Tag Archives: judging

The Christ in Us Is Wholly Human & Wholly Divine

“The Christ in you is wholly human and wholly divine. . . .It is this joining of the human and divine that ushers in love’s presence, as all that caused you fear and pain falls away and you recognize again what love is.” (ACOL, C:5.1)
We are indeed blessed now! When we recognize the Christ in us, we are recognizing a joining the human and the divine. And in this joining, we are told, love reigns, “joining. . .ushers in love’s presence.” (ACOL, C:5.1)

All that has caused fear and pain drops away, and we finally recognize what love really is. This is the celebration, when we recognize the Self within, the Self no longer a captive of the ego.

The Christ in us is wholly human and wholly divine, not omniscient, of course, because of our humanness. We are ready to experience true reality in the fullness of the Christ-consciousness (Awakening) that now engulfs us. We may as yet have captured only glimpses of this Christ-consciousness. But the purpose of A Course of Love is to lead us to understandings that will cause the impediments in our psyche to drop away. Jesus wants us to reach Christ-consciousness. A consolidation of awakened individuals is the best hope that we have for a world in disarray, lost in pain and suffering, lost in conflict of one brother and sister against another. But God, we might add, is the omniscient Presence that makes the decision of when we are ready. Thus, there is an indecisive quality about Christ-consciousness and its coming that we can’t predict. Only the omniscient God of us all knows when any one of us is truly ready.

There are things that we can do. Things we must do. We must give up judgments, one of the other. We must give up fear (a biggie). We must give up attack and planning that is not the direct result of guidance. A Course of Love highlights the giving up of judgment and fear; A Course in Miracles highlights the giving up of attack, judgment, and unguided planning. These directives are meant to remove impediments to the coming of Christ-consciousness, and we can all recognize how difficult these directives will be if we don’t have divine help.

We do have divine help. We need only ask. The part of ourselves, the inner part, that is God, will respond. Angels will also come to our aid, for we are not all alone in the universe. Those of us who are in close contact with the Other Side will also come to recognize other entities that move to help us, though Jesus does not point this truth out, in so many words. Jesus has said that he is always with us, always guiding us by the hand. He is our rock, our salvation to a higher world in this world.

We do not have to die to enjoy the benefits of a higher presence directing our efforts.

A Carpet of Ease

“But more than this, each time that you judge anything or anyone, you have literally elicited guilt within yourself. Because there is a place within you, yet still, that knows the perfect purity of your brother and sister, and sees quite clearly that all things within the human realm are either the extension of love or a cry for help and healing.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 3, Page 25)

All things are either love’s extension, an expression of love—or a cry for love. All things. When we fully realize this, our life will get a lot better. We have found various goals in life, but the only meaningful goal is the talent to extend love. That is all that counts.

We judge often when we don’t even realize what we are doing. We imagine that another is judgmental of us, and in that “realization” we are actually projecting, for it is we who have judged and found wanting.

If we realized the extent to which projection damns us, we would withdraw our projections and rest in God’s grace. When we imagine that another has wronged us, we are failing to see their innocence in God’s eyes. If we realize that others do the best they can, given their state of mind and heart, given their understanding, then we can know that “reality” is not the harsh master of our lives that we think. This “reality” is not reality, in fact, at all. We are living in an illusion in which it seems that others have harmed us, but in innocence we forgive them, and then we are set into a true reality of peace, joy, harmony, and grace.

Extension of love will give us all that we could ever want or desire. Extension of love will offer us a carpet of ease on which to walk. Extension of love is our saving grace.

Always and forever.

Judge Not the Words that Come to You

1 – Chosen Words

“Gradually, he learns how to let his words be chosen for him by ceasing to decide for himself what he will say. . . .Judge not the words that come to you, but offer them in confidence. (M54)”

2 – Holy Spirit

This passage explains that the Holy Spirit, if we listen with a keen ear, will indicate to us what to say. This is not necessarily in a “voice,” but internally we have an indication of what to say. We can misinterpret, especially if we are confused or mentally unstable, but if we are of sound mind, very soon we will be able to distinguish what is the Holy Spirit and what is not.

3 – Many Ways

There are many ways that the Holy Spirit reaches us: words spoken by a brother or sister that seem especially pertinent to our situation and cue us to words or behavior; a “feeling” that we should (or should not) say or do a certain thing; dreams; in rare cases, visions or hallucinations. Sometimes words may come into our minds that seem a bit beyond us; we did not actually choose to “think” those things. That is likely to be the Holy Spirit’s communication.

4 – Diligence

If we are diligent in following, the guidance will continue. If we resist, the guidance will seem to cease until we are more willing. The Holy Spirit does not force Himself upon anyone. We receive best when we are in a relaxed manner and mood. Tension may break the connection, because it makes us unsure of ourselves. If we persist, the time will come shortly that we can be certain of the Holy Spirit’s communication. But because God deals with all of us differently, depending upon what we are ready to accept, there can be no firm guidelines that fit everyone.

5 – A Special Case

“This process is merely a special case of the lesson in the workbook that says, ‘I will step back and let Him lead the way.’ The teacher of God accepts the words which are offered him, and gives as he receives. He does not control the direction of his speaking. He listens and hears and speaks. (M54)

6 – Intuition

This section of the Manual offers a way of understanding our intuition that is hard to follow when we are stressed or in a bad mood. Our overwrought nature will make us doubt whether or not we actually hear anything at all, certainly anything at all that is relevant or accurate.

7 – Overwrought

When we are overwrought, the best thing to do is go within, to quiet one’s self. The little self, the personal self, is what needs quieting, for the Christ Self is always calm. We won’t know where to turn when we are in the throes of a deepening mood. We will wonder if anything that we perceive is accurate. And getting quiet will put us back into flow. Flow is when the day just moves along peacefully and gently; we are busy, but not too busy; we are calm and at peace in the midst of chaos, even.

8 – Hear Internally

If we hear internally words that we believe are those of the Holy Spirit, this passage indicates that we ought to offer those words to whomever we are with. These words may make us uncomfortable, but they will not hurt. If they seem to be hurtful words, then we are misperceiving, the Holy Spirit is not talking, but the ego is.

9 – Discernment

Listen to the Holy Spirit, but discern whether or not our inclination to talk is divinely inspired, or otherwise. Don’t speak if uncertain. Wait until we are sure.

10 – Hindrance

“A major hindrance in this aspect of his learning is the teacher of God’s fear about the validity of what he hears. And what he hears may indeed be quite startling. (M54)”

11 – Uncomfortable

This aspect of “hearing” means that we may find ourselves confronted with divinely inspired words that go against the grain. It may make us feel uncomfortable or ill at ease. We may doubt whether or not God is really with us. I would say that we must refrain from speaking if we have doubts. We will know the change when we switch out of egoic mood and into the flow that only the Holy Spirit can inspire.

12 – Easier Later On

This discernment becomes easier as we walk further along our pathway toward Awakening. The Society of Friends (Quakers) talk often about “discernment,” and this aspect of their faith is what I want to hold out to you now. We do not willy-nilly offer up anything that occurs to us to say. That would be very detrimental to our hearer. We calmly and peacefully wait until we are sure that the words that we hear internally are meant to be said. The Holy Spirit will speak to our hearts when we are confused. We do not have to doubt that God will get through to us.

13 – Irrelevance

“It may also seem to be quite irrelevant to the presented problem as he perceives it, and may, in fact, confront the teacher with a situation that appears to be very embarrassing to him. All these are judgments that have no value. They are his own, coming from a shabby self-perception which he would leave behind. (M54)”

14 – Embarrassment

This is the embarrassment passage that so many find puzzling and contraindicated. We do not want to be embarrassed. But let us consider the words of Jesus here, the fact that he is pointing out that we actually have a “shabby self-perception” which he would remove from us.

15 – Speak Out

Don’t hesitate to speak out, even though we think that we will appear foolish. Make sure that it is divine guidance, and when you are sure, offer those words that come to you. You will find a quick acceptance on the part of your hearers. You will quickly be assured that the Holy Spirit is directing your speaking.

16 – Judge Not

“Judge not the words that come to you, but offer them in confidence. They are far wiser than your own. (M54)”

17 – Judging Rightly

So even here we don’t “judge,” for to judge is to be mistaken. Only the Holy Spirit judges rightly.

