Abundance

You have chosen what your experience will be and you have manifested it. There is nothing new about that. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 61)

We have always manifested, though the world has been slow to recognize this.

Manifestation, or the law of attraction, has gotten popular acclaim only in the work of Rhonda Byrne, author of the film and book, The Secret. She traces the roots of the law of attraction, also known as the law of love, back generations. Some earlier folks did not want the masses of people to realize how powerful their thoughts and feelings were, and only a few were knowledgeable. Now this has changed, a groundswell of change that is identified particularly in Jesus’ The Way of Mastery (The Christ Mind Trilogy), the third book, The Way of Knowing.

Now the truth of our thoughts and feelings and their manifestation is becoming common knowledge. We might think that we have discovered something magnificent, but we have been doing it all along, as Jesus tells us in this quotation. We have not been directive about it, though, and now many people are being directive. We miss the point if we dwell on the material, because material blessings are often wanted by our ego, and we are trying to let the ego pass away from us. Abundance is a vital part of God’s plan for us, and His abundance is best asked for by intangible blessings in the emotions of peace, joy, happiness, serenity, mellowness. If we have these intangible blessings, the material will normally take care of itself without our even having to ask.

Blessing from God

From my “ponder” series. . .

Does God play any role in the law of attraction other than seemingly being a genie in a bottle?

The law of attraction entered the mainstream just a little over ten years ago, primarily encouraged by Rhonda Byrne and The Secret (both book and film). The initial writing seemed to downplay any role that God might have in our lives. The focus was, quite a bit, on egoic thoughts and material possessions. To her credit, later writing by Rhonda in The Power and The Magic does make a return to traditional spiritual values of love and gratitude, respectively.

The law of attraction is often a secular way of receiving God’s blessings when we are too conflicted to hold a belief about a deity. But I think it is a blessing from God to keep us on the right track. I think God doesn’t ultimately care if we disbelieve (though He can help us more if we have belief in Him); he doesn’t have an ego to need the praise that traditional religion often asks us to make. So, using our minds, even though they are not spiritually attuned, will often get us what we want. This is the bottom line of the law of attraction.

Having a faith in God can bring us a much more fulfilling life, though. Just trying to think positively, and trying to feel good all the time, won’t do it for us—and it is these points that are often made about how to attract what we want.
What we want will fail us unless there is a deeper Mystery to ponder. Getting what we want is not the final answer because at some point we will be saying, “Is this all there is?”

A full surrender to a Higher Power (as we understand this Power) will ensure a better life. And this is classic spirituality.

What We Decree, Is

Remember that what you decree is, and the thought you hold in the mind will be reflected through the nature of your experience. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 4, Page 47)

The sentiment in the quotation is an affirmation of the law of attraction: What we decree, is. This truth lets us realize that we have to watch our thoughts, even getting out of bed in the morning. The way in which we begin our day will decide whether the day will go well or ill. Of course, we can always start the day over, as A Course in Miracles tells us. But wasting time is not to be desired (something also ACIM says).

Answer honestly, first thing in the morning, about what we want. This will put us in the right relationship to God, Who can then lead us gently to purify our thoughts.

Ask what is best that we want.

And then be assured of an Answer.

I Am Responsible for What I See

Some of the most beautiful as well as insightful words of A Course in Miracles are the following affirmation of personal power:

“I am responsible for what I see.
I choose the feeling I experience, and I decide
upon the goal I would achieve.
And everything that seems to happen to me
I ask for, and receive as I have asked.” (T-21.II.2:3-5)

Surely, on the surface of it, we would not choose the many bad things that do happen. So, if these words are true, there must be another something going on.

I believe that there is. Until we join our will to God’s, we are destined to miscreate. Until we heed the Holy Spirit, we can only miscreate. The Course asserts that always we get advice on how to live, and that there are only two choices from which this advice comes: the insane ego or the blessing that is the Holy Spirit. Listening to insanity can only bring miscreation.

We Choose Our Experiences

“Just as you would go to a grocery store and choose what you will have for dinner and then go home and experience your creation so too do you choose each experience. When you choose a perception, you lodge it in the mind. Then it expresses itself through the body, through the environment that you create around yourself and through the friends that you would call into your awareness. Every aspect of the life you live is the symbol of what you have chosen to experience and, therefore, to convey throughout creation.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 2, Page 13)

Jesus seems here, almost certainly, to be saying that we create our own reality. This is a maxim of the New Age movement, made popular by Jane Roberts’ Seth, about the time that A Course in Miracles was being scribed. We surround ourselves with what we want, though if we are in need, it isn’t our personalities or personas that has made the lack, but our souls. Our soul knows the full chart of our life plan. Our soul then conveys to the learning being, also called the Self, or the Christ-Self (from A Course of Love) what we need to know. We will never, on earth, find a reason for lack/suffering/pain that will satisfy us, we can rest easy that there is an Answer, but that we are simply not enlightened enough to comprehend this eternal question.

We create the environment around us. We project from within, and from this a perception of the world arises. Elsewhere The Way of Mastery (the Christ-Mind Trilogy) and A Course in Miracles say that this world is an illusion of a real world. Some readers of A Course of Love demur from this interpretation, seeing in the true reality beyond Awakening or Christ-consciousness, a hope that something more is going on, that the rocks, trees, oceans, are becoming real in a new way.

