Tag Archives: illusions

Conflict in the Workplace

“For when you know that you are holiness itself, how could you ever look upon your brother or sister and believe that they have wronged you? How could you ever want to do anything but love them? That is, let the Love of Christ flow through you so deeply and so profoundly that they get that you do not believe their illusion.” (WOM, Lesson 7, Page 86)

I once had a difficult relationship with a co-worker. She denounced my work, and indeed myself, in a peer review that was very disheartening. And I cast a deciding peer vote that she would not get the managerial position that she sought.

We were really doing it to each other. Or were we? We were actually doing it to ourselves, creating our own reality. Using each other as pawns. As foils one to the other.

We are all holiness itself, not as finite creatures who make mistakes, but as children of God. She did not “wrong” me, though I believed this for years. I sought to forgive her, but the words seemed stuck in my throat. And what, I wonder, was she thinking all those years?

What was going on here, but that we were both getting an unforgiveness “cooked”? We were healing something else that was buried deep within our subconscious. We needed to realize that we were lost in ego, both of us. And when she criticized my work, my ego cried out for redress. When I stopped her advancement, I was hurting her ego.

Yes, the ego is constantly being undone.

We really did each other a great service. We were even in our misguided efforts to hurt another.

We know better now. The ego has fallen away, the holiness that we both embody has cleansed us of past deeds and past thoughts to hurt.

Illusions actually hurt nobody. It is all just like a mirage. Holiness trumps illusion every time.

Ask to Do the Best of Which We Are Capable

The Holy Spirit can gather millions of beings to come to you in many planes, because it knows you will not distort the Love of God by usurping God’s position and putting yourself upon the throne. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 66)

We need to give God His due. We are not living alone in this world; we have Him backing us up, living through us. And this is always true, though we make mistakes that are not of God’s origin in the narrowest sense. We are living as finite gods, and so we do make mistakes. Ask the ultimate Authority to heal us of these mistakes. Ask to live, in peace, in His world.

If we sense that many people are looking in on our world, perhaps this is not paranoid. We live in glass houses, and the unseen world can spy on us. This has always been going on, but it may disconcert us if we are just coming to realize it. But near this passage Jesus is telling us just that. He is telling us that we can be an example for untold “millions.” Let this not go to our head, but let us sense the responsibility of it all.

Ask to be a good example to the disembodied souls who look in on us. Ask to do the very best that we can in this false world, where illusions reign, and the world is not truly real. We can make it real, in our estimate of it. And it certainly does seem real when we knock on wood.

Ask to do the best of which we are capable.

We can do no more.

We Can See Clearly Now

The Course calls the act of pardoning, or forgiving, one’s brother of what is just illusion anyway as the “power to release your savior.” (T-21.II.3:8) If we will entertain the idea that the Course is right, that the world is truly illusory and illusion made in madness, the step of pardon becomes very easy. It becomes, in madness, the only rational choice that one would make. We would not get angry if our brother were psychotic, though we might wish mightily that he were healed, especially if in his madness he is causing us pain. In effect, the Course declares that this characterization is exactly what is happening on a daily basis in our world. We are all, to one degree or another, steeped in a metaphysical madness.

On a deeper level, though, we have never left Heaven, and our real Self is very strong. We are indeed strong enough to let this world go, accepting correction because we see that we are wrong. (T-21.II.4:10) It is only the extent to which we live by guidance that we can see a more benign dream, the still illusory Real World granted our waking dream by the Holy Spirit. The dreams he gives, though still illusory, are happy, and by them we see our way clear.

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.

Errors vs. Sin

A Course in Miracles affirms, “The ego’s whole continuance depends on its belief you cannot learn this course.” (T-22.III.2:1) Of course! The heart of the assertion is the distinction between “errors” and “sin.” Errors are made for correction, which we will learn to do by learning this Course. Sin can, in Christian theology, only be forgiven and, perhaps, imperfectly, as we humans are prone to do. The Course asserts that it is doubly hard to forgive sin that has been in our minds made “real.” The better way is not to focus on the “sin,” or mistake, from the beginning, but to overlook it as the illusion that it is.

Sin is likened to solid granite (T-22.III.3:4), which, when observed, is seen as an impenetrable barrier. But this is what only the body’s eyes see a form that is not reality at all. It takes the application of reason to truly see, to have vision. The body’s eyes, physically and metaphorically, can never see past illusory form.

It is necessary for us to realize that the ego is a false, illusory self, made by ourselves in insanity, and offering nothing that in our right minds we would really want. God had to protect His universe, and so He allowed our miscreations to live on in illusion only–not in reality. Only in reality can we share the Mind that is His, and thus know reality as it is really meant to be.

Illusions

The Course says that we (not God) made the world that we see. It is an illusory world, but it does not appear illusory to us. We have “micreated,” but still what we have made cannot have power over us. It is as if to say that a god (Baal), fashioned of gold by the Israelites, has more power over their minds than does the Holy One at that very moment of fashioning tablets on the mountaintop with Moses. It simply isn’t so. We are one with God, and we never leave Him.

This understanding requires the knowledge that All is One. The Thought that is God extends Himself to create all living things. Only if God is mad could a part turn on the whole to destroy it. We have many times tried to turn on the whole and destroy, but to no effect. But God allowed this to happen only in illusion, assuring us that we have not in truth hurt either anybody–ourselves or others. Thus Return becomes possible at any time, although, practically, it may take millions of years for all of us to return.

A million years sounds daunting, but when we realize that we can have the “happy dreams that the Holy Spirit brings,” we know that we are not bereft in a hostile world. God needs many hands and feet to do His bidding in His world; he needs us to spread salvation upon the earth.

Let us do our part today, not by proselytizing, but by example.

Difference between Reality and Illusion

“Just as reality is wholly real, apart from size and shape and time and place—for differences cannot exist within it—so too are illusions without distinctions.” (ACIM, M-8.6)

This quotation compares reality to illusions, suggesting that they have some things in common. All through reality, and all through illusions, we do not have differences. All that is reality is real, and all that is illusion is not real. But size and shape and time and place do seem different, in reality and in illusion. It is the permeating sameness of both reality and illusions that we are considering today.

We don’t really know what Jesus means by “reality.” We don’t know if he means a physical reality that is true rather than illusion; or if physical reality, because it has form, is not real. The formless does indeed seem more likely to be real. And this “formless” includes the best values of our environment, the love, joy, peace, harmony in which we wish to live permanently. The fact that we don’t live in these intangibles permanently may cause many of us to weep and wail. But there is a reason. We have not gone back far enough to get out of the illusion. Time is likened in A Course in Miracles to a long carpet on which steps are being retraced so that we head back to the beginning of our detour into fear. The carpet is then rolled up, and we are at home in God again. Jesus corrects all mistakes that we cannot correct. It is true that he gives himself a great deal of work to do in this world, but is that not what a savior does?

Illusions are something about which we have a better handle. Illusions are not true. And we live in illusions, for sure, at least as long as we have not reach Christ-consciousness or Awakening. We project the world that we see from within, and if this world looks bleak to us, then our inner life is bleak as well. We create our own reality, as so many in the New Age camp have said. We do not blame those who live in bad circumstances; we help them, when they are open to our help. But we know that life can get better even in illusion. The Holy Spirit brings happy dreams.

We may be tempted to stay in these happy dreams granted by the Holy Spirit. But we will not be creating a new world, which Jesus has encouraged us to do within the pages of A Course of Love. We need to do what we can to remove the blocks to love’s awareness, which all of us can do. God Himself makes the all-important decision to grant Awakening or Christ-consciousness, when he metaphorically reaches down to us and lifts us up. We don’t have direct control, therefore, over when we awaken. But we can walk the path back to Him in patience, knowing that His timing is always right. The moment when we know Christ-consciousness is already determined, as is much else on our pathway. We merely walk a path that has already been laid out, retracing our steps back to God.

Seeing Love, Harmony, Peace, Joy Will Chase Away the Demons of Unreality/Illusion

“Different realities are meaningless, for reality must be one. It cannot change with time or mood or chance. Its changelessness is what makes it real. This cannot be undone. Undoing is for unreality. And this reality will do for you.” (ACIM, T-14.IV.2)

Do we not want to undo what has no effects, something such as fear? The effects that we feel seem real enough to us, of course, but actually these effects are nothing more than illusion that has been given a pseudo reality. And it is true reality that we want.

Seeing love, harmony, peace, joy, will chase away the demons of unreality/illusion. For love, harmony, peace, and joy are real, are evidence that we are seeing true reality. And in the real world (seen only for an instant in time, though we do not know how long as “instant” really is) love reigns. We would do well to welcome the real world all the time in our experience.

“Appearances deceive, but can be changed. Reality is changeless. It does not deceive at all, and if you fail to see beyond appearances you are deceived. For everything you see will change, and yet you thought it real before, and now you think it real again. Reality is thus reduced to form, and capable of change. Reality is changeless. It is this that makes it real, and keeps it separate from all appearances. It must transcend all form to be itself. It cannot change.” (ACIM, T-30.VIII.1)

The “appearances” that this quotation mentions are the things in our world that we see and call reality, which are in actuality physical forms that are illusion. We live in an illusory world, with positive emotions our only tie to reality—love, joy, peace, etc. These emotions (which are really a bit beyond emotion) are changeless in reality. But we don’t often recognize this, for our emotions appear labile to us. We oscillate, in and out of moods of the day, and we wonder how even the positive emotions can be changeless.

Even those positive emotions can’t be changeless when we are trapped. But we do not have to remain trapped. Trapped in illusion! What a dreary thought!

We may think that we don’t want to live in a changeless world. But that is not exactly what is promised us. The positive emotions will continue, though the particular activities in which we engage will differ. The positive emotions, I think, are the changeless factor.

The world that we see can become a real world when we look past its changing forms. And when our emotions level out. We are not meant to be constantly up and down, in a dreary round of a felt spinning world. We are meant to look to God for our constancy and for our changeless reality. We are meant to commune with our Creator, for it is very unnatural not to do so (from ACIM). We shortchange ourselves when we don’t commune, just talk, with God, as we go through our day. He will take the changeable and turn it into the changeless, and the smoothing out of our experience will be palpable.

Do Not Be Afraid to Look upon Fear, for It Cannot Be Seen

“Laws do not operate in a vacuum, and what leads to nothing has not happened. If reality is recognized by its extension, what leads to nothing could not be real. Do not be afraid, then, to look upon fear, for it cannot be seen.” (ACIM, T-11.V.2)

So often we have heard or read that we need to walk right up to fear, look it in its face, and it will disappear. This quotation says the same. And it goes further: There is not anything there to be seen at all.

My experience has sometimes been different, because I am able to scare myself with my own desert places. I can panic when I look upon fear too closely. But, given that I know A Course in Miracles, it is a panic based on nothing, on illusion only. There is nothing there that can actually harm me. Nothing at all.

We are not dealing with the real when we deal with fear, however we deal with it. We are dealing with illusion, with the scary thoughts of our deluded minds, and we are walking away, at the same time, from reality. Reality is not scary in the least. And so we don’t have to scare ourselves with our own desert places. Not at all.

Reality builds upon itself; that is what is meant by the “extension” comment in the quotation. The more we look on true reality, the bigger it gets, the more of our force field is taken up by the sweet beauty of reality.

Choose reality today. Gently turn aside from fear, not with resistance (for fear grows strong with resistance), but with love. Love overcomes fear, always and forever. And it is just such love that will save us.

Remember from Eons Past What We Know of God

“Give up gladly everything that would stand in the way of your remembering, for God is in your memory. His Voice will tell you that you are part of Him when you are willing to remember Him and know your own reality again. Let nothing in this world delay your remembering of Him, for in this remembering is the knowledge of yourself.” (ACIM, T-10.II.2)

This favorite passage from A Course in Miracles does emphasize that the Voice (the Holy Spirit) will guide us surely into true reality, which is the remembrance of God. We are not, it is important to note, learning something new when we learn of God; instead, we are remembering something forgotten eons ago. The way back has been long and difficult, painful in the extreme, but those days are ending. The way now becomes smooth, there are no pebbles to kick against with our feet, and we are living better than we ever have before. We are learning to trust God again, and this in itself is a cause for great rejoicing.

We need not delay in this world. We want knowledge of ourselves, and in knowledge of God is knowledge of ourselves laid. We will live in great glory when we have put aside our wonderings about reality, and let reality be written upon our world. Then the illusions may very well fall away, and we will see the intangibles—faith, love, joy, harmony, peace—with new eyes.

