Tag Archives: Joseph Campbell

“Be Willing to Have It So”

“Imagine, then, living in a state of being in which literally nothing was unacceptable to you because you knew that the Source of your true being was far beyond the limitations of anything created in space and time.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 90)

Nothing may be “unacceptable,” but this sentence doesn’t mean that we won’t work to change things that seem troublesome. For life to be acceptable, we mean that we are “willing to have it so,” that nothing must change for us to live life fully. This is a great secret of life, something I once read in Joseph Campbell. Joseph had been advised by a guru not to struggle so in life. Surely struggle is not a pleasant way to be.

Our Source is God Himself, far beyond limitations in time and space. When we make our home in God, we will live in true acceptance of whatever we do find on the earth plane. It is only after we have “accepted” that we can make meaningful change for the better. To fight against “what is” is to make unnecessary adjustments in trying to live in this world.

We aren’t asked to fight against ordinary reality. We are not asked, ever, to fight against anything. Our way is to find that which is positive, good, and peaceful. When we reach for the peaceful, we accept, and when we reach for the positive, we make meaningful change without struggle.

“Be willing to have it so.” By our very acceptance of the ordinary moments in our day, we pave the way for a better future.

We touch God in such moments.

Madness

As we have seen, the Course presents this world as a place of madness, full of violence and cruelty, projected from our own deluded minds. This world is therefore illusion, but we do not need to blame God for what we see, for this world is Heaven’s opposite (T-16.V.3:6) Even the food chain is based on a raw violence, and Jesus would say that we do God a disservice when we blindly dismiss the cruelty as “Nature’s ways.” The Course presents the world as an attack on God, meant to keep Him out and to keep the separation going. By projecting blame onto God, the ego does a good job at ensuring that we will continue to turn to it as our savior rather than to God. That this is patent magic, madness in the extreme, may not dawn on us until the pain of what we project becomes overwhelming. And even then we may blame God for our predicament.

The ego’s thought system is perfectly logical from within the thought system, as are most delusions. It is only the premises that are wrong, sending its world crashing down like a house of cards. From within our mind, it makes perfect sense. Madness is not illogical, though those in psychosis appear to the rational mind to be out of touch with reality. An all-embracing madness is just what has happened on a grand scale in our world, ruled by everyone’s ego. I once had a professor remark that everyone in mental hospitals thought that it was “we”—the ones outside of the hospital—who are “crazy.” He said, “What if they are right?”

Unknowingly, my professor presaged the Course a number of years before it was written. The Course does not say that our diagnosed mentally ill are actually sane, and we usually recognize that they are not. What may be happening, though, is that they are imperfectly seeing reality from another lens. This “other lens” may allow them to be particularly open to revelation. Certainly writers have drawn parallels between the schizophrenic mind and the mystic one. Both are swimming in the waters of their depths, the subconscious mind, but the schizophrenic may be drowning in it. The mystic, on the other hand, swims easily. This analogy is drawn from the writings of Joseph Campbell, an individual who has brought the myths of the ages home to all of us through writings that speak to our time. The Course would extend the definition of insanity to most of us in the world, most who are only partially, most who have only glimpses of true reality.

May we walk into the sunshine with Jesus, listening as we read the Course to what we need to do to emerge from the insanity of an illusory world.

We can do this.

Beauty / Truth / Wisdom — God’s Gifts

1 – Day 20

“You have realized now your relationship with the unknown and ceased to fear it. You are, perhaps, even eager now, to move beyond the known to the unknown. . . .

“This is the first transition, the transition in which you really ‘get it’ that the unknown cannot be taught, laid out on a map, or shown to you by another. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 20)”

2 – Teaching?

We cannot teach another what is buried deep within our hearts. Only our Self can accurately guide us in this life.

3 – Mentors

Oh, we have tried other things. We have listened to mentors, we have read—in all ways we have sought to learn from the teachings of others. But in this time of Christ we need to stop reaching out to others for the riddle of our lives; we need to realize that deep within are the Answers. So we get quiet, and we listen.