We do not have to bear this cross. We do not have to join in this controversy. I don’t think that this particular problem, a matter of metaphysics, matters to Jesus at all. I think it simply doesn’t matter to him that we have differing views. Certainly physical reality is real enough to us here in our time on earth. We can debate metaphysical ideas on the Other Side, where we will presumably know more than it is given us to know in this plane.

It is enough that we create our own reality. This will be hard enough for us to handle. Remember that one is meant to have compassion on suffering, not increase it by blame of the one suffering. While there are no true victims, we are simply not astute enough to avoid blaming the victim, unless we hold them in the same love-filled vision that Jesus would.

Use our imagination to create a better reality for us. Use our imagination to realize that Jesus is right by our side, holding our hand, as we walk through this world. His help will give us a warmth and peace that we have heretofore lacked.

Deprived of Nothing Except by Our Own Decisions

“When you are sad, know that this need not be. Depression is of the ego, and you are hiding little spots of hatred that are hurting you. Depression always arises ultimately from a sense of being deprived of something you want and do not have. Know you are deprived of nothing except by your own decisions, and then decide otherwise.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.VI.5:1-4)

We have been given everything, by God, to make our way through life easily and peacefully. On the surface, this sounds like an outrageous claim, but Jesus does say that we are “deprived of nothing except by your own decisions.” This sounds very akin to Jesus’ way of speaking of the law of attraction, in which what we focus upon, actually comes to be.

The law of attraction has been hot news since Rhonda Byrne and her team made a film entitled The Secret, and this was followed, by her, by books (The Secret, The Power, The Magic, The Hero). It is a very controversial idea, but the law of attraction says that we have to watch our minds for the scraps of fear that abide there, for we will make very bad things for ourselves if we focus on the negative. In The Power, Rhonda made clear the central place of love, and this book has spiritual aspects that would lead all of us to see that Love in religion, and love in the law of attraction, is a universal concept with universal ramifications.

Depression does wrap our mind up in knots. We can do much to dismiss depressed thoughts when they arise in us, as the psychologist Richard Carlson has made clear, especially in the books, Shortcut through Therapy, You Can Feel Good Again, and Slowing Down to the Speed of Life. He doesn’t think that we are doomed by brain chemicals to lead a depressed life; we have some say in how we thrive.

Jesus, in the passage for today, seems to say much the same. We all need compassion, and those who are depressed perhaps need more compassion than most. If we are trapped by depression, let us reach out to our brothers and sisters, including the medical establishment and the community of psychologists and psychiatrists.

Let us ask what we would want to think that we can’t seem to think now.

And that will hold the key.

We Have Been Given Everything

“Truth is always abundant. Scarcity leads to overeating and other false drives. Abundance eliminates these. Those who perceive and acknowledge that they have everything have no need for driven behavior of any kind.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.39.2:4-7)

Truth is one of the intangible outcomes to abundance, and abundance is the law of attraction in operation. We have been given everything, as A Course in Miracles makes clear in other passages as well as this one. We do not recognize that everything, of course, because we are finite, and knowing that we have everything requires a mind that is open to eternity, for it is in eternity that we do have everything.

The law of abundance is the idea that what we inwardly ask for, we will receive. It can be a secular idea, but the best reading of it (as with all things) is to invite the spiritual in. We are not long pleased with material objects that feed the ego; we are constantly striving for more and more, more and different, not satisfied for long.

Intangible blessings, especially the peace that passeth understanding, has none of this drive to acquire more. Peace is all or nothing (though we may not perceive it this way). And peace is our due when we invite this great calm. And all we need do is ask.

Note: I have a new blog on the spiritual dimensions of the law of attraction, entitled “Thou Shalt Receive,” a blog that is being well-received. I welcome your visits: http://halesceliaelaine.wordpress.com

Thank you.

I Am Not the Victim of the World I See. I Have Invented the World I See.

impressionist paintings1 – There Is No World!

A Course in Miracles stresses repeatedly that we live in a dream, that this world is illusory. And in support of this idea comes the assertion that projection makes perception. So all that we experience comes from within ourselves. There is no world! (This is an ACIM declaration.) Now the following passage repeats this idea in slightly different words:

“You will escape from both [the inner and the outer world] together, for the inner is the cause of the outer. (WB31)”

2 – Projection Makes Perception

If our inner world makes our outer (what we have been learning), then it behooves us to transform our inner to loving concepts. Fear in the inner world will make the outer world seem fearful to us. And when the ego is reigning within, we have little choice but to view an outer world that scares us.

3 – ACIM’s Purpose
We would not have it thus. Nobody would, if they knew what to do to change things. And with ACIM, we are learning the means to Awakening the transformative experience that will make all the difference.

4 – Useful Idea

“The idea for today [“I am not the victim of the world I see”] is also a particularly useful one to use as a response to any form of temptation that may arise. It is a declaration that you will not yield to it, and put yourself in bondage. (WB31)”

We are in control of our destinies. Our world is what we want it to be, once we have taken conscious control. Otherwise, we may be living with an imprisoned will, made that way because of the “tiny, mad idea” that changed us, that made the illusory separation from God. But many New Age writers have declared that we create our own reality. And ACIM says the same, though in this world ACIM uses the word “make” rather than “create.” We are not ready for true creation as long as we are in egoic clutches.