18 – God’s Word

“God’s teachers have God’s Word behind their symbols. And He Himself gives to the words they use the power of His Spirit, raising them from meaningless symbols to the Call of Heaven itself. (M54)”

19 – Listening

We will find a following among those who listen to us, if we listen aright. We will find that our words will take on new meaning, even to ourselves. We will grow strong in confidence, certain of the Holy Spirit’s entries into our lives.

20 – Authority

And our words will have an authority that our personal, little self has never known. We will speak with a candidness and a certainty that known no bounds.

God will be pleased with us. Take care that the ego does not attach itself to this new found confidence, and all will be well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I always hear the words correctly that you wish me to say. May I not doubt, and may I not make mistakes in speaking what You will. May I not be confused in my thinking.

Your guidance is sure. When I doubt, perhaps I am still relying on the ego. May I not rely on the ego today.

Amen.

Relinquishing Judgment Will Bring You Peace. Can It Be Difficult to Want but This?

1 – Judgment

“It is not difficult to relinquish judgment. But it is difficult indeed to try to keep it. . . .Teacher of God, this step will bring you peace. Can it be difficult to want but this? (M28)”

2 – Pressure

Judging puts an enormous pressure on us. We feel bad, we hurt others, and we don’t see life realistically and accurately. It is also one of the ways that we stray from our pathway to Awakening (a Course concept).

3 – Guidance

We can make the choice to stop being the arbitrator of good and evil. We can turn to guidance for advice on how to live our lives. We may not always interpret guidance accurately, because we are human, but we will normally see life much better when we are trying to relinquish judgment.

4 – Peace

We want peace. So what more advice do we need than that which is given in the Course? Relinquish judgment, and peace is ours for the taking. After we have asked, we receive–a biblical concept as well as one of the Course.

5 – Flow

If we wish to have a good flow to our days, we must relinquish judgment. This includes our “evaluation” of people and events. We don’t need to engage in such analysis, for analysis is virtually always of the ego.

6 – Live the Day with the Holy Spirit

I can attest easily to the good that I have when I resolve to make no decisions “on my own.” If I choose to live the day with the Holy Spirit influencing my decisions, I am assured of a good day, regardless of the verbal attack and anger that I see. The attack and anger simply don’t get to me. They don’t have any effect, for I recognize that it is my dream. The dream can be changed, once the dreamer (myself) is recognized.

7 – First in the Morning

Let us resolve today to ask for flow early in the morning. If it is already late, let us metaphorically start the day over. Jesus tells us that this is indeed possible. If you stump your toe getting out of bed, you need a quick restorative, or the day will go downhill from there.

8 – Go Internally

Don’t let this happen to you. Go within quickly and talk internally to the Holy Spirit. See if the beginning of difficulties don’t dissolve instantaneously.

9 – Make No Mistakes

“He gave himself to Him Whose judgment he has chosen now to trust, instead of his own. Now he makes no mistakes. His Guide is sure. And where he came to judge, he comes to bless. Where now he laughs, he used to come to weep. (M28)”

10 – Holy Spirit

This passage is an amplification of the surrounding passages, which have bade us to turn our decisions over to the Holy Spirit. His is the true guidance, the times when we will not make mistakes.

11 – Interference

Sometimes we don’t know for sure if what we are hearing is guidance of the Holy Spirit. We may wonder, accurately, if our own little minds are interfering with the divine. And our little minds may be. It is important, therefore, (though this is not spelled out in the Course) that we test out our guidance to see if it is true. As we become more proficient in recognizing true guidance for what it is, we will make surer decisions. Whatever we are doing, if we are judging ourselves, it is sure that we are not following the Holy Spirit.

12 – Laugh

It is important to see that we can laugh instead of weep. Guidance is not an all-serious matter. The Course indicates that lightness is one of the attributes to which we can become accustomed. The farther along the path we travel, the more lighthearted we will become.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Be with me throughout the rest of this day. May I make no decisions, at least no major decisions, without consulting the Holy Spirit or my inner Self.

May judgment fall from me. May I know that to judge is to make mistakes, for I cannot judge accurately. May I turn all judgment over to Your Universal Inspiration, the Holy Spirit, and may in so doing the best that You have for me will be manifested.

Thank You for being there for me, today and always.

Amen.

God’s Teachers Have No Basis for Judging, because We Are Not Aware of All Situations that Have Impacted Points of Decision.

1 – Do Not Judge

“God’s teachers do not judge. To judge is to be dishonest, for to judge is to assume a position you do not have. (M12)”

In our better moments, all of us are God’s teachers as well as His students. There is no difference between teacher and student; only time separates, and time seems to be flexible. In our better moments, as well, we don’t judge. Judgment implies a omniscience that we do not have. Only the Holy Spirit (and later on, the inner Christ Self, deep in the Unconscious) can see what past, present, and future circumstances impinge on a given situation. Since we as our personal self don’t have the benefit of knowing all of these factors, we need to depend on Someone who does. This means that we give up judgment, which is always false, in opposition to what this world has taught us from childhood on. We give up what we never had, which was a prescience about the things to come, so that we might make sound decisions. We must learn that we were wrongly taught. We alter what the world has taught us about developing sound judgment on our own, and we move to listening internally to what the Holy Spirit says about what we best think and say and do.

2 – Choosing Wrongly

We are being “dishonest” when we depend solely on our personal selves, our “little” selves. We do not have a position that can see all past, present, and future circumstances—and so we virtually always, if left to our own devices, will choose wrongly. We try to assume a position that we don’t have, a position of all-knowing, when we all know that this is a mirage.

3 – Give Up Illusions of Grandeur

Let’s give up these illusions of grandeur about our knowledge forthwith. Let’s give over our judgment to the Holy Spirit or the Christ Self (as detailed in A Course of Love), knowing that now we have a Guide Who will not fail.

4 – Judgment

“Without judgment are all things equally acceptable, for who could judge otherwise? (M12)”

Judgment is one of the hardest ego tactics to give up. Herein we are bade not to make choices using our own judgment, but to let all things be equally acceptable.

5 – Don’t Condone Wrongdoing

This does not mean that we condone wrongdoing, or that we accept, without action, all the things in our world that we believe need correction. But it does mean that we start with ourselves first, and we don’t judge our brothers and sisters for choices that we cannot understand. We leave that judgment to the Holy Spirit, who sees all events prior and forward in time.

6 – Judgment Causes Misery

Judgment is easily laid aside once we see all the misery that it has caused for us and this world. Why would we hold to an illusion that we can judge at all? We have no basis for doing so, because we are not aware of all the situations that have made a given choice in this world. To judge is to be involved with an illusory self, one that really cannot know the best way. It is far better to leave judgment to Someone who does know–the Holy Spirit. He always sees the innocence is all actions. Everyone does the best that he or she can, given the circumstances, and everyone feels justified in his or her choices. The Course would not have us to judge matters of which we cannot know the whole.

7 – Honesty / Trust

“Judgment destroys honesty and shatters trust. No teacher of God can judge and hope to learn. (M12)”

We are in the time of learning when we are studying A Course in Miracles. Later on, if we follow the sequence and entertain the possibility that A Course of Love is a true sequel to ACIM, also channeled by Jesus, we will give up learning in favor of simple observation of our surroundings, present before us and thought about.

8 – Honesty = Consistency

Now we learn, as we follow A Course in Miracles. Honesty actually means consistency (ACIM Manual), and no word or act belies our desire to be honest in our dealings with ourselves and with others, as well as with our God. If we judge, we give up the chance of being right. We give up our experience of love, for judging is a separating factor, ruining our relationships. We find ourselves caught in a negative spiral, and negativity breeds further negativity, as Rhonda Bryne in The Power points out so eloquently. Only when we inject the positive in our dealings will we find peace and more positivity. Only then can we hope to be happy.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

My ego clings to judgment because judgment–as well as anger, attack, and planning for the future–keep the ego alive. May I recognize this ploy for what it is, and turn aside from judgment this day.

May I understand why I need to be accepting in this world. May I recognize when action is required of me to right a wrong, but may I be very careful about these choices. May I seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit always.

Amen.

