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.

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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.

Gladden Ourselves

“Have you really considered how many opportunities you have to gladden yourself, and how many of them you have refused? There is no limit to the power of a Son of God, but he himself can limit the expression of his power as much as he wills. Your mind and mine can unite in shining your ego away, and releasing the strength and beauty of God into everything you think and will and do. Do not settle for anything less than this, and refuse to accept anything but this as your goal. Watch your mind carefully for any beliefs that hinder its accomplishment, and step away from them.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.VI.11:1-5)

Certainly everybody has experienced times when, in retrospect, we might say that we have been our own worst enemy. This is, I believe, what is happening when we have refused opportunities to gladden ourselves. We seem to wallow in self-pity, never a very laudatory experience. When we are so absorbed by self-pity, it certainly makes it hard for anybody else to sympathize and to emphasize with us. Our own self-centeredness at such times makes inevitable the truth that the ego will be in the ascendancy.

Jesus will join his mind to ours, and the two of each of us can shine the ego away. His offer is a free offer, with no strings attached. And should not we make the tiny effort to accept his free offer? Only a “little willingness” is necessary, as Jesus says elsewhere in A Course in Miracles. The Holy Spirit will take our little willingness, and make it into something mighty. Jesus will cooperate with us as we seek to leave the remnants of the ego in the dust under our feet.

We need God’s strength to finally take tentative and hesitant steps toward accepting His great blessings for us, His blessings in a world that is slowly giving up the ego as a very bad idea.

When tempted to indulge in the misery of self-pity, let us lift our thoughts with an effort of the will, and let God’s grace show us a world that will gladden us.

Jesus: “I Will Come Gladly in Response to a Single Unequivocal Call”

“Watch your mind for the scraps of meanness, or you will be unable to ask me to do so. I can help you only as our Father created us. I will love you and honor you and maintain complete respect for what you have made. But I will neither love nor honor it unless it is true. Ask me truly, and I will come. Do not ask me truly, and I will wait. I will never forsake you, any more than God will. But I must wait as long as you will to forsake yourself. Because I wait in love and not in impatience, you will surely ask me truly. I will come gladly in response to a single unequivocal call.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.V.14:1-10)

This quotation gives the context for Jesus’ opt-quoted words, on this blog, that he will come upon hearing a “single unequivocal call.” This is one of the most reassuring sentences in all of A Course in Miracles, particularly if one has what has been called a “personal relationship” with Jesus.

In A Course of Love, the sequel, continuation, of A Course in Miracles, Jesus says that we don’t have to accept him for us to benefit from his words. But he can do so much more for us if we do “accept” him. This means that traditional Christianity does get many things right, and a personal relationship with Jesus as the optimal is one such right thing.

We have made many things in illusion, and Jesus does not uphold these things. But our true creations, he does respect and honor. We ourselves don’t even know what all these creations are. There are several references in ACIM to our “creations,” but no full explanation of what is meant. I think most basically the creations are our intangible, but real, emotions that cause us to extend love to others—in other words, our miracles as instigated by Jesus (for he says that he should prompt us when and where to perform a miracle).

Let Jesus come to us today. He is not limited in any way, we can believe, though we cannot know how this is possible. Our finite minds need to let go of trying to understand, and just accept Jesus’ promises.

Then we will really be on the right road back to God.

Jesus: “In This World You Need NOT Have Tribulation because I Have Overcome the World”

“I need devoted teachers. They heal the mind, and that is always my own aim. The spirit is far beyond the need of your protection or mine. The biblical quotation should read, ‘In this world you need not have tribulation because I have overcome the world. That is why you should be ‘of good cheer.’” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.II.25:1-5)

Very reassuring! And a correction to Scripture, something that Jesus does several times in A Course in Miracles. “In this world you need not have tribulation.” Wonderful!

Do we believe it?

If we think back, we will realize that we are our own worst enemies. The tribulation that we experience is very often something that we have brought on ourselves.

We don’t have to do this. We can walk a calm earth, head in the clouds, feet on the ground, and the words of Jesus to comfort us.

When we are of good cheer, we normally attract more good cheer. Good feelings build on themselves. And we can heal others whom we encounter. This healing is right in line with the best advice in ACIM.

Let’s do as Jesus encourages. Let’s ask him how we might effect the healing of other people. And to do that effectively, we need also to be healed, and so praying for our healing is right in line with the Course.

An Endearing Promise from Jesus

“Egos can clash in any situation, but souls cannot clash at all. If you perceive the teacher as merely a ‘larger ego,’ you will be afraid, because to enlarge an ego is to increase separation anxiety. Do not engage in this foolishness. I will teach with you and live with you if you will think with me. But my goal will be always to absolve you finally from the need for a teacher.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.II.10:1-5)

In the final pages of A Course of Love (sequel to A Course in Miracles), Jesus does actually resign as our teacher. He wants to be companion with us only. In this, he is saying that he has succeeded in absolving us for the need of a teacher. In the meantime, though, for those of us who are still students of ACIM, he continues to guide and direct as a teacher.

Larger egos do scare us. I myself have been scared more than once by one who had achieved much, but who had achieved by the competitive bent of an ego. This frightens all of us, for inside we know that a larger ego is not where we want to go. Larger egos are scary, for certain, and we, for certain, do not want to do anything that will enlarge our ego. Competitive activities often do just this.

A large ego seems farther removed from God, and thus a feature that promotes separation anxiety. Love brings us ever closer to God, and it is this also that dispels the ego. Love lead to cooperation in our lives, cooperation with others. And it is this can draws us close to each other and close to God.

“I will teach with you and live with you if you will think with me.” Jesus’ promise. And such an endearing and great promise it is.

Take him up on it.

Do Not Crucify One’s Self

“Do not embark on foolish journeys, because they are indeed in vain. The ego may will them because the ego is both lean and foolish, but the spirit cannot embark on them because it is forever unwilling to depart from its foundation. The journey to the cross should be the last foolish journey for every mind. Do not dwell upon it, but dismiss it as accomplished. If you can accept that as your own last foolish journey, you are free also to join my resurrection.
. . .
“Do not make the pathetic human error of ‘clinging to the old rugged cross.’ The only message of the crucifixion is in respect to your ability to overcome the cross. Unless you do so, you are free to crucify yourself as often as you choose. But this was not the gospel I intended to offer you.” (ACIM, COA ed., T:4.I.7:1-5 and 8:4-7)

Jesus says repeatedly in A Course in Miracles that the real message of the Atonement is the resurrection, that life is eternal—not that he suffered and died as a sacrificial lamb for us in order to appease God because of our sins. He says that we have made mistakes only, mistakes that are correctable and forgivable, and that to categorize our mistakes as “sins” seems to make them beyond correction.

