Tag Archives: judgment

Spirit

“You are Spirit.  You are that which has come forth as a ray of Light from the Mind of God, as a sunbeam to the sun.  In that form-less beginning, you are consciousness itself.”  (“The Way of Transformation,” The Way of Mastery, Chapter 16, Page 188)

Our Spirit is what is real, and our Spirit has no form.  Our form, we can believe, came later, and because we made an ego, we have had quite a rocky time in form.  Our consciousness is one with God, though we are finite and He is unlimited.

We need to return our form to God’s fold.  If we can relinquish the ego, we will, according to A Course of Love, walk along the road to Christ-consciousness and embody the “elevated Self of form.”  Many of our brothers and sisters are expanding their consciousness even as I write, so why not all of us?  We do have some choice in the matter, though God has the final say.

When we remove fear and judgment from our range of emotions, we are preparing ourselves for God’s action in Awakening, enlightenment, Christ-consciousness.  If we feel unsure how we could ever stop being fearful, or ever stop judging ourselves and our brothers and sisters, we need only withdraw into prayer and communion with our God.  He will tell us what to do.  He wants us to move to a new, expanded mind and heart, and He will always be right with us to speed along that eventuality.

Awakening Is Simple, without Effort

“The Way of Transformation is simple, for the way of efforting one’s way into the Kingdom cannot flow from the guidance of the Holy Spirit.”  (“The Way of Transformation,” WOM, Chapter 14, Page 169)

We move into transformation when our heart is full, when Love overflows our being.  We don’t get God’s attention by imploring relentlessly and often.  He knows when we want to think that we are ready for Awakening.  He doesn’t always agree.

So we must be patient, know that by our effort we can do only so much.  A Course of Love counsels the removal of fear and judgment from our thoughts and feelings.  When we do this, we are removing the blocks to the awareness of love.  And that is what we need to do.

The only thing we need to do.  Awakening may come suddenly, when we least expect it.  I know someone who had suppressed anger for years, and then when he blurted out his discontent, he knew immediately that grace had descended upon him, and he felt intuitively that this Awakening would last.

God knew all along that he was cloaking his anger, and this very cloaking was standing in the way of genuine loving.  And God certainly wants us genuine.

Know that efforting will stand in the way.  Be ourselves, warts and all.  Then God can act in us to remove the impediments that have kept us from Awakening.  And we will find that removing fear and judgment, in genuineness, takes no effort at all.

Retain Only What Is Love

“My beloveds, I cannot fail to mention that you must take charge of everything that you experience in yourself that is not love.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 2:III

WE have some power in our Awakening!  This message from Jesus asserts it.  WE must take charge of our thinking, being quick to dismiss those thoughts that are not loving.  If we do this consistently, we might believe that our Awakening will come sooner rather than later.  We will have made a difference.

We can’t “prepare” ourselves, though, as the Holy Spirit (A Course in Miracles) or the Christ-Self (A Course of Love) can.  The part that we do out of the whole is actually very little.  A Course in Miracles says that the part of the Holy Spirit is disproportionate to ours.  That means that we need His constant help.

We experience what is happening in our mind.  And we know that we have to listen to our heart, let our heart take the lead.

A Course of Love says that the barriers to Awakening, the impediments to the awareness of love, are fear and judgment.  Fear is seen as the opposite of love, with all feelings either being fear or love.  Judgment is described separately, but I see it as a subset of fear.  After all, we don’t love others if we are afraid of them or of what they might do to us.

What we experience that is not love should be a red flag, always and forever.  Then take steps to remove that other feeling from our awareness.  It can be done.  It just consists of dismissing the thought that brought on the feeling, and then substituting positive love as the anecdote.

Try it today, for many of us will experience feelings that are not love in the course of our walk.  Substitute love, for it is the strongest, most all-encompassing, feeling of all.  And God, and we, are made of it.

Turn to More Awareness by Giving Up Fear & Judgment

“Judgment is a turning away from consciousness out of fear.  Thus you are urged again and again not to judge.”  COL bk.2, 19:II

Judging makes us unhappy, too.  As a fearful reaction, it is nothing to be desired. 

The New Testament was very clear about a non-judgmental attitude.  Now we see the same in Choose Only Love.  And the same in A Course of Love, where both fear and judgments were prohibited if we were to make progress toward Christ-consciousness.

We need full consciousness in our lives, and we cannot have this blessing if we have restricted our thinking and our feeling out of fear.  Fear contracts the soul, and who would have that?

We often have to evaluate things in our lives, but evaluation is not the same as judgment.  Judgment has a denunciatory aspect that evaluation does not.  When we denounce another, we suffer in our attitude.

Keep our mind clear today of judgment. 

We will know a release in daily life that has been denied us previously.

Fill Our Heart with Love

“The screams of the world, those echoes of the past that you still hear, are telling you in thousands of different ways:  Brother, do not deny me love.”  Choose Only Love:  Let Yourself Be Loved (COL bk.2, 14:II)

We do hear screams in the world right now, echoes of a past that was filled with anguish.  Perhaps we know that today is filled with anguish also. 

But there is an Answer, and it is the age-old response to worry and fretting—just fill our heart with love, and spread that love out on the world that we see.

If we love enough, there will be absolutely no space for fear and judgment.  According to A Course of Love, fear and judgment are the two impediments to Christ-consciousness.

We need to move into the next dimension of Christ-consciousness.  This will happen when we are so filled with love that anxieties have taken a back seat.

Yes, as hackneyed as it sounds, Love really IS the overwhelming Answer.  The screams of the world recede into nothingness when we are able to sense God’s Love for us.

He is ready and willing.  Are we?

Join Hands with Our Brothers

            In forgiving mistakes, in ourselves as well as others, we no longer need to feel that we must hold ourselves “above” another (more special than she).  We are all in this together.  As I forgive my brother of the illusory evil that he does, miraculously I find that I am more tolerant of my own mistakes.  Everything is not a matter of life and death, purest glory or blackest sin.  If I can overlook my brother’s misdeeds, forgiving them before I study them sufficiently to make them seem real to me, then I am well on the way to handling my own problems with the same benign feeling.  Judgment always reverts back to the one who judges.  That is the truth of “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” and the A Course in Miracles has given us the explanation of why this is true.

            The desire for specialness simply dissipates.  One wishes instead to be part of the great mass of humankind with a kind of mystical love that leaves one at peace.  The guilt engendered by the false pursuit of specialness and separateness from one’s brother dissipates as well.  On some level, we all intuit that holding oneself apart, with a little sense of superiority, is actually self-deception and evidence of a shabby self-perception, not an exalted one. (M-21.5:5) Walk with Jesus as together we seek to join hands with all of our brothers, enemies in specialness no more.

To Be In the World but Not of It

“In just this way, unenlightenment can be put away as though it were a toy that you have outgrown—by merely looking at all of the effects of unenlightenment , and then asking the question, ‘Is this what I wish to have continue as my experience? Or am I willing to put the doll on the windowsill, and pick up a book instead?’ A book that speaks of Life, a book that is filled with wisdom, a book that teaches you how to step lightly in the world, to be in the world but not of it.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 10, Page 125)

Jesus speaks in The Way of Mastery as though enlightenment were a decision of ours. But when we realize that we have God in our depths, that all, everywhere, is “God-stuff,” then the assertion makes more sense.

We cannot just “decide” for enlightenment, though. We need to heal the depths of our unconscious by forgiving each part of our psyche that has judged another. Forgive and be healed. It is just that simple.

Jesus was the only major religious figure to stress forgiveness. He knows something that can make quite a difference in our lives.

Let him speak to us today.

Divinely Selfish (and What It Means)

“If you ever want to come home, you are going to have to become very, very divinely selfish. You are going to have to become so selfish that you will not tolerate judgment in yourself—of anyone or anything. Because you will begin to recognize that every such act catapults you to the other side of the universe from where you want to be.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 3, Page 33)

When we are “divinely” selfish, we know that all of us are in this together. We don’t give ourselves less attention than we shower on another. We know that it is in our best interests to give up judgment—for the sake of ourselves. Because we are all One, giving up judgment becomes in the best interests of everybody else as well.

Jesus shocks us with the word “selfish.” But when we know that all of us are of the same nature, the Oneness draws us to a new understanding, an understanding that all that is right for us is also right for other people, indeed for the whole world.

Judgment prevents enlightenment, Christ-consciousness or Awakening, from happening to us. The Way of Mastery was designed to catapult us into enlightenment. Jesus actually holds out hope that all the world can join us in this ineffable state. He has never before attempted to bring all of us to this state, en mass.

Be divinely selfish. Know that what works for one, works for all. And what is loving to one, is loving for all.

Let Love guide our way.

Jesus: “It Takes One to Know One”

“You have an interesting saying in your world: ‘It takes one to know one.’ Do you think you would even be able to judge another if there was not something within you being elicited that triggers within you the belief that you know exactly what that other one is up to? That is why you judge them. Sometimes you judge harshly because you fear that energy in yourself. Or you remember how hurtful you have been when you acted from that energy.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 3, Page 26)

Essentially Jesus is talking about projection here. We dimly recognize in ourselves something that we see in another. We can recognize it in the other, because we have something just like it in ourselves.

This gives pause for thought. If we are judging another for something we deplore, do we not have the characteristic ourselves? This is what he is saying. We can recognize it only because of this: “It takes one to know one.”

Does this not remove all propensity to judge another? Does this not tell us that judgment is a very bad idea indeed?
We must realize that we are aware of something in the outer world because of our own psyche, the thing in us that even allows us to recognize a given trait in another. We have not often taken this idea to its roots, but the bottom line is that we cannot know another unless we have experienced the identical characteristic. The kicker is that we don’t recognize this in ourselves, and so we project on another, where it seems safer.