Your Brothers’ Meaning Is Lost to You Precisely because You Are Judging Them

“When you recognize what you are and what your brothers are, you will realize that judging them in any way is without meaning, In fact, their meaning is lost to you precisely because you are judging them. (T47)”

Affirmation: “their meaning is lost to you. . .because you are judging them”

Reflections:

1 – Obscure Meaning

This passage is a bit obscure. What exactly do we recognize (in our brother and ourselves) that we are? The answer of A Course in Miracles is that we are Sons of God (and Daughters); we are innocent in the inner essence of who we are. We have not “sinned,” but the self which lives in this world has, instead, made mistakes–easily corrected when recognized. We are said to want to correct mistakes in a way that we don’t want to correct “sins”; there is a attracting feature to sin that sounds irrational and that encourages that sin to be repeated.

2 – A Way to Understand

But there is a way to read this passage that makes a good bit of common sense, along with the focus emphasized from ACIM. When we fail to forgive our brother or sister, we are not seeing them as they are. We recognize this lack of seeing rightly, however obscurely, and as a result we don’t make much progress on our own pathway. Our brothers and sisters, according to ACIM, are our way home. So when we think badly of them, we block ourselves from the better way. We don’t, as said, make much progress when we are mad at them.

3 – Philosophy of ACIM

This is part of the philosophical basis of A Course in Miracles. Judging by ourselves is always tainted, impossible in essence. We cannot know all the circle of causes and effects that we sometimes find ourselves judging. We give up judgment to the sure judgment of the Holy Spirit, which is only that God’s Son is guiltless, and that sin does not exist.

4 – A Darker Side

There is a darker side to judgment as well. We are told elsewhere that attack, judgment, and making defenses against contingencies to come will make us lose our way again. These actions can accomplish nothing, and they will divert us from our pathway to light. So let us give up judgment (i.e., relinquish it to the Holy Spirit, Who sees truly), and find the real meaning of ourselves and our brothers.

5 – Not Seeing Accurately

When we don’t see our brothers accurately, and this accuracy can come only with forgiveness of all that they have not done to us, then we lose our way. Why have they not done anything? Illusions. Yes, that is our fate in this world. And when we choose to give up illusions, and along with illusions the ego, we will see God reach down and lift us up to Awakening and the reality that we all long to see.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I give up attack, judgment, and making defenses against contingencies to come. If I do these things, I will surely lose my way. While the way can and will be found again, we lose much time, and we may suffer much.

May I completely relinquish attack in all its forms. This is the ego personified, and only in the relinquishment of the ego is peace found. Thank you for your help, for I will surely fail unless You walk with me.

May I drop grievances entirely from my group of emotions, my range of emotions. Holding grievances will never get me where I want to go, and holding grievances is eminently unfair to our brothers and sisters. Let us treat all others fairly today, however much we may be tempted to blame them for something.

Amen.

You Have No Idea of the Tremendous Release and Deep Peace that Comes from Meeting Yourself and Your Brothers Totally without Judgment

“You have no idea of the tremendous release and deep peace that comes from meeting yourself and your brothers totally without judgment. (T47)”

Affirmation: “meeting. . .totally without judgment”

Reflections:

1 – Just Love

How true! We cannot even comprehend the full blessing of this passage, but we do see glimpses when we try to withhold judgment and just love. The irony is that so long as we judge, we will perceive others as judging us. This is the tenet of A Course in Miracles that projection makes perception. Nowhere will we find this more evident than in both judgment and attack thoughts. Why do we say harsh things, meeting kindness with anger and attack? We are stressed. Or we just got up on the wrong side of the bed. We know better, but we are not able to put into practice our good intentions. We must put into practice our good intentions. The best to do this is through prayer, though ACIM and A Course of Love do not specify this, per se. We need to give our brothers and sisters the love that they deserve, and they do deserve our love, for they are innocent, in illusions, of wrongdoing.

2 – Transformation

The words, “tremendous release” and “deep peace” are comforting in the extreme. Do we not all wish for this? Here we find out how to effect this transformation. The peaceful nature of these words will carry us a long way toward avoiding anger and attack. We do not need to judge the holy one that God has given us to love. We do not need to feel stressed for any reason, and once we have met Awakening, we will know that no situation is there to cause us fear. We will not fear any longer. This is motivation indeed to find within ourselves the wherewithal to follow the teaching of ACIM and thereby learn what we need to understand before Awakening can descend upon us.

3 – Do Not Judge Ourselves

We must remember not to leave ourselves out of the equation. We must not judge ourselves, just as we must not judge our brothers. Frequently, we seem to have an internal judge that chastises us for misdeeds, real and imagined. These we are bade to leave behind, and we will know release and peace.

4 – What to Do when We Are Bad

Good intentions are not enough; we all know that. And we need to know that the Holy Spirit, in prayer, will give us the self-control that we need (a personal interpretation, not given in ACIM and ACOL). We need to recognize that we are good people, though we still make mistakes. Then our propensity for making mistakes will gradually fall away.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I leave judgment behind forever. May I know the release and the joy that come from tolerance for my brothers and sisters.

May my day go well today. This will happen if I just remember to be tolerant of my brother’s perceived failings, and I open my heart to love.

Amen.

Temptations of the Human Experience

renoir - boating party“Thus we begin to address the temptations of the human experience. Two are spoken of in tandem here: The temptation to judge and the temptation to accept the existence of a reality other than the truth. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 11.12)”

Affirmation: “I will seek the truth today, not judging anything or anybody.”

Reflections:

1 – Judging

This passage for today echoes part of a passage from A Course in Miracles: the prohibition not to judge, lest we lose our salvation, our walk toward Christ-consciousness or Awakening. The indication that we try to walk away from the truth is the fact that we, in bowing to the ego, all too often stay lost in illusions—the opposite of truth. Truth is, however, a slippery concept.

2 – Truth?

I once met a man who was trying to employ people in his political operation, and he put great emphasis on publishing the “truth.” But I realized that his mind was lost in illusions, and I felt that he honestly did not have a handle on a “truth.” Many zealots in our world think that they set forth the truth, but we ourselves may have misgivings about the particular brand of truth to which they ascribe.

3 – How Can We Know?

How can we know? In the bottom line, we cannot be sure, even when we have prayed long and hard. Zealots also pray long and hard, and they are certain that God is on their side. The litmus test is whether or not what we believe will hurt someone else. And if there is any chance that what we do will hurt, we can be sure that this particular pathway is not God’s.

4 – Hurt

Of course, our own proclivities in life may mean that we inadvertently hurt others when we tell our truth. This is particularly prone in romantic relationships, when another loves us (or vice-versus), and the love is not reciprocal. This is not the kind of hurt to which I refer. The kind of hurt to which I refer is the kind fraught with violence. And we all know that our wars and rumors or wars, sometimes fought for the noblest of reasons, are examples of hurting, though sometimes, perhaps, unavoidable.

5 – Attack, Judging, and Planning

And we must not judge. ACIM goes further: We are not to attack, and we are not to make plans against contingencies to come (unless prompted by guidance). Judgments hurt us, for we are not in a forgiving state of mind. And so judgments are examples of temptations best avoided.

6 – Today’s Task

So avoid temptations today: Avoid judgments and avoid trying to evade the truth as we see it. We will all make different decisions, based on our personalities and backgrounds, but the way seems clear when we walk the pathway of love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I need to realize that my greatest temptation right now is to plan for the future, even if guidance has not led me in that direction. This is a path that I would not take, though my idle mind bends in that direction. I would also avoid attacking others, and I would avoid judging others. Right now those two temptations do not hurt me so much as the planning that I am wont to do. Be with me to put a stop to this planning.

I would follow your pathway. I would live as long as you deem right for me, doing healthy things to keep my physical and emotional body is good shape. I would be there for my brothers and sisters. They have been there for me, just as You always have been. Help me to walk the straight pathway back to you today. And guide me ever-closer to Christ-consciousness at the time that You deem appropriate.

Thank You.

Amen.

Believe that You Can, and You Can

“See you now why those who judge cannot enter heaven?  Judgment proceeds from the belief in sin and the irreversibility of all errors.  If you do not believe you can reverse or ‘turn back’ to the state in which you existed before the original error, then you never shall.  (A Course of Love, 17.12)”

Affirmation:  “May my beliefs dovetail with the good.”

