Tag Archives: Jon Mundy

“I NEED DO NOTHING”

Note: Published in Miracles magazine for March – April 2020 (Jon Mundy, publisher)

by Celia Hales

“. . .[W]hen the goal is finally achieved by anyone, it always comes with just one happy realization: ‘I need do nothing.’”  (ACIM, COA ed., T-22.VII.7:1)

“This is a call that requires you to do nothing but to remain faithful to it.  You do not need to think about it, but only let it be.”  (ACOL, C:11.17)

“And here we begin to touch upon the essence of my teaching:  I need do nothing.”  (WOM, Part 3 “The Way of Knowing,” Lesson 27)

            When the light has dawned, when we reach Awakening, Jesus says that we sense, “I need do nothing.”  This sentence may have caused much confusion, because it isn’t saying what we  think it is.

            The Way of Mastery elucidates the meaning very well, for here the same thought is discussed.  First let’s take a look at what it isn’t saying:

I need do nothing so I’ll just show up. . . .I really don’t need to do anything, since none of it matters. (WOM, Lesson 27)

            We might think that we can now rest on our laurels.  That we have arrived!  And need do nothing more.  But this is not quite right.

            Instead, the meaning is simply to open ourselves up to our Source, God Himself, and the Holy Spirit Who will tell us that our only purpose is the extension of love.  In A Course of Love, we open ourselves up to the Christ-Self Who dwells within, for this is where we get guidance when we no longer need the intermediary of the Holy Spirit, being ourselves no longer afraid of God.  The Way of Mastery continues:

. . .to find that spaciousness with you in which you are willing to allow that voice within you that is eternally connected to your Source to be the vehicle through which you receive your guidance.  In the pure recognition that you have no purpose—save the extension of Love. (WOM, Lesson 27)

            We are opening ourselves to the spaciousness of our very souls, something that A Course of Love discusses at length.  We are not falling down on the job.  Our work in the world still happens—and still matters–but we don’t dwell on the end result.  Instead, the action, on a daily basis and in the present, is finally viewed as the most important part.    

            We listen for what to do, and then we act.             An easy way to live.

BATHED IN LIGHT

Note: This article was published in Miracles magazine for the July – August issue (Jon Mundy, publisher).

by Celia Hales

“. . . [A]nd who can say that he prefers darkness and maintain he wants to see?” (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-25.VI.2:5)

“You stand at the precipice with a view of the new world glittering with all the beauty of heaven set off at just a little distance in a golden light.” (A Course of Love, P:16)

“. . .[B]e bathed in the Light of Reality yet again, seeing that God is what I am. I am God. You are God. Only that One exists. Only the ‘I’ that we share as the One exists.” (“The Way of Knowing,” in The Way of Mastery, Chapter 33)

God is seen in Light not of this world. We must allow ourselves to be bathed in the Light of Reality (as The Way of Mastery says), lost in illusions of the ego no longer (as A Course of Love says). We will then be creating the new world that ACOL encourages. We will see no longer this world we now occupy, for our projections will be different, making our perceptions different, for do we not know that projection makes perception? The current world is often not a place of joy, but the Light will break, and we will see anew, when Awakening (Christ-consciousness) is the experience of all who live here.

We can compare the Light of Reality to the light of this world we now occupy. I have long wanted bright light, especially bright sunlight. Crisp fall days with low humidity give me a new outlook, a prelude to Awakening. I think my Inner Self recognizes that real seeing is only in the light, never in darkness. And in my deepest heart I want real vision. So do all of us.

A Course in Miracles says that when one looks on the world with forgiving eyes, one sees “nothing in the world to fear.” (T-25.VI.1:2) Is this not the new world we will be creating? If we forgive others, we will form the holy relationships that will allow us to see well for the first time, for it is through our relationships that we will be born anew, living in Light not of this world. It is only in looking to the Light within that we know the appropriate response in our relationships. The Light within leads to the light without.

We are only able to see clearly what is without when we have first looked within. Only at that point does our external world appear clear, we know how to proceed, and we walk fearlessly into the sunlight.

