of whatever violence, have harmed no one. What has caused nothing can hardly need forgiveness, but as long as we think it does, we need the exercise of forgiveness. Attack is not a real cause, and therefore only illusory effects can result. One is always either expressing love, or calling for love, for Love is our identity, an identity in which we forgive our brother for what he has not done to us. As long as he thinks he has harmed us, though, we must show him that the perceived attack is of no consequence. The blood is but bottled catsup on a stage in which pain only seems real. Our Real Self has continued unabated and unharmed throughout the whole tumult.

Jesus: “What You Experience You Have Directly and Deliberately Called to Yourself”

“In each and every moment, you cannot be a victim of what you see, and nothing is outside of you. What you experience you have directly and deliberately called to yourself. If you hold the thought, ‘I do not like what I have called to myself,’ that is perfectly fine. For you have called to yourself the experience of being in judgment of yourself. Merely look with the wonder of a child and see what it feels like and ask yourself, ‘Is this an energy I wish to continue in or would I choose something else?’” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 1, Page 3)

Jesus echoes A Course in Miracles here when he says, “nothing is outside of you.” This is the idea that we are projecting our illusion, that the mind projects outwardly, and then we perceive. The fact that we are perceiving illusion is germane. How can we be a victim when we are making what we see?

This is a hard point to grasp, but the idea that we live in illusion is central to ACIM, and also central to The Way of Mastery (The Christ Mind Trilogy). Readers of A Course of Love have a divergence of opinion about whether or not the world is ever actually “real.” I really don’t think it matters to Jesus whether or not we think this world is an illusion; thoughts about metaphysics are controversies that may simply divide us from one another. As in the quotation for today, we are encouraged not to sit in judgment of ourselves nor anybody else.

We don’t call judgment to ourselves, and in turning aside from this judgment, we live a better life. We are tolerant. And we continue with energy that builds up ourselves and others.

“What you experience you have directly and deliberately called to yourself.” This is the law of attraction spelled out in an opening page of this first book in WOM (Christ Mind Trilogy), “The Way of the Heart.” It says nothing less but that we are doing this unto ourselves. And A Course in Miracles says the same. (Jayem was instructed by Jesus not to read ACIM before or during his channeling, and so there is no chance that he was merely echoing things that he had read.)

Look with wonder today to the world in which we find ourselves. Even though the world is projection, we can see, in what we see, a harbinger of better things to come.

No Longer See Illusion

“This certainty is antithetical to you. You think that to believe in one truth is to deny other truths. There is only one truth. Untruth must now be denied.

“This will sound intolerant to you. It is a stance intolerant of illusion. You must no longer see illusion for it is no longer there! This is how you must live with it. You must live with it as you once lived with the truth. You must find it unobservable! It must become a concept only. Illusion is a set of facts, or in other words, a set of information. These facts are subject to change and mean one thing to one person and one thing to another. Illusion is symbolic. And what’s more it symbolizes nothing for it does not symbolize what is!” (ACOL, T3:21.8 – 21.9)

Jesus says a great deal in A Course of Love about living the “truth.” But maybe we understand him better when he talks about illusion, as he does in this quotation for today. We know intuitively that we have been living in illusion, that we have gotten many things wrong, that we have misinterpreted. And now we would be through with all that. But how?

The solution is to go within. Commune with our depths. We now have a better understanding of what our inner Christ Self is all about. And communing with its depths will give us what we want and what we need. This is how we will be able to tell what our truth is, and this truth is the same for everyone, unlike illusion, which differs for all.

We get tripped up by illusion, still. When we analyze, we are falling into the patterns of the displaced ego, falling into those patterns out of habit. But when we honestly and sincerely commune with our depths, in stillness and quietness, we know more. We know better.

And we are actually touching real truth for the first time ever.

Prayer

I would seek answers today to any and all dilemmas that I still have, and these answers come from communing with my depths. I know that there are answers there, for I sense them. I would find a solution to any and all problems that crop up over time, just by going within.

Thank You for giving me this solution. Thank You for being here for me, living Your life through me.

Amen.

Why Creation Went Awry

“This is the one disjoining that your choice for separation brought about, and it is but a separation from your Self. This is the most difficult point to get across, because in it lies a contradiction, the one contradiction that has created the world you see and the life you live. Although it is impossible for something to have gone wrong in God’s creation, something has gone wrong!” (ACOL, C:12.10)

We have pondered how separation from God, even illusory separation, could have occurred. If God is perfect, we have wondered how the world we see, if created by God, could have gone awry. How could there be such suffering in a world that was perfection itself? These are all doctrines of traditional Christian theology.

A Course in Miracles and A Course in Love see the unfolding of our world differently. Something did go awry! ACIM calls this a “tiny, mad idea,” about which God’s children forgot to laugh. ACOL calls this a contradiction that couldn’t have occurred, but did. In neither are we told that God created the illusion in which we live; we are told, in contrast, that we ourselves, in separation, made the illusion in which we find ourselves.

This interpretation can free us from blaming a perfect and loving God with placing us in a world in which so much seems to go wrong. God is not present in the illusion, but he did “let go” when we were rebellious, eager to embrace a physical body and, with it, a separation from Him. We are also told, in ACOL, that a physical body did not have to mean that we would be separate from God. We did that part. And we can undo it. We can walk along the pathway, heading backwards in time, to the point at which the mistake was made to travel separately from God. And then, when God knows that we are ready, we embrace Awakening or Christ-consciousness (these are the same), and nothing is ever the same again. Everything is, contrariwise, much, much better.

We separated from Self, which is One with God, when we separated from God. And in union, announced by A Course of Love, we reunite with the Self and therefore with God. We also enjoy a new form of holy relationship with everyone, for we are not truly separate from anyone at all. All of us are One, with our Self, with God, with others who inhabit the known universe with us.

God allowed us to leave him, though we knew not what we were doing. He did endow us with free will, and in that free will we decided that illusion would show us something that true reality lacked. What the illusion did show us has been pretty bad indeed. And the vast majority of us want out. We want to reunite with God, to know Love again. On our deathbeds, we know that love is all that matters. And many of us now in active life are now realizing that love is all that matters.

Give God His due. He did not follow us into illusion, but He found us there, and He now is trying, with the help of enlightened beings, to help us find our way back to a better life indeed. Listen to the voice of guidance, which will show us the way back. Let nothing interfere with a desire to know and to love God again, full out, no reservations.

A Way to Overcome Fatigue

“Admit now your desire to rest, a desire that could make you weep and make you wish to sleep an endless sleep. If you but understood the energy required to keep the world of your illusion in its place, you would understand the rest that will simply come of giving up your need to do so.” (ACOL, C:12.7)

All of us know fatigue in this world. Sometimes bone-weary fatigue. A nap or longer hours of sleep at night can help, but we all know that there is a psychological tiredness that extra sleep does not touch. And here we have the reason, in Jesus’s words.

Jesus is telling us that we are straining to keep the illusion in place. Actually our strain may be greater, and our fatigue greater as well, now that we know how wrong-minded we have been. If we know the truth, and we don’t seek sufficiently to live by that truth, the strain grows. And the fatigue as well.

Resolve today that we will be through with carrying illusion into our daily lives. We resolve to live by the truth, which is a wholehearted attempt to live with right thinking and with a miracle-minded frame of orientation. Given such resolve, see if our fatigue doesn’t lessen with each passing day.

The fact that the strain is greater as we turn aside, now, from living the truth of our being, should come as no surprise. Our minds were deluded previously; they are no longer completely deluded anymore. And living with an undeluded mind is not hard—just different. It will take some getting used to.

Pray today for the ease of living that is promised us. Effortless living. This effortlessness takes the strain away, and with it the overwhelming fatigue that we have been encountering. If you need, take a nap, resolving to arise with new purpose. The dreams that may come in the nap will prepare you for a new beginning.

We are on the way to being healed completely. Welcome that healing today.