5 – We Invented This World

“Today we are continuing to develop the theme of cause and effect. You are not the victim of the world you see because you invented it. You can give it up as easily as you made it up. You will see it or not see it, as you wish. While you want it you will see it; when you no longer want, it will not be there for you to see. (WB32)”

6 – Cause and Effect

Cause and effect can be a hard concept to wrap one’s mind around. But it is really very simple. It says that like creates like, and when we live in egotism, we make egotism in our outside world. Again, projection makes perception.

7 – Avoidance of This World

We do not want to see the world in which we have been living. But it is things of the spirit that will save us, not materialistic goods. Our reality is one that cannot be viewed by the seeing eyes. Our reality is the intangibles of God, his blessings of joy, peace, harmony, serenity, love.

8 – The Secret

The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne, has given me personally much room for thought. In this book and DVD, she and others say that we attract the world that we want. The first book in the series, The Secret does focus quite a bit on the material. But the second and third books in the series, The Power and The Magic, look to spiritual concepts of gratitude and love far more.

9 – Spiritual Concepts

It is to these spiritual concepts that I want to take our attention. We will never be satisfied for long with material goods. We will always want more, as long as those goods are coming to us to satisfy egoistic wants. But when we are grateful for the world in which we live, and when we love mightily, we have it in our power to transform the world that we see. And transformation is what we are after, if the truth be told.

10 – Apply Today’s Idea

“The idea for today [‘I have invented the world I see.’] should also be applied immediately to any situation that may distress you. Apply the idea by telling yourself: I have invented this situation as I see it. WB32)”

All of the passages from this Workbook lesson say much the same as what Rhonda Byrne is saying, and she has gotten a great deal of press in recent years. The concepts are making their way into the mainstream, much as have the concepts of ACIM. (Frequently entire books are written which set forth the philosophy of ACIM without ever crediting where the ideas have originated.)

11 – Change Your World

So, if we are not victims of the world we see, we can change that world. And let us seek to do so today. Let us get started. The world will continue on in its poor, downtrodden ways until we seek to make a change. It is not hard to change a thought that we wish to change. And the world is a thought, an idea.

Affirmation: “I am not the victim of the world I see.”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May the world that I see today make a dramatic shift. May I see that this world is my own invention, that I am part of a mass hallucination. May I join others in the desire to make a better world that is not dependent on the physical eyes to see.

Be with me today. I long for an anxiety-free day, and I have much on my plate today. Help me to call upon You, to remember to call upon You, when I sense stress. You would not have me stressed. That is not Your way. Show me Your way today.

Amen.

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

1 – Idle Dream

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

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

2 – Cause and Effect / Law of Attraction

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

3 – Personal Experience

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

4 – Intuition

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

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

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

5 – Fearful Dream

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

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

6 – Awakening

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

7 – Change the Dream

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

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

Affirmation: “I would dream happy dreams today.”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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

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

Amen.

You Create Your Own Reality

“If you observe health rather than disease, abundance rather than poverty, peace rather than conflict, happiness rather than sadness–disease, poverty, conflict and sadness will be no more real to your brothers and sisters than it is to you. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 18.6)”

Affirmation: “I choose health, abundance, peace, and happiness today.”

Reflections:

1 – Reality

In my reading of this passage for today, I see two aspects that are important. The first is that we create our own reality. The second is that what we create affects others as well.

2 – Jane Roberts’s Seth

Creating our own reality is a fundamental tenet of Jane Roberts’s Seth, written in the seventies. Of course, we are listening to Jesus, and I cite Seth to show the emergence of this idea in our culture. Can we really have health, abundance, peace, and happiness just by wishing for it? In part, yes. But I think not entirely. It is our larger Self that actually determines the experiences that we meet, and this larger Self may have plans for us that we need rather than want. It is certainly wrong to blame the victim if bad things happen. The personal self isn’t in full control. Blaming the victim is a particularly insidious trap that makes that person feel even worse than he/she does anyway. The larger Self may make decisions that in the short run appear detrimental. The end result is always good, though, even if the end result is now to cease living on this earth—death.

3 – Affecting Reality of Others

The second aspect of this passage is the more startling and less well known assertion that what we anticipate directly affects the experience of our brothers and sisters. Can we really bring them good things if we think right? I think that this passage is saying “yes.” This behooves us to get right with God, to let our interactions with others be positive always, and to know that what we say and do affects on subtle levels and not just the superficial.

4 – Health, Abundance, Peace, Happiness

May we have the good things today. May we have abundant health, abundant wealth (either material and/or spiritual), peace (of God), and genuine happiness (joy). These positive experiences will follow us all the days of our lives if the larger Self (the Christ within) also believes that these things are in our best interests. The law of attraction is at work, but not in the materialistic fashion that it is sometimes depicted.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would create a good reality today, for myself and, to the degree that I can, for others. I realize that I can use the law of attraction to make the materialistic attracted to myself, but this will be ashes and dust unless my heart is in the right place, unless I seek also for the intangibles of God. May I do so today.

May what I do affect my brothers and sisters is a right way, a good way. May I think, say, or do nothing that will hinder their progress toward You and Home. May we work together today to have the good, but to be equally certain that the good is shared.

