The Embrace

“To know who you are and not to express who you are with your full power is the result of fear. To know the safety and love of the embrace is to know no cause for fear, and thus to come into your true power. True power is the power of miracles.” (ACOL, C:20.28)

Seeing that we don’t express who we really are out of fear, let us contemplate what we might do to turn this situation around.

Jesus includes in A Course of Love a sensitively-written passage in which he takes us into his arms and embraces us. The passage exudes warmth, peace, and safety.
Here is the most cogent part:

“This is a call to move now into my embrace and let yourself be comforted. Let the tears fall and the weight of your shoulders rest upon mine. Let me cradle your head against my breast as I stroke your hair and assure you that it will be all right. Realize that this is the whole world, the universe, the all of all in whose embrace you literally exist. Feel the gentleness and the love. Drink in the safety and the rest. Close your eyes and begin to see with an imagination that is beyond thought and words.” (C:20.2)

This reassuring passage is emblematic of the tone of all A Course of Love, for ACOL looks to the heart, first of all, to entice us to give up the false values of the ego, the false identity to which we have clung for so long.

In letting this memorable passage fill our minds, we are led beyond the bounds of the fear-ridden ego. We will know that we want something different from what we have had all of our lives. We know that the enticement that Jesus represents is the true value of love, the way that we will come home to ourselves.

When we come home to ourselves, we will be fully powerful for the first time, and who among us does not want a right sort of power? The egoic power that we have known previously has given us flights of joy, but evermore it has dashed our feet on stones, and prompted tears of grievous regret. We can be finished with these tantalizing fits. We can stop sensing electric joy that dissolves into abject misery. Jesus is showing us the way out when he encourages us to be who we truly are.

When we don’t fear anything, in the embrace, we are primed to come into our real power. We are primed to be who we really are, in love with the whole world. And for this miracle, we need give up nothing! Nothing at all, for what the ego has given us has truly been nothing. The ego gives but to take away. And, even the giving is time-bound to be of short duration. The “gifts” of the ego don’t satisfy very long at all. Then we are off to a new goal. And, ultimately, what we have accumulated becomes ash and dust at our feet. No joy in the “everything” at all, for the everything is not enough. “Is this all there is?” becomes a legitimate question for the vast majority of us. And that is because we are looking for love in all the wrong places.

The best place to look for love is within the miracle. Both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love say a great deal about the power of miracles. We aren’t to decide personally what miracles ought to be done, because we would be misguided if that were our attitude. Jesus makes clear that he decides when and if a miracle is timely, because he is in charge of the Atonement. But when we ask for something, such as love and the centrality of love in our life, we can be sure that Jesus is right there with us, cheering us along. We can’t know how the miracle will happen, only that it will. We are asking in God’s will for the relinquishment of fear and the shift to love in all our dealings. Prayers such as these do not go unattended.

The power of miracles is said in A Course of Love to be the true power. Would any of us want any other power? We need and want to be reverent in our asking, supportive of whatever guidance we get. We don’t need to launch into pipe dreams that become meaningless. With the attraction of true power in our minds and hearts, we will know Love sooner rather than later. And the fear that has hampered all our doings for many years will gradually fall away.

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A Course in Miracles Sets the Stage

“The further teachings of the original Course were designed to turn fear into love. When you think you can go only so far and no further in your acceptance of the teachings of the course and the truth of your Self as God created you, you are abdicating love to fear.” (ACOL, P11)

Many come to A Course of Love from A Course in Miracles. And Jesus has made clear that A Course of Love is a continuation of A Course in Miracles. Here we find the continuity that Jesus wanted. Here he expresses this continuity in terms of love and fear.

We are told, in no uncertain terms, that when we feel that we cannot fully accept A Course in Miracles (and, by implication, A Course of Love), we are “abdicating love to fear.” (ACOL, P11) We think we don’t know how to live a life fully in love; we don’t dare let go of fear.

What is this but the ego talking to us? It is nothing but: It is pure ego.
We have such a problem in letting go of the fear-ridden ego in favor of the heart-felt place of our love. We think, wrongly, that the ego has protected us from unnamed disasters—when it is actually just the reverse. We are abject cowards in the fact of the loud voice of the ego that we hear shouting to us to be careful.

We think that if we don’t heed these shrieking sounds, we will be lost. But it is actually the reverse. We will be lost in a hell of our making by refusing to listen to the still small voice that whispers of Love.

So let us take a look at what we are really meant to be, the person that Jesus sees in us. The person who chooses love over fear, consistently.

Living in Love

As of this date on your calendar, there have only been a handful of beings who have truly lived life upon this lane, a very small handful. There are many of us that would just absolutely be thrilled if you would join the club!

I will let you in on a little secret: Until you do, you do not get to graduate. You will never leave this plane, filled with conflict and suffering, as it seems to be, until you have lived the experience of walking this Earth wholly as the thought of Love in form, with no other allegiances, but to Love. You will never leave this plane. You will never take up your cross and follow me. You will spin around again and again and again, only to be confronted by the same need to decide wholly for Love. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 6, Page 79 – 80)

Jesus is here telling it like it is. We don’t “get to graduate” until we know how to live. We will stay on this plane, this earth, going around and around, often in misery and suffering, if we don’t learn to live in Love. On this plane forgiveness is all. Forgiveness will show us how to love. Only forgiveness.

Nobody else has done it to us. We have done it to ourselves, for we are manifesting our illusions, illusions that keep us tied to an existence that is not worthy of us.

Life is meant to be full of great joy, great blessings. Our only reason for being here is salvation, making the choice for Love.

Decide that real life is what we want. Decide today. Real life means that we remove the blocks to the awareness of Love, and a prime way to do that is to forgive.

We will “graduate” when our purpose here has been fulfilled. That may be a long way off, but if we live in Love here, we can enjoy heaven on earth. Truly. Completely.

There is no better way to live a life.

Resting in God

At times, within your hearts, there is a longing to follow me. If you would but heed that longing, if you would make that longing primary at all times, your own desire will bring you wholly to where I am. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 6, Page 71)

We are all—every one of us—residing in the Mind of God. Our longing to follow Jesus to where he is, is a laudable desire, but the way we think of it is a little misdirected. He is in that Mind of God also! Of course, we imagine that he has moved a little bit beyond us, and indeed he has. But our locus of operation, where our lives originate, in the Mind of God, is exactly the same.

So we have not moved an inch when we have come to where Jesus is, and he indicates elsewhere that we will laugh when we realize this. Jesus’ sense of humor is palpable. And he uses it to good effect in The Way of Mastery.

We don’t have to go anywhere to experience God. We are everywhere and in every way surrounded by Him, for He lives through us. We are part of Him. And He experiences right along with us.

Trust in the Mind of God to give us the grace to know that all is well. Jesus tells us not to be afraid about anything at all. If our trust seems weak, then we need to expand our love, and the trust will follow.

Friend in Jesus

There is no one who shall receive these words who has not already looked upon me and seen the face of Christ within. And likewise, I look upon you and call you ‘friend.’” (“The Way of the Heart, WOM, Lesson 6, Page 70)

Jesus is coming close to us today, in these words that will comfort our heart, in the quotation for today. He knows that we have need of him. He would not allow us to lean on him forever, for he will finally resign from being our teacher. But until our guidance is sure, he will allow us to ask him for what would work best.
Jesus does not want our love for him to breed dependence. He wants us to depend only upon our God, personal relationship to the Almighty that all of us have when we reach down deeper, within. We have the will to reach God when we are not afraid of Him. And, as Jesus, we call God a “Friend.”

Know that Jesus comes upon a single unequivocal call. He promises this in A Course in Miracles. If the need seems dire, call today. And be sure to say a silent “thank you” when he blesses us, graces us, with his presence.

Friendship is a two-way street. Be sure that we are good friends to Jesus, too.

Don’t let him try to forge the relationship out of whole cloth.

Nothing Is Happening by Accident

. . .[N]othing is happening by accident. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 68)

We can experience God when we allow Him to dwell, observed, in our very bodies. Of course, he (and we) are not truly bodies. But in this world of form, we experience that, and it is all good. Allowance opens the door to God’s action in our lives. It is the best thing that we have going for ourselves.

