Tag Archives: journey without distance

Tiny, Mad Idea

cezanne - bowls of fruit
“It is impossible for you to imagine this holiness [of the Self] with the concepts of the thought system you heretofore have relied upon. This thought system has allowed only the acceptance of a reality within certain parameters, for it has not allowed you to imagine being able to take steps ‘back’ to the God you believe you left in defiance, or the self you believe you abandoned there. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 2.11)”

Affirmation: “I can believe that to separate from God was a ‘tiny, mad’ idea.”

Reflections:

1 – Madness

Earlier I suggested some “reasons” for a presumed separation from God, “reasons” set forth by individuals other than Jesus. Elsewhere, near this passage, Jesus indicates that we don’t have to look for a reason, though we have done so for eons. And maybe there was no reason other than madness. The “tiny, mad” idea is set forth early in the Text of A Course in Miracles, and this ACIM passage goes on to say that we “forgot to laugh.” And so the mad idea became possible of effects, without a cause. If this reasoning is sound, then we need look no further for reasons for a fall of humankind. There is no reason except madness.

2 – Guilty?

In today’s passage, we are almost seen as feeling guilty for this lapse, this separation. So we don’t look further for its cure. But there is a reason to look for the cure. And in that reason we move from the ego-self, to the personal self (also a persona) that is informed by the Self/Christ from within.

3 – God Is Not Angry with Us

If we can believe that we did not leave God in defiance, and especially if we can believe all that ACIM and ACOL have told us about God, we know that He is not “angry” with us. He has never condemned us, and so He also has no need to forgive us. What a glorious promise this is! We are redeemed, when we have walked the pathway back. The “journey without distance” (from ACIM) is as though we stand at the end of the pathway, looking back, and the carpet rolls up in retrospect.

4 – We Relive the Past

Jesus indicates that we do indeed stand at the end of the journey, that all that we experience now is in the past. We simply look back, reliving, a journey in which we are retracing our steps. The “tiny, mad” idea met with a Solution (the Holy Spirit) at the very point of the inception of the mad idea.

5 – Leave the Ego Behind

So let us decide today that we are through with all this egoic madness. We are, in fact, through with it, if we believe Jesus’s assertion that we are reliving the past. And so today is just as good as any day to take ourselves lightly as we retrace our steps.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would leave behind this tiny, mad idea of separation today. I did not leave God out of defiance, though I may have believed this for a very long time. And now is the time to return. I am ready, from a personal standpoint. But good intentions are not enough. I need You. Be with me as I make this transition into sanity.

Thank You.

Amen.

Eliminate Fear

“The separated self is so ensconced in fear that the known fears of its existence seem preferable to the unknown fears of any other kind of existence.  (A Course of Love, 10.22)”

 
van-gogh-tree in landscape
Affirmation:  “I would leave fear behind today–once and for all.”

Reflections:

1 – Separated Self

Why do we experience fear?  We have not let go of the separated self.

2 – Not Actually “Separate”

What does this mean?  It doesn’t mean that the separated self is real.  It would have been impossible, regardless of whenever, to actually separate from God or from our brothers and sisters.  The best that we could do when the “tiny, mad idea” (from A Course in Miracles) entered our minds was to imagine an illusion in which we were separate.  We could not fully know the glory of what we had until we went on a journey without distance (from ACIM) away from it.  This was a choice, ACOL tells us, that God and we made together.  We were rebellious adolescents, and so He made the choice that so many parents on this earth must make when their teenagers are rebellious:  We let go.  God “let go,” but He did not leave us alone, anymore than earthly parents leave their teens alone.

3 – In Illusions (Dreams)

And in this analogy I see much of our dilemma here on earth.  We think ourselves separate from God, and so this separation is what we experience.  Separation is not true in any real sense, but it becomes real enough to us, caught as we are in illusion (dreams).

