Tag Archives: Jesus

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.

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Jesus & Mary

“The way of Jesus represented full-scale interaction with the world, demonstrating the myth of duality, the death of form, the resurrection of spirit. The way of Mary represented incarnation through relationship, demonstrating the truth of union, the birth of form, and the ascension of the body. Both ways were necessary. Both ways were necessarily represented or demonstrated. Both ways were represented and demonstrated by many other individuals as well. The way was a choice.” (ACOL, D:Day17.10)

A Course of Love describes two symbiotic “ways”: the way of Jesus and the way of Mary, his mother. They are intertwined ways, each needing the other, just as Jesus and Mary “needed” each other. Jesus interacted with the world; elsewhere he says that he was an “example life.” Mary associated, in relationship, with those closest to her, which of course included her son Jesus. As time passes, all of us will move into the realm that Mary enjoyed. We will not attempt to make ourselves example lives, interacting with the world as a whole, but will act in our relationships to fulfill our purpose. Of course, the world will change very much once this alteration is in effect, in ways that we cannot predict (and we should not try to predict).

Jesus makes apparent his distaste for competitive ways, though he acknowledges that when there are two ways, the impulse to compete may be great. Instead, the new and best way to interact is actually an old way, freshly considered, and that best way is cooperation. When we see that the ways of Jesus and Mary need each other, that they are naturally symbiotic, we can easily see that cooperation among those of us called to different ways is essential.

What will the way of Mary look like? That we can’t yet tell, though it is possible that there are enlightened individuals in our circle who represent this way. We can imagine that it is a total disregard for notoriety in the world, a focus on family and friends, a loving gesture toward our relationships. It is a tantalizing glimpse of the future when Jesus tells us that eventually all of us will move into the way of Mary.

Dear God,

I would focus on my relationships today, even though I reach out in the world also. I would play one way against the other, seeking to actualize the best in me. Be with me as I seek to do this. Actualization of my personality is advantageous as I walk the pathway back to You.

The way to You is not, as I have repeated said, not hard. It demands close attention to the best that we know, a wholehearted approach to living Your way. May I listen to Your guidance, wholeheartedly, today.

Amen.

DO WE SEE A JUDGMENTAL JESUS?

by Celia Hales

In 1970 I visited Florence, Italy, and the Baptistry, an ancient building devoted to the baptism, mostly, of infants and children. Overhead is a looming mosaic of Jesus, with large, luminous eyes, and hand raised to show the wound of the nail. I cringed. His eyes looked at me with judgment—harsh judgment. My negative image of Jesus was confirmed.

At that time Helen was scribing furiously. A Course in Miracles was not published for another six years. My discovery of ACIM happened in 1981. And I was immediately hooked. Though I had a full-time job, I read A Course in Miracles compulsively in every spare moment. And this behavior continued for many years.

Fast forward to 1995, and another visit to Florence and the Baptistry. As I entered the building, I prepared to meet Jesus’s gaze with some trepidation, for, after all, I had experienced the judgment. But this time I saw eyes that were a blank slate, waiting for me to write my perceptions on them. And he wasn’t judging me at all.

A Course in Miracles had wrought the miracle. I saw a Jesus who would be—or do—anything that I needed to bring me to God.

A Course of Love, a sequel to A Course in Miracles (and called, in its pages, a “continuation” of ACIM (A.4)) asks the question:

“Have I been a judgmental God in your universe? Then you have been judgmental and lived in a judgmental world.” (ACOL, D:Day39.21)

Surely I was that in 1970. And just as surely had I changed by 1995, many hours of studying A Course in Miracles under my belt.

In 1970 I had just emerged from the world of collegiate competition at a prestigious university. Competition both feeds and undermines the ego, for in a competitive environment, the ego is boosted by accomplishments and shrivels when work doesn’t measure up to expectations. My ego fostered judgment of my peers at that university. There didn’t seem to be any way around it.

A Course in Miracles and life experiences changed all that. By 1995, I was nine years into a cooperative workplace, a library, where we worked together constantly and believed that two heads were better than one in virtually any situation. The changes were good for me. My ego was being dislodged. As A Course of Love says about A Course in Miracles, “the original Course in Miracles was a course in thought reversal and mind training, a course to point out the insanity of the identity crisis and dislodge the ego’s hold . . .” (C:P.8)

And when in 1995 I looked up at Jesus in the Baptistry in Florence, he gazed back at me, evenly.