JOY, PEACE, RELEASE

Note: Published in the May – June issue of Miracles magazine (Jon Mundy, publisher).

by Celia Hales

There is one thought in particular that should be remembered throughout the day. It is a thought of pure joy, a thought of peace, a thought of limitless release—limitless because all things are freed within it. (ACIM, COA ed., M-16.6:1-2)

Drape your persona in a mantle of peace and joy. Let who you are shine through the personal self who continues to walk this world a while longer. (ACOL, T2:13.6)

Hold in the mind’s eye all of your domain—your relationships, your careers, your physical objects—and say, “Behold, it’s been a lot of fun!” (WOM, “The Way of Knowing,” Chap. 35)

I have used the words, “pure joy” and “limitless release,” here quoted from A Course in Miracles, almost as a mantra over the years. There is such hope in the promise of joy and release. Previously, we have been so doubled up in agony over the machinations of the ego. And it is such a blessing to know that we need not live this way. We can live in the hope of continual joy and release, and this is just what Jesus is asking us to do in this passage.

A Course of Love continues the theme. We are still here, on earth, walking this world a while longer. And peace and joy are the hallmarks of a well-lived life. It is true that we often think that we have to achieve to merit grace. Yet this is a false concept. We are accepted just as we are, even with all of our mistakes and false notions of an ego-oriented self.

The Way of Mastery introduces a new concept, perhaps a startling concept to us who are still so very serious about life (“serious” itself a plague of the ego). “Have fun!,” these words of Jesus say. It is in the limitless release from ACIM that we discover how to truly enjoy our fun. We relax into our days, knowing that the God Who created us and loves us knows that our lightheartedness is the very way that we need to walk. We only thought that God didn’t want us to have a good time.

Limitless release will lead to a peace and joy that knows no bounds. Say a mantra today that will attract the Love that enfolds us, never to let the seriousness of the ego intrude again.

ETERNITY AND ACIM: A REVIEW OF JON MUNDY’S ETERNAL LIFE AND A COURSE IN MIRACLES

TITLE: ETERNAL LIFE AND A COURSE IN MIRACLES
AUTHOR: JON MUNDY, Ph.D.
REVIEWED BY: Celia Hales

If I had to choose one word to describe Jon Mundy’s latest offering, it would be “reassurance.” Of course, those of us who have studied and taken to heart A Course in Miracles believe that death is not the end. But Jon makes that truth crystal clear with supporting evidence for the unbeliever and anybody unfamiliar with ACIM— near-death experiences that are prompted by psychedelics, near-death experiences that are natural, and accounts from dying people who do cross the threshold. Pervading his writing is a calming tone that will be soothing to the fearful who may be facing death sooner rather than later. His many selected passages from A Course in Miracles are superbly chosen, for he draws upon his vast knowledge of ACIM to select those passages most certain to speak to the matter of eternal life. Nobody could do a keyword search and find these gems; they are carefully chosen by an author who knows ACIM intimately from long years of dedication.

Jon Mundy is among the handful of individuals who helped to launch A Course in Miracles. The scribe, Helen Schucman, much older than Jon, counseled him in a personal way about the issues with which a young man contends. He also formed a bond with Kenneth Wapnick that continued for long years and included similar significant encounters. Jon’s respect for Ken is covered in a chapter – long very personal tribute that recounts Ken’s incredible journey with ACIM that prompted some 32 books, plus substantial contributions in other media. Jon’s memories of the early years will be eagerly read by those who love ACIM. Throughout, Jon has a very human voice in his writing that urges the reader forward in the book; he knows how to encourage one to keep reading, to keep turning those pages to see what else is going to happen.

Jon frankly lets us see into his heart when he describes in some detail his guided experimental use of psychedelics as a way to get beyond the ego and find himself looking death in the face. Readers who might be inclined to judge Jon for his experimentation should realize that he had these experiences in the seventies. He was guided by a psychiatrist/shaman who took pains to see that the people in his care were safe. The near-death aspect of Jon’s experience was prompted by the doctor’s administration of ketamine, an anesthetic.

Jon does not recommend that we follow in his footsteps, indicating that his way was harsh (he calls it “hell”), whereas the way to overcome the ego in ACIM is gentle. It seems apparent that Jon has spent a great deal of reflection in all the years since in trying to understand what he saw in near-death experiences. This reflection has been augmented in more recent years by near-death experiences that were not drug-related. He speaks easily about these experiences, certain that there is a plan and that it is gentle. Jon also draws on others’ experiences in near-death to pull back the veil over the afterlife.

The latter half of the book is devoted to a carefully developed exposition of what A Course in Miracles says about eternity. As mentioned, the selected passages from ACIM are exquisite; one gets the impression that Jon went about selecting the most beautiful of all available, knowing that he couldn’t give every instance of what eternal life means in ACIM.