Elsewhere in the Way of Mastery, Jesus says that allowance is one of the keys to good living. It gives us salvation, the ultimate salvation of Awakening (Christ-consciousness). Allowing things to influence us is a matter of some faith, at least in the beginning, before we believe concretely that there is Another World, a place beyond us to which we go at death. Then we do not have to have faith, because we “know.” Jung said the same thing a few years before his death.

When we know of God’s reality, then our allowance for Him has taken hold.

Then we are living lives of growing joy and abundance.

Let us allow God to have His way with us. Let us let Him take the controls.

Let God Act in Gentleness in Our Very Souls

I and I alone am the source of what I experience and perceive. I am not a victim of the world I see. Everything I experience, I have called to myself, plain and simple—no excuses, no ifs, ands, or buts. That is the way it is.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 64)

We are one with Jesus, as we are one with all other beings in our world. We are responsible for this “pebble” (Jesus’ word) called “earth.” There is one Self only, and this Self is a manifestation of God, insane though we have been in manifesting Him. He is not insane, and so we could not fully experience God in our illusory separation from Him. But we have never been victims. We did just what we wanted. We thought it smart to develop a worldview that left God out, and in the doing of it, we suffered mightily. Our suffering was chosen by our souls to lead us back to knowledge that what we were about would never work.

God was not punitive. He just had to have universes that were based in Love in order to keep that Creation from self-destructing. We didn’t know this, for our finite minds could not contain the ramifications of this in our delusions. We projected the ego as the Devil, and we imagined a cosmic war going on. This has never been, but we didn’t have, in separation, a certain way of knowing the truth.

Now we do. We live in the time of Christ, and certain things that have been hidden until are now, now are out in the open. Our way back is seen as the smooth path that it is. We need fret, worry, suffer, be in pain, no more. Our Self, seen as individuated entities apart from each other, will gradually return to the fold, knowing that suffering is unnecessary. We will let God have His way with us, learning through rewards, a way that is vastly superior to pain.

Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that it is not necessary to learn through pain. Believe him, and watch the agonies of this world recede.

Let God act in gentleness in our very souls, and our way will be smoothed for all time.

Believe

The universe is always answering your questions. And when you ask unclear questions, you get unclear answers. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 60)

Jesus’ practical advice shines through today’s quotation. “And when you ask unclear questions, you get unclear answers.” Yes! We need to get clear in our minds (and hearts) what we really want, then ask, believing that our agreed-upon goal will manifest. Then we only need wait (and not wait long) for the manifestation to appear.

Believing is the crux of the matter. And when we don’t really believe, then we are trying to force something into our reality that is not in our contract for this lifetime. Our innermost Self knows that this way is not for us; we are only with a request. When we truly believe a thing, then we are on the beam of the pathway for our lifetime. We need do no more, for we will see it become ours.

What are we committed to in this lifetime? Spend a while contemplating this important question. Let it permeate the subconscious mind. Then, with a clear mind, revisit the question. If we have turned the decision of commitment over to our deepest mind, we will have a knowing that has eluded us until then.

Born of the Spirit

For as you take up your rightful place, you become a vehicle through which the voice for God will creatively touch the lives of countless persons that you may never ever meet physically.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 4, Page 55)

What an exalted notion Jesus has of us! We might cringe, thinking that we are being humble, but this is simply another evidence of our playing small. Jesus calls us to greatness, not greatest borne of the ego, but greatness borne of the spirit. We are children of God, created in His image, and when we give up our separation from God (for we have this in our power), we will grow all the way up to whatever glory we have in us.

We will attract others, whether they be many or few. Our persona will radiate a good will that is attracting. Nobody likes to interact with an ego, lest of all our brothers and sisters who are in our close circle. Egotism puts off everyone, though when we are lost in the ego, we don’t recognize how off-putting this way of being really is.

We do appreciate Jesus, and here he indicates near the passage for today that he knows this. He too appreciates us, and our best efforts, and will support us in every worthy endeavor.

Ask for Jesus’ help today. He won’t be long in coming to us, holding our hand, and walking along. Our best efforts will then be multiplied, with such a companion as he.

Guidance

What do I truly want? What is it in my heart that keeps calling to me, keeps compelling me? (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 4, Page 50 – 51)

When we ask the Almighty to give us guidance about what we truly want, we are asking Him to give us what is the will of God. He wants us to know how to proceed; He doesn’t wish for us to stay in the dark. We will start knowing, much better, when we take the time to ask for divine influence.

We may simply “be,” in love, with all other creatures of God. A Course of Love talks of the way of Mary, of being; and the way of Jesus, of doing. And ACOL says that all of us will eventually follow the way of Mary. This means that putting our arms around our loved ones, and just simply giving them love is a gift of the greatest magnitude. It is being par excellence.

What does matter is how we accept ourselves, warts and all. We are not perfect, and it will take Jesus to correct the mistakes in our soul’s path that we have been unable to correct. (This is indicated in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.) This correction, because Jesus is gentle, will be gentle and nothing to fear. Jesus can give us much help along the way, as we seek to walk a better path. And the Holy Spirit/Christ Self do their part as well.

We are not left dangling.

We Are in Union with God like Waves in the Ocean

You must make the decision to desire—above all things—awakening into perfect remembrance of your union with God. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 4, Page 42)

In an excellent metaphor, Jesus likens us, as individual entities, to waves that have emerged from the depth of the ocean. The ocean is the All Who is God. He asks to identify with God, with the ocean and its depths. We do have uniqueness as waves, and our uniqueness is celebrated in The Way of the Heart. This will sit well with all of us as we emerge from the ego.

We like our individuality, as it is part of what we are, what we embody. In this, we are affirming the magnificence of God’s plan to differentiate, or individuate, all of us as entities that operate, often, seemingly on our own. He will use the inner Being to direct our pathways, though. This inner Being is called the Holy Spirit by A Course in Miracles and the Christ-Self in A Course of Love. It is simply recognized as our inner self by The Way of Mastery.

This analogy, of us and the ocean and its waves, from The Way of the Heart is especially apt and also especially beautiful. The imagery is superb. Jesus knows how to communicate with us, to reach our heart.

Let him.

Still Heart

Note: The last post ended the first part of Out of the Maze, a book I wrote some years ago (and is available as an e-book link from this blog). Now this blog will consider The Way of Mastery for a while, beginning with Chapter 4 of that book.

“For in truth, there is not a time that I am not with you.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 4, Page 41)

Jesus is here echoing something that he said in A Course in Miracles, that he is as close as a “single, unequivocal call.” Do we believe it? I think often the answer is “no.” Yet he says that he holds our hand as we walk along the carpet back to God. He says that this is no “idle fantasy.”

I, for one, believe him. I have had enough miracles of overwrought turning to peace that I know whereof Jesus speaks. Jesus knows what we need before we ask, but it is good practice to put into words what we want. Articulate our need; don’t just cry, “Lord, Lord.” Articulate what you would have him do for us. This paves the way for him to act.

Jesus is spirit, on the Other Side, and we don’t know how spirit can be anywhere and everywhere all at once. I used to say that Jesus was cloning himself, but being spirit, that is probably not necessary. He does need to establish a focal point of attention for his consciousness, though, and it is likely that his ability to do so enables him to assure us that he is with each of us whenever we make a “single, unequivocal call” to him. I doubt that many of us, entities here or on the Other Side, have the ability to direct numerous foci of consciousness just all the time. Jesus is very advanced, a very advanced entity.

Take him at his word. Ask for help the next time an upset looms on the horizon. When calmness comes, know that he has stilled our heart.

Egoic “Devil” Is a Mirage

One point in the deluded sufferer’s mind of attack needs to be addressed. Not only will we have trouble believing in the essential innocence of our brother, but we will believe that A Course in Miracles is deluding us as the tool of the “devil” as well. The Holy Spirit will therefore not be seen as God’s emissary, but as the voice of evil, cloaked in “good.” This is the essential aspect of the Course that Jesus says will cause us trouble; we will believe that he is misleading us. But is he really? Isn’t it our own projections that are the culprit here? We think the “sin” within is actually perpetrated by following an external demon, when in truth the demons are all within–products of our deluded mind. This is all that we are really dealing with. The devil is a myth, a projection from within of the “evil” we have seen there. And it was all a mirage–nothing more. A mirage that we can discard as invalid as soon as we accept the truth that we are dreaming in chaos, living with a diseased mind that in truth wants fervently to be sane again.