A Miracle of Transcendence

“It is your continuing desire to have a relationship only with the world without that causes such a world to remain. This is because your definition of relationship is not one of joining. What you join with becomes real. As you take it into your Self you thereby make it real because you make it one with your real Self. This is reality. All you do not join with remains outside and is illusion, for what is not one with you does not exist.” (ACOL, C:5.17)

This world in which we find ourselves is illusion, and yet we, in our limited way, think that this illusory world is all that matters. We don’t have to think this way. We can have it another way, a better way. We can join with what surrounds, and in the joining does what surrounds us become internal and therefore one with us. This makes for a miracle of transcendence. We have taken this world into our Self and in the doing of this, this world becomes reality. It is one with us.

These are theological ideas, and, as such, can easily become divisive. We do not have to allow the theology of A Course of Love to divide us. We can accept what comes easily and effortlessly, and we can leave the remainder for another day. Not all of us, even genuine enthusiasts of ACOL, believe that the reality in which we find ourselves is illusion. And, certainly, this one passage indicates that when we join with the outer world, the outer world does become reality. True reality. The Self has encompassed the whole in which we find ourselves. And we are home in God, for God is the All, the One, in which we are enmeshed.

This one idea from this passage, the fact that when we join with the outer reality, it becomes real to us, is an idea of major importance. It answers some of the critics of A Course of Love, some who would say that not believing in the illusion of the physical world is a litmus test for our genuineness in our study, or even in the genuineness of A Course of Love.

Dwell with these ideas a while. See if they speak to us. I believe that they will. When we join with the outer world, we are joining with our concept of Love, and what we join with, in Love, becomes a part of us, a part of the true reality in which we find ourselves.
And finally we are indeed home in God.

Turn Aside from Illusion in Favor of Truth

“Now you must imagine yourself walking outside of the doors of this house of illusion and finding a completely new reality beyond its walls. . . .Yet you soon will find that this new reality is known to you and requires no new learning at all.” (ACOL, Treatise on the Personal Self, 9.3)

Jesus goes into great detail about the house of illusion and the house of truth, saying that the house of illusion (where we have been living) is always contained inside the house of truth. Now that we are emerging from the house of illusion, we note that there are explosions within, that its foundation is crumbling. Once outside, though, we are encouraged (really told point blank) that we should not attempt to reenter the house of illusion. That is finished for us now, even though our loved ones may still reside there. We are to help while outside the walls of the house of illusion, residing in the house of truth.

“These words, truth and peace and love, are interchangeable in the house of truth as their meaning there is the same. These words, like the words House of Truth represent an awareness of a new reality, a new dwelling place.” (ACOL, Treatise on the Personal Self, 11.3)

Living in the House of Truth, we know truth, peace, and love in a way that we never have before. We are indeed in a new dwelling place and a new reality. We are living in a new world that we have helped to create.
Our lives will never be the same.

“How then, do you access and live within this new reality, this new beginning? Through living by the truth.” (ACOL, Treatise on the Personal Self, 15.12)

Jesus says a great deal about the “truth” in A Course of Love, but what he means may at first be obscure to us. He is setting truth aside, and opposite from, illusion. And we are very familiar with the concept of illusion, for we have lived this way for eons.

We live in this new reality, this new beginning, when we set aside illusion for all time. We are getting a fresh start.

And Jesus is right there by our side, helping us.

Glittering Aspects of Illusion

“To know reality is not to see the ego and its thoughts, its works, its acts, its laws and its beliefs, its dreams, its hopes, its plans for its salvation, and the cost belief in it entails.” (ACIM, W-12. What Is the Ego?)

When we know true reality, we have left the ego behind. Jesus says in A Course of Love that we have, during the point of reading, left the ego behind, though bits and pieces of its thinking may still engulf us.

We don’t have to be engulfed. The ego has many facets, all of which lead us to a dead end. And its manner of thinking is completely insane. With such a guide, is it any wonder that we wander in pain and suffering? The ego, made by us, does not wish us well, for it was made in hate. And nothing made in hate would wish his maker well.
The Holy Spirit (ACIM) and the inner Christ Self (ACOL) are our way out of this morass. We have at our disposal the way to remove the blocks to love’s awareness. We need simply call on the Holy Spirit or listen to our Self to know the way home. We don’t have to live like this any longer. There is a way out.

The ego will entrap as long as we seek for material pleasures with the rejection of the intangible joys of spirit. Most of us now know that material blessings do not satisfy for long; we always want more and different. But in a materialistic society, we are apt to forget this as we journey along the way.

The ego takes a big toll on us; there is a big cost. Don’t be fooled anymore by the glittering aspects of illusion that dangle from the ego’s entrapment of us. Look to true reality to find the real blessings in life.

Does Illusion Fall Away in ACIM’s Real World?

“The real world is all that the Holy Spirit has saved for you out of what you have made, and to perceive only this is salvation, because it is the recognition that reality is only what is true.” (ACIM, T-11.VII.4)

Perhaps reality, being “only what is true,” is not illusion at all, is no longer the dream in which we perceive the world. A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love do not develop this idea very much at all; it is left to tantalize us with its innuendo. Certainly the eternal in our experience, the intangibles of love, harmony, peace, joy, happiness, are not illusion, and it may be these intangibles that Jesus is discussing. Honest people have differed on what he is saying, dedicated students/teachers, all, of A Course in Miracles.

We are teased out of thought when we wonder if seeing the real world, which ACIM notes happens only briefly, is not an illusion. We are caught up in Awakening by God Himself, and through this action do we know peace for the first time. Whether or not the images that appear before our eyes are perception or knowledge is not made clear to me in ACIM. Maybe I am too dense, but I still have questions.

How could the illusion of our eyes, in this outside world, suddenly, with the advent of the real world, true reality, be “real”? This is one question for us to puzzle over, because none of us has a definitive answer. This much is certain: the intangibles are eternal, and therefore true—but the eyes don’t see these intangibles.

“This is a very simple course. Perhaps you do not feel you need a course which, in the end, teaches that only reality is true. But do you believe it? When you perceive the real world, you will recognize that you did not believe it. Yet the swiftness with which your new and only real perception will be translated into knowledge will leave you but an instant to realize that this alone is true. For as Heaven and earth become one, even the real world will vanish from your sight. The end of the world is not its destruction, but its translation into Heaven. The reinterpretation of the world is the transfer of all perception to knowledge.” (ACIM, T-11.VIII.1)

Will Heaven be a physical manifestation of truth? And will Heaven be here and now?

This quotation certainly seems to say “yes” to both questions. But A Course in Miracles can be obscure, and I seek to say nothing that is controversial, because controversy is divisive in that it separates us from each other in the study of ACIM.

We can ask to see this real world sooner rather than later. And we can do what we can to remove the blocks to love’s awareness.

This much we can do.

And it will be no mystery why we are healed.

“Reserve not one idea aside from truth, or you establish orders of reality that must imprison you. There is no order in reality, because everything there is true.” (ACIM, T-17.I.5)

This defines “true reality,” if we have ever needed a definition.

“How does one overcome illusions? Surely not by force or anger, nor by opposing them in any way. Merely by letting reason tell you that they contradict reality. They go against what must be true. The opposition comes from them, and not reality. Reality opposes nothing. What merely is needs no defense, and offers none. Only illusions need defense because of weakness.” (ACIM, T-22.V.1)

This quotation explains why we need be defensive about nothing. Defense weakens us, making what we would defend against. This is an axiom of A Course in Miracles.

We can get ourselves so caught up in illusion, and so defensive, that we let the ego run wild in our psyches again.

We do not need this. Nobody needs this. The ego, so apparent to others, will keep us weak for eons—if we let it. Now is the time to turn aside gently from the ego, take heed no longer, and know truth for the first time.

“Where once you recognized only illusion and called it reality, the mind joined in union will now, more and more, recognize only truth and experience only the truly real.” (ACOL, 1.10)

This brings back the quandary with which I became this posting. Will we experience only the “truly real”? Does this go beyond simply intangible emotions (love, peace, etc.)?

Certainly it seems to say this. And what a great promise this is, if this should be true! We don’t have to fear being lost in illusions any longer. Our dreams are over, maybe in physical manifestation as well.