We are part of God, Who lives deep within us. We project an insane dream, but not from such depths as God lives. He leads us back to Him ever so gently, making sure that we don’t stumble. His way is good and true, and it leads to true reality.
Would we lack for anything when we live in true reality, illusions sought no longer?

The Reality of Everything Is Totally Harmless

“Wrong perception is the wish that things be as they are not. The reality of everything is totally harmless, because total harmlessness is the condition of its reality. It is also the condition of your awareness of its reality. You do not have to seek reality. It will seek you and find you when you meet its conditions.” (ACIM, T-8.IX.2)

We have made a world from our projections from within, a world that is perceived rather than truly experienced. And this perception has been wrong, has gone awry. We don’t have to stay with these misapprehensions, though. There is a better way. And true reality is what it is.

How do we experience true reality? When we recognize that we can be harmed by nothing, we are well on our way. Of course, in this world, this assertion strikes us as irrational. Surely there are many things in this world that hurt us. But our real Self is not hurt, and it is this Self that is able to experience true reality. This Self does not spend time lamenting perceptions of the world that are not accurate. This Self sits in the sun and is contented. Would we not all long for this experience?

Our conditions to meet include harboring no fear and no judgment. These are the twin conditions that keep us stuck in illusions, in our dream world. We may think that stress, fear, is always with us, but we need to think again. Fear is not with us when we are open to the God within. Judgment does not overtake us when we are communing with Him.

So: Today, let loose the misperceptions with which we have peopled our world. Know that fear and judgment can be left behind, and that the quickest route to that right choice is to touch base with the inward God. Meditate on Him, and see if there are not bright spots in your perception. Soon knowledge will replace perception, and we will know that all is well. Let us choose that all will be well today.

A New Choice

“A choice for a new kind of experience that has led to the creation of an unreal reality so populated by the god-like and the god-less, so near to replacing creation with destruction, so hate- and pain-filled, that you have been moved to a new choice.” (ACOL, Dialogues, Day 36, 36.15)

What a promise this quotation holds: a new choice! We don’t have to live such a pain-filled life ever again; we can so create that the lamentable happenings of the past are a distant memory, never to be revisited.

We have made a god who is god-like (because we have some dim memory of what God is really like), but who is really god-less. And we have made a world of destructive tendencies, hate- and pain-filled, because we were living insanely. Nobody in their right mind would make the world that we have had to live in; certainly our loving God did not create it.

This belief is central to A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, that God did not create the world that we inhabit. Not all of us are ready to accept this idea yet, but as long as the germ of an idea is planted, we may come further along to this point of view in time.

God is here to rescue us, though. He never left us all alone in an illusory, mad universe. He always stood ready to retrieve us for a real world of joy and harmony. And it is this reality, this true reality, before which we stand poised today. We cannot give up the pain-filled illusion without realizing that someone quite out of their mind made this insanity. And God is not insane. Our new reality rests on a solid Foundation.

Let us make the new choice today. Let us look within for guidance as to what type of true reality we wish to inhabit. And then take the steps given us to create that new peace in a new world.

There can be no better way to spend today.

Misery and Despair Are Madness

“If you believe even the tiniest fraction of what is true, if you but believe you are a small part of God no bigger than a pinprick of light in a daunting sun, you still cannot believe in the reality of misery and despair. If you do, you believe this is the state of God as well.” (ACOL, 2.12)

We are one with God, and so in this context the quotation makes sense. We need to realize that the misery and despair that we wallow in is insanity, nothing more. But insanity is very hard to overcome, and the solution does not always come easily. The solution is Awakening, or Christ-consciousness, and not many people have currently reached this state. I, for one, have not, though I long for this place of “carry water, chop wood” that the Eastern religions extol.

We must realize that our misery and despair are insanity, and when we do believe this, we are on the road home.

Nothing bad has happened to us except that we dreamed a bad dream, and we continue to sleep in bad dreams. Happy dreams will come before enlightenment, and it is these that will save us now.

We are part of God, and so with communion with our depths, our way out is assured. Cling to this in the hard times. God is a very present Force in our lives, and the nearer we get to enlightenment, the more real He becomes. A Course in Miracles recommends the Holy Spirit as a Mediator, but A Course of Love indicates that, no longer afraid of God, we can approach Him more directly.

And this direct approach will take us out of any and all misery and despair. Approach God and see if this is not your truth as well.

Dream Your Own Dreams

“Call not to him to meet you in the gap between you, or you must believe that it is your reality as well as his. You cannot do his part, but this you do when you become a passive figure in his dreams, instead of dreamer of your own.” (ACIM, T-28.IV.5)

This quotation is a beautifully written comment meant to lead us to solidarity and love with our most significant other. All others are our brothers, but our most significant other has a particular place in the theology of A Course in Miracles. We are led to understand that in our joining with another, we jump ahead light years from where we stand. Our way is assured, our way to Awakening. We are told that contemplation (as in meditation) is a way for others, that it is a tedious way, though it too will succeed in the end. But we save time by loving our brother (or sister), our most significant other.

Not all students/teachers interpret the “brother” concept in just the way described above. Some believe that everyone is our world, being our brother (or sister), is actually meant as a beacon to bring us home. I tend to read these passages as a particular other, though, one that was most special to us but who transformed into the holiest of others to us. Our special relationship became holy, in a transformation that may have disturbed almost its very essence.

We are dreaming this dream, ACIM makes clear. We are caught in a dream with our brother or sister, and our actions come out of that dream. If we treat each other badly from time to time, still we are doing the dreaming. And we can change the dream to something else—first, benign; and then loving.

Let’s make the effortless attempt today to see our most significant other as our way back home. This is the shortcut that A Course in Miracles asks of us. And it will be no surprise that Awakening reaches us sooner for the gesture.

Illusions

“No sacrifice is possible in the relinquishment of an illusion recognized as such. Where all reality has been withdrawn from what was never true, can it be hard to give it up, and choose what must be true?” (ACIM, T-26.III.7)
We don’t have to struggle to give up our illusions. They are very easy to give up, once we recognize that they have brought us images of sacrifice and pain, pain that often turned to suffering. The giving up of illusions represent a milestone on our journey.

“Illusions are illusions and are false. Your preference gives them no reality. Not one is true in any way, and all must yield with equal ease to what God gave as answer to them all.” (ACIM, T-26.VII.6)
We have some illusions that we like, and these are the hardest to give up. But if we are clinging to what has no true reality, we will be disappointed sooner or later. Why not entertain the idea that now is the time to walk into true reality?

“This is how all illusions came about. The one who makes them does not see himself as making them, and their reality does not depend on him. Whatever cause they have is something quite apart from him, and what he sees is separate from his mind. He cannot doubt his dreams’ reality, because he does not see the part he plays in making them and making them seem real.” (ACIM, T-27.VII.7)
We made this dream in which we live, and in the making, we got what we wanted. This may seem hard to believe when we realize that some of our dreams are actually nightmares. And we can give up those nightmares as easily, and perhaps more easily, than pleasant dreams.

Do so today.

“The gap between reality and dreams lies not between the dreaming of the world and what you dream in secret. They are one. The dreaming of the world is but a part of your own dream you gave away, and saw as if it were its start and ending, both.” (ACIM, T-27.VII.11)

This explains how to outer world can seem real when it is actually just a dream as untrue as inner imaginings. We made this world, made it easily because the matter is actually illusory. This can be hard to envision, but the sooner we contemplate the truth of this assertion, the better our outer “reality” becomes. The happy dreams brought by the Holy Spirit will overwhelm us with blessings.

“What grieves is not myself. What is in pain is but illusion in my mind. What dies was never living in reality, and did but mock the truth about myself.” (ACIM, W-248)

“This illusionary world is full of things you have told yourself and been instructed that you have to do, but that you do not want to do. The more your life consists of such things, the smaller your reality becomes. All that would join with you and become part of the real world of your creation remains beyond your reach.” (ACOL, 5.18)

We don’t have to do those things that we detest. If we don’t want to do them, we need to ask why these things are a part of our “truth.” What do we gain by keeping them in our lives?

Of course, all of us have responsibilities that ought not to be shirked. Others depend upon us, especially our significant others, our spouse and our children, our aging parents. But we can change our minds in the midst of resistance, and then our resistance changes to an embracing of our legitimate responsibilities.

This then becomes a part of our real world. And we are living in illusion no longer.

“Whether you believe the virgin birth was reality or myth matters not as myth and reality have no concrete distinction in the illusion within which you live. In other words you live as much by myth as by truth and myth often more accurately reflects the truth than what you would call real. This is not a call, however, to embrace myth, but to embrace the truth.
Jesus does not answer definitively whether or not the virgin birth occurred. He leaves his message open to any and all, regardless of their beliefs about this possible miracle.


“Mary is called upon now as the myth to end all myths for in this example life alone is the key to the riddle provided.” (ACOL. 8.11 – 8.12)

Mary gets a lot of attention in A Course of Love. She is said to have lived a life of “being,” not “doing,” and this is said to be the wave of the future (not an exact quote). She was an example life, just as was Jesus.
When we contemplate the myth/truth of Mary, we come closer to understanding why the Atonement happened at all. Not the crucifixion, but the resurrection. This was Jesus’s most important contribution, and never does he say in A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love that the resurrection never happened. We are left to wonder “how.” And in the wondering, we rise above doubt and embrace truth as we see it.

“To realize the difference between truth and illusion is not to call one right and the other wrong but to simply recognize what they are. This is an important distinction that must be kept in mind as we proceed so that you are not tempted to judge those living in illusion or their reality. Their reality does not exist. Believing in the reality of illusion will never make it the truth.” (ACOL, Treatise on the Personal Self, 11.13)

Many are still living in illusion. All are living in illusion until the truth dawns. And then things are never the same again. We are freed to live in reality.

We are not to judge others. This is traditional Christian thought, of course, and Jesus says the same in the Treatise on the Personal Self, in ACOL. If we give up our judgments, we will be removing one barrier to coming Christ-consciousness.
Need we not to make this choice today?

Illusory Past Is Gone

“If you believe the holy instant is difficult for you, it is because you have become the arbiter of what is possible, and remain unwilling to give place to One Who knows. The whole belief in orders of difficulty in miracles is centered on this. Everything God wills is not only possible, but has already happened. And that is why the past is gone. It never happened in reality. Only in your mind, which thought it did, is its undoing needful.” (ACIM, T-18.IV.8)

We do not prepare ourselves for the holy instant. The holy instant comes to us as a gift, free, of the Holy Spirit. And the bestowal is a miracle which we do not seek to “deserve.” We cannot deserve a miracle; miracles are shifts from horizontal to vertical perception that allows us access to God Himself. Jesus decides when these miracles come to us, and he, in turn, alerts us as to what miracles are ripe for us to perform. We think, in our ignorance, that there are orders of difficulty in miracles—but illusions aren’t hard to change, once the perceiver is recognized. And we are the perceiver.

The past was made up of illusions, and we don’t have to cling to illusions. We can give them up as easily as we made them up.

Let’s give up illusions of a frightful past today, knowing that we have this action in our power. Ask for help, if need be, and you will find help surround you. True reality then will follow on the heels of the victory of giving up illusions.

The Detour into Fear

“The separation is merely a faulty formulation of reality, with no effect at all. The miracle, without a function in Heaven, is needful here. Aspects of reality can still be seen, and they will replace aspects of unreality. Aspects of reality can be seen in everything and everywhere. Yet only God can gather them together, by crowning them as one with the final gift of eternity.” (ACIM, T-13.VIII.3)

Our presumed separation from God has caused us all the grief. We could have taken physical form without this fall from grace, but we somehow made a tiny, mad mistake and forgot to laugh at the idea (from A Course in Miracles). We have not really separated, of course, because we are a part of God and cannot do so and live—and we live eternally. But we can imagine that we have separated from Him, and in the delusion come all the ill of humanity.

“Thus, the son’s participation in the idea of separation seemed to bring about a completely reshaped life, a destiny different than that which had already been written. Yet this participation could not but proceed from the original idea and could not proceed in reality but only in the external aspect of life that preceded it. The idea of separation changed nothing in reality, but became a drama acted out upon a stage so real that it seemed to be reality.” (ACOL, 12.22)

We are, like Shakespeare said, characters in a dream, writing and carrying out a drama in which we star. There is nothing wrong with play-acting, but we have hurt ourselves in the process of following illusions. We don’t realize that we are in a make-believe situation; we take it all so seriously. And that is part of our problem. We are in a “drama acted out upon a stage so real that it seemed to be reality.”

Let’s try to be cognizant of the drama so that we will be in a preparatory state to awakening from this insane play.