4 – We Are Not Alone

May we leave behind the fears that our presumed separation has brought to us.  We are not and never have been alone.  God is as much with us as He has been in the eons that we have been entities in the universe(s).  May this reassurance stay with us today, as we navigate once again through the minefield that this world often is for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I let fear go today.  May no obsessions mar my enjoyment of this day.  May I know that I never have separated from You, and that Your felt presence is frequently with me.  I am at peace now.  May I remain so all the day long.

May all of us leave our fears behind, when we recognize that we are never alone.  God is always with us, and so are our brothers and sisters.  We need You, dear God, and may we never be tempted to go it alone.  That is no way to live.  No way to try to negotiate a way through this sometimes difficult world.

Thank You for teaching me years ago that it is better to share with others, to reach out.  I was never happy when I tried to hold in my conflicts.  Such isolation ignores You, and it also ignores other people.  We are all in this together.

Amen.

End the Chaos

“You who have so filled your mind with senseless wanderings and thoughts that think of nothing that is real, rejoice that there is a way to end this chaos.  The world you see is chaos and nothing in it, including your thoughts, is trustworthy.  (A Course of Love, 5.2)”

Affirmation:  “I would turn aside from the chaos of this world.”

Reflections:

1 – Don’t “Resist” Chaos

It would be wrong to “resist” the chaos of this world, for in the resistance, the chaos becomes strong.  The ego is strong in strife.  We need merely to turn aside, gently, to say to ourselves that we long for harmony in our live, and that we choose to avoid chaos.  Then love will work its blessing upon us.

2 – Ego

We cannot trust too much our own thoughts, for the ego has a toehold in us.  The ego is always wrong, for it is a part of ourselves that seeks to live as though God were not real.

3 – God’s Action

And God is very real.  We will know His love when we turn to Him in communion, and when He reaches down (metaphorically) and lifts us up in Awakening, we will be certain that the elevated Self of form has been our “journey without distance” (a quotation from ACIM).

4 – Awakening

This world is not trustworthy because this world is illusory.  This world is a dream that we have bought into.  And the best that we can hope, before Awakening comes, is to dream the happy dreams that the Holy Spirit brings (from the Workbook of A Course in Miracles).  These happy dreams will prepare us further for the Awakening, an Awakening that will come to all of us, though the all-inclusive nature may be a very long time in the future.  We are not to be disheartened by this wait, for God gives blessings to those of us who wait.  His blessings are not limited to any few who believe in Him.  His blessings are also for non-believers, for He would not leave anyone out.

5 – Commune with God

But there is great joy for those of us who commune with God, who communicate with Him.  We have taught ourselves the most unnatural habit of not communicating with our Creator.  And A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love would change all of this unfortunate thinking.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for promising that You will finally reach down and lift me up to Awakening.  This is Your choice, and I would be patient while I wait.  May I do my part, in that I refuse to encourage egoic thinking just by turning aside from such thinking.  I would not resist anything, because resistance makes the ego strong.  The ego is strong in strife.

But the ego is powerless against me when I commune with You.  As I live in the present moment, looking to You for guidance through my intuition, I am assured that this is all that You ask of me.  Your guidance is all that I need, and if I stay true to it, then You will respond at the time You feel is best.

Amen.

Dark Night of the Soul

“Child of God, you are alien here but need not be alien to your Self.  In your knowledge of your Self, all threat of time and space and place dissolves.  You may still walk an alien land, but not in a fog of amnesia that obscures what would be a brief adventure and replaces it with dreams of terror and confusion so rampant that no toehold of security is possible, and day turns endlessly into night in a long march toward death.  (A Course of Love, 4.6)”

Affirmation:  “May I know my Self today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Self

The Self (capitalized) is meant in A Course of Love to be the Christ who is in each of us.  Christ, as we know, is not limited to Jesus.  He paved the way, and is still leading the way, but he does not believe that he has anything that we cannot attain.  Even this sentiment is expressed in the New Testament, and certainly this sentiment finds a welcome home in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

2 – Terror and Confusion Begone

The passage for today is particularly vivid in its metaphors.  We are told that we can see our lives here as a brief adventure, and we do not need to have dreams of terror and confusion.  But most of us do, and most of us still do–despite study of ACIM and ACOL.  We are all equals in the journey that we take, the “journey without distance” (quotation from ACIM).