Let us give up this foolishness now and forever. If we recognize love in ourselves, we will recognize love in another.

And that is where we want to head.

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.

Don’t “Evaluate” Jesus’ Messages

“You should be confident that any guidance which comes from me will not jeopardize anyone. If you can continue not to evaluate my messages and merely follow them, they will lead to good for everyone. Since this is the same area of difficulty which may be causing you trouble with meditation, practice in this is essential.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.IX.5:1-3)

We still tend to “evaluate,” which is another term for judgment. And judgment will not get us where we want to go. In fact, it will delay Awakening big time. We simply won’t be able to awaken until we have given up attack as well as judgment.
God wants gentle individuals, and the judgmental mind is anything but gentle. Notice the difference in ourselves when we judge, and we are tolerant. Tolerance, which is a weaker form of love, will set us back on the right pathway. Judgment will cause our feet to stumble over rocks. We will discover that the only way to move forward without incident is to move forward in tolerance as well as love.

If we are tuned into intuition, we will hear the messages from the Beyond. Sometimes this is Jesus. (In Helen’s case, it nearly always was Jesus, for he stayed very close to her in emotional support. Scribing was very threatening to her. Her co-scribe Bill was also very supportive.) Jesus does not jeopardize anybody at all when he gives us advice. He will be careful, though, not to make us dependent on him. He will step back if he thinks this dependence is happening.

Don’t judge. Ask how to accomplish this in our life. It is not hard.

In fact, ceasing to judge is one of the easiest things we will ever accomplish. When we get help.

A Gentler Way

“You have no idea of the tremendous release and deep peace that comes from meeting yourself and your brothers totally without judgment. If you will look back at the earlier remarks about what you and your brothers are, you will realize that judging them in any way is really without meaning. In fact, their meaning is lost to you precisely because you are judging them. All uncertainty comes from a totally fallacious belief that you are under the coercion of judgment. You do not need it to organize your life, and you certainly do not need it to organize yourself.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.X.4:1-5)

We need to flow gently with life, and we certainly don’t do that when we are caught up in resentments, judging negatively our brothers and sisters. When we blame them for presumed wrongdoings, we neglect to realize that we invited that wrongdoing into our lives. If we had not opened to it, the wrongdoing would not have happened, because we are in control of our own lives, however much it might seem that we are victims.

Leave judgment behind. If we don’t, we close the door to Awakening. Fear and judgment are the two emotions/actions that prevent us from coming into the ultimate in salvation. Is not our own Awakening worth giving up a debilitating emotion that limits us to feet of clay?

If we find that our mind dwells in resentment, we are damning ourselves.

Can’t we see this? Don’t we know that forgiveness is the way? Haven’t we studied A Course in Miracles enough to know this, through and through?

A gentle way is always superior to any other way. When we calm our mind and heart, we will realize this.

DO WE SEE A JUDGMENTAL JESUS?

by Celia Hales

In 1970 I visited Florence, Italy, and the Baptistry, an ancient building devoted to the baptism, mostly, of infants and children. Overhead is a looming mosaic of Jesus, with large, luminous eyes, and hand raised to show the wound of the nail. I cringed. His eyes looked at me with judgment—harsh judgment. My negative image of Jesus was confirmed.

At that time Helen was scribing furiously. A Course in Miracles was not published for another six years. My discovery of ACIM happened in 1981. And I was immediately hooked. Though I had a full-time job, I read A Course in Miracles compulsively in every spare moment. And this behavior continued for many years.

Fast forward to 1995, and another visit to Florence and the Baptistry. As I entered the building, I prepared to meet Jesus’s gaze with some trepidation, for, after all, I had experienced the judgment. But this time I saw eyes that were a blank slate, waiting for me to write my perceptions on them. And he wasn’t judging me at all.

A Course in Miracles had wrought the miracle. I saw a Jesus who would be—or do—anything that I needed to bring me to God.

A Course of Love, a sequel to A Course in Miracles (and called, in its pages, a “continuation” of ACIM (A.4)) asks the question:

“Have I been a judgmental God in your universe? Then you have been judgmental and lived in a judgmental world.” (ACOL, D:Day39.21)

Surely I was that in 1970. And just as surely had I changed by 1995, many hours of studying A Course in Miracles under my belt.

In 1970 I had just emerged from the world of collegiate competition at a prestigious university. Competition both feeds and undermines the ego, for in a competitive environment, the ego is boosted by accomplishments and shrivels when work doesn’t measure up to expectations. My ego fostered judgment of my peers at that university. There didn’t seem to be any way around it.

A Course in Miracles and life experiences changed all that. By 1995, I was nine years into a cooperative workplace, a library, where we worked together constantly and believed that two heads were better than one in virtually any situation. The changes were good for me. My ego was being dislodged. As A Course of Love says about A Course in Miracles, “the original Course in Miracles was a course in thought reversal and mind training, a course to point out the insanity of the identity crisis and dislodge the ego’s hold . . .” (C:P.8)

And when in 1995 I looked up at Jesus in the Baptistry in Florence, he gazed back at me, evenly.

I don’t have reason to be scared of Jesus anymore.

Our Natural State Is One of Pure Love

“In this time of Christ, this time of direct revelation and direct sharing, the probable future you imagine, envision, desire, will be what you create. This is the power of the devotion of the observant. A shared vision of unity and a return of all to the state natural to all is what I ask you to imagine, envision and desire.” (ACOL, T4:6.4)

We are in a new time now, the time of Christ. And Jesus is asking us here, in A Course of Love, to envision that all of us will return to our natural state, a state of love rather than fear, a state of Christ-consciousness. The ego was never a natural state for us, and that is why, regardless of what we did, we were in the process of eliminating it from our being, our psyche. The ego was constantly being undone, or who would choose fear if we knew how to avoid it? We choose to experience anxieties when we are afraid of what the present or future will hold, and this “being afraid” is the very fear that Jesus would eradicate. We experience what we, in the depth of our being, want to experience. We may sometimes choose fear out of ignorance and insanity, but there is a way out, and it is to turn to love, love of God, love of our very being, love of others.

We turn from fear when we choose forgiveness, recognizing that others have been acting in innocence borne of insanity as well. And forgiveness is the opposite of judgment. So when we forgive, we are setting aside that second bug-a-boo that Jesus would have us eliminate from our thoughts and evaluations. He would have us set judgment aside, and the best way to do that is to forgive. Everyone deserves forgiveness, for everyone has been doing the best that he/she knows to do, given the state of their knowledge of what’s right.

Why would we ever choose fear and judgment unless we didn’t know any better? Yes, patterns of past ignorance do still pervade our minds, and so what we think does make a difference here. Patterns of fearful thoughts may still assail us, and when this happens, we need to get quiet and go within, pray, spend time in communion with God. Quiet reading can also help. And often judgment comes when we are angry with someone, but have not acknowledged that anger. We sometimes think that a judgment can keep us from fear, if the words or actions of another have indeed seemed to cause fear in us, and we decide that rejecting that person, his words and actions, can save us. This is thinking that is somewhat amiss, because we never benefit very long from rejecting another. Rejection is the opposite of love, and God would have us love our brothers and sisters.

If we know that fears and judgments assail us at certain times, that doesn’t mean that the ego has returned, or that a new ego has formed. We have been in the habit of holding to fears and judgments, and even though we have now turned aside from both, the habit persists from deep within us, and so these patterns of the ego also need to be left behind. We are creating our reality, and when we ask for God’s help in creating better images, His help will be forthcoming. Patterns of the ego will be left behind; sometimes it just takes a little time, and this calls for patience on our part.

Prayer

Be with me today and every day. May I choose love, and in that choice may my fears and judgments simply drop away. I would choose love to eradicate fear, and I would choose forgiveness to eradicate judgment. All of this is within my power, especially now in the time of Christ.

May this day offer me a glimpse of enlightenment. I know that when I get very calm, I see such a glimpse, sometimes passing very quickly. Stay and dwell with me a while. I know that I ask for what You would will for me.

Amen.

Why Do We Fear to Choose Miracles?

“See you not the choices made in each of these scenarios and the reasoning or lack of reasoning behind them? You are not worthy. You are not saintly, godlike or even holy. You might choose incorrectly. You might invoke retribution. You might be selfish. You might be proved to have no faith. You might succumb to thoughts of grandeur.

“In short, you are too afraid, for a variety of reasons, to try. In short, you are not willing and have many reasons for not being willing. What we have done here is bring your fears to light, fears that you did not even realize you held so closely or would be so terrified to let go.” (ACOL, T1:3.24 – 3.25)

These are the reasons that Jesus has explained that we are afraid of choosing a miracle. He has brought us along a long pathway to figure out why we have such fears. He has not asked us to choose something specific, a specific miracle, though we think at first that he has asked this. He is trying to move us into the art of thought, the miracle-mindedness that is necessary to live well with the Self in charge. This Self is our inner Christ Self, and this Self becomes available when we live with mind and heart united, a mind free of the ego, a heart living in love.

We have been afraid of many things in our lives, not only the fact of choosing a miracle that will increase our faith in miracles and miracle-minded living. Jesus knows of our fears, but he also knows that until we release these fears of our own free will, we will remain trapped. We need to release fear and judgment to have a chance at Christ-consciousness. And we are led to believe in A Course of Love that this is God’s wish for us as well. His Being, deep inside us, will direct us. And we will not be afraid any longer.