“To know what you now know, and remain aware only of the reality of the separated self, would not sustain Christ-consciousness in form.” (ACOL, Dialogues, 3.16)
We need to reach beyond just the separated state, for awareness of a mistake is not sufficient to get us out of that mistake. We need to reach out to God, immanent in ourselves as the inner Christ Self. We also need to see Christ in others, for we are not separate from them anymore than we are separate internally.

“This created the separate and the unloved in your perception, and your perception created an unreal reality of the separate and unloved, often referred to as hell or hell on earth.” (ACOL, Dialogues, Day 16, 16.15)

Are we really living in a hell on earth? In some respects we are.

But we can walk out of this hell by following guidance of the Holy Spirit (ACIM) or the Christ Self (ACOL). Our days will be brighter. We will be happier. And we will come, eventually, to know separation no longer. For it has always and alone been illusion. Our own delusion about reality.

Endow Truth with Spark of Beauty

“It is still up to you to choose to join with truth or with illusion. But remember that to choose one is to let the other go. Which one you choose you will endow with beauty and reality, because the choice depends on which you value more. The spark of beauty or the veil of ugliness, the real world or the world of guilt and fear, truth or illusion, freedom or slavery—it is all the same. For you can never choose except between God and the ego.” (ACIM, T-17.III.9)

This quotation from A Course in Miracles succinctly explains much about the nature of true reality. Jesus herein pens a variety of contrasting words, and we know that on the one side is true reality, and on the other, the abyss of nothingness. It is basically the difference between truth and illusion, and the truth is seen as the real, the real world, or reality, and illusion is seen as perception of an unreal world that is governed by fear. This unreal world is imagined in all its details by the ego. And the ego does not mean us well.

We want to join with truth. All of us, reading this far, do. How do we do so? We cease to identify with the ego, and the easiest way to do this is to decide, categorically, that we will not reinforce that ego by contemplating egotistical goals. The “ego,” of course, is not exactly synonymous with “egotistical,” but there is a very, very close connection. It is impossible to identify with the ego and not do egotistical things, not think of egotistical goals. And we must put a stop to this in whatever way we can.

We want freedom, and as long as we are apart from God (in illusion), we will be living with an imprisoned will. God set the limits on our power to miscreate. He had to hold the universe(s) together, and he realized that pain, to which the ego always leads, would encourage us to choose again. As Helen and Bill, co-scribes of ACIM, decided, “There must be another way.” And A Course in Miracles outlined one other way, a way back to God. This in spite of the fact that Helen was a proclaimed atheist.

So let us decide for the function that God has given us—salvation, happiness. The two are one and the same. We do not seek happiness as we sought egoic goals, though. We rest in surrender to God and His way, knowing that His Will and ours are actually identical. We want what He wants for us, but we just don’t recognize this. At least not in the beginning of our “journey without distance” (from ACIM).

Love and Loving Thoughts Are True Reality

“If you would look upon love, which is the world’s reality, how could you do better than to recognize, in every defense against it, the underlying appeal for it? And how could you better learn of its reality than by answering the appeal for it by giving it?” (ACIM, T-12.I.10)

This advice from Jesus is practical. How can you better learn of love than by—just giving love. It sounds easy, but we all know that it is not. People attack and exhibit anger, and we feel hurt, and defensive, and angry in return, and we attack—thereby losing any sense of the power of love in our lives. Love is the world’s reality; it is the only thing in the world that has any reality, everything else being illusory.

“Truth being brought to illusions, reality now becomes a threat and is perceived as evil. Love becomes feared because reality is love.” (ACIM, P-2.IV.6)

When we are lost in illusions, we are lost in fear and its attendant features of anger and attack. We see only “evil” in illusions, and when we are so trapped, we are actually afraid of love. Love is feared because true reality is love, and nothing else.

“Do not, then, be deceived in your brother, and see only his loving thoughts as his reality, for by denying that his mind is split you will heal yours.” (ACIM, T-11.VIII.9)
Jesus uses denial in a very positive sense in A Course in Miracles. We and our brother are actually one, and what we do for him, we do for ourselves. This is the bottom line of what is being said in this quotation.

We need to see his loving thoughts as the only reality that he has. Right now his mind is split between the ego and true reality, and that split makes for problems. When we deny the split, and see his love emanating from him, we are healing both himself and ourselves.

“If only the loving thoughts of God’s Son are the world’s reality, the real world must be in his mind. His insane thoughts, too, must be in his mind, but an internal conflict of this magnitude he cannot tolerate.” (ACIM, T-12.III.7)

Reality is in the mind only. Everything projected from the mind is illusory, and this includes the world that we see. Projection, as we have often said, makes perception.
God’s Son (and Daughter) has loving thoughts in the mind, but there is a split in the mind, making it partially insane. This insanity is the cause of all the world’s problems. We can see attack and anger as insanity, and thereby make excuse for our brother’s fear of us.

Because we cannot tolerate this split in the mind, we project our fear outward. And this causes problems for ourselves and everybody else. Love heals. Love is the only reality that is not illusory.

“Love or fear is your reality by your choice. A choice for love creates love. A choice for fear creates fear. What choice do you think has been made to create the world you call your home?” (ACOL, 1.18)

Jesus asks a question here, in A Course of Love, that answers itself, for we all know the dire straits in which this world finds itself. It was made, created (if you will), out of fear. And fear has turned back in on itself, making us live insanely in a fearful world.

If we turn to love more and more, we will see our immediate as well as distant world change into a better place. We will ourselves no longer be trapped by fear. We will have made the decision that gives us the best world possible for here and now.

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

Jesus talks about the heart in A Course of Love, bypassing the mind because our mind longs for proof that cannot be, and the heart remembers love without having any desire for proof. We just “know,” and in this knowing is our salvation. In ACOL, we are heading into love when we reach inward to the center of our being, our heart.

So love and loving thoughts and loving actions are the answers that we need in this unsatisfying world that we are now calling our home. We herein find true reality. We herein find our way to Awakening or Christ-consciousness.

Forgive Your Brother and the Atonement Is Mutual

“He [your brother, everyone] can do nothing that can hurt you, and by refusing to allow him to think he can, you tell him that the Atonement, which you have accepted for yourself, is also his. There is nothing to forgive. No one can hurt the Son of God. His guilt is wholly without cause, and being without cause, cannot exist. (T-14.III.7)”

Our true reality has not been affected by hurts, pain, suffering inflicted on us in this illusory world. Our brother has not really hurt us in any actually “true” way. It is all madness.

It sometimes helps, when a brother is attacking us, to think, “This is insanity. He is just being insane.” This is the absolute truth, and saying this type of understanding, silently, touches our hearts with the truth, and we can overlook what is happening. Because nothing has actually happened, in truth, there is nothing to forgive. But forgiveness is the one illusion that doesn’t build on others. Our forgiveness in this illusory world paves the way for the true reality, the real world. And our forgiveness softens our heart toward our brother.

In this quotation, Jesus is speaking on the level that to forgive is not even required, because nothing real has happened. Sometimes, in A Course in Miracles, Jesus speaks on another level, when he encourages us to forgive as the pathway to salvation. On this other level, forgiveness is seen as our function in this illusory, ruled by the ego of both ourselves and that of our brother.

Mind Returns to Full Creation when Atonement Is Accepted

“Your mind does make your future, and it will turn it back to full creation at any minute if it accepts the Atonement first. It will also return to full creation the instant it has done so. Having given up its disordered thought, the proper ordering of thought becomes quite apparent. (T-5.V.8)”

This quotation is, I think, very important to the theology of A Course in Miracles, and it may be easily overlooked. We do “make” our future by projecting from within, but our better nature, once we accept Atonement, is to “create” our future in the real world, the one that isn’t all illusion. This real world comes into being as we approach Awakening.

Our minds have had disordered thought, in that our thought has really been insane. All of us are afflicted with insanity to one degree or another. The insanity starts leaving as we follow along the pathway to return home to God. But not by death. We return home to God by fulfilling the purposes for which He created us. We fulfill the function of salvation, forgiveness, happiness—for all of these are actually one.

Our minds will work right to create a new future when we have given up our insane desire to control reality (as we perceive it). We do not at first perceive true reality, but illusions. And it is these that we give up as we follow the pathway of Atonement.

In Atonement We See in the Outer World What Finds a Place in Our Hearts

“Atonement corrects illusions, not truth. Therefore, it corrects what never was. (M-2.2)”

This is a central theme touched on earlier. The world that we see before Awakening is a projection; we are told repeatedly in A Course in Miracles that “projection makes perception.” We see in the outer world what finds a place in our hearts to see. We don’t see truth; we don’t see reality.

But when we accept Atonement, we are ready to move from illusions that we have projected onto what we see with our physical eyes. We have real vision, which is not something that the physical eyes see, but which is an inner light. This vision is often the face of Christ, though not always, and perhaps not even primarily.

So illusions are being corrected when we accept Atonement. And illusions were always illusions, and therefore never really existed at all in God’s truth and God’s reality. Not in the real world, as ACIM calls it.

We need to realize how pivotal Atonement really is to our peace of mind. We will never know joy and the absence of suffering until, on some level, we have cleared our minds of illusions, and live the real world that Jesus points out to us.
The real world comes quickly once illusions have been discarded, once Atonement has been accepted for real.

Atonement Dispels Illusions

“The purpose of Atonement is to dispel illusions, not to establish them as real and then forgive them. (T-13.X.6)”

When we dwell on what our brother has done that seemed to harm us, we are failing to overlook his mistakes; we are making the illusory, real. And this failure to overlook is our mistake. If we make something real by dwelling on it, it becomes harder to overlook. It is, of course, still illusory, but it doesn’t feel like this to us. And so we have trapped ourselves.

Don’t make this mistake today. Turn to correction in the form of the Atonement to dispel illusions. Don’t obsess about anything bad that has ever supposedly been done to us. Don’t make real that which is an illusory concept.

We cannot be hurt. We need to show our brothers that we cannot be hurt. If we show a wounded face to them, then they will feel guilt (meaning more insanity) for what they have “done” to us. And we are failing to be a genuinely good witness for the Atonement.

Turn to what is truly real today. Don’t get lost in illusion. The way back is easy when we realize that we have been living illusions for all of our days. The way back becomes a joyous walk when we follow guidance of the Holy Spirit in making our choices the joyous ones.

God’s Teachers Choose to Look on Dreams a While. All Choices Are Made Consciously, with Full Awareness of Their Consequences.

1 – Conscious Choice

Do we really believe the title of this posting? Do we believe that all of our choices are made consciously?

2 – Doubt

I think not. We think that the subconscious mind undoes us, more often than not. Yet Jesus asserts that we are making conscious choices. I think that this choice is made by the inner Self, which knows no unconsciousness. When we avoid guidance, we often make bad situations for ourselves, and in this avoidance, we learn that we are making a conscious choice to make our own judgments, judgments that are always wrong.

3 – Central Lesson

“The central lesson is always this; that what you use the body for it will become to you. Use it for sin or for attack, which is the same as sin, and you will see it as sinful. (M32)”

4 – Avoid Sin and Attack

We need to avoid “sin” and attack. Of course, we know this, but the flesh is weak, and we do often retaliate when faced with attack. We will then see the body as sinful, a truly lamentable self-image.

5 – Not Troubled

When we use the body rightly, we are not troubled by attack that reaches us from without. We go blithely along, untroubled by anything. Let us resolve today to so live. One does not have to be unhinged by attack or anger presented to us. We can realize that we are seeing distress that is based on error (from the ACIM Text). And we can gently turn aside, giving the poor attitudes no support from without.

6 – The Holy Body

“Use it [the body] to bring the Word of God to those who have it not, and the body becomes holy. Because it is holy it cannot be sick, nor can it die. When its usefulness is done it is laid by, and that is all. (M32)”

7 – When We Die

The body is laid by when we die. Most choose some sickness to effect a release from this world, but actually we don’t have to engage sickness to get release.

8 – Self-Preservation

Death is not a popular subject. We still cringe, wanting to live longer on this earth. Self-preservation is hard-wired into our psyches, and that is not bad.

9 – Word of God

Let us bring the Word of God to others in thought, word, and deed. Then we will see our bodies as holy, and we will not lament that we are still in this world. We will be glad of the opportunity. Thoughts of relinquishing our troubles will no longer trouble us. Our self-preservation instincts will carry us through.

10 – The Mind

“The mind makes this decision [the decision to lay the body aside], as it makes all decisions that are responsible for the body’s condition. Yet the teacher of God does not make this decision alone. To do that would be to give the body another purpose from the one that keeps it holy. (M32)”

11 – Decisions

The mind makes the decisions; the body does not. We tend to forget this when we are sick. Sickness is faulty decision-making, an ACIM tenet. We think that it gets us something that we want.