3 – Clear Our Minds

When we are lost in the emotions of fear–terror and confusion, as herein described–we are not in a good frame of mind even to study ACIM and ACOL.  We need, perhaps, to clear our minds in whatever ways we have determined work for us.  Possible avenues are prayer (communion with God), meditation (if we are led to do so, but long hours of “contemplation” are specified citing by Jesus in ACIM as being “tedious”), conversation with significant others in our lives, counseling, even listening to music.  (These are personal recommendations, most not cited in ACIM nor ACOL.)  When we are lost in terror and confusion, it is hard for the Holy Spirit and Christ-consciousness to reach us.  We have temporarily lost our way, lost it to the ego that has not died within us.

4 – Dark Nights of the Soul

Seek calm and quiet and stillness in whatever ways work for you.  Stay relaxed, sure of your eventual emergence from this dark night of the soul.  Dark nights of the soul come to all of us on the way back to God, and they do not mean that we are the less for having them.  It is part of the journey, and it is also a time not to give up on our religion.  We will know comfort again.  In the meantime, we stay the course.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would have a good day today and every day.  Even when hard times come, I do not have to feel abandoned.  I know intellectually that You are here, even when I don’t feel anything.  And I pray to sense Your Presence in my daily walk about this world.

May the fearful emotions, the terror and confusion, not veil my eyes from the light of the sun.  May I know that anytime I experience fear, there is a dawn coming that will be better.  May I choose to be tolerant of myself when I am torn by conflicting emotions.  They are evidence of the human condition, not that I have lost my way–though it may feel that way.

Be with me today and always.  Help me to turn aside from terror and confusion without adding to the fear by my own thinking.  Let my heart, which knows of comfort, speak to me today and every day.  Be with me, be with us, as we seek Your pathway through this sometimes tragic world.

Amen.

The Way of Salvation Is a Fait Accompli

“Would you not learn the lesson of salvation through his [Jesus’s] learning?  Why would you choose to start again, when he has made the journey for you?  (M-23.5)”

Affirmation:  “Jesus has made the journey for me.”

Reflections:

1 – What Jesus Learned

We can listen to the words of A Course in Miracles, and hear first hand what Jesus learned 2,000 years ago.  He made the journey for us.  We do not need to do anything to merit our own salvation.  We are sharing his resurrection with him.

2 – Why Do We Struggle So?

What a blessing this really is!  This passage asks us, without saying so, why we make life so hard for ourselves, when the way has already been cleared.

3 – Journey without Distance

Elsewhere Jesus says that this is a “journey without distance,” and there is a well-known book on A Course in Miracles by Robert Skutch that says the same.  We are not really going anywhere; we are accepting a reality that we have never known before in as great a depth as Jesus is teaching us in ACIM (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).

4 – Choose What Has Lasting Value

We often choose activities because their value will not last.  We go on tangents, led by the ego, that leads to impossible learning goals that are inherently depressing and absolutely impossible of achievement.  We need to make a different decision today.  We need to ask for help in making that decision.  We need to choose only what has value that will last, for no value that is temporary is of any good to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the walk that Jesus took 2,000 years ago.  And he shares today what he learned.  His message in A Course in Miracles is clear, and this message is that salvation is ready for all of us to accept.  We do not have to achieve to accept salvation.  We are beloved.  We are as You created us.  As much as we disbelieve, we are innocent, guilty only of making mistakes–mistakes that are correctable and totally forgivable by ourselves and others.  You, bless You, do not extend forgiveness because You have never condemned.

Be with as we seek to incorporate the message of ACIM in our daily lives.  When we slip, You are there to catch our hand so that we do not fall on our face.  Be with us today as we take the journey without distance.

Amen.