Amen.

Those Who Will Be Visited by Great Change Are Those Who Desire It

RenoirDanceatBougival“As you begin to dwell in the house of truth and see with the eyes of love, you will see far less about the life you lead that you would change than you would imagine. You fear where all your new ideas might take you, and for some great changes may surely await, but those who will be visited by great change are but those who desire it. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 14.5)”

Affirmation: “I will contemplate whether or not I want great change.”

Reflections:

1 – Personal Experience

I know first hand the truth of this passage. I recognize that at this moment I do not wish for great change in my life. There is some struggle, but largely my life is going well (contrary to some periods in the past), and perhaps this passage means that ought to credit my study of A Course of Love with this general good in my life. We do create what we dwell upon, and when we have dwelled upon the good message of ACOL, we are less likely to want great change.

2 – Solution Is Always with the Problem

For those of you who are going through a rough patch of time, yes, of course, choose anew for change. It is very likely that this change for the better will ensue quickly, for the solution is always with the problem, and when we ask for the solution, it presents itself. It is important to note that great change will not be thrust upon us if we are unwilling to experience great change. We will “desire it” and see the change come to pass. We have nothing to fear, for we are perfectly safe.

3 – Gratefulness

The best way to ensure good times as a continuation into the future is to be grateful for what we already have (an interpretation, not emphasized in either A Course in Miracles or ACOL). The function of gratitude is to get us ready for even better things in the future. Even if the present seems dire, we do indeed have many things for which to be grateful, even though our eyes may be blind to those things. Talk to someone who has a fresh eye, who can see the advantages that you do actually enjoy. This is a better pathway than cursing what seems to be darkness.

4 – Change May Come Gradually

Change will come to all of us, but an implication of today’s passage is that the change will not come overwhelmingly or in great quantity if we are living a life that we like. We have become ready to accept what we have.

5 – Acceptance

Accepting what we have is the first step toward increased blessings. And gratitude for what we have is the means. Again, this is an interpretation, and it is based on the law of attraction.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am intensely grateful today for what I have. It is easy, of course, to be grateful when things are going well. But some individuals develop great faith when things are going badly. And they have learned through pain to do so.

Jesus says that it is not necessary to learn through pain, that learning through rewards is lasting, and learning through pain is not. Let us seek today to learn through rewards. And may those rewards gradually lead us to the changes in our lives that we wish.

If we see much wrong with our lives, let us move forthrightly to change. May we welcome this change, never fearing it. Fear is of the ego, of course, and we are leaving the ego behind—indeed, we have done so, though lapses may still occur. Evolution is not a straight line.

May all of us have a good day. May we rest in the contentment that allows us to be truly productive, but without strain or struggle. We do not have to struggle to be good; we merely have to rest in Your promises. You will take us home, and You will reach down and lift us up to Awakening when the time is right. I rest in that promise today. Thank You.

Amen.

What Ought I to Do?

art_appreciation_edgar_degas_pink_ballerinas
“You who have so recently felt the peace of true acceptance are not asked to leave that peace to go in search of calling but are rather asked to listen from within that peace to what you feel called to do. This is not about the past and all those things that at one time or another you thought would bring you fulfillment. This is about recognizing who you are not. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 4.12)”

Affirmation: “I would listen within my peace today.”

Reflections:

1 – Listen Within

This passage is very reassuring. We don’t have to go in search of who we are; we listen within, and that within place is a place of peace. We do not have to search out what we are to do next, what our calling is. This will come to us in due time. Jesus seems bent on giving us a sense of solace, or comfort. We are alright the way we are, and we certainly do not have to merit God’s grace. His grace is a free offer, open to all who turn to Him.

2 – Fulfillment

We have searched in many places to find fulfillment. But we know now that fulfillment through material goods is a fulfillment of the ego, and we are letting the ego go. This means that the present emphasis in our society on the law of attraction, often that which focuses on material objects, is not fully a good thing. If we are to use the law of attraction well, we will ask for that which is intangible, because it is the intangible that will give us lasting peace. We are never satisfied with material goods, any particular material good, very long. We always have to seek more. But that is the way of the ego–always. And we would be done with the ego.

3 – Past and Present

We are not focusing on the past any longer. Whatever good it held will be saved for us. We are focusing on the present, trying to live in the present with a full heart joined to our mind. We need no more to find the peace that is promised in this passage for today.

4 – Listen in Our Hearts

When we listen within the peace–in our hearts–we will know what to do next. We will not second guess this advice, because it will come through to us gently and it will be easily fulfilled. Intuition is never strident. We are not coerced, and if it seems that we are, we are allowing our ego to rule again. The advice from inner peace is always reassuring and well-received, for the Christ Self knows what to do next. Our personal “little” selves do not know. And unless we are overwrought, we will hear accurately.

5 – Being Overwrought

Being overwrought is one time that guidance has trouble getting through to us. So, if we find ourselves overwrought, it is best to take at time out, a period of contemplation, meditation, or prayer, that will still our minds. Then what our heart is trying to tell us will be heard clear as a bell. Let not doubts interfere. And remember that any seeming advice that would harm another is false. Only good comes from inner peace, from listening to our Christ Self.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to listen within so that I know, beyond a doubt, what I should do next. I am beyond trying to merit Your favor by doing “good.” You don’t want me to “achieve” to be loved by You. Your love is always here.