12 – Sickness

But the “something” that we want is never the sickness that has laid us low.

13 – Holy Spirit

If we do not make the decision for death alone, with Whom do we make it? The Holy Spirit guides us in the final days of our lives, just as He has guided us throughout, as long as we have allowed Him to do so.

14 – God’s Voice

“God’s Voice will tell him when he has fulfilled his role, just as It tells him what his function is. He does not suffer either in going or remaining. Sickness is now impossible for him. (M32)”

15 – The Ideal

More difficult passages about sickness. This is the ideal in A Course in Miracles, and not all of us can be ready for this ideal. But we can take steps in the direction of the ideal.

16 – Sickness

And when we do, our sicknesses are lessened incrementally.

17 – Oneness

“Oneness and sickness cannot coexist. 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. (M32)”

18 – Illusion

What we are seeing in this world is illusion (a Course concept). The Course also calls what we see “dreams.” And we have chosen to look upon dreams, knowing on some level what will transpire for us. We may suffer, but we do not have to do so. Pain does not have to bring suffering, if our minds and hearts are in agreement with the Holy Spirit, who makes only one judgment: “God’s Son is guiltless.”

19 – External Searching

We can also be free of sickness, which is some form of external searching. The external searching may teach us something, of course, which is its purpose. But the Course would not have us learn in this way.

20 – One

We are One with our brothers and sisters. We know, on some level, what will happen in our lives. And we have chosen it–not consciously, of course, but on a deeper level. This is different from a “blame the victim” mentality, and it would be wise that we keep to ourselves this concept if voicing it would be hurtful to another. Not everyone is ready to see that choices made to experience illusion are not ultimately hurtful, however horrendous they may appear in our insane world.

21 – Awareness of Dreaming

“Awareness of dreaming is the real function of God’s teachers. They watch the dream figures come and go, shift and change, suffer and die. Yet they are not deceived by what they see. They recognize that to behold a dream figure as sick and separate is no more real than to regard it as healthy and beautiful. (M32)”

22 – Unity

“Unity alone is not a thing of dreams. And it is this God’s teachers acknowledge as behind the dream, beyond all seeming and yet surely theirs. (M32)”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be aware that my dreams–my illusions–are chosen consciously. I realize that my little self is not aware of this, but my larger Self is. And I do not blame myself or others for this state of affairs; it is simply a law of this world.

Be with me today if I seem to feel pain. May I not turn this pain into suffering by my own inner turmoil. You have promised to be with me always, and I thank you for Your blessing.

Amen.

An Illusion Is an Attempt to Make Something Real that Is Regarded as of Major Importance, but Is Recognized as Being Untrue.

1 – The Mind

“By definition, an illusion is an attempt to make something real that is regarded as of major importance, but is recognized as being untrue. The mind therefore seeks to make it true out of its intensity of desire to have it for itself. (M24)”

This definition of illusion can be understood by many of us because of life situations in which we have tried to “fool ourselves” into believing, sometimes vehemently, something that is not true. In our depths we often recognize that what we fervently want to believe is not true, because we may get a curious “stop” to our attempts to pray for this outcome. If this happens to us, we would do well to reflect on what is actually at stake.

2 – Illusions

Illusions are prevalent in our world. There is so much pain in even everyday life that we retreat from feverish dreams into an illusory world that seems–but only “seems”–better. Somewhere is our deepest being we recognize that we are believing in an illusion, and we, somewhere, feel self-betrayed. We do not often let this deeper understanding surface, though. We may live for years with illusions that would have been left behind in the beginning if we had only turned to the Holy Spirit earlier.

3 – Self-Betraying

The mind is very powerful, and it can seem to make an illusion true. Such tactics are self-betraying in the long run, though. We don’t want to believe a falsehood, and our intensity of desire for an illusion is the real culprit here. The desire will abate when we recognize that we are fooling ourselves and when we turn to the Holy Spirit for more substantive consolation. Then and only then will we be free to let the illusion fall away.

4 – Feverish Dreams

“Finding health a burden, it retreats into feverish dreams. And in these dreams the mind is separate, different from other minds, with different interests of its own, and able to gratify its needs at the expense of others. (M24)”

5 – Tangled Up

Our “feverish dreams” are the tangles we get ourselves into when we seek for answer with our ego. The ego doesn’t know, and, most importantly, we can tell when the ego is uppermost in our minds. We need to let go at that point. Relax and let the guidance of the Holy Spirit come through. We will always know when we have momentarily released the ego, because we will immediately feel calmer.

6 – Wily Mind

The mind is a wily creature. It wants to stay with a bad experience just to see it out. Don’t get trapped by this feverish dream.

7 – Others’ Needs

Be sure to take others’ needs into account. All too often, when we are suffering, we think that it is all we can do to manage ourselves. But we don’t have to manage ourselves; turn the self over to God. Is this easier said than done? Only when we are agitated. Take a break. Have a cup of tea. Pray. Meditate, if only briefly. The world you return to will seem different, somehow. And that difference is that you have let go of your feverish dreams. We can be very stubborn sometimes, and resist the letting go. But we are ever so much better off when we remain flexible, or when we return to flexibility. We need to be able to turn on a dime, when intuition prompts a different decision.

8 – Seeing

“Only the mind evaluates their [the differences] messages, and so only the mind is responsible for seeing. It alone decides whether what is seen is real or illusory, desirable or undesirable, pleasurable or painful. (M24)”

The mind is not really where we want to stay, according to a possible sequel to A Course in Miracles, entitled A Course of Love. We want to be in the heart, which does not need the reasoning that the mind requires. We just “know,” when in the heart. And ACOL recommends that mind and heart be joined, into what is called “wholeheartedness.” This is the way home.

9 – Perception

“It is in the sorting out and categorizing activities of the mind that errors in perception enter. And it is here correction must be made. (M24)”

We don’t need to analyze our perceptions so much. Perceptions are always varying, because they are perceptions of changing illusions, changing dreams.

10 – Knowledge

We need to move to knowledge (from perception), which the Holy Spirit will help us with. Knowledge is of God, and knowledge cannot be “proved.” It just is. We will know the difference.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I leave illusions behind. May I seek only what is true, only what I know in my depths is true.

If I have derived pleasure from believing my illusions, this has not been also without pain. May I recognize that I do not want pain, and may I let my illusions leave me.

Amen.

Certain Pupils Have Been Assigned to Each of God’s Teachers, and They Will Begin to Look for Him as Soon as He Has Answered the Call.

1 – Answering the Call

“Certain pupils have been assigned to each of God’s teachers, and they will begin to look for him as soon as he has answered the Call. They were chosen for him because the form of the universal curriculum that he will teach is best for them in view of their level of understanding. His pupils have been waiting for him, for his coming is certain. (M5)”

This is a reassuring passage. There are people out there who are only waiting for us to respond to God’s call, reiterated by Jesus. When we have responded to that call, we will find these new people showing up in our lives.

2 – Maybe Old Friends/Family

And not always are they “new” people. Some may have been in our lives for years, but because we were not ready, we did not teach properly. We may have even led these long-time brothers and sisters into greater mistakes, because we ourselves knew no better. Let us let this insanity end today.

3 – Distinct Teaching

All of us have a certain way of teaching salvation. There are no two ways identical, just as there are no two fingerprints identical. The fact that these pupils have been waiting is a Course concept that we may not fully understand. The fact that our coming was “certain” is also a Course concept that may be difficult to understand. Again we must take Jesus at his word, and know that these understandings, once accepted, will speed us, as well as others, on the way to total joy and fulfillment.

4 – Separation from God

“The instant the idea of separation entered the mind of God’s Son, in that same instant was God’s Answer given. In time this happened very long ago. In reality it never happened at all. (M5)”

God’s Answer is the Holy Spirit, an Idea Who is the Universal Inspiration. The Holy Spirit is in our minds in a very real sense. Traditional Christianity recognizes the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and we know of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was given to the new church.

5 – Tiny, Mad Idea

This passage gives additional, very interesting information. It affirms that the Holy Spirit has been with God’s children since the idea, the tiny, mad idea, entered into their minds. But in time, we are told, this happened a very long time. Since time is an illusion, it actually never happened at all.

6 – Moving Backwards in Time

We are moving backwards in time to that instant of the tiny, mad idea. Time is like a carpet that rolls up, going backward. (These are ACIM tenets.) So we are hearing theological underpinnings to A Course in Miracles. We do not have to believe theology, because Jesus is concerned only that together we have a universal experience. A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary. (ACIM tenets.) This is fascinating read from ACIM, but we don’t need to get lost in the mystery of it all. We need to focus on the experience of forgiving our brother, returning to our love for him/her.

7 – World of Illusion

“The world of time is the world of illusion. What happened long ago seems to be happening now. (M5)”

More theological underpinnings that build on the previous passage. We cannot understand these assertions. They just stand in ACIM, for us to accept, believe, and build upon, or to reject as too strange. Let us not reject anything in ACIM because, at first reading and even subsequent readings, it seems strange.

8 – A Dream

We are caught in illusion, in a dream. And time is part of that illusion. Einstein taught this. And so our physics is keeping pace.

9 – The Curriculum

“As the course emphasizes, you are not free to choose the curriculum, or even the form in which you learn it. You are free however, to decide when you want to learn it. And as you accept it, it is already learned. (M5)”

We have free will. We can choose when we want to learn. The fact that this passage seems to indicate that we do not have free will in everything is not to be lamented. I do not fully understand that we seem not to have free will in all particulars. I assume that some of us, years ago, chose certain a certain curriculum, including the form in which we would learn. And for many of us, that curriculum is A Course in Miracles, and the form becomes the particular way, individual to all of us, in which we learn ACIM.

10 – No Struggle

We need struggle not to learn. As we accept ACIM with a full and grateful heart, it is already learned. Indeed, ACIM is very easy to memorize. Many students have memorized large chunks of the work. But we don’t need to be fundamentalists about its words. The Second Edition underwent extensive editing by both Helen Schucman and Ken Wapnick, working together. I personally believe that that editorial work was informed by Jesus, but I have no proof. A first draft is rarely as good as a carefully edited version, and even Jesus’s words might be, and probably are, no exception. So I have seen no need to revert to an “original version.” The Second Edition is a polished document and is well-accepted by the course community.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May my pupils find me. May I speak Your Word to them in such a way that they can come to greater love and understanding.

It is reassuring that I have a place in salvation. Thank you for making this clear to me.

Amen.

When You Are Afraid, Be Still and Know that God Is Real

paris street - rainy day“You are part of reality, which stands unchanged beyond the reach of your ego but within easy reach of spirit. When you are afraid, be still and know that God is real, and you are His beloved Son in whom He is well pleased. (T55)”

Affirmation: “When you are afraid, be still”

Reflections:

1 – Comfort

This is a comforting passage to recall in times of fear, and, especially, if we feel that we have wronged a brother. God loves us still, and all mistakes are correctable. We are His beloved Son (or Daughter) in whom He is well pleased. What a statement that is! In fact, it compares God’s love for us with the familiar passage from the New Testament, in which Jesus received God’s blessing as His beloved son. We do not usually think of ourselves in this light. We do not usually compare ourselves to Jesus, especially when in the grip of the ego–for the egoic interpretation would have us reach toward pride, a characteristic that even the ego knows is to be avoided. The whole attitude encompassed in the passage for today would seem to be arrogant to the ego, but actually our spirit knows that we can still be humble and accept such words as these from Jesus.

2 – The World We Made Is an Illusion

There is a theoretical aspect to this passage as well: the image of “reality,” as opposed to the world that we made, which is actually, as seen by the A Course in Miracles, an illusion. The ego lives in this world of illusion, and so naturally if we are listening to the ego, we will believe that we have wronged a brother, and we will be afraid accordingly. The ego feeds upon such imaginings. We do not really understand the assertion in ACIM that we made (not created) this world in which we live. This is a theological underpinning that is beyond our scope. Yet if Jesus says it, I can recognize that there is something here that speaks to me though I do not understand it. I can recognize that my mind can indeed weave illusions, and, according to Jesus in ACIM, that is exactly what my mind has done. And all our minds. We are caught in a mass hallucination (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).

3 – Insane World

Actually we cannot truly wrong a brother in his (or her) reality, and when we move beyond the ego to the spirit, we know this. Note that reality is within “easy” reach of spirit. This reminder we may need often, as we go about in an insane world. God never leaves us alone, though; we are always shadowed by His inner essence in ourselves, and we always have the Holy Spirit for guidance. Individuals of faith have long recognized the spark of divinity that is within us all, and that is what is meant here. We can reach to true reality, though we may get only glimpses for a long while. When Awakening dawns, we walk a new earth in the real world.

