Tag Archives: joining

Open Our Hearts to Union

“Joining happens in relationship, not in physical form. Joining is not the obliteration of one thing to make another—joining makes each one whole, and in this wholeness one with all. This union has never really ceased to be, but as long as you do not realize that it exists its benefits are unavailable to you.” (ACOL, C:10.2)

A Course of Love talks about “joining” in a way that A Course in Miracles never did. This joining is the way in which we come into holy relationships with our brothers and sisters. We are in union with them, union and relationship. We are made whole by this joining, as the quotation says. We don’t need to feel any longer, at all, that we are separate and apart in this disastrous world. We are One with the All, including all others as well as God Himself.

As long as we thought that we needed to be independent and autonomous, we couldn’t know the benefits of joining. “Joining,” for us, only meant a physical bonding. This is not all that joining means, though. It is a spiritual bonding one to the other. And by it we are saved; it is out way home.

We know joining when we left down our barriers against love. And all of us have these barriers against love, thinking that we will be safer if we don’t open our heart. Of course, we are learning that just the reverse is true: We need to open our hearts to others and to God. This is the ONLY way that we can finally be at peace.

And it will be no secret that we are finally and ultimately saved, when we open our heart to joining with each other. The blessings are many, the drawbacks, none at all.

Try to soften your heart today for the love that is all around us. As we give, we receive. And there is nothing better to give and receive than love.

The Truly Real Is Relationship

“Joining rests on forgiveness. This you have heard before without understanding what it is you would forgive. You must forgive reality for being what it is. Reality, the truly real, is relationship. You must forgive God for creating a world in which you cannot be alone. You must forgive God for creating a shared reality before you can understand it is the only one you would want to have.” (ACOL, C:6.1)

Many of us find the message of this passage to be hard to take, because like many passages in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, it goes against our education and training in this world. Having to “forgive” the world for being what it is sounds like a foreign concept. But we often think that we are supposed to be autonomous. We are not. And what a relief this can be!

We are trained to depend on become more independent as we grow older, as we first grow beyond adolescence. Indeed, much of the rebellion of adolescence is because young people are trying to become independent of their parents. This is a natural “moving away,” and most young people reconcile with their parents as they move out of the teen years.

But something more is being told us here. We are meant to share this world with other people; we are never meant to go it alone. We have found that we gravitated to special relationships, which have been a way to balance our desire for independence and our need for joining with others. And this joining is natural, the way we are built, the way God created us. We are actually going against what is natural to our natures when we seek to lead solitary lives. When we seek to be too independent.

Joining works. It assuages loneliness, surely a bad thing for us to experience (and many do experience loneliness).

We also learn that we aren’t meant to make decisions independently, but to depend on our guidance. ACIM calls this Source the Holy Spirit; ACOL calls this Source our Christ Self. We will not be able to tell the difference. But we will know that our decisions turn out right when we follow the inner nudges, the intuition—and the myriad other ways that God can get through to us.

Decide today to be a part of the world of people. Enjoy a camaraderie of care and love with those we meet. We will not be disappointed in our better day.

When Two or More Are Joined Together

“’When two or more are joined together’ is not an injunction for bodies to unite. It is a statement that describes the truly real, the only reality that exists. It is the joining that is real and that causes all creation to sing a song of gladness.” (ACOL, 5.6)

When we find our brother in a holy relationship, we want to join with him. This can include physical joining, but often it does not, and the sense of joining that we get can be as overpowering as the physical joining to our spouse. Physical joining is not what Jesus is talking about in this quotation. He is describing the unity that we share with our brother or sister in a holy relationship. Unity and relationship, the hallmark words of A Course of Love. We are part of the One, the All, but we have individual parts within that One, and these individual parts, or entities, are in relationship one to the other. Essentially it is a mystical view of true reality.

When we join with our brother or sister, we know a joy that we cannot know when we hold ourselves apart and isolated. We are not truly ourselves in isolation, though we may hold ourselves apart to avoid hurt or pain, thinking this isolation will save us from suffering.

It won’t. We are the most protected from suffering when we join with another, for then the burden is divided, and therefore lessened. The burden may even drop off entirely, because we have a kindred spirit in the other person, in our brother or sister.