Thank You for the sense of Your presence that abides within me in my better moments. May I treat others with the same good will that I would wish to receive. May my words be gentle and kind. May no anger mar the good intentions of what I say or do.

May the day be peaceful and quiet. May no overwrought emotions come between You and me. I need to keep a peaceful heart to be able to hear Your word.

Amen

Material Treasures Are of the Ego

170px-Girl_with_a_HoopAs this treatise is not concerned with material treasure, we will not explore the dimensions of physical treasure except to say that the feelings that cause one to think that any physical thing is capable of being a treasure or being treasured are of the ego. We will instead assume that you have moved beyond these ego concerns and explore the realm of internal treasures. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 1.3)”

Affirmation: “I choose only internal treasures today.”

Reflections:

1 – Law of Attraction

This passage takes a stand diametrically opposed to the emphasis that is sometimes placed on attracting physical treasures by the Law of Attraction. Certainly we do know, from observation, that physical treasures may be attracted, but does our pleasure in them remain for very long? We drop them, as a child drops a favorite toy, and go on to the next material boon. And we remain dissatisfied at our core, even though momentarily we have received the best of a thing that we thought we wanted.

2 – Internal Treasures

Internal treasures do not fade in their blessing to us. We do not become dissatisfied over time when we hold the internal deeply within ourselves. The internal does not turn to ashes and dust in our hands because we have neglected the intangible treasures of God–the peace, harmony, joy, serenity, ecstasy that is ours when we have sought our treasures in heaven. The New Testament makes this same point in telling us not to lay up for ourselves that which does corrupt, but to lay up treasures in heaven.

3 – Attracting the Material

It is clear to me that the Law of Attraction can attract material things of this world. And God wants our material needs to be satisfied. But He wants more beyond this for us, His beloved children. He wants us to be satisfied in our souls, and material blessings, however good, cannot, ultimately, satisfy the soul. Some individuals in our world who have the least material blessings do indeed have rich intangible treasures that give them a joy that is unknown to most of us. Those who minister to the sick and dying know a serenity that can give great joy in the midst of sorrow, for they know that they are fulfilling a need for their brothers and sisters.

4 – Material Reward

There simply is no correlation between happiness and material reward. Certainly material want can bring much pain, but not all with little material blessings endure the pain that more affluent people do. The dark night of the soul is not limited to the materially bereft.

5 – Our Birthright

The internal treasures that Jesus assures us are our by birthright will give us a life beyond our wildest dreams. We will know joy. We will know peace. We will know even ecstasy. And we will know that we have heaven here on earth and we are at home.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would bless those of my brothers and sisters who still seek for their treasure in the material, but I would be interested in having my loved ones recognize that there are greater joys in the intangible. May all of us satisfy our physical needs, but may we realize that internal and lasting happiness cannot be acquired by accumulating material blessings.

May we use the Law of Attraction wisely. We do have physical needs, and may these be satisfied. But may we also use this Law to attract the intangible. What we think about the most may appear. And may that thought be good.

Amen.

Be Very Careful What You Set Your Heart Upon

images - impressionism

“I ask you merely to receive in order to learn receptivity, the way of the heart.  I ask you only to pause, to give the mind a rest, to enter a realm foreign to the mind and yet beloved to the heart.. . .I ask you to give yourself a chance to forget about approaching this as one more self-improvement exercise, or one more objective to accomplish.  Only in this way do you come to realize that you are already accomplished.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “I would give my mind a rest today.”

Reflections:

1 – Already Accomplished

What does it mean to be the “already accomplished”?  It is an ego-less state, that is for sure.  Feeling the truth of this joyous statement does not mean that the ego has one more kudo to chew upon.  On the contrary.  It means that we reside in a receptive mode, the one of the heart, that allows things to come to us.  We don’t go out, aggressively, to self-improve.  Such self-improvement campaigns usually end in disappointment, and during their time in the sun, they are frequently a tribute to our egotism.

2 – Passivity

How do we become more receptive?  This involves a certain passivity, because to be receptive means that one is not out there trying to bring home the world’s jewels for ourselves.  We would be disappointed if we tried.  That is why the law of attraction does not always work well in the long haul.  The stories that we are told never tell us the times that the law failed to bring joy.  But fail it will, if we seek the goods of this world without the blessings of another world.  If we seek pleasure, without the joy of God.

3 – Source of Attraction

We do ourselves a disservice when we seek to attract without acknowledging the Source of our attraction.  And we often ask amiss, and though we bring that hoped-for thing to our doorstep, we will not remain happy about it.  Something will come that trips us up, if we have not surrendered to God and His will for us.  We are told in A Course in Miracles that God’s will and our real will are actually identical.  But it takes much prayer and much guidance to ask aright for the things in our world that would really be of benefit to us.  There is a strong warning, “Be very careful what you set your heart upon, for you will surely have it.”  Yes, we will have it because of the law of attraction, but we need guidance in setting our hearts upon the right choice to ask.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I seek a rest today.  I want to attract to myself only what is good and right for me.  Help me to do so.  And may You protect me from myself if I need that.

Help me to understand more fully the law of attraction.  It is puzzling that I think that You will protect me if I ask amiss, and then I wonder if indeed You will.  This is a lack of faith, and I would faith in You as a central facet of my life.

