Living a Passionate Life

“I learned to value unlimitedness. I learned to value Love. I learned to value fearlessness. Yes, my method for doing that was rather unique, and I would not recommend that you follow in my footsteps. Unless, of course, you like the drama of being nailed to a cross and then stood up in front of all of your friends in order to learn to transcend fear in your mind!” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 9, Page 117)

Jesus is the channeler of The Way of Mastery, and here he rather lightheartedly refers to his crucifixion. We need to value unlimitedness, Love, fearlessness. And we can do so, not by following in his footsteps, but by listening to his words.

Our own pathway will be unique to ourselves. And the first step that we need to take is the prayer that will bring us unlimitedness, Love, fearlessness. If our heart is sincere, we will walk into what we are asking for, maybe not immediately, but over time.

We want to live broad lives, and that is what unlimited living really means. We want to live with passion, not in dramatic highs and lows, but in the essence of who we are as people. To live a dull life appeals to nobody. Love and fearlessness will give us that passionate life. We will survive in what is seemingly a new world, for we project what we would experience. As A Course in Miracles makes clear, “projection makes perception.” Think about what we want to create in this day, and then watch the movie screen of our mind bring it to pass.

Jesus is our model, but we don’t have to be crucified to follow his way. He is showing us an easy pathway to Awakening, and it behooves us to listen carefully.

Live with passion, healthy passion, hurting nobody. And all good things will come to us.

Living in Love to Create Good Tomorrows

“I speak from the perspective of one who is an awakened Christ, who already knows how to birth universes to create that which is holy, good, and beautiful. I know that this is the way. It is the only way. Release the value you have attached to your experiences. . . and spend your time instead deciding which pebbles you are going to drop into the field of your mind. For you will create as the result of what you choose to think today. And what you value today will show itself to you tomorrow.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 9, Page 117)

If we don’t monitor our minds today, to create in this world the type of experiences that we long to have, then our tomorrows will disappoint us. This world responds to what we focus upon, something that is the law of attraction in operation. We need to lift our hearts and minds in love for what we encounter, even if that something seems sometimes to disappoint. God will do the rest. He will see that our experiences improve as our mind slant improves. It is just that simple.

Drop pebbles of contentment into our minds. This will turn around the things that have made us suffer; this will work. It takes some effort to turn around a negative mind slant, but we have the wherewithal to do so. Let’s make a decision today to live in the peace of God. Let’s make a decision to live in contentment, regardless of what this day brings.

Our decisions make our destiny. When we make a decision to love, then the peace of God descends upon us.

And we are happy.

Faith

“Beloved friends, if you had faith as a tiny, tiny, tiny little seed, you would know that from that little tiny faith, you will create the mighty oak tree whose branches will shelter you from the blistering sun and give comfort unto many. Twenty minutes is an eternity when it comes to creating your tomorrows!” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 9, Page 116)

Here we are asked to spend 20 minutes in meditation. This will create the eternity of tomorrows that we hope will be good. And they will be good, for we will discover much in meditation that will teach us how to live.

Our faith does not have to be gigantic to get results. The tiny seed, the acorn, eventually grows the mighty oak. Our tiny seed of faith can do gigantic things in our lives, too. We just need to cling to that tiny bit of faith, all that is really asked of us.

We want to give comfort to our loved ones, and here we are told that the seed of our faith will do just that. This faith geminates love, and love can do all things. We need, in this life, only to love, and then all of our activities will fall into place. Our outlook will improve, our energy level will rise, our good deeds will multiply.

It only takes a seed of faith to start an avalanche of Love.

Jesus: “I Come because I Love You”

“I come because I love you. I come because I am your friend. . . .I come to abide with you to bridge the gap that seems to yet separate you from me.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 9, Page 106)

Jesus is here affirming that he comes to us because of love in his heart for us. It is akin to the reassurance, given in A Course in Miracles, that he will come to us upon hearing a “single, unequivocal call.”

Jesus does not want too much dependence in our relationship to him, though. He wants us to access our power, which is given us by God, Who dwells deep within. When our strength is diminished, he will comfort and console. But always he seeks to strengthen us by his presence, not to make us think that we are weak.

There seems to be a gap between Jesus and ourselves because he seems to have gone so far ahead of us. But he says elsewhere that there is nothing that he has that we cannot attain, and even go further. Yet, still, while we are in this world, he is our “big brother,” always there to cheer us on, to lead us gently and with compassion.

In A Course of Love, Jesus ceases to be our teacher, and becomes just the companion that we have long wished to have. He is our partner in this enterprise of Awakening and moving into Christ-consciousness. This is the next step for us, and his careful channeling in several works has paved the way for us to have this next step in our evolution.

We are heading back to God, Whom we actually never left.

Expand Our Heart to the Fullest

“The only difference has been that I learned to train myself, hour by hour, to drop only unlimited pebbles, that send out vibrations of unconditional acceptance and Love, forgiveness, unconditional and unbridled vision and revelation, while you have selected to do that only a few times.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 8, Page 103)

The metaphor here is of pebbles being dropped into a pool that is our very being. If we drop unconditional acceptance, of ourselves and others; Love; forgiveness, etc., then we will walk a green earth. If we are stingy with our “pebbles” being dropped in our pool, we will know dissatisfaction and all the ills that this world can visit upon us.

Our vision will show us the way; it is revelation from God. Make a decision today to expand our heart to the fullest, to drop unlimited pebbles into our pool. Jesus has shown the way, and he would have us do so, also. If we train ourselves to experience with our heart, we will be well on the way to a new heaven and new earth.

Our heart does not need proof of God’s existence. Our heart just knows. And we will know when we listen to what our heart tells us. We will know unconditional acceptance, Love, forgiveness, and all the rest mentioned in this quotation.

We will be walking straight back to the heart of God. Let’s walk a smooth pathway, sure of our steps, focused on our aim.