Jesus explains this dilemma in two succinct sentences. Referring to the Holy Spirit, he says, “What could He be to them except a devil, dressed to deceive within an angel’s cloak. And what escape has He for them except a door to hell that seems to look like Heaven’s gate?” (T-25.VIII.7:3-4) Words like these are the reason that the early portion of the Course must be carefully studied, because without this preparation, the ego will react with such fear that the experience will be more traumatic than beatific.” (T-1.VII.5:8) Trauma we can leave behind if we only trust Jesus and the Course a little longer. Suspend egoistic judgment of the parts that frighten, and patiently study the whole.

Jesus and the Holy Spirit will bring us out of the tunnel into the light, and into a world of Reality that sparkles and shines unlike anything seen since we fell asleep. And the Awakening will be gentle, once all the steps on the ladder have been retraced. Before the steps have been taken, there indeed may be a revelation of some startling proportions, a revelation revealing the end. But to get there the means are needed, and Jesus in the Course carefully explains those means. (T-1.VII.5:11)

Jesus’ Example

We must never forget that we and our brother are always “in this together.” If we imagine that we can be treated unfairly, we are trying to combine our innocence and his attack. The world doesn’t work that way. Because projection makes perception, it is our own attack thoughts that have prompted the cry of “unfair.” Attack is simply a mad reaction, and the notion even if a “fair attack” is without meaning. Moreover, we do our brother an injustice when we blame him for what we perceive as unfair attacks upon ourselves. We see him as guilty, and thus damn him, figuratively, to a hell of our own making. We have consented to this attack, for whatever reason, good or bad. A Course in Miracles says, “Walk you the gentle way, and you will fear no evil and no shadows in the night.” (T-27.I.1:3)

Even Jesus’s own suffering is an example of this dynamic. He did not share his tormentors’ view of attack (that it was “fair”) nor of his friends and apostles (that it was “unfair”). Thus he did not strengthen the attack in any way whatsoever. And a short while later he demonstrated that resurrection (for all of us, not just him) always follows death, showing that death is essentially an illusion of this time and place only. Jesus made no defense at all, the posture that he recommends for us as well, for to react defensively is to acknowledge that there is some evil therein to be defensive about.

So in the days following death and entombment, Jesus appeared in a body that could manifest itself among the apostles behind shut doors, and could walk along a road and almost not be recognized, and could “break bread” and eat. Surely he had entered a realm of living about which the rest of us know nothing. But the most important point was that the cross had not hurt him in any lasting way at all. By this truth we see an example of defenseless living wholly without reproach. Jesus says, “Let it [the body] receive the power to represent endless life, forever unattacked.” (T-27.I.10:6) In order for this picture to be true, we must not let the past intrude, much as we must not let the picture of Jesus’s crucifixion intrude on the glorified body that he occupied in the 40 days on earth following his resurrection.

Yet healing is to many a threatening idea. We cling fast to our sickness, even unto death, for we still blame our brother for the suffering that we, in actual fact, have allowed ourselves to endure. Withdraw the blame, and part of the reason for sickness (i.e., the reproach) is gone as well. Only the healed can truly pardon, because their (formerly) sick bodies do not stand in mute testimony that a brother is guilty of attack upon one’s self. And because only now is eternal and real, the illusory past has vanished, taking its causeless suffering with it.

Heaven

Why may it take us so long to extricate ourselves from this world of madness? That is a misleading question, because time is relative, and if our attitudes are right, we can experience even Heaven itself in the here and now. Jesus says that Heaven is not a condition, but the awareness of perfect oneness. (T-18.VI.1:5) Surely in our mystical moments we come close to experiencing this wonder, and there are few of us who do not have mystical moments from time to time, even if we don’t call these memorable times by that name and even if we do not recognize these memorable times for what they are.

Jesus also says that we must retrace our steps, in effect, a process that he likens to a ladder, where we retrace our steps into descent, and eventually the ladder is removed. (T-28.II.12:7) Our old ideas of Heaven being “up,” of somewhere out in the sky being Heaven, here comes into play in Jesus’s metaphor. We cannot truly enter the Heaven that is actually within until we have let go of all illusions; this may be a very long process, because we have gone deep into madness.

Jesus

The belief in sin sets up the need for sacrifice—a scapegoat or victim upon whom our wrong can be dumped so that we will not suffer for it. This is essentially why the cross has played such a huge part in the drama of 2,000 years ago. If Jesus, the innocent one, the best of the flock, was sacrificed to an angry God, then we were off the hook.

The fact that Jesus did not see an angry God but only a loving Father was a detail overlooked in the scenario. He would do anything God might ask, even death unto the cross. The drama was complete.

But what if we somehow missed the point? What if it were our ego that gave this interpretation to which was essentially a cruel death to one who upset the authority of the priests? In the Course Jesus bids us look at the resurrection, which, however it is understood, does seem to point beyond death to a life that continues. The New Testament gives eye-witness accounts of a Jesus who appeared in the midst of the apostles, though the doors to the room were shut. This does not appear to be the usual physical body, but one that could be “made physical” at will.

Do we really doubt that there are more things in Heaven and earth than we dream of? This seems to be one of these cases–a body that could come and go from other regions at will.

A Course in Miracles says, “. . .specialness cares not who pays the cost of sin, so it be paid. . . .” (T-25.VIII.11:1) So for almost 2,000 years, many of us have believed that the cost of our specialness demanded a victim to expiate our “sin.” What if there need be no victim because there is no sin–only error borne of madness? We would rush to the side of our brother to do what we can to heal his mind.

Maybe that’s exactly what we need to do today: Rush to our brother or sister’s side to heal his/her mind.

Wholly Correctable Mistakes – Not “Sin”

It is particularly hard for newcomers to the A Course in Course to believe it when they are told that they have never sinned: They have only made wholly correctable mistakes. People with background such as mine may think that this is the deception of which we are warned from a “devil.” So what are we to make of this?

It one can just entertain the notion that our minds are, to greater or lesser degrees, at one time or another, in one person or another, insane, then we are well on our way out. Even our society treats the insane criminal differently from the one judged sane, controversial though a given case may be. We recognize diminished responsibility, an inability to see clearly right from wrong. Is this not what we are faced with on a daily basis? We see so dimly without the Holy Spirit’s guidance; sometimes we hardly know which way to turn. Would a loving God condemn us for our lack of clear understanding? No! He would merely give us a Guide who would lead us out of the maze.

Does a loving God demand payment, sacrificial payment, because we have done something bad and need to be punished for it? Certain traditional Christian theology teaches this, in that Jesus “died for our sins” and is the “sacrificial Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.” The Course reinterprets all of this into a much more benign concept. “I was not ‘punished’ because you were bad,” Jesus says. (T-3.I.2:10) He goes on to explain that this interpretation is an egoistic projection borne of the insanity of the ego. So we are back to the concept of insanity.

Surely no parent or loved one who sees his child or family member commit violent acts when diagnosed as mentally ill holds that person by the same standards as she holds a “sane” person. Let us entertain the notion that we only need to enlarge our definition of insanity to accommodate all people, to a greater or lesser degree. Jesus condemned no one. He recognized while on earth that most people did the best that they could with what they had. It behooves those of us who follow in the footsteps of Jesus, however blindly, to try to do the same.

Peace

Knowing reality as it is really meant to be is possible only in snatches in this world. From time to time we experience a real meeting with another, a real relationship between equals, and we know that this experience of joy and love is as life is designed to be. The Course says that we would weep if we truly realized how different what we know now is from what we knew in Heaven (T-21.I.7:2) before we drifted into insanity and therefore into illusion.

I believe that God created karma in order to allow us to realize that our way could not work, that only a relationship of oneness with our true Mind, which is at home in God alone, could be reality. Jesus indicates that after much pain we must come to see that there is a better way, and make amends accordingly. If this seems like a dirty trick, that pain is what God visits on us to throw us back on Him alone, then we are misperceiving the truth of reality. Only God’s way can work; anything else proceeds from an illusory cause and brings effects that we would not want. Only in harmony can we live together in this universe. Only in Oneness could the universe survive. The “cause,” the ego, is a false notion of self, and it believes many things that are quite chaotic. This chaos brings on conflict and agony, for what else could transpire?

With karma, we see the boom-a-rang of what we have done to others coming back to ourselves; this is one way of learning. But it is not the only way. With the appearance of Jesus 2,000 years ago, he brought in the Age of Grace–the time in which we can, through meditation, prayer, and reflection, see the error of our ways, and make restitution that does not mean an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Certainly the Course carries this doctrine a step farther along to real Peace.