Herein Lie Hell and Heaven

“It is impossible that the prayer of the heart remain unanswered in the perception of the one who asks.  If he asks for the impossible, if he wants what does not exist or seeks for illusions in his heart, all this becomes his own.  The power of his decision offers it to him as he requests.  Herein lie hell and Heaven.  (M-21.3)”

Affirmation:  “May I ask for only what is true and real.”

Reflections:

1 – Personal Experience

I have been lost in illusions through one particular period early in my adult life.  My “prayer of the heart” was answered, and I was asking for what did not exist and was asking for illusion.  And they both came.

2 – Not Real

But was this real?  Indeed, no.  And God would have us to ask only for reality, the real world.  He will be there to see that we get the real world.

3 – Lost in the Ego

We are largely lost in the ego when we ask for what does not exist and for illusions.  Certainly I myself had, toward the end of my illusory journey, had discovered A Course in Miracles.  And within six months I had emerged from a 14-year illusion.  This miracle did not come of anything that I did.  I do believe that the Divine came into play.  And I have been mightily grateful for God’s action ever since.

4 – God Will Protect Us

I did not ask for anything that was bad for me.  I learned a great deal in that 14 years.  A Course in Miracles says that God will protect us when we ask for what is bad for ourselves.  It is no more than what a loving earthly father would do for his children.  (Paraphrases from ACIM.)

5 – A Kind of Hell

But we can make a kind of hell for ourselves when we ask for what does not exist or for illusions.  We need to test our prayer of the heart, to see that it is the right prayer.  And only a heartfelt desire to know and to do God’s Will will accomplish this miracle.  Especially when one’s force of will (informed by the ego) is very strong.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for walking with me through that 14 years in my early adulthood.  You knew what was best, and You, for the vast majority of the time, did not give me the “green light” to pray for what I wanted.  And so I didn’t pray for this dream, except for a brief three days, when the green light came through–not important in a 14-year journey.  Thank You for leading me to the very real life that You did plan for me.  And I have no regrets.  Part of what I was living was something that You authorized.

Be with me in the twilight years of my life.  Be with me for excellent physical and emotional health.  Help me to help others, and to attract to myself only what is Your highest and best.  May my thankfulness for the wonderful life that confronts me be something that You can see and acknowledge.

Be with all of us as we walk through the day, as we take journeys without distance, and finally find our home in You.

Amen.

Thousands of Years

“The miracle substitutes for learning that might have taken thousands of years.  (T8)”

Affirmation:  “The miracle substitutes for learning.”

Reflections:

1 – Collapse of Time

What a great promise!  This is the collapse of time about which A Course in Miracles speaks.  Jesus has said in the Text that he will alter time and space to allow us to perform miracles, and the promise made in this passage is akin.

2 – We Each Save a Thousand Years

How does the miracle substitute for learning that might take thousands of year?  We ourselves are said to save a thousand years, each of us, as the world judges it.  With this promise comes the realization that time can collapse and they we can do something to heal the worn and weary world of suffering..  We are meant to understand that we all can and will make a difference, once we have imparted on the “journey without distance” (quotation from ACIM) that we all must make, sooner or later.  We can bring others to salvation and the real world, and then God Himself, when we are ready, awakens us.  We do not choose this time, though ACIM implies that we can hasten it, because the means–in ACIM–are being explained to us by Jesus.

3 – Learning

Learning is greatly overestimated by the thinking of the world.  Many of us have been quite proud of our learning ability, and we frequently want to add to what we already know by more learning.  Yet ACIM also says that we sometimes want to learn things that will not last.  Surely we need to go beyond this limited thinking of ours.

4 – ACOL:  Time of Learning Is Over

A Course of Love continues these ACIM promises, if we do entertain the thought that ACOL is a sequel to ACIM.  In ACOL, the time of learning is said to be over, and we are to come to know through observation and discovery.  This does not mean (an interpretation) that we will never “learn” anything again, only that the message of salvation is ours by an altered route.

5 – Does the Road to Salvation Ever End?