What does eternal life mean in A Course in Miracles? Jon weaves this story in and through quotations from ACIM itself. Eternal life is a life that can begin on earth; there is no need to think that eternal life comes about only at death’s door. Heaven is here and now, if we have discarded the egoic separation from God, a separation that could only happen because we had a “tiny, mad idea” that we wanted to try to make creation be something other than what God had decreed. And all that we ever made was illusion. Jon makes the point that the radical monism of ACIM is extremely pertinent to eternal life. Our illusory bodies seem real enough to us, but real they are not. The only thing that is real is that which we cannot touch—peace, joy, harmony, and the like. And these things are eternal. Time and space are illusions that are found only in the physical universe. And nothing illusory is eternal. But Life and Love have always been and always will be. This is the promise of eternity that ACIM describes so wonderfully.

Jon’s reassurance about eternal life is borne of what he knows. He does not believe; he knows. And this insight pours out on every page, weaving anecdotes in some chapters, recounting ACIM in others. Jon has a very personal way of writing that develops an intimacy with the reader. He looks beyond his own persona to develop universal truths about eternity and eternal life as reflected in real experiences, his own as well as others, and in the philosophy of A Course in Miracles.

Jon Mundy has written many books, but this one is surely one of his best. Recommended for anybody who fears death, even a little, and who among us does not?

AN APPRECIATION OF COA’S NEW EDITION OF ACIM

Published in Miracles magazine (Jon Mundy, publisher) and on amazon.com.

by Celia Hales

The Circle of Atonement has recently released a fantastic new resource for lovers of A Course in Miracles, an edition based on the original handwritten notes of Helen Schucman. Robert Perry, editor, and Greg Mackie, assistant editor, assembled a team of experts who worked over ten years on this edition. It is truly a labor of love on their part. Masterfully done, it restores some 45,000 words to the second edition published by the Foundation for Inner Peace in 1992 (and republished, with Helen’s supplements, in 2007).

I came to know of this edition from Lisa Natoli of the Teachers of God Foundation, a foundation supporting the work of those who love A Course in Miracles. I was surprised when I read that this new edition is the one that she will now use, even though she had earlier felt that the FIP edition was sufficient. On the strength of this recommendation, I purchased the new edition by the Circle of Atonement, billed as a “complete & annotated edition,” and since reading it obsessively for several days, I have become completely enthralled with what I find.

First and foremost are the 45,000 restored words to A Course in Miracles. Several chapters in the beginning part of the Text, particularly, were at issue. One’s understanding of miracles as expressions of love will be much enhanced.

Throughout the new edition (almost 2,000 pages) there are substantive footnotes on almost every page, well-written, cogent, respectful to the original. In going back to notes of Helen, we can even now see what words Jesus emphasized when he was speaking as an internal voice. These words are faintly underlined, making me feel that I were listening to Jesus himself. Cameo essays are in the back of the volume, cameos that highlight the very personal nature of some of Jesus’s words to Helen and to Bill Thetford. In keeping with Jesus’s professed intentions, the personal words to Helen and Bill were not included in the Course proper, but are described in some detail in 33 cameos.

Why this new edition seemed necessary is covered in detail in an appendix. I read this with great interest, and concluded that Robert, Greg, and their team were right: A complete and annotated edition is needed. The new edition is available for $48 from the Circle of Atonement; also available from Amazon.

This is simply a fantastic editorial feat. Recommended most enthusiastically by a long-time lover of A Course in Miracles.

DEVELOPING A RELIGION: A Review of Thomas Moore’s A Religion of One’s Own

Republished from Miracles magazine, July/August issue (Jon Mundy, publisher)

TITLE: A Religion of One’s Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World

AUTHOR: Thomas Moore

PUBLISHER: Gotham Books (Penguin Group)

REVIEWED BY: Celia Hales

Thomas Moore’s writings on the soul have a particular interest for students of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. And this book, A Religion of One’s Own, he views as a sequel to his well-known, well-recognized Care of the Soul. Notice the following quotation, a quotation that fits right in with the philosophy of ACIM and ACOL:

“Bliss is the joy that arrives when you are released from the pressure to be a small self. Bliss descends when you open yourself to life in all its abundance and breathtaking power and let it so suffuse you that you forget your worries about being somebody and justifying your life. You give in. You let life take over. You become a holy person instead of a secular egotist, and you then you discover that your holiness is the base of your own religion.” (89% through the kindle book)

A Course in Miracles affirms that happiness—another term that includes bliss—is one of the several functions that are given to us. (The other principal ones are forgiveness and salvation.) And A Course of Love strongly recommends giving up the little self and substituting the larger Self. Both ACIM and ACOL say that we must give up the ego.