The list, above, given for fear of miracles would work for many other fears as well. The tenets of ACOL are broadly based and fit any number of scenarios. Now I would relinquish these fears as I go about my business today. When I am tempted to be fearful, I will simply ask for the miracle of love to overtake me.

And then I will rest in peace.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would leave both fear and judgment behind today. Judgment seems more in my power to relinquish, because fear sometimes just seems to take me over, unbidden. But I am colluding with this fear, or it would not arise. And I would cease colluding with fear. And with judgment. These are the two aspects of life in this world that I would relinquish today.

Be with me, and please give me a good day, a day with good energy to be up and about Your way and the way of salvation.

Thank You.

Amen.

The Heaven on Earth that We All Seek

“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.

“And yet all you need do is turn back. Being an observer of your body has prepared you for this. Step back now to the place that has been held for you. You have not lost “your place in line” because you wandered. It has been held for you by the most loving of brothers, a brother united with your own Self.” (ACOL, C:17.12 – 17.13)

This “most loving of brothers” is Jesus himself, who, many believed, channeled A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. So our place has been held by one who is united with us in our Self, a Self we share with all others. We never have to feel alone and lonely again, for we have a universe of beings with whom we are One.

Judgment is forbidden us, because it keeps us from entering heaven. We need to return to what we were before the original error, or the detour into separation from God. And if we judge, we think that there is sin and that errors cannot be reversed. So we damn ourselves.

God would not have it so. His loving son has prepared the way for us, and prepares the way still. We do not understand how we share a Self with all sentient beings, but in ACOL we are told that we do. And there is much in ACOL that rings true to me, this assertion included.

Enter the fold again today. This fold will ensure that we turn aside from judgment, that we welcome the fact that our Self is One with all others, and that we know that Jesus is holding our place for us in the grand scheme of things.

What more would we ask? Ask that we take this knowledge unto ourselves today, that we still our doubts, and that we open our hearts just a crack. The mellowness that we will feel will assure us that we are onto something. Something grand. And Jesus himself will take our hand, leading us to the heaven on earth that we all would love to see.

A Forgiven World Eliminates Judgment & Overcomes Fear with Love

“Only your heart can lead you to the forgiveness that must overcome judgment. A forgiven world is a world whose foundation has changed from fear to love. Only from this world can your special function be fulfilled and bring the light to those who still live in darkness.” (ACOL, C:16.8)

This quotation, once again in A Course of Love, emphasizes the heart and its primacy in our decision-making. Our heart will lead us to overcome judgment by forgiveness—and judgment is one of the two main impediments to a speedy Awakening (the other impediment is fear). Heretofore we have not known how to overcome judgment; we may have felt stymied in wishing to get over judgment, but not knowing how.

Now we do know. We can practice forgiveness of ourselves, others, God Himself, and with this gesture of goodwill, we will know peace. This peace is a way that we move from fear to love. Nobody who is peaceful experiences abject fear. And we would be loving, without fear, at all times—if that is humanly possible. And Jesus is telling us that this change is possible, even probable.

The foundation of the world can change from fear to love; this is what a forgiven world constitutes.

So here we see two ways that we can move closer to Christ-consciousness or Awakening. We can forgive, and this will eliminate judgment; and when we have forgiven, we will automatically move from a world dominated by fear to one embraced by love.

This passage is very important, for the primary impetus behind the curriculum of A Course of Love is to move us to the elevated Self of form in this world, physical manifestation in this world while living enlightenment (Christ-consciousness or Awakening. Our physical Selves, we are told, are actually One with each other and with God. And we can live perfectly satisfactory lives on this earth if we embody the principles that Jesus is encouraging. We will move into Christ-consciousness soon. We will not have to wait long. And once this state is maintained, and then sustained, we will be seeing things differently. Our inner vision will change everything.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for this information, from Jesus, about how to move beyond judgment. By forgiveness. May I forgive any and every one whom I encounter today, even if I am not aware, at the time, that I am judging them.

And may I look on a forgiven world with fear gone, only love remaining.

This information is vital to my well-being. Thank You again.

All of us need to know specifically how to move into the state of mind and heart that You want for us, and this is the elevated Self of form who is experiencing Christ-consciousness. I ask for this movement to occur within me sooner rather than later.

And I ask this for all my readers as well.

Amen.

Think “Love” when Tempted by Fears & Judgment

“Joined minds cannot think separately and have no hidden thoughts. They are, in fact, not minds in the plural at all, but all-one-mind. What this Course is saying is that at some point that does not exist in time, God’s son made the choice for separation. Whether God’s son had one form or many at that time matters not, for one form or many, there was still one mind, the mind of God’s son joined in unity with that of his Father. Many of you have been taught this mystery of faith. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are One.” (ACOL, C:12.15)

This quotation is an explanation of the truth of the Trinity, traditional Christian doctrine indeed. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are One. Our mind was One mind when joined with the Father prior to separation. We were “all-one-mind.”

Now we are asking to return to that unity with God, our minds One with His. It is not hard, but certain responsibilities are necessary first. We must leave behind our fears and our judgments, and for those of still trapped in the separation, this injunction may sound impossible to do. How would we proceed? How would we leave fear and judgment behind, when it has been such a part of the egoic mind?

The single Answer is that we allow ourselves to be enthralled with Love, the Love of God, the Father. When tempted (for it IS a temptation) to lapse into a lower state of mind, we think “love,” and then this affirmation moves us away from sinking thoughts into something better.

When we allow our Self to merge once again with God, and when our conscious mind is enthralled with the Self, we will know a new way of being. We will be who we are, which is a risen Self that dips into egotism not at all. We will be Home, finally.

Consciously think “love” when tempted to judge, when tempted to let fear reign once again. Maybe this thought will not always save us, but it will save us often enough that we will know that we are on the right track. The track moving toward Christ-consciousness.

Peace is Enjoyment of Both Rain & Sun

“How can I make peace attractive to you who know it not? The Bible says, “The sun shines and the rain falls on the good and evil alike.” Why then do you think that peace is endless sunshine? Peace is merely enjoyment of the rain and sun, night as well as day. Without judgment cast upon it, peace shines on all that you would look upon, as well as every situation you would face.” (ACOL, C:6.16)

A maxim of Eastern religion has it: “Be willing to have it so.” This seems to be what we are reading in A Course of Love for today. If we don’t try to make things other than they are, we have a peace that will be undisturbed.
Of course, we have a natural tendency to want to better things. But this can and often does lead to perpetual dissatisfaction with the “rain” in life. We can have peace in the midst of the rain, as this quotation for today emphasizes. We don’t need to give up our higher hopes for a better life, but just temper them somewhat. And be peaceful in the midst of whatever is going on around us—whatever.

We know that we need to give up our judgment of the world and its people, ourselves included. This giving up of judgment is not hard to do; indeed, A Course in Miracles tells us that it is the keeping of judgment that is hard. It makes more rain on our days. Much more. If we would know peace, we cannot keep judgment.

So often we fall into judgment without fully realizing what we are doing. We need something negative about someone whom, at base, we are threatened by, and then we wonder why we suddenly feel disjointed from our good day. It is the judgment that has done it. We cannot keep judgment and hope to have peace; we can now see this first hand.
There is a still center in us that is undisturbed by anything that transpires outwardly. It is to that still center that we ought to return when challenged by anything in our lives. ACIM says that there is no challenge to the advanced teacher of God. The advanced teacher has learned to go with the flow of the day. To follow guidance to that flow. And never to let the flow dissipate.

Find our still center today. And see if today doesn’t unfold in a better way. This is the “another way” that Helen (scribe of ACIM) promised Bill (co-scribe) to help him find. And people have been finding that other way ever since.

Now we have A Course of Love to guide us to establish a new identity. We can’t establish a new identity with judgment holding onto our coattails. We need to give up our evaluations of other people, any and all that are judgments.

And we will find that the sun shines far more often than the rain falls.

Entering the Dialogue

1 – Day 15

“When you fully realize that sharing is necessary you will have entered the dialogue. When you have fully surrendered to the fact that you can’t come to know on your own you will have entered the dialogue. . . .When you fully realize that you are in-formed by everything and everyone in creation, you will have entered the dialogue. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 15)”

2 – One

We are One with everyone, but we are also individualized into separate beings, making necessary that we form relationships with others, our brothers and sisters. These relationships mean that we share with one another. And, as A Course of Love says here, we enter the dialogue with each other, the Christ within, and God Himself. There is no compromise in this. We are both the One and the many, and we both need to recognize the unity of the One, and the multiplicity of the relationships that we have with the many. There is no other way. This message of “unity and relationship” is repeated often in A Course of Love. It is the way that God Himself experiences Himself—in us, for we are God, though we lack the union that He enjoys with the All.

3 – God

How can we call ourselves God? That is Jesus’s word, not mine. He says, later on in the Dialogues, that we are God Himself—that He individuated Himself so that He could experience His divine Being. But we decided, having been individuated and at the same time given free will, that we wanted to separate from this Godhead, that we knew better. In this tiny, mad idea (from A Course in Miracles), we fell into pain and suffering, for our will was imprisoned to prevent our entire loss to God (which would have been impossible).

4 – Theology

This is theology, and theology can divide. Do not take unto yourself if you have resistance. Accept only what seems right and good to you.

5 – Christ-consciousness

“As you are more fully able to maintain Christ-consciousness you begin the movement away from being observed to being in-formed by the spirit which animates all things. You begin the movement away from observing to informing. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 15)”

6 – Observation / In – forming

Jesus had earlier told us in A Course of Love that we were moving from the time of learning into observation. Now, in this final section of the concluding book, the Dialogues, he says that we move to “informing.” The spirit is possessing us, and we are being possessed consciously. And in this possession, we are being “in – formed.” Note the dash. Form within, that’s what it means. And in this new form that is being created in us, we are moving ultimately in that new being that we will be in the new world—the elevated Self of form.