Moreover, God never condemns, and so He has no need to forgive us of anything. This is a new interpretation, contrary to traditional Christianity, but to us it ought to come as welcome news, a new interpretation that lets us off the hook. So many over the years have condemned themselves because of errors that they called sins, and suffered accordingly.

Now we can let this type of interpretation fall by the wayside. Correctable mistakes call for correction, not denunciation. All of us make mistakes, because this is unavoidable, given the limited viewpoints that we have. We are finite, with finite minds, and with a finite mind, we cannot see all the ramifications of the least thing that we do. So mistakes happen.

Jesus stands at the end of the long pathway to correct mistakes that we could not otherwise correct; he tells us this in ACIM. Be grateful to him for walking the pathway first, all the way back to God. Why would we seek to invent new ways to walk the pathway, when his path is there for us to emulate?

Following in Jesus’ Footsteps

“You would be right to maintain that this course is a prerequisite for any rightful course you may teach. However, you would really be saying much more than that. The purpose of this course is to prepare you for knowledge. So is the only real purpose of any legitimate course. All that is required of you as a teacher is to follow me.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.IX.8:1-5)

We are learning the way of A Course in Miracles, and in following its teaching, our own teaching will be set forward rightly. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are following in Jesus’s footsteps, taking his pathway, when we attempt to prepare ourselves for teaching.

Jesus is doing something for us, too, that is beyond simply the hope that we will bring others to salvation. He is introducing us to knowledge, as opposed to simple perception. When we truly know a thing, we will sense it in our depths. There will be no doubt.

Perceptual understanding is always open to doubt, because perceptual understanding is based on the variability of our personality, its past and the way that personality views things. Knowledge is of God in the end, and He is the Unmovable. His way is always certain, and when we open our mind and heart to that way, we will know that His way is certain.

All Are Chosen

“Only your misperceptions stand in your way. Without them, your own choice is certain. Sane perception induces sane choosing. The Atonement was an act based on true perception. I cannot choose for you, but I can help you make your own right choice. ‘Many are called but few are chosen’ should read, ‘All are called, but few choose to listen. Therefore, they do not choose right. The ‘chosen ones’ are merely those who choose right sooner. That is the real meaning of the celestial speed-up. Strong wills can do this now, and they will find rest for their souls. God knows you only in peace, and this is your reality.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VI.18:1-11)

The “celestial speed-up,” of which A Course in Miracles is an example, is an attempt by Jesus and his associates to bring salvation to the earth before we destroy ourselves. Edgar Cayce, the psychic, was an early example also. We are bent on destruction unless drastic measures are taken. So any of us could be part of the celestial speed-up. Many of us may have been born for that purpose.

All are chosen. Kenneth Wapnick wrote a book by that title, part of a two-book series that also gave the second part of that quotation, that few choose to listen. We must change this. We must know that we are chosen, and we must listen. Then we do take our place in the celestial speed-up.

Many of us have strong wills, but that strong will must be bent to God’s grace and guidance. I once wrote on a scrap of paper, and put it in my grandmother’s Bible: “I am determined to go God’s way.”

This when I was nine years old, for I can tell from my early handwriting my age. So I was one who had a strong will, and I attempted, in my immature way, to bend that will to God. I was witnessing even then.

Many of us can witness, and then we will become a multitude who change this world, and then create a new world. This is the message of A Course of Love. That we either change the world, or that (better) we create a new world. When we know that all are chosen, we can rest in the assurance that we are among that chosen.

Love without Attack

“If you attack another’s error, you will hurt yourself. You do not recognize him when you attack. Attack is always made on a stranger. You are making him a stranger by misperceiving him, so that you cannot know him. It is because you have made him into a stranger that you are afraid of him. What is he to you? He is your brother. What else do you need to know? But do know that. This is not a matter of perception but a fact. Perceive him c
correctly, so that you can know him. The prayer for the miracle is:

“Jesus, help me see my brother [name] as he really is, and thus release both him and me.

“Anytime there is anything unloving that crosses your mind, you should immediately recognize that you do not want to hurt your brother.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.V.10:1-14)

Love our brother. And, of course, this includes our sister as well. If an unloving thought or feeling is in our mind or heart, we need to reconsider and choose again. There is so much that will be solved aright if we keep love in our mind and heart. When we love, we leave fear behind, no longer afraid of what our brother might say or do to us. We know that God Himself is protecting us from harm. And so there is nothing true that our brother can do to harm us. We remain in control always.

The world is harmless. It is our projection only. From our mind outward. And when the mind is healed, the projections will all be good. This is what we need. This is where we are headed.

Let the heart rule the mind, for the heart loves deeply and well. And then all of our thoughts about, and our actions toward, our brother will be true and good.

Crucifixion & Resurrection

“The crucifixion did not establish the Atonement; the resurrection did. This is a point which many very sincere Christians have misunderstood. Nobody who was free of the scarcity fallacy could possibly have made this mistake.

“If the crucifixion is seen from an upside-down point of view, it certainly does appear as if God permitted and even encouraged one of His Sons to suffer because he was good. Many very devoted ministers preach this every day. This particularly unfortunate interpretation, which actually arose out of the combined projection of a large number of my own would-be followers, has led many people to be bitterly afraid of God. This particularly anti-religious concept happens to enter into many religions, and this is neither by chance nor coincidence. The real Christian would have to pause and ask, ‘How could this be?’ Is it likely that God
Himself would be capable of the kind of thinking which His Own words have clearly stated is unworthy of His children?” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.III.1:2-4 and 2:1-6)

God did not command Jesus to die; he set up his own drama, making his own decision. His Self, his Christ-Self, was the God within of Jesus.

When growing up, Jesus observed the temple sacrifices. And the thought likely arose in him that the ultimate sacrifice would be his own body. This is something that ego-oriented human beings could understand. And this idea, that Jesus was the sacrificial lamb, has been played out throughout the centuries, and still is being played out in fundamentalist circles.

Many are turning away from this interpretation. And Jesus himself turns away in these passages, lauding the resurrection as the real miracle. He doesn’t say how this can be, but if we believe in materialization and dematerialization, we have a peg to tie it to.

Jesus does not ask us to follow in his footsteps with sacrifice. The days of sacrifice die with the ego that caused them.

Jesus: “When You Perform a Miracle, I Will Arrange Both Time and Space to Adjust to it”

“The miracle abolishes the need for lower-order concerns. Since it is an illogical, or out-of-pattern, time interval by definition, the ordinary considerations of time and space do not apply. I do not regard time as you do, and your space problems are not mine. When you perform a miracle, I will arrange both time and space to adjust to it.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.II.1:1-4)

Here are the ground rules for miracles. If we need more to time to perform one, one that has been prompted by Jesus, he will arrange it. And arrange space as well.
There is no way that we can comprehend what he is telling us. It is something that we will have to experience, this business of miracles. Miracles are expressions of love outside time and space, and he makes sure that we have all the time and space we need to perform them. We aren’t bound in any way.