I suspect that Moore has read A Course in Miracles, as have most religious leaders of today, but he does not lean on its philosophy to any real extent. The similarities to ACIM and A Course of Love are, instead, perennial wisdom with Moore’s particular take on today’s plight. The thesis of A Religion of One’s Own is that we have been living too much of a secular life, a life that has failed us, and it is mandatory that we overturn this tendency by sampling the rich heritage in religion, mythology, psychology that is available to us. Throughout this book, he gives hints of how to incorporate this heritage into our modern day life.

Moore’s ideas are sometimes startling. He gives a great emphasis to intuition, or what ACIM and ACOL would turn guidance. But he recommends somewhat magical techniques for ascertaining intuition, from casting runes to tarot cards to reading tea leaves. He sees these methods as practical ways of enhancing our intuitive leanings. He does not overlook the role of the psychic in utilizing these methods effectively. He sees dreams as a particularly effective way to give us direction in life, believing that a dream diary fits right in with a life of prayer, mediation, and quiet reading.

Moore returns to his favorite individuals in this book, building on a short list that he has developed in previous writing. His favorites are headed up by James Hillman, his mentor and the inspiration for much of his writing in the Neoplatonic tradition. Others cited include Emerson, Thoreau, Thomas Merton, Jung, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Moore builds from his counseling practice to give anecdotes from his patients, disguising their identities. He gives his wife great credit for helping him to live a monastic-like life outside of the monastery, but one that is erotic also. He believes that all of us would benefit from just such a peaceful retreat from the world, even as we go out daily from our retreat to earn our living.

Early in this book he affirms, “This new kind of religion asks that you move away from being a follower to being a creator.” (4% into the kindle edition) This is a primary emphasis of A Course of Love, in which we are encouraged to move into Christ-consciousness and then, by sustaining this new state of being, create a new world. Moore also affirms the value of waking up and staying awake, an emphasis of both ACIM and ACOL.

Yes, there is much in Moore’s latest offering to interest students of both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. He does use the concept of soul repeatedly, and this is a word that Jesus avoids, most of the time, in A Course in Miracles. But Moore says that we need a “religion that comes out of our hearts and minds and is tailor-made to our own values and sensitivities.” (5% into the kindle edition) Readers of A Course of Love will immediately recognize the similarities.

Moore’s writing invites soul in the Ray Charles tradition. His prose is often mesmerizing in its impact.
A Religion of One’s Own is an important book, fully promising an enthusiastic following in line with Moore’s earlier Care of the Soul. A wholehearted recommendation.

Is Reincarnation So?

1 – Not to Deal with Now

“Reincarnation would not, under any circumstances, be the problem to be dealt with now. If it were responsible for some of the difficulties the individual faces now, his task would still be only to escape from them now. If he is laying the groundwork for a future life, he can still work out his salvation only now. (M60)”

2 – Take No Stand

“For our purposes, it would not be helpful to take any definite stand on reincarnation. A teacher of God should be as helpful to those who believe in it as to those who do not. If a definite stand were required of him, it would merely limit his usefulness, as well as his own decision making. (M60)”

3 – Litmus Test?

Many people would use reincarnation as a litmus test for the validity of the Course, if we were to take a public stand on where we stand on this issue. Jesus is not interested in controversy, but only in what will work for us in our lives in a practical way. So he recommends that we avoid the question of reincarnation publicly, for to engage in debate would only lessen our usefulness.

4 – Jesus

Elsewhere Jesus says that the Course can be used by both those who believe in reincarnation and those who don’t. Jesus is not interested in theological interpretation, but only in the day-to-day lives of his followers. Elsewhere he says that there can be no universal theology, but a universal experience is necessary.

5 – Only Way? No

This universal experience he spells out in the Course. This is not to say that the Course is the only Way. It is one way that many people have now chosen for salvation in this world. And the introductory pages of the text say that this is a required course, with only the time that we take it to be voluntary. Our way is to have brothers and sisters in significant relationships–holy relationships–with ourselves. This eliminates the tedium of long hours spent in meditation. All special relationships, the Course says, are meant to become holy. This is the practical means that the Course is bringing us Home.

6 – Reversal of Thought

“It cannot be too strongly emphasized that this course aims at a complete reversal of thought. When this is finally accomplished, issues such as the validity of reincarnation become meaningless. Until then, they are likely to be merely controversial. (M61)”

7 – When It Is OK to Discuss Reincarnation

This passage gives the reason that we are not to discuss reincarnation unless we are with people of a like mind. We don’t need to invite controversy. I myself have tried very hard, over the years, to keep controversy out of my blog. My innate reaction is to avoid controversy, to keep life smooth, and I would like to feel that people who read my blog are looking for a calm reassurance that all is well.