Reflections:Landscape with House and Laborer - van gogh

1 – God Protects Us

There is subtle intrusion here, from Jesus, of the importance of belief in living our lives.  If we don’t believe that something is possible, then it will not find a place in our experience.  If we do believe (turning the statement on its head), then we will experience that for which we ask, provided that it is good and right for ourselves.  For God protects us still.

2 – Three Prohibitions

In A Course in Miracles, we are bade to avoid attack, avoid judgment, and avoid making plans against contingencies to come (unless prompted by the Holy Spirit).  To avoid these things is to invite heaven (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  Surely to do these things is to fall away from salvation, and our lives, likewise, will start falling apart.

3 – Judgment

In the passage for today, Jesus especially points out the dangers of judgment.  And, in doing so, he echoes the New Testament, as many of us know.

4 – Original Error

The original error was the presumed separation from God, the rise of the ego, and the loss of that sense of joining with God and all others.  This, according to ACIM, was a “tiny, mad idea” at which the children of God forgot to laugh.  And in the forgetting did it become possible for the impossible to seem to happen.

5 – Erase the Evil

We do need to realize that all of this misfortune can be erased.  We do not have to presume a separated state any longer.  When we allow God to speak to us from within (or the Holy Spirit, as described in ACIM), then the Christ/Self can rise to the forefront of our lives.  And our lives will get immeasurably better.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Please be with me today as I seek to implement the law of attraction, which is what this passage for today is saying.  I do choose to hope only for those things that You would have for me, because You see the whole picture, and I see in part.  Be with me to implement–not to “effort” to have, for this would be thinking amiss.  If my heart tells me that I am to have something, then I am more likely to be on the right beam.

If I do not feel internally that I can manifest something, then trying to manifest that thing (whatever it might be) is wrong.  I would not go wrong today.  Help me to follow You, as always.  And may my words help others who might chance to read this blog.

Amen.

Placing Reliance on Self Alone = Always Faulty

“He must be sure success is not of him, but will be given him at any time, in any place and circumstance he calls for it.  There are times his certainty will waver, and the instant this occurs he will return to earlier attempts to place reliance on himself alone.  Forget not this is magic, and magic is a sorry substitute for true assistance.  It is not good enough for God’s teacher, because it is not enough for God’s Son.  (M-16.8)”

Affirmation:  “reliance on self alone is magic”

Reflections:

1 – Relying on the Ego

Reliance on self alone is reliance on the ego that is a part of the personal self.  The teacher/student of God does not make this mistake if he wishes to have a good life, the kind of good life that God wishes for him/her.  We are used to placing reliance on ourselves alone.  The world teaches toward this, believing that good judgment is an asset to be favored and developed.

2 – Judgment Faulty

Yet we cannot have good judgment, because we cannot know all the facts surrounding any issue.  Our judgment, our personal judgment, of the same issue may seem right at one point, wrong at another.  We do not know.  Only the Holy Spirit knows all facts surrounding every issue, along with how our thoughts and actions will affect others beyond ourselves (in addition to ourselves).  So we give up judgment, and in so doing, we are blessed.  The burden is gone.  And it was all a fantasy, a false idea that we ought to develop our judgment to its heights.  (These ideas are paraphrases from the Manual.)

3 – This Definition of “Magic”

The word “magic” in this context is not a good thing.  It is akin to the secular psychological idea of “magical thoughts,” which suggest mental illness.  We do not always use the term “magic” as a negative, but Jesus here uses it in this way.  There are many different definitions of the same word in the English language, and this is one of them.

4 – Students/Teachers of God

Remember that only time (which does not really exist) separates the teacher of God from the student of God.  We are actually all both teacher and student (paraphrase from the Manual).  We do not always realize when we are teaching, but when we are teaching (which goes on all the time), we are drilling in to our own psyche the very things that we are trying to convey to our brothers and sisters.  We have often recognized that the teacher in a secular classroom learns best the lesson that he/she is teaching, and learns it better than the students who sit in the classroom.  This is akin to the passage selected for today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would recognize guidance and follow it as much as I can possibly bring myself to do.  If I hesitate, I will stop a moment and ask, “Why?”  I will not barrel ahead to a dubious conclusion.  My ego’s judgment is always faulty, and the personal self frequently is trapped in egoic thinking.

May I know that relying on the personal self is not the best that I can do.  I need Your help, and I know that there is no shame in acknowledging this need for You.  You are always there for me, and I would thank You for this commitment from You.  I am a part of You, but I do not see the whole picture that You see.  Help me to see more and more of the picture, though, as I turn to You ever more frequently.

Be with all of us as we seek You today.  And may today be a glorious day, even as the rainy weather cures the parched soil that I see outside my window.

Amen.

I Choose the Joy of God Instead of Pain

ACIM Workbook Lesson 190 – for Monday, July 9, 2012

Affirmation:  “I choose the joy of God instead of pain.”

“Lay down your arms, and come without defense into the quiet place where Heaven’s peace holds all things still at last.  Lay down all thoughts of danger and of fear.  Let no attack enter with you.  Lay down the cruel sword of judgment that you hold against your throat, and put aside the withering assaults with which you seek to hide your holiness.  (WB362)”

Reflections:

1 – When in Anger or Attack

Today’s passage will comfort in times of distress, especially when we are in anger or attack mode.  We are to get quiet, feel the peace of Heaven, and let the discouraging emotions die an easy death.  We will then feel better, and the effect will be extreme relaxation and serenity.

2 – Do Not Judge

If we judge on an ongoing basis, we will never know Awakening.  We are told elsewhere that judging precludes Awakening.  We are also told that if we seem to slip from grace, we have in all likelihood dipped into attack, judgment, or have started making plans against contingencies that are not supported by the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Text tenets).

3 – Help in Dropping Judgment

If dropping judging can do so much for us, how do we effect this?  We must remember that we have lots of help.  There are Teachers of teachers, watching from the Other Side (from the Manual).  There is our internal Guide, the Holy Spirit.  And Jesus offers his help, help that he will bring to us upon hearing “one unequivocal call” (quotations from ACIM).  So we call on this help; we do not even attempt to drop judging as a personal crusade.  Personal crusades are one way that the ego hides from us, and the outcome is never good (personal interpretation, not stated directly in ACIM).  We are bad to commune with God (in the opening pages of the Text).

4 – We Are Never Alone

We never, in short, need to feel alone, because we never are alone.  But we have to relinquish the ego-oriented self-will that is not open to God’s direction.  As ACIM says many times, God’s Will and our will are identical, but we just don’t recognize this.  The Holy Spirit chooses for us.  He lets us know what will make us happy, for happiness is a function that ACIM ascribes to us.

5 – No More Judging

We pray that judging step aside from us.  We pray that the ego, a part of our belief about ourselves, cease to call the shots.  And when we have become pliable and flexible in God’s Hands, we will know the peace that today’s passage promises.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to get through this day.  It appears to be difficult, but this is only a mirage.  No day with You is difficult.  And I bring my own pain upon myself.  Help me to do no judging of my brothers and sisters.  All are doing as well as they can.  And help me to do as well as I can.

Amen.

Unburdened

“Now [i.e., after laying judgment now] can the teacher of God rise up unburdened, and walk lightly on.  Yet it is not only this that is his benefit.  His sense of care is gone, for he has none.  He has given it away, along with judgment.  He gave himself to Him Whose judgment he has chosen now to trust, instead of his own.  (M-10.5)”

Affirmation:  “I would walk lightly on.”

Reflections:

1 – No Judging

This passage is an amplification of yesterday’s passage.  With judgment relinquished, we are in a much better position to live the full life that we all desire.  We are not hemmed in by circumstances (an “imprisoned will,” as ACIM says), but are, at last, perfectly free and unencumbered.

2 – No Strain

This does not mean that we leave our responsibilities to our loved ones unmet.  But now there is no strain in helping others.  We love them, and, when needed and if asked, we help.  We do not withdraw, under any circumstances, just unto ourselves.  To do so would invite disaster.  The Text indicates that withdrawal is always best avoided.  We belong in this world, and part of this world includes our brothers and sisters.  We seek their good as well as our own.  And if they show any readiness to accept salvation, we reach out to them.  But we do not press ourselves upon them.  Some are not ready, and to thrust salvation on an unwilling brother or sister is to fail to appreciate and to respect their boundaries.