4 – Fear

It is comforting to know that we can be still and ease the fear. An advanced individual does not normally feel the fear that most of us do. But until we become that advanced individual, we still need the comfort that only God can provide.

4 – Be Still

Stillness will quell fear. This is important to remember. We need to realize that we do not have to let our worried and frantic minds exacerbate conflict. We can cease the turmoil by a turning inward, buttressed by prayer.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

When I am afraid, help me to realize that You are there for me. I do not have to retain the emotion of fear; I only need to realize that You will lead me out of that emotion.

I am within easy reach of spirit. Let me always remember this. And thank you.

Amen.

Fear of the Destruction of Your Thought System

van gogh - autumn tree“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: “Your starting point is truth”

Reflections:

1 – Difficult Philosophical Backdrop

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

2 – We Are Actually Returning

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. This is part of the theology of A Course in Miracles, and we in all likelihood cannot expect fully to comprehend all the ramifications. We are “returning,” but we see ourselves as heading forward in time. Yet time is an illusion, and in the beginning we were with God. That is what I think that “return” really hints. We made the ego, and in the beginning it did not exist; we existed in love. And so, naturally, to the ego, its own destruction is terrifying. And as we move back, as we return, the ego–a part of our belief about ourselves–sees that its ending is sure. This, of course, is very terrifying. Indeed, we can 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? This world, until we move into the real world (also part of the Plan), is an illusion, and all of our busy doings in it are based on an illusory belief system. The ego would have us believe that we cannot function in this world without its control. But, indeed, we have found that we function poorly with its control.

4 – Our Willingness

So, at this point, ACIM asks us to take a leap of faith (though it does not call it that). We must recognize that the life we will lead without the ego will be preferable to the life that we lead with it. True to the history of the field of psychology, we need to develop an ego as we grow up, but, according to ACIM and A Course of Love, we need to give up that ego to progress spiritually as an adult. We need to be willing to walk this pathway, knowing that the end is sure, and knowing that we will not come to harm. This is not easy to see, because until we get into ACIM, the only basis of our world view has been the ego’s dictates. We think (in part because psychology has so instructed us) that we need a strong ego in order to be a strong person. Yet if we will loosen our hold on our egos ever so slightly, we will find that the opposite happens. We are stronger growing in God’s grace, giving up judgment to the Holy Spirit, and following His guidance as to what we say and do. The benefits are many, but at the very beginning of our journey, we need to suspend disbelief in the benevolence of the ego. It does not wish us well. It has never wished us well. And the time is now to give it up.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

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.

Be with my brothers and sisters as they take a leap of faith into the dark, as they trust that they will function better without the ego. The ego wants proof of this assertion, and only a little willingness will supply that proof. I know that very little is actually asked of us. May we give that very little, and the joys of our new living experience will assure us that we have made the right choice.

Amen.

The Time to Be Intolerant

The-Red-Boats-Argenteuil-by-Monet-2C-Claude-2C-France-4737-30210
“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. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 21.9)”

Affirmation: “May I fail to observe illusions today.”

Reflections:

1 – Jesus

Intolerance is usually abhorrent to Jesus. But here he uses the word in a new way, a way that is actually a positive concept. We are to fail to observe illusions any longer. We will just not see them!

2 – Tolerance

This means that the illusory nature of much of the thinking of this world will fall from us. We will stand aside from it, not giving it any mind. This does not mean that we will avoid the people who are speaking illusion; we will be tolerant of them, as tolerant as we can be. (And this tolerance of others is an important point.) But we will know that much that is being said is gibberish. Not worth a moment’s notice. And so it will not be there for us any longer.

3 – Living in This World

How will we live in this world with such an attitude? Jesus knows that we lived in a world of illusions without giving any credence to the truth. So why not reverse this now, now that we know better?

4 – What Do We Have to Lose?

Why not indeed? What do we have to lose? Only our belief in the illusion that the ego can give us something that we want. And the belief that others have, still. We do not, though, set ourselves apart as though we were better, because we have this knowledge. Only time separates believers. And time is an illusion. All will eventually come to know.

5 – Trust

Trust today that what Jesus bides us do is possible, even probable in the world as we live it now. We have walked farther along the pathway, and today’s passage affirms that walking has gotten us what we need and want. A sensitivity to the truth, and, paradoxically, an intolerance to illusions (though not to the people who believe in illusions).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live with the truth, not illusions, in my heart and mind today. I would walk smoothly, without boredom, anger, lassitude, or other negative attributes. Help me to do this; assist me.

Be with me as I seek to develop an intolerance to illusions. But may I never develop an intolerance to my brothers and sisters who believe in illusions. I would not hate the “sinner,” though I know that this is not sin but only mistakes.

Help me to have a good day. I need You.

Amen.

Real Meaning of Miracles

paintings-by-hilaire-germain-edgar-degas-star-l'etoile“Miracles are not the end, but the means, of living by the truth. Miracles are not meant to be called upon to create specific outcomes in specific circumstances. They are meant to be lived by as the truth is meant to be lived by. Not because you desire an outcome, but because it is who you are and because you realize you can no longer be, live, or think as other than who you are in truth. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 20.11)”

Affirmation: “I would live the miracle today.”

Reflections:

1 – Mistaken?

We have heretofore had a mistaken idea about miracles, even though A Course in Miracles exists with a title that incorporates the word. We have believed that miracles are specific outcomes to specific circumstances, and when miracles are meant to be lived as a way of life in the real world.

2 – Replacing the Ego

Perhaps we were not ready previously. We were not living by the truth, even though we might have thought that we were. After all, our egos convinced us that by studying ACIM we were well on our way to true salvation. Even though ACIM was written to dislodge the ego, if we did not have anything, or know anything, to replace the ego, we often were at a loss. And we made no progress, though the preliminary steps were in place.

3 – ACOL’s Change

A Course of Love changes all of that. We truly know what it means to live the miracle, not just to pray for a serendipitous happening that might be a miracle, or that we might call a miracle. We know that living the truth is living outside illusions. We know what the real world is all about. And we have left the ego behind, at least insofar as possible. This egoless mind may still present problems for us, for the ego is wily and does not diminish easily, and may have a resurgence when we least expect it to return. We must be guarded then, so that this abominable occurrence does not arise.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to speak well and to do well today. I would reject illusions, even when those illusions seemed happy to me. They never pleased me for long. And I would live the truth as I live the miracles that are behind the truth. I would listen to You today, the Miracle Who lives behind All.

Help me to incorporate this new meaning, for me, of miracles. It is hard to let go of the idea that a miracle leads to a specific outcome and is in the fact of the matter, an occurrence that brings an awe in Your presence. Actually to understand that living miracles is ongoing living of the truth and not illusions is a very freeing idea. And thank You for this knowledge. You lead me constantly to greater freedom, because my will is no longer constantly imprisoned.

May this day be a good one. May You help me to do what I can to smooth the pathway of my brothers and sisters, as well as I ask for help in smoothing my way. I am grateful to You for the help that always come when I get myself out of the way and ask.

Amen.

Return to Illusions? No!

pennsylvania-impressionist-impressionism-painting-by-george-sotter-autumn-gold-1930-original-size-22-x-26-bucks-county“You will be tempted to return to the house of illusion to gather those within and bid them join you in the reality of the truth. But in this time of Christ, a new time, a time without parallel or comparison, this will not be possible. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 19.15)”

Affirmation: “I will bid others to come, but from the house of truth.”

Reflections:

1 – Explanation

This passage takes some explanation if not familiar with the concepts from A Course of Love. Jesus indicates that many are still in the House of Illusion, which a house which is contained within the House of Truth. Some have ventured from this unstable House of Illusion outside its borders, into the House of Truth—reality, or the real world (an interpretation, not stated in A Course in Miracles or ACOL). If we are outside the House of Illusion, in the House of Truth, we might be tempted to turn again and go back into illusion, if only to bid others to step outside. But Jesus says that it doesn’t work that way. We stay in the House of Truth, and from that vantage point, beckon those still in the House of Illusion to step outside, into the House of Truth.

2 – Confusing?

This may all sound quite confusing, but if one visualizes the concepts, it becomes much easier.

3 – Time of Christ

We are now in the time of Christ, and we do not reenter the House of Illusion once we have emerged from it. This is a welcome thought, because backsliding is a theological concept that has worried many sincere believers. Now Jesus says that our backsliding is not to be a worry for us; we are permanently, in this era of the time of Christ, in the House of Truth.

4 – A New Age

What a joyous word this is—coming from Jesus, who heralds the dawn of a new age. May we take him at his word and not try to reenter a place of pain and suffering, the illusions in which we had been lost, for eons, amid the chaos of the ego. May we step into the real world, and from there it is but a short step into Awakening—when God decides that we are ready (from ACIM).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

With Your help, I would not return to illusions. I know that Jesus says in this passage for today that we cannot return to illusions in this time of Christ. Many sincere believers have thought otherwise in other eras. May I adopt the thinking of this passage, and be wise in the ways of the new era.

May I not forget those who are still in the House of Illusions. From truth, may I beckon to others, still trapped, to come outside, into truth. May I understand rightly what truth really is. May I be certain that if others are hurt, I have not found truth.

Be with me as I walk into the time of Christ. And may Christ-consciousness comes upon me when You choose. Guide me. Lead me. Love me.

Thank You.

Amen.

End the Time of Illusion

monet - lake in autumn“The return of Christ, or your ability and willingness to live as your true self, to live in the house of truth rather than the house of illusion, is what will end the time of illusion. Just as the truth is the truth and illusion is illusion; just as these things are what they are without judgment; so is the beginning the beginning and the end the end. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 17.8)”

Affirmation: “Help me to live as my true self today.”

Reflections:

1 – Truth

It is perhaps not so difficult to imagine what our true self really is like, though none of us knows for sure unless we have sustained Awakening. Our true self comes in glimpses at first, I think, but we need to know that the traditional desires—to live in peace, joy, serenity—form the core of the true self. And, of course, we are right with God. As the basis.

2 – Ego

We want to avoid illusion, but avoiding illusion is not possible in this world when we are still trapped in the ego. We move into the house of truth when we have allowed the ego to disintegrate. We do no egotistical things, we do no materialistic things. Life goes calmly when we get our priorities in order, and by now, most of us on the spiritual pathway know what these priorities are, even when we can’t seem to practice them consistently.

3 – Intentions

In the Bible, we learn that we fall on our face when we don’t depend on God. We may have the best of intentions, but these come to naught when we depend on ourselves alone. The most important thing is to turn to a Higher Power, to pray without ceasing. Most of us do not reach this degree of religious practice, but when our hearts are right with God, we don’t worry about stringent practices. He knows when we are reaching toward Him, and reaching toward Him will ease our consciences and give us the tranquility that has eluded us until now.

4 – When We May Cease to Live in Illusion

We may be living in illusion all the time, but some students/teachers of A Course of Love believe that when we have entered Christ-consciousness, we are no longer living an illusion, but the truth, the real world. Certainly A Course in Miracles says that when we reach the real world, God will act quickly to draw us unto Himself in Awakening (enlightenment). This is the word in ACIM for Christ-consciousness, and so there is actually no conflict between the two works (ACIM and ACOL).

5 – Gentleness

We ought to be gentle with ourselves as we go through a day. If a thing does not happen in an easy and paced walk through the day, that thing was perhaps not meant to happen. This is an idea from Norman Vincent Peale (The Power of Positive Thinking), and this idea is a prescription for reasoned and peaceful living.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for the knowledge that there is an end of illusions, that we move into the truth, the real world, when we are ready to leave behind illusions—and when we have Your help to do so. I would ask for that help today.

I thank You for the insight that has been given me from time to time, sometimes almost constantly, about how to live. I know that my own mind can mislead, but I pray that my mind stays in check, and my heart takes the lead. With the mind under the jurisdiction of the heart, I will live peacefully. I will no longer need to have “proof” of everything, for what the heart sees is real and true, and I know in my deepest being when You are there for me. And You are always there for me; it is my own scattered mind that prevents me from recognizing You in every instant.

Amen.

Answer to All Our Dreams

Autumn Effect at Argenteuil, by Claude Monet, 1873“Accept one ‘part’ or tenet of the truth and see the reverse take place. See how quickly the thought system of the truth build upon itself and forms a real and true interrelated whole. What forms the house of truth is love eternal and it has always encompassed you, even unto encompassing the house of illusion that you made to obscure it from yourself. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 16.17)”

Affirmation: “Love eternal has always encompassed me.”