8 – Our Witness

Controversy would just interfere with our witness. We don’t need to start arguments; we need to avoid them. We don’t have to dissemble, but we can be circumspect is what we say.

9 – ACIM Leaders

Leaders in the ACIM movement differ on how they feel about reincarnation. Based on his writing, I have concluded that Jon Mundy, publisher of Miracles magazine, does not believe in reincarnation. Most other leaders have not taken a stand, and so I don’t know how they feel. I find that I can read the words of ACIM two ways, and so there is much room for disagreement.

10 – Silence

But the benefit is that we don’t have to proselytize for our opinion. We can remain silent on this issue unless and until we are in a group of kindred spirits. Then we are encouraged to discuss reincarnation, if we so desire.

Dear Father/Mother,

Remind not to engage in controversy, because this will only limit my helpfulness. May I discuss reincarnation only in intimate circles of like-minded individuals. Publicly to take a stand on reincarnation might limit my usefulness.

I know that You will guide my speech. May I not be tempted to run ahead of Your guidance.

Amen.

THE GIFT CALLED GUIDANCE

Published in Miracles for November/December 2012 (publisher Jon Mundy).

by Celia Hales

A Course in Miracles would have us defer to the Holy Spirit in our decisions.  This guidance is true, and it does not always have to be constant in our lives.  But it can be.  Let me explain.

“Does this mean that you cannot say anything without consulting Him?  No, indeed!  That would hardly be practical, and it is the practical with which this course in most concerned.  (M71)”

Jesus goes on in this passage to recommend consulting with the Holy Spirit in the morning, asking for the His guidance when it is feasible to do so, and then thanking Him at night.  In other passages throughout the Manual, though, Jesus goes further in recommending that we turn over our decisions increasingly to the Holy Spirit.  He speaks of this need particularly in regard to judgmental thinking, which he indicates that accuracy is impossible for us, because we do not know all the facts–past, present, and future–that impinge on a given decision.  If Jesus really means this (and I feel certain that his words are very intentional), how might we turn our decisions, especially our judgments, increasingly over to the Holy Spirit?  How do we know when the Holy Spirit is speaking to us?

My own reflections over the years of studying ACIM have evolved from a primary dependence upon feelings, or intuition, to a broader recognition that the aspects of life that we cannot get out of our minds may be the Holy Spirit speaking to us.  Here is a 10-point list with some commentary of the ways that I have discovered guidance acting in my life.  Do not take anything unto yourself unless it finds a place in your heart.

1 – Listening in Prayer.  The “listening” time of prayer is the best way that I believe that I receive guidance.  I am careful, though, not to forget that my own desires may interfere with what I “hear,” and that I may make a mistake.  Many have said that God speaks in the silence, and I think this is an appropriate way to seek His Will.

2 – Keep a Prayer Log.  In the early eighties the spiritual writer Catherine Marshall recommended keeping a prayer log, very specifically, with prayers listed succinctly and then the answer, when it was received, recorded and dated.  I followed this recommendation for the remainder of the eighties and into the nineties, and I found it very, very useful.  (Probably I should return to this practice.)

3 – Intuitive Advice.  In daily life I receive guidance through a feeling that I ought to take a given course of action.  “Feeling” is akin to intuition, but that is not the whole of it, I think.  I believe that our minds, our intellects, frequently interfere with receiving the Holy Spirit’s messages, and that the Holy Spirit finds it easier to reach us through our emotions, our feelings.

4 – Intrusive Words.  Sometimes I am able to be in a spirit of inspiration, and, much as if I were writing without being sure what I would say next, words come into my mind from my unconscious that suggest a given pathway.  I do not actually hear a voice; it is my own thinking, but it also seems to be a bit beyond me.

5 – An Inner Knowing.  Quiet times may bring forth an inner knowing of how to proceed in a matter that is troubling us.  This is non-verbal, akin to hearing the Holy Spirit in our innermost hearts.  This “knowing” without being able to verbalize “how” we know is powerful stuff.  I think that it is certainly one of the most potent forms of guidance.

6 – Journaling.  Writing out our struggles in a journal is a way to invite the Holy Spirit’s input.  I try to let my conscious mind die down and to invite thoughts from my deepest spirit.

7 – Dreams.  In especially faithful times, we may have a dream that appears vivid and suggests the next step for us in our life.  Certainly dreams and visions are important ways in which God spoke to His people in the past, as recorded in Scripture.  I have had two significant “warning” dreams in my life that I still recall vividly.  The dreams came when I was contemplating a pathway that I now realize would not have been healthy for me.