Giving Up Attack Thoughts

For many years, the most important passages for me to read in all of A Course in Miracles have been the ones that discuss attack and the reasons why this choice is never justified. It is a hard lesson for me to learn, as I have been mired deep into egotistical thinking and also have made simultaneously an attempt to be “good.” Ultimately, though, the lessons that Jesus teaches in the Course prick the conscience and allow all of us to realize when we are being too egotistical and perhaps not as spiritual as we might want to consider ourselves. Only within the last half dozen years of my almost 20 years of studying the Course [Note: This reflection was written in 2002] have I found the truth of the words of Jesus self-evident. My perceptions have changed, and my world as I have perceived it has altered to a happier place. How did this miracle happen? Let’s follow the development of the passages that decry attack and false innocence to see what I have been led to find out.

One of the most obvious statements about the dynamic of attack vs. innocence in all of the Course is the reassurance, “Being wholly without attack, it [love] could not be afraid.” (T-19.IV.A.10:7; the antecedent, “love,” is added) I started using this sentence as a refrain when I realized that my anxiety was not necessary and could be erased with the right frame of mind. Indeed, eventually, many of my anxieties smoothed out as increasingly I attempted to put the words of the Course into practice; I stopped attacking in my mind and in my actions. The results have been, to me, is the clearest possible personal evidence that attacking others (or the wish to do so) is the real cause of fear in any form. The Course also states this idea specifically, “When I let all my grievances go I will know I am perfectly safe.” (W-p1.68.6:9)

“Safe” suggests a peaceful sense of well-being, and what are grievances but attack?

Death of the Ego

We have said that this world is one of illusion. God had to offer a correction to our madness that would protect the whole from self-destruction. So we can play our war games in illusion, and they do not affect the Spirit at all. The idea of a great fight between good and evil is a product of an ego-oriented mind that merely wants to see light. That mind is still far from Home.

In the Course, Jesus presents a worldview that bypasses all the complicated theories about ultimate Reality that we have made up and have yet ultimately found to be unsatisfactory. The Course presents a unified worldview, to be believed in its entirety or not at all. Still it is a happy fiction, which Jesus identifies salvation to be. (C-3.2:1) We have come so far into madness that we have very nearly lost our way. The Course highlights the death of our ego as the way to get us out. That is all. But that is enough.

God Offers Comfort

The third law of chaos affirms that God must accept His Son’s belief about what he has become, and hate him for it. This illusion seems to be humility, saying, in effect, that we are miserable sinners in need of grace. But this is actually arrogance that would seek to circumvent the Creator. Now do we dare not turn to God for comfort, because He has become our enemy. Salvation, under this law, seems actually impossible. The ego cannot help in escape from this interpretation, but the Course was made that we might choose another way.

The fourth law of chaos is that you have what you have taken from another. By his loss, we win. This illusion says that there is a finite amount of treasure in the world, and if we gain treasure, we have it because we have taken it from our brother. In its most extreme form, this law says that we must destroy our brother to save ourselves. But Jesus affirms that we can only take away from ourselves. Instead of an “enemy” having our treasure, from whom we must wrest it, we are in firm control, and it is we who would deny ourselves. The enemy does not hold our inheritance away from us—it is we who have rejected it for the dubious “values” of the ego. There is a portion of this law that believes that we act unkindly because our brother has been unkind to us—forcing us into justified attack. But all of this illusion!

Finally, the last law of chaos is that there is a substitute for genuine love. This substitute is given us by the ego when we take back from our brother what we feel is rightfully ours. This is the ego’s secret gift. This secret gift has apparently been torn from us by our brother, and must be reclaimed if we are to have the ego’s notion of salvation. Our brother, by tearing this gift from us, has kept salvation from us. This is why enmity, one to another, can be seen as salvation.

When studied carefully and dispassionately, we can see clearly that these laws of chaos do not make sense. The illusions upon which they are based can be seen as illusions, and thus identifying the “laws” that illusions have, we are in a better position to seek further for the true laws—God’s laws—creating reality. Because these laws do not make sense, we are free to discard them for something better. Therein lies our true salvation. We have used our intellect to help us out, and while intellect is never enough (love and forgiveness, emotions of the heart, are required fundamentally), it is a start. And the lack of a satisfying worldview has kept many a skeptic in his darkness. I can imagine nagging Jesus for just such an elucidation of ultimate Truth that Course provides for us. “. . .seek, and ye shall find,” ((Luke 11:9 – KJV)and the world was finally ready in 1975 (the year A Course in Miracles was published) for this new way.

The Course declares that we think we do not believe in these laws. When articulated bluntly, their insanity becomes evident. But do we believe in these laws on an unconscious level? It is only their plain statement that allows us to reject them. Normally the actual intent is well-hidden. If, when raised to the light of day, we do reject the laws of chaos, then Jesus has done us a great service. It becomes clear that these laws govern chaos (illusion), never reality. A crucial three sentences explain: “There is no life outside of Heaven. Where God created life, there life must be. In any state apart from Heaven life is illusion.” (T-23.II.19:1-3)

We Do Not Have to Learn through Pain

What has the ego-tainted world really exemplified? Only one truth: that the Son (and Daughter) of God is at war with God. If we understood God more, we would know that this is a condition too ridiculous to be believed. The Course says, “The Son of God at war with his Creator is a condition as ridiculous as nature roaring at the wind in anger, proclaiming it is part of itself no more.” (T-23.I.4:7) In our creation, God shared His Mind with us. That is why there can never be a conflict between His Will and our real will. It is only in an illusory world that we believe that to follow God’s will is to lose our freedom. Actually the reverse is the truth: to follow the ego’s madness is to head into chaos that always, in the end, leads to pain. A harmonious universe is impossible under these conditions. Pain begets more pain, assuring that at some point we will turn and say, “Enough!”

The awful pathway is, of course, so unnecessary. Jesus says that we do not have to learn through pain. We can recognize a better way, and in our moments of greater sanity, walk that pathway a few steps closer to Awakening.

Golden Rule

A principal tenet in the Course is the assertion that what we would give to others is actually also given to ourselves. This dynamic can be understood on more than one level.

In the most all-encompassing way, we are the other, because we are one in God. We are all brothers and sisters under the skin. So when we feel this kinship in our especially loving moments, we are seeing the truth. In a second way of viewing, we see the playing out of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We see why this rule is important, the underlying truth that supports it. Because of projection, we will believe that what we think of others or do to others is being done to ourselves. Jesus sees this whole world as illusory and in the great projection that made it, we see our real desires played out in our everyday dramas. Thus, what we do unto others we do unto ourselves. There is no greater truth, no more persuasive argument to treat our fellow human beings with kindness and love. What we sow, we reap. As Jesus says (in the negative), “Seek to deny and you will feel denied. Seek to deprive, and you have been deprived.” (T-25.IX.8:2-3)

If we do not believe another worthy of forgiveness, we will not believe ourselves worthy either. Having refused forgiveness for ourselves, we will never offer it freely. So we have set up a vicious circle for ourselves. The only way out of this vicious circle is reject conflict and ask for help and guidance from a Power greater than ourselves. This Power—the Holy Spirit—will make it easy on ourselves. We can effortlessly to forgive when we come to believe that the deed that we feel unworthy of forgiveness, has been illusory. Our real Selves have not been touched nor harmed in any way. Out real life has continued unabated.

Only a loving God could come up with such a solution. We would have already destroyed ourselves if our deeds had real consequences. We live in an illusion that allows all choice, but at the same time that saves us from ourselves. And through these means we learn, finally, what is truly real and of value, worthy of further extension in Reality.

Coming to Know

Many called to the way of Mary will ‘do’ much that is greatly desired in the world but what they do will be a byproduct of their way of being rather than a means of facilitating that way of being. Many of the way of Mary will find acclaim, yet neither acclaim nor obscurity will matter to those following these ways. Being true to the self and the calling of the One Self is all that matters. Eventually all will follow the way of Mary and such ideas as acclaim and obscurity will be no more. But at this time of transition, both ways are needed to demonstrate the means of coming to know, which are what all true expression is about. (ACOL, D:Day19.11)

We are coming to know in this new world. And there is space for both being and doing, the way of Mary and the way of Jesus. Needing both, we cooperate with each other, supporting each other.