Presence of Love

“I know the way home because I have completed the journey, and I will show you the way. With every word that I utter, my one intent is to reveal to you the place within you that is the presence of Love that you seek.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 91)

If we believe that Jesus has channeled The Way of Mastery, A Course in Miracles, A Course of Love, we know that he has shown us the way home to God. And we believe that he made the journey that is now before us.

Jesus always acts from Love, and it behooves us to do so also. It is sometimes difficult to wrap our minds around “love,” because we have so many connotations to this word in our world. If we let our hearts speak to us, though, we will be in better shape as we contemplate Love. This is a great solution to every difficulty, just letting our hearts tell us what to do, say, even think. Our heart knows the Answers, when we in our mind do not. The primacy of the heart is a focal point in A Course of Love.

Cultivate the presence of Love today by leaning into our heart. Our heart is One, for we are One in God. Jesus’ every intent is to take us home by offering us a taste of the presence of Love.

Accept his offer today.

Live Effortlessly & Love Effortlessly

“Stop wasting your energy trying to love God. That will not do it for you. Stop wasting so much energy trying to learn how to love another. That will not do it for you. And for God’s sake, please refrain from all attempts to get anyone to believe that you love them!” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 89)

Why would Jesus say such things? It is because when we “try,” effort is involved, and the new way of thinking, with the heart leading, is effortless.

We may find this hard to believe, because the ego has had us on a treadmill for a very long time. Yet we can believe it. It does take some adjustment on our part, because habit if strong. We are so used to struggling and striving that we don’t know what it means to relax in God’s grace. Relaxing in God’s grace is exactly what we are now called to do.

Do we wish that we could make other believe that we love them? This is wasted effort. When we center in ourselves, and just love—not “try” to love—we soon are blessed with the knowledge (and it is knowledge, not perception) that all is well, and that we living in a love-filled world.

Love, by itself, is enough to heal. And healing is what we need above all else. We can have this healing for the asking. Relax, don’t press, rest in God.

We have so much on our “to do” list. We prioritize, with effort. And then we mark off our accomplishments. This is the ego talking. Do we really think that marking off accomplishments on a “to do” list is the way to live? There is no end to it. That’s the rub. Live more internally. Let the next right thing find us.

If we cease our struggles always to “do the right thing” on our “to do” list, we will find that that right thing, miraculously, does find us.

There Is NO Need to Crucify One’s Self

“You already know what crucifixion is all about. You have done it to yourself a million times in ways far worse than a mere nail driven through the hand that creates a little twinge of pain. Hell is nothing more than the state of being rutted, or stuck, in the process of crucifying one’s Self, which is the attempt to murder and destroy what God has created out of Love.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 89)

We truly are our own worst enemy. What we have done to ourselves, when we feel besieged with problems, in angst over minor matters, obsessing about trivialities.

Of course, some problems are acute and more severe than others.

But there is an Answer to that as well. We need not crucify ourselves, as Jesus is saying we do. We can turn to the Holy Spirit or the inner Christ-Self to rectify our difficulties. Any difficulty will lighten when we know that there is a Higher Power—God Himself—who is right there with us, helping us always. And God is always with us, helping us. We need never to forget this. We don’t externalize God anymore, for He is in our depths. We are a part of Him. This certainty is enough to take us through the worst turmoil.

Just remember: We are doing this to ourselves. We can have joy instead of suffering and pain. We don’t have to endure, in agony, all alone.

Let the difficulty rest lightly on one’s mind and heart. Rise above it. Know that we are doing this unto ourselves, when we wallow in pain, turning it into suffering.

What a waste!

There is an Answer. Turn to God, always and forever.

Simply Be the Presence of Love

“Do not strive to heal this world. Do not do anything to make a show of how much you love another. Give up the concept of being a busy bee. Simple be the presence of Love. . . .” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 86)

What busy bees we are! We think that if we don’t walk in full steam ahead, we will miss something. We think that others will get ahead of us. This is competitiveness, and competitiveness is never as good as cooperation. We need to rest in God’s love, in the presence of Love, ceasing to strive—for what, we don’t know.

When we turn to God, He will direct our steps through the Holy Spirit. We will know what next right thing to do. The pressure will be off. The alchemy has happened; the iron has turned to gold. We see the true gold shining in the Light, not fool’s gold now. We know whereof we speak; we speak with Love.

If we continue in relentless struggle, we will miss the mark. God does not make extravagant demands on us. He, through the Holy Spirit, shows us one small step at a time.

It is enough.

Take Today the Journey that Will Lead to God

Note: Today I am returning to The Way of Mastery (also known as The Christ Mind Trilogy). The Way of Mastery has proved to be very popular on this blog. – Celia

“How many journeys have there been? . . .How many lifetimes, how many worlds, before a light began to dawn, so imperceptibly at first that it was not recognized? And a tiny voice whispered from a place that seemed so far removed from where you dwelt:

“Beloved son, you are with me now.
“You remain as I have created you to be.
“Therefore, be at peace. You are loved.

“The voice seemed so far way, so faint, that surely, it could not be your own. Surely, it was just a moment’s fantasy.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 83 – 84)

This “tiny voice” is hearing from the Holy Spirit. His voice seems tiny, because we have not tuned in to listen to Him. We seemed to be far removed from Him.

But He is speaking to us now. Finally He has our attention. We can imagine that He is glad. We have spent lifetimes running from God, and He would not have it so.

Cease going around and around like that. It is like a broken record on a stereo. We don’t need to run away anymore. God will not hurt us! It is delighted that we are turning to Him!

Let the light dawn ever brighter in our experience. We need to open the aperture ever so slightly. When the light is brighter, we will know the truth: that it is of God. Then we will be in a better position to create our lives in better and better ways.

In all those lifetimes, we have changed things only in illusion. And now is the time to approach true reality. Let that tiny voice be magnified in our ears.

Let the Holy Spirit speak to us today.

Turning to Holy Relationships Does Not Hurt – Ever

The new beginning you are called to now is a new beginning that, like all others that you have offered or attempted, will take place in relationship. The difference is that this new beginning will take place in holy rather than special relationship. (ACOL, T3:15.9)

We have arrived at a good place now. We are beginning anew, as we have in the past, but with a difference. Our new beginning will no longer be housed in special relationships that only promised us the good but did not deliver consistently. Our new beginning, this time, will come in the warmth of holy relationships. We have found the elixir, and we will not turn back from its bounty now.