Ask deep within for the answer to this quandary. I suspect that honest people will vary on their interpretations, but that is no reason for us to be divided one from the other. We do realize that the intangibles are not dreams. And joy, peace, love, harmony, happiness, will beckon us forward every step of the way, paving the way for Heaven on earth.

This World Is Enveloped in Madness

“For truth brought to this could only remain within in quiet, and take no part in all the mad projection by which this world was made. Call it not sin but madness, for such it was and so it still remains. Invest it not with guilt, for guilt implies it was accomplished in reality. And above all, be not afraid of it.” (ACIM, T-18.I.6)

We have been mad for eons. We have been lost in insanity, and to a great extent (before Awakening) we still are lots in insanity. What a way to live! How do we get out of it?
We don’t get out of it by fearing it, but fear and its defenses of resistance only make the fear greater. If we feel guilt about this choice of madness, we will think that we are living reality—though we won’t be.

This quotation, once again, emphasizes that projection makes perception. We are projecting from within to see an illusory world outside of us. And this illusory world makes what we have seen within first.

This is no way to live.

“Faith in the unreal leads to adjustments of reality to make it fit the goal of madness. The goal of sin induces the perception of a fearful world to justify its purpose. What you desire, you see. And if its reality is false, you will uphold it by not realizing all the adjustments you have introduced to make it so.” (ACIM, T-21.II.9)

We continue with the theme of projection. “What you desire, you see.” And we have wished it to be so, as desire does make for wishing.

We need to realize that regardless of how vicious our dreams of reality really are, we are lost in illusion. Our dreams don’t make a true reality. Our dreams only scare us, if they are frightening dreams, and encourage us, if they are joyous dreams. But never will a dream be true in any sense of the word.

“What can He [God] know of the ephemeral, the sinful and the guilty, the afraid, the suffering and lonely, and the mind that lives within a body that must die? You but accuse Him of insanity, to think He made a world where such things seem to have reality. He is not mad. Yet only madness makes a world like this.” (ACIM, W-152)

God is not mad, and if we think that he created the world that we see, then we, in some part of our minds, either blame Him as cruel or see Him as mad. There are no other choices in how we view God.

It is part of the theology of A Course in Miracles to believe that on some level we, out of madness, made this world in which we dwell. We cannot understand this on the literal level. Certainly not. But we can rise above this mad world by rejecting, gently, the projections that are making it cruel in our perception. We can give our God a good day by gently approaching that day with the communion with God that we need.

Then our projections take on a gentle air. We don’t see a world that needs fixing nearly as often.

We are getting closer to home. And home is where we long to be.

Pain is Illusion – Sleep – Deception / Joy Is Reality – Awakening – Truth

“Here will you understand there is no pain. This is the day when it is given you to realize the lesson that contains all of salvation’s power. It is this: Pain is illusion; joy, reality. Pain is but sleep; joy is awakening. Pain is deception; joy alone is truth.” (ACIM, W-190)

This Workbook lesson from A Course in Miracles emphasizes the central place of joy in our lives when we are following the pathway back to God. It makes clear that true reality is joy. When we are feeling pain for any reason, it is assurance that we are still trapped in illusion. Of course, all of us are trapped in illusion to one extent or another, even those who have Awakened. The gifted in Awakening do accept what is rather than try to rail against it. And they are peaceful and contented, regardless of what surrounds them. But as long as we live on the earth plane, we are subject to emotions other than joy. And pain may be experienced, though we can understand that pain does not have to escalate into suffering.

This Workbook lesson indicates that at Day 190, one can come into the fullness of knowledge. One can walk away from pain in the form of illusion, sleep, deception. And we can replace that pain with joy, awakening, truth, reality. Let us hope that this change will come to all of us, though this assertion from Jesus for this day is on the ideal level of studying ACIM. (There are both ideal and practical levels in ACIM, with the ideal something that not all of us can reach on a daily basis, though we can have glimpses of this level.)

We do not want illusion. And Mari Perron, scribe of A Course of Love, believes that we move from illusion into reality as we walk this pathway. (She was videotaped in a presentation that indicated this.) But we must be patient with the concepts to which we are being exposed. Not all of us are ready for Awakening. God alone makes that decision. Frequently, we do catch glimpses before Awakening is sustained, and in the glimpses do we see what is held out to us for the future. We know what joy there will be in Awakening.

We Were Created Perfect

“God in His devotion to you created you devoted to everything, and gave you what you are devoted to. Otherwise you would not have been created perfect. Reality is everything, and you have everything because you are real. You cannot make the unreal because the absence of reality is fearful, and fear cannot be created. As long as you believe that fear is possible, you will not create.
Opposing orders of reality make reality meaningless, and reality is meaning.” (ACIM, T-9.I.13)

We have been given everything, each of us. And so there is never any reason for envy. Of course, we do not all have everything at any given point in time, but we do have everything in eternity. We cannot really make the unreal, which are illusions. We cannot make nothing out of nothing. We can see illusions, but we can never make them real. And in that sense we are desirous of returning to true reality, for in our heart we recognize that this is all there is. It is the true meaning of anything and everything that is actually real. Illusions, being unreal, are inferior props for experiencing an untrue reality. And this is all that we can experience until we open to God and His way to salvation.

We were created perfect, and it is only in illusion that we fell from grace. We are still perfect in our innocence—not in the illusion, but in reality. So there has really been no separation from God, for we are part of Him, and to separate in reality would be impossible. But we can not “know” God in His entirety, in a mystical sense, when we are lost in attack and anger, and all other negative emotions that spring from fear. Fear is unreal, but we don’t recognize this, and so we think that we experience it. The truth of reality is far bigger and far better than anything fear would introduce into our world. Love has a way of creating the happiness that we all crave. And in the love do we find true reality.

Tomorrow’s blog posting will take up the term, “love.”

The Altar in Our Minds Is the Only Reality

“To be in the Kingdom is merely to focus your full attention on it. As long as you believe you can attend to what is not true, you are accepting conflict as your choice. Is it really a choice? It seems to be, but seeming and reality are hardly the same. You who are the Kingdom are not concerned with seeming. Reality is yours because you are reality. This is how having and being are ultimately reconciled, not in the Kingdom, but in your mind. The altar there is the only reality.” (ACIM, T-7.III.4)

The altar in our minds is the true reality. We are not concerned any longer with “seeming” to know reality; we do know reality. We both have and we are—what we are being is consistent with our having the Kingdom of God.

This is deep understanding, and it is hard to recognize on first reading. When we wish to be in the Kingdom, we can focus our full attention upon it, and when we do that, we are no longer “seeming” to know reality, but we are truly knowing reality. Attention, mindfulness, is a way home, a way to salvation, and, ultimately, a way to Awakening, or enlightenment.

What we are in our essence, in the inner altar of our minds, is reality. Nothing else really exists. There is no world, according to Jesus in A Course in Miracles. It is purely and simply illusion, projected from our minds outward in a world, as well, of illusory bodies. Of course, everything seems solid, but that is simply part of the illusion. Projection makes perception, as Jesus also says.

Many of us do not accept that the world is not real. But if we come to see that it is, we are immediately freed from its effects. We realize that there is nothing in an illusion that can ultimately hurt us, and so we stop being defensive.

Jesus also encourages us to avoid defense, saying that it makes what we are trying to avoid.

So there is nothing in this world that can hurt us in any real sense. We see blood in the illusion, but it is not unlike catsup in a movie. We are never ultimately harmed. The only real thing is the state of our mind and heart, the inner altar that is also the home of God.

A Part of Heaven Is Laid in Our Relationships

“Before a holy relationship there is no sin. The form of error is no longer seen, and reason, joined with love, looks quietly on all confusion, observing merely, ‘This was a mistake.’ And then the same Atonement you accepted in your relationship corrects the error, and lays a part of Heaven in its place. How blessed are you who let this gift be given!” (T-22.VI.5)

We can easily accept Atonement when we accept it through our special relationships turned holy. A holy relationship, we are told, is a means of saving time. And when we turn to our brother, overlooking his mistakes as just mistakes (not sins), then we see Heaven itself in our relationship. We have walked further toward the grace that is always held out to us.