The way of Mary seems to be a less obvious way, in that people wonder if any acclaim would be due those who are following this way. There may be acclaim, as well as much doing, but these will be secondary to the relationships that we will form. The relationships in this new world are primary, above and beyond all. We won’t be concerned with acclaim, given or not given, and this will be a hallmark of knowing that the ego has faded away. We will listen for guidance, deep within, and then make our plans to carry out that guidance. We are then being true to our self of personality as well as our Christ-Self.

And that will be all that matters.

Change Is in the Air

Without those pursuing the way of Jesus, those pursuing the way of Mary would have a much more difficult task. There would be little space in which to anchor the new. Those following the way of Jesus create the openness of the spacious Selves who allow for the anchors of the new to be cast and thus to ride out the many storms of this time of transition. (ACOL, D:Day19.17)

Jesus’ way is preparing the new, and then Mary’s way embraces it. The spacious Selves are all of us who open to a greater way, in a “spacious” way. We are well fixed in this manner of creating a new world, because the ways of both Jesus and Mary make that new world possible.

There are storms in this time of transition. We need not fear them, for we have been prepared. Our understanding of Jesus’s message in A Course of Love (and other channeled writings) assure us that we are on the right track. We rest from our labors when we rest in his mercy.

But now is not the time of rest. We are working mightily to change things, to create new things. Ask, inwardly, for guidance as to what to do. That guidance will be forthcoming; we are promised this. Our Christ-Self, who has learned much, will now be in a position to make a bridge to God Himself, the larger Self, Who will see that we don’t falter.

Be reassured that all is well. We will make it back. Salvation is ours.

We Support Each Other

This is very tricky for those who reach highly individuated states and it is necessary for those of the way of Mary to support, encourage, and reflect the new to those being examples of the way. This too is tricky for it can lead to judgment. When there is more than one way, there is always room for comparison and judgment. Thus it is realistic to see the ways as intertwined circles existing in support and harmony with one another. As those given specific functions fulfill those functions, they move naturally to the way of Mary. (ACOL, D:Day19.16)

We will all be moving toward the way of Mary, in this new age, as we progress along our pathway to God. In the meantime, there are many still following the way of Jesus, which is more a matter of “doing.” Mary’s “being” needs to support these perhaps more extroverted people. If they don’t have support from those who are simply surrounded by relationships, then those who are doing will have nowhere to turn. We need, all of us, to support each other, but this is especially true of those who have chosen relationships, being, as their way of life—the way of Mary.

We need not judge any pathway taken by anyone. There is room for all of us. As Jesus says here, we are “intertwined circles,” and these intertwined circles need to find each other. Helping each other becomes a mission, a good mission. And in the doing of it, Mary’s followers also find a bit of “doing” as well as “being.”

Mirrors of the Truth

The truth of this way is not discovered through the passing on of knowledge in form but through relationship. Those following the way of Mary become mirrors of the truth they discover, reflecting the way to their brothers and sisters. This is why this is not a place or state of non-interaction but of great interaction. It is a state that facilitates knowing through relationship. This occurs through the one Self of form. (ACOL, D:Day19.14)

In our physical bodies, we engage in relationships with each other—especially true when we are following the way of Mary. In relationship, we are being our full Self, the Christ-Self, and in interaction with others, our brothers and sisters, in our world, we come into our own.

We teach in this mode. We reflect what we have learned or discovered (depending on where we are in the process), and in this exchange our brothers and sisters are loved into acceptance. It is quite easy to love other people into acceptance. Great love does that, and Mary’s way is nothing if it is not great love.

We set an example in the way of Mary. And this gracious living changes the world into something new and different.

We are about creating a new world, of course. And the way of Mary is what we are all coming to accept. Doing is the way of Jesus, the example life. And while we may still do much when we are embracing Mary, the doing is subsisted in the being.

Being defines us.

“Being” or “Doing” – Wisely

This is not to say that those called to the way of Jesus will find acclaim and those called to the way of Mary will find obscurity. Many called to the way of Mary will ‘do’ much that is greatly desired in the world but what they do will be a byproduct of their way of being rather than a means of facilitating that way of being. Many of the way of Mary will find acclaim, yet neither acclaim nor obscurity will matter to those following these ways. Being true to the self and the calling of the One Self is all that matters. Eventually all will follow the way of Mary and such ideas as acclaim and obscurity will be no more. But at this time of transition, both ways are needed to demonstrate the means of coming to know, which are what all true expression is about. (ACOL, D:Day19.11)

We know that desiring acclaim is often an egoic notion, not based in any real need, not something to really desire. Acclaim may be a byproduct of doing one’s best in the world, building on what we know to make changes to create a new world. But just to realize that we want acclaim—with nothing to support it—is to wish falsely.

If we choose to focus on being, we are following Mary’s way, and we might think that acclaim will pass us by. Not necessarily so, says this quotation. We may be recognized by others, but here is the salient point: It really won’t matter to us one way or the other, for when we have moved into Mary’s way, we have moved beyond the egoic. We will be thankful that our work is getting out in the world, but it will be a byproduct of the process in which we live, the process of accomplishing only for the sake of the work itself. The process is important, not always the end product.

If we are spending our lives accomplishing things, we are immersed in the moment of that accomplishment, for the end result will come only infrequently, and we won’t rest on our laurels. We will immerse ourselves in the day-to-day work, slowly adding to our stores, slowing making progress. We won’t live for the peak moments only; we will live for the daily “grind,” something that won’t feel like a grind at all.

Be in this present moment, accomplishing work, but not focusing on the peak experience of having accomplished. Live the work, being all the while. Our doing, as a byproduct of being, will then come into focus with a success unimagined.

Love

The way of Mary is not a place or state of non-interaction however. This is not the state or place of the monks, nuns, or the contemplatives of old. It is not solitary nor isolated, nor confined to a specific community. It is a way of existence in which relationship is paramount. It is not listening to a calling to “do” but a calling to “become.” (ACOL, D:Day19.9)

All of us will eventually move into a calling to “become.” Mary’s way. But we are not there yet. In all likelihood there will be a period of merger for both doing and being, with doing predominant in many people for a while. The more that we can accept our ultimate best choice, though, the more we will realize that “becoming” prepares us best for the future. A future in a new world that we are creating every day.

The way of Mary does not mean isolation as it did for many of the contemplatives of old. We reach out into the community, showering love wherever we go, and we thrive in this new way of being. We are not withdrawn unto ourselves at all; we take our meditative moments, and then we shower them on our friends and family, our significant others. We have learned, discovered, in meditation, what works.

We have discovered how to love.

“To Do” Lists

Just as Jesus would not have been literally birthed without Mary, the way of Mary cannot be reborn without the way of Jesus. Both ways arose from Christ-consciousness as demonstrations of ways. Those who have thought of Mary as an intermediary are as inaccurate in this belief as are those who thought of Jesus in such a way. (ACOL, D:Day19.8)

We need active “doers” in the world, just as Jesus, in his day, was an active doer. His way paved the way for the Marys of the world. Doing leads to a chance to “be.” Being thus comes on the heels of the doing that has characterized our world for many generations.

We are moving into a new era, and in this era, being will trump doing. We have been too captivated by doing; our daily “to do” lists, with their cross-outs, prove it. We have an addiction to such lists. While Jesus would not have had one on parchment, he might very well have carried a mental list. And, like us, he might have gotten satisfaction from mentally crossing off his performed list.

We don’t need to act this way any longer. As we move into Mary’s way, we still accomplish, but it is a more internal thing. We don’t feel that outer accomplishments define our worth. We feel right in and of ourselves.
Mary was a pioneer in her time. So can we be. She was not an “intermediary” to Jesus, but a full accomplished being in her own right. So can we be.

In Christ-consciousness, doing and being are demonstrations of ways of living that we can assume. Even as we head into Christ-consciousness, this still is true. Let some balance overwhelm us. Experiment with being for a while if doing has been our thing. Experiment. See what fits us.

We will soon discover that there are advantages to both ways of living. It is just a matter of finding out what “fits” to our personality. And then growing into that way that fits most precisely.