I don’t have reason to be scared of Jesus anymore.

Friends with Jesus

“Thinking of our relationship as that of colleagues as well as companions, as fellow workers or work-mates with a task to accomplish, as well as conversationalists, is not an erroneous way to think of our relationship. We are both friends and co-workers. Colleagues as well as companions.

“Our dialogue is not without purpose. You know this or you would not be here. You know this or you would not feel the devotion to me and to what we do here that you do.” (ACOL, D:Day6.25 – 6.26)

Here we see a very personal and warm tone set in A Course of Love. The relationship in this quotation for today is the one between Jesus and ourselves. He wants us to enter into camaraderie with him.

We need to think long and hard about this request. For anyone who has an aversion to traditional Christianity, the language may be off-putting. For anyone who grew up accepting the idea of a personal savior in Jesus, the language may be very familiar and comforting.

In this quotation, he doesn’t use the term “savior”; he sees himself and us as equals. We are partners in an enterprise—salvation—that is no better way to spend a life. The goal is a better life for all, a true healing of all that has seemingly hurt us, and a promise of an attitude toward a Higher Power—God—that will bring us great solace.

Jesus has promised to be available to all who make a “single, unequivocal call” (from A Course in Miracles). His status as a spirit means that he is outside time and space, and his focus of consciousness can, apparently, be anywhere at any time. Of course, none of us can understand how this is possible. There is much in the cosmos that we don’t comprehend, though. If we can just open the door a little, give Jesus a chance to show us miracles, I think we will come around to his way of thinking.

There is so much awaiting us when we let our heart guide. The mind might want to know the “how” of Jesus’s companionship with any and all of us. But the heart sees a deeper knowledge, and it is this deeper knowledge that will invite our cooperation in a scheme to save humankind. The world is very weary now, old and tired (from ACIM), and we have tried many things to save it, only to fall on our faces in defeat. Something is different now, different in this time of Christ. If we will open the door ever so slightly, lift our sights to the heavens, and listen to what our heart says about the sight before us, we will all be better off.

In this time of Christ, the world will become, eventually, a better place than it was previously. The real change comes from many of us gathering together under the guidance of what our heart tells us. Jesus has chosen this time to give us channeled writings because, I think, the time is right. This in itself ought to give all of us hope.

And this is just the beginning.

Prayer

Dear God,

May I have a good attitude today. There is so much good ahead, though the way for this world may turn difficult before the light dawns. Let me hold out hope for the light.

Guide me each day. Keep my mind and heart keen to follow You. We are all in this together, and we all are needed.

Amen.

What if We Disagree with Jesus?

“The arguments we will be having will be meant to show you this: That on one side are the temptations of the human experience, which is just another way of saying all that you have learned; on the other side will be the truth, the new temptations that will incite you to leave behind the temptations of the human experience.” (ACOL, D:Day4.2)

Jesus knows that at this point we are not ready to accept his words at face value, and that is why he is saying that we will have “arguments.” We will disagree with his words as we read, for we will still retain in our minds the learning that we have acquired. Much of this learning has been wrong, but we won’t be ready to accept this assessment yet. As we proceed, the “new temptations” that Jesus mentions are not bad things, but good temptations.

We have been human, having human experiences, for such a long time. And we have had feet of clay, which have made us make many mistakes. Now we have a sure guide in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. We can drop away our old ideas that have not given us the happiness that God desires for us. We will walk into the light when we keep an open mind to what Jesus is telling us now.

Jesus seems to say that disagreeing with him is not bad. We might be tempted to feel guilty for our difference of opinion, and especially for “arguing” with him in our minds. None of this matters. We will revise our thinking, but this pathway through relinquishing old ideas is necessary. And it is obvious that we would not relinquish the thinking of a lifetime without some resistance. Just don’t let that resistance overtake our good judgment now. We will see that the way that Jesus is having us think now is superior to anything that we have previously known. And arguing with Jesus in our mind is not to be lamented. It is honest. And it will lead to acute understanding of the new way.

Dear God,

I have often been guilty of arguing with Jesus as I read the New Testament. Now he absolves me of guilt at those times, and also as I read A Course of Love. He seems to say that he knows how I feel, that I can’t agree with everything that he says on first reading. And he doesn’t mind my objections to his thought. He knows that I have taken a meandering pathway to salvation.