3 – Unburdened

What a joy it is to rise up “unburdened, and walk lightly on.”  We do not have cares, in the sense that we have previously had cares.  We know that the guidance of the Holy Spirit (or Christ-consciousness, if we have walked farther along the pathway) is sure.  We need only ask, be flexible in our response, and then say or do the thing that comes to us.

4 – Walk Well through the Day

Nor do we have to get compulsive about this.  Jesus says elsewhere in the Manual that to try to ask at every juncture is impractical, and that it is with the practical that this Course is most concerned.  If we set our wills toward the Holy Spirit upon awakening, ask His advice at pivotal junctures through the day, and forget not to thank Him at the conclusion of the day, our confidence will be well-placed (ACIM tenets).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would walk well through this day.  I would be more flexible than I was yesterday.  I find it is so easy to get something in mind, and to rush full steam ahead.  But that is not the way to follow guidance.  Be with me as I seek to follow my Guide, the Holy Spirit.

Relieve me of anxiety in this day.  If this type of pain intrudes, may I know that it is all illusion, and may I ask You for an emotional healing.  Be with all of us as we seek to live healthy, vigorous lives.

Thank You.

Amen.

Judging

“When you recognize what you are and what your brothers are, you will realize that judging them in any way is without meaning, In fact, their meaning is lost to you precisely because you are judging them.  (T47)”

Affirmation:  “their meaning is lost to you. . .because you are judging them”

Reflections:

1 – A Difficult Passage

This passage is a bit obscure.  What exactly do we recognize (in our brother and ourselves) that we are?  The answer of the Course is that we are Sons of God (and Daughters); we are innocent in the inner essence of who we are.  We have not “sinned,” but the self which lives in this world has, instead, made mistakes–easily corrected when recognized.  We are said to want to correct mistakes in a way that we don’t want to correct “sins”; there is a attracting feature to sin that sounds irrational and that encourages that sin to be repeated.

2 – Judging Is Always Tainted

This is part of the philosophical basis of the Course.  Judging by ourselves is always tainted, impossible in essence.  We cannot know all the circle of causes and effects that we sometimes find ourselves judging.  We give up judgment to the sure judgment of the Holy Spirit, which is only that God’s Son is guiltless, and that sin does not exist.

3 – Avoid Attack, Judging, and Planning

There is a darker side to judgment as well.  We are told elsewhere that attack, judgment, and making defenses against contingencies to come, planning unless prompted by the Holy Spirit, will make us lose our way again.  These actions can accomplish nothing, and they will divert us from our pathway to light.  So let us give up judgment (i.e., relinquish it to the Holy Spirit, Who sees truly), and find the real meaning of ourselves and our brothers.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I give up attack, judgment, and making defenses against contingencies to come.  If I do these things, I will surely lose my way.  While the way can and will be found again, we lose much time, and we may suffer much.

May I completely relinquish attack in all its forms.  This is the ego personified, and only in the relinquishment of the ego is peace found.  Thank you for your help, for I will surely fail unless You walk with me.

Amen.

Tremendous Release / Deep Peace

“You have no idea of the tremendous release and deep peace that comes from meeting yourself and your brothers totally without judgment.  (T47)”

Affirmation:  “meeting. . .totally without judgment”

Reflections:

1 – How True!

How true!  We cannot even comprehend the full blessing of this passage, but we do see glimpses when we try to withhold judgment and just love.  The irony is that so long as we judge, we will perceive others as judging us.  This is the tenet of the Course that projection makes perception.  Nowhere will we find this more evident than in both judgment and attack thoughts.

2 – Comforting Words

The words, “tremendous release” and “deep peace” are comforting in the extreme.  Do we not all wish for this?  Here we find out how to effect this transformation.

3 – Do Not Judge–Ever!

We must remember not to leave ourselves out of the equation.  We must not judge ourselves, just as we must not judge our brothers.  Frequently, we seem to have an internal judge that chastises us for misdeeds, real and imagined.  These we are bade to leave behind, and we will know release and peace.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I leave judgment behind forever.  May I know the release and the joy that come from tolerance for my brothers and sisters.

May my day go well today.  This will happen if I just remember to be tolerant of my brother’s perceived failings, and I open my heart to love.

Amen.

A Sick Mind

“If you let your mind harbor attack thoughts, yield to judgment or make plans against uncertainties to come, you have again misplaced yourself, and made a bodily identity which will attack the body, for the mind is sick.  (WB260)”

Affirmation:  “no attack thoughts, no judgment, and no unguided plans”

 

Reflections:

1 – Important Passage

This is a very important passage, but easy to overlook in all of the many important passages in the Course.  If the pathway has become easier, and then suddenly or even gradually turns to darkness, here is the answer.

2 – Personal Experience

About seven years ago, I got away from A Course in Miracles.  I was at the same time under a great deal of stress, as were my significant others.  Getting away from ACIM was a very, very big mistake.  I found myself doing all the things that this passage (above) warns against.  When I, once again, after a lapse of some months, returned to ACIM, my life smoothed out, and I also discovered this passage (which I had overlooked).  The passage spoke to me now.  And it speaks still.  It has become one of my favorite passages, along with the clear explanation of why we fall away from our pathway.

3 – When the Way Is Difficult

So if the way seems rough, here is the answer.  Even times spent in happy dreams can turn to madness again if we harbor attack, if we judge, or if we make plans against uncertainties.
4 – Planning

Perhaps only the first two seem pivotal:  attacking and judging.  Planning is not often seen as deplorable, but it means that we are defending against the future.  And defense, according to the Course, is not encouraged.  It is, indeed, actively warned against.

5 – Three Prohibitions

Three prohibitions:  attacking, judging, planning against uncertainties to come.  The Course puts this warning in amidst many other great passages, but this one alone will go a long way toward explaining any falling away from the truth in our lives.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Today I would stay in the flow dictated by the Holy Spirit.  I long to stay in the flow always, but sometimes I slip.  But today I ask that You help me to stay on the pathway to You:  no attacks, no judgments, no planning that is not prompted by my Guide.  Be with me today as I seek to turn on a dime (as I so often say).

I sometimes plan my day in the morning, almost without thinking.  And then I become overwhelmed.  This is not what You would will for me.  You would have me take each hour as it comes, careful of nothing, knowing that You are always there for me.  And when I am stressed, I may contemplate verbal attack, even if I say nothing.  This is not Your way either.  Thoughts make form at some level, and I would not have thoughts that would attack my brothers and sisters.  Keep me calm, if You would, and therefore less prone to be tempted to attack.  And judging happens almost without awareness when I am frustrated by another’s actions, when the other does not fulfill the plan that I have set out for that individual.  This too is a lamentable way to live.

And I would have none of these lamentable ways today.  I would speak kindly to my brothers and sisters, I would not judge any of their words or deeds, and I would not look ahead to plan anything that does not appear in the flow that the Holy Spirit gives me.

Help me to realize that, with Your help, all in my day will be easy.  Thank You.

Amen.

Attack

“You could not recognize your ‘evil’ thoughts as long as you see value in attack.  You will perceive them sometimes, but will not see them as meaningless.  And so they come in fearful form, with content still concealed, to shake your sorry concept of yourself and blacken it with still another ‘crime.’ (T622)”

Affirmation:  “From henceforth I will put no value in attack.”

Reflections:

1 – Leave Attack Behind Forever

The Course would have us leave attack behind forever.  If we do attack, we may feel better momentarily, thinking that we have gotten the guilt out (from Ken Wapnick), the anger vented, but we will accuse ourselves of “sin,” or, as the Course says, yet another mistake.  We will feel worse about ourselves, a “sorry concept,” that has been blackened by yet another crime.

2 – Let the Holy Spirit Be the Judge

These words are deep.  They suggest that the only way out of our illusions of sin are to leave attack alone.  Turn over our anger to the Holy Spirit.  Let him judge the severity of the deed against ourselves, done by another.  It is not for us to judge; let Him.