4 – Meditations

Now, meditations written by others may still help. They serve to anchor us, though, still deeper within ourselves. These meditations only remind us of what we have forgotten. They do not point out the road on which we ought to travel. Or, if we try to make them point out that road, we use those meditations in the wrong way. If we follow a path that has been laid out by another, we go nowhere—for each individual has a unique path. This point is well made by Joseph Campbell and is related in a book entitled, “Companion to Joseph Campbell.” The book blends oral comments from Joseph in a seminar of some time at Esalen, with quotations from Joseph’s work. And Joseph says just this—if we follow the path that has been followed by another, we go nowhere. Joseph also says, tellingly, that if follow our bliss, doors will open that have been closed before, and doors that would be closed for anyone else. So listen to your Inner Wisdom (a phrase used by an enlightened friend of mine), dialogue with your Inner Wisdom, and you will come out all right—not alright, for ALL right.

5 – We Receive

“What has happened here is that words have been put on the feelings and remembrances that you have within your minds and hearts and have been sharing in this dialogue. The way of saying this perhaps is new, but the way of saying this is the expression of the human being receiving it. The way in which you are hearing and responding to these truths is perhaps new, but that way too is of the human being receiving it, in this case, you. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 183)”

6 – Learning

We have long depended on learning, on our minds, to live as comfortably as possible in this world. Day Twenty clarifies that we cannot learn the truth that way, the unknown cannot be taught. We know intuitively, and have always known intuitively, the truth of our being, the unknowns for which we have sought externally for solutions.

7 – Transitions

The first transition ends when we realize that we are in a state of transition, the state of knowing that we cannot learn anything, that we have always held internally the truths of which we are becoming aware. The more we turn inward, the more we will know these truths. Our minds are not the way; our hearts are. Thus we are at the true end of learning.

8 – Level Ground

We are preparing here, at the halfway point of our Forty Days and Forty Nights, to return to level ground, to leave the mountain top. We will be different people when we have returned to level ground. We will know the beauty, truth, and wisdom of the one Self, the Self that we share with all our brothers and sisters.

9 – Truth

“The truth is the truth. It doesn’t change. It is the same for everyone.

“What, then, is the unknown? The reception and expression of truth.

“This is why you can ‘know’ while always coming to know. . . .The only thing there is to know is the One Self in its many expressions. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 20)”

10 – Paths

The “truth” that is same for everyone is not the same as the path that someone will take in life. We all take different paths, but if we are to stay on that pathway, we need the same truths that speak to all of our brothers and sisters. We need authoritative truth, not subjective. We need to hear from someone like Jesus—and here he is speaking to us as an equal, a companion on our trek to the mountain top with him, leading to Christ-consciousness.

11 – Surrender

Surrender is an important component of arriving at Christ-consciousness. It is not within us to know the place nor the time that God appoints. This is a paraphrase from the New Testament in regard to the coming of the Kingdom of God, Heaven on earth. And what will we have in Christ-consciousness but the Kingdom of God, Heaven on earth. Nothing. We are walking to fulfillment as a Christ Self, allowing that inner Self to blossom and become obvious to ourselves and all around us.

12 – Timing

It is not hard, but it does take surrender to God’s timing, for He makes the decision about when.

13 – Preparation

Are there things that we can do to prepare? Yes, or A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love would never have been channeled. The ultimate purpose of both is to see us awaken. Jesus says in ACIM that revelation may occasionally reveal the end to us, but to get there, the means are needed. And he continues, that the means are being carefully explained to us. That is A Course in Miracles, the means.