“What you join becomes real. As you take it into your Self you thereby make it real because you make it one with your real Self. This is reality. All you do not join with remains outside and is illusion, for what is not one with you does not exist.” (ACOL, 5.17)

When we join with another, we are no longer in illusion, separated (in illusion) from our real Self.

There is a popular children’s story called The Velveteen Rabbit, which takes place in a child’s playroom. The toys talk to each other, and the rabbit eventually learns that a toy becomes real when it has been loved by a child. Love makes real. In the joining of ourselves to others, we are making real as well. We are loving in this joining.

In true reality, all is One. There is nothing outside that is not illusion. And we create the reality when we join. So we have a part in making true reality actualize.

We do not achieve anything alone. We are in a world where we are meant to be companions one to the other. We try so hard to be independent, not to need anybody, but this avails us nothing, because it is against God’s divine intention for His children. No longer fiercely independent, we see for the first time the interdependence that this world affords. Our selves encased in physical bodies have blinded our eyes to this truth.

But joy is found in recovering the union that we all are meant to have with our brothers and sisters.

We Are One with All

“This one brother can unite you with all whom you perceive as others, for all others are one with him as well as you.  This is the one joining that needs to occur to bring about all the rest.  (A Course of Love, 12.9)”

Fishing in Spring - van gogh
Affirmation:  “I love all my brothers and sisters.”

Reflections:

1 – Join with One = Join with All

When we come to truly join with one brother or sister, we have joined with all, for all are one.  We have learned how to love that special one (in a special relationship now turned holy–a concept from A Course in Miracles), and we can easily see the value and the way of transforming that love of one to all others.

2 – Love

It is not an ACIM or ACOL tenet, but we are actually loving another with the love that is inside of us.  The fact that the Self/Christ is within makes this so.  We love to the degree that the shades of illusion have been removed from our eyes.  We love to the degree that is not covered over by the insanity of our minds, the strong presence of the ego.

3 – The Ego

If the ego seems to be a devil figure, this is not an ACIM or ACOL tenet, but the concept to my own mind does follow logically.  But there is a difference.  Because the ego is a part of our belief about ourselves, it will be transformed but not extinguished when we come into our own, when the Self/Christ has been recognized and sustained as a way to live.

4 – All Unique

So loving one brother or sister can teach us to love all.  But this does not mean that we can substitute one individual for another.  We are all unique, and we elicit love of different sorts, depending on the facets of our personality that are reflected, as in a mirror.  (These are interpretations, not stated in ACIM or ACOL.)  Just as we recognize that we love our children, for example, differently but equally, we can transfer this knowledge to all others, for, as stated in the passage, we are all one.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for this good day.  At times I have truly felt myself to be One with the people whom I have met, especially those whom I already know.  But I have also felt a warmth toward all others I have encountered in my travels about.  Thank You for this blessing.

May I remember to express gratitude for the good things that happen, as soon as they happen as possible.  May my remembrance be keen in this regard.

We are all One, and when we realize this, the whole world seems to open up.  Thank You for the clarity of my world today.

Amen.

The Reason for Unhappiness

“Yet you must understand that nothing that is not part of God is worthy of joining, nor can join with you.  What you have sought to join with is the reason for your unhappiness.  For you seek to join with what cannot be joined, and you seek separation from all that could be joined with you and all that would fill your dark and lonely places with the happiness you seek.  (A Course of Love, 12.4)”

Affirmation:  “I would join, metaphorically, with all today.”

Reflections:Woman in a Boat - renoir

1 – Joining, Not Separation

The passage for today is obscure, but it is likely that Jesus is referring to our belief in a separated state, and the idea that we can join with special others when we wish, and depart from those same special ones when we wish (from the Manual of A Course in Miracles).  But nothing separated can actually be joined.  We need to, at least tentatively and temporarily, share an idea of Oneness with all.  And then the joining is easy.

2 – Spending Time with God

Jesus is not speaking here of physical joining, though he does speak of this joining elsewhere.  He indicates that this physical means was meant to remind us of our desire to one, not to be separate.  We are meant to be in relationship one to another; we are never meant to spend lives of isolation.  I do not mean for this statement to be controversial.  There are introverts who prefer solitude to the company of others, and shy people sometimes choose solitude also.  There are many religious individuals in religious orders that spend a good bit of time in prayer and meditation, and for these activities they may be alone.  But God is always with us, and He wants our companionship.  The opening pages of the Text of ACIM says that God is lonely when the minds that He created do not commune with Him.  He knows that we have fallen asleep and must be awakened.  And He seeks to do just that.