3 – Thinking Unconsciously

I think that we attack another when we are thinking unconsciously; we just react in loud words, sometimes viciously if we are threatened.  I don’t have any experience with physical attack, but I have been guilty of verbal attack (and this is not yet conquered in me, though I always try to apologize when I am, once again, thinking clearly and sanely).  We need to realize that attack actually makes our way harder, not easier.  Nobody is going to feel better about us when we have attacked them; just the reverse is true.  And all of us actually long for the often-unexpressed love that we urgently desire from our significant others (most of all, our significant others).  If we all knew how to love better, we would.   This is the appeal of most religions, and love is always the theme.

4 – Love Afresh

A Course in Miracles counsels the way for us to love afresh, even when that love is not returned.  We can have a settled good will toward all of our brothers and sisters.  We do not have to blame others when they don’t take the roles that we have assigned to them (an ACIM tenet).

5 – The Way of Attack Never Works

We think that attack gives us something that we want.  We are wrong.  The way of attack can never work.  The Course embodies that premise.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would leave behind attack today, even when someone I know and love is baiting me.  That individual is acting unconsciously; what is actually wanted is love, but all of us so poorly understand how to love simply and effectively.  We think that attack, when we are angry, will get us something that we want.  But it only alienates another.  The soft word, the gentle touch, dispell attack from another.  And gentle, inner thoughts will dispel the wish to attack in ourselves.

Thank You for leading me to this realization.  Help me to keep in mind and make my own the intellectual understanding.  Help me to go beyond the intellectual, and to put into practice the emotional that I so wish to feel.

Thank You for being there, even when I do not always act well and lovingly.  I would act well and lovingly, but I will never do so until You aid me.  And You will.  I promise to be a willing student.

Amen.

Judge Not

“How can God’s Son awaken from the dream?  It is a dream of judgment.  So must he judge not, and he will waken. (T622)”

Affirmation:  “I will judge not, and thereby ready myself for Awakening.”

 

Reflections:

1 – Challenge

This is a great challenge to those of us who have not yet awakened.  The advanced teacher of God does not see challenge, but it is there for the vast majority of us.  Jesus would caution us that the advanced teacher of God takes what comes in his/her day, not seeing anything as a challenge, because he/she knows that the Holy Spirit is the Guide.  Following Him corrects the potential errors of the day.  A Course of Love takes the concept a step farther, believing that we have entered the time of Christ, a time which follows the time of the Holy Spirit.  This time will come when there are enough awakened ones to create a new world.  (There seems to be some overlap currently, but this is an interpretation, not stated in either ACIM or ACOL.)

2 – Stop Judging Immediately

We can choose to stop judgment at the point that we first notice it.  This takes practice, but it is not outside our will, with the help of the Holy Spirit or the Christ-consciousness.  Indeed, we need to be mindful that attack, judgment, and unguided planning are errors that will cause us to lose our way.  Attack is mentioned first in the Text, but judging then follows in the same sentence, indicating its importance as well.

3 – A Promise

There is a great promise in this passage.  “Se must he judge not, and he will waken.”  What a blessing it is!  And how easy does Jesus make it sound.  Is it that easy?  It can be, but Jesus indicates in the Manual to ACIM that most of us are given slowly evolving programs of study.  Most of us do not change our whole life situation immediately.

4 – Does the Way Seem Long?

But when the way seems long, perhaps we need to recall the idea for today:  Judge not, and we will awaken.  This assertion is akin to the biblical injunctions not to judge.  So why do we, reared in the Christian faith, find non-judgment such an elusive trait?  May we pray for the help that we need to leave judgment behind forever.  Its value as a defense is the basic problem.  But we need to leave defenses behind as well, for that make what they would dispel (from ACIM).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

What a great joy it is to learn that if I only refrain from judging others and myself, I will awaken–because You have chosen that I am ready.  Prepare me today to spend a day without judgment.  Surely the day will bring instances in which I will have judged already, before I get a “stop” to control myself.  I would limit these times as much as is humanly possible, and I would ask You for help in what, as a human being, I cannot seem to control.  You are my Control, as well my certainty that once begun, the end of the journey is certain.

So I would not judge today.  To effect this, I will need Your help all along the way.  I will need to stay calm, tranquil, serene–because stress brings out the worst in me.  May I have a peaceful, walking in Your light.

Amen.

A Sick Mind

“If you let your mind harbor attack thoughts, yield to judgment or make plans against uncertainties to come, you have again misplaced yourself, and made a bodily identity which will attack the body, for the mind is sick.  (WB260)”

Affirmation:  “no attack thoughts, judging, or ‘plans'”

Reflections:

1 – Why We Fall from Grace

This is a very important passage, but easy to overlook in all of the many important passages in the Course.  If the pathway has become easier, and then suddenly or even gradually turns to darkness, here is the answer.

2 – Lost in a Strange and Harsh World

So if the way seems rough, here is the answer.  Even times spent in happy dreams can turn to madness again if we harbor attack, if we judge, or if we make plans against uncertainties.  (If there are plans to be made, the Holy Spirit will prompt us at the appropriate time–an ACIM tenet.)  Attack and judging make the Holy Spirit’s advice impossible to hear.  We have fallen into an egoic place, and that is not where we would be.  If we lose the ability to hear our Guide, we will be lost in a strange and harsh world, not headed on the path back to God.  We will need to forgive, first of all, ourselves for this lapse; then we will need to forgive the others that have almost certainly contributed to our downfall.   This is not hard to do when we are determined.  And reading and studying Jesus’s words in A Course in Miracles will put us back on the right pathway.

3 – What “Planning” Means

Perhaps only the first two of these prohibitions seem pivotal:  attacking and judging.  Planning is not often seen as deplorable, but it means that we are defending against the future.  And defense, according to the Course, is not encouraged.  It is, indeed, actively warned against.  If we defend ourselves, we make what we would defend against (a Text tenet).  And we would not make these straw men a part of our new world.

4 – If We Fall Away, Here Is the Answer Why

Three prohibitions:  attacking, judging, planning against uncertainties to come.  The Course puts this warning in amidst many other great passages, but this one alone will go a long way toward explaining any falling away from the truth in our lives.

5 – An Almost Hidden Passage in ACIM

This is an almost hidden passage in A Course in Miracles.  I have never read it in any commentary on ACIM (though I do read commentaries in a limited way).  In the same vein, do go often to ACIM itself; take nothing that I say unto yourself unless it finds a warm place in your heart.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

It can be so easy to fall away, even after we think that we are making progress along our pathway.  Thank You for pointing out to me this pivotal passage.  May I stay in line with Your wishes, and not attack, judge, nor make plans that are not prompted by my Guide.

Be with me today as I seek to find a smooth way through complexities that would engulf me.  These complexities are often of an ego that has not completely withered away.  The ego is wily; I would not be misled today.

Be with me for a smooth, harmonious, relaxed and easy pace today.  There is always time for what is needful.  And You love my significant others even more than I do, because in this world I have my limitations.  May this day go well, and may I make a contribution to the best that the day can hold for those who surround me.

Amen.

Judge Not

“How can God’s Son awaken from the dream?  It is a dream of judgment.  So must he judge not, and he will waken. (T622)”

Affirmation:  “I will judge not, that I may awaken.”

Reflections:

1 – Challenge

This is a great challenge to those of us who have not yet awakened.  The advanced teacher of God does not see challenge, but it is there for the vast majority of us.  Perhaps the only thing, concretely, that we can do to hasten Awakening is to remember not to judge.  Judging is the prerogative of the Holy Spirit, and He makes one judgment only, “God’s Son is innocent.”  (These are paraphrases from ACIM.)

2 – We Are Innocent

Do we really believe that we are innocent?  Can we really see that we live in eternity, where we have not sinned, though we have “sinned” in time?  We live in an illusion, and we must not choose to do just anything at all, because everything is illusion.  This is a particular unfortunate interpretation of ACIM that perhaps few of us choose to make.  We still try to do the right thing; we do not choose what we perceive as wrong or “evil.”

3 – Cease Judging

We can choose to stop judgment at the point that we first notice it.  This takes practice, but it is not outside our will, with the help of the Holy Spirit.  It is God Himself, according to ACIM, Who takes the final step to awaken us.  The timing is His own.