14 – Struggle

I think that it is likely that Jesus saw many of struggling, once we knew that the ego was a bad thing, meant to be eliminated for our lives. How do we replace it with something? And so I think that Jesus had unfinished business with us, he recognized this, and, accordingly, as the new century dawned, he channeled A Course of Love to Mari. Just as he had channeled A Course in Miracles to Helen. There are other books available, many others, believed by their scribes to be channeled by Jesus in this new age. I do not judge these books. We find truth, sometimes wherever we look. But my way to a culmination is A Course of Love, just as my way was (and is) A Course in Miracles. And, as Jesus says about ACIM, why choose some other way that has served others well when this one is intended for you (for me). Yes, we need to realize that there are many pathways to God, and there is a different course for every teacher of God (the latter a paraphrase from the Manual of ACIM).

15 – Beauty, Truth, and Wisdom

“In other words, all the truth and all the wisdom that is available but unknown to you, takes you to make it known. And if this is the only way that the beauty, truth, and wisdom of the One Self can be made known, then you are the source and the power of coming to know and making known. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 20)”

16 – Beautiful Passage

This is an especially beautiful passage (as are many passages of particular beauty in A Course of Love). We are a source of coming to know for ourselves; we do not first seek outside ourselves. We are deliberately told not to seek outside ourselves by A Course in Miracles.

17 – Seeking

But isn’t outside seeking what we have been doing so often? We don’t just look on others’ writings as meditative, inspirational reading; we seek in them the ultimate answers to the ultimate questions. And we will not find such there, for such can only be found within. We can prepare, we can learn—but now is a time of rest, a time of reflection, a time of ultimately coming to know from our inner Christ Self. We are prepared. We may (and we do) still have flaws of personality, but we are “all right.” We accept ourselves the way that we are, or we decide that we don’t like a given personality trait, and so we just quietly turn aside from it. (Note that we don’t resist, which would tie the trait to ourselves all the stronger.)

18 – Gifts

So: beauty, truth, wisdom. These are gifts of the Christ Self Who is within all. We can know these gifts today. We do not have to wait. Just ask. For what we ask is in strict accordance with the Will of God, and if we have a little faith, a tiny faith that He will answer, indeed He will answer. Just first ask, politely and with love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

It seems to me that You are teaching me that I have always known intuitively what is just now becoming clear to me. How foolish I have been! I have put more faith in what others have told me than in what I knew internally.

I ask for Your guidance, and the will to follow that guidance, today. I will never have done all that I can do to prepare for Awakening if I refuse, out of stubbornness and recalcitrance, to follow your Way. The Way that You point out to me. Sometimes I do feel stubborn, but if I follow Your Way, as it is pointed out to me by guidance, as soon as I can relinquish resistance, all will have returned to the right track. Just follow as soon as I can. With willingness and abundant joy, for joy is the hallmark that I am in the flow of my day. My day has flow when I follow guidance, and I chafe against illusory binding when I resist Your Way. How foolish would I be today? I choose not to lead a foolish life, not to see that foolishness in my thoughts, words, and actions today. I do want flow, and the only way that I can have it is to surrender to Your guidance as I comprehend that guidance. It is not hard, when the day has started right. And if the day starts wrong, I can start again. The path is both gentle and kind. And especially loving, for it is Your Way, which is always and ever loving.

Perhaps I needed to learn from others. But now You are teaching me to rely on the inner Word that You have place in my heart. May I rest in the comfort of this concept.

Amen.

The Kingdom of Heaven is You. What Else but You Did the Creator Create, and What Else but You Is His Kingdom?

1 – Understandable?

“It is hard to understand what ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is within you’ really means. This is because it is not understandable to the ego, which interprets it as if something outside is inside, and this does not mean anything. The word ‘within’ is unnecessary. The Kingdom of Heaven is you. What else but you did the Creator create, and what else but you is His Kingdom? (T60)”

2 – Not “Within You” – But “You”

Here Jesus clarifies a quotation from the New Testament: The Kingdom of Heaven is “within” you, but this becomes, in A Course of Miracles, that Kingdom of Heaven “is” you. This interpretation is theological, and we need to be careful about theology—not to let it divide us as students of ACIM. But, for those who are interested, I think that this means, essentially, that we are the body of Christ, or of God, that God does not stand outside His creation, but that the All is He. This differs from traditional Christianity, which sees all that is created as God’s handiwork, and sees God as standing apart from His creation. Here Jesus affirms, “What else but you did the Creator create, and what else but you is His Kingdom?”