We have been confused when we fail to overlook mistakes in our brother. Of course, overlooking is hard when we believe ourselves to have really been attacked, and to have suffered from this attack. But to think in such a way is to compound the error, the mistake.

Our brother had only attacked us because his mind is lost in illusion, and we ourselves are attached to that illusion as well. Our real Self has not been harmed in any way. We are intact. And being intact, we can show our brother an innocent face, a face that has not been hurt, and in the showing of this unhurt face, our brother will receive (as do we) a part of Heaven itself.

Fantasies Are a Means of Making False Associations and Attempting to Obtain Pleasure from Them

vangogh_cafe1888“Fantasies are a means of making false associations and attempting to obtain pleasure from them. (T15)”

Affirmation: “May I not indulge in meaningless fantasies.”

Reflections:

1 – Fantasies Are Untruths

Many of us are prone to this unreality. We are bade to leave fantasies behind, as they are untruths that do not lead to the real world. The “false associations” are just that–lies that we tell ourselves. And would we not do well to stop lying to ourselves?

2 – Personal Experience

I once spent a an unhealthy amount of time in fantasies, not just for trying to get “pleasure” in my fantasies, but because the fantasies seemed to me to be a type of dream in which I could learn something. I wanted to learn more about my life and how I fitted into my overall picture of living. I wanted to know how I fitted in with the other people whom I knew and whom I wished to know. So I let my mind rove freely in reverie, which is a kind of fantasy.

3 – Continued. . .

Of course, I derived pleasure from these reveries as well, or I would not have continued so long in them. They were particularly prevalent, as the fantasies are for many people, when in high school I discovered boys. My first boyfriend, when I was 16, was a rich source of material for fantasy. But was this healthy? And is it healthy for anybody? I think not.

4 – Fantasies from Vivid Dreams

Later on, I had vivid dreams that seemed to me to tell me something more about my life than daily life could tell. And I enlarged on these nighttime dreams by “listening” in reverie. I do not discount that some of this fantasy may have been an attempt to make contact with the knowledge of the Holy Spirit. But in this passage for today, Jesus does not recommend such meanderings in the thought process. He will later tell us that we are much too prone to “mind wandering,” and that every thought creates form at some level.

5 – Creation of Form

While we cannot understand this form creation, we can see that we are on dangerous ground. And we can pull back.

6 – This World

When we live totally in this world, it is almost inevitable that we will find ourselves lost in fantasies. These fantasies are a way of coping in a world that seems far too cruel to allow us to live easily. But there is another way, a better way. And the Course always says the same thing: Turn to the Holy Spirit for guidance. He will lead us out of an illusory present into a real world that will bring happiness.

7 – We Do Not Have to Learn through Pain

We may still know pain, though Jesus assures us that we do not have to learn through pain. In our world, though, pain as a means of learning is more common than any other way. In the pain, we turn to God. We do not have to learn this way, but if it happens to us, we would be foolish not to take the new pathway that God points to–away from the pain. Fantasies then have no meaning in a world made anew by turning to spirit for answers and finding the wholly satisfying nature of true reality.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

I have indulged in fantasies when the world seemed too cruel. Fantasies were an escape. May, instead, I welcome Your teaching that will free me from unreal concepts of the world. Then I will find joy instead of sorrow.

May I leave fantasies behind as I follow the Holy Spirit into the real world, a world of forgiveness and joy.

May my brothers and sisters in this world also see the value of leaving behind an illusory world of fantasy. Perhaps the more we leave behind fantasy, the more ready for the real world we may become.

Amen.

Definition of the Holy Spirit

monet - bouquet of sunflowers
“But again let me remind you that the Holy Spirit is not other than who you are but an aspect of who you are and Who God Is. Let me remind you also that names, such as Holy Spirit, are but word symbols that represent what is. So think now of whatever stories you know of the Holy Spirit, stories that symbolize what is. In these stories, the Holy Spirit is always called upon to return the true Self to the self of illusion. The holy spirit is called to return to your mind and heart. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 17.6)”

Affirmation: “The Holy Spirit is part of God and part of me.”

Reflections:

1 – The Holy Spirit Is Still Present

This is another theological concept of A Course of Love. The passage helps to explain and to codify why the Holy Spirit is not really absent in any real sense in this time of Christ. The concept revealed is illustrative of the fact that All is One. The Holy Spirit does not disappear when the Christ Self who is within begins giving us guidance. We listen to the Self within because we hope that we have walked farther along the pathway home. And by “home,” I mean the salvation, the ultimate salvation, that we all seek. Christ-consciousness, or Awakening, finally manifesting as the elevated Self of form.

2 – Self of Illusion

We are trying to leave behind the self of illusion, or maya (an Eastern concept). We are trying to welcome the true Self, the Christ who dwells within and who has been layered over for eons by a false self, the ego that we made and that has trapped us in illusion and in pain (frequently).

3 – Does God Know about Us?

We need to recognize the Presence of God in our lives. It is true that some students/teachers of A Course in Miracles teach that God does not know about us and our activities, because we dwell in illusion and He does not. I feel that we have to commune with our inner Self to determine how we feel about God’s Presence in our lives. My experience is that God is very much present, though it cannot be said that he enters into illusion with us. But the House of Illusion, as depicted by A Course of Love, is located within—yes, within—the House of Truth. And we exit the House of Illusion to come to our own. We do not reenter illusion to save our loved ones. From the outside of illusion, in the House of Truth, we beckon others to join us.

4 – Larger Perspective on the Holy Spirit

May we think a bit today about the Holy Spirit and what today’s passage says, especially if we are still students of A Course in Miracles (which most of us are). We do not deny the Holy Spirit, because today’s passage indicates a larger perspective than perhaps we have held.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would recognize that the Holy Spirit has not been destroyed in me, though I have sought to walk into the time of Christ, leaving behind the time of the Holy Spirit. All are a part of You, and the Holy Spirit is still present. This is very reassuring. Thank You.

May I not let theology delay my brothers and sisters nor myself. If my thoughts are not easily assimilated, let me walk around them, because I do not want to believe something that will only be a hindrance to You. We do not have to understand with our minds. Our hearts already know that You are therein.

Amen.

A Warning about Righteousness

paris street - rainy day
“This first lesson on the temptation of the human experience comes in truth as a warning against righteousness. It comes to remind you, as you replace the thought system of illusion with the thought system of the truth, that having remembered the truth of who you are, you are called to forget the personal self who would find this cause for righteousness. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 11.17)”

Affirmation: “I would avoid self-righteousness today and every day.”

Reflections:

1 – Ego

The passage for today gives a stern warning about how the ego can entrap us again. The ego is very wily, and though only a part of our belief about ourselves, it does seem to act out of our control. But it is simply madness, but madness that can wreck great havoc. We are moving from illusions to truth, and when we recognize this, the ego can rear its head through a sense of self-righteousness, that we are somehow “better” for this difference. We are “better” to the ego, which sees this change as a chance for self-aggrandizement. And then we are trapped in illusion again. The journey from the house of illusion to the House of Truth has been aborted.

2 – Only Time Separates

The temptations of the human experience are great, and it is up to us to bypass these temptations. Only time separates the Son/Daughter of God, the Christ Self, from those these trapped in an egoic sense of the personal self. All will find the way back eventually, and we are needed to bring that time closer, because the world is weary, and all things in it are weary (from A Course in Miracles). The world is very tired, and it winds on in a wearying fashion, causing us to weary ourselves (also from ACIM). Do our brothers and sisters not need as greatly? And to save them from themselves, we ourselves must be “saved,” heading through salvation to Christ-consciousness.

3 – Journey

The journey has been long, though it has all been an illusion, and we are actually on a “journey without distance” (from ACIM). Let us not become self-righteous on this illusory journey, negating all the good that we could do for ourselves as well as others. Self-righteousness is such a pitiable state, and those who are on a spiritual pathway are the main ones who are afflicted with this trait. So it behooves us to watch ourselves carefully. We can still backslide, in my opinion. We can still lose our way. And certainly knowing the contents of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, if we lack the lack and fall into self-righteousness, is a prescription for disaster.