7 – Perceptions

In A Course of Love, we are not told to denounce the world, except as we previously perceived it. We are told, in both ACIM and ACOL, that our perceptions need to be cleansed, and when this happens, the world around us will change accordingly. Projection makes perception (from ACIM). We cannot unilaterally change this difficult world when we are unhealed healers; we change our minds, and in the changing, there is a mystical transformation that heals everyone. According to ACIM, it takes one Son who perfectly forgives to heal the world. And we are all that one Son/Daughter. Jesus did in fact pave the way for us by coming first. But he and God need our voice, our hands, our feet, in relationship to others, to transform the world. This hostile, difficult, suffering world. That is our function, once we have accepted forgiveness, happiness, and salvation as offered to us now.

8 – Neutrality

“In practicing observation without judgment, you learned to be neutral observers. Being neutral observers allowed cause and effect to occur naturally rather than having your judgment alter natural cause and effect. . . .

9 – Don’t Judge

We need not to judge. If we don’t judge, we will awaken (from A Course in Miracles). This is a statement that can easily be overlooked, but it is to my mind a most important statement. If we don’t judge our brother and sister, we will awaken. Don’t all of us want to awaken? This is God’s promise to us, relayed by Jesus.

10 – Observation

We do observe (without the struggle of learning) our inner and outer circumstances. And we become neutral in so doing. Neutrality, in observation, prevents judgment from occurring at all. We remain in the natural cause and effect, not disturbing the natural order by judging anything at all.

11 – Peace

Thus we are at peace. Pray to leave off judging your brother/sister, your significant relationship, and see if you don’t have peace indeed. Of course, because we are fallible, we may return to judgment, but as often as we return to it, we can ask that it be removed from us—and God will do so, for it is in His Will. Then, without judgment, we see that everything is sunshine and light, and we live as the light of the world (from the New Testament and from A Course in Miracles).

12 – Creative

“This is the new realm of power that few in physical form have practiced and that has never been practiced by many at one time. It is a major shift because it is not neutral but creative. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 15)”

13 – Co-creators

We want to be co-creators with God. We want to be creative, for this is our inheritance. We observe neutrally, but then we create. When we have made this shift in consciousness, we are not “making” any longer (from ACIM), but we are creating in this new world that we occupy. There is no greater joy than to walk into eternity in joy and inner peace, creating as we go.

14 – Eternity

If we wonder what we will do in eternity, it is this—joyously experiencing, joyously creating, effortlessly. We will not see a Heaven that is boring. Has not this been a problem for us as we heard of angels sitting on clouds and playing harps all day long? This image can easily be dispelled, when we realize that we are here on earth with a glorious new world awaiting our creation of better times, better circumstances. Would our life after death be any different? Would not a joyous creation of new lives and pleasures be an enormously freeing concept to hold?

15 – Drama

And we can hold this concept? Don’t entertain for a moment that without drama your life will be boring, now or in the future. Drama is one of the great seducers of the ego, a state of mind and heart that will totally be disowned when we enjoy the Christ-consciousness to which we are all heading.

16 – Sustaining Christ-consciousness

“Although this power cannot be misused, to have access to this power in one instance and not another as you move in and out of the state of Christ-consciousness will not serve the purpose of creation.

17 – In – forming

“What does it mean to practice informing and being informed? It means to join together with others who have the ability to maintain Christ-consciousness in your company. This creates the joining together of spacious Selves. It is joining without boundaries. You become clear pools flowing into each other. You make your spirits known. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 15)”

18 – Maintaining / Sustaining

Before Christ-consciousness (Awakening) is sustained, we have glimpses of what this great state will be like. We move in and out of it, maintaining for a while but not sustaining. This maintaining for a while is not what Jesus calls us to. He encourages us here to join with others who can help us to sustain (rather than just see glimpses) of Christ-consciousness.

19 – Jesus

Jesus needs our sustaining of Christ-consciousness for the effortless work that we will do in this world. He needs healed healers. He needs for us to awaken, sooner rather than later. To ask for Awakening is thus to ask for what is God’s best Will for us, for what is totally in line with His Will. Revelation may occasionally reveal the end to us, and these are glimpses of Awakening that I have mentioned. But to get there, the means are needed. And the means are carefully explained to us by Jesus in A Course in Miracles (supported now also by A Course of Love). (These last sentences are paraphrases from ACIM.)

20 – Fears

“Examine what you fear. Is it really the stones within your pool, or is it the challenge of moving with the current that you know will be generated by the joining of spacious Selves? . . . .

“If so, enter the dialogue with the purpose of your final preparations in mind. Bring your fears into the light of oneness and see how the light dispels the darkness. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 15)”

21 – Discard Fears

We need to discard fears. This is something that all of us would want, however ambivalent we still are about the whole concepts that Jesus discusses. Imagine light encompassing our whole Being; imagine that we are light. For that we are. We are the light of the world, and for this we have to be, first of all, simply light.

22 – Light

There is a lightness of being that arrives when you call light to yourself. We know an end to fears in such moments. Later on, if the fears return, we simply repeat calling light to ourselves. (This exercise is explained by Sanaya Roman in the book, Spiritual Growth. It is a channeled work from an entity known as Orin.)

23 – Spacious Selves

We will be our spacious Selves in the future. We will enfold darkness, thereby lighting it away. Perhaps this idea scares us, for Jesus sees into our minds, knowing what we can’t quite accept yet.

24 – Healing

But the spacious Self is fully capable of dispelling darkness through light, with no loss of power on our part. We do not suffer in this technique. We are healing ourselves and others at the same time.

25 – Neutrality / Acceptance

“This is not a time of being judged or of adopting the beliefs of others but one of finally conquering judgment with neutrality or acceptance. Allowing others to accept you as you are is a gift that releases them from judgment and any notion that may have remained within them that Christ-consciousness is a form of ‘group think.’ Never will you feel more like an individual than when you are made known through the informing of spirit! (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 15)”

26 – Individuality

If we join with others, we may wonder if we are taking on their thoughts as our own, thereby losing some of our individuality. Our individuality is very, very important to us. We got used to being individuals under the grip of the ego, and in the new world, we still will be individuals—even though we are joined as One with others.

27 – No Fear

Have no fear. We don’t lose our individuality when we share with others. When we reach out to others to heal them. When we heal ourselves by reaching out to others.

28 – Judgment

We are moving, finally, away from judgment. We are being neutral observers. And God will bless us for this advance.

29 – Dialogue

“You will be shown that you can enter the dialogue with all and still focus, or place your attention, on areas that might not interest others in the slightest. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 15)”

30 – Jerry Jampolsky

We do still have our own areas of interest. We are still individuals. Not everybody is drawn to A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love, but they can still be transformed. These two books are my way, something that I recognized (with ACIM) some 33 years ago. Many others have had the same experience of recognizing this. Jerry Jampolsky, for example, a well-known teacher of ACIM, heard the inner words, “Physician, heal thyself,” when he first picked up the manuscript of ACIM. And he has gone on to bring thousands of others to greater understanding through his work in this world.

31 – ACIM and ACOL

But not everyone who awakes has used our course of study, our curriculum. A Course in Miracles says that it is a required course. Not everybody feels the same about what this means. Does that mean that everyone must eventually study ACIM? I think not. It is required for those who are drawn to it, as we are. There are other teachers with different curricula in this world (from the Manual of ACIM).

32 – Assimilate

But our course is what we are called to assimilate. Why use what was intended for others? And we will know if A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are our way. Ask within. You will hear the Answer.

33 – Sustenance

“While there is division remaining between the self and the spacious Self, the self and the creative force, you remain in the state of maintenance rather than sustenance of Christ-consciousness. This is an acceptable state for this time of limited practice with those with whom you are engaged in this specific mountain top dialogue. It is not an acceptable state for full-scale interaction with the world. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 164)”

34 – Sharing

The chapter for Day Fifteen is lengthy and complex, bringing together in one place the disparate threads of meaning that we have earlier explored in separate chapters, and, at the same time, moving the discussion forward by a further explanation of what “entering the dialogue” really means. Basically, “entering the dialogue” is recognized as a necessary sharing of self with others. These others do not negate the fundamental nature of individuality, though, and we will remain clear about our individuality as we progress. We will also not limit our interactions to those who believe as we do, who travel to the mountain top as we do in these Forty Days and Forty Nights. We will reach out to all others in our world, and we will do so non-judgmentally.

35 – Neutrality / No Judging

We learn to be neutral in our observation of our world and the brothers and sisters in it. It is important, very important, that we not judge. We let what we observe pass through us in invisibility. We do not hold to these observations, to come back to them and to judge them. This action of observation without judgment, in invisibility, is a very creative act.

36 – Without Boundaries

We join with others in Christ consciousness, and we do so without boundaries. If we see that there are others in our company who are not ready to let go of their boundaries, that are too fearful to loose their boundaries, we accept these brothers and sisters as they are.

37 – Dialogue

There is much that is as yet unknown to us, and it is in dialogue with others that we may come to know more fully. This does not negate a personal understanding, but it does open us up to dialogue with the spacious Self, the Self we share with all others. Our own pathway may be different from that of others, and our path may not even interest others in the slightest. This is alright. We will realize our true identity as we walk alone or with others.

38 – Encompass All in the Self

But we never want to disregard the brothers and sisters who have not made the mountain top trek with us. We need to encompass all in the Self that we share with all brothers and sisters, those who believe as we do and those who do not..