8 – Agitation.  Occasionally in my life I have become severely agitated when I was walking along a given pathway.  I have come to see such agitation as evidence from the Holy Spirit that I am walking the wrong way.

9 – Visions.  Many years ago, when I was 25, I had a series of nighttime hallucinations, or visions, that became important to me in setting the pathway for my life.  Perhaps there was a reason that this gift came at an early age.  The visions have not recurred.

10 – Signs.  Signs are welcomed by many, but I would caution against too much an emphasis here, because it is very easy to twist signs around to mean anything that we want.  (Jesus says in ACIM that we can twist symbols around.)

I have not followed blindly.  Jesus would not have us check our minds and spirits at the door.  I have tested out my perceived guidance, and that is how I have found it true.  I invite you to do the same.  Intuition is a right-brain activity, and, as such, it does not respond well to our timetables.  We may need to present a question to the Holy Spirit, and then go about our day in full confidence that the answer will come when the matter has retreated from the forefront of our minds.  Present a problem or question, and then let go.  Trust the Holy Spirit to make His will known to us.  He will not fail.

In my twenties I heard a very dynamic preacher of the gospel speak on the topic of guidance.

He stressed, “I have known people at the end of their lives who said, ‘I knew that God was telling me to do that.  But I didn’t do it, and I regret it.'”

He went on, vehemently, “I have never known anyone to say, at the end of their lives,  ‘I knew that God was trying to get me to do that, and I did it, and I regret it.'”

Jesus may be commenting on the same guidance when he says the following in the Manual, in a passage that is comforting in the extreme:

“Do not, then, think that following the Holy Spirit’s guidance is necessary merely because of your own inadequacies.  It is the way out of hell for you.  (M70)”

By this statement, I think that ACIM is telling us that we make our own hells on earth.  Listening to the Holy Spirit with increasing frequency shows us the way out of our self-made hells.  I believe that in fact there is no limit to how the Holy Spirit speaks to us,  for our God is not a limited God in any way.  He will find a way to get through to us.  He asks only that we try to discern.  If we miss the first glimmering of guidance, God will bring the same message to us in yet other ways until we get the message.    Remain flexible.  Learn to turn on a dime.  Following the Holy Spirit in this way is joyous.  It is the enlightened way to live, even before we know the Awakening that the Course holds out to us.  As A Course in Miracles makes clear, there can be no better way to live, in the time of the Holy Spirit,  than in following the guidance of Universal Inspiration.

I once read, “Why beseech heaven for a miracle one would not recognize at high noon?”  After actively seeking guidance, we are perhaps in the right frame of mind, for the first time, to recognize miracles when they occur.

Tyrannous Control

“Whatever is true is eternal, and cannot change or be changed.  Spirit is therefore unalterable because it is already perfect, but the mind can elect what it chooses to serve.  The only limit put on its choice is that it cannot serve two masters.  If it elects to do so,
the mind can become the medium by which spirit creates along the line of its own creation.  If it does not freely elect to do so, it retains its creative potential but places itself under tyrannous rather than Authoritative control.  As a result it imprisons, because such are the dictates of tyrants.  To change your mind means to place it at the disposal of true Authority.  (T13)”

 

Affirmation:  “Spirit is therefore unalterable”

Reflections:

1 – Why the Ego Is Bad for Us

This passage explains at some length why we experience bad things when we are under the influence of the ego:  We are under “tyrannous” control rather than Authoritative (i.e., the Holy Spirit).  This means that pain can become very great before we change our minds, and open them up to a greater spiritual truth.  But our experience of pain is not without limit, and there must come a time when we know that there is a better way.  This better way is the Holy Spirit and His guidance–Authoritative control.

2 – Following Guidance

When we change our minds and place them under this guidance, we know “true Authority.”   Simultaneously, our pain lessens and we begin to know happy dreams within the world.  This is not a magic trick, but the working out of true reality, the march toward the “real world” (as characterized by A Course in Miracles).

3 – The Holy Spirit

We do not have to feel bereft when we give up judgment to the wiser counsel of the Holy Spirit.  The Manual reminds us that we never could judge accurately, because we don’t see the whole picture–past, present, and future, along with all the myriad of events that impact our little world.  We cannot choose accurately with our own judgment for this reason, as well as the fact that we are making interpretations of facts, and interpretations lead to anger and all manner of negative thinking.  We never, for example, get angry at facts.  We only get angry when we have interpreted these facts in some way that we feel has hurt ourselves.  We are not told, Jon Mundy points out, never to get angry, but we are told to recognize that our thinking has gone awry, awry into interpretations.  Anger is just in ACIM never to be justified.  We are never angry for the reason that we think (from the Workbook).  We have been misperceiving, and our brothers and sisters need our help for any attacks that they have made upon us (and vice-versus).