Heartfelt Joy in “Being”

The answer lies in the simple statement of as within, so without. By living as who you are in the world, you create change in the world. You create change in the world through relationship. All live and create in relationship. Those called to the way of Mary, however, are called to the creation and anchoring of the new relationship in the new world. Their relationship of union, upon which their contentment is based, is the birthplace, the womb of the new. Their expression is expression of this union. (ACOL, D:Day19.6)

We want to live as who we are. “Being who you are” is the ultimate message of A Course of Love. But it is the real Self, the Christ-Self, who comes to us totally and completely when we have reached Christ-consciousness. Until that time, we do catch glimpses, and these glimpses are sweet.

If we are called to the way of Mary, we will focus on “being” rather than “doing” in this world. Many of us, in this new era of Christ, will be a blend of being and doing. A blend of Mary and Jesus, for Jesus was the “doing” aspect of life in this world. The example life. We too can be example lives, though those called to this way of living are few.

Being is more open to us, because we are heading into a world where being will be the watchword. The way of Mary will emerge in all its glory. While we may still “do,” (for nobody can live here and not do), our heartfelt joy will be found in the being. We will anchor new relationships in this world. We will keep the home fires burning.

Sexist categories will break down, for men and women both will focus on being rather than constantly seek to do in the world. The way looks bright to us, and indeed it is. Our hearts more often tilt toward the fact of being, and however warm and fuzzy, mellow, we can be, the better.

Life doesn’t get any better than this.

Just “Being” Can Effect Change

Those of the way of Mary are content with a way of living. Yet everyone has a function to fulfill in creation of the new world. Only those who express themselves are truly content. (ACOL, D:Day19.2)

Those of the way of Mary are content with a way of living. But everyone, everyone, has a function in the creation of the new world. In being who we are, in living our lives, we fulfill the spirit and law of love—if we are called as was Mary, if we are called now to the “being” mode of Mary.

Those of the way of Mary will still express themselves fully in creating this new world. It is perhaps obscure to come to grips with how just “being” can effect change. But aren’t we influenced greatly by the saintly people whom we have known? And weren’t many of them just “being” in the world? They may not have even tried to proselytize us; they may just have shined their light of love on us, and by so doing shaped our lives, and were a blessing to us.

The way of Mary is very powerful, for it effects change by just the very way that Jesus keeps advocating: being who we are, with an emphasis on “being.”

Transformation

What was created cannot be uncreated. Thus transformation is needed. The miracle makes you fully aware of the embrace and the consciousness of unity and places you outside of time. In this state, no duality exists. Doing and being are one. (ACOL, D:7.5)

The only circumstance under which what was created would be uncreated is if God ceased to love us. And this would never happen, we can imagine. We have never done anything so terrible that He, All Love, would deny us love because we have made mistakes. We have merely been calling for help in our misdeeds, and a call for help (and love) is met by Love, the greatest Love, from God, that can and does exist.

So, since we are not going to be uncreated, we know that we need transformation. And this transformation comes in the form of enlightenment, called in A Course of Love, Christ-consciousness.

A miracle will make this inevitable happening come about. We join in the embrace with the One, and with our brothers and sisters, and Jesus (another brother), and we become aware in a way that we lacked heretofore. The embrace is called upon many times by Jesus in ACOL. It is the recognition that we are loved, and that we are held tightly in that Love. We can appeal for love, we can ask for help, and we can cuddle with Jesus, as we lay our head upon his shoulder. The imagery is very touching as well as very profound.

When a miracle occurs, we are momentarily outside time. Outside time is where the Self of unity lives. There is no duality here, because doing and being are one. This somewhat mystical statement is not totally clear in this context, but it does reappear often in ACOL. We are to both “do” and “be,” in the way of Jesus and of Mary, and as time passes, we will move into just being more and more. We will live as Mary did, deriving our sustenance from relationship. Example lives such as that of Jesus will then be no longer necessary.

The Embrace

Time has ended and there is nothing you must do. Being replaces identity and you say, I am. I am, and there is nothing outside of me. Nothing outside of the embrace. (ACOL, C:20.9)

The embrace is a mystical Oneness with the All, the God-in-us and in our brothers and sisters—indeed, in everything living. There is a well-known passage in A Course of Love in which Jesus embraces us to give us comfort and emotional support. He lets us cry on his shoulder, for the journey has been long and hard, and we are weary and beaten down by the dust on the trail. He soothes all of that away in his strong, embracing arms. And we embrace him in return.

This is true acceptance. We have come to accept Jesus as our guide and partner in sustaining life that will be in the newly created world, a world that will arise with our effortless work as a result of revelation from God.

Love

Love is not being nice when you are feeling surly. Love is not doing good deeds of charity and service. (ACOL, C:4.11)

Here we see that our preconceptions about love have been all wrong. Jesus gets right to the point: Playing nice when we are in a bad mood, “feeling surly,” fools nobody—not our brothers and sisters, not ourselves, not God. And most of all not Jesus. And our good deeds are like the “works” that St. Paul said were not sufficient for salvation; he said “not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:9, KJV)

And now Jesus is saying the same thing to us in channeled writing of the turn of the Twenty-First Century. We must be onto something important.

Jesus: “It Takes One to Know One”

“You have an interesting saying in your world: ‘It takes one to know one.’ Do you think you would even be able to judge another if there was not something within you being elicited that triggers within you the belief that you know exactly what that other one is up to? That is why you judge them. Sometimes you judge harshly because you fear that energy in yourself. Or you remember how hurtful you have been when you acted from that energy.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 3, Page 26)

Essentially Jesus is talking about projection here. We dimly recognize in ourselves something that we see in another. We can recognize it in the other, because we have something just like it in ourselves.

This gives pause for thought. If we are judging another for something we deplore, do we not have the characteristic ourselves? This is what he is saying. We can recognize it only because of this: “It takes one to know one.”

Does this not remove all propensity to judge another? Does this not tell us that judgment is a very bad idea indeed?
We must realize that we are aware of something in the outer world because of our own psyche, the thing in us that even allows us to recognize a given trait in another. We have not often taken this idea to its roots, but the bottom line is that we cannot know another unless we have experienced the identical characteristic. The kicker is that we don’t recognize this in ourselves, and so we project on another, where it seems safer.

Let us give up this foolishness now and forever. If we recognize love in ourselves, we will recognize love in another.

And that is where we want to head.

Forgiveness & Projection

“For to forgive means to choose to release another from the perceptions you have been projecting you have been projecting upon them. It is, therefore, an act of forgiving one’s self of one’s projections. As you begin to forgive—even seventy times seven times—each time you forgive, you take yourself deeper into the purity of your own consciousness. You begin to see how profoundly you have been coloring and, therefore, affecting all of your relationships, through the simple act of not being aware of the power of projection.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 3, Page 25)

This is the first time that I recall reading in Jesus’ new channeled messages that projection is intimately tied to forgiveness. We have perceptions of another whom we think has wronged us. But it is OUR perception. When we realize that we have been projecting from within, making our perceptions, often with egoic coloring, we are primed to change our minds and hearts. We really that forgiveness begins with us, with changing our perceptions. As soon as we realize that all are doing the best they can, we realize their innocence, however damaging their actions or words have seemed to have been.

Projection, as Jesus cautions us here, is very, very powerful. We see in others what we are hesitant to acknowledge in ourselves. The fact that we can perceive damage at all means that in ourselves we have at least the potential to treat another just as we have been treated. If we didn’t have this inner sense, the outer action or word would wash right over us.

Know that we are home free actually when we forgive ourselves for our projections. And, with this, forgiveness becomes something that is much, much easier.

Mastery

“For when the anchor is firmly in place, you will literally create whatever you so desire from perfect freedom and from perfect deliberateness. You will even transcend miracle mindedness. For miracle mindedness is still a stage of perception just short of mastery. Mastery comes when you know that you are literally and deliberately creating. There is nothing miraculous about it. You will decree a thing and it shall be so!” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 2, Page 21)

Decrees make it so in our experience. And this, we learn, is even beyond perception, for miracles are based in perception, and we are taking the first tentative steps into knowledge now. In this knowledge is mastery.

Is it not news to us that we move even beyond miracles?

We may feel a little bereft, for we have depended on asking for miracles in our daily life, perhaps, and this dependence has fostered a dependence on Jesus’s presence to us. He will still take us by the hand and comfort us; we have not lost his good will, but we have gone beyond the good will of a single entity, even Jesus himself.

We are moving into a greater reality, one in which what we decree, happens.