Surely the miracle does bless both giver and receiver. We are constantly wanting miracles to get us out of the fixes we get ourselves into, but we still don’t often ask for a miracle. Let’s change that.

A close walk with Jesus will create in us a desire to be more miracle-minded. We will indeed be blessed when we ask, each day, to be extended the grace to offer miracles to our brothers and sisters.

And accept miracles for ourselves.

The Return to God

“Just as the separation occurred over many millions of years, the Last Judgment will extend over a similarly long period, and perhaps even longer. Its length depends, however, on the effectiveness of the present speed-up. We have frequently noted that the miracle is a device for shortening but not abolishing time. If a sufficient number of people become truly miracle-minded quickly, the shortening process can be almost immeasurable. But it is essential that these individuals free themselves from fear sooner than would ordinarily be the case, because they must emerge from the basic conflict if they are to bring peace to the minds of others.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.XIII.3:1-5)

The Last Judgment is nothing to fear, for fear would be counterproductive to what Jesus is trying to do. The Last Judgment is a time of right evaluation and a soothing conclusion to eons spent engulfed by the ego. We are led to this experience by the Sonship, the brothers of Jesus, our fellow men and women (Jesus tells us elsewhere). He does not do it alone.

It seems to me that we have done Jesus a disservice by seeing him as a judge of our actions. Like his Father, he only loves. We think judgment is right and natural, that we deserve to be cast out (perhaps), but such is not the case. All will return home eventually, though it may take millions of years, as Jesus says here.

Millions of years sound daunting and discouraging. That is why the current “speed-up,” of which A Course in Miracles is a part, is so important. The miracle can shorten time immeasurably. Let us let time be shortened. There is much suffering in a world wrought by egoic thinking, and we would be wise to realize that only God’s way will really work.

Nothing we have tried to do in separation has worked. We have only hurt ourselves, and our brothers with us. The only way is surrender to God’s plan for His children, for He is omniscient, and He knows what works. Would we say the same about ourselves? Do we know? I think not. We must simply rest in His arms, certain that He will take us home.

Seek to Master Love, Not Fear

“We began this section with an attempt to correct the fundamental human error that fear can be mastered. The correction was that only love can be mastered. Even if you are ready for revelation, though, that does not mean that you have in any way mastered that form of communication. Mastery of love necessarily involves a much more complete confidence in the ability than you have as yet attained. Readiness, however, is at least an indication that you believe this is possible. This is only the beginning of confidence. In case this be misunderstood as a statement that an enormous amount of time will be necessary between readiness and mastery, I would again remind you that time and space are under my control.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.XII.10:1-7)

Yes, time and space are under Jesus’ control, and here he is trying to get us to do what seems impossible to us—to master love. We often attempt to do the reverse, master fear. We are in pain when we experience anxiety, and we just want to get rid of the feeling. But we are limited in what we can do until we turn our bodies and souls over to love. Then, when love is attained, and even mastered, our fears drop away. It is just that simple.

I have long been prone to anxieties; they have dogged my every step through this life. But when I am immersed in love, feeling love with every bone in my body, I notice that there is no trace of fear/anxieties. And this is what Jesus is talking about. We master fear by first mastering love.

Of course, we don’t stay in a cloud of love all the time. This world drags us back. But as often as we retreat from love, and then feel fear, we can try again, take another step in a better direction. We move forward and retreat throughout our lives. Only in Awakening are the vicissitudes altered. Then we have smoother sailing.

So: Seek to master love, not fear. The benefits are stupendous. The way opens to God Himself, for God is but Love.

Freud

“The structure of the psyche follows along the lines of the particular libido concept the theorist employs. Freud’s psyche was essentially a good and evil picture, with very heavy weight given to the evil. This is because every time I mentioned the Atonement to him, which was quite often, he responded by defending his theory more and more against it. This resulted in his increasingly strong attempts to make the illogical sound more and more logical. I was very sorry about this, because his was a singularly good mind, and it was a shame to waste it.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.XI.17:1-5)

Freud! Jesus, it seems, consulted with Freud, and even though Freud barricaded himself against Jesus’ advice, we see here that Jesus respected him. Freud originated the concept of the ego, without which A Course in Miracles could not have been written in its present form. Prior to Freud, we had only the “devil” to contend with, and this projection of the ego did not serve humankind well.

So Jesus “mentioned” to Atonement to Freud “quite often,” but Freud was not open to these thoughts that were occupying his mind. He resisted.

We might as where we are resisting, for we are bombarded daily with advice, good advice, that we don’t take to heart.

Open our minds and hearts to advice from the master, Jesus himself. He seems omniscient, and so he can certainly be with all of us. He comes upon a “single unequivocal call” (from ACIM).

Praying with Jesus

“It may help if you say this prayer to me:

“I would like to pray that my will be united with thine, recognizing that thy perfect love will suffice (or correct) for my imperfect love.

“I pray that I may accept the Atonement with conviction, recognizing its inestimable worth, and my own divine worth as part of this identification with thine.

“I pray that my fear be replaced by an active sense of thy love, and they continual willingness to help me overcome the split or divided will which is responsible for my difficulty with this.

“I accept the divinity of the messages I have received, and affirm my will in both accepting and acting upon the Atonement principle.
“Here I am.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.IX.14:1-6)

We need to empty ourselves, as Marianne Williamson says. And when we pray a prayer of such dignity and grace as this one, here quoted, we are led to empty ourselves so that we might be filled with the power and single-minded purpose of Jesus. He guides us as we pray, and if we listen attentively, and pray intently, we will join our will with our heavenly Father, and join our will with the intent of the Atonement.

There is, in truth, little more we need to do. When we empty ourselves, we are overcome with a warmth that indicates that God Himself is right here with us, in us, around us, everywhere. He is living through us, for we are part of Him. His way will ultimately win out, but we have to join our will to his, for our will itself is free, and there is no coercion.

When we realize that our way of a separate path has not worked and can never work, we are more flexible in His hands. We know that the separation is a myth best left behind. We know that God means us well, as He lives through us, and we realize that our trial of a separate existence has failed miserably. We are then ripe for the Atonement, which is the merging of our will with His, and the acceptance of Jesus’s part in our salvation.

So: Let us empty ourselves so that we might be filled with the grace of God. There is no better way to live well, no way to live well apart from this at all.