39 – Debunked

“We have now debunked your myths about your true identity being an idealized form of the self. Now are you ready, through your ability to view your own self as well as that which you observe with a neutrality that embraces the unknown as well as the known, to reclaim your Self and your purpose here. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 15)”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know all that You hold out to me on this mountain top experience. I do not try to learn, but to know without learning. I would experience the Christ-consciousness that I long for by sharing myself with all of my brothers and sisters in love. I would sustain the elevated Self of form. All of this I cannot do of myself alone. I need Your help, and I rest in certainty that Your promise to me of these things is true.

May I share my understanding with those in my world who are ready. May I not try to share and may I not hold in judgment those of my brothers and sisters who are not ready. You will teach me the difference. Thank You for this assurance that You have given to me on this day that encompasses so much of my pathway to You in maturity and spiritual awareness.

Be with me today, as I seek to follow Your Will, which always is my true will. You know best, and I would follow consistently. Forgive my lapses, though I know that You never condemn me and thus do not need to forgive at all. Thank You for this beginning of a good day. May it end in the same, good spirit.

Amen.

Is Each One to Be Judged in the End? . . .The Final Judgment Will Not Come until It Is No Longer Associated with Fear.

1 – Indeed, Yes!

“Is each one to be judged in the end?

“Indeed, yes! No one can escape God’s Final Judgment. Who could flee forever from the truth? But the Final Judgment will not come until it is no longer associated with fear. One day each one will welcome it, and on that very day it will be given him (M38)”

2 – Last Judgment

The Last Judgment is fraught with fear because of the associations made in traditional religion. The way of A Course in Miracles is not fearful. (ACIM is never meant to be fearful.) We are reassured in this passage that we will not face the Final Judgment until we no longer associate it with fear.

3 – Personal Experience

I had an experience of a Last Judgment in a kind of waking dream that was akin to hypnosis. This happened many years ago and has not been repeated. I was talking on the phone to someone I cared about, and he acted as one of the brother to whom Jesus has entrusted the Final Judgment.

4 – Personal II

I was asked a series of questions about my life. The questions made me cry, for I felt that I had often fallen down in my quest for salvation. Then I was given directives for the future, something that I said, at the time, out loud, was “a tall order.”

5 – Personal III

In the years since, I believe that I have done most of those things which I was bade to do. Of course, memory is faulty, especially hypnotic memory, and so I can’t be sure. But the memory of the “judgment” that I experienced is sweet to me. And sometimes that is all that matters.

6 – Time

“Time pauses as eternity comes near, and silence lies across the world that everyone may hear this Judgment of the Son of God:
“Holy are you, eternal, free and whole, at peace forever in the Heart of God. Where is the world, and where is sorrow now? (M38)”

7 – No Sorrow

This is how I feel as I contemplate my own experience of a Final Judgment. There seems to be no sorrow in it. Even if I have not done or said all that was asked of me, I know, from A Course in Miracles, that Jesus stands at the end to correct any mistakes that I cannot. He is always there. He can be depended upon.

8 – Be Quiet

“Learn to be quiet, for His Voice is heard in stillness. And His Judgment comes to all who stand aside in quiet listening, and wait for Him. (M38)”

9 – Holy Spirit

“His Voice” refers to the Holy Spirit. We often don’t choose to be quiet. We are addicted to the adrenaline rush, and our work lives (and our home life) often demands that we move quickly, even when worn down and tired. A few quiet moments a day are all that God asks. He would not burden us by making demands upon that are unrealistic. He is our true reality, and he knows what we are going through. We do not therefore have to be apologetic if only a few minutes of quiet are given to Him each day.

10 – Quiet Listening

We correctly ascertain guidance when we are in quiet listening. This is not always a “for sure” thing, but it is for sure more often than not. Who could hear guidance is a loud and boisterous world? Who would know which voice we were really hearing?

11 – Stillness

The Holy Spirit gives guidance in stillness. This is why it is so important to carve out a few moments each day for listening to His Voice.

12 – Sad / Angry

“You who are sometimes sad and sometimes angry; who sometimes feel your just due is not given you, and your best efforts meet with lack of appreciation and even contempt; give up these foolish thoughts! They are too small and meaningless to occupy your holy mind an instant longer. (M38)”

13 – Thoughts

We must get such thoughts as these out of our holy minds. We are feeling like victims when we think in such a way. And we are not victims of this world, for we choose, on some level, what happens to us. This does not mean that we blame ourselves, for the inner Self makes these decisions without our fully understanding. But on some level we are conscious of the decisions that we make for our days, our lives.

14 – Misunderstood

Yet to feel misunderstood is a misuse of good, creative thinking. These are “small” and “meaningless” thoughts. Know that if nobody else understands, God does. And the Holy Spirit will guide. Just listen in quietness and you will know what to do.

15 – His Judgment

“His promises have guaranteed His Judgment, and His alone, will be accepted in the end. It is your function to make that end be soon. It is your function to hold it to your heart, and offer it to all the world to keep it safe. (M39)”

16 – Salvation

Our function is to bring salvation to this world. Yet we proceed cautiously, not going where angels fear to tread. We need to save time in this weary world. And what we say and do does make a difference.

17 – A Safe World

We need to keep the world safe, and we can do this by holding these promises in our hearts. Do we understand this? No, but if Jesus has said it, I believe that it is true. And we will know what to do when we listen inwardly.

18 – Holy Spirit

The Judgment of the Holy Spirit is what is discussed in the above passage. His Judgment is true, for He sees past, present, and future as one panorama. We see only in part, always, and we see falsely all too often. We cannot judge rightly, and so why do we persist in trying to judge? To do so is truly fool hearty, and we would desist from such thoughts and the behavior that it spawns.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I have been restless today, as I am so many days–especially in the morning, when I need the most to dedicate the day to You. May I take the time right now to be quiet and to invite the guidance of the Holy Spirit as I walk through this wintertime.

Thank you for being there for me. I know that no matter how exasperated I may get later on today, if I turn silently within to You, You will right things.

Amen.

Peace Is Impossible to Those Who Look on War. Peace Is Inevitable to Those Who Offer Peace.

1 – The World We See

“The world you see cannot be the world God loves, and yet His Word assures us that He loves the world. God’s word has promised that peace is possible here, and what He promises can hardly be impossible. But it is true that the world must be looked at differently, if His promises are to be accepted. (M29)”

2 – Two Worlds

Is it possible to live in two worlds simultaneously? I think that it is, and, though this passage does not specifically counsel this living in two worlds, I think that this is implied. How to do that? Know that one’s head may be in the clouds even as one’s feet are on the ground. We can live in the spiritual realm while possessing a physical body on earth, and this physical body is the elevated Self of form (as described in A Course of Love).

3 – The Physical

The physical is not denigrated; it is exalted. And, being physical creatures, we welcome this exaltation. We look differently upon the world that God loves, and we in our physical bodies are part of that world.

4 – Happy

He will never leave us nor forsake us. He wants us happy. We cannot be happy if we regret the bodies that we occupy.

5 – Illusions

It is true that A Course in Miracles emphasizes the illusory nature of this world, and it is just because it is illusion that we can look upon it so differently. We can change the illusion, the dream, to something better, with the help of the Holy Spirit, who brings us happy dreams.

6 – What the World Is

“What the world is, is but a fact. You cannot choose what this should be. But you can choose how you would see it. Indeed, you must choose this. (M29)”

7 – Interpretation

This passage explains that what we see is an interpretation. We can choose to interpret through the eyes of the Holy Spirit, or we can look upon devastation and feel badly.

8 – Change Ourselves First

The Course consistently asks that we look at ourselves first, making changes in ourselves rather than trying to change our brothers and sisters to fit the image that we have made of them. If they have made mistakes (not “sinned”), then we forgive. That is the way of the Course. We remember that, regardless of how bad the situation looks, the wrongdoing has been perpetrated by someone who was doing the best that he could, given his view of the world.

9 – Choose

So we choose how we see the world. We do not judge its wrongs; we let the Holy Spirit do that. We choose to look upon sinlessness, and in so doing, we are in the state of grace. None of us could hope for more.

10 – Holy Spirit

“The text explains that the Holy Spirit is the Answer to all problems you have made. These problems are not real, but that is meaningless to those who believe in them. And everyone believes in what he made, for it was made by his believing it. (M29)”

11 – No Problems

Would you like to live as though you have no problems? This is indeed possible and even desirable.

12 – Personal Experience

I remember when I once had several problems, chief among them being to find a new job. But I was enthralled by what I had read in A Course in Miracles, and I calmly told my mother, “I have no problems.” This assertion helped to make it so, and a few short months later, I was happily ensconced in a new work position. The fact is that in that moment of telling her that I had no problems, I set the stage for the solving of my “problem” of no job. My faith was strong at that moment.

13 – Faith

Were my faith always so strong, my life would have been much smoother. Resolve today to have a smooth life, depending on your faith to make it so.

14 – Judgment

“Gently His [the Holy Spirit] Judgment substitutes for yours. And through this substitution is the un-understandable made understandable. (M29)”

15 – Guidance

This passage refers to the guidance that we have been studying recently in this blog. The guidance, according to A Course in Miracles, comes from the Holy Spirit or Universal Inspiration. He is “in” us in a very real sense. He is our link to God, and God is deep within us, covered over by a layer of forgetfulness.

16 – God

Let us resolve today to remove some of the layers of illusion that separate us from our God. This action is completely possible, and to make this illusion disappear we need only to believe that it is possible.