How do we know that we are surrounded by holy relationships? We are not out for #1 anymore, at least not exclusively. We love others as we love ourselves, for giving and receiving love is one. We know that when we reach out, our reach will be met by reciprocation, for holiness invites holiness. If our reach finds an individual who is as yet only capable of special relationship, we will not be inclined in that direction, because we will know better. Our reach goes out to holiness, and holiness is returned to us. There is no better way to live life.

What about rejection? I have known rejection in my life, but only in relationship that was “special,” in that my ego was attempting to establish a basis for continuing contact that was not the best for either of us. Of course, I did not know this at the time, and the episode was very painful, frustrating, and humiliating.

Now I know better. Holy relationship does not hurt. Its joy is reciprocated, for we know intuitively what relationship to pursue, and which to turn aside. Our guidance does what it is intended to do: It guides. And in the guidance comes a new life of happiness and smooth sailing as well. We walk a pathway that has no stones that invite tripping ourselves up. We walk a smooth pathway.
Just as when we pursued special relationships, our new beginnings now are embedded in our relationships. But what a difference the holy makes! It is simply all the difference in the world. We blossom under the tutelage of holy relationships. And there is never any temptation to return to the special relationship that got away.

This is the advantage in turning to prayer for prompting as to what to do. Prayer does direct relationships for the good of all involved.

A Love that Lasts

Holding on to what you think will meet your needs is like holding your breath. Your breath cannot long be held. It is only through the inhaling and exhaling, the give and take of breathing that you live. Each time you are tempted to think that your needs can only be met in special ways by special relationships, remember this example of holding your breath. Think in such a way no longer than you can comfortably hold your breath. Release your breath and release this fear and move from special to holy relationship. (ACOL, T1:9.17)

We have been trying to hold our breath for eons, hoping against hope that what one special relationship did not give us ultimately can be met by yet another. Our special relationships all fail us eventually. Love turns to hate, and we know not what we did wrong. Always we blame the other person for not living up to the unwritten agreement to be there for us anytime, anywhere. We feel betrayed.

This is a script that has been played out in our various dramas for far too long. The only true assurance that we can have from another comes when we have let our special relationship to that person blossom into a holy relationship. Now we know in our bones that this person will never let us down, that love will stay love and not fall into alienation and even hate. We are holding our breath no longer. We know that the safety that we long to have in a human being can be counted upon. We are safe, finally, and we know it to be true.

This is what happens in long-term marriages that stay fresh. We discover how to mesh our needs and wants with those of another whom we love unconditionally, come what may. We know that if our marriage should end, the love will not; the love is eternal now, and we have this assurance as we live out our time on earth. This world can touch this blessing not. We are living our dream of eternal love, and it is our brother or sister, our partner in life, who makes the living out of our lives truly meaningful. He or she is our way back to God, a holy relationship that promises all things, and keep those promises. Our forgiveness even becomes meaningless, for we recognize that there is nothing we need forgive. The significant other is significant only in that we live in close proximity; we don’t look to the other for outrageous answers. We live and let live, in the holiness which God intends for us.

All of us have seen this love, but perhaps fleetingly. We want it for ourselves. And we can have it when we give up thinking that specialness is our due. Holiness is our due. And with our inheritance as favored children of God, all of us are favored in a holiness that does not play favorites.

Now Is the Time to End Empty Seeking

How much time will be saved by an end to empty seeking? You have already arrived and need no time to journey any longer. (ACOL, T1:8.7)

Most of us have been seekers for a long time, maybe a long, long time. Maybe all our lives, more or less.

This search can end now, when we are on the cusp of developing our special relationships into holy ones. We won’t have to work so hard to maintain our holy relationships. Our loved ones will just know that they are loved unconditionally. And, especially, what we have been seeking in special relationships will fall away.
Our seeking has worn us out. We went from our early religious training, probably to unbelief, and then returned to the fold of spirituality. But still we sought for yet another piece of information that would be the end that would make us happy. But nothing can make us happy, can create happiness for us, except ourselves. We won’t find it in a book.

I sought happiness in special relationships as well as in books. The special relationships were my dates when I was single; the books ranged from Catherine Marshall to Norman Vincent Peale to the Seth material (Jane Roberts) to Richard Carlson to Deepak Chopra to A Course in Miracles to Julia Cameron to Rhonda Byrne. Quite a list we all have! So my seeking in relationships and books was twofold, as is true for most of us. It is very reassuring that we have done enough now. We know enough. A Course of Love has finished it off for us. It is simply up to our Christ-Self, from deep within our being, to teach us more.

So now we are hearing that there needs to be an end to seeking. Jesus, in channeling A Course of Love, declares its information to be an end point. We have arrived! He even says that we are The Accomplished. While we have trouble believing that, we know that we have a peace inside that has eluded us up to this point. This peace will elude us no more. We will linger in contentment, sure that we are in the right place, and, now, in the right time.

Our holy relationships will save us; that is why we need seek no more. Relationship was primary in A Course in Miracles also. Our relationship to our brother (and sister) would take us home. Now Jesus is emphasizing this truth yet again in ACOL. If we love others enough, we will have won the prize, the Holy Grail, of salvation.

And we will know not only peace, but happiness, as well.

Joy Calls

The universe exists in reciprocal relationship or holy relationship. . . .It is a joyful relationship, as the nature of relationship is joy. Once you have given up your belief in separation this will be known to you. (ACOL, C:29.17)

Once we give up our belief that we could actually separate from God, and have done so, much good will result. We will know that holy relationship is the nature of the universe(s), and we will realize that holy relationship does not take anything away from our nearest and dearest. Holy relationship will expand our love to meet the whole world. We will not know the separatism that has characterized our various special relationships, relationships that have often ended badly.