The World’s Plight

“The Atonement actually began long before the resurrection. Many souls offered their efforts on behalf of the separated ones. But they could not withstand the strength of the attack and had to be brought back. Angels came, too, but their protection was not enough, because the separated ones were not interested in peace.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.V.3:1-4)

This quotation highlights the importance of some belief in the resurrection, though many of us believe it in many different ways. In A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, Jesus is never explicit as to whether it was a bodily resurrection or an ethereal one. But the belief in a resurrection galvanized his disciples and others of the time. I think something happened, even if we cannot be sure what.

Jesus is very clear that the crucifixion did not address the Atonement. He simply did not defend himself when he was brought for crucifixion, and in this he is our example, because he doesn’t want us in a defensive posture either. The resurrection is the salient point.

The idea that others came before, and could not withstand the attack from separated people is important, never stated before. Angels, Jesus says, came, too. Nothing seemed to work. Now Jesus, after the resurrection, is spearheading a “celestial speed-up” to try to help suffering people everywhere. A Course in Miracles is part of that speed-up, as he told Helen and Bill. We can imagine that other channeled works from Jesus are also part of the speed-up. Certainly we have been on the brink of destroying ourselves for many long years now.

Jesus deserves our gratitude. We have gotten ourselves in a grand problem, and entities far more advanced than are we are seeking to find a solution. Let us hope that we can add our little part to make a positive change as well.

Treasure

“The means are easier to clarify after the true worth of the goal itself is firmly established. Everyone defends his own treasure. You do not have to tell him to do this, because he will do so automatically. The real question still remains, What do you treasure and how much do you treasure it? Once you learn to consider these two points and bring them into all your actions as the true criteria for behavior, I will have little difficulty in clarifying the means. You have not learned to be consistent about this as yet. I have therefore concentrated on showing you that the means are available whenever you do ask. We can save a lot of time, however, if you do not need to extend this step unduly. The correct focus will shorten it immeasurably.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.IV.13:1-9)

Our treasure ought to be in the heaven on earth that we can create here. This goal would easily create a new world for us all.

Jesus is really trying to help us. There is back scenes work that we can’t see, and then there are A Course in Miracles, A Course of Love, and Way of Mastery. Others have also channeled him. We need to lighten up from our crises, and ask what we really want in life. That would be our goal. That would also be our treasure. And we can get Jesus’ help in identifying goal and treasure.

Devote some contemplation to these basic questions: treasure (what is it?) and goal (what is that?). If we move lightly on our feet, the answers, informed by the Holy Spirit and the Christ-Self, will be obvious. And we will walk a better earth as a result. Our feelings will improve, because Love has shown the way.

Jesus: “You Can Do Anything I Ask”

“You can do anything I ask. I have asked you to perform miracles, and have made it very clear that these are natural, corrective, healing, and universal. There is nothing good they cannot do. But they cannot be performed in the spirit of doubt. You have asked yourself why you cannot really incorporate my words. But remember my own question before you ask yours: ‘O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?’” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.III.3:1-6)

“You can do anything I ask.” What a lovely reminder and supportive comment! We must not doubt when we receive an inkling that an expression of love—a miracle—is called for. Our personally selected expressions may be misguided, for not everybody is ready. But the ones that we intuitively sense—that is something different. Jesus speaks to us through our feelings, as well as our sudden thoughts, and we would do well to listen in faith—not in an attitude of doubt about what we have received.

Taking the Course

“After you have taken the course, you will accept it and keep it and use it. That is the final exam, which you will have no trouble in passing. Midterm marks are not entered in the permanent record.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.50.6:1-3)

Jesus is here talking to university professors (Helen and Bill), and we can enjoy his humor, for we remember our college days. There is a serious side to what he says, though, indicating that when we apply our learning from A Course in Miracles, we will have no trouble in passing the course. Mid-term grades are not calculated!

And we will all, eventually, head into Awakening. Forgiveness and awakening are the goals of ACIM. When we forgive (though nothing actually ever really needs forgiveness if we haven’t condemned), we are priming ourselves for Awakening. When we listen to how God speaks to our heart, we will know more. Jesus wants all of us to walk the peaceful way back to God. He prepares us well, so that we don’t become panicked if enlightenment should descend upon us suddenly. Most of us, though, will have a quiet Awakening. We have indeed been well-prepared.

Choosing Our Mate

“The sex impulse is a miracle impulse when it is in proper focus. One individual sees in another the right partner for propagating the species and also for their joint establishment of a creative home. This does not involve fantasy at all. If I am asked to participate in the decision, the decision will be a right one, too.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.48.9:3-6)

How many of us might be inclined to have enough of a personal relationship to the Jesus of A Course in Miracles that we would invite him into our selection of a mate? Maybe we didn’t know that this were possible. According to ACIM, Jesus makes himself available to us for all manner of ordinary decisions, and marriage is certainly one of the most important. Jesus wants us to make right decisions about marriage, forming a holy relationship, not special. If fantasies predominate, he implies here, the choice is for a special relationship. And special relationships do not have the staying power of holy ones.

Our holy relationships do not oscillate between highs and lows, drama and controversy. Our special relationships are akin to a fast track to nowhere, because the one in whom we had placed such faith tends to have feet of clay. Our special relationships divide; our holy make one. It is imperative that we move forward into creating a new world peopled with the holy. We will not have peace in the special, but only in the holy. And isn’t peace an overriding desire of us all?

We find our greatest challenges in our relationships. Here we are given an option: From Jesus, “get my advice.” Of course, we don’t know how he can be in so many foci of consciousness all at once. And perhaps, he can’t, that he was speaking just to Helen and Bill when he offered all manner of help. But I think not.

There are more wonders in heaven and earth than we have dreamt of. Jesus’s help for us is a responsibility he assumed eons ago as the leader of souls coming to earth to rescue the trapped (an Edgar Cayce assertion). He has not wavered in his commitment. Can we say the same? I think not. But the future can use Jesus’s example as our way to be faithful to the God we worship.

Special Agents

“You do have special talents which are needed for the celestial speed-up at this time. But note that the term ‘speed-up’ is not one which relates to the transcending of time. When time is abolished and all the Sons of God have come home, no special agents will be necessary. But do not underestimate the power of special agents now, or the great need there is for them. I do not claim to be more than that myself. No one in his right mind (a term which should be specially noted) ever wants either more or less than that.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.48.6:1-6)

Most of us must be “special agents.” If we are on the spiritual pathway, it is a foregone conclusion that we are indeed. And Jesus needs us all, for the salvation of the world.

First, we have to get our own lives working, though this is more of a hope than an accomplished fact. Jesus has used many people over the ages who had great limitations and many struggles. This in itself does not mean that we can’t claim “special agent” status.