Be with me as I seek to turn over to You, that I do turn over to You, the things that trouble me.  You know best how to resolve everything for the good of all.

And I ask that today.

Amen.

What Would Love Have Me Say?

Monet-Field-of-Poppies-II-font-b-famous-b-font-hand-made-Oil-font-b-Paintings“That Source is Love, and it is available in every situation but for the asking:  What would love have me do?  What would love have me see?  What would love have me say?  (A Course of Love, 32.2)”

Affirmation:  “I would choose Love consistently today.”

Reflections:

1 – God = Love

Love is not just an emotion.  As we know, Love is another Name for God, another name for the Divine.  We do not understand this mystery in our minds, but our hearts do understand, and it is our hearts that A Course of Love frequently appeals.  And when we join mind to heart, we have the wholeheartedness that is required of us by ACOL.

2 – Akin to ACIM

This series of questions in today’s passage are reminiscent of year another series of questions, along the same lines, from A Course in Miracles.  But in ACIM, we are bade to ask these questions of the Holy Spirit.  And here the three questions are bade of love, another way of viewing emotion in the heart.  So Love does partake of emotion.

3 – Certainty

We can know certainty, when we look within and see no lack.  We respond in Love, and then we know what to say, do, and even think.  There is no confusion on this point.

4 – Look Within

This indeed is the certainty that this world has lacked heretofore, and the certainty that we have craved.  As previously noted in A Course of Love, we have looked to this certainty in our relationships, where it cannot be found.  But when we look within, lo, there it is indeed.  And our words, actions, and thoughts smooth out so that we attract all that is right and good in our world.

5 – Law of Attraction

Much has been written about the law of attraction, in which like attracts like, and we can have anything in our world if we realize that we “create our own reality.”  Many have found that this practice of thinking and making affirmations does not always work as promised.  That is because we are trying to make a formula of God, and He will not be pigeonholed that way.  We cannot carry God in our hip pocket, as my freshman professor of religion warned us in class one day.  God is too big to be manipulated by our mere words.  Even our feelings are not enough, for this is simply the wrong way to get what we want.  We may succeed for a time, but all will turn to ashes and dust in our hands if we do not place the Divine at the center of our lives.  He is the only certainty in our changing and unstable world.

6 – Will All Go Smoothly for Us?

God does not give guarantees that all will always go smoothly for us.  It is certain that following a faith will make us happier and more joyous, but we will always have difficulties, for difficulties are part of the human condition.   These difficulties will not seem so onerous, though, when we know that there are higher laws of which we know nothing.  God has not revealed all of his secrets to our limited minds and hearts.  We could not sustain these secrets if He tried, and so He gives us only what we are ready to have, and this is not always the same as our heartfelt wishes.  Having all that we want would not always be good for us, for often, in our frailty, we ask for the wrong things.  And he protects us from ourselves in such cases.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to choose what Love would do, say, and even think.  This is asking of You what You would have me do, say, and think.  There is no formula that would make of You a genie in a bottle.  You do not respond in the affirmative to our every affirmation, even the ones that we seek to “allow.”  You are too big for that.  You are also too caring of us, for sometimes we ask awry.  We ask for what would not be good for us.

I would ask today only for what is right and good in Your sight.  Then and only then am I certain of getting what I have asked for.  Thank You that this, in my interpretation, seems true in my experience.  Anything else smacks of a pact with the devil (i.e., the ego).

Amen.

Worry Explained

van gogh - flowers4“All your worry over the future and the past is but a worry about the return of gifts given.  What gift of opportunity did you not accept in the past, might you not recognize in the future?. . . .What peace might you know if you realized, truly realized, that all gifts come but once and are forever?  The past nor the future matter not.  All is available in the here and now where giving and receiving occur.  (A Course of Love, 29.25)”

Affirmation:  “I would cease worry immediately, for gifts are given permanently.”

Reflections:

1 – Obscure Passage

The meaning of this passage is a bit obscure until we dissect the sentences.

2 – Past and Future

First, we are to cease worrying over past and future.  We have been afraid that the peace that we know in the present is a brief peace that will disappear when circumstances.

3 – Giving and Receiving = One

This does not have to happen.  Our faithfulness to the truths that Jesus gives us in A Course of Love, the giving and receiving as one, is all that is required.

4 – Accept God’s Plan

Second, we have the opportunity to accept the plan of God today.  We do not have to let this opportunity slip by the wayside.  And we must not.  We need not fear that this opportunity will not be offered again (for it will), but why wait?

5 – Christ-Consciousness

Third, the peace that we feel can and will be permanent when Christ-consciousness is sustained.  This may be a long time off, but in the meantime, many of us will be given glimpses of the revelation that all is well.  We will know Christ-consciousness in ever-greater intervals of time.  And that is the great promise.

6 – Giving and Receiving

Giving and receiving are one.  How often and how long have we known this?  But perhaps these words are simply words to us.  To give is to invite the receipt of the gift given.  We find that like attracts like, and this is the law of attraction, about which so much has been written recently.  Many have found the truth in this law, but we would find amiss if we stop with just the material benefits.  The material benefits will not long satisfy.  It is the intangibles of God that count for the most–the joy, the harmony, the peace, the tranquility.  And in these intangibles do we learn the most about giving and receiving being of one.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would cease worry, the worry that has dogged my steps for many years.  All of this is such foolishness.  Do I or do I not trust You?  I know that if I follow Jesus, everything will be alright.  And Jesus’s words in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are manna unto my spirit.  Thank You for his part in Your plan.