2 – Joining in Onwness

So, we learn today that joining in Oneness is the intention of God for us.  We are in unity and relationship, a recurrent theme of A Course of Love.  The unity makes us One; the relationship makes us differentiate from one another so that companionship can occur.  We are actually talking with a part of ourselves when we speak to another!  And we would not wish for ourselves a bad day, and so let us be kind and loving, sparing of anger and attack, when we are with others.  Our brothers and sisters deserve this of us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I never be guilty of choosing isolation from You.  And, except in special and particular times, I would not choose isolation from other people.  Be with me today as I seek to be sensitive to the interpersonal needs of other people, and to share my life with theirs, to the extent that we both desire.

I would thank You for leading me from too much introversion to a blend of being both introvert and extrovert.  I learned years ago that I get along better when I share my life with others, including the personal aspects that previously I kept between myself, my journal, and my God.

We do best when we join with others, not taking the idea of separation so seriously.  Separation, especially the independence that is so prized in our culture, is actually not always wise.  And separation, by itself, is never wise.  

May we seek and find You in the companionship that You would wish to have with us.  May I speak to You often today.

Amen.

The Body Is a Tool

“The body is a tool made for your use in maintaining the illusion of your separation.  That it has seeming power can only be because you think you put your power there.  If this were true, much power indeed would it wield.  But what you have made cannot be invested with the power of creation without your joining with it.  (A Course of Love, 10.1)”

Affirmation:  “Let me deemphasize the body today.”

Reflections:Van-Gogh-Paintings-Wallpapers-olive trees

1 – Joining?

We do not and cannot join physically with all whom we meet.  That physical joining is limited to very few, or just one.  So what type of “joining” does this passage imply?

2 – Joining = of the Spirit

The joining that we must do is not of the body.  It is of the spirit.  The body is meant to affirm our separation from each other.  The body, like all illusions, fails us in this purpose.  We learn from living in separate bodies that we are not very happy being separate.  So how might we join?

3 – Join in Holiness

We join in holiness, in holy relationships that have, in many cases, been transformed from special relationships.

4 – Join in Minds

We join in minds as well as in spirit, but we do not leave it to our minds to determine all that we need to know.  We listen to our hearts.  And in the listening, we learn that we are not meant to walk along and and to be lonely.  We are made for each other and for God.  There is no better way to live.

4 – Power of the Body

What type of power could the body wield?  Only matters of power and prestige.  The ego.  The things of this world that are tangible.  Success.  Vanity.

5 – Perishable

You get the picture.  Do we really, truly, in our wholeheartedness, want such perishable things?  Let us be glad that their value will not last for us, for in them we lose ourselves.  We instead want the peace, joy, harmony, and serenity that God grants to all who turn to Him.  And He grants this peace, I believe, even to those who have not yet learned that turning to Him is the complete answer.  He is the God of the secular and profane as well as the religious and spiritual, for we are all His children, and He does not forget His own.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would join in spirit and mind with all whom I meet today.  Help me to do so purely.  I know that You do not deemphasize the physical in A Course of Love, but today we are not considering physical joining.  I wish the joining that will bring me closer to being a co-creator with You.

I wish for those things which will last.  And the perishable, tangible things of this world, some of which are necessary for survival, will not last.  I know that You want my material needs met also, but today I focus on the things of the spirit.  May my egoic mind, still a burden in many ways, just diminish in intensity as I seek for the things of the spirit.

Be with me today, as always.  I know that You are with me, for life just keeps getting better and better.  My prayers are being answered, and You are guiding me to find the answers.  Thank You.

Amen.

Relationship = the Truly Real

“You must forgive reality for being what it is.  Reality, the truly real, is relationship.  You must forgive God for creating a world in which you cannot be alone.  You must forgive God for creating a shared reality before you can understand it is the only one you would want to have.  (A Course of Love, 6.1)”

Affirmation:  “I would share my reality today.”