17 – The Un-Understandable

We understand the un-understandable now. We see through things that have been mysteries to us. Awakening certainly brings new insights, for the unconscious is suddenly conscious. This can be a time of great turmoil, but it does not have to be, for ACIM is preparing us for the great blessing of enlightenment. The means are being carefully explained to us. When we give up judging, we will awaken—that is the promise given us in A Course in Miracles. And in the passage above, we are encouraged to give up judgment. Let the Holy Spirit tell us what to think, say, and do. There is no better way to proceed.

18 – Peace

“Peace is impossible to those who look on war. Peace is inevitable to those who offer peace. (M29)”

19 – Personal Experience

I was once in a very difficult work environment. And I posted these two sentences on the bulletin board in back of my desk at work. They had a good effect. They gave me peace, just to read the words.

I was faced with a human “enemy” who wanted to see me undone. Her attacks had come out of the blue, for I had thought, for a year, that we were friends. That betrayal was the worst part, and I often asked myself, “How could I have seen her so differently?”

She needed a scapegoat to bolster her own shaky ego. A colleague once described my “enemy” as being encased in armor to protect herself. Indeed she needed to feel that she was protected from receiving the same barbs that she was giving out. Of course, this was impossible. The armor, borne of the ego, only made things worse.

I remained on good terms with her, despite a certain wariness in me. And within two years of her vicious attack, my life changed and I moved from that difficult job.

She went on to find another scapegoat, for I heard what happened after I left that job.

Do we really want to live this way? Certainly not! She was a mirror for my own ego, and as I escaped from the world that I saw, giving up attack thoughts, I did indeed escape, at least partially, from the ego. My new colleagues at my new work were much more congenial people. I had moved into a place of good karma.

My “enemy” had her own demons, pursuing her relentlessly. It was not, as I found, up to me to enlighten her of the best way to live. But it is certain that her ego constantly was being undermined. That is what happens to an egoic attitude toward life.

20 – Offer Peace

So let us offer peace to all we encounter. We will know a joy that is unbounded. Our days will flow in new peace. And we will encounter far fewer “enemies” among our fellow men and women.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to leave the past behind, especially the bad memories. I do not have to relive that past. With Your help, I have escaped, and I thank You for that.

Thank You for the many years of work in a congenial environment. I knew how to appreciate congeniality when I found it. Most of the time I didn’t look back. May I look forward 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.

Now Can the Teacher of God Rise Up Unburdened, and Walk Lightly On. Giving Up Judgment, His Sense of Care Is Gone.

1 – Sense of Care

“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. (M28)”

2 – Holy Spirit

This passage refers to turning over our decisions to the Holy Spirit. We carry life more easily once we have done this, and we do not feel burdened, as if we are carrying a load on our backs.

3 – Walk Lightly

Our sense of care is gone. We walk lightly in the light. These reassurances are worth their weight in gold. Who would not wish to walk the earth in peace and calm that is not abated?

4 – A Sure Guide

Why would we have a sense of care, when we have a Guide that is sure? We must only ask that we be given the grace always to follow that guidance. As we do follow that guidance, we become more and more reassured that it will always be there for us, and we drop our cares into the lap of God.

5 – Judgment Gone

“He has given it [sense of care] away, along with judgment. (M28)”

6 – Martha and Mary and Jesus

What a joy to give up the sense of care! We are, like Martha of the New Testament, worried about so many things. Martha was preoccupied with preparing a meal, and she wanted Mary, her sister, to help her instead of sitting at the feet of Jesus, where Mary was drinking in the words of Jesus.

7 – Rebuke

Yet Jesus kindly rebuked Martha, saying that Mary had chosen the best part, which in this case, was listening to him.

8 – Sit at the Feet of Jesus

May we be like the Marys of the world, not to disregard our obligations, but as often as at all possible, to sit, metaphorically, at the feet of Jesus and drink in his words. Then indeed is our care given away.

9 – Judgment

“Judgment, like other devices by which the world of illusions is maintained, is totally misunderstood by the world. It is actually confused with wisdom, and substitutes for truth. (M27)”

10 – “Good” Judgment?

Judgment seems to be wisdom, but, as we have been suggesting, it is far from wisdom. We think that “good judgment” will get us the outcome that we cry to have.

11 – Guidance

This is not true. Good judgment, whatever that is, will not get us the outcome that we cry to have. Only following guidance will do that.

12 – We Cannot Judge Rightly

“It is necessary for the teacher of God to realize, not that he should not judge, but that he cannot. In giving up judgment, he is merely giving up what he did not have. He gives up an illusion; or better, he has an illusion of giving up. He has actually merely become more honest. (M27)”

13 – Honesty

Would we like to be more honest? Of course! And this is the way—give up judgment! We cannot judge aright—ever. We may make wise decisions because we have been protected by God, but the consistent right decisions only come from guidance.

14 – Intuition

What does it feel like with intuition, the most prevalent kind of guidance? I sense a feeling tone to such guidance, in that I sense what the next right step should be. Sometimes guidance looks to the future, but in the step-to-step process of our days, intuition usually gives us the next right step. Sometimes the guidance comes to us as our own thinking rather than as a feeling. We will know that this thinking is guidance because it will seem a bit beyond us, though actually the thinking is coming up from the unconscious deep within. There God rests, and there the Holy Spirit communicates from God to us.

15 – Judgment Always Impossible

“Recognizing that judgment was always impossible for him, he no longer attempts it. This is no sacrifice. On the contrary, he puts himself in a position where judgment through him rather than by him can occur. (M27)”

16 – Relinquish Judgment to the Holy Spirit

This inner process of thinking, or the inner process of feeling (intuition), allows judgment “through” us to come out. So we do not give up judgment entirely; we just relinquish it to the Holy Spirit, Who is deep within. And His decisions are right. We will soon realize this. It takes little time to know that one’s egoic notions are faulty, and that the guidance of the Holy Spirit is on the beam.

17 – Guiltless Son/Daughter of God

“And this judgment is neither ‘good’ nor ‘bad.’ It is the only judgment there is, and it is only one: God’s Son is guiltless, and sin does not exist. (M27)”

18 – Theology

This passage is a theological construct of A Course in Miracles. God’s Son (or Daughter) is innocent of wrongdoing, for he/she has acted only in illusion, a dream. And thus he/she has not acted at all.

19 – Sin

Sin does not exist, for sin is seen as an attractive alternative. Call something a “sin,” and we want to do it again. This is lamentable human nature.

20 – Mistake

In contrast, call something a “mistake,” and the only right thing is immediately seen to be correction of the mistake. Our “sins” are all mistakes, in the theology of ACIM.

21 – Past, Present, and Future

“In order to judge anything rightly, one would have to be fully aware of an inconceivably wide range of things; past, present and to come. One would have to recognize in advance all the effects of his judgments on everything and everything involved in them in any way. And one would have to be certain there is no distortion in his perception, so his judgment would be wholly fair to everyone on whom it rests now and in the future. Who is in a position to do this? Who except in grandiose fantasies would claim this for himself? (M27)”

22 – Prescience

This passage summarizes what we have been considering. We can’t know, in a prescient manner, what we are about. Lacking knowledge of past, present, and future in all its ramifications, we no longer attempt to judge on partial understanding. We give over judgment to the Holy Spirit, who is omniscient or all-knowing.

23 – Lay Judgment Down

“Therefore lay judgment down, not with regret but with a sigh of gratitude. Now are you free of a burden so great that you could merely stagger and fall down beneath it. And it was all illusion. Nothing more. (M28)”

24 – Jesus’s Appeal

This passage is Jesus’s appeal to us to stop the foolish judging to which we are almost addicted. If possible, try to live this day without judging what to do next. Let guidance direct your footsteps.

25 – Close of the Day

And see, at the close of the day, if you did not get into a free-flowing frame of mind that offered you a good day.

26 – Reassuring Passage

A reassuring passage, as so many of the passages A Course in Miracles, are. We are bade to lay judgment down–to make no decisions for ourselves. Can we really do this? The Course elsewhere indicates that we should set our will at the beginning of the day to follow guidance, and then give thanks at the end of the day. Then our decisions will be far more likely to be right. ACIM is always practical, and asking at every juncture may not always be practical (an ACIM concept).

27 – A Guide

It is calming to know that we have a Guide who will not fail. This we can feel with gratitude.

28 – Burden of Judgment

The burden of trying to make judgments of what to do or say has always been extremely difficult for us. And we learn now that doing so has all been illusion. We don’t have to feel all alone in the universe. We have a Guide, and His guidance is the Way that makes our life a calm and gentle experience.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be led to lay judgment down forevermore. I do know in my heart of hearts that judgment can only hurt me. Let me be through with it forever.

Thank you for guiding me through the Holy Spirit. When I follow His prompting, I know that I am always taking the right pathway.

Amen.

The Teacher of God Does Not Make His Own Decisions. He asks the Holy Spirit for His Answer, and It Is This He Follows as His Guide for Action.

1 – Teacher of God

“As the teacher of God advances in his training, he learns one lesson with increasing thoroughness. He does not make his own decisions; he asks his Teacher for His answer, and it is this he follows as his guide for action. This becomes easier and easier, as the teacher of God learns to give up his own judgment. (M26)”

Affirmation: “Help me to turn to the Holy Spirit for my guide to action.”

Reflections:

2 – Guidance

This is a concise statement of how important it is to follow God’s guidance as seen for us in the Holy Spirit (an ACIM concept). It may be harder in the beginning to follow this guidance, but the difficulty may never fully drop away. Our ego dies hard. But we are promised that following the guidance that we receive will be easier and easier as we advance in our training. And that is all the assurance that we need.