May I return also to the Bible in my contemplative moments.  I see the Bible, especially the New Testament, ACIM, and ACOL as part of a continual tradition.  Others may not agree, but I thank You that this interpretation gives me peace.

May all of us have a good day.  May none of us turn pain into suffering.  With You in our lives, welcomed in, then all indeed is well–regardless of outer circumstances.  Thank You.

Amen.

Adopt an Attitude of Invulnerability

“While you believe fate works against you, you are not in concert with the universe.  These attitudesmonet - field with trees confirm a continuing belief in your separated and vulnerable state.  During the time of tenderness, you will learn, through the practice of devotion, to identify and reject all such attitudes and to adopt an attitude of invulnerability.  (A Course of Love, 25.12)”

Affirmation:  “Fate works with me.”

Reflections:

1 – Time of Tenderness

If tenderness at first is our experience, with attendant vulnerability, we will move along in time to a new state of mind and heart, one of invulnerability.  This is a welcome change, and it is not a front, and it is not harsh.  Invulnerability of the right kind means that we are totally protected in our lives by God Himself.

2 – Our Devotion

To whom is our devotion directed?  To none other than God Himself.  When we practice visualization and affirmations, along with our prayers (communion with God), then we are indeed in a favored position.  The problems and difficulties of our lives will fall away.  We may not forever be free of struggles, but the very struggles that might previously have floored us, will seem much lighter and will affect us adversely in a much lessened way.  We will know, in our bones, that God is there for us.  As a part of God, we will come to recognize that our communion is with our innermost Self/Christ.  And we will act out of that Self/Christ, not from the personal self.  The personal self is always a limited version of the much larger Self that we really are.  And the personal self is too informed by that part of the ego that has not withered away.

3 – Invulnerability

So:  Let us welcome invulnerability, knowing that there is nothing artificial about it.  It is not a defense that will crumble.  It is God Himself, holding us to His bosom.  We are blessed indeed, and our lives will smooth out in ways that now we can only contemplate dimly.  Our contemplation will become more vivid as we walk along.  As our attitudes change, and we attract that which we wish to have–blessings–we will indeed seem to the unknowing to be leading charmed lives.  But our lives will be no more charmed for ourselves than for anyone else who is ready to give up the ego and walk into God’s outstretched arms.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

As I move from the time of tenderness, with its increased sense of vulnerability, may I adopt the attitude of invulnerability.  That is where You are pointing, and I would do well to recognize it.  Fate does not work against me, and You protect me when my mind miscreates.  May my attention go to that which I truly want, thereby working in concert
with the law of attraction.

I cannot look to You to save me from my own mental processes all the time.  You are a loving Father/Mother, and You do not wish harm to come to me.  Jesus waffles a bit about how protective You will be if my mind drops into dissatisfaction and negativity.  I am responsible for what I think, for all thinking creates form on some level.  May this remain a dream state that does not impede the dream reality in which I live.

Help me to have a good day.  I know what to do, and it is up to me to do it.  You have taught me well.  Help me to be a good student.  Thank You for Your many blessings in this sometimes difficult world in which we find ourselves.

Amen.

When What You Imagine Becomes Reality

pissarro-montmartre-night“Still you find it difficult to believe that what is possible depends upon what you can imagine being possible.  You must cease to see the difficulty and begin to see the ease with which what you can imagine becomes reality.  (A Course of Love, 23.17)”

Affirmation:  “I would imagine what I wish to see created.”

Reflections:

1 – Law of Attraction

This is the way that A Course of Love states the law of attraction, or like creates like.  If we imagine strongly enough, we will have that which we seek.  If we imagine good, good will come to us.  In a warning, we also must realize that if we imagine the bad, the bad may also come to us (though God protects us to a degree).

2 – Imaging the Good

There is no difficulty is imaging the good.  We can steep ourselves in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, the Bible, or inspirational literature.  We can look to others for guidance that will help to take us home.  We are not bereft in this world of ways in which we can learn how to imagine the good.  We need only to look around ourselves to see how to create the good.

3- Creating

“Create” is the operative word here, for in Christ-consciousness we are creating rather than “making.”  And we all have had, by now, glimpses of Christ-consciousness, or we would not have read this far or studied A Course of Love through the passages indicated.  We are ready.  And we will have ease in what we create from our imaginings.

4 – Be Careful of What You Dwell Upon

The passage for today is particularly reassuring.  It says that what we imagine will easily come to pass, will easily be created.  The only proviso is that we must be careful of what our thoughts dwell upon.  If we think of negative things, then negative things will come to us.  If we think of positive, the positive will come.  And we all know which is better.

5 – Ease

“. . .[T]he ease wtih which what you can imagine becomes reality.”  What a blessing this is!  May we watch our minds and hearts carefully today, to be sure that what we dwell upon is really what we want.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I do not fully understand the law of attraction, and I do realize that You protect us to a degree, in that there is a delay before negative things spiral down upon us.  And we must be careful not to tie You to a formula.  You are not, in my opinion, a genie in a bottle, bent on doing our bidding.  Maybe our bidding would not be good for us, and then You will often say “no” to our requests.  This is traditional religious thinking, and I see no reason to depart from it now.