Be with me as I seek to understand the next sections of ACOL. I know that I will come around to Jesus’s thinking, and sooner rather than later. I appreciate that You appreciate my mind, even when it has been misguided. You have given power to my mind, and with that I can drop objections, and listen to Jesus with a new mind and heart.

Amen.

Following in the Footsteps of Jesus

“I am the secret of succession, the way and the life, the beginning of the end of the story that is to be fulfilled, brought to completion and wholeness in you and in me, so that together we bring about the second coming of Christ and the elevation of the Self of form.” (ACOL, D:Day1.29)

Here Jesus is asking us to follow in his footsteps—in “succession,” as he says. This is a new way of referring to following him, and it gives us a big challenge (though A Course in Miracles says that there is no challenge to the advanced teacher of God, because he/she follows the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and chooses for all humankind). Can we do it? Of course. We know, don’t we, that Jesus has been leading us aright. Now he wants us to mellow out, to cease senseless fear and senseless judgment, and to ready ourselves for God’s great step—to lift us up into Awakening, into Christ-consciousness. We also don’t plan, for our guidance (often as intuition) will tell us, surely and completely, what to say and do next. When we are in flow, going about our day in serenity and peace, listening for guidance, we live with a sureness that has eluded us heretofore.

Jesus would not have us follow him into crucifixion, for he resolved all that suffering with the resurrection. While he does not explain how the resurrection happened, he does say that it happened. Other writings have talked of a dematerialization of the human body of Jesus, and then his appearances to his disciples, and others, including the women on Easter morning, as taking place in a risen body (an ethereal body). Can we believe it?

The eyewitness testimony in the Gospels says as much. Perhaps we need to set aside our doubts, and know that Jesus was invoking physical laws above what is usual for this world. There are more things in heaven and earth than we have dreamed of.

To follow in succession with Jesus is to embody an elevated Self of form enthralled by Christ-consciousness. This is his will for us. This is God’s will for us. Praying that this eventuality happen sooner rather than later is completely in line with Jesus’s words to us. We need simply to accept all that has heretofore been unacceptable to ourselves, including our own misguided mistakes. They simply do not matter in the grand scheme of things. Jesus stands at the end to correct any mistakes that we have been unable to correct.

Take him at his word.

Dear God,

I would be more stable in my outlook, happier and more contented in day-to-day life. I would focus on an Eastertime this year that is generous and good to all people. I ask for your help in daily living, knowing that no problem of mine is too small for Your attention.

Thank You for Jesus’s attention to detail, attention to all of us. He shows me the way. I am well-protected and well-loved. I sense this, and for this I give thanks.

Amen.

Jesus Is the One for Us

“You are all beloved sons and daughters of love itself, no matter what you call that love. You all are equally beloved. That you give your devotion to one religious tradition or another matters not. That you accept that I am he who can lead you beyond your life of misery to new life matters absolutely.” (ACOL, D:Day1.15)

Here is a further indication of what “accept me”—said by Jesus—really means. Any religious tradition that speaks to our needs is good, but he is the one to whom we are listening in A Course of Love. He is bringing us home. He is our leader back from the abyss.

Other religious leaders might have done the same for us, but if this is true, it is doubtful that we would be reading A Course of Love. We signed on with Jesus, and to complete the transition to new life, he asks that we accept as the one who will succeed where others have failed. He knows what to say to us who are enthralled by ACOL; he knows how we think. And he can appeal to our experiences in a way that is unique to him. We are followers of Christianity, though not of a traditional understanding of Christianity.

Isn’t the simplest usually the best? And the simplest is to let go of doubts, and just entertain the possibility that what we have been reading in ACOL is true: that Jesus is the one for us. We can make fast progress when we come to this conclusion. We can and we will.

Dear God,

Thank You for leading Jesus’s thoughts to enlist my cooperation in accepting him as the one to whom I turn when in the ditch. I would not stay in the ditch. I want out; I want You. Jesus can appeal to me in a way that other traditions might not. Others may choose someone different, and thereby have a way to reach You. But I follow A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. My choice for Jesus has been borne out many times.

Be with me on this lovely day. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the temperature is optimal. May this day draw me into a loving mood, one that opens me to a glimpse of Your ultimate salvation for me.

Amen.