Reflections:

1 – Withdrawal

Sometimes, when life turns bad for us, we seek to withdraw.  We want to be alone, sometimes because we blame others for what seem to be our troubles.

2 – We Made Our Own Reality

This is a false reaction.  Others did not make the reality in which we live.  We did.  We drew what we see to ourselves, and thus we are in relationship to it.  We cannot improve this false reality as long as we see ourselves separate from it, sitting in judgment.

3 – Unity and Relationship

We do want to be with others, in unity as One and in relationship one to the other.  This is the only way that we can understand our world.  We are meant to be a part of this shared reality, a part of the love that we can offer to ourselves (first), and then to our brothers and sisters.

4 – Not Meant to Be Alone

We are not meant to be alone.  And when we withdraw into isolation and solitude, in the long term, we react amiss.

5 – Cooperation Necessary

We truly cannot be alone in this world.  Sometimes others seem to get into our “business, and we just want to withdraw.  But a new world requires cooperation with others.  And it is a new world that we would see.

6 – The Real World

Here we get a greater understanding, in this passage, of what Jesus did not fully elucidate in A Course in Miracles.  What is the real world?  It is the world of relationship, of joining with all that is (an ACOL tenet).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You that today I do not want to withdrawn, for I am truly grateful for a world filled with other people.  We are in this together.  We all need each other.

May I do my part to see that our relationships in this world are good and joyous.  May today go well, always following Your guidance.  And knowing that You would not have us to be alone.

Amen.

Overcoming Terror

“For every joining, every union that you enter into, your real world is increased and what is left to terrify you decreased.  This is the only loss that union generates, and it is a loss of what was merely illusion.  (A Course of Love, 5.28)”

Affirmation:  “May my real world increase today.”

Reflections:

1 – Definition of the Real World

Ah, the real world!  This was the blessing that we often did not understand in A Course in Miracles, and here the concept is made clear.  We see the real world in snatches, and as we enter into union with all that exists, we see more and more of the real world, and this happens more and more often.  The real world is what God created, not what we made.  And from here, the real world, it is but a step into Awakening (as A Course in Miracles says), or Christ-consciousness (as A Course of Love says).

2 – Little Terror

We will not spend so much of our time in terror.

3 – Fear, Terror, and Anxiety

Perhaps we don’t realize how much terror we actually experience.  We often just call it “anxiety,” and we know, when we have studied ACIM, that anxiety is a form of fear.  And that fear and love, in their various manifestations, are the only two emotions.  We would not walk this world, even this world that we made, in terror.  God would not have us give Him a bad day.  Of course, we do not know that God has entered our illusion with us.  Perhaps I am anthropomorphizing.  But certainly we do know that we are quite capable of giving ourselves and our loved ones, and, indeed, all those we encounter, a bad day if we are lost in dreams of terror.

4 – God with Us

Drop such nonsense immediately.  Terror is not worthy of a Son/Daughter of God.  And terror is so unnecessary.  God is with us, always.  And when we turn a difficulty, no matter how difficult, over to God, we will know peace.

5 – Terror Easily Given Up with Union with Others

Try it today, if chance should bring something that terrorizes you.  Be glad that the fear is so easily given up.  I can assure you that, once surrendered to God, the terror will subside, and once again you will walk a green earth.  This assurance is extended to all forms of difficulty.  And we are at peace again, regardless of what swirls around us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would join with all whom I see today, in union to overcome the terrorizing that this world inculcates in me.  This is a terrifying world, unless we have the wherewithal to turn to You.  And then You make all things right again.

Be with me as I seek to join in union with all today.  Especially my significant others, and all from my past and future, as well.  Help all of us to find You in everyday life.

Amen.

Joining = End of Illusion = Beginning of the Real

“What you join with becomes real.  As you take it into yourself you thereby make it real because you make it one with your real Self.  This is reality.  All you do not join with remains outside and is illusion, for what is not one with you does not exist.  (A Course of Love, 5.17)”

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

Reflections:

1 – Fool’s Gold

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

2 – Material Blessings

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

3 – Perfectly Calm and Quiet

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

4 – Intangibles of God

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

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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

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

Amen.