Reflections:

1 – Neurotic Funks

We so often do not let ourselves be comforted. We get in a neurotic funk, we get angry and attack, we worry—and all of this is so unnecessary. Yet here in the passage for today Jesus assures us that even in illusion we have been surrounded by love eternal in the house of truth.

2 – Truth vs. Illusion

Jesus’s use of the terms “house of truth” and “house of illusion” can be somewhat confusing, and I think that if we find the “house” metaphor an impediment, we can simply think of both truth and illusion in contrast to each other. We know that we have been living an illusion here. But there is a way to step out of this illusion, and we do so when we awaken. And Awakening, or Christ-consciousness within the elevated Self of form is where we want to head.

3 – Mari Perron

We have not always welcomed truth. That is the reason that we have been caught in illusion. There is no way to know if the “reality” that we experience once we are Christ-conscious is yet another illusory world, but just a better one. Mari Perron, scribe of A Course of Love, has spoken on her belief that at such a time we step away from illusion. I respect her belief, and she knows much, having walked far along the pathway.

4 – God’s Way

Why would we make a world of illusion to obscure the truth from ourselves? We may never know in this lifetime, honestly. But we can catch glimpses. We thought that we made a way that we would like more than God’s way for us. And we were so wrong. God’s way is the best right way that we can go, and it is the answer to all of our dreams.

5 – No Better Way

There is no better way to walk than from the house of illusion into the house of truth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Let me, help me, walk from illusion into truth today, though I know that “truth” is a slippery concept. Many in our world think that You rubber stamp their version of truth, and yet that version of truth hurts people, sometimes drastically. I would know today that nothing of the truth is anything but healing to another. And may I live the way that will be healing to others.

Thank You for my blessings! Most recently you have soothed me and given me good sleep and rest. I need to “knit up the raveled sleeve of care.” And I do so when You watch over me at night. Thank You.

Amen.

A Physical Self Is Not Inconsistent with the Laws of God

Robert Hagan 1947 - Australian Impressionist painter - Tutt'Art@ (17)“The choice to express who you are in physical terms was not a choice made of fear but made of love. A physical self is not inconsistent with the laws of God or of creation. It is simply a choice. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 12.9)”

Affirmation: “I will rejoice in my physical body today, living in love only.”

Reflections:

1 – No Degrading the Physical

We see that the physical body is not to be degraded as inferior in experience to the things of the spirit. We can live in love with the physical body. And we did not make a “bad” choice when we decided to live in physicality. We simply made a choice that can be glorified.

2 – Body

So many religious traditions deemphasize the body and especially see it as unfortunate. We are taught that we need to bring it under control, that the body will lead us astray.

3 – Ego

Actually it is the ego which will lead us astray. The physical body is neutral (from A Course of Love). It is what we make of the ego that determines how we will live on earth. If we choose out of fear, we will live in a body that seems to react to every stress. We will often regret the body, because its reactions seem to have a mind of their own, and we suffer accordingly.

4 – Illusion

This is all the way of illusion, and if we sense this fear, we are living much of our time under our egoic influence. Let us not do so today, or any day. May we drop egoic influence, and the best way to begin to do that is to do nothing about of egotistical reasons. We can drop the ego; it is choice that we are empowered to make. And when we drop the ego, we will recognize that the body does nothing. It is a thing that allows us to express our self, a means of expression as well as communication, and nothing more. We need neither to fear its reactions or to glorify those reactions.

5 – Body as Communicative Tool

Be with the body in love today. Let the body be a means by which we can communicate with our brothers and sisters. And let us not use the body willfully. We need to recognize that the body does nothing of itself; it is the mind and heart that determine what the body does.

6 – Today

And let the body do only good things today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the insight, given in the passage for today, that Your will and the body are not at odds. I can be glad that I have a body to serve as a means of communication in this world with my brothers and sisters. I can be thankful for my body as a means of expression. And I do not have to wait for the Other Side, where bodies are ethereal and obey laws different from what I know on earth.

May I use my body well today. May I keep it healthy and strong, physically, and may my emotions be tranquil. May I have emotional stability in my physically healthy body. Illness need not come near me if I create rightly in this world. And illness that does come is a form of external searching, and I would search only internally, in You.

Amen.

House of Illusion vs. House of Truth

watercan - renoir
“The house of illusion exists within the House of Truth because it is where your brothers and sisters think they are. The house of illusion is not a hell that anyone has been banished to. It can at times be a chosen hell, just as it can at times be a chosen heaven. Choice and the awareness of the power of choice that exists within is all that differentiates one from the other. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 11.13)”

Affirmation: “I would leave behind the house of illusion today.”

Reflections:

1 – Change

This passage for today is a reassurance for our sisters and brothers who are not yet emerging from the house of illusion into the brighter world of the House of Truth. We are elsewhere bidden not to rejoin others in this house of illusion, if we have already emerged into the brightness of true reality. Yet the explosions within cue us to the fact that change is underway. We will not long be without our significant others, with us in the House of Truth.

2 – Hell on Earth

We do not wish for anyone a hell on earth, and the house of illusion is sometimes that. It can also be a heaven, as when we dream the happy dreams that the Holy Spirit brings (from the Workbook of A Course in Miracles). But we are in a more substantial heaven when we have emerged from these illusions. We try to make our elevated Self of form sustainable, and while this is not always a realistic goal, it is realistic to know that we can and do catch glimpses of the real world nearly every day.

3 – Choices

Our choices are open in reality, in the House of Truth. Our choices are restrained in the house of illusion, for our will is imprisoned (from ACIM). An imprisoned will induces discomfort in the extreme, even pain. And we would be free of imprisonment. Let us today resolve to live well, to emerge from illusions into truth.

4 – God’s Will Is Our Real Will

Our choices ought always to be aligned with what God’s will really is, for His will is our real will. This negates the oft-repeated sense that we are being coerced. The Holy Spirit (in ACIM) and the Christ Self (in A Course of Love) do not in any way coerce us. We live a free life, secure in the love of our Father.

5 – Heaven

Let us today live in heaven, whether we are still caught by illusions or whether we have emerged into the light of truth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live in the House of Truth today. I would not reenter the house of illusion. And I am actually helping my brothers and sisters more by so doing. I cannot help from within the house of illusion, because my own mind would be caught in illusions again. And I would not have it so.

Be with me as I seek earnestly to live abundantly within the House of Truth. I would leave fear, as an egoic notion, behind. I would enjoy the peace and tranquility that is promised me by you, when I enter the House of Truth. Help me to know only calm and quiet today.

Amen.

Being Tempted to Reenter the House of Illusion

early 20th century Pennsylvania impressionism“You will be tempted, nonetheless, to reenter the house of illusion, if only to grasp the hands of those you love and gently tug them through its doors. You will be able to take note of the explosions happening within and will want to return to add your own to those going on inside, thinking that with the force of one more, maybe the walls will finally come tumbling down and those inside be held within illusion no more. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 9.5)”

Affirmation: “I cannot help others by reentering the house of illusion myself.”

Reflections:

1 – Other People Caught in Illusion

We mean others well, most especially our significant others who are still caught in illusion. We have moved outside the house of illusion, but there are explosions within that rock the world. And we would rescue our brothers and sisters who still reside in the house of illusion. Can we do this meaningfully?

2 – Do Not Lose Your Insight

Jesus says not. We do not help by reentering the house of illusion, for we will lose our insight. We do best by living in reality, in the real world, once that has been granted us. And then, by our example, those caught in the house of illusion are coached outward. There is no better way.

3 – A House of Cards

The “explosions” are evidence that the house of cards that is the house of illusion is beginning to fall. This world is transforming, though the transformation, entirely, may take millions of years (a tenet from A Course in Miracles). Just as it took millions of years for the separation to occur. But the way back has been set now. And those of us who live in this new world of Christ are ready, even when, in our weakest moments, the ego informs us that we are mistaken, that we are poor and miserable and guilty of arrogance.

4 – Not Arrogance

It is not arrogance to listen to Jesus in A Course of Love, and to realize that finally we have moved beyond believing in the part of ourselves that we defined as the ego. We are no longer living that illusion. It is true that we may slip (a personal interpretation, not stated in A Course in Miracles or ACOL). But we get ourselves up from the ground, dust ourselves off, and start all over again (as a popular song notes).

5 – House of Illusion on Borrowed Time

The house of cards that is the house of illusion is living on borrowed time. May we listen to the explosions within, from our vantage point from without. And as others emerge from the chaos within the house of illusion, may we be there, in reality (the real world), to help everyone adjust to the light in which we now live.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know that I cannot help my loved ones by reentering illusion with them. I can best help them by staying in the real world, the world of truth, the House of Truth, that is outside the House of Illusion. Within there are those who are beginning to see differently, to see a better way. And it is they who are causing the explosions that will ultimately bring down the House of Illusion.

Thank You for these concepts, and I pray that they are a correct interpretation. Help me to be contented and reassured that Your way is best, that You will do what I cannot do. But if You give me a way to help, I will try to carry it out—when you lead me, how you lead me.

Thank You for being with me today in this sometimes conflicted world made up of both illusions and truth, for both I sometimes recognize. I would live in truth always. Help me to do so.

Amen.

Shaking Up Our World

folinsbee - pennsylvania impressionism“You have chosen many doors to the same house and but thought them to offer different things, only to find that the house you entered was still the same house, the house of illusion. You took your self into these many rooms and in some you were even capable of representing your true self. This representation of the true self within the house of illusion was like an explosion happening there. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 7.6)”

Affirmation: “I would not participate in an explosion in a house of illusions today.”

Reflections:

1 – Exit

We need to depart from the house of illusion. I have mentioned this, in different words, many times in this blog. The house of illusion is what we have been caught in for eons. And it is now time to exit.

2 – Return to Illusion?

We may think that we can save others, lost in illusion, by going back into this house of illusions. Yet this is a falsehood. We need to beckon from without, not join others in their illusions. We need to exit ourselves before we can be of any effective use to others.

3 – Glimpses

Of course, we have done some good works when we have been lost in illusions, because illusions are never total. We have seen glimpses of the real world for a long time now. But glimpses are not enough now. We need to ask for a more constant dwelling in the house of reality, the real world. And God will answer us at the time that we are ready.

4 – Explosions

We did represent our true self in the house of illusion, but by so doing, we made explosions there. And this was disturbing, not only to us but also to our brothers and sisters. And explosions rocked the boat. As they were meant to do.

5 – Set the Right Example

Our brothers and sisters will see that there is a better way if we live right, if we set the right example. But deciding to do so is arguably difficult, because deciding to do so is based on good intentions, which often fail us. So turn to guidance to see how and in what way to reach others. Don’t make elaborate plans to proselytize, because this is not the way to go. Many are not yet ready. But when our brothers and sisters see us happy and well, many will be led to ask us what is different in our lives. Then we can tell them. And in the telling we will be witnessing.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not witness today to those who are not ready, but I would also never turn down a chance to witness to those who are ready to hear. I need Your help in this. Be with me today as I walk along the pathway that You have set for me; please keep me on this right pathway.

I would not fall back into illusions today. This is a return to maya, to the ego’s traps. I would walk ahead to the real world, in as fast a pace as I can. But I would not trip over my own feet. I would walk carefully and gently, finding companions along the way who need me. And I need companions also. It is a two-way street.

Be with me today as I seek to do what I recognize as my will, being identical to Yours for me.

Amen.

No Reason to Be Afraid

monet - japanese bridge2“The Christ in you has no need to plan. A need to come to know. . .yes. But a need to plan. . .no. The Christ in you needs not for you to choose a lesson plan, but to let life itself be your chosen way of learning. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 10.19)”

Affirmation: “May I do no planning today.”

Reflections:

1 – No Need to Plan

Jesus warns against planning, first, in A Course in Miracles. In a little-known section of ACIM, he indicates that the way to lose one’s way to salvation is to attack, to judge, and to plan against contingencies to come (unless planning has been informed by the Holy Spirit). We can recognize that all three of these–attack, judging, and planning–are defenses against an uncertain future, a future that we don’t want to be uncertain. We are scared.

2 – Fear the Future?

But do we really have to fear the future? If we are dreaming the happy dreams that the Holy Spirit brings, we will walk a smooth path. And, in A Course of Love, the dreams give way to (at least) glimpses of reality. Mari Perron, who channeled ACOL, believes that in the time of Christ we are no longer living dreams. She believes that we thrust into the real world, as indicated by ACIM as well as the “reality” of ACOL. If so, we really do not need to choose the defense of planning. We do not need to make a lesson plan out of our lives. We just need to live our lives and therein to learn from our lives.