3 – God Stuff

The “stuff” of the universe—the totality of all universe(s)—is thus seen to be God stuff. There are worlds upon worlds, much beyond what we can understand. But out of the void, the First Mover moved, knowing that He did not want to be alone. Joseph Campbell gives ancient myths that help to see this dynamic, metaphorically. The Void, that is God, felt fear upon realizing that He was alone. But then He said, “What do I have to fear? There is only Me.” Then he felt lonely, and so He decided to create from within His “body.” And from the undifferentiated Mass of His Body, He created the All that exists. And He is still creating.

4 – Prime Mover

This explanation is a very rudimentary form of explanation, something that we can hold to when we wonder about the Prime Mover, God Himself. It is not the truth, for our minds are too tiny to understand the truth, but metaphorically it answers some of our questions. The “you” in the following question is the One, the All, “What else did the Creator create?”

5 – Tiny, Mad Idea

So we move to the tiny, mad idea that we allowed to happen in our holy minds, the One that was the All, and then seemed to separate:

“You project onto the ego the decision to separate, and this conflicts with the love you feel for the ego because you made it. No love in this world is without this ambivalence, and since no ego has experienced love without ambivalence the concept is beyond its understanding. (T61)”

We thought that we would be controlled too much if we allowed God to direct us. We thought that All should not be One, that to express ourselves demanded diversity. And so the Whole fragmented. And the ego, part of our belief about ourselves—nothing more—separated. Even this was an illusion, for we cannot separate from our Essence, which is God. But we could think that we had, and in the thinking, God could experience with us what He is really like. We head ultimately to being Co-Creators with Him. But right now we are caught in “making,” not “creating.” For we make illusion, a dream.

6 – Love

Our loves are tainted. Our loves are not pure in this world. And the reason for this is the ego, which sees ourselves as not needing or wanting others. We try to be independent, but this is not the way of God’s creation, and so we fall on our faces repeatedly. Pain enters, for our will is no longer free. We are not listening to the Holy Spirit, Who chooses the best for us—the will that we would have if we knew what was best for us.

7 – True Want

“Love will enter immediately into any mind that truly wants it, but it must want it truly. This means that it wants it without ambivalence, and this kind of wanting is wholly without the ego’s ‘drive to get.’ (T61)”

We sometimes limit the love that we can receive by specifying that this love must come from a particular source. Such thinking usually signals that one is dealing with a special relationship, not a holy one. But the Course would purify our special relationships, rather than remove them from us by force. All special relationships are meant to become holy eventually.

8- Source of Love

We would do better if we did not specify the desired source of the love that we invite to come to us. Then the real world can deliver our desired love in any number of ways. Love is not always found in a special relationship, even in the beginning. The love of nature, for example, is a great healer in times of stress. The love we desire does not have to be always from another person.

9 – Love Is with Us

When we truly want love in our lives, it is there already. There are no exceptions to this rule, though the ego would often make us think so. God answers our prayer for love by sending into our lives the love that is ours for the asking. We do not have to plead or to struggle. We simply need to ask. And this is truly without the ego’s “drive to get.”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I do want love. I want love to enter my life immediately and unconditionally. I don’t want my ego to interfere.

May I drop all desires to have something that my ego dictates. May I have, instead, the love that You have promised me.

May the theology that I posted today be acceptable to some, and may others just drop it from their minds. We are not meant to divide ourselves by theology, but we are meant to enjoy a common experience. And You have pointed out that common experience in A Course in Miracles. Thank You. For this common experience is necessary, whereas a common theology is impossible for individuals with such disparate personalities.

Amen.