St. Paul himself had a “thorn in his side.” Nobody has ever known conclusively what this meant. But look at all he accomplished in spite of that thorn, a thorn he asked to have removed, a request that was not granted.

Despite limitations, we must forge on ahead. And the “special agent” status, we hasten to add, is not a matter of ego. We each have callings in this world, and we will be happy, contented, only when we answer.

Let us answer today. Ask to be shown what God (and Jesus) have in mind for us. We will be shown.

Jesus: “I and My Father Are of One Kind”

“This appears to contradict another statement: ‘I and my Father are one.’ It doesn’t. There are still separate parts in the statement, in recognition of the fact that the Father is greater. Actually, the original statement was ‘are of one kind.’ The Father and the Son are not identical, but you can say ‘Like Father, like Son.’” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.46.18:1-5)

Jesus is here articulating the difference between the Father (God) and the Son (Christ). He is speaking for us as well as himself when he says that God and the Son (or Daughter) are “of one kind.” We are differentiated out of “God stuff” (for what of a better term). All energy in the cosmos is of one kind, and this energy is of God. Living consciousness pervades the whole.

But God, the Limitless, is greater. To know all is to reach far beyond our own limited, finite minds. We can intuit the whole, occasionally, but our powers are circumscribed, for we are not yet all that we will one day be, when we have remembered the Father and submerged our will entirely into His.

The indication that the phrase should be “of one kind” is new to this edition of the Circle of Atonement. It certainly does clarify the nature of God Himself and our relationship to Him/Her.

Lest we puff ourselves up by these statements, let us know that the humble are those who have actually walked the whole pathway of salvation. Shorn entirely of ego, they walk in peace and joy forever. They never try to be something that they aren’t, and they never claim for themselves a status that we will not all one day reach. Jesus says that there is nothing he has that will not one day be granted to all. Right now this pentacle is potential in us only.

Jesus’ Help on Our Pathway Home

“There is nothing about me that you cannot attain. I have nothing that does not come from God. The main difference between us as yet is that I have nothing else. That leaves me in a state of true holiness, which is only potential in you.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.46.16:1-4)

Here Jesus explains, more or less, that we are moving on the same pathway that he has traversed. We will get there, for he has promised elsewhere that he stands at the end of the carpet to resolve any mistakes that we could not correct.

Why not follow his advice, as an elder brother who has already found out how to return to God, how to heal the separation. We would be very foolish to turn aside from his recommendations, for he is smoothing the way for us. We can only imagine that his pathway was more difficult than ours, though the fact that he remained so close to God might have been a mitigating factor.

We have only the potential to be as Jesus is. Everything that he has comes from God, and we have gotten lost in irrelevancies brought about by the misuse of our free will. We can get back home; it is only a matter of time. But the world winds on wearily, and there is much suffering as we walk in a mist of our own making.

Enough of this! Revel in the joy of knowing that Jesus is here for us, right here, holding our hand. He will call (as I have often quoted) upon “one unequivocal call.”

When he comes, don’t forget to thank him.

Jesus: “I Kneel Beside You, Facing the Light”

“Awe is not properly experienced in relation to me. I kneel beside you, facing the light.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.46.14:3)

This image of Jesus kneeling beside us, facing the light, which is God, is lovely. He sees himself as an elder brother who has walked the pathway a little ahead of us; as an elder brother, awe is not appropriate when we think of him. Awe is appropriate when we are sensing the numinous that is God.

The “light,” in addition to suggesting God, also suggests wisdom and knowledge. This is what Jesus is doing for us in channeling A Course in Miracles—imparting wisdom and knowledge. There is little way that I could articulate how very much ACIM has meant to my life. It has captivated me for many years.

Think of God with awe, and then think of Jesus with gratitude for his gift of ACIM.

His was inspired writing, from God, I believe, and so in considering A Course in Miracles, we need to consider the pivotal place that Jesus’ inner Deity has played in its conception.

A Miracle is Never Lost

“A miracle is never lost. It touches many people you may not even know, and sometimes produces undreamed-of changes in forces of which you are not even aware.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.46.1:1-2)

We are lost in mystery in this world. And this is true for the effects of the expressions of love that we exhibit, our miracles. We don’t know how broad the umbrella of our force actually is. It seems to be very large indeed.

We are seven degrees apart from virtually everyone on earth, this calculated by secular, not spiritual, means. If we know someone, and then that someone knows others, by the extension seven times, we have known all on earth. An amazing thought. It serves our purposes here when we realize how the ripples of influence spread out. Our thoughts, expressed, our expressions of love, mean a great deal. So keep in mind that each of us doe make a difference, and that difference can be for good or ill.

Miracles reach out, and that is what we are really about. Miracles prompted by Jesus, as he explains in A Course in Miracles, for he knows the whole picture. Aren’t we lucky to have someone so in the know guiding us?

Jesus: “The Thing to Do with a Desert Is to Leave”

“A desert is a desert is a desert. You can do anything you want in it, but cannot change it from what it is. It still lacks water, which is why it is a desert. The thing to do with a desert is to leave.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.43.12:2-5)

Jesus doesn’t explain exactly what his “desert” really means, but I think he is referring to the unsatisfying lives that many of us lead. We don’t have to live like that, of course. We can leave the desert at any time by turning inward to a contemplation of eternal values. These values will lift our spirits. And if there is something that we need to do internally or externally to lift our spirits, our intuition will tell us what that is. Living with the Holy Spirit and the Christ-Self is living with the very best that is available to us in this world.

We need to make sure that we stay out of the desert. We need to make sure that our goal of leaving behind the ego actually is sustained. There is a stern warning in A Course of Love (a continuation of A Course in Miracles) that we may form a new ego on the ashes of the old. We do have that potential if we don’t stand firm with our new knowledge. And this indeed would be the desert. A terrible, terrible back step.

Leave the desert today. Do what we know to do to create good lives in a new world, for we are creating a new world as we speak.

The way to better living is contained in our refusal to live superficially with material objects that don’t satisfy for long. Lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven, and we will have succeeded in this life. And our heaven can and should be right on this earth, long before our death takes us to another world.

Atonement and Miracles

“The answer is to never perform a miracle without asking me if you should. This spares you from exhaustion. Just because miracles are expressions of love, it does not follow that they will always be effective. I am the only one who can perform miracles indiscriminately, because I am the Atonement. You have a role in the Atonement, which I will dictate to you.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.35.5:1-5)

For students of A Course in Miracles, the admonition from Jesus to ASK before attempting a miracle is well-known. But how many of us really do stop ourselves as we go about our day, asking if now is the right time to give an expression of love. Many of us don’t think of love at all in our daily grind; we just want to get through the day creditably. Yet expressions of love, as miracles, would mean so much to our brothers and sisters. And to us, for the first person that a miracle affects is the one who is charged with bringing that miracle into the world.