We who are ACIM followers frequently think that the road to salvation never ends, that we are always to follow the next signpost and then the next.  We almost fall in love with learning.  But A Course of Love says that this is not the way.  We can invite what is called the “elevated Self of form” at any time that we wish; it may not be granted immediately, but immediate granting is conceivable.  We turn to Jesus not as our teacher, but as a companion along the way (according to ACOL).  Jesus does not have the answers to every question that we will ever have because we are walking the path together, making the future real together.

6 – Trust Jesus

We cannot understand the passage above from ACIM fully, probably because it seems too good to be true.  We must trust Jesus to know what he is talking about.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would seek today to know that there is a time for miracles, as well as a time that learning will cease.  We will still discover and make observations, but we will not be encouraged to search for ever more paths to a more pristine salvation.  When we think this, we are not allowing for miracles.  May I know today that Your way is easy, as Jesus has said, and that I do not have to struggle anymore to effect my salvation, and definitely do not have to struggle anymore to effect my Awakening.  Awakening is Your gift to me, when You know that I am ready.  I pray that this readiness be sooner rather than later.

Be with me today as I walk through a sometimes stressful world.  May I recognize that miracles can dissipate trials, and that the trials are a way to choose again, to make a better choice this time around.  I would choose You and Your way without fail.  Help me not to fail today.

Amen.

Christ’s Is the Vision I Will Use Today

ACIM Workbook Lesson  271 – for Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Affirmation:  “Christ’s is the vision I will use today.”

“Father, Christ’s vision is the way to You.  What He beholds invites Your memory to be restored to me.  And this I choose to be what I would look upon today.  (WB432)”

Reflections:

1 – What Does “Christ” Mean?

We need to ask to see with Christ’s vision, and this, of course, does not refer only to Jesus.  Christ is our real Self, the unchanged Self which is still as God created us.  We are in this prayer asking for the memory of God to be restored to us.  We can believe that God wants this for us, the God within.  We need to have the layers of illusion in which we are mired removed from our consciousness and our unconscious.  Then the memory of God can flow into our conscious mind (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).

2 – To Walk the Whole Pathway

We are asking for this blessing today, immediately.  We need to realize that the blessing is not meant to be a far-off thing, something for which we long all of our lives.  When we ask sincerely, we are expressing our willingness to set aright all parts of our lives.  We are asking to walk the whole pathway back home.

3 – “Journey without Distance”

Jesus says at one point in ACIM that the end is sure, once the “journey without distance” has begun.  If the way seems long, we are to remain contented, knowing the ultimate outcome.  We will all find our way home.  This is the promise we find in A Course in Miracles.  The discouraging part is that it may take millions of years for all of our brothers and sisters to find their way back to God.  Surely this underscores how important it is for us to get right with God sooner rather than later.  We are meant to lead others along the pathway of salvation.  But we do not offer more than they want at any given time.  A favorite passage of mine is the one in which Jesus says (in the Manual) that some are ready only for a smile.

4 – Our Special/Holy Relationships

We have different periods of time for our relationships.  A very few are lifelong, once they are begun.  We meet others, sometimes repeatedly over a lifetime, for a reencounter that is intense and for which learning can be profound.  We part when we have learned all that we can at a given time.  Others are far more casual–a child walking home with another child, a child running into an adult (but not being scolded by the adult), and the like.  May we ask today for the relationships in which we can be of real help.

5 – Right Place at the Right Time

We are told that students are waiting for us as teachers as soon as we have answered the call.  And the timing is impeccable.  We cannot but be at the right place at the right time.  (These are paraphrases from the Manual.)

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I come to realize the Self that I am, the one that might, amazingly, be called “Christ.”  This is something for all, something that we all will reach.  May we reach the Self sooner rather than later.

In my encounters today, may the relationships–brief or long–be holy ones.  I would like to see all of my special relationships transform into holy.  I know that this is Your desire for me.  Help me to carry out my part in what You desire for me.

This walk in this world is truly a walk through illusion, but it is the tangible world that we experience, in a practical sense.  May I experience the real world, the world of beauty and peace, in my walk today.

Amen.