Forgive Yourself Your Madness, and Forget All Senseless Journeys and All Goal-less Aims

1 – Simple Course?

Jesus says repeatedly that his course, A Course in Miracles, is simple to learn. Most students/teachers don’t agree with him, I think. It takes some digging to get through the prose, though it is beautiful prose poetry (iambic pentameter after the beginning of the Text, which was Shakespeare’s rhyme scheme). But when we master the text of all three works in the trilogy, we can see that Jesus is right: ACIM can be viewed as easy to learn.

2 – Go toward Happiness

We need to follow roads TOWARD happiness:

“Think not that happiness is ever found by following a road away from it. This makes no sense, and cannot be the way. To you who seem to find this course to be too difficult to learn, let me repeat that to achieve a goal you must proceed in its direction, not away from it. And every road that leads the other way will not advance the purpose to be found. If this be difficult to understand, then is this course impossible to learn. But only then. For otherwise, it is a simple teaching in the obvious. (T-31.IV.7)”


We need to go in the direction toward truth, toward happiness. And we want to do so. We must remember, always, that happiness is a worthy goal. Certainly we feel more like helping our brother when we ourselves are contented, not tied up in neurotic knots. Only if we aren’t inclined to take the straight road do we encounter difficulty. The first obstacle that peace must overcome is the attempt to do away with it (peace). This is an ACIM tenet, and it is important. Why would we do away with peace? In Marianne Williamson’s opinion, we are addicted to the adrenaline rush. We have walked along our pathway in such stress for so long that we are unfamiliar with anything else. If things are calm, we think that we are getting depressed. But the Holy Spirit would tell us to relax always. Even in the midst of busy activities. Maybe especially then. We function best when we are on a relaxed and easy pace.

3 – Decisions

“This course attempts to teach no more than that the power of decision cannot lie in choosing different forms of what is still the same illusion and the same mistake. (T-31.IV.8)”

We often, according to ACIM, choose to learn things that are not lasting, simply because they are not lasting. This is ridiculous! It is avoidance behavior. And we would not go this way along our pathway to home. Why would we choose transient things to learn? We are scared that the permanent things are threatening to us. We also think that they are not applicable to our world. And they may not be, as we have been living. But we would not live as we have been living. It is time for a transformation. We are seeking Awakening, and, while we cannot effect it ourselves, we can study the means, as given in ACIM. Revelation may occasionally reveal the end to us, but to get there the means are needed. And they are being carefully explained. All ACIM tenets.

4 – Our Brother and Us

“All choices in the world depend on this; you choose between your brother and yourself, and you will gain as much as he will lose, and what you lose is what is given him. How utterly opposed to truth is this, when all the lesson’s purpose is to teach that what your brother loses you have lost, and what he gains is what is given you. (T-31.IV.8)”

In ACIM’s way, we walk with our brother as a means of saving time. This cannot be stressed too often. If we walk a little ahead or a little behind, walking ahead and falling behind, we make no progress. So we take our brother’s hand, and all improves. We can also take Jesus’s hand, as he encourages us to visualize. He will come in response to one unequivocal call (ACIM tenet).

5 – Madness

“Forgive yourself your madness, and forget all senseless journeys and all goal-less aims. (T-31.IV.11)”

We need to realize that all of us are mad to one extent or another. All of us who have not yet experienced Awakening, that is. We can be especially compassionate to the certifiably mentally ill in our midst, with our recognizing that we have more in common than we realize. Joseph Campbell, in Myths to Live By, said that schizophrenics are drowning in the very unconscious waters that mystics are swimming in. That may be the secret to the fact that many mentally ill people become highly religious. They are seeing some truth, though their health providers and family/friends do not normally recognize this insight of theirs.

6 – Awakening

If we move into Awakening, our unconscious will become conscious for us—just as it does for mentally ill people. But we will not scream in mortal terror (from ACIM), because we have been prepared by A Course in Miracles. If a light is suddenly turned on in a nighttime dream, we will fear, for we will at first think that the light is in the dream. But when we awaken fully, we will realize that the dream is over.