We aren’t to push ourselves to exhaustion, for this is a form of sacrifice, and Jesus has also asked that we not sacrifice ourselves, even to Love. He says that he did not do so, and thus it is correct to know that he would never ask us to do so either. We need Jesus’ guidance about when to act and when to rest. We need to know that we are proceeding under guidance that is just beyond what we normally think about in our daily pathway. The Holy Spirit and, later, the Christ-Self, will provide careful instruction to us.

We are never left in the dark about what to do next; we just need to ask of a Power greater than our little, finite, personal selves.
Jesus, in charge of the Atonement, does let us know what is expected of us by way of support for the Atonement. We are joining together to create a new day, a day of ultimate salvation, a day of Christ-consciousness or Awakening. We are needed. All of us.

Listen, Learn, and Do

“The slogan for this Crusade is ‘Listen, learn, and do.’ This means:

“Listen to my voice, learn to undo the error, and do something to correct it.

“The first two are not enough. The real members of my party are active workers.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.26.6:5-9)

The easy way in which Jesus speaks to us in the new complete (and annotated) edition of A Course in Miracles is highlighted by this quotation in which Jesus stipulates that he wants “active workers.”

This doesn’t mean sacrificial effort, though, as he points out elsewhere in this edition. Edgar Cayce, the great psychic, gave numerous readings toward the end of his life in a sacrificial gesture that shortened his life. Jesus indicates that this was a mistake, that he himself did not do such.

Jesus’ death on the cross is not sacrificial, as Jesus explains. It was meant to show that even in outrageous circumstances one does not have to become defensive. He had not hurt anybody, and he had healed many. Instead, we look to the resurrection of a body, in some other form (as said in A Course of Love), to be the Atonement.

So our active working for salvation, the mission of Jesus, is meant to keep us busy but not deluged. He does want us to be busy in this mission, but we do have to use common sense and not let our guilt at not being any more perfect keep us tied to a sacrifice that is not only unnecessary, but is undesirable.

Time

“I cannot save you more time than you will let me, but if you are willing to try the Higher Shopping Service, which also covers all lower-order necessities, and even quite a number of whims within reason, I have very good use for the time we could save.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.25.6)

Jesus has a sense of humor! This comment, meant for Helen, is telling her that he would like for her to focus on their work together and not the new coat that she hopes to find! It is insightful passages such as this that gives us such a gem in the new, complete A Course in Miracles.

We apparently do get help from the Other Side, but only when we open ourselves to it. This saves us time, and most of us realize that there are things that we can do on earth that are closed to those spirits who hover around us. With the time that we save, we can cooperate in higher order concerns.

Even “whims” are included! Jesus knows us very well, knows that we imagine ourselves needing things that while unimportant in the grand scheme of things, are important to us.

And he cooperates with us in all of that. I also love the human side of the human/divine Jesus, shown in the new edition of ACIM.

Jesus Assists

“The reason I direct everything that is unimportant is because it is no way to waste your free will. If you insist on doing the trivial your way, you waste too much time and will on it.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.25.3:1-2)

This statement is made before the Holy Spirit is precisely introduced in A Course in Miracles. Jesus is actually talking to his close allies, Helen and Bill, who are working with him to bring his channeling into the world. We may, if we wish, imagine that Jesus acts for us in a similar way. This is something that I have discussed at length in this blog. Jesus is a spirit whose focus of consciousness is beyond belief; he will come to each of us with a “single unequivocal call” (from ACIM).

It is good to imagine Jesus’ partnership with us in this sometimes difficult world. His way, his helpful way, will smooth pathways far more than we can believe.

Give him a little choice in our lives, and we will be stunned by the magnitude of what he can bring about.

How to Ask for Divine Instructions

“Therefore, when you say, ‘If you want me to I will,’ please add ‘and if you don’t want me to I won’t.’ This is the right use of inhibition.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.24.5:3-4)

These are very specific guidelines for following guidance. We do get a sense of what we are to do, and when. Whether or not we follow that guidance depends on our resistance to what God is trying to tell us. Here Jesus is directing Helen and Bill, and by extension, us, very well. He knows that if he doesn’t want us to do something that we seem intent on doing, we need to be willing to be pliable.

Guidance is vitally important to a full and active life in the Spirit. Our little, finite, minds don’t know the whole picture, can’t see it, and so following the nudging of the Holy Spirit is vital. He guides us very specifically, whether to turn right at the next corner, even, sometimes. We don’t follow impulses willy-nilly, of course, but if we test out an impulse, and we see that there is no harm in what we think is being asked of us, then why don’t we respond, and respond quickly?

We don’t respond quickly because we have our own ideas about what is best for us, for our brothers and sisters, and the world. But how wrong we can recognize we have been in the past, before the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and even afterwards, when we were being headstrong.

There is a better way. Ask before resistance becomes confirmed. Ask what to do or say. The way will open. It will be a bright and glorious way, full of God, full of the Holy Spirit, and full of our best Self.

Take time to ask first today. If we proceed without that divine approval, we may make problems for ourselves that could be overcome with a little flexibility on our part.

Dear God,

Thank You for answering my prayer, and removing my resistance, to something You intend for me. I have known all along what You were saying, but I did so want to go my way. This is utter stupidity. The best way is always Yours, and I do know that my real will and Your will are identical.

Thank You for the blossoming of this day, after I bent my will to what I knew was divine leading.

Amen.

Atonement

“. . .[I]t is clear that when you can atone by miracles, both giver and receiver are atoning. It is better to atone this way because of the mutual benefits involved. ‘Inasmuch as you do it unto the least of these my brethren’ really ends with ‘you do it unto yourself and me.’ The reason why you come before me is because I do not need miracles for my own Atonement, but I stand at the end in case you fail temporarily.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.24.2.:4-7)

When we accept the request of Jesus to go and let a miracle come through us, we are atoning for self and the other. It does not mean that we have “sinned,” for we know from A Course in Miracles that Jesus believes that our misdeeds and misthoughts are mistakes only, something that will encourage us to remedy the problem, not to be drawn to the same thought, deed, or word time and time again.

We can see that in looking to guidance for what miracles to perform, our guidance is seeing the whole picture—for us and for the one to whom we are sent. The mutual benefit that occurs is substantial. And we don’t make mistakes in this endeavor, if, that is, we depend on our guidance. Jesus is looking deep in our souls to see what miracles he can depend upon us to perform.