My friend Carol knew what it is like to suffer special relationship, and “suffer” is the salient word here. As mentioned, she once fell very hard into a love that was strong on ego, though she did not realize it at the time. If the special love had ever been transformed into holy, then her sense of desolation at the end of the “relationship” would have saved her from needless regret.

There was something eminently good about the love that Carol felt. It was not a love that would be easily surpassed. That was the clue that something else was going on here. She was being led, ever so gently and before A Course in Miracles was published, to give up her interest in being special (and having someone else be special as well). In retrospect, holiness is the transforming key to relationship that goes sour. And there doesn’t have to be any continuing contact with the other at all to effect a holy relationship. Relationship that is holy is thus seen to be mystical.

We are meant to enjoy joyousness is our relationships. Special love invites the highs and lows of drama, and egoic drama at that. A holy relationship is one that has been dedicated to the Almighty, a Source beyond just our little personality. And this dedication to Something bigger than ourselves is what makes all the difference.

When we feel united with all other people, our brothers and sisters, we know a peace that is not of this world. We are meant to live in unity, and of course, we can see that seeing one small part as more special that another would make this joyous unity impossible.

Ask to see with a greater vision today. Ask to comprehend as never before what a special love transformed into a holy one can really mean. There is no comparison, but until each of us has seen the difference for ourselves, we will remain skeptical that we aren’t losing something in the transformation.

True Love Is Limitless, Knows Only Inclusion

While one special relationship continues, all special relationships continue because they are given validity. The holy relationship of unity depends on the release of the beliefs that foster special relationships. (ACOL, C:25.11)

We don’t need special relationships, “special” in the sense that they are egoic and different from all other relationships out there in the world.

Of course, we don’t believe this. We think that there is nothing wrong with seeing our significant others, our family and friends, as “special.” But what are we really saying here? We are setting them apart as being more “worthy” of our love than other people. Is this not judgment? And haven’t we been warned not to judge? Judging keeps us from Christ-consciousness. Moreover, judging makes us unhappy, for when we point a finger at another, three fingers are pointed back at us. We damn ourselves when we judge another.

I was once rather judgmental, and I projected these ideas onto Jesus, seeing him as a figure of judgment. Indeed, traditional Christian theology invites this interpretation. When I visited the Baptistry in Florence, Italy, where a large mosaic of Jesus looms far ahead on the high ceiling, I saw judgment in Jesus’ eyes. Or thought I did. After years of studying A Course in Miracles, though, my judgments had softened, and when I looked overhead on another visit, I saw a blank slate in Jesus’ eyes, ready and willing for me to write my projection there.

There was no judgment in the second visit. And so there was no “specialness,” even in regarding Jesus. And this was a giant leap forward.

We are seeking to be united with all of our brothers and sisters on our earth. We want unity with them, and we can’t have that if we divide others up into separate little parcels. We can’t fully appreciate all others if we are judging them as less worthy of our love than our nearest and dearest.

Of course, our nearest and dearest have taught us how to love. And now we extend (not project) this love on everyone.

We don’t make distinctions between worthiness and lack of worthiness. We know that all are equal in the sight of God, and that all ought to be equal in our sight as well. Our beloveds will not lose anything. We will be so love-conscious that they will see a new persona in us. They will know a love from us that has been heretofore veiled.

Specialness is a limited love. Holy love is limitless, knows only inclusion.

Being “Special”

Note: I’m starting a new series on relationships today.

“The special relationships of the world are destructive, selfish and childishly egocentric. Yet, if given to the Holy Spirit, these relationships can become the holiest things on earth—the miracles that point the way to the return to Heaven. The world uses its special relationships as a final weapon of exclusion and a demonstration of separateness. The Holy Spirit transforms them into perfect lessons in forgiveness and in awakening from the dream. Each one is an opportunity to let perceptions be healed and errors corrected. Each one is another chance to forgive oneself by forgiving the other. And each one becomes still another invitation to the Holy Spirit and to the remembrance of God. (ACIM, Preface, “What It Says”)

We are used to thinking that finding our beloved “special” is a good thing. For those of us (many of us) who have studied A Course in Miracles, we know that finding loved ones “special” is a mistake. A Course of Love agrees, and so we start these reflections with this quotation from ACIM.

Of course, we care about our significant others more than strangers. And so the teaching may seem foreign to us.

What makes the “special” a good thing is not specialness but holiness. And all of us have the power to turn all of our special relationships into holy ones. We don’t exclude anyone; we invite all in (though not in a physical or sexual sense).
Special relationships are, by nature, egoic. My friend Carol once had a very special male relationship that was platonic but very egoic. She thought that this man had all the qualities that she was seeking in another. But specialness abounded. As time proved, she actually wanted his personal qualities in herself, something that epitomizes ego.

We can and must seek to transform all of our special relationships into holy ones. And, as hard as it sounds, we need to stop believing that without the special, we will be bereft. Use of others, A Course of Love tells us, is wrong. And there is a bit of “use” in many of our relationships. Who will take care of us if not this special other? How will we manage?

These are very real concerns, very practical concerns. But we have power. And, if we believe ACIM and ACOL, we will find love wherever we turn, when our heart opens to reveal the love that is hidden there.

We will never lack for anything. Help is a call away. And everything, as both ACIM and ACOL say, is an expression of love or a call for love. Call today, and so if we are not answered. Our heart will know the answer.

We Find Our Way in This World Safely by Acknowledging What Our Heart Tells Us

“And all of these, those who would admit to fear, and those who would not, would still believe that love exists despite fear’s claim upon it, and think that they are lucky to have found a love to shield them for a little while from all the other things they fear. And yet the greatest fear of all is that of loss of love. You who have given everything to be alone and separate fear most of all that which you have given everything to attain. For what is loss of love but confirmation of your separate state? What is loss of love but being left alone?” (C:14.21)

We thought that we wanted to be separate from God; this is part of the theology of traditional Christianity as well as A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. Separation would be that we would be independent, on our own, isolated. Yet in the illusory actuality (for we could never actually separate from God, being part of Him) we have been the most afraid of being alone. Try as hard as we can, we still cling, desperately, to the special love relationships that would save us from ourselves—or so we think. So the living out of isolation has actually been the source of our greatest fears.