4 – The Mind, Serving Spirit

The mind in the service of spirit is powerful indeed.  And what this mind will create is good.  The mind under the service of the ego could only “make” things; it could not create at all.  Do turn to the Holy Spirit, and we will see our experience in the world improve immediately.

Prayer:  

Dear Father/Mother,

May we turn to You when we find ourselves under tyrannous control.  May we know that tyrannous control is not Your will for us.

May we realize that when we turn to the Holy Spirit, we are following our will as well as Your own.  This will automatically improve our lives.

May You go with us today as we seek to remember that Your will is always ours.

Amen.

A COURSE OF LOVE: REVIEW II

Scribed by Mari Perron.  To order, visit <http://acourseoflove.com&gt;.

This review covers all three volumes in the three-volume series:  (1)  A Course of Love; the Complete Course; (2) The Treatises of A Course of Love; and (3) The Dialogues:  Coming to Voice.

Review by Celia Hales.  Revised with new title.  Previously published in Miracles magazine (publisher Jon Mundy).  

Can you imagine another Course in Miracles, again this time in three books (but this time with a definite sequence for reading)?  Suspend judgment for a moment and imagine that Jesus has unfinished busineess with us.  I personally believe that this is what we have in the A Course of Love series.  Certainly individuals other than Mari Perron have believed themselves to be channeling Jesus in the years since ACIM.  It would be inadvisable for me to take a stand on any of these books; this is a subject fully beyond my knowledge.  Yet as well, it would not be useful to debate the authenticity of the A Course of Love (ACOL) series without introducing you to this remarkable gift.  That you learn of this series and make your own choice, to read or not to read, is my goal in this review.  Maybe you will find that this series has been out there waiting for you.

The series starts simply but profoundly with an offering called A Course of Love.  (This first book in the series was reviewed by this reviewer and is posted on this blog under the title, “A Course of Love:  Review I.)  The words in this first volume are comforting and reassuring.  This is the basic book in the series, the beginning, meant to appeal to the heart.  (Later on, we find that Jesus links the heart to the mind with a plea toward “wholeheartedness.”)  If read too quickly (which can be done, unlike ACIM, much of which is poetry, blank verse) the first book may not resonate deeply.  My view of this is that, as Jesus told Mari, ACIM students are “ready” for ACOL.  We will seem almost to “know this already.”

The second and third books in the ACOL series will put to rest any doubts about whether or not we ACIM students really need to learn (and “unlearn”) more.  (These also rested my questions about Jesus as the one channeling the material to Mari.)  The Treatises are dense and packed with meaning; The Dialogues, the same.  I found that I needed to read them very slowly and thoughtfully.  In these last two books Jesus surprisingly resigns as our teacher, and even suggests that learning through the Holy Spirit has come to an end because this is the time of the “second coming of Christ.”  The last book, The Dialogues, builds to a crescendo in its final pages that left me weeping as I read.  We may be more reading for Awakening (ACIM‘s term) then we realize.  What joy!

The Treatises

This set of four short books has a definite progression in the order given; one builds upon the previous one and on to the next.  They are intended to give us further guidance for living in “wholeheartedness,” even as we are recognized as thinking beings who cannot live by feeling alone.  There is even a recognized need for a break in “thinking” (and therefore in reading, I would wonder) between the first book in the series (ACOL) and the second one (The Treatises).  (There is, however no recognized need for a break between the second and third books (The Treatises and The Dialogues).)

We are meant to live in sustained Christ-consciousness, though this in no way makes us unique nor more “special” than anyone else.  Everyone is chosen (an ACIM declaration also).  We are, in these treatises, both “learning” and “unlearning” so that we can move beyond to observation and the state of unity in holy relationships (never special) one to the other.  The conclusion of the fourth (and last) treatise is the “Treatise on the New.”
(Reviewer’s note:  Reflected upon in this blog; see “about,” and then search “archives” for the dates posted).  At the conclusion of the “New,” we are said to be in the resurrection, the time of the second coming of Christ.