Safe, Sure, and Secure World–within You

“Within you is all the world safe, sure, and secure.  No terror reigns.  No nightmares rule the night.  Let me give you once again the difference between what is within and what is without:  within is all that has joined with you.  Without is all that you would keep separate.  Within you is every relationship you have ever had with anything.  Outside of you is all that you have kept apart, labeled, judged, and collected on your shelves.  (A Course of Love, 5.14)”

Affirmation:  “I would choose the real life within me.”

Reflections:

1 – Joining Inside of One’s Self

This “joining” inside of one’s self is a new concept in A Course of Love, not discussed specifically in A Course in Miracles.  We can take within, we know, but often the only world that we observe is the one outside of ourselves–the one we enter to earn a living, to find a mate, to make friends.  But Jesus says here that it is the inner joining that creates the real.  And the real is inside of us.

2 – More Complete Definition of the Real World

This is a more complete definition of the “real world” than A Course in Miracles ever gives.  If we believe that Jesus channeled A Course of Love, perhaps to clear up misconceptions and to lead us farther onward, then this more complete definition of the real world, of reality, is a blessing.  We join with that which we love.  And love is the overriding aspect of A Course of Love.

3 – We Have Judged What Is Outside

We have judged what is outside of ourselves.  And that is where our errors lie.  ACIM did say that we were not to attack, judge, or make plans against contingencies to come (unless the Holy Spirit so prompted us to make plans).  So we have made a mistake (but not a sin) when we have judged.  And the judgment has made happiness impossible for us.  We cannot love those whom we judge.  Oh, we love them sometimes, and we hate them sometimes, but this is not love as Jesus mean the word.  We need to love unconditionally, and in A Course of Love he is trying to teach us how to love unconditionally (an interpretation of ACOL, not stated therein).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would join within today, and with this “within” I will reach outward to my brothers and sisters–and those are all of us.  May this view of the real world satisfy me.

There is no better way to live.  To join with all that we are, and reach outward to all that we see.  Thank You.

Amen.

Inner Life Becomes Fuller

“The world is but a reflection of your inner life, the reality unseen and unprepared for by all your strategy and defenses.  You prepare for everything that goes on outside yourself and nothing that occurs within.  Yet it is a joining that occurs within that brings about the joining of all the world for all the world to see.  This joining of the world within is but your recognition of what love is, safe and secure within you and your brother, as you join together in truth.  (A Course of Love, 4.26)”

Affirmation:  “Love is safe and secure within my brother/sister and me.”

Reflections:

1 – Inner Life

We might ask that our inner life become fuller, because so often we are outwardly focused.  Jesus would have us look within, to the heart, in A Course of Love (and, ultimately to a union of the mind and heart, which he calls “wholeheartedness”).

2 – The Psychic

If our inner life is well-developed, it is very likely (according to A Course in Miracles) that we will “know” things that we have no earthly way of knowing.  There are psychic powers that come to us, and as long as these new powers are not used for self-aggrandizement, all is well.  We need the support of this inner life as we try to navigate a sometimes difficult world.  Despite our best efforts, our minds intrude and attract poor choices, and then we feeling badly and thinking badly.  Jesus would not have this for us; God would not have this for us.  We need to learn to be quiet enough that the inner truths, deep inside, have an avenue for rising forth and touching ourselves consciously as well as others in our circle.  Indeed, we influence the very world itself when we turn to the inner Self for guidance.

3 – Love Is Within

Love is within us, safe and secure, as well as within our brothers and sisters.  We do not have to look far, for we ourselves are Love, in a word reminiscent of the “God is Love” emphasis of the Bible, A Course in Miracles, A Course of Love, and other sacred works.

4 – Love Is a Force

We need to realize that love is a force, that it is not solely an emotion.  We think of romantic love when someone mentions love, but there are many kinds of love, and all are good, wherever the experiences of love are found–as long as we do not harm another person.  We need to be careful with ourselves about this, for we may make mistakes, and reach for love where we are not welcome.

5 – Attract Love

Be with us today as we seek to attract only the love that You countenance.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

This joining that I would know today is the joining of the inner Self to the outer elevated Self of form.  And this joining also includes everyone, for we are One.  May I come to understand and to recognize the benefits of these understandings today.

Be with me as I seek to reach out to my brothers and sisters in love.  If they are resistant, help me to desist.  You would not have me go where I am not wanted.  Your love will reach to them, when mine cannot.

Amen.