4 – Judge Not = Awaken

There is a great promise in this passage.  “Se must he judge not, and he will waken.”  What a blessing it is!  And how easy does Jesus make it sound.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not evaluate my life and those who are a part of it today.  Evaluation is very close to judgment, and judging is not my prerogative.  You counsel against judgment.  I am not happy when I judge, when I have failed to forgive, and this in itself is enough to know that I have strayed from the pathway back to You.

I would be happy today.  Send me on busy doings, but in the doing keep me close to You.  I would feel Your presence as I carry out the sometimes difficult tasks that I am called on to fulfill.  May my day be busy and full, but blessed by the sense of Your presence.  May Your Guide keep me walking smoothly and serenely.

Amen.

You Never Hate Your Brother for His Sins, but Only for Your Own

“Learn this, and learn it well, for it is here delay of happiness is shortened by a span of time you cannot realize.  You never hate your brother for his sins, but only for your own.  Whatever form his sins appear to take, it but obscures the fact that you believe them to be yours, and therefore meriting a ‘just’ attack. (T651)”

Affirmation:  “I would not hate my brother for my ‘sins.'”

Reflections:

1 – “Only for Your Own”

“. . .[O]nly for your own.”  This statement will go a very long way toward eliminating judging in our little world.  If we can believe that we are looking within (unconsciously), and then looking outward, seeing that same secret sin in others that we think is within ourselves, we will have a moment of recognition that will be illuminating.  It is always ourselves that we are seeing.  We blame our brothers and sisters for the thoughts or actions that we ourselves would be prone to have or make.

2 – Especially Helpful Truth

This truth is especially helpful within the family, our significant other (our “brother,” in the terminology of the A Course in Miracles), or “brothers” in our circle of friends.

3 – Avoid Judging

Avoiding judgment is very important to learning the ACIM.  If we fail at this juncture, we are likely to fall away from the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings, (WB270)” and darkness will close upon us once again.

4 – Judgment Does Not Keep Us Safe

How do we avoid judgment when we have been taught in this world that judgment keeps us safe?  We think that we made a place of safety for ourselves, but it is not so.  We think that defending ourselves against presumed attacks will help us to walk a smoother pathway.  It is not so.  We cannot know all the facts in any given situation, and that is why ACIM counsels leaving all judgment to the Holy Spirit (who does know all the facts).  We avoid judgment by a concerted decision to do so, recognizing that we will not always refrain, and knowing that forgiveness is called for when we have judged without considering the full ramifications of what we are doing.  We go within, perhaps by distancing ourselves from the source of trouble, and we seek God’s solace.  Then we are in a much better position to reenter the world with a clear conscience, one that has reaffirmed that judgment is not the way that we wish to go.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would join with my brother today, my most significant other, and I would not judge him in any way.  I would long for the time that we live harmoniously, just as harmoniously as, blessedly, we are living today.  May I forgive myself when I misstep.  And may I forgive him.  Thank You for being there for me as I find my way through the maze of relationship in our insane world.  I would live in the real world more and more, and I would ask You to help me do the things that are up to me to do.  But I would lean on the Holy Spirit as my Guide, until the time that Christ-consciousness as enveloped me on a sustained basis.

Be with us in safety today.  So often I have longed to be safe.  And, even though this world is insane, I know now that I can be safe in it, for I have You in me.  May the dream that I project not turn nasty.  May my innermost feelings reflect the best that You would choose for me.

Thank You for this good day.  I choose intimacy and happiness over being right all the time.  I choose to be happy rather than right, as A Course in Miracles implies that I should.

Amen.

The Ego vs. the Holy Spirit

“Each day, each hour and minute, even each second, you are deciding between the crucifixion and the resurrection; between the ego and the Holy Spirit.  The ego is the choice for guilt; the Holy Spirit the choice for guiltlessness. (T275)”

Affirmation:  “I choose the Holy Spirit and guiltlessness today.”

 Reflections:

1 – Guidance

Following the guidance of the Holy Spirit on a moment-by-moment basis provides the most satisfying way of living imaginable.  It is not easy, but it is simple.  Guidance comes in a variety of ways, including feelings, words that you happen to read, words that you hear in the outside world.  The only precaution:  Don’t make a “sign” out of everything.  You will tangle yourself up.

2 – Eliminating Guilt

Following the Holy Spirit eliminates the guilt that we sometimes feel with the decisions that we make.  We no longer have to make spurious judgments.  We realize, in fact, that our judgments have always been flawed, and we no longer attempt to use flawed methods to make decisions.  We depend on guidance.

3 – If We Fail

If we fail, we are led back, ever so gently.  The Holy Spirit is wise and loving, and the judgments that He makes are sure.  Under His guidance, the ego gently withers away.

4 – Avoid Judging

The Manual has much to say about how awry our judgments really are.  We, unlike the Holy Spirit, cannot see the whole picture–past, present, and future.  We think we are judging accurately, but then we often realize much later that we were not seeing clearly.  ACIM says that we are never seeing clearly when we judge, because judging is not our function; judging belongs only to the Holy Spirit, who does know all.  We are to forgive ourselves and our brothers and sisters, and such forgiveness is impossible when we are judging.

5 – Make a Change Today

Let us today take the initiative in dropping judgment from our repertoire of mind-engaging activities.  We cannot judge aright, and so why not drop any attempt?  When we do drop judgment, ACIM tells us that we will walk an effortless pathway.  We will be lighthearted and carefree (paraphrases from ACIM).  The blessing of joy awaits us when we have relinquished judgment, and relinquishing it is said to be very easy to do.  It is the holding on to judgment that is so difficult, not to mention just very foolish.

Prayer:

 Dear Father/Mother,

 I would drop judging from my list of attributes.  I do understand that only the Holy Spirit can judge aright, and He says that we are innocent.  We are simply asking for help, and I do ask for help today when circumstances seem to go awry.  Help me to be flexible in my daily path today, and help me to commune with You if I am tempted to fly off the handle.

 I wish to eliminate guilt from my list of emotions, because it is a form of hell.  I would not spend anytime today in welcoming hell for myself.  I would forgive, knowing that in my forgiveness I welcome Heaven.  Yes, I do believe that Heaven on earth is a possibility, even though outward conditions in our world are often deplorable.  Guide me, through the Holy Spirit, to do what I can to rectify the problems that are mine to solve, but do not let me drift into problems that are educating for another.  You know best.

 May this year go well.  You would have us joyous, even though we see around us those things that can make us cry.  Help me to recognize that I live not only in a mad world, but also in an illusory one.  And guide me to Your real world ever more closely, today.

 Thank You.

 Amen.

Judgment and Love Are Opposites

ACIM Workbook Lesson 352 – for Sunday, December 18, 2011

Affirmation:  “Judgment and love are opposites.  From one
Come all the sorrows of the world.  But from
The other comes the peace of God Himself.”

“You have not left me comfortless.  I have within me both the memory of You, and One Who leads me to it.  (WB480)”

Reflections:

1 – Love / Don’t Judge

We do not really want to judge.  We do really want to love.

2 – Love vs. Judgment

The experience of love brings great boons, even in this world.  The experience of judgment brings only sorrow.  It is as though we pointed our index finger at another, and three other fingers on the same hand are pointed back at us.  We indict ourselves when we judge another.  We cannot know all that each individual, each brother or sister, is going through.  We need to give slack, just as we ourselves would want the same.  We forgive, and we find that same forgiveness flowing back toward us.  The three fingers pointed back at us then offer comfort.

3 – Finding Comfort

We have the memory of God within, and we have access to His Voice (the Holy Spirit).  This dual gift is unbeatable.  We cannot lose, when we turn inwardly to the memory of God and the Voice that guides us.  We have comfort.  Much comfort.  And we are well on our way to being at home with God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would feel Your peace today.   And I would feel the comfort that the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, provides to all who turn to Him.  May i not forget today that Your Guide is always true.

I would not judge.  If I am tempted to do so, i will remember that any attack or display of anger is actually a call for help and love.  And I will ask, inwardly, if there is something that I can do to render my view of this situation more in line with Your own.

I would love today.  I sometimes realize that the feeling of expressing love is an attribute of my real Self, the inner Self that has not believed in separation.  I would remember this truth today.