In sum, “This course has led you through resigning as your own teacher, to becoming a true student, and to now leading you beyond the time of being a student to the realization of your accomplishment.  (10.1)”  We will now, through vision and direct revelation, be in a time of glorious surprises for which we do not need to (nor can we) prepare or plan.  We are transforming the personal self to the Self, or Christ-consciousness.  Jesus calls for us to have a personal relationship to him, but, surprisingly (as noted), he resigns as our teacher.  He says, “I do not have the answers that would continue to make of me a teacher and you a student.  The answers to the elevation of the personal self and the living of Christ-consciousness in form are yet to be revealed and shared. (12.32)”  He concludes the final treatise with the injunction, “Let us begin.”

The Dialogues

This third book in the series is a joining of Christ to each of us.  Jesus moves into a role no longer as teacher, but as a companion.  He directs us (before moving away from his traditional role as teacher) to claim the Self that we are; this involves an elevation of the personal self through complete acceptance of what is, by maintaining and sustaining our being (the Christ-consciousness).  Jesus emphasizes that this state cannot be “learned,” but can come into being only by our natural state of knowing brought on by wholehearted desire.

The Dialogues conclude (in over half the book) with “Forty Days and Forty Nights.” (Reviewer’s note:  Reflected upon in this blog; the title of each posting begins with Day x; see “all posts” in the sidebar).  In these Forty Days and Forty Nights, we are meant to commune on the “mountain top,” yet remain in our daily lives, balancing the two–elevation and the personal self–until the self of form is elevated and sustained in that elevation.  Jesus asks for our commitment as early as the Fourth Day; he indicates that we can make the journey to the mountain top many times, if desired, “but this is not what I call you to.  (Page 114)”  He asks us to live through “unity and relationship” (words that are frequently repeated throughout The Dialogues).

Jesus concludes with these moving words:  “You will realize that you know what to do.  Expect heaven on earth, you were told.  This is what it is.  There will be no doubt, no indecision.  Your path will be so clear to you it will be as if it is the only path in the world and you will wonder why you didn’t see it all along.  Expect this.  And it will be.  (Pages 248 – 249)”

Summing Up

I hope that the time has come for the A Course of Love series to find a wider readership.  As mentioned, Jesus tells us in the ACOL series that the time of learning is over.  Perhaps perpetual students of ACIM need something more to move them to greater action in the world.  May the ACOL series speak–loudly and powerfully–to your heart and mind–as Jesus says, “wholeheartedly.”  Let us claim the heritage that is ours, no longer fearful that we are acting out of ego.  I believe that Jesus saw our weakened egos (a success of ACIM), but he needs us to truly leave our fears behind and claim our power.

Then the more widespread Awakening of our world surely might begin.

God Is in My Mind

ACIM Workbook Lesson 30 – for Sunday, January 30, 2011

Affirmation:  “God is in everything I see because God is in my mind.”

Selected Passage:

“The idea for today is the springboard for vision.  From this idea will the world open up before you, and you will look upon it and see in it what you have never seen before.  Nor will what you saw before be even faintly visible to you.  (WB47)”

Reflections:

1 – Projection Makes Perception

Today’s affirmation (the “lesson”) is the basic idea that projection makes perception, i.e., that what we project from our minds constitutes what we perceive outwardly, making the world that we see.  Here we say “make” rather than “create,” because at this early stage in the Workbook, we are assuming that many of us are still viewing the world through the lens of the ego.  Perception, likewise, is a paler form of knowledge, and knowledge comes only when we are farther along the pathway.  God alone grants knowledge, when we are ready to receive it without miscreation.

2 – God Is Within

Today’s quoted passage is optimistic.  We are led to understand that recognizing that God is in our minds will ultimately show up vision.  And vision, real vision, is what we want above all else.  It will transform the world that we see.  The pain we will recognize as being illusion, and the beauty we will see as the real world.  This does not mean that we will not try to alleviate pain; that is part of what miracles are for.  But we work miracles as led by Jesus; we will not try, misguidedly, to make our own miracles.  That is a sure way to lose our understanding and to project folly.

3 – May Vision Come Soon

The world will look beautiful to us when vision has come.  Let us study well all of A Course in Miracles, sure that vision is its intent.  Or, as Jon Mundy says, our intent is for enlightenment.  Enlightenment, in ACIM, is what is meant by the oft-repeated call for Awakening.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

We want to see aright.  Not everything that we project, and then perceive, stands alone.  We also know reality, however haphazardly at this point.  We will “know,” as opposed to perceive, when God has granted us knowledge of the real–the love, the joy, the forgiveness of the real world.  I ask for this knowledge today.

Thank You, Father, for being here for me throughout all my days.  I know that You will lead me past perception into knowing reality, and I long for that glorious day.

Amen.