We fear being alone more than anything because somewhere in our deluded minds is the certainty that we are living amiss, and that a furious God will take revenge on us for denying Him. This is as true for atheists as anyone else, for each of us of whatever persuasion has something in which we put our faith. If this religion is ego-tainted, we will fear all the more, and what religion in our world is not ego-tainted? It is only in giving up our false idols of isolation and separation that we come even close to finding our way safely through this world.

We find our way safely in this world by acknowledging what our heart tells us. And this heart does not require “proof” of God’s existence. It is rightly said that there are no atheists in foxholes (a somewhat outdated reference recalling the first world war). When we get scared about our predicament, we do turn to what we hope will save us. And A Course of Love proclaims that this is the saving grace for what we understand to be our heart. It alone does not seek to have divine proof; it simply knows that we are not alone in all the universe. We are not isolated and independent; we are meant to share our living with others. And A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love call these relationships, the “holy” relationships.

Most all of us have experienced loss of love in some form, with somebody. Somebody let us down, we cry. We think that if only this special someone had loved us for ourselves alone, we would be saved. This makes of love a mockery. And it places in our midst a scavenger that would devoir true love. We do not have to pin our hopes on one someone (or several someones) who can save us. We need only rest in the knowledge—and it is knowledge—that we are never meant to be alone, that divine love is there to protect and keep us safe. And once we give up the attributes of specialness, our relationships one to another will indeed be holy. We have to give up specialness in relationships, we are told. But the relationships will not be snatched from us, to leave us cowering in the dust. The special relationships turned holy will be a foretaste of Heaven, right here on earth.

A World of Love

“Now, as we reverse this set of circumstances, and replace the world of fear with a world of love, there can be no more weighing of love against fear. God did not create fear and will not be judged by it. All judgment is the cause of fear and this effort to weigh love’s strength against fear’s veracity. While you chose to believe and live in a world the nature of which was fear, you could not know God. You could not know God because you judged God from within the nature of fear, believing it to be your natural state.” (ACOL, T4:3.7)

We thought that it was protective to have fear in our arsenal of defenses. But did it ever work very well? We got anxious often, but did this really protect us?

We don’t need fear’s protection. We don’t need protection at all. We have no need for defense against anything. We will be warned when we need to do anything to “protect” ourselves because we are in danger of some kind. God does not leave us defenseless; He is our defense, if we ever need to have a defense in this world at all, and that is debatable.

Defenses do what they would protect against.

We thought that fear was a natural reaction, not realizing that it was, instead, evidence of living insanity. We need to replace this world of fear we have made into a world of love, and only then can we relax in the grace that God gives us.

We need to make a definite decision to give up judgment, and this much we can do. We can determine that we will not judge ourselves, others, or God, and we can stand by this as a promise. The world will never again look as dismal. We will have found means to emerge from a world of insanity. We will walk into the light.

Develop a More Loving Image of God

Even the most loving parent, like unto your most loving image of God, having brought a child into a fearful world, became subject to the tests of time. Thus did the world become a world of effort with all things in it and beyond it, including God, weighed and balanced against the idea of fear.” (ACOL, T4:3.6)

We were raised in a dysfunctional environment—all of us, regardless of how loving our parents tried to be toward us. They too partook of fear, and thus we were nurtured in fear. The world became a place in which we sought the approval of our parents, and this approval became something to earn, something about which we must exert effort.

Our relationships continued from this first one, of parents to children (us). We sought to grow through achievement, our own efforts, and the world became a fairly grim place indeed. We projected this fear upon our image of the God within, though we didn’t know that He was within. Most of us saw God as an external Creator, someone, something like Santa Claus, who knew everything that we thought and did, and weighed it in the balance to decide if we were good little boys and girls.

This is indeed a fearful way to view God, and we imagine that this might indeed hurt Him (if the Creator were to have an ego such as we have, which He doesn’t).

So we grew up, supported by our fearful ideas of this world. Only religious convictions can actually save us from the dilemma in which we find ourselves. And these do not necessarily have to be of a traditional sense. God is God of the secular as well. And He will provide.

We need only ask, though we are apt to forget the asking part when we are fearful. Then, focus our minds on receiving, for all too often, we ask but do not leave plenty of time to thank God for granting our wish, for receiving from Him.

Secret for Staying in This World, but Seeing It Differently

“Think you not that reason opposes love, for love gives reason its foundation. The foundation of your insane world is fear. The foundation of Heaven, your true home, is love. The same world based upon these different foundations could not help but look quite different.” (ACOL, C:14.9)

We don’t have to have blind faith in the precepts of A Course of Love. We are told, “love gives reason its foundation.” (ACOL, C:14.9) We are further told that the foundation of our insane world is fear. And the foundation of Heaven, our true home, is love. It is strongly implied that the way that we look at our world determines whether it is hell or Heaven. The way that we look. That is perception, and we know from A Course in Miracles that projection makes perception.

What we feel inwardly will determine what we see in the outer world. And if we are feeling fear, we will see an insane world that is violent and destructive. If we are feeling love, we will see Heaven.

Is this too simplistic? Is this even true? Can the same images that flow before our eyes seem fearful or loving, based on what we are projecting? Yes. For the fearful mind sees more reason to fear, and the loving mind sees with these things only lamentable things, but no cause for fear. The loving mind does not reject the outer world of insanity as not there; it sees that it is there, but it is only illusion, the illusion of insanity. And so it gives that outer, violent and destructive, world no credence.

“The same world based upon these different foundations could not help but look quite different.” (ACOL, C:14.9)

Yes! This is the secret for staying in this world, but seeing it differently. This is the secret of having peace in the midst of chaos. Choose fear or love, and all the world will change according to the emotion that is chosen.