And that is what happens in our spiritual Awakening, the culmination of all forgiveness and our blessing of greatest degree.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Please be with me in the stresses of this day. May I listen to You so that the stresses disappear into oblivion.

Be with my brothers and sisters. May we all have a good day. I ask that so often, but I know that our happiness is in Your will. Help me not to tangle myself up today. Help my brothers and sisters not to get tangled up, either.

Thank You.

Amen.

You Are the Dreamer of the World of Dreams. No Other Cause It Has, nor Ever Will.

1 – Idle Dream

“You are the dreamer of the world of dreams. No other cause it has, nor ever will. Nothing more fearful than an idle dream has terrified God’s Son, and made him think he has lost his innocence, denied his Father, and made war upon himself. (T-27.VII.13)”

We are caught in an idle dream, nothing more. And we can escape. We can have the happy dreams that the Holy Spirit brings (from the Workbook of A Course in Miracles). That idle dreams have consequences is superbly obvious now. Elsewhere Jesus says that the concept of “idle thoughts” is untrue, that every thought produces form at some level. Now, we cannot understand this, but we know that the forms that our nighttime dreams produce do seem real at the time of nighttime dreaming. Now we are told that idle thoughts are not really idle, that they too produce form. We may soon come to realize that this is how we make our reality, create our reality. We envision what we want (or don’t want), and it becomes our reality.

2 – Cause and Effect / Law of Attraction

This is the concept of cause and effect. This is the concept of the law of attraction. We must begin to guard our thoughts more carefully, lest we fall into the doldrums and see our world fall apart. But there is a way out, and A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love point out that way out. We turn from judging what to do next, or what to think, and we let inner guidance point out the way. There is no better way to proceed than to listen to intuition.

3 – Personal Experience

I remember recognizing intuition first when I was 21 and in the throes of an emotional crisis. My first precognition was intuiting that I ought to take a look at a specific monologue in Shakespeare just before the final exam, while I was in college. I did so, and in a few moments I found myself sitting in a classroom with that monologue staring back at me on the test. I had to identify not only the speaker, but also the context. And if I hadn’t intuited just moments before walking to class that I ought to take a look at the monologue, I would have been up a creek.

4 – Intuition

All of us have had these experiences. As time wore on, I felt such intuitive experiences more and more. There have been times when I have listened to little else. This can lead to some foolish choices.

As Jesus says, “The partial innocent are apt to be quite foolish at times” (from A Course in Miracles).

My best moments have been, though, when I listened to the intuition bubbling up from my interior, even when that intuition bade me say or do something that seemed embarrassing at the time. (Jesus also warns that this will happen, in the Manual.)

5 – Fearful Dream

“So fearful is the dream, so seeming real, he could not waken to reality without the sweat of terror and a scream of mortal fear, unless gentle dream preceded his awaking, and allowed his calmer mind to welcome, not to fear, the Voice That calls with love to waken him; a gentle dream, in which his suffering was healed and where his brother was his friend. (T-27.VII.13)”

What a beautiful passage! Can we not imagine a God who welcomes us gently and with love to Awakening? Can we not all look forward to this experience, however far in the future it may seem to be?

6 – Awakening

Our suffering is healed when we experience Awakening. Even if the body is sick. Our suffering is healed because we know mental clarity, and mental clarity is much to be preferred over bodily health. Many medieval mystics would be considered certifiably mentally ill if alive in our culture today. One need only scan Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism to recognize the truth of this statement. But their culture was different. There is, as Joseph Campbell (The Hero with a Thousand Faces; Mythology to Live By) has pointed out, a fine line between swimming in the waters of the unconscious and being drowned in them. The mystic swims; the mentally ill (all too often) drown. But the waters of the unconscious are the same in both cases. And many people in psychosis are extremely religious.