3 – Learn through Life

So we are to learn through life itself. Actually, has not this always been the case? Many spiritual writings, though not all, believe that we are in a school room on earth. Psychic writers have said this as well. (Notably, Neale Donald Walsch in Conversations with God does not see the earth as a school room.) Whether or not we are actually in school is not a question with which we need to preoccupy ourselves. We do not need to let theology delay us, for all of us will never agree on theological points.

4 – Next Step

We do need the universal experience, though, and that is life itself. We do not give up planning entirely, if we have to catch a plane, for example (as detailed by Eckhart Tolle in a CD entitled “Even the Sun Will Die”). But we do not make sweeping generalizations about our life’s course. The next step is really what we need to know. And that next step will enter our minds unfailingly when we ask for guidance, either from the Holy Spirit (if one is following A Course in Miracles) or the Self/Christ (if one is following A Course of Love).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would realize today that my fears have always been ungrounded. What I need to know comes to me in the moment, not from extensive defensive planning. I do not have to be afraid of anything. Even if the worst that I contemplate comes to pass, You are here for me. And that is all that I really need to know.

Be with me today as I seek to leave social anxieties behind. And all other anxieties as well.

There is no reason to be afraid. May I never lose sight of this truth.

Amen

No Idle Thoughts

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

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

Reflections:

1 – Mind Wandering

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

2 – Essence of Salvation

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

3 – Misuse of Time

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

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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

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

Amen.

Choice to End Suffering

4_Boating_Realism_Impressionism_Edouard_Manet“While I can tell you suffering is illusion, you cannot still your fear of it nor tear your eyes away from it or remove from it the feelings of your heart.  While I came to reveal the choice of Love to you, the choice that you each must make to end such suffering, the illusion of suffering has continued and in its continuation made the choice of Love seem all but impossible.  (Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 5.3)”

Affirmation:  “I would end any personal suffering today.”

Reflections:

1 – Maya

It is not enough to say that we live in a world of maya, illusion, or dreams.  As long as we suffer, we will find it impossible to be satisfied that we do not blame God because all except the real world is illusion.  This attitude, expressed by Jesus in this passage, is electrifying and very practical.  He knows our limitations.  And he knows that we will continue to see God as less than loving when we have not yet given up suffering.

2 – Eckhart Tolle

Pain does not have to turn into suffering!  That is the secret.  Eckhart Tolle says much about this in The Power of Now and A New Earth.  His understanding of the “pain body” is described in great detail in both books, but especially in A New Earth.

3 – Pain into Suffering

How do we accomplish feeling pain that does not lead to suffering?  Ah, that is the rub.  And the truth may be that we cannot overcome the tendency to turn pain into suffering without divine help.  But we do need to end suffering in order to experience all the blessings that the elevated Self of form has been promised (from the Dialogues of A Course of Love).  We do need to pray for help, to commune with God, when challenged by pain.  He will find a way to get through to us when we are at our lowest point.  Indeed, individuals often turn to God at their lowest when they do not do so at any other time.  When human resources are exhausted, we relinquish our own attempts to solve our problems, and we turn them over for divine solutions.

4 – Prayer of Relinquishment

Catherine Marshall, an inspirational writer of the last century, said much about the “prayer of relinquishment.”  We would do well to pray that prayer often.  We do not give up, but we do surrender the problem to a higher solution, that of God’s solution.  We wait to be told what to do to make things better, and we do not have to wait long, because A Course in Miracles promises that the solution is with the problem.

5 – Jesus

Let us turn today to consideration of how to end suffering in our lives.  This may seem a pipe dream, but I trust that if Jesus channeled A Course of Love (and I think he did), and he says that giving up suffering, seeing an end to suffering, is possible for us, I believe that it is.  Let us seek within for the guidance that will tell us what and how to proceed.  Everyone’s answer will be different, but the end is sure, and the end is the same for all of us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would release suffering today.  Any little aspect of suffering needs to be gone.  And with Your help it will be.  Pain does not have to turn to suffering.  There are remedies.  May my brothers and sisters know freedom from suffering today.

Guide me to any and all remedies that I need to feel totally well in all respects.  I sense that You will do this today for me.  Thank You for that intuition.

Help others whom I encounter in any way.  We need to be there for each other in this sometimes difficult world.  Help us to have good days in Your care.

Amen.

Joining = End of Illusion = Beginning of the Real

“What you join with becomes real.  As you take it into yourself 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.  (A Course of Love, 5.17)”

Affirmation:  “I would join today with that which is one with my real Self.”

Reflections:

1 – Fool’s Gold

This passage is a further elucidation of what was discussed in the passage posted yesterday.  “What you join with becomes real.”  We need to join with all that is laudable, and we need to refrain from joining with those things that appear shiny to the ego.  We need not to resist those things that satisfy the ego, for to resist is to make stronger in our concepts.  We just need to turn aside, and not give feeling, to those shiny objects of what is fool’s gold, not real gold.  The material is often only fool’s gold.

2 – Material Blessings

This statement does not mean that God does not want us to have material blessings.  He does indeed, and He will move to help us to acquire material things when we have so worked with our minds that we attract what we wish for.  But we must realize that the material, being outside of ourselves, is not real.  It cannot be brought within us, and joined with, and that is why the material is not ultimately satisfying.  We need the love, joy, harmony, tranquility–all of which are intangible and thus can be brought within ourselves, and there “joined with.”

3 – Perfectly Calm and Quiet

This interpretation means that we assent to the “perfectly calm and quiet” goal that Jesus would have us reach (from A Course in Miracles).  It means, in the words of Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now and A New Earth), that we no longer seek for drama in our lives.  Drama is distracting, and also very satisfying to the remnant of the ego that will always be a part of ourselves.  (The ego will not be destroyed, because we made it, but it will be deemphasized into insignificance.)

4 – Intangibles of God

Let us seek for the intangibles of God today, and join with those intangibles within our heart, our Christ within, our love within.  Then love has truly done its best to make us ready for Christ-consciousness.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would feel tranquility today.  I would turn aside from anxiety, regardless of what transpires.  I have this in my power, because of the cause-and-effect power of my thoughts, my mind.  I will “listen” with my heart today.  The heart knows how much better life can be when we do not become embroiled in the egoic.

Help me to leave anxiety behind from this day forward.  I do know what to do; I just have to implement.  I know what to do because You have shown me.  And Jesus has given words to Your Wisdom.

Amen.

Beyond Our Deepest Imaginings

“To truly see is to begin to see the formless.  To begin to see the formless is to begin to understand what you are.

“All that you now see are but symbols of what is really there before you, in glory beyond your deepest imaginings.  (A Course of Love, 3.3 – 3.4)”

Affirmation:  “a glory beyond my deepest imaginings”

Reflections:

1 – See the Formless

May we see the formless, beginning today.  This is a real function for ourselves, though it is not herein described as a function.  We need, though, truly to see.  This is real vision.  This is the real world.  Here we are living forgiveness, and we are living love.  A Course in Miracles sought to have us experience “vision,” and A Course of Love does the same (in this respect).  May we move into this greater vision, for with it will come greater understanding.

2 – From Forgiveness to Understanding

We are often told to forgive, and then we will come to understand (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM and ACOL).  I have found this sequence–from forgiveness to understanding–to be a true manifestation of the way reality works.  We get it backwards when we hold grievances, but yet try to understand–for we are trying to do what will never work; we are trying to do the impossible.

3 – Forgiveness Clears Our Minds

But forgiveness clears our minds of negatives, and we are then prepared to have the vision that God would have us see.  This is one of the greatest blessings of both ACIM and ACOL.

4 – Home

I would see what is really before me today.  I would see the glory that is beyond my deepest imaginings.  And then I would know that I am truly home.  And I will rejoice that it is so, for home is where I long to be.  And I do not have to die to experience this home.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would truly see today, and to see I need to forgive, for then I will come to understand.  It always seems to work in this direction–forgiveness to understanding, never the reverse.  And may I truly realize this distinction today.

I do know that even this world can hold glory beyond our deepest imaginings.  I would pray to see some of that glory today.  

Be with me as I seek to forgive myself and others today.  May this be a good day in all respects for not only myself, but also all others whom I encounter in any way.

Thank You for listening to my prayer.

Amen.

Anger Recognizes an Illusory Reality

“Can nothing give rise to anger?  Hardly so.  Remember, then, teacher of God, that anger recognizes a reality that is not there; yet is the anger certain witness that you do believe in it as fact.  Now is escape impossible, until you see you have responded to your own interpretation, which you have projected on an outside world.  (M-17.9)”

Affirmation:  “I would not believe in the things that anger shows me.”

Reflections:

1 – “Nothing”

The “nothing” is the illusion.  And this passage for today also indicates that projection leads to perception.  We project outward what we are seeing and feeling internally.  We project an illusion, a dream.

2 – Anger at Interpretations

Remember that nobody can be angry at a fact.  It is always an interpretation that gives rise to anger.  (Paraphrases from ACIM.)  And the interpretation is always false, if it brings forth any emotion akin to anger or any action akin to attack.

3 – Projection Makes Perception

“Projection makes perception” is part of the theology of A Course in Miracles, and Jesus would not have us delayed by theology.  He is concerned with only what everyone can accept.  Theology may only delay us.  And we do so like to engage in debate!  Yet, for those who are ready to accept the theology, it is there for us in ACIM.  There is nothing without (from the Text).  There is nothing outside of ourselves (also from the Text).  When we come to see this, it will be a revelation that has shown the truth of it to us.  And we cannot convey revelation from God to another, because it is intensely personal to ourselves.  God knows how to speak to each of us in a manner that we can understand.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not be angry today.  I would not be agitated today, for stress leads, for me, inexorably toward anger.  Anger is not justified, because we are always interpreting, and we are interpreting illusions.  Why would we get mad at an illusion?

Thank You for these statements from Jesus in A Course in Miracles.  I am grateful everyday for the magnificence of ACIM, for what a blessing it is!  Be with me as I seek, everyday, to understand this channeled work of Jesus all the more.

Amen.

Final Judgment

“But the Final Judgment will not come until it is no longer associated with fear.  One day each one will welcome it, and on that very day it will be given him.  (M-15.1)”

Affirmation:  “Let me not think of the Final Judgment with fear.”

Reflections:

1 – Personal Experience

I once had a “waking dream,” not unlike what John Keats, the poem (“Ode to a Nightingale”) describes so well.  In that semi-hypnotic state, I imagined the Final Judgment was coming to me.  I was asked a number of questions, which I tried to answer, but not always truthfully.  And my unseen questioner knew that I was dissembling.  I responded, “How do you expect me to pass this test?”  As one who always tries to tell the truth, this memory is painful.  But the experience itself was very uplifting.  My unseen questioner in this waking dream then gave me a series of directives for my life.  I have forgotten most of them, but I do recall that one was to buy an “older” house when I was in a position to purchase a house.  Through no machinations of my own, that is exactly what my husband and I did:  a house built in 1922, with well-preserved, with numerous refurbishing.

2 – Many Years Later

I do not now, more than 30 years later, know how accurate this waking dream was, or whether or not I could even call it a “Final Judgment” carried out by one of my brothers in his lifetime.  Jesus says elsewhere that the Final Judgment of all will be carried out in conjunction with his brothers (and sisters) in this world.  So I sometimes ponder this strange experience.  The waking dream has never recurred, and only once or twice had something akin to it ever happened to me previously.

3 – “Tall Order”

But I was not afraid.  I remember commenting in my dream, with all the assertions of what I ought to do with my life, “That is a tall order.”  But the parts that I have remembered have come true,, almost fated (or so it seems).  There were, of course, parts that I do not recall, for this was an altered state of consciousness.

4 – Altered Consciousness

One probably ought not to plan for altered states of consciousness.  We are not usually of much help to other people when we are living in such a way.  But Jesus says in ACIM that the channels of communication in our universe are not limited to the few channels that this world recognizes.  He goes on to say that salvation would be impossible without these additional channels that this world does not recognize.

5 – Turn Aside from the Ego

Do not let the ego get a toehold in your own psychic imaginings.  When we have withdrawn support from the ego, it will, absolutely will, try to rise in ascendancy by guile.  And we certainly do not want that.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the unusual experience of more than 30 years ago.  But I do not wish for altered states of consciousness.  I want my feet on the ground, even as my head is sometimes in the clouds.  Be with me to be certain that my imaginings do not mislead others or myself.