Love which Kept Us Safe – and Happy – and Bound to Those We Love

“The desire to protect is a desire that arises from distrust and is based totally on fear. If there were no fear, what would there be to protect? Thus, all of your love—the love that you imagine you keep within yourself, and the love that you imagine you receive and give—is tainted by your fear and cannot be real love. It is because you remember love as that which kept you safe, that which kept you happy, that which bound all those you love to you, that you attempt to use love here. This is a real memory of creation that you have distorted.” (ACOL, C:9.3)

We are not able to use love to protect us, although we often try. The desire to protect ourselves is a fear-based motivation, one that can’t be what it tries to do, keep us safe. We are already safe; we don’t need anything extra to make ourselves so.

We have, Jesus says, a memory of love from eons ago (as the world judges time). Love at the beginning, before the illusory separation, kept us happy and kept together all whom we loved. Somehow, dimly, we remember this true event, and we want some of that same feeling now. We try to find it in fear that comes from distrust. If we didn’t think we were in danger, why would we think at all about being “protected”? We would know that there is nothing that we need protection from, and we would be at peace. So this desire is wholly fear-based. We do love a disservice when we attempt to “use” it at all. Love cannot be used, just as we would be wise not to use each other for our own ends. We are safe, we have always been safe, and sooner or later we will all realize our safety is a God-given gift.

When love is tainted by fear, it is not real love. Unfortunately, most of our love in this world is tainted by fear, and thus we need another way to view love. We need to realize that it is part of the long-ago memory of Oneness with God. Only our attempt to separate from God, with the concomitant rise of the ego, has kept us from real love. Let us decide today that we will be done with all of this foolishness. Ask to experience real love, remove our mind from attempts to use this love to protect your physical body, and see if a better day doesn’t dawn.

Our Feelings in Truth Come from Love

“Your feelings in truth come from love, your response to them is what is guided by fear. Even feelings of destruction and violence come from love. You are not bad, and you have no feelings that can be labeled so. Yet you are misguided concerning what your feelings mean and how they would bring love to you and you to love.” (ACOL, C:5.11)

Jesus forms a startling assertion about love and fear, one that we wouldn’t expect. He says that all of our feelings come from love, in essence because we are not “bad” (C:5.11). ACIM says that we have the “innocence of God” (T-III.17:2), and so Jesus is here asserting to the same thought. How our feelings of destruction and violence can come from love may remain nebulous to us, but Jesus believes that we have just misunderstood ourselves. We have been misguided about how to bring love to ourselves. So we have made wrong choices in our love, choices that gave us destruction and violence.

Do we not often noticed that nobody who is embroiled in violence and destruction thinks that he/she is at fault about anything that is bad? History is replete with wars that were fought in the name of God, believing that one is doing God’s will in the antagonism. This is one way of looking at love gone astray. This is one way to realize that fear has done nothing, that it is only our misperceptions about love and how it ought to be expressed that have done us in.

Our feelings are not bad, Jesus says. We only need to channel those feelings in the right direction, seeing love where it really is, avoiding feelings of destruction and violence, pain and suffering. Then we will find love’s fruits to be our chosen just desserts. We will have taken another step on love’s pathway. Another step toward Awakening/Christ-consciousness.

Love Is Not Something We Do; It Is What We Are

“You feel you are capable of loving acts of heroic proportions and fearful actions of horrific consequence, acts of bravery and acts of cowardice, acts of passion you call love and acts of passion you call violence. You feel unable to control the most extreme of these actions that arise from these extremes of feeling. Both ‘ends’ of feelings are considered dangerous and a middle ground is sought. It is said that one can love too much and too little but never enough. Love is not something you do. It is what you are. To continue to identify love incorrectly is to continue to be unable to identify your Self. (ACOL, C:2.6)

We know from the title of this book that being who we are is very important in A Course of Love. And what and who we are, are love. We sometimes see this love as passion, and that is not wrong, just incomplete. We have sometimes engaged in extreme forms of behavior due to our passion, and we have sometimes been fear-prone when we have been doing so. Pure love is not drama; we make a mistake in believing that it is. We think that if we love in an all-embracing way, we will be embroiled in a drama that will take us outside of ourselves.

Love is not something that we do. Instead, it something that we are. We won’t succeed in identifying our Self if we continue to think in terms of doing rather than being. And identifying our Self is what A Course in Love is all about. We are trying to establish a new identity, and the new identity is the source of our being one with God. We have left the illusory separation behind, and we are at one with God, no longer afraid of Him. We don’t have to fear a traumatic experience in those times that we approach God. Like A Course in Miracles says, we will instead have a beatific experience.

Sexual Behavior that Is Not of Love, Is of Fear

“There is only one distinction that need be made: what comes of love and what comes of fear. All expressions of love are of maximal benefit to everyone. While you may, for a while yet, not see that all that are not expressions of love are expressions of fear, I assure you this is the case. Thus any behavior, including sexual behavior that is not of love, is of fear. All that comes of fear is nothing. What this means is that cause and effect are not influenced by what comes of fear.” (T3:19.8)

So love is everything and fear is nothing. If behavior is not of love, Jesus says that this behavior is based in fear. He specifically mentions sexual behavior, and we know that much of our sexual lives have heretofore been more or less a “secret” from God. Not really, but we like to think so. Jesus brings this secrecy out into the open, letting us know that we are not getting away with anything. Our fearful sexual behavior, that is, our sexual behavior that is not love-centered, is actually nothing. It doesn’t amount to anything in any substantial way. It is just a lesser way to spend time.

We are encouraged to let our actions and our behaviors come out of love always. Then we will have no reason to regret. We will be home free in sexual behavior, in particular.

Love Is the Name We Give to Much We Fear

“Love is the name you give to much you fear. You think that it is possible to choose it as a means to buy your safety and security. You thus have defined love as a reaction to fear. This is why you can understand love as fear’s opposite. This is true enough. But because you have not properly recognized fear as nothing, you have not properly recognized love as everything. It is because of the attributes you have given fear that love has been given attributes. Only separate things have attributes and qualities that seem to complement or oppose. Love has no attributes, which is why it cannot be taught.” (ACOL, C:2.4)

We have confused love and fear, and in A Course of Love, we are told that love is everything, fear nothing. Love and fear are the two emotions, and love is fear’s opposite in every way. But understanding these points is not enough, for we have called “love” much that we actually fear.