4 – Pray

Let’s pray today that we may be spared from the temptation to think ourselves better than others who have not read all that we have read, studied all that we have studied. We are not better. We are equals. And in heaven we share all talents equally. The only advantage today in having “more” than another is the chance to be happy, and the chance to share that happiness with others. This is all that salvation holds out for us. We are perfectly calm and quiet, without drama, and so enlightenment is really “nothing special” (a Zen thought). But it can be everything for us when we walk the narrow pathway that keeps us from temptations and draws us ever closer to God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would avoid righteousness today. If I succumb to it, I will be like the Pharisee of the New Testament, who thanked God that he was not like other men, and he left his prayer unjustified. I would recognize that the ego can still entrap me with such thoughts. I would avoid this maladjusted thinking today.

Help all of us to realize that we are here to assist each other in our path toward salvation. I do not seek to proselytize, only to share with others who are ready to hear what I might be able to say. And in this endeavor there is a minefield for the ego. I would avoid that minefield today. Help me to recognize that You are there for all of us, and that only time separates any bit of knowledge that any of us have come to recognize.

Amen.

Knowing through Relationship Is How Life Is

pissarro - street scene2“The relationship becomes the known.  While it is your nature to seek for more, it is also the nature of life to exist in relationship and to become known through relationship.  This is how knowing comes to be.  Knowing through relationship is not a ‘second best’ situation.  It is how life is.  It is how love is.  (A Course of Love, 23.2)”

Affirmation:  “I focus on relationship today.”

Reflections:

1 – What Relationship Means

This passage does not only mean relationship with other human beings.  This passage means relationship with all that we know, our inner Self and the world as we see it.  We stand in relationship to all, and that is how we learn, and that is what we love.

2 – Not Solitary Creatures

What does it mean to be “in relationship” to all?  We can take these words literally.  They mean what they say.  We are not solitary creatures; we were not created that way.  We are meant to be in relationship to all that surrounds us.

3 – With Significant Others

Of course, we focus most of all on our relationship to our significant others.  This is the way that A Course in Miracles defined salvation to be found.  And here A Course of Love picks up where ACIM left off, and also amplifies the concept.  It is a progression, because we were not ready for the full truth when we were dislodging the ego, as in ACIM.

4 – Reciprocity

We need to give our significant others the love that they need.  They in turn need to reciprocate, but this is not mandatory for the blessing to happen to us.  We will learn from love even when it is unrequited.  And we will learn from love when it ebbs and when it flows.  There is nothing that we learn outside of love, for Love is all that there is.  Everything else is illusion.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would recognize today that the world that I see is illusion, though it seems real enough to me.  I would recognize that the love that I feel in relationship and unity is the only true reality.  Help me to live peacefully with this knowledge, for it is knowledge, not perception.

Be with me throughout this day, to make of it a good day.  You will make of it a good day, and it is only I who would rue it.  I would not rue today.

Amen.

Body = Learning Device Given by Loving Creator

monet - pond with lily pads

“While you have been taught that you are not your body, it is impossible for you to deny the body here.  Yet you can change the function you have ascribed to it, and so its way of functioning.  If you do not see it as the result of a fall, as a curse, as a punishment from God, or as your home, a dwelling place that keeps you separate, then you can begin to see it as what it is, a learning device given you by a loving creator.  (A Course of Love, 18.6)”

Affirmation:   “I would choose a body today that functions perfectly.”

Reflections:

1 – Do Not Deny the Body

A Course in Miracles indicates that to deny the body, even though it is illusion, is a particularly unfortunate way to react.  Here we feel its physicality, and we know when we feel well or ill, when we feel euphoria or pain.  But we can change the function that we see that it has, to catch another fish as bait (also said by the poet John Donne), and see instead that it is a tool of communication when we are in relationship one to another.  Without seeing a body, individuals would perhaps not respond so well to the help that can be given by another who is also in physical form.

2 – Elevated Self of Form

There are many negative ways that we can view the body, and some are spelled out in the passage for today.  But the best way is to see it, now, as a learning device.  As A Course of Love continues, we will see that the time of learning is said by Jesus to have ceased, and we will see that the elevated Self of form is the definition of our body.

3 – The Body Is Real in the Illusion

We need to be conscious of what we recognize as needs exemplified by the body.  When we push too hard, the body becomes overtired.  And if we keep pushing, ignoring the warning sign of pain, we will usually suffer some illness.  So, while we are here, the body is very real, even in dreams, in illusions.

4 – Temporary Dwelling Place

And we would do well not to deny that which is our temporary dwelling place.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would take care of my physical body today, knowing that, even though illusion, it hurts when illness invades.  And if I strike my hand against an obstacle, the physical pain is real.  So I do not deny that the physical is important to me.  Help me to treat my dwelling place gently and with respect.

Be with me today as I go out into the world and meet my brothers and sisters.  They, at least some of them, will respond only to another physical body, and they will not be frightened by me, seen in a form that is familiar.  Perhaps a vision might provide insight that I cannot provide, but visions are sometimes frightening to their recipients.  I can do much, with Your help, by just being in physicality.

Help me to know that beyond this physical body is one that is truly real, but I will not go there today.  I will be contented with living in the physical, and I will hope for the sustainability of the elevated Self of form, when You are ready for me to have that blessing.

Amen.

Rejoice! Doubt Is Gone.

 

“How can you not rejoice when doubt is gone and love fills all the space that doubt once occupied?  No shadows linger when doubt is gone.  Nothing stands between the child of God and the child’s own Source.  There remain no clouds to block the sun, and night gives way to day.  (A Course of Love, 4.5)”

Affirmation:  “Night gives way to day.”

Reflections:

1 – Night Gives Way to Day

What a wonderful promise:  “Night gives way to day”!  This is where A Course of Love says that we are heading, where there are no shadows, doubt is gone, and we recognize that as a child of God, He is our Source and One with us.

2 – Grandeur – Not Grandiosity

We must not let the ego latch onto these statements and make grandiosity out of them.  There is grandeur here, certainly, but it is a grandeur that is of God, and our personal selves would never know how to act if it weren’t for the grace of God to show us what to do.  The same goes for what we say, and even what we think.  When we enthralled by love, we are well on the way to our home in God, with no division in our minds and hearts.  There is no separation, the separation that we once believed in.  There is no need to think that in order to experience everything, we need to imagine ourselves separate from our Creator.

3 – Does God Know of Us?

And there is no reason to think that we are less because we communicate with God.  There is thinking among us that God does not know about us, because we are caught in illusion, and He is does not enter illusion.  But this is not my experience, and therefore I do not try to teach this lesson.  We need, however, to accept from ACIM what speaks to our hearts, and we need not to divide from each other.

4 – Reincarnation

The same desire to avoid controversy is present when the subject of reincarnation comes up.  In A Course in Miracles, Jesus says that our teaching and learning should be acceptable to all–to those who believe in reincarnation and to those who don’t.  Any stand on this question is best left alone.  We need to teach and to live only what can enhance the message of Jesus.  And controversial issues, including theological ones, are not the “practical” that ACIM (and, by extension, ACOL) seeks to teach.

5 – Vision Will Return

May we enjoy the light of the day today.  May we know that night is only a rotation of the earth, and not a constant state.  And if our own lives comes to seem dark, may we know that vision can and will be returned to us when we turn to God in whatever way He seems most real to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for this glorious day, another day to live in a world that can become vivid in its joy.  I am grateful for my many blessings, and foremost is my good state of mind.  You have found a place in my heart that nobody else fulfills.  And thank You for filling my heart with Your love.

May the love that I feel when I sense Your “felt Presence” be especially keen with me today.  May I watch my moods, and turn aside from any dark ones that seem to descend upon me from nowhere.  They are not worthy of my attention.

Be with me throughout the rest of the day.  And thank You for taking good care of all of my brothers and sisters.