Be with me as I seek to find You often today.  You are always there, and please never let me forget this.

Amen.

Perception Follows Judgment

ACIM Workbook Lesson 312 – for Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Affirmation:  “I see all things as I would have them be.”

“Perception follows judgment.  Having judged, we therefore see what we would look upon.  For sight can merely serve to offer us what we would have.  (WB456)”

Reflections:

1 – We Make the World We See

We do make the world that we see.  This is a reiteration of the oft-repeated refrain in ACIM that projection makes perception.  Surely this is an important point, since it is repeated so often.  It may be hard to imagine that we see the world that we have made, because it is our wish.  But A Course in Miracles says many things that at first glance are hard to accept.  This is one more.

2 – We Interpret What We See

We can have solace in a difficult world by recognizing that the lesson for today indicates that our sight includes our interpretation of what we are seeing.  We can choose the emotion that we will experience by being more careful about what thoughts we entertain.  Richard Carlson (author of Shortcut through Therapy and other Psychology of Mind books) says that feelings follow thought, though we do not often recognize this.  So, if we believe this and take it to heart, we need to be more careful about what we think.  The thought will generate the feeling or emotion that we experience.

3 – We Are Much Too Tolerant of Mind Wandering

Jesus himself in ACIM says that we do not watch our thoughts carefully enough.  We are much too prone to mind wandering (from the Text).  And everything that we think makes form at some level (an ACIM tenet).  We do not understand these levels, and ACIM is not specific about whether or not some levels are on other planes of reality (e.g., the Other Side).  We need to follow Jesus’s advice and say “Stop!” to ourselves when we realize that we have engaged in mind wandering.  It may be seen that much that we make is false and bad for us because we have entertained negative thoughts.  Even popular psychology agrees, in that we are made to understand the self-fulfilling prophecy.

4 – Try Not to Judge Today

Let us make a pact with our closest brothers and sisters not to make judgments today.  If there is someone whom you know who studies ACIM, contact them and ask that they join with you in a day judgment-free.  If not a day, try for an hour at a time.  The results will prove the point of today’s Workbook lesson.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not judge today.  I would realize anew that what I judge against affects my perception, making an interpretation that is not true.  My interpretations are always wrong when informed by the ego.  And judgment is of the ego.  Help me to keep these thoughts in mind today that I may have a good day.

May I not fall into “mind wandering” today.  This is one of my worst habits.  I sometimes pray aloud to keep my mind from wandering.  Help me in any simple techniques today that will keep me on track when I talk to You, when I commune with You.  I would open my heart, my inner heart, and feel Your presence keenly.  May today be a banner day, filled with the sense of Your presence.

Amen.

Judgment by Us Is Always Faulty

ACIM Workbook Lesson 311 – for Monday, November 7, 2011

Affirmation:  “I judge all things as I would have them be.”

“Judgment was made to be a weapon used against the truth.  It separates what it is being used against, and sets it off as if it were a thing apart.  And then it makes of it what you would have it be.  It judges what it cannot understand, because it cannot see totality and therefore judges falsely.  (WB456)”

Reflections:

1 – We Do Not Know All the Circumstances

This passage reflects something that I said in this blog a few days ago.  We cannot judge rightly, because, unlike the Holy Spirit, we do not know all the circumstances surrounding us in our world in the past, present, and future.  Only the Holy Spirit, the Universal Inspiration, can lead us rightly.

2 – Projection Makes Perception

The affirmation points to yet another point, not made the well-known Manual passage on judgment.  We make things as we would have them be in our own judging.  This is because projection makes perception, and we will think we see what we want.  We see bad things sometimes, even when we do not think we want to see these things.  But somewhere in our consciousness is the germ of an idea that manifests.

3 – Bad Things Happen in Our World

Of course, we are part of a mass hallucination (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM), and many bad things happen in our world that we do not think we have any control over.  We do not have direct control in many instances, but we can control–with guidance and the help of God–how we react.  The only proviso that I would make is that we can be so overcome with negative emotions that we are out of control and cannot effectively moderate our temperament.  Then we can reach out to others at the same time that we ask for help from God.  God can speak through another person when He seems (but is not actually) inaccessible to us.  We are not meant to walk our way alone.

4 – Ask for Divine Guidance

We would know the truth today.  We would not judge.  If we are tempted to indulge in judgment, let us pull ourselves up short and try again.  We ask for divine guidance in such ties.  We cannot see the truth of ourselves and others if we are caught in judgment.  This in itself is reason enough to let judgment,  like the ego, wither away from lack of support.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not judge today, because not only do I know that it is wrong, but also that I know that it is always inaccurate.  I would not live in the world that I would judge, for as projection makes perception, I make a world that is not worthy of God’s Daughter/Son.  And we are the Self, in our highest essence, that is a Daughter/Son.  Thank You for leading me to understand this, and may the ego not intrude in this characterization.  It is nothing that I have ever done that has given me this designation.  I would have stayed lost if it had not been for Your Guide, the Holy Spirit.  May I not fall into error today, which can still happen.  May I walk the narrow way to salvation.

Be with me as I seek to love, not to judge, my brothers and sisters.  It is true that we all try as hard as we can, and if we had lived the life of another, we would make the decisions that he/she is making.  May I live a life in Your shadow only.  May I live the peaceful, joyous approach that is so carefully pointed out to me in A Course in Miracles.

Thank You for Jesus’s role in bringing these understandings to our world.  May we reach out to others, as they are ready, with the message of ACIM.

Amen.

To Will Separately from God Is Senseless and Painful

ACIM Workbook Lesson 307 – for Thursday, November 3, 2011

Affirmation:  “Conflicting wishes cannot be my will.”

“Father, Your Will is mine, and only that.  There is no other will for me to have.  Let me not try to make another will, for it is senseless and will cause me pain.  (WB453)”

Reflections:

1 – The Father’s Will and Mine Are Identical

This prayer returns us to the important message that A Course in Miracles gives out to us:  Our will and our Father’s Will are identical.  When we ask for and receive guidance from the Holy Spirit, He chooses for us; He lets us know what we really want.

2 – An Imprisoned Will

Anything else engenders an imprisoned will that brings on pain (a Text tenet).

3 – Revisiting Jonah

It is hard for us who were schooled in the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible) and the story of Jonah to believe that what God wills for us is exactly what we will for ourselves, if we only knew our own mind.  But it is.  And this is the glorious promise that we are not puppets.  The Holy Spirit chooses for us.  He knows all circumstances–past, present, and future–that will impact any decision, and then He lets us know what decision is best, what we would best choose to say or do (or even think) next.

4 – Judging Amiss

The Manual discusses judgment quite a bit, and it points out to us that we have often thought that we judged aright, only to find out how wrong we have been.  The world, the Manual says, teaches us to rely on judgment as we mature, but this teaching is in direct contrast to A Course in Miracles.  We turn our judgment over to One Who does know, and we are infinitely blessed by this gesture.

5 – When in Conflict, Go Within

If we find ourselves in conflict, the best action that we can take is to go within, to God, to the Holy Spirit, in silence, and to get quiet.  Then the next step will appear without fail.  If it appears not to appear, we have allowed emotions to cloud our thinking.  Be still, wait in confidence, and the next right action to take will come to us.  Especially is this advice important when we find ourselves in conflict with one of our brothers or sisters.  Get quiet, do not engage in debate or argument, and listen to guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Then the conflict will dissipate.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would affirm today by my thoughts and actions that I know that my real will and Your Will are identical.  May I not get lost in foolish thoughts about puppets, thinking that if I do Your will, I will be little more than someone dangling on a string that You control.  This is not the Way.  The Holy Spirit knows what I really want in my heart, and in every way he seeks to have me realize these heartfelt truths also.  I would walk the Way that He directs.  I would not seek to make judgments about what to think or say or do, when it is completely impossible for me to know all the facts.  You do know all the facts, and Your Universal Inspiration will reveal to me what I need to know to walk the right pathway.  Thank You for caring for me enough to give me a Guide Who cannot fail.

Be with me all day today, as I seek to walk Your pathway.  May I intuitively know the next right thing to do, and may I never doubt that this intuition, if informed by Your grace, is the best way for me to go.

Amen.