This is most important to note in regard to special relationships, a topic of great interest in A Course in Miracles also. We actually find fear in our special relationships, the particular others that we seem to love better than other people in the world. These special relationships we fear to lose, for they seem to be everything to us. And this is where the fear is seen most strongly. Only when we have transformed the special into what Jesus calls “holy relationships” do we see our mistakes in making “special” anything in a relationship.

In A Course of Love, Jesus indicates that the time has come to give up our special relationships. They have never brought us anything that we truly wanted. They were flawed, borne of fear in a fear-ridden world. Holy relationships, though, are filled with true love. We know that regardless of how much a person might reject us, we will keep on loving. And love all we encounter, though not in physical or sexual terms, obviously. There is a place for discernment, still, in our relationships.

Lack = Fear

“All feelings of lack are synonymous with feelings of fear. Where there is fear, love is hidden. Love is rejected when a choice for fear is made. You cannot be without love, but you can reject love. When you reject love, it is hidden from you, because receiving completes giving. Each of your brothers and sisters are love inviolate. What each gives is incomplete until it is received.” (ACOL, C:25.5)

Loving each other, and giving and receiving as part of the same continuum, are mandatory in this world we hope to inhabit. If we are feeling in any way lacking in something that we need, we are in a fearful state that is best left behind. We have everything that we need, for our needs are met at the point that need is first recognized. The universe does provide; the only missing part might be that we don’t recognize that our needs are provided for. This would be a recognition of lack, and lack means that fear has the upper hand. Not something that we want; we don’t want to go there.

We are meant to share with each other in relationship one to the other. This naturally means that nobody will experience lack, for the giving and receiving that we do ensures that our needs are met.

Our brothers and sisters embody love. When this is all that we see in them, we will have walked a long way on the pathway back to God. We don’t need to see weaknesses and a sense of misplaced trust. These are egoic structures in others that are actually illusory.

All of us are strong in the Christ Self. And it is this strength that we draw on when we relinquish fear in favor of love.

Love or Lack of Love

“The heart of the body is the altar at which all your offerings to God are made. All offerings are love or lack of love. Lack of love is nothing. Thus, all offerings made from a place other than love are nothing. All offerings made from a place of fear or guilt are nothing.” (ACOL, C:1.2)

Our relationship to God undergoes a change when we read A Course of Love. He is no longer seen as Someone to Whom we pray for blessings, someone outside of ourselves Who hears our prayers. This type of supplication doesn’t work when we realize that God is within, that we are part of God. Our heart within the body is where our prayers properly reside. This is totally within ACOL’s emphasis on the heart as the center of our new being, the Self. If we are fearful or feeling guilty when we approach God in this way, we are sacrificing our best interests, for we need to approach our inner heart, the God within, in a spirit of love.

Love and fear, the same two emotions that we are considering, become pivotal here. If we approach God with fear, we don’t receive the whole blessing, for we are caught in our ego-mind. The Christ Self does not know fear, for this Self knows only love. And when we are in our right minds, joining mind and heart to form what ACOL calls “wholeheartedness,” we are living in love.

That is the only way to be, the only way to be who we are.

Two Choices

“The choice that lies before you now concerns what it is you would come to know. The question asked throughout this Course is if you are willing to make the choice to come to know your Self and God now. This is the same as being asked if you are willing to be the chosen of God. This is the same question that has been asked throughout the existence of time. Some have chosen to come to know themselves and God directly. Others have chosen to come to know themselves and God indirectly. These are the only two choices, the choices between truth and illusion, fear and love, unity and separation, now and later. What you must understand is that all choices will lead to knowledge of Self and God, as no choices are offered that are not such. All are chosen and so it could not be otherwise. But at the same time, it must be seen that your choice matters in time, even if all will make the same choice eventually.” (ACOL, T4:1.11)

We choose between love and fear always. And in the coming to know of our true Self, the inner Christ Self, we are choosing love. Many have made this choice throughout time, some directly to know God and some, directly, through the Holy Spirit. We are led to approach God through the Holy Spirit when we are too fearful to approach God more directly. This choice evolves at the conclusion of A Course in Miracles, the conclusion of the Workbook, as well as in A Course of Love. Love wins out, finally, and we no longer fear God. We are not traumatized by Him. We can go to Him, be heard, and come away with the softness of love experienced.

We are always choosing between truth and illusion, love and fear. Love is always the way of truth; fear is always the way of illusion. There are no other choices.

We who have been caught in illusion for eons do not really comprehend, in the beginning, what is being asked of us. We are being asked to turn aside from illusion in all its guises. And with this choice to turn aside from illusion, we know truth in the form of love always. We cannot, on our own, turn aside from illusions. In A Course in Miracles, our guidance—which we always need to follow—was seen as coming from the Holy Spirit. Now, Jesus says, we have left the time of the Holy Spirit, and we are in the time of Christ, and so our guidance will be perceived in a new and different way. The all-encompassing Christ Self, which engulfs all of us, is the means that we now are encouraged to address. We are encouraged to listen to this inner Christ Self, to follow the guidance that comes from within. It is important to realize that we may not actually feel much difference in where our guidance comes from. And that is not too important. We know when we are following guidance, just as we know when we are turning aside from it.

And happiness comes with the choice to follow guidance. In doing so, we are choosing truth in our daily lives. And we are choosing love.

To Separate or to Remain Whole

“You have been told there are but two emotions, love and fear. What this is really saying is that there are but two ways to respond to what you feel—with love or with fear. If you respond with fear you expel, project, and separate. If you respond with love you remain whole.” (ACOL, D:Day16.10)

What is the difference in reacting between these two emotions?

Fear is always separating, removing us farther from the sense of God’s Presence within us. Love allows us to be whole, at one with God, with others, and with ourselves.