Do we doubt this? If our subconscious has been sufficiently cleansed, there is no mystery about it. We have transcended our old habits and ways of thought. We are, like A Course of Love says, creating a new world. The layers of subconscious muck are being cleansed, and when that cleansing happens, we are in a prime position to create only that which will be positive and good.

Be reassured that we have help in this. We are not all alone in the cosmos. We are part of the Whole Who is God, and the individualized Parts of God, entities all, are available to help us.

Deep Enjoyment in This World

“You seek innocence and peace. You seek abundance prosperity and joy. But often, when you touch these things, it frightens you. Why? Because the Truth of the Kingdom requires openness, trust, expansiveness and spaciousness. It involves allowing, trusting, witnessing and letting things come and go. It involves learning to cultivate a deep enjoyment of whatever arises, seeing that all things are just modifications of consciousness itself, and then let them go when it is time to do so.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 2, Page 16)

Could we enjoy all of our time on this earth, this world? That is what Jesus is asking us to do, but to reach this way of relating, we need to be open, trusting, expansive, spacious. Being “spacious,” a concept discussed at length in A Course of Love, means that we are actually empty inside, ready to receive. We aren’t bringing our own misguided thinking to the table.

When we allow what wants to come, we are living successfully. This involves the trust that A Course in Miracles says is the primary characteristic of teachers of God.
We do not need to be frightened of our very selves. We hesitate to open up sufficiently, out of fear, and this is an egoistic reaction that needs to be eliminated. Just turn aside from the fear, not resisting it, for the force field becomes more binding in resistance.

Our consciousness IS being modified. This certainty will take us smoothly over the rough spots, as our subconscious moves to the surface of the mind to be forgiven. Our forgiveness of our own past mistakes and foibles will prepare us for God’s true blessings, will prepare for the way we are really supposed to live in this world.

We need ask for nothing more.

We Choose Our Experiences

“Just as you would go to a grocery store and choose what you will have for dinner and then go home and experience your creation so too do you choose each experience. When you choose a perception, you lodge it in the mind. Then it expresses itself through the body, through the environment that you create around yourself and through the friends that you would call into your awareness. Every aspect of the life you live is the symbol of what you have chosen to experience and, therefore, to convey throughout creation.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 2, Page 13)

Jesus seems here, almost certainly, to be saying that we create our own reality. This is a maxim of the New Age movement, made popular by Jane Roberts’ Seth, about the time that A Course in Miracles was being scribed. We surround ourselves with what we want, though if we are in need, it isn’t our personalities or personas that has made the lack, but our souls. Our soul knows the full chart of our life plan. Our soul then conveys to the learning being, also called the Self, or the Christ-Self (from A Course of Love) what we need to know. We will never, on earth, find a reason for lack/suffering/pain that will satisfy us, we can rest easy that there is an Answer, but that we are simply not enlightened enough to comprehend this eternal question.

We create the environment around us. We project from within, and from this a perception of the world arises. Elsewhere The Way of Mastery (the Christ-Mind Trilogy) and A Course in Miracles say that this world is an illusion of a real world. Some readers of A Course of Love demur from this interpretation, seeing in the true reality beyond Awakening or Christ-consciousness, a hope that something more is going on, that the rocks, trees, oceans, are becoming real in a new way.

We do not have to bear this cross. We do not have to join in this controversy. I don’t think that this particular problem, a matter of metaphysics, matters to Jesus at all. I think it simply doesn’t matter to him that we have differing views. Certainly physical reality is real enough to us here in our time on earth. We can debate metaphysical ideas on the Other Side, where we will presumably know more than it is given us to know in this plane.

It is enough that we create our own reality. This will be hard enough for us to handle. Remember that one is meant to have compassion on suffering, not increase it by blame of the one suffering. While there are no true victims, we are simply not astute enough to avoid blaming the victim, unless we hold them in the same love-filled vision that Jesus would.

Use our imagination to create a better reality for us. Use our imagination to realize that Jesus is right by our side, holding our hand, as we walk through this world. His help will give us a warmth and peace that we have heretofore lacked.

Comfort in the Eternal

“It will come to pass that you will know the perfect peace of empty-headedness, not-knowingness. You will know what it means to be relieved of time and to be comforted by what is eternal. Never once let yourself think that you are alone. It is nonsense for you to think that I am not with you. You have asked. I have responded. We are in communication. That is the way it is. And that is the way it will be until the end of all illusion.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 1, Page 10)

I find Jesus’ reassurance about his closeness very comforting. He says in A Course in Miracles that he will come to us upon “a single unequivocal call.” Now, right now, he is extending this promise to an even greater presence, perhaps, because we have asked. The passage from ACIM seems to me to imply that we are in dire straits when we send out a single “unequivocal” call. But we don’t have to be in hot water to reach out to Jesus. He loves and welcomes us always.

When we don’t know something, in “empty-headedness, not-knowingness,” then we have opened up the “spacious self” (from A Course of Love) to receive. We are open, sure that we are in ignorance. And so there is a space to be filled with God’s knowledge. And Jesus is the conduit, here in The Christ Mind Trilogy (WOM).

Our comfort in the eternal will be profound, a feeling of depth that will offer us the solace that we sometimes seem to lack. The things of time all pass away, of course, and we sometimes make our selves afraid with the understanding that things will change, things that we love may leave us. And people may leave us. So we very much need the sense of the eternal.

And that is God and His Love.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Speaking with Jesus

“Beloved friends, I come to where you choose to be. And if you would choose to open that place within the heart and within the mind in which you can communicate with me directly, I will meet you there as well.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 1, Page 2)

In The Way of Mastery (The Christ Mind Trilogy), Jesus, right at the beginning, encourages us to have a personal contact with him. This is how he channels to Jayem, a human being who allows his body to be used for channeling that is “live.”

We are unlikely to have Jesus ask us to step aside and speak as Jayem does. Our way is likely different from Jayem’s. But the direct relationship is still here and possible.
Perhaps we will write what Jesus prompts. Perhaps we will hear interior words (a “locution”) in our minds and hearts. It does not matter. The connection has been made, however it is made.

I myself felt Jesus’s presence for several months in my early morning writing. I started a dialogue with Jesus, with my speaking, and then his. But eventually I heard interior words one night while falling asleep. “You are trying to draw me in.” It seemed a rejoinder that I did not welcome. And beginning the next morning, the words that I had imagined from Jesus just dried up.

Jesus does not foster dependence. And that is what was happening with me. He says in A Course of Love that his ultimate goal is to set us back upon ourselves, upon the Christ-Self who will emerge from our depths. This is the link with God Himself/Herself.

In A Course in Miracles, after a few opening chapters, he set Helen and Bill (and therefore us) back on the Holy Spirit, for the past century was still the time of the Holy Spirit.

Trust Jesus in his dealings with us. He knows what he is about.

Gladden Ourselves–for Jesus Is with Us

“I offer far more than partial guidance, although you do not ask for more. The uneven quality of your skill in both asking and following my direction is due to the alternations you experience between ego- and miracle-oriented perception. This is a strain, but fortunately one which can be overcome along with the rest. There will never be a time when I do not will to try again. You might be gladdened by remembering that.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.IX.10:1-5)

Jesus is once again speaking just to Helen (and maybe Bill) in this reassurance that he offers continual guidance. But if we ask, he will do the same for us. In these early words, he has not yet solidified the Holy Spirit in A Course in Miracles. Soon he will ask that all of us turn immediately to the Holy Spirit when confronted with a dilemma. The Holy Spirit connects us to God, but not in a threatened way. At this point in our progress, we are still too fearful of God to approach Him directly.

Jesus points out the strain that we under. He seems particularly aware of this strain, as we seek to mediate between hell and heaven, the ego and love. Heaven and love are the only things that we truly can want, once we have let the magnitude of our mistakes sink in. Our attempt to create unlike God, something that is actually “making” rather than “creating,” has produced all of the chaos in which we live. We need to get beyond this. We need to recognize that our attempt to create something beyond God has just failed miserably. There IS nothing beyond Him except illusion.

Jesus constantly looks for reasons that we might gladden ourselves, for he knows that we are usually morose when caught in the vines of the ego. We need just to kick those vines away from ourselves, away from our feet (as Pat Rodeway’s Emmanuel says), and be on about our business. Jesus will untangle any egoic vines that won’t automatically disengage from our toes.