Amen.

Eyes of Love See Not Misery nor Despair

“There is not a soul that walks this earth that does not weep at what it sees.  Yet the Christ in you does not weep, for the Christ in you sees with eyes of love.  The difference is the eyes of love see not the misery or despair.  They are not there!  This is the miracle.  The miracle is true seeing.  Think not that love can look on misery and see love there.  Love looks not on misery at all.  (A Course of Love, 2.10)”

Affirmation:  “The Christ in me does not weep.”

Reflections:

1 – The Illusory World

A Course of Love does not elaborate on the sometimes confusing statement made here, “They [misery and despair] are not there!”  Given the theology of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, I think that we are here to view the misery and despair that we observe as being illusory–not real.  ACIM is particularly keen on this interpretation.

2 – Need for Compassion

This conclusion does not mean that we lack compassion, nor that we fail to offer compassion to ourselves and to our brothers and sisters who are in need.  We know that bad things happen in our illusory world, and these bad things certainly can indeed bring pain and suffering.  The pain does not turn into suffering, though, if we acknowledge clearly enough to our beleaguered minds that what we are experiencing is not real.  We can be healed in many ways, and sometimes we are not “healed” physically, but emotionally.  Yet we are assured by Jesus that healing will always be accepted when the individual is ready for it.  (He does not state whether or not he is speaking of physical or emotional healing.)  I think it is best that we take Jesus at his word, even when we are incapable of fully understanding.  He has shown us much in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love that have brought us out of the forest of discontent.  Surely we can trust him to lead us rightly in the matter of healing.

3 – The Other Side

Of course, most of us make the transition to a better world in death through an illness of some type.  And so, in these cases, our healing is a graduation ceremony, for nobody believes that he/she takes his/her infirmities to the next world (the Other Side).

4 – See with the Heart

Still this passage may appear confusing.  How can love not look on misery at all?  We have physical eyes that see, but my interpretation is that Jesus would have us look with our hearts, and with our hearts we love.  We do not judge ailments as something real.  We know that the love that we feel in our hearts is the only truly real aspect of this sometimes difficult world in which we find ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would see with my heart today, recognizing that the misery that I feel or that I see if illusory, because this whole world is illusory.  May we find the real world today, inwardly, so that our joy might be complete.

May my heart be soothed as I begin this day.  May Your blessings abound, and may I not forget to thank You for those blessings.

Be with me throughout this long day.  May I put aside my own contribution to any misery that I feel, knowing that to focus on it is to make it seem more real.  And the misery is not real.  Thank You for the knowledge of this truth.

Amen.

Yearning for Love

“This is what you have made this world for:  To prove your separate existence in a world apart from your creator.  This world does not exist.  And you do not exist apart from your creator.  Your yearning for love is what tells you this is so.  It is the proof you do not recognize.  (A Course of Love, 1.15)”

Affirmation:  “I am a part of my Creator.”

Reflections:

1 – Maya

This passage harkens back to A Course in Miracles and it familiar refrain, “projection makes perception.”  ACIM also said that this world does not exist.  So what are we seeing?  We are seeing an illusion, maya (in Eastern terms).  What we see inwardly, without physical eyes, is then projected outward to what appears to be a wholly concrete reality that cannot be denied.  But deny it we must, if we are to have peace.  Yet first we must change the nature of our inward look.

2 – Calm Oasis in Our Hearts

If we look inwardly and see rancor in our mind, we cannot be at peace outwardly.  And we will perceive rancor outwardly.  Our hearts are always at peace (whether we recognize it or not), always a part of God and a calm oasis, regardless of the emotions that seem to besiege the mind.  We, in A Course of Love, are told to make a distinct difference in  understanding the thoughts of our minds, and the feelings of our hearts.  ACOL seeks to bypass the mind, because the mind is what is so important to the ego, which we would see end in our experience.  In bypassing the mind, ACOL‘s words of Jesus influence the heart to see (inwardly) more clearly.  These are not physical eyes that see; this is true vision (and vision is discussed in A Course in Miracles as well).

3 – Solitary?

We do yearn for love, the love of our Creator and the love of our brothers and sisters.  We are not meant to be solitary creatures, though some of us are more introverted than others (and this is just an aspect of personality not to be denied or denigrated).  Jesus tells us here that it is our yearning for love that will prove to us that we are a part of God (though he uses other words in the quoted passage).

4 – Talk to God

We do not recognize that this yearning for love is proof that we are meant to communicate with our Creator.  A Course in Miracles said that we have taught ourselves the most unnatural habit of not communicating with our Creator.  But we can open our hearts to the love of our Creator, and the love of our brothers and sisters in union and relationship to ourselves, and then we will be at home in God, at last.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask You to listen to me today when I talk to You, even when my thoughts are peevish and irrational.  I am not always living the life that You would wish for me.  I know that You listen, and respond–especially, perhaps, when I am least likely to comprehend a response.  I need You today.  I need to know that the yearning in my heart is my wish for You.

Thank You for the words of Jesus, communicated to Mari, that we would wish to be close to You.  All of us have always known this in our hearts, but we have for eons allowed our egos to rule our minds, and so we have felt very lost.  I know that we have never been lost, but to think has made the illusion so real as to seem insurmountable.

Let us take down all barriers today that separate us from You.  You are within, waiting for us to talk to You.  Gently remind me today, when I forget.

Amen.

The Authority Problem: Who Created Us?

“You must realize it is your desire to make of yourself your own creator that has caused all your problems.  This is the authority problem.  It is pervasive in the life of your physical form and in the life of your mind.  It is only your heart that does not consider this an issue of concern.  This is another reason we appeal to the heart.  (A Course of Love, 1.11)”

Affirmation:  “Listen to my heart today.”

Reflections:

1 – Did We Make Ourselves?

We sometimes, when especially trapped by egoic thinking, believe that we made ourselves, that we are our own creator.  This is an understandable belief, because we are told in many places (especially in Jane Roberts’s Seth books) that we “create our own reality.”  We do, in all likelihood, make the world that we see.  It is a tenet of A Course in Miracles that projection makes perception.  And another tenet:  “There is no world!”

2 – We Are Never Told that We Created Ourselves

But we are not ever told that we created ourselves.  In some of our grandiosity, we may think this, and it is a major stumbling for some of us.  We think that somehow the world evolved with us ourselves somehow creating ourselves.  This could not be farther from the truth.  We may find it difficult that we could make the world of illusion, the universe of illusion, in which we live.  Traditional religion sees a guiding hand behind all of this.  But nowhere, in no religion, are we taught that we created ourselves of our own volition.  Yet we somehow believe this, sometimes.

3 – Made the World but Not Ourselves?

Do we understand this how we could make our world and not ourselves?  Of course not.  And we do not have to rely on exhortations to have “faith.”  We can simply entertain the possibility that these interpretations of illusion are accurate.  If we do accept that what we are seeing is an illusion, and a dream, then we do not have to try to make sense of everything that we see.  None of us accords much credence to the fantastical things that happen in our nighttime dreams.

4 – Are We Real?

We may even doubt, sometimes, that we are real, and instead think that we too are as illusory as the world in which we find ourselves.  But when we look out, projecting from within, we need to know that there is an invisible divinity within.  We are not in touch totally, for we are human.  But the divine is within, and we project the perceptions outwardly that we see.

5 – Our Heart Does Not Fret about These Matters

But our heart does not worry about such things.  This passage makes that clear.  And, if we disregard the body and the mind for a bit, we will see that we really don’t care to get involved in controversies that body and mind would have us seek out..  Our heart knows that love is the only true answer–that, and the forgiveness that brings us to accept our brothers and sisters, and to correct our own mistakes and thereby forgive ourselves as well.

6 – Listen to Your Heart

So let’s listen to our hearts today.  What does our heart say to do or say?  We will find ourselves easily in a forgiving spirit if we listen to our heart.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I listen with my heart today.  May I rest in the understanding that You have given me (I believe) that while the world is illusory, I am not.  There is a divinity in back of all this illusion, and though this is my interpretation, not stated precisely in either A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love, this belief is one that I find comforting and palpable.  Thank You for granting to my questioning mind this level of understanding.