When we are caught in the egoic fear that has engulfed us for so long, we project a fearful world. We project that which we believe to be true about our world. But this projection is all coming from within a fearful self-concept, and so this projection is really a nothing, dressed up in clothes that make it seem something important and right. But it is never right, and most of us are tired of the same old world of fear. We need a new attitude, a new projection, a projection of love. And this we can have, when we follow the guidance of Jesus in these examples of channeling.

So let us decide, once and for all, that we will respond to what we see with love. This decision changes everything for us. Not only do we forgive, but we see with the eyes of love. And our little world changes accordingly, for (as A Course in Miracles makes clear) projection makes perception.

Only Two Emotions

“You label love a feeling, and one of many. Yet you have been told there are but two from which you choose: love and fear. Because you have chosen fear so many times and labeled it so many things you no longer recognize it as fear. The same is true of love.” (ACOL, C:2.3)

We have been pretty mixed up. We have, all too often, confused fear with love, labeling them both two of many other feelings. But we learn from Jesus that there are only two emotions—love and fear—and that all other emotions are variants of these two.

This simplifies life for us. But how do we move away from fear, toward love?
We need help, and it is help that Jesus is giving us. We have confused fear and love, often making choices that gave us fear when we were seeking to experience love.

This dynamic is especially true in special relationships, those relationships in our lives in which certain other people are emblazoned, by our ego, with qualities that seem to set these people apart from all others. This is especially the case with romantic relationships, which nearly always start out as special. We think that he or she is the best thing that we have ever encountered, and we want to appropriate these good qualities to ourselves. We complete in the presence of the other. We feel joyous. And we feel a sense of grandeur that is perhaps as yet unparalleled in our experience in this world.

But such thoughts are actually a grandiosity. And these feelings do not last. Our special person is found to have feet of clay, and we fall away disillusioned—sometimes almost immediately, sometimes years later. And then we often turn away, for we feel that we have somehow been misled. We misconceived what was before. He/she was not “special” at all.

But that other really was special. The problem is that we didn’t realize that we needed to turn the special into the holy, something that Jesus counsels us about. Ultimately, he tells us that none of us is special, or, conversely, all of us are—for we are no different one from the other. (Only in time do we differ, and time does not really exist; we live in eternity only.) We need to make an end, as A Course of Love counsels, to the whole idea of special relationships. They will never bring us what we want. And in turning from the special to the holy, we will finally know genuine love for the first time.

The special relationship fosters fear, for we sense that we “need” this other person for our completion. And we fear, rightly, that he/she may not always be there for us.

Relationships are the primary way that we confuse fear and love. A particularly poignant way that actually holds great promise for us. But only when we take away the fearful aspects of our relationship to another. And it is hard indeed to do that, when we are new to Jesus’s channeled teachings.

A Course of Love counsels us that we must indeed give up special relationships, but also that we will not really lose anything—for special relationships are nothing, being borne of fear. We will transform these relationships with particular others into a holy experience, and then we will know true love for what it is.

We have not heretofore recognized that fear is predominant in many of our relationships. We have had our eyes blinded. But now we can come to know. We recognize that feeling uncertain in relationships fosters fear only, not love. And we want love, the real thing.

And we can have love.

Tension of Opposites

“As a separate being, you have been in a relationship with fear. This relationship with fear is all that has provided the ‘I’ of the separated self. But because you exist as an extension of love, you have always held within you the Christ, who is the relationship with love. This is why individuation has become the conflict between, or the tension of, opposites. Because you have relationship with both fear and love.” (D:Day40.22)

We need to have the fear fall away, but we are doomed from that prospect as long as the ego rules and separation from God rules. We are heading into a new dimension of our personhood, a Christ-consciousness that will mean that we occupy a physical form in this world, but our minds and hearts are elsewhere, in a new consciousness that means that we live very much in the present. But we are getting ahead of ourselves.

For eons we have been in a relationship with fear, because we were governed by a false view of self that has come to be known as the “ego.” This relationship with fear meant that any pain was very likely to turn into suffering, and more pain, and disaster, even. To rescue us from this dismal situation, Jesus has channeled both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, the former to dislodge the ego, and the latter to establish a new identity. To establish a new peace.

We have never really snuffed out the Christ within. This is our true Self, the entity that is one with God, Who also dwells within. But our relationship with this false part of ourselves called the ego has meant that we couldn’t sense the Christ, and we couldn’t live well, and all in all we have been in a bad way. This is because we have been attached to fear rather than to love. And now is the time to remedy that.

Love and fear do not mix very well. Love is harmonious and kind, as we know, but love is not just an emotion. It is truly what we are, what we are meant to be. Fear, on the other hand, is the great pollutant of what we are. Because we bought into fear through the self ruled by the ego, we have never really stood a chance to be happy.

The ego gives but to take away. We have had flights of fragile joy, but egoic joy is never the real thing. And just as soon as we experienced one of these joyous flights, we were hurled downward, face on the ground, to a devastating sense of doom. It is clear that we can never enjoy peace of a lasting nature when this is the reality in which we live.

Is this not the way that we have experienced reality? But this is not genuine reality. Jesus is telling us now, in ACIM and ACOL, how to so live that we are in peace and happiness continually. If we heed his words, we will live in what is true reality. And we will have a calm peace that remains undisturbed by outward events in our physical and emotional world. We will truly have learned how to live.

And we will be who we truly are.

The Embrace

“To know who you are and not to express who you are with your full power is the result of fear. To know the safety and love of the embrace is to know no cause for fear, and thus to come into your true power. True power is the power of miracles.” (ACOL, C:20.28)

Seeing that we don’t express who we really are out of fear, let us contemplate what we might do to turn this situation around.

Jesus includes in A Course of Love a sensitively-written passage in which he takes us into his arms and embraces us. The passage exudes warmth, peace, and safety.
Here is the most cogent part:

“This is a call to move now into my embrace and let yourself be comforted. Let the tears fall and the weight of your shoulders rest upon mine. Let me cradle your head against my breast as I stroke your hair and assure you that it will be all right. Realize that this is the whole world, the universