Mysteries

The world would teach you to be a doormat so that you fit in and do not ruffle anybody’s feathers. But as you become empowered, one way you will know that it is occurring is that some people will not like you. You will push their buttons just by walking into the room, for darkness abhors light. It is that simple. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 66)

If we find ourselves rejected by the world, or even by a few individuals in our world, let us rest easy. There is a bigger reason for this. It may, of course, be our fault, and we can ask to have this remedied by God. But it may be that we, by just who we are, are pushing others’ buttons. And that is not our fault.

What a revealing group of statements by Jesus! I had thought that if people didn’t like me, it was just bad karma. Something had happened in a past I could not remember that was affecting relationships today.

And this may be the case. This may be the case when we push others’ buttons. Their souls are remembering when maybe we did them wrong, and they turn from us as a reaction from further hurt.

We do the same. We may find ourselves unaccountably nervous around certain people, and we do or say things that hinders the good relationship. We may be remembering when that person was not good for us. And maybe that person is not good for us now.

There are mysteries in the world that surrounds us. Let us put the best face that we can on this world.

And then let it go.

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Be Gentle with the Self

Do we really choose, on some level, what we experience? The Course is uncompromising in its insistence that we do. “Suffer, and you decided sin was your goal. Be happy, and you gave the power of decision to Him [i.e., the Holy Spirit] Who must decide for God for you.” (T-21.II.3:5-6)

If this concept is helpful, it is because we see the light at the end of the tunnel. If it makes us feel guilty, we are misusing the words on behalf of the ego’s insanity. All of us are still at least partially insane, ruled by the ego. It is not practical to think, under these circumstances, that we always and consistently follow the Holy Spirit. The little self that occupies this world is still imperfect. Be gentle with that self, even as your Self would be, and perhaps say quietly (if it is helpful), “There is another way of looking at the world.” (W-pI.33.h)

When I fall from Grace into karma, I think, “I have done this thing to somebody else, sometime, somewhere.” I allow myself to feel the pain, but I try not to wallow in it. It is sometimes helpful, if the “sin” (in illusion) seems to be perpetrated by another, to remember, “you always attack yourself first,” (T-10.II.4:5) substituting the offender’s name for the “you.” Then I feel compassion for this fellow traveler, my brother sent to me by God, for we will find the way out together or not at all.

Peace

Knowing reality as it is really meant to be is possible only in snatches in this world. From time to time we experience a real meeting with another, a real relationship between equals, and we know that this experience of joy and love is as life is designed to be. The Course says that we would weep if we truly realized how different what we know now is from what we knew in Heaven (T-21.I.7:2) before we drifted into insanity and therefore into illusion.

I believe that God created karma in order to allow us to realize that our way could not work, that only a relationship of oneness with our true Mind, which is at home in God alone, could be reality. Jesus indicates that after much pain we must come to see that there is a better way, and make amends accordingly. If this seems like a dirty trick, that pain is what God visits on us to throw us back on Him alone, then we are misperceiving the truth of reality. Only God’s way can work; anything else proceeds from an illusory cause and brings effects that we would not want. Only in harmony can we live together in this universe. Only in Oneness could the universe survive. The “cause,” the ego, is a false notion of self, and it believes many things that are quite chaotic. This chaos brings on conflict and agony, for what else could transpire?

With karma, we see the boom-a-rang of what we have done to others coming back to ourselves; this is one way of learning. But it is not the only way. With the appearance of Jesus 2,000 years ago, he brought in the Age of Grace–the time in which we can, through meditation, prayer, and reflection, see the error of our ways, and make restitution that does not mean an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Certainly the Course carries this doctrine a step farther along to real Peace.

Self Unharmed

Why does karma exist? It is the old law of cause and effect, an immutable law of the universe from which a loving God does not exclude us. This law is largely the reason that God is seen as cruel. We make mistakes, and suffer the (bad) consequences, and then we blame God for not saving us from ourselves! Yet how else could the universe operate? If we are ever to lift ourselves out of madness, we must learn what works and what doesn’t. Only by learning this well can we ever hope to be co-creators with God. If He were to alter magically the illusions in which we have encased ourselves, we would never find our way out of the mists.

It is true, according to the Course, that what we do is illusion. It is a game a child might play, a playing of pretend that will one day, when we have left our madness far behind, be the instigator of real effects. At this point we will have learned fully the “causes” that bring destruction upon us.

We must be firmly convinced that it is ourselves who are living in madness, not God. And even in this world God’s higher laws prevail. The principal higher law is activated by forgiveness, a forgiveness in which we acknowledge that our illusions of whatever nature, of whatever violence, have harmed no one. What has caused nothing can hardly need forgiveness, but as long as we think it does, we need the exercise of forgiveness. Attack is not a real cause, and therefore only illusory effects can result. One is always either expressing love, or calling for love, for Love is our identity, an identity in which we forgive our brother for what he has not done to us. As long as he thinks he has harmed us, though, we must show him that the perceived attack is of no consequence. The blood is but bottled catsup on a stage in which pain only seems real. Our Real Self has continued unabated and unharmed throughout the whole tumult.

Why We Took Physical Form

monet - bridge reflections2“There would be no need for form if there had been no desire for expression. Life is the desire to express outwardly what exists within. What I refer to so often here as being within, as if ‘within’ is a place in which something resides, is unity and it is the place where being resides. It is the place or realm of one heart and one mind. It is the place where everything already exists fully realized. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 3.3)”

Affirmation: “I would use my body for expression today.”

Reflections:

1 – This World

This passage for today emphasizes why we were born in this world at all–why eternal beings took physical form. It was for expression, and there ends the matter. We did have a “tiny, mad idea” that separated us from God (or so we thought, but not actually), and therein was the ego born (from A Course in Miracles). What expression did we wish if the ego had not been born? That would seem to be the Self/Christ toward which we are headed now. The Self/Christ that is not egoistic and that seeks within for all answers.

2 – One

We are One with all–one heart and one mind. We tend to forget this, even when we have walked a long way on the pathway.

3 – World Is a Projection

But we must not forget. We are One, and we are a part of God, who dwells within. We project the world from within, and we project a better world when we are dwelling in our Self/Christ.

4 – Fully Realized

What does it mean to say that within everything is “fully realized”? I think that it means that we are merely bringing forth what has always existed. A Course in Miracles indicates that we simply walk a pathway in reverse, retracing our steps. The end is certain, and that end is One with God. We do not have to suffer (though we feel pain in physical form), and we can turn inward for comfort always. Indeed, we must turn inward for comfort.

5 – Karma

The way that we express ourselves in physical form says a lot about our current state of mind and heart. If we hurt others, we ourselves will hurt. If we injure others, we ourselves will be injured. Cause and effect are real, and in that the law of karma is played out. As we give, we receive.

6 – Self Emerges

And the best gift is a full mind and heart, offered to God as our real Self/Christ within emerges.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would contemplate today why I would ever have chosen to be born in this world. It is reassuring that physical form is not to be rejected, but perhaps to be rejoiced upon. I would express myself in the way that You deem best. I would turn aside from egotistical thoughts, feelings, and actions, and instead let Your guidance run my life. You know best what I really want, for our wills are identical.

Be with me today as I walk through this world. If disappointments loom, then may I release on them immediately. There is no blessing greater than the way that You point out to me. And I thank You for this.

Amen.

Law of Karma

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“The laws of God or the laws of love can be summarized by the simple statement of giving and receiving being one in truth.  The implications of this statement are far broader than at first might seem indicated. . . .The most essential of these implications is that of relationship for giving and receiving cannot occur without relationship.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 2.11)”

Affirmation:  “Giving and receiving are one.”

Reflections:

1 – Giving and Receiving

We are very, very familiar with the truth that giving and receiving are one.  We are so familiar with this concept that we may have trouble understanding it anew.  But to give is to know that what we give will be returned to us in like manner.  We will receive that which we gave.  This is the old law of cause and effect, or of karma.  An Eastern concept, it is not often identified as such by Christianity, but it is indeed a principle of karma.

2 – Relationship

The emphasis in this passage is the fact of relationship.  Union and relationship are hallmarks of A Course of Love.  We are in relationship to All.  And in the All is the giving and the receiving.

3 – Special Transformed to Holy

We understand the most about this law of cause and effect, receiving and giving, in our most significant relationships.  If we have diligently followed A Course in Miracles, we will have morphed our special relationships into holy ones.  We know from our intimate relationships that when we treat our holy other with love, he/she returns in kind.  When we are attentive, we turn the relationship ever more into love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask to create for myself today only good karma, only good cause and effect, only good giving and receiving.  May my relationships transform, every one, into the holy.  May the specialness that we have all known in relationships be seen anew as a holiness that knows no bounds.

Thank You for leading me to understand that karma is at work in our lives, but in a more benign way than is usually believed.  You do not ever “punish” us.  We do that to ourselves.  May I make certain, within the bounds of my limited human mind, that I create only the good as I walk throughout this day.  Thank You for being with me, night and day, and thank You for Your perceived Presence.

Amen.