Thank You for a busy but good day.  Help me to have a flowing expereince in my thoughts.  No obsessions.  And I pray for a stress-free day tomorrow.  Be with all of us who are trying so hard.  May we realize, anew, that Your Way is effortless.

Amen.

Illusory Split from God Experienced in Attack

“[The Word of God] is denied if you attack any brother for anything.  For it is here the split with God occurs.  A split that is impossible.  A split that cannot happen.  Yet a split in which you surely will believe, because you have set up a situation that is impossible.  And in this situation the impossible can seem to happen.  It seems to happen at the ‘sacrifice’ of truth.  (M-13.7)”

Affirmation:  “I will not attack under any circumstances.”

Reflections:

1 – Sword over our Heads

We are told elsewhere in A Course in Miracles that when we are tempted to be angry (and to attack), it is as though we hold a sword over our heads.  And it will fall or be averted as we choose to ask for peace and turn aside from the reverse, the anger and attack.

2 – We Are Human

We are human, and we have human frailties.  We will still, sometimes, get angry.

3 – Insanity

If we can, when tempted by anger, to assert that what we are being baited with is just insanity, we will easily (sometimes easily) turn aside.   And what we are viewing is insanity, but it is also a call for help and for love.  The Holy Spirit will teach us this, if we will let Him.  And nobody responds to a call for help with anger.  A call for help is a piteous call, and deserves our sympathy.

4 – Our World Will Smooth Out

If we do well with these ideas, our world will smooth out.  It is when we attack in response that the trouble starts, for we have set up a situation in which baiting happens between ourselves, and our brothers and sisters.

5 – Do Not Respond to a Bait

We would respond to no bait today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

If we believe in the split or separation from God only when we are in attack mode, then it does behoove us to get out of that mode.  Forgive me if irritation arises today, or if a significant other tempts me to attack, or if I am just in a bad mood and feel like venting.  None of this is in Your Will, and I would live Your Will, though I am human and will always make mistakes that You can lead me to correct.

Be with me to stay in harmony and calm–and joy!–today.  If the individuals I see are having a bad day, help me to stay serene and to do what I can to make that day better.  My own attack, added to theirs, would lead us all down the thorns of the egoistic pathway.  Nobody needs that.

Be with me as this day plays out.  Help me to get enough rest so that I am not as likely to fall into poor ways of behaving.  Keep me in Your care, and lead me to the sure pathway that is happiness in You.

Amen.

Hope of Heaven / Remembrance of God’s Love

“Yet he must rejoice that he is free of all the sacrifice its values would demand of him.  To them he sacrifices all his peace.  To them he sacrifices all his freedom.  And to possess them must be sacrificed his hope of Heaven and remembrance of his Father’s Love.  Who in his sane mind chooses nothing as a substitute for everything?  (M-13.4)”

Affirmation:  “I would value the valuable only.”

Reflections:

1 – The Ego

This passage is about the ego and its supposed benefits in following it.  What a mistake we make when we try to follow the ego.  We are cast down as often as we experience ecstasy, and the ecstasy is always short-lived.  This is the way that we are, ever so gently, taught that the ego is not “the way.”  We, in harmony with the Holy Spirit, have found a new way that will benefit in far greater dimensions.

2 – This World = A Dream

We do not see that this world is a dream, and, while it may be a pleasant dream at times, it is still a dream.  The Holy Spirit beings us happy dreams (from the Workbook), so that when we are finally ready for Awakening, we will not be scared of it.

3 – Sacrifice

Sacrifice is a notion totally rejected by A Course in Miracles.  And well it should be.  Our
world has been a place where most people thought that sacrifice for others was a virtue.  Not so, according to A Course in Miracles.  We do not have to give up anything to do right by our brothers and sisters.  We will all be cared for.

4 – Don’t Make This World Important

When we make this world too important to us, we do sacrifice, though.  We sacrifice our happiness and hope for ever-increasing joy to a dubious, impossible dream.  We do this injustice to ourselves when we follow the ego instead of the Holy Spirit.

5 – Follow Our Guide

May we follow the right Guide today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I do rejoice that I am getting the madness out, the madness that all of us, to one extent or another, have while in this world.  I would not choose the insanity of the ego anymore.  Help me to be true to this declaration.

Be good to me today.  It will be a busy day, and I want to promise to You that I will not forget my prayers to You.  Be with me as I seek to follow my Guide.

Amen.

We Are Living a Dream

“They [teachers of God] seek for God’s Voice in this brother who would so deceive himself as to believe God’s Son can suffer.  And they remind him that he did not make himself, and must remain as God created him.  They recognize illusions can have no effect.  (M-5.III.3)”

Affirmation:  “I remain as God created me.”

Reflections:

1 – Salvation

When we are trying to bring salvation to another, we must seek for the Voice for God in that other.  This Voice is another name for the Holy Spirit.  The Manual makes it clear that we are only separated from our brothers and sisters by time, and time does not really exist.  We can quickly fall from teacher to student by missteps, and often these missteps come because we have failed to listen to the Holy Spirit or Christ-consciousness (the latter is described in A Course of Love).

2 – When We Suffer

We are deceived when we are suffering, and similarly deceived are our brothers and sisters who are suffering.  This does not mean that we deny the sight of our physical eyes, but just that we recognize that what we are viewing is illusion, and therefore, ultimately, unreal (ACIM tenets).

3 – The Personal Self and the (Larger) Self

We are still as God created us.  We may have trouble understanding how this can be, when we see our failings and even our travails as evidence that we have fallen from greater heights.  But the real Self has not changed, and it is the essence of the personal self that is the Self (sometimes called the Christ).

4 – Illusions

We do not always recognize that illusions are, in fact, illusions.  We look with our physical eyes, and we empathize and sympathize with those whom we see as poor, suffering individuals.  This may in fact not be a hindrance to us, as long we ask for healing as soon as we recognize the need for it.  We may not see a physical change, and maybe not even an emotional one.  But the request for healing is always granted, and the healing will be received when the individual is ready for it (ACIM tenets).

5 – Not to Choose Healing

I should note that the view of A Course in Miracles is an ideal, and not all will experience healing.  Most of us choose an illness to cause our death at the end of our lifespan.  And then healing does not appear to have been received.  But who knows what remains beyond the veil of death?  We do not know, and we normally believe that life on the Other Side is free of illness, suffering, and pain.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Be with me as I continue my study of Jesus’s statements on sickness in A Course in Miracles.  I do not expect to understand fully; some things are veiled on this earth.  Be with me, though, as I try to understand.

I would choose physical and emotional healing today.  I would not knowingly choose illness.  Be with me in this choice.

I know that learning through rewards lasts, whereas learning through pain is only temporary.  ACIM tells me this.  May I learn through rewards today and every day.

Thank You.

Amen.

Be Still

“You are part of reality, which stands unchanged beyond the reach of your ego but within easy reach of spirit.  When you are afraid, be still and know that God is real, and you are His beloved Son in whom He is well pleased.  (T55)”

Affirmation:  “When you are afraid, be still”

Reflections:

1 – Comforting Passage

This is a comforting passage to recall in times of fear, and, especially, if we feel that we have wronged a brother.  God loves us still, and all mistakes are correctable.

2 – Guilt as a Barrier

A personal issue is often that we feel such remorse that we do not forgive ourselves.  Indeed, I sometimes wonder if that is the great need of our time.  We are instructed in A Course in Miracles to forgive our brother, but often we cannot do that because of the guilt that we still feel, the guilt that is keeping us mad and unable to forgive ourselves.  Then we need to realize that Jesus would not have us react this way.  He always forgave, in part because his understanding was greater, and he knew that his brothers were, at heart, innocent of wrongdoing.  Do we know the same?  It is true, and knowing this and taking it to heart will go a long way toward smoothing our own pathway through this sometimes troubled and insane world in which we find ourselves.

3 – Real World / Dream or Illusions

There is a theoretical aspect to this passage as well:  the image of “reality,” as opposed to the world that we made, which is actually, as seen by the Course, an illusion.  The ego lives in this world of illusion, and so naturally if we are listening to the ego, we will believe that we have wronged a brother, and we will be afraid accordingly.  The ego feeds upon such imaginings.

4 – In Reality, No Harm

Actually we cannot truly wrong a brother in his (or her) reality, and when we move beyond the ego to the spirit, we know this.   Note that reality is within “easy” reach of spirit.  This reminder we may need often, as we go about in an insane world.  God never leaves us alone, though; we are always shadowed by His inner essence in ourselves, and we always have the Holy Spirit for guidance.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When I am afraid, help me to realize that You are there for me.  I do not have to retain the emotion of fear; I only need to realize that You will lead me out of that emotion.

I am within easy reach of spirit.  Let me always remember this.  And thank You.

Amen.

Awakening from the Illusion that Is This World

“Nothing can prevail against a Son of God who commends his spirit into the Hands of his Father.  By doing this the mind awakens from its sleep and remembers its Creator.  (T39)”

Affirmation:  “the mind awakens from its sleep.”

Reflections:

1 – Our “Dream”

This statement by Jesus is a paraphrase of one of the cries made from the cross.  Here we are asked to also commend our spirit into the Hands of the Father.  What happens is the greatest miracles the Course holds out to us:  Awakening.  “. . .[T]he mind awakens from its sleep and remembers its Creator.”

2 – Catherine of Siena

The medieval saint, Catherine of Siena, said a paraphrase of this passage as she died, in her early thirties, while cuddled on her mother’s lap.  She had believed herself to be the bride of Christ, and many others clustered about her in her few years.  An order of sisters was established, and she did much to try to bring the Pope back to Rome.

3 – Commend Thy Spirit unto the Father

But anyone, anywhere, can say and mean these words, commending one’s spirit into the hands of the Father, and by so doing know solace.  Indeed, this is a way to know the greatest solace.

4 – To Awaken from Sleep and to Remember

We will awaken from sleep and remember our Creator.  What a glorious promise!  Here the way is pointed out to us in a very few words:  commend our spirit to God and all will be well.  We will be at home with God, even while in this world.  We will inhabit the real world, where projections are cleansed, and thus perceptions are seen afresh.  We may know pain still, but we will not know suffering.

5 – Do Not Fret or Worry

“Nothing can prevail against. . .” is a powerful introduction to this idea.  We do not have to fret that the world of special relationships, not yet holy, will impede our progress.  “Nothing” can prevail against us once we have made the decision to surrender completely to God and to His guidance through the Holy Spirit.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know what it is to commend my spirit into Your hands.  By so doing may I awaken from my sleep in this world.

May I be my real Self today; may I not fulfill a persona anymore than is necessary to live in this world.  As I see friends, may I just know that they will accept me, just as I am.  You accepts me just as I am and love me for it.  May all people that I encounter today do not less.  That does not mean that we are equal to You, but simply that we try.  And we try not to fret when we fall short.

I would be grateful for this day, this day of promise.  May my significant others get from me all that I can give by way of the right kind of love and no attack.  Be with me as I seek to fulfill the promises that You hope for me, in being the kind of person that You have already accepted.

May I draw inspiration from the example of St. Catherine of Siena.  She knew a great deal in her short life.  May my longer life serve Your Spirit, and may my life also serve the others in my world, the ones entrusted to me.

All will be well with me when I do commend my spirit into Your hands.  Thank you for this great promise.

Amen.

Error Cannot Hurt

“True denial is a powerful protective device.  You can and should deny any belief that error can hurt you.  (T199)”

Affirmation:  “True denial is protective.”

 

Reflections:

1 – True Denial

True denial refers only to our real self–the Self that cannot be hurt.  We aren’t usually very aware of this Self, but this Self influences us constantly.  Whether or not we listen is our own decision, but this Self can and does influence what happens to us.

2 – The Self

Error can actually accomplish nothing that is ultimately hurtful, because the Self is beyond being hurt.  The Course does not use the word “soul,” but in common language this is what is meant.  (The Course usually uses the word “spirit.”)

3 – Pain Is Illusory

When we are caught in the midst of suffering, of feeling our pain, in our own lives, or when we see suffering in others (whether our significant others or the world at large), we can affirm that the pain is illusory.  Certainly it is felt; this is not what is meant by “illusory.”  The pain actually accomplishes nothing permanent except, upon occasion, bringing us closer to God and thus to ultimate release.  This understanding will eliminate any tendency to project the blame for our pain onto God, thus removing one of the main reasons that we reject faith as being beyond our comprehension.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I learn the power of true denial, and use it only rightly.  May I truly know in the depths of my being that error–error in myself or error in others–cannot hurt my real Self.

May I forgive error in myself and in others.  May the error that does occur be an occasion to practice forgiveness, and may I turn to the Holy Spirit for guidance in how to forgive.

Amen.