3 – Don’t Make Your Own Decisions

We do not make our own decisions, based on our own faulty judgment. Our own judgment cannot but be faulty, for we are told elsewhere that we cannot know all factors in the past and future that impinge on any given decision. Once we give up trying to follow our own judgment, life becomes easier.

4 – Advanced

This passage remarks on the advanced teacher of God. Not all of us, even those of us who have studied A Course in Miracles for years, can realize this appellation for ourselves. But we will come closer and closer as we follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This is actually the easiest way in which to live.

5 – Easier and Easier

“This becomes easier and easier, as the teacher of God learns to give up his own judgment. (M26)”

6 – Smooth Flow

Would we like to develop a smooth flow to all of life? This is the Answer, following guidance that we ask to receive from the Holy Spirit. He does not force Himself upon us—never does He do this. We must be open to His help. And then the miracles happen.

7 – How “Hear” Guidance?

How do we “hear” guidance? There are many ways, and guidance may be understood, often, only by the person who receives it. I have penned an article entitled, “The Gift of Guidance,” which can be found in this blog by putting “gift and guidance and hales” in the search box. This article lists some ten ways that the Holy Spirit has spoken to me over the years. It is very personally written.

8 – Ego

Be careful of guidance, for sometimes the ego intrudes. If the message that we are getting would be harmful to anyone, know that we are misinterpreting. And if we don’t really want to listen, then don’t. Jesus says not to fight ourselves, that we are not ready in such cases. A Course in Miracles is always very practical.

9 – Fairly Slow Process

“The giving up of judgment, the obvious prerequisite for hearing God’s Voice, is usually a fairly slow process, not because it is difficult, but because it is apt to be perceived as personally insulting. (M26)”

10 – Testing Out Guidance

It is not an ACIM tenet, but I think that testing out guidance, when the results would be benign and not harmful, is helpful. It will ensure us that we are on the right path. This will help, in my experience, to eliminate the sense of being “insulted” that Jesus mentions.

11 – Intuition

We also don’t want to go off the deep end in following intuition. Sometimes the ego is very wily, and we embark on all kinds of dubious means to justify something that only the ego wants to do. We convince ourselves that it is God speaking to us. You can probably recount many, many incidents in history in which people have so thought. We cannot judge these encounters, for they are unique to the individual involved. But sometimes we have to wonder.

12 – Give Up Judgment

So we have to make a decision to give up judgment, our own little understanding that needs to be augmented. If we are stable enough, we will soon—very soon—come to recognize the difference between the “guidance,” the false guidance, of the ego, and the true guidance of the Holy Spirit. We will have a self-authenticating Word from God to us, we will simply “know,” but not to know why we know. Yet this inner assurance will be enough to take steps to follow guidance. Now that if we feel peace within, we are in a much better position to believe that it is truly the Holy Spirit Who is guiding us. Later on, when reading A Course of Love, we learn that the era of the Holy Spirit is over, and that the time of Christ is at hand. Then we listen to the inner Christ Spirit. But at this juncture in A Course in Miracles, we are not there yet.

13 – The World’s Training

“The world’s training is directed toward achieving a goal in direct opposition to that of our curriculum. The world trains for reliance on one’s judgment as the criterion for maturity and strength. Our curriculum trains for the relinquishment of judgment as the necessary condition of salvation. (M26)”

14 – Contrast

Here the contrast between the world’s learning and the learning associated with A Course in Miracles is encapsulated most precisely. We think that when we have “grown up,” we will be self-reliant, judging wisely, able to make our own decisions without help. Oh, we may pray sometimes to know God’s direction for us, but we often don’t do so consistently. And not praying consistently ensures that we will listen to our own judgment.

15 – Our Judgment Is Faulty

But our judgment is faulty. Elsewhere we learn that nobody can know all of the past, present, and future, so that we make wise judgments. But the Holy Spirit does have such prescience. And this is why we would be wise to ask for His guidance at numerous junctures throughout each day. Jesus says that we don’t have to become preoccupied with each step, because this is not practical, but that the proper mind slant, adopted upon awakening, will set us on the right course.

16 – Confused

If we become confused, we need to turn inward to the Holy Spirit right away. He will never let us down. Only if we are so overwrought and agitated that we can’t hear His Voice will there be a problem (and sometimes He gets through to us even then).

17 – Commune with God

Go apart and commune silently. Know that the upset will pass (“This too shall pass,” though not an ACIM tenet, is nevertheless true.) Relax into Your day. Know that decisions made in the heat of an argument are virtually always ego-driven, for the Holy Spirit is very quiet.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to make a determination to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit at every turn of my life. May I be reassured that this is the best way to live, the only way that leads completely to happiness.

Thank you for my Guide. May I know if I am misperceiving, and may I turn from that to true guidance.

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.

It Is because You Have Made Your Brother a Stranger that You Are Afraid of Him

“It is because you have made him a stranger that you are afraid of him. (T41)”

Affirmation: “made him a stranger”

Reflections:

1 – Sense Fear

When you sense fear of your brother, you have made of him (or her) a stranger. You do not really know the Self that is loving.

2 – Precautions

Do we ever need to protect ourselves against a brother or sister who would harm us? Yes! Of course, there are times in our world when we need to take precautions against harm from another. A Course in Miracles is always practical, and it does not sanction sacrifice of any kind. No sacrifice is ever asked of a child of God. We are talking here of normal times, but we know abnormal ones. In many cases, a soft word will turn aside anger. We have to be careful that we don’t exacerbate bad times in which we find ourselves embroiled. We can escalate a fight, as well as defuse one. And it is in the defusing that we see the other as the Self/Christ which he/she really is. This way of interpreting events does not in any way mean that we put ourselves in jeopardy. If the situation is dangerous, absent yourself from it. This would then be the loving gesture. Sacrifice of one’s best interest (in the interest of the Self, not the egoic self) is never recommended, nor is it called for by ACIM.

3 – Everyday Events

In everyday events, though, we usually feel afraid of our brother when we have reacted in anger or verbal attack. Then we may even wonder if our holy relationship is irreparable. Certainly these thoughts make of our brother a stranger, and make us afraid of what he (or she) may do, even if he may sever the relationship. In extreme cases, this may happen. We must realize another ACIM tenet, though, that no relationship is ever lost to us. Those who have once formed a relationship will meet again, to make of what may have been only a special relationship into a holy one. ACIM does not specify when this meeting will happen, but seems to imply that it may be beyond the veil of death. Eternity is stressed repeatedly in the A Course in Miracles. If we have not righted things with a brother/sister, we are bade to do so at the earliest opportunity. If this “righting” would be unwelcome, we are best to stay out of the picture. We need to refrain from entering the lives of those who do not want us. And this is a strong lesson to learn. We don’t have to be present with another to offer him/her forgiveness of the wrongs that existed in the past. We can offer that forgiveness silently, and it is quite likely that the other will sense what we are doing–that we are offering forgiveness for the wrongs that, in actuality, have not even occurred (for we live in illusions).

4 – Be at Peace

When we are at peace, we do not often get into altercations with others. This is something to remember in times of turmoil. We may be overwrought, and this may be a problem. The brother or sister may be overwrought, and this may be the problem. Ask for calmness to come over the situation, and know that our lives will smooth out. This is a certainty. Our lives smooth out when we listen to the Holy Spirit for advice, for the guidance (without judgment) that we sorely need.

5 – No One a Stranger

Make no brother a stranger, then, if we would know peace.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

My I retain my holy relationships, and let not even one fall into a “special” relationship. In so doing, I will make no brother or sister a stranger to myself. And I will not be afraid of any person.

May I know that all who meet are destined to meet again, to make their relationship a holy one. Thank you for this reassurance.

May I have a good day today. Be with me as I seek to remain in peace with my brothers and sisters. Help me to answer their needs, if such I can do. Let me take no situation upon myself to resolve if it is not mine to resolve. Help me not to meddle. But also help me not to judge a brother or sister as a stranger.

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.

Perfection

“To believe in your perfection and the equality of your gifts is peaceful, because it releases you from trying to acquire that which you previously believed you were lacking.  If releases you from judgment because you know that your brothers and sisters are also beings of perfection.  (A Course of Love, 20.43)”

Affirmation:  “Help me to understand perfection.”

Reflections:

1 – Perception = Innocence

“Perfection” here is closely aligned to our understanding of “innocence.”  In this concept, we have only made mistakes in perfect innocence; we are not guilty of sins that cannot be forgiven.  God has never condemned us for our misdeeds.  He just loves us.

2 – Christ-Consciousness

But perfection also seems to go a step forward in A Course of Love.  Jesus indicates that we do not have to correct all mistakes before we are considered ready for Christ-consciousness.  In A Course in Miracles, he said that he stood at the end of the path to correct all mistakes that we could not correct.  I think that this same understanding holds now with ACOL.

3 – As God Created Us

How does it mean that we can see our imperfections and yet read in ACOL that we can know perfection?  It is similar to the difficulty that many of us had in ACIM with our innocence.  Perfection and innocence both mean that we are as God created us (an ACIM tenet).

4 – Eliminate Judgment

The benefit to believing that we are as God created us is enormous.  We do eliminate judgmental thoughts about others from our minds.  We do not have to put down another in order to feel ourselves more justified, a better person.  This sort of nonsense is gone forever.

5 – Rid of Illusions

May we accept Jesus’s word today that we are both perfect and innocent.  Any illusory self is not perfect or innocent, but we are trying to be rid of illusions forever.  And this includes a desire to see the real world in place of the difficulty one in which we live as in a bad dream.  Ask today to see the real world, reality as it is.