Jesus rectifies mistakes that we make that we cannot resolve. This is his promise: “I stand at the end in case you fail temporarily.” With a back-up like that, how can we fail, ultimately? We can’t. We have only to call in reinforcements, in this case, Jesus himself. He offers his help as a free offer. God does the same.

Dear God,

I have not seemed to be sent on a mission today. If I have missed hearing the call, please alert me to listen better. I will promise to go and do anything with You standing behind me, and Jesus at my side—a spirit I can’t see but can feel.

Miracles have come to me today. When I ask for a blessing of guidance, You are quick to see that my Answer from You arrives right on time—that is to say, immediately. I appreciate that You don’t hold my impatience against me. You like speed, too.

Thank You.

Amen.

Jesus’ Limitless Efforts

“When your equilibrium stabilizes, you can teach as much as you learn. This will give you the proper sense of balance. Meanwhile, remember that no effort is wasted. Unless you remember this, you cannot avail yourself of my efforts, which are limitless.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.22.5:4-7)

We learn several things in this quotation, the most important being that Jesus’s efforts are “limitless.” This is the kind of big brother that we have. This is his inner self, revealed.

When we stabilize, we do have a balance of teaching and learning with our brothers and sisters. And when we try, make an effort, we are not wasting our time. We are reassured that some good will come of a good effort. And we don’t have to feel unappreciated; Jesus appreciates us.

Teaching actually occurs naturally in our world. A Course in Miracles asserts that what we teach, teaches us. We are in balance when this happens, because others are learning from our example. We need to be positive that our example is good and true.

I return to Jesus’s statement that his efforts are limitless. Perhaps we ought to say a little prayer for him today. He listens to us, don’t you think? And yet it is almost never said that he too needs our prayers. We are all in this together.

Dear God,

Be with Jesus today. May my intent join with You to give him a positive experience as he looks at a world in disarray. His contribution is beyond our calculations, and it is all because he is close to You.

Be with me today. I would teach what I can, even when I am not aware that teaching is going on. And help me learn from my brothers and sisters. Their good example gives me hope.

Amen.

Jesus: “My Strength Will Support You”

“Please read these three principles as often as you can today, as if there were going to be a quiz this evening. This is merely to introduce structure, if it is needed. It is not to frighten you. Do not feel guilty if you are doubting these principles. Just re-read them and their truth will come to you. My strength will support you, so don’t worry and leave the rest to me.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.3)

Jesus is here talking about the first three principles of miracles, quoted yesterday in this blog. He is talking specifically to Helen and Bill, but we can take his message to heart for ourselves as well. He is having Helen and Bill lean on him directly (“so don’t worry and leave the rest to me”), because he has not yet introduced dependence on the Holy Spirit.

Later on in A Course in Miracles, Jesus encourages us to imagine walking along the pathway of life by holding his hand. He indicates that this will not be a mere fantasy. At one point he says that he will come to each of us upon a “single, unequivocal call.”

I think we can take Jesus at his word. He is spirit, and so there is (as someone pointed out to me) no form to clone, but there is, we can believe, a focus of consciousness. And Jesus can apparently focus his consciousness toward many people at the same time. His evolution is such that he boggles our minds.

If we are loathe to depend on the Holy Spirit just yet, then turn to Jesus as our friend. He will “talk” to each of us in the manner that we can most quickly assimilate. We can, indeed, ask him what the first three miracle principles really mean, and we will get insight that is not of this world.

Conversing with Jesus

“When you turn the last page, will you cry tears of sadness that our dialogue is complete, that you will hear my voice no more? Or will you brave your own relationship with me? Will you turn to your brother and hear my voice in him? Will you be my voice as you turn to your sister? Will you carry the fullness of our relationship within you? Will you be one with me, and in being one with me never feel alone again? Will you let the emptiness of separation leave you once and for all?” (ACOL, D:Day40.33)

Using the imagination to write a dialogue with Jesus is not outside the realm of possibility. I find it very helpful, imagining what a beloved elder brother would say when I present with my little dilemmas. We know more about Jesus’ thinking processes than we realize. In going through his channeled works, a personality emerges. And it is consistent personality, though A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are more formal than the verbal words from The Way of Mastery. In the latter, his humor shines through and through. And, as a result, we feel especially at ease with him.

Joan of Arc is said to have been accosted by someone who doubted the validity of her “voices.” He scoffed that it was her “imagination.” She rejoined, “Yes, it is my imagination. That is how God speaks to us.”

Use our imagination to pen a few questions to Jesus. This can be in your handwriting or typed on a computer. Sense what might be said in return, a personal message from our elder brother. We will not, any of us, be disappointed. The words that we get in such a fashion will seem better than anything that we could concoct. We will be reassured that here is a person who loves us unconditionally, with a love that is deep, abiding, and never withdraws.

So we need not stop this dialogue; we can see that it continues, and with a personal slant that has not previously been explored by us. Remember that Jesus comes to us upon a “single, unequivocal call” (A Course in Miracles); these are welcome words for me personally. Let them be for you too.

It is a wonderful thing to feel the camaraderie of our brothers and sisters, and the camaraderie of an elder brother who has walked the entire pathway, standing at its end to correct the mistakes in us that we have not been able to correct (this from A Course in Miracles). Express your willingness to leave mistake-prone behavior behind. Don’t give Jesus a great deal to clean up.

We can know a lovely present and an ever-improving future. Use affirmations that may occur as we are writing. These are strong indications of where we want to go in life, and they come bearing rich fruits.

Dear God,

I would imagine a dialogue/conversation with Jesus often. I would not let my imagination turn to the fanciful, making me wonder if I am deluding myself. The words of an elder brother are important to us, and Jesus is the elder brother that we have all longed to have.

Show me the way. Let my mind/heart be uplifted with a safe but joyous affect at all times.

Thank You.

Amen.

Relationship of Jesus and Us

“Perhaps you have noticed that in yesterday’s discussion of who I Am to you and today’s discussion of who you are to me, that one has not been discussed without the other. This would be impossible. Because we are who we are in relationship to one another.” (ACOL, D:Day40.26)

Again today Jesus is talking about relationship, in particular the reciprocity of relationship. Just as in giving and receiving being one in truth (because we are One), just so relationship moves in both direction—out from us and back to us, with our brothers and sisters. Jesus exemplifies this truth with his own relationship to us, discussed in two different days of the 40 days and 40 nights on the mountain top in the Dialogues of A Course of Love. Relationship is a flow to and fro, and never is it more obvious than in our relationship to Jesus. While he may seem nebulous to our physical brains, he is anything but. His presence is one of the surest things on earth. When we call out, he comes.

While we may have trouble believing this, it is an axiom in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. Jesus is our leader, our guide in ways that we have heretofore found impossible—for our relationship had not yet blossomed. Now we know that he is always available to us, and we are much the better for this knowledge. Let him lead, and we, follow. Our days will smooth out, conflict-free, and something better than we have ever known.