Don’t “Evaluate” Jesus’ Messages

“You should be confident that any guidance which comes from me will not jeopardize anyone. If you can continue not to evaluate my messages and merely follow them, they will lead to good for everyone. Since this is the same area of difficulty which may be causing you trouble with meditation, practice in this is essential.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.IX.5:1-3)

We still tend to “evaluate,” which is another term for judgment. And judgment will not get us where we want to go. In fact, it will delay Awakening big time. We simply won’t be able to awaken until we have given up attack as well as judgment.
God wants gentle individuals, and the judgmental mind is anything but gentle. Notice the difference in ourselves when we judge, and we are tolerant. Tolerance, which is a weaker form of love, will set us back on the right pathway. Judgment will cause our feet to stumble over rocks. We will discover that the only way to move forward without incident is to move forward in tolerance as well as love.

If we are tuned into intuition, we will hear the messages from the Beyond. Sometimes this is Jesus. (In Helen’s case, it nearly always was Jesus, for he stayed very close to her in emotional support. Scribing was very threatening to her. Her co-scribe Bill was also very supportive.) Jesus does not jeopardize anybody at all when he gives us advice. He will be careful, though, not to make us dependent on him. He will step back if he thinks this dependence is happening.

Don’t judge. Ask how to accomplish this in our life. It is not hard.

In fact, ceasing to judge is one of the easiest things we will ever accomplish. When we get help.

Guidance

“A giant step forward in your case would be to insist on a collaborative venture. This does not go against the true spirit of meditation at all. It is inherent in it. Meditation is a collaborative venture with God. It cannot be undertaken successfully by those who disengage themselves from the Sonship, because they are disengaging themselves from me. God will come to you only as you will give Him to your brothers. Learn first of them, and you will be ready to hear God as you hear them. That is because the function of love is one.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.VIII.21:1-8)

Do we really believe that we can hear God? We hear him in silence, not in words. Our intuitive sense carries the day. It is true that from brothers and sisters on the Other Side, we can hear what are called “locutions,” words impressed on our mind when we are quiet and receptive. We do not necessarily hear anything audible at all, but the impression of a locution does seem very powerful, when it comes. God’s silence, also, speaks volumes. We can know what God is wanting of us, and that may be only an expression of Love. He does not always expect us to work for Him; the pleasure of His company is all that He sometimes asks us to receive.

In meditation, specifically insight meditation, the focus is not only a specific mantra, but on phrases that filter through the mind. Our mind speaks to us, and sometimes this impression seems a little beyond us, as though a Higher Power were speaking to us. Feelings work, too. And feelings are primarily how the Holy Spirit speaks to us. When we are on the right beam, we comprehend that we are, and nobody else can tell us we are wrong. We do need to test out our discernment, though, as anything that might be harmful to another is definitely not coming from the Holy Spirit.

Jesus wants us to engage with him. He is able, as spirit, to live anywhere and everywhere. His consciousness can engage with myriads of human beings are one time. If this seems farfetched, let us simply listen to his words. I think that they will allow for no other interpretation.

A short period of meditation, or, at best, two such periods, will calm us and take us to the Heaven that exists in our minds. We may not stay there, but the visit is so very therapeutic.

Jesus Trusts Us!

“My trust in you is greater than yours in me at the moment, but it will not always be that way. Your mission is very simple: You have been chosen to live so as to demonstrate that you are not an ego. I repeat that I do not choose God’s channels wrongly. The Holy One shares my trust and always approves my Atonement decisions, because my will is never out of accord with His.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.VIII.14:1-4)

Jesus trusts us! He sees us as a channel for good in this world, a channel for Atonement that is seconded by the Holy Spirit. Such reassurance that we are all on the right path. We all do want to be finished with the ego, and as long as we are careful not to reinforce the ego by egotistical/egoic thoughts and actions, we are hope personified. Jesus’ hope is for a new world, a world where the dreams are happy, brought to us by the Holy Spirit.

A Course in Miracles suggests that we are still caught by illusion, for dreams are not real. But the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” can be enjoyed without guilt. We can stay a while on this beautiful earth, loving our fellow men and women, doing God’s work, and all will be well. No harsh judgment will assail us. We do create our own reality, and we discover how to do that when we listen to the Holy Spirit (as described in ACIM) or the Christ-Self (as described in A Course of Love).

Guidance is very, very important, for we cannot find our way back to God unaided. We are too lost in insanity. But a glimpse of sanity comes to us more and more as time passes. And ultimately, those glimpses will, in Awakening, merge into a dream that offers good days continuously. We can have a Heaven on earth. We just have to follow the rules, and guidance will elucidate those rules for us.

Love Deeply Today

“All things work together for good. There are no exceptions, except in the ego’s judgment. The ego resents everything it does not control. Control is a central factor in what the ego permits into consciousness, and one to which it devotes its maximum vigilance. This is not the way a balanced mind holds together. Its control is unconscious.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.VII.1:1-5)

Jesus is quoting the biblical passage, “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose.” But in his quote, he makes no provisos: ALL things work together for good. He continues, “There are no exceptions.”

This biblical verse gave me much comfort when I was in my teens, just after hearing a sermon on the topic. Now it can do the same for us at any age. We want a balanced mind, and if we keep in mind that all works together for good, we will stop much discouragement in its tracks.

A balanced mind is controlled only by its unconscious; no effort at getting and retaining control on a conscious level is needed at all.

Does this tell us how easy salvation really is? Here we listen to the Holy Spirit (or the Christ-Self), and we do what guidance has prompted. Our mind then soon becomes clear in every predicament, with the next step, and then the next, and the next, pointed out to us in certain fashion.

Pray for a balanced mind today. Our mind is very precious to God, and we have let it be taken over by an insanity, the ego that arose because we didn’t know how else to counter fear. If we love deeply, love enough, fear will leave us.

Love deeply today.

Jesus’ Instructive Guidance

“If you will think over your life, you will see how carefully the preparations were made. I am in charge of the Second Coming, as I already told you, and my judgment, which is used only for its protection, cannot be wrong because it never attacks. Yours is so distorted that you believe that I was mistaken in choosing you. I assure you this is a mistake of your own ego. Do not mistake it for humility. Your ego is trying to convince you that it is real and I am not, because if I am real, I am no more real than you are. That knowledge, and I assure you that it is knowledge, means that Christ has come into your mind and healed it.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.VI.15:1-7)

It is likely that Jesus was speaking to Helen here, asking her to think over her life and realize how prepared she was made for the task of scribing. There were many things that she needed to have in her mind, and her upbringing assured that this happened. In channeling, Jesus must draw on the words that are already in a scribe’s mind, being limited to using words that are already known. This doesn’t mean that the ideas are in the scribe’s mind, just the words, for nobody who has taken A Course in Miracles seriously, and knew Helen, thought that she could have made all this up. She had a fine mind, of course, but she did not have the genius of Jesus.

Jesus is on a par with us, in that both he and we are real. The ego disputes this, but we all know by now that the ego is insanity itself. Jesus has walked the whole pathway back to God, and now is guiding our footsteps. His work with channeling is just one aspect of the careful instructive guidance that he gives to us all.

Healing of the Mind

“The First Coming of Christ is just another name for the creation, because Christ is the Son of God. The Second Coming of Christ means nothing more than the end of the ego’s rule over part of the minds of men, and the healing of the mind. I was created like you in the First, and I am reminding you that I have called you to join with me in the Second.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.VI.14:1-3)

Here Jesus is explaining the new reality, the fact that when he came 2,000 years ago, he was embodying the Christ, the Awakened Son of God. Now, he says the Second Coming is a healing of OUR minds, that we too will recognize that we too are Christ, Sons and Daughters of God. This, being a healing of our mind, is the end of the ego’s rule.

The only thing that needs to happen is that we rest in God’s love, let the barriers to love’s rule dissipate, and wait, patiently, for our Awakening—by God Himself. This means, obviously, that we take measured paces to relinquish the ego. We don’t do anything to reinforce it; we stay away from egoic notions, for they will only derail us.

Does Jesus come in the Second Coming? Is there a physical manifestation? He never says, in any of his channeled courses (A Course in Miracles, A Course of Love, The Way of Mastery Platform). It wouldn’t be wise for us to speculate about something that has been so divisive in our religions.

If he comes in physical manifestation, we will see great glories on earth. If not, perhaps he intends for us to manifest those great glories, in a new world that we will create. This latter point is made very plain in A Course of Love.