6 – Improvement in Life

And see if life does not improve immediately.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

We are not perfect in that we never do anything wrong, or we never make mistakes.  But our innocence is strong nevertheless, because we are as You created us.  Help me not to forget this today.

May I drop any and all judgmental thoughts from my repertoire of attitudes and emotions.  Judgment only hinders my return to You.  And I would not have it so.

Be with me as I walk through this day in happiness.  I know that it is possible, and I ask for Your help in making it so.

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.

Quiet Listening

“Learn to be quiet, for His Voice is heard in stillness.  And His Judgment comes to all who stand aside in quiet listening, and wait for Him.  (M-15.2)”

Affirmation:  “Let me be quiet awhile today.”

Reflections:

1 – Benign Judgment

“His Judgment” is not bad; we only make mistakes, and these can be corrected.  If we cannot make amends with the person whom we have wronged, we can still ask forgiveness in quietness, and on some level we will be heard.  The Judgment of which this passage speaks is coming from the Holy Spirit, God’s Communicator with us.  It is always a benign judgment.

2 – Quiet

We cannot live well unless we live, at least from time to time, in quiet.  My quiet time used to be three times a day, which I spent in meditation.  This went on for ten years, and then six years ago I began to pray more, and I was quiet in that way.  Prayer works for me when I pray aloud, and frequently I do so when driving the car.  I do concentrate on the road, of course, but I am carrying on, also, a conversation with God.  Despite the noise of the car and the road,  I know this time as a particularly effective quiet time.

3 – Listening

We must try to follow God’s Way for us.  And we learn this Way in quiet listening.  Sometimes the Answer will come in a quiet “knowing,” and sometimes in just the next quiet words that come into our minds.  Sometimes we experience a feeling that we attribute to intuition.  There is no limit to the ways that the Holy Spirit can and does speak with us.

4 – Personal Experience

My favorite quiet time is early in the morning, before my husband awakes.  I slip out of the bedroom, and find an easy chair in our study.  There I sit quietly, thinking, sometimes, of the day ahead.  This time alone, before the day begins, is a very effective way to get close to God in my thinking.  If I miss this time, I know it.  So I try not to miss being alone first thing in the morning.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be still and quiet a bit today, to hear Your Voice.  I would relax, so that my body accommodates to my wish to hear You.  I would listen with a warm and soft heart.  Help me to do all of these things, for without Your help I am lost.

Be with me today.  I have already done a good bit of work this morning, and I am already tired.  If I could relax during my work, I could get along better and for longer periods of time.  Help me to do this tomorrow morning.  And today:  Help me to relax today even as I continue to work.

Be with all my loved ones.  I cannot control their destinies, but I do turn them over to You.  And I turn myself over to You also.  As always.

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.

Happily Lay Judgment Down

“It is not difficult to relinquish judgment.  But it is difficult indeed to try to keep it.  The teacher of God lays it down happily the instant he recognizes its cost.  All of the ugliness he sees about him is its outcome.  All of the pain he looks upon is it result.  All of the loneliness and sense of loss; of passing time and growing hopelessness; of sickening despair and fear of death; all these have come of it.  And now he knows that these things need not be.  (M-10.6)”

 

Affirmation:  “I would relinquish judgment today.”

Reflections:

1 – Pain = Caused by Judgment

Today’s passage from the Manual of A Course in Miracles continues the theme of judgment.  It makes clear that our pain is a direct result of the judgment in which we have been engaged.   The negative ramifications are indeed dire.  We need to give up judgment.  It comes close to being mandatory, though ACIM does not make this direct statement.

2 – Review Today’s Passage Frequently

If we could avoid all pain by giving up judgment, is this not an end result that we would want?  Indeed, yes.  If we could avoid the fear of death by giving up judgment, would we not rush to such a remedy?  Today’s passage says this and much more.  It would be a good passage to return to over and over, when our resolve falters and we find that the ego has intruded, with our judgment being an unwelcome result.

3 – Judgment vs. Evaluation

Judgment and evaluation are different.  I used to wonder, when doing peer evaluations in my work, if I were actually judging.  I was not sure that judgment and evaluation were different.  But now I recognize that an evaluation, done in the spirit of incomplete knowledge, is a technique of management in the work environment.  We do not have to make emotional and negative attitudes a part of our evaluation.  When we have invited the strongly emotional and the negative, we have indeed switched into judgment.  Keep in mind that we cannot see the whole picture, the whole picture being reserved for the Holy Spirit.  So we walk tentatively when we try to evaluate our world, to determine what we need to say or do in regard to others with whom we live and work.  We know that we may be mistaken in our evaluations.  But, especially, we do not fault a person for poor performance in a judgmental way.  Using the term, “judgmental,” may be a clear way to discern the difference between judgment and evaluation.  We do not have to thrust our brothers and sisters away from us when we see poor performance.  Our cooperation with them is all that our evaluation ought to elicit from us.  Cooperation has been seen to be mightily superior to competition, though not everybody is able to accept this finding in the social sciences.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not judge past, present, or future today.  I would not judge anyone whom I think (just think, of course) has mistreated me.  This world is illusion, and there is no way of knowing what I personally did to bring on the attack.  

I would also note the difference between judgment and evaluation.  They are very different, and evaluation is a much more benign concept.  Our world does hinge on correct evaluation, though intuition is often the route that we would take to know how to frame an evaluation.

Thank You for the good way in which this day has begun.  May goodness come to all my brothers and sisters as well.

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.

Judgment and Organizing

“You do not need judgment to organize your life, and you certainly do not need it to organize yourself.  (T47)”

Affirmation:  “You do not need judgment. . .to organize yourself.”

Reflections:

1 – Avoid Personal Judgment

This passage is stunningly simple in its words, but has profound implications.  We are told elsewhere in the Course that the world teaches us to rely upon our judgment and to monitor our actions by judging the best action to take.  But this is false reasoning.  We cannot know the whole context in which our judgment occurs–the past, the present, and the future that we try to judge in incompleteness.  These are tenets of the Course.

2 – Depend on the Holy Spirit

If we do not need to organize our life by judgment, then upon Whom should we rely?  The oft-repeated assertion to rely upon the Holy Spirit is meaningful in this context.  How do we do that?  By listening to the still, small Voice within–what is commonly know as “feelings,” or intuition.  By “feelings,” we do not mean emotional response; emotional response, especially that made in haste and under pressure of the moment, may be the ego prompting us to undertake a false pathway.  By “feelings,” we do mean the inner sense of rightness about a given action or thought.  With practice, we will learn to distinguish the difference.

3 – A Freeing Step

But it is enormously freeing to give  up the judgment of the world.  We walk freely and peacefully as we let the moment guide us by insight not of ourselves.  We know that if there are plans to be made, we will be told of them; they will occur to us at the proper moment for planning.  Otherwise, we can walk as free spirits in a world set free from our judgments–a world lit from within by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be led along the pathway that relinquishes judgment in favor of the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  May I be flexible, be able to turn on a dime.  May I not be stubborn in following this guidance.

Judgment, as taught by the world, is incomplete.  Judgment, as given by the Holy Spirit, takes into consideration all the variables.  I want to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  That is my intent.  Help me to stand firm in this resolve.

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.

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.

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.

Anger Must Come from Judgment

ACIM Workbook Lesson 347 – for Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Affirmation:  “Anger must come from judgment.  Judgment is
The weapon I would use against myself,
To keep the miracle away from me.”

“Straighten my mind, my Father.  It is sick.  But You have offered freedom, and I choose to claim Your gift today.  And so I give all judgment to the One You gave to me to judge for me.  (WB477)”

Reflections:

1 – The End of Insanity

This lesson offers more than just a plea for communion, prayer, with God.  We are asking for the end of insanity, the end of our sick minds, the end of our madness.  And we ought never to underestimate the extent of this world’s insanity (an ACIM tenet).

2 – Eliminate Judgment

We must eliminate judgment from our cluster of mental gyrations.  Attacking, judging, and making plans against contingencies to come–these are the three ways that we lose our way.  If there are plans to be made, the Holy Spirit will prompt us at the appropriate time.  But judging is something else entirely.  It is to be left to the Holy Spirit, Who alone knows all the circumstances, past, present, and future, and judges, therefore, rightly.  (We can never have enough understanding to see all circumstances, though sometimes we think, arrogantly, that we do.)

3 – Anger Has No Justification

There is never any justification for anger.  But this does not mean that we stuff our emotions.  We sublimate, in the presence of the Holy Spirit (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  If we are not judging–making an interpretation that is not true–then we will never see a reason for anger.  We will rush to our brother/sister’s side with healing, recognizing the unhealed thought or action is only a call for help or love.  Would we not want to be understood, unconditionally?  Would we now want love when we have felt anger?  Let us do to others what we would wish that they might do for us.  As is stated in ACIM repeatedly, giving and receiving are one.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would remember, now and forever, that my thoughts of anger are insanity, and it is not this that I would invite into my world.  May my stress be alleviated, for I know that virtually always I am stressed if I get angry.  You know that anger is a call for help, either on my part or the part of another.  I would focus on that call for help, and ask You how best to resolve the issue;

I would give up insanity, the insanity that almost all of us who live in this world have to a greater or lesser degree.  We are living in a mad world, and we are influenced by the madness of others.  Perhaps we see this madness most as neurosis, but however it appears to us, it merits compassion.  We do not have to be sucked into the malaise of our brothers and sisters, nor do we have to remain in malaise ourselves.  You are always here for us, and when we turn inward, in a serene frame of mind, You set our minds and hearts at rest again.

I would live in rest today.

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.