7 – Change the Dream

“Accept the dream He gave instead of yours. It is not difficult to change a dream when once the dreamer has been recognized. (T-28.VII.14)”

Here is an indication that we play a part in determining just when our Awakening will be. If the dream is changed, if we determine to change it, we will be ready to awaken gently and without terror. Is it really so difficult to change a dream? There are those who can experience lucid nighttime dreaming, in which they determine the course of nighttime dreams. We are in a better position in daytime dreams, the illusion in which we are caught, for we are able to act more freely, are not so buffeted about by the dream.

Affirmation: “I would dream happy dreams today.”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May my day go well, with dreams that I do not rue. May I follow guidance consistently and therefore have a great flow to my day.

Our desires sometimes get us into trouble. May we wash our desires in the unconscious that You inform, so that life is good and we are contented and happy.

Amen.

When Plans Went Awry

“Unless life goes the way you have intended for it to go, you do not feel gifted or blessed even when you may have looked back often on situations that did not go as you had planned and nevertheless gifted you with experiences or opportunities that would not have arisen had your chosen plan come to fruition. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 10.18)”

Affirmation: “I am blessed even when my plans go awry.”

Reflections:

1 – Personal Testimony

I do know that the way that my life has evolved has been the best for me. Before I learned from A Course in Miracles that plans are discouraged unless the Holy Spirit prompts planning, I made lots of plans–many of which did not come to fruition. But it has been better this way.

2 – Personal Experience

I wanted to return to graduate school and get more prepared to teach English. But jobs were scarce, and my ultimate choice to go to library school proved advantageous, not only because the job market was better, but also because of a personal need to increase extroversion. I needed to learn to cooperate with others in a better and more consistent way, and because library work demands teamwork, I did eventually get better at working with others in a smooth way. If my ambition of English teaching had panned out, frequently I would have worked alone with my students. And besides being emotionally draining for me, this choice would have left little chance for teamwork.

3 – Joseph Campbell

So chosen plans went awry, and, looking back, I see how that is best. Joseph Campbell is quoted in A Companion to Joseph Campbell as saying that now, life was coming up very sweet for him. I feel the same way. There is an advantage to attaining maturity. It stills some of the fruitless ambitions of the young adult years, and it gives a peace that was not attainable at an earlier age.

4 – When Young
manet - lady with parasolBut if you are still quite young, you may think that if only a given pathway, a given plan, works out as you wish will you be happy. This is a fallacy, but only time will teach you that. Nothing that I say will really make any difference. So Jesus has it right in A Course of Love. We don’t appreciate our plans going awry.

5 – Time

But the benign passage of time will show us that what is transpiring is truly for our own good.

6 – Learning

And, as we proceed through our lives, we will come to know that learning is continuous and ongoing (from ACOL). We do not reach a static state, remaining there, even though the turmoil of the ego would have us long for such a state. When we let the Christ Self rule, we will be free of turmoil, and we will know that there is no end to learning and evolution in that learning (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or ACOL). And we will be glad that there is no end to learning. We will continue to evolve, and we will evolve through quietness and peace–“perfectly calm and quiet all the time” (from ACIM). This may not be our goal right now, but time will let us see that what Jesus has recommended is best.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for the course of my life. I know that the life that I lead now is good and true, and that I would have walked a harder pathway, for me personally, if I had chosen another vocation. So You knew best all along, and You closed doors that would have opened that other vocation. But there was an open doorway farther down the path, and I took it and never looked back. Thank You.

May I learn today, as I will continue to learn through time. But the learning will be easy and effortless, and the outcome what You wish, if I follow Your guidance. Thank You for granting me the will to follow You, for there is no better way to live.

I would learn through observation of my life and my living. I would learn through my holy relationships, turning all special ones into holy. May the day go by peacefully as I turn on a dime to follow You at all times.

Amen

Nightmares

“[Miracles] thus atone for your errors by freeing you from your nightmares. By releasing your mind from the imprisonment of your illusions, they restore your sanity.  (T5)”

Affirmation:  “I would be free of nightmares.”