But, as I told You, I will listen to my heart today.  I will leave aside metaphysical interpretations that perhaps cannot be accepted by everyone who reads this blog.  May we join together in common ground that celebrates the wonders of You and this world, however difficult, in which we find ourselves.  This world’s beauty is unmistakable, and it is this in which my heart finds resonance.

Amen.

World Ends in Joy, Peace, Laughter

“The world will end  in joy, because it is a place of sorrow.  When joy has come, the purpose of the world has gone.  The world will end in peace, because it is a place of war.  When peace has come, what is the purpose of the world?  The world will end in laughter, because it is a place of tears.  where there is laughter, who can longer weep?  And only complete forgiveness brings all this to bless the world.  In blessing it departs, for it will not end as it began.  (M-14.5)”

Affirmation:  “The world will end in joy.”

Reflections:

1 – Belief in a Fiery End

A very reassuring passage, this assertion by Jesus will be well-received by those who are ready to relinquish the ego, and no longer believe in a fiery hell.  So much of our preoccupation has been with a world that would end in fiery destruction.  And we can now realize that all of this was projection of the ego.  We made a world of opposites, and we thought that the worst thing that we could comprehend, hell, was there waiting for us if we did not measure up.  What a joy to know that this dualism has never been accurate!  We live in a non-dualistic world, where when we have dropped illusions, we can be happy in a Heaven on earth.

2 – Ask for a Happy Dream

Of course, we still see much misery before us.  And we are not encouraged to deny our eyesight.  But we are encouraged to realize that what we are seeing is maya (an Eastern term), illusion, a dream.  And much that we see is not a happy dream.  But we can ask for a happy dream, and the more we focus on following the guidance that we receive, the happier our daily life will become.  We will not longer sit down in the dust and bemoan our fate of a joyless life, full of struggle and woe.

3 – Be with God

Be with God today, as much of the time as possible.  The world will ultimately end in joy, but this ending may be a long time off.  Jesus says elsewhere that it may take millions of years for the separation to be healed, as it took millions of years to happen.  Of course, the separation from God is not real, could never be real, for we live as though in a hologram, and what is within (God) is projected without.  Not all that is within is God, though, and so sometimes we project hideous images.  But God would not have it so.  He asks only for a “little willingness” (quotation from ACIM) to follow His Way.  And his medium of communication is our Guide, the Holy Spirit.  Ask for His help today.

4 – Presence

He will not be long in making His presence felt.  The day will brighten.  And with this comes hope for a better tomorrow.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the reassurance in A Course in Miracles that the world will end in peace.  Our ego has said so much about ending in a fiery destruction, and we have been (most of us) very influenced by this.  Help us all to realize that there is nothing to fear.

Be with me as I seek to know Your Presence today.  Give me free-flowing thought, that I don’t dam up my thoughts and have thought attacks.  Obsessions are fearful things, and I would acknowledge Your rule in this world, even though we all have free will and can walk astray.

Amen

Happy Dreams the Holy Spirit Brings

“God’s teachers choose to look on dreams a while.  It is a conscious choice.  For they have learned that all choices are made consciously, with full awareness of their consequences.  The dream says otherwise, but who would put his faith in dreams once they are recognized for what they are?  Awareness of dreaming is the real function of God’s teachers.  (M-12.6)”

Affirmation:  “awareness of dreaming”

Reflections:

1 – The Degree of Insanity

We dream, but our progress back to God is either pleasant or unpleasant, depending on our degree of insanity in the dream.

2 – We Dream

To say “we dream” is to mean that are in an illusion, not the real world.  We live with an imprisoned will when we are caught by the ego, and all of us have experienced the bad times of the ego.  When we follow its guidance, we know pain and suffering.  We may know heights of joy, but these are eclipsed by an equal number of low points (a paraphrase from ACIM).  We would not choose to live a labile life, when we know better how to live.

3 – “Happy Dreams the Holy Spirit Brings”

The better way is to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Who changes the kind of thinking that we do.  We start attracting a better life, the “dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (from the Workbook).  And we know a quiet peace that heretofore may have been unwelcome to ourselves.  In fact, in ACIM we learn that being “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time is to be expected as we reach home.

3 – The Real World = A Condition of Mind

The real world is not easily identified, but it is the condition of mind that we enjoy when we are almost ready gor Awakening, when God Himself metaphorically reaches down and lifts us up.  We know happiness, which ACIM says is our function.

4 – Insane World

When we know that we are dreaming in an insane world, we will not be upset by what we see.  We will know that it is all illusion.  We will empathize with our brothers and sisters who are caught in pain, but we will  not overdo our sympathy, lest we contribute to making pain part of their self-image (a paraphrase from ACIM).

5 – Have a Better Day

Let us be aware of dreaming today.  And, with that, a better day is set before us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would have a better day today, ever better, day by day.  Thank You for the many blessings conferred upon me so recently.  When I am unsure of what to do, I just need to listen to guidance.  And the Answer will come, unfailingly, into my mind.  A Course in Miracles promises this; You promise this.  The Holy Spirit fulfills His role splendidly.

Be with me today in my dream of what life can offer.  May I know the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings.  And may I move ever closer to Awakening, an Awakening that will be sustained.

Thank You.

Amen.

Overcoming Masochism

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

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

Reflections:

1 – An Explanation

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

2 – Insane Thinking

This is insane thinking.  The ego is insane.  Let us not forget this Course concept.

3 – We Do Not Have to Punish Ourselves

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

4 – Healing

It is true that we can seek guidance and often be told the way to proceed in any affliction.  This does not mean that we avoid other healers and depend only on our minds.  Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that pills are a form of “spell,” but that if we are not strong enough, we need to turn to medications as a compromise approach to healing.  To do without the medications might raise the fear level, which is the last thing that we want to do.  (These are Text tenets.)

5 – Jesus Is Near

So we seek for healing on whatever level we can, knowing that the healer who is Jesus is never very far from us.  He promises us that he will come in response to one unequivocal call (from the Text).

Prayer:

Dear Father,

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

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

Amen.

Starting Point = Truth = Not Ego

“Your starting point is truth, and you must return to your Beginning.  Much has been seen since then, but nothing has really happened.  Your Self is still in peace, even though your mind is in conflict.  You have not yet gone back far enough, and that is why you become so fearful.  As you approach the Beginning, you feel the fear of the destruction of your thought system upon you as if it were the fear of death.  (T51)”

Affirmation:  “My starting point is truth”

Reflections:

1 – Philosophical Backdrop

This is a difficult passage; it hints at a philosophical backdrop for the Course.

2 – Returning, but Still in Heaven

We are told that we are actually “returning,” even though we have never actually left Heaven.  This returning leads us to the Beginning, before the ego, in its madness, was made.  Naturally, to the ego, its own destruction is terrifying.  We can perhaps gauge the amount of ego still in us by the fearful nature of our thinking as we study the Course.

3 – Living an Illusion

“Nothing has really happened.”  Here is the point made again that we are  living an illusion, and should any of us really fear an illusion?

4 – Reason to Fear?

If we are truly walking a pathway that was over in an instant, long ago, and we only seem to be reliving it now–then what is there to fear at all?  We chose correctly, for God, in that tiny mad idea that arose in our minds, when we forgot to laugh (from the Text).  If this theology helps us, then we would be well to try to understand it.  But if the theology is a stumbling block, we are bade not to embrace theology that would divide us from one another, but instead seek the one experience that we all can share.

5 – We Share Love

And this experience that we all can share is always one of love.  We fall many times.  We attack verbally, we have misunderstanding and regrets, but all of this is meaningless when we recognize that we are caught in illusions, and that these illusions are madness.  Certainly we cringe at being called “insane,” but it is the best way, is it not, to describe the hold that the ego has over us.  The ego has never given us anything to keep.  It has always tangled prizes out in front of us, but prizes that rust and decay.  And then we cry, for we do not have what we really want.  And what is it that we really want?