Entering Your Home

“The morning star of this new day looks on a different world where God is welcomed and His Son with Him.  We who complete Him offer thanks to Him, as He gives thanks to us.  The Son is still, and in the quiet God has given him enters his home and is at peace at last.  (M92)”

Affirmation:  “May I enter my Home at last.”

Reflections:

This is the final few sentences of the Manual.  And it is a great comfort to read and to reread.  The “morning star” is an allusion to Revelation in the New Testament.

May we reach this place of Home and be at peace sooner rather than later.  May we study the Course diligently, so that this great blessing will be ours.  May we love our brothers and sisters, forgiving them their mistakes.  May we thank God for His great blessings to us.

Jesus is with us all along the way.  Remembering this will help us to remember our blessings, even as our path meanders toward Home.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for guiding me through the Manual.  May I accept the fact that my journey without distance to my Home will not be a straight line, but that there will be a bit of wandering about on my part.  I realize that this is natural, but I ask You to help my path Home to be as straight and clear as possible.

Thank You for A Course in Miracles.  As I read through the Manual,  I am especially grateful for the blessings that I find therein.

Amen.

Workbook Lesson for Day 90:

For this review we will use these ideas:

Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.

Let me recognize my problems have been solved.

The Journey

“Forget not once this journey is begun the end is certain.  Doubt along the way will come and go and go to come again.  Yet is the ending sure.  No one can fail to do what God appointed him to do.  When you forget, remember that you walk with Him and with His Word upon your heart.  (M91)”

Affirmation:  “The ending is sure.”

Reflections:

We are sure to get Home.  Once the journey is begun, the ending is certain.  And all of us have begun the journey, the “journey without distance” (quoted elsewhere in the Course).

Getting Home is not a straight line.  We will vary, and sometimes we will fall off the pathway.  But if we give up attack, judgment, and planning against contingencies to come, we will find our way back onto the pathway.  These three aspects of our experience–attack, judging, and planning–are all the means by which we fail (a Course concept).  Let us give up such nonsense now.

We do walk with Jesus, as we walk with God and the Holy Spirit.  Elsewhere Jesus invites us to imagine that we hold his hand as we walk along, and he assures us that this is no idle fantasy.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would like to imagine today that Jesus is walking along the way with me–through everything that I see and know today.  Help me really to feel this.  I know that this is a blessing that requires a leap of faith, but I am ready to take that leap.

Thank You for the comfort of the Course.  Thank You for the reassurance that, once begun, the way Home is certain.  I will find You again.

Amen.

Workbook Lesson for Day 89:

These are our review ideas for today:

I am entitled to miracles.

Let miracles replace all grievances.

The Ego’s Questions

“The ego may ask, ‘How did the impossible occur?’, ‘To what did the impossible happen?’, and may ask this in many forms.  Yet there is no answer; only an experience.  Seek only this, and do not let theology delay you. (M77)”

Affirmation:  “May I seek spiritual experience rather than theology.”

Reflections:

This passage refers to the beginnings of time as we know it.  How did we separate from God?  What tiny, mad idea did we entertain?  The ego wants to know, and maybe we do also.

The Course is always practical, and elsewhere tells us that it is concerned with only the practical.  It says that a universal theology is impossible, but that a universal experience is not only possible, but necessary.  The Course does not waste much, if any, time debating theological issues, and recommends that we not do so either.  It suggests that theology is heavily influenced by the ego, which is our false concept of ourselves.

We need to seek the experience that the Course holds out to us–an ego-less form of living that marches us straightway toward Awakening.  We get there, as we have said repeatedly, by following the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus would not have us delayed on this “journey without distance,” and so bids us to seek the experience and not to let theology delay us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Theology is the preoccupation of so much religion.  Please let my religion, my spirituality, be different.  May I seek an experience of spirituality, one that You lead me to discover.

Thank you for Your guidance always.  May I better follow Your guidance this day.

Amen.

Workbook Lesson for Day 83:

Today let us review these ideas:

My only function is the one God gave me.

My happiness and my function are one.