 

Reflections:

1 – Sanity

The restoration of our sanity is the great need of all humankind.  It is not sanity as perceived by the world, but sanity as perceived by the Awakening.  Miracles will bring this great event closer in time.

2 – What Does “Insane” Mean?

We are not all locked up in our insanity, but we live at large in the world.  Some who are certifiably “mentally ill” may have a deeper awareness of the real world than any of us who are supposed to be mentally healthy.  It is not a coincidence that much of the delusion of the mentally ill has to do with religious convictions.  They are living closer to reality, but they have drowned in the light.  As Joseph Campbell said, the insane are drowning, while the mystic is swimming in the same waters.

3 – Made Mad by Guilt

We have indeed been lost in nightmares.  We have been made mad by guilt (a Course concept).  Happy dreams will arrive as soon as we let the miracles replace our madness.  And the real world, according to the Course, will arrive soon afterwards.  Then it is only a brief moment in time before God Himself will take the last step, the Awakening.  This is not something that we can effect ourselves.

4 – Nightmares and Illusions

“Nightmares” and “illusions” are linked in this passage.  May we reach toward the promise of sanity in the real world when we give up our illusions, and, with them, our nightmares.  Fear will subside, and in calm and quiet we will live in the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

5 – The Real World

Nowhere in A Course in Miracles is the “real world” concisely defined.  We are simply told that its presence will be brief, and then we will be awakened by God.  Time (an illusion anyway) is not measured in eternity the same way that it is measured on earth.  And so we really have no guidance in ACIM about how long we will perceive the real world.  Let us hope that the real world will come soon to us, and may we remove all blocks to love’s awareness that keeps it from us (paraphrases from ACIM).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live today as sanely as it is possible for me, caught in this world, to live.  I would not scare myself with my own fears.  I would seek guidance of the Holy Spirit about my goings and comings.  I would not try to direct my life, for I cannot judge aright.  But my Guide can judge aright, and it is to Him that I will turn today.

Help me to keep these resolutions.  Thank You.

Amen.

God = the All

ACIM Workbook Lesson 29 – for Saturday, January 29, 2011

Affirmation:  “God is in everything I see.”

Selected Passage:

“Nothing is as it appears to you.  Its holy purpose stands beyond your little range.  When vision has shown you the holiness that lights up the world, you will understand today’s idea perfectly.  And you will not understand how you could ever have found it difficult.  (WB45)”

Reflections:

God is the One, the All.  This idea has found its way into many of the world’s religion as well as in psychic material.  Jane Roberts’s Seth said that “God is the All.”  (Jane was an early psychic writer of the last century, who channeled Seth in open meetings and also when alone with her husband Rob, who took notes on what was said, and which was later published.)

When we say, as today’s lesson does, “God is in everything I see,” we do not mean to promulgate pantheism, which is the belief that there are many gods in all the various facets of our world.  Instead, we are realizing that God is “in” everything.  And that means “us” as well.  This tenet of ACIM goes against earlier biblical writing that said that the earth was God’s handiwork.  But the two concepts do not have to collide.  God and God’s handiwork are One.  And thus we all benefit from the fact that God is everywhere.

Mythology described by Joseph Campbell said that God made everything, one by one, as the “female” ran away from the “male,” out of fear.  But the man needed his companion, and he sought her repeatedly, becoming whatever creature she had become at the moment.  That, in myth, is how creation came to be.  It is fascinating to reflect upon how early myth captures the essence of what God’s latest revelations tell us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

It is reassuring to know that You are the All, and that You are in me as well as in everything else.  But All is One.  Thank You for leading me to understand this intuitively, though I do not pretend to understand it intellectually.

Be with me today.  When the conflicts of this world intrude on my peace, may I keep my peace–the peace that only You can and do grant.  Thank You for keeping me safe in this sometimes scary world.

Amen.