6 – The Real World

The real world, as described by A Course in Miracles, is a world free of vengeance and rebuff, a shining world of joy and peace.  This is not “pie in the sky” thinking, because our projections make our perception (an ACIM tenet), and we can make any world that we want.  If we see something that we do not want to see, we turn inwardly to the Holy Spirit, and we ask for a new picture.  Indeed, ACIM says that we are seeing these distasteful things because we do not want to see them.  They are an outward indication of an inward condition, and only when that inward condition is healed will we, once again, walk a green earth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

As I study the Course, I may become fearful.  This is because my ego senses its elimination.

Help me to realize that this fear can be abated by Your strength.  Help me to realize that the elimination of the ego is what I really want.

Amen.

Knowledge of the Divine Order

“A miracle is a correction introduced into false thinking by me.  It acts as a catalyst, breaking up erroneous perception and reorganizing it properly.  This places you under the Atonement principle, where perception is healed.  Until this has occurred, knowledge of the Divine Order is impossible.  (T5)”

Affirmation:  “I would invite miracles today.”

Reflections:

1 – Definition of a Miracle

The selected passage gives one definition of the miracle, a definition offered by Jesus.  The wording of this passage is straight-forward, but may be difficult to understand on first reading.

2 – Two Aspects of the Miracle

Jesus links the miracle with Atonement.  In addition, he says that our perception will be healed.  These two aspects of the miracle make it imminently desirable.

3 – Atonement

What is meant by the Atonement?  There is no single definition given in A Course in Miracles.  I think Jesus assumes that we will understand, but many of us remain puzzled.  We remain puzzled because traditional Christianity sees the crucifixion as having purchased our salvation from an angry God by the sacrifice of His only Son.  A Course in Miracles differs on this, though.  ACIM sees the resurrection as the crucial point.  ACIM does not try to describe the resurrection, but A Course of Love does describe the Jesus following the resurrection as having a “new form.”  The resurrection is never denied, though we do not presently understand, through our limited science, how the resurrection could have happened.  (We may also question the New Testament raising of Lazarus.)

4 – Take the Understanding that We Can

I think that Jesus would take us where we are, and have us accept as much as is needed for Atonement to be effected in us.  We are at one with him in Christ (shared by the Self of all–A Course of Love tenet).  We are justified by God’s sight when we have turned our way over to a Higher Power.  We do not try to blindly save ourselves anymore.  We may study ACIM diligently, but we know that the Awakening is only a God-given gift.

5 – Perception – Healed?

Second, how can our perception be healed?  We will no longer have the kind of mind that projects evil onto the world.  And, as we have seen repeatedly in A Course in Miracles, projection makes perception.  All is within; there is nothing without.   That is a theological concept in ACIM, and if we find it difficult to accept, then Jesus would not have us delayed by theology.  We look within, see what we wish to see there, and then project with our human eyes the outside; we perceive the exterior world.

6 – Mass Hallucination?

Of course, I believe that we are part of a mass hallucination (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).   It would be particularly pernicious to deny what our physical eyes show us.  But we do know, from ACIM, that what we see is illusion.  A Course in Miracles says, “There is no world!”  That is what we must ultimately see (ACIM tenets).

7 – Healed Perception

When our perception is healed, we will not look out on the same world, because projection makes perception (a Course concept).  Our lives will work better in this new world (called by the Course the “real world”), and we will live in calm and quiet.  This indeed is what miracles hold out for us.  What a blessing!

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would look out on the world with a healed perception today.  That is my goal for today.  Help me to reach it.

I may not sustain a healed perception, but I ask You to take me farther along the pathway today.  May we understand the Atonement as much as is humanly possible.  May we realize that there are physical laws of which we are as yet unaware.

Be with us as we live through the illusion of this world.  May we join with our brothers and sisters to we seek to find the reality that underlies our world–Your reality.  I would see the real world with healed perception today.

Amen.

Vicious Dream Figures

“. . .[Y]ou would not react at all to figures in a dream you knew that you were dreaming.  Let them be as hateful and as vicious as they may, they could have no effect on you unless you failed to recognize it is your dream. (T588)”

Affirmation:  “I am living a dream.”

Reflections:

1 – An Insane World

This is the solution to individuals who, in our opinion, treat us badly.  It leads easily to forgiveness.  It suggests to me that we can call these lamentable actions “insanity,” and then let it go at that.  Over time, we may find that calling bad words or actions from another just “insanity” will help to initiate our own sanity, our own living in the real world.  At such times of forgiveness, when we are truly living ACIM, we recognize that there is really nothing to forgive.  But most of us have not reached this pinnacle yet.  We still need to have the gesture of forgiveness, as much for ourselves as for the other(s) involved.

2 – An Illusion

Of course, there are times that we will react first, and then, maybe much later, remember this passage from A Course in Miracles.  It is hard to recognize that the “reality” that we see all around us is not really real, especially if things happen in that reality that hurt us.

3 – Patience

May we have patience with ourselves when we fail.  There will be times when we do not handle an attack from another in the best way.  We will retaliate, only to recognize later that we have acted amiss.  Then we need to retrace our steps, and make amends.  But first we need to recognize our own frailty, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide our minds ever more carefully.

4 – Resist Attack

ACIM suggests the remedy in these two sentences in the passage, above.  May we incorporate this passage so firmly in our minds that we are able to resist striking out verbally (or any other way).

5 – It Is Our Own Dream

We are in a dream that we ourselves made up.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would remember today that I live in a dream, and so if someone attacks me for any reason, I can know that I had something to do with finding myself in that situation.  Attack can be forgiven as a call for help.  Help me to have the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” today.  I would thank You repeatedly through the day for the gift of the Holy Spirit, Who will take me back home to You.

May I resist responding in attack.  Give me the forbearance to refrain from retaliating.  May my emotions remain calm, as well as joyous, and may Your presence keep me serene.

I love this life that You have immersed me in, and I thank You everyday for my many blessings.  Even though it is a dream, it is a good dream, and only with Awakening will I progress farther along the pathway to You.  May Awakening come sooner rather than later.

Amen.

An Idle Dream Has Terrified Me

“You are the dreamer of the world of dreams.  No other cause it has, not ever will.  Nothing more fearful than an idle dream has terrified God’s Son, and made him think that he has lost his innocence, denied his Father, and made war upon himself” (T584).

Affirmation:  “I am the dreamer of the world of dreams.”

Reflections:

1 – The Dreamer of the Dream

This is one the more comforting passages in A Course in Miracles.  It suggests not only that our world is maya, or illusion, which is a concept from another tradition, but it also says that our dream is “idle,” which suggests that the dream is easily modified.  We are, as the passage says, the dreamer of the dream.

2 – We Are Dreaming

If we believe that we are dreaming, we will probably be less hard on ourselves, judging ourselves less harshly.  We will be more forgiving of ourselves as well as others, knowing that we are dreaming and that the results of our dream have no real consequences that are permanent.  This does not mean that we can do anything that we like; this is a misconception that ACIM does not support.  In this world, we still can say and do things that will hurt our brothers and sisters, who are also caught in the dream.  And, as said elsewhere, we have “sinned” in time, but there is no time.  We have not “sinned” in eternity, where all is One.  We do need to forgive the mistakes (errors) we have made.  Perhaps we first forgive ourselves for perpetrating a wrong, and then we do what is feasible to right that wrong with our brothers and sisters.  Walk a gentle pathway, and all will be well.

3 – Awakening

There is a solution to our dilemma:  Awakening.  Then we live in the real world all the time.  But we cannot force this solution.  It is God Who reaches down to us, when we are finally ready.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would recognize today that what I see in this world is all illusion, a dream that I am dream with most others,  Only the Awakened see clearly.  So my real prayer for today is for Awakening.  I know that I have had glimpses that You have given to me, but I would long for sustainability.  Help me to change in the ways that You would wish so that I am ready for You to reach down, metaphorically, and transform me.

Thank You for listening.  And may today be good not only for me, but especially for the others whom I reach in any way at all today.

Amen.