Be with us as we consider the importance of what we consider our “idle thoughts.”  Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that all thinking produces form at some level.  And so we need to watch our minds carefully.  There is really no such thing as an idle thought.

May today be good.  May we give up the obsessions that sometimes threaten our peace of mind.  And may we ask only what what would be good for us and others.  May we not include selfish prayers that benefit no one, including ourselves.  Let us acknowledge that there are mysteries here that we do not understand fully, and we need to tread softly.

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.

This Is Our Heritage

“This is your heritage.  The universe beyond the sun and stars, and all the thoughts of which you can conceive, belongs to you.  God’s peace is the condition for His Will.  Attain His peace, and you remember Him.  (M-20.6)”

Affirmation:  “May I know the peace of God today.”

Reflections:

1 – Everything

This passage is indicative of other statements in A Course in Miracles, in which we are told that our will is to have everything, and that everything has been given to each of us, all of our brothers and sisters, as well as ourselves.  Previously, we may have wanted some (little) something very much, as though to say, “If I have this, it will be as everything to me.”  But this little thing will never satisfy, Jesus says, for it is our will to have everything.  (These are paraphrases from ACIM.)

2 – The Universe

And so it is the universe that belongs to all of us, individually and collectively.  And when we attain the peace of god, we will know this.  When we are peaceful, we also want God’s Will, knowing that our own will is identical to His.  And we remember God.  This latter point is another way of saying that we have awakened (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).

3 – Law of Attraction

Whatever we can conceive of, we can have.  This seems like a very controversial statement, but it is line with the law of attraction (not an ACIM tenet), which is getting a lot of press these days.  If we cannot conceive of something, then it is not for us.  We only conceive of that which we can and may have.

4 – Own the Universe

What does it mean to own the universe?  It is an extravagant statement, likely meant to encourage to raise our sights to higher levels.  We are not limited, though in this world we do know limitation (an ACIM tenet).   When we have moved beyond this world, we will likely know immediately what this promise of the universe really means.  The Other Side is left for another day to explore.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would attract only what is good for me, but I would first filter these things through Your Will for me.  I know that Your Will and my will are actually the same, and if I ask something in my will that is not Yours, then the ego (an insane part of myself) has encouraged this decision.

We are encourage to believe that the universe belongs to us, the universe and everything in it.  This is an extravagant claim, but it is clearly outlined in A Course in Miracles.  Thank You for this blessing.  And may we never try to claim some small part of the universe, as though it would be all for us.  We want everything good, and may we have that today.  Thank You for guiding us as we make decisions about what to ask for.

And may our guidance be correctly ascertained by us.  May we not let the ego intrude on this most sacred of happenings, guidance from the Holy Spirit or the Christ within.

Thank You.

Amen

How to Avoid Pain

“No risk is possible throughout the day except to put your trust in magic, for it is only this that leads to pain.  ‘There is no will but God’s.’  His teachers know that this is so, and have learned that everything but this is magic.  (M-16.11)”

Affirmation:  “I would avoid pain today.”

Reflections:

1 – Definitions of “Magic”

Magic is sometimes used in quite a different way, with quite a different definition.  Jesus means “magical thinking,” which is an attempt to turn error to truth, and this is always a doomed prospect.  Magic, for us, sometimes means good things.  These are simply two different dictionary definitions.

2 – Error

We would not try to turn error, falsehood, into truth.  We would not turn from our dependence on God, the Holy Spirit, Jesus (and his helpers) to a dubious solution to our problems that is doomed form the start.  We will be free of risk if we depend upon the true and that which has value.  And our way is A Course in Miracles, which will prove its value to us if tested.  (And we are not discouraged from testing, though this is an interpretation not stated in ACIM.)

3 – Give Our Way over to God’s Way

We would avoid pain today.  And to do so we must not attempt to get our way to be God’s.  He may think very differently from what our sometimes ego-oriented mind may direct.  We are not beyond the temptations of the ego.  The ego will not be destroyed; it will just cease to matter to us.  And we must not make the mistake of “resisting” the ego, for in resistance the ego is made strong.  In conflict the ego is made strong as well (an ACIM tenet).  We just quietly turn inward, and all will be well.

4 – Attraction

I worry sometimes that relatively new ideas circulating in our world, the manner of “attraction” as a way to get what one wants.  Is this really wise?  Perhaps we ought to be certain, through much inward consultation, if what we are trying to attract is actually in our best interests.  And only God and the Holy Spirit (His Communicator) can tell us that..

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I avoid pain today, by seeking Your way exclusively.   I will try to be patient as You lead me to attract those things that are in my best interests.  Thank You for Jesus’s wise words, his healing of disease and illness, and his calm presence.  We may have Jesus with us when we don’t even realize this.  He has said that he would come in response to one “unequivocal call.”  I make that call now.

Be with us as we seek to attract only what is in our best interests.  We need the guidance of the Holy Spirit or the Christ within.  Otherwise, what we attract will turn to ashes and dust in our hands.  

Be with us.  I can think of no more needful prayer for today than this.

Thank You for answering me.

Amen.