Relationship between Jesus and us is a two-way street. The same for the relationship between each one of us, distinct entities, and each one of our brothers and sisters. And all are our brothers and sisters. We are One in God, one in the Self Who is larger than just our entity.

If we want reassurance on our walk through life, we have it in Jesus. This is not a simplistic concept, but it can be understood as something very easy and simple. Take to him the secrets of our hearts, knowing that the secrets are already understood and forgiven by God, ready to be shared with Jesus. We are extremely lucky in this relationship with our savior, for he impresses upon us that he doesn’t have anything that we can’t have. All are equal in the sight of God.

Dear God,

Give me peace today, for I am a little jittery. That jittery feeling has no place in Your world, and it should have no place in mine. If I trust, the jittery feeling falls away. I would trust today.

Thank You for this holiday season. May my joy be complete as I seek to find likeminded friends and family with whom to share these days.

Amen.

A Relationship with Jesus

“Establishing this relationship with me may sound lofty and difficult, but it is simple. It is as simple as relationship is within your everyday life. You may not think that relationship within everyday life is simple, but you also know it as a constant.” (ACOL, D:Day39.11)

Jesus is here, once again, asking us to indulge him by establishing a relationship with him as the unseen. We don’t have to think that he is the only way to God, but he is writing in the Christian tradition, with the religion that, with Paul’s help, he established. And most of us have a background in the Christian faith, which makes a “personal relationship” with Jesus more palpable.

I know from experience that my mind and heart deliver answers when I write an imaginary dialogue with Jesus. Somehow he gets through to me, through my informed imagination. Subconscious minds are one, as is everyone—just One. And so we don’t have to search long and hard to believe that Jesus can communicate with us. We just have to entertain the idea that he can be in more than one place at a time. With Jesus being spirit, this is not so strange.

So establishing a relationship with Jesus may mean simple asking for advice, and then taking the advice (as long as we don’t imagine harm to anybody). This simple asking will prove to us that there is somebody listening, and it is not just God.

Dear God,

Thank You for the good advice that I just got a moment ago. The advice that I get is always rational and practical, helps in my everyday life. If I wander too long with my head in the clouds, Jesus seems to put my feet back on the ground. And I thank him—and You—for that.

Thank You for slowing me down this morning. I try too hard sometimes, and I set myself up for a downfall.

I would not set myself up for a downfall today, nor in the future.

Amen.

Reconsidering Jesus

“My beloved,

“It is time now to come to your own discovery of who I Am to you. No one can give you this answer, not even me, because this is the nature of who we are. Individuated beings are who we are in relationship to one another.

“You have heard of life spoken of as a projection. Because we are all one being, we must either extend or project in order to individuate and be in relationship. You are an extension of I Am into form. Through your exten¬sion, you can become who you are to me, instead of who I have been to you.” (ACOL, D:Day39.1 – Day39.3)

Our lives on earth have been a projection—as long as we deemed ourselves to be a separate entity, separate from God. Now Jesus is taking us a step farther. He is encouraging us to see ourselves in relationship to him as an “extension” that reaches to him. But we are not projecting our image of what and who he is; we are seeing afresh. We are an extension of “I Am into form,” which means that we are an extension of God into form. We are beginning to see with the eyes of Christ, and this, of course, means that we can think/feel as Jesus does. Not that we have reached this goal yet. But it is coming.

We are in relationship to Jesus, as well as all other brothers and sisters. These relationships are becoming fuller now, as we see who we are to him and who he is to us. We don’t have to develop a personal relationship to him, but he can do so much more for us if we take him by the hand, as he bids us do. He is our leader, pointing out the way to those of us in the Christian tradition.

We have walked far together, Jesus and us, in this journey of 40 days and 40 nights, and also in this journey through A Course of Love. The future brightens as we come to discover exactly what awaits us at the end of this particular journey. And as Christ-conscious beings, our journeys will lack the pain that they have had until now.

Allow Jesus to speak to our hearts. Don’t let our old skepticism about him rear its head. He means well, and would we not discover what life really can be from someone who knows, Jesus himself?

Dear God,

My days are happier now, and for that I thank You. The culmination of A Course of Love is indeed sweet. May I turn from thoughts/feelings that Jesus is judgmental. That is a projection of my ego, and I would be done with all such imaginings.

Guide my days, for this is always something that I always ask of You. I am seeing as never before, but guide my vision to see truly, not making mistakes, not seeing things that aren’t there.

Thank You.

Amen.

Following in the Footsteps of Jesus

“Thus we enter the ending stage of what can be realized through fulfillment of the way of Jesus and the beginning of the fulfillment of the way of Mary. This ending stage of the fulfillment of the way of Jesus is the stage of interaction with the world, the time of miracles, the death of the old way and the birth of the new.” (ACOL, D:Day17.13)

What a fantastic time we live in! Interaction with the world. Miracles. The death of the old way and birth of the new. This is the ending stage of the time of the way of Jesus, heading into a new way, Mary’s way, which emphasizes relationship above all else.

We are interacting with the world now, but as we move into the new, the manner of this interaction will alter. We will find that as the world changes and then is created anew, our preoccupations with the world will be different. We won’t care so much what other people think of us. We will know a new invulnerability, an invulnerability that is fostered by the enlightenment, the Christ-consciousness, that more and more of us are reaching. Because we feel ourselves protected by our new thoughts, and we don’t experience the drama of egotism, we will not only feel, but be, invulnerable. Our neuroses as well will fall away. There is just no counting all the good that awaits us.

We are in a time of miracles. There will eventually be a movement into not needing miracles, but we are not there yet. Miracles will soothe our spirit and warm our heart. Miracles are given between equals, encouraged by Jesus and ordered by him. He tells us in A Course in Miracles that miracles themselves ought to be involuntary, and that we ought not to attempt them, ourselves, unless we have been led by him. He knows what will work and what won’t. His knowledge is comprehensive.

And we head into a new way. Not all of us will make it right away; some will remain stuck in the way of Jesus for quite some time now. This does not matter. We all have our part to play. Ask our guidance what the part is for us.

And we will hear.

Dear God,

When I follow Your guidance, I don’t at first know how things will turn out, and I sometimes get surprises. But I also get a strange sense of relief, if I have been wandering down a pathway that isn’t right for me. You quickly let me know the difference. And for that I am very grateful.

When I feel that sense of relief, I am quietly joyous, knowing that I am in good hands, Your Hands. You offer me a solace that nothing and nobody in this world can offer, for only You can see into my heart. Help me to relax in Your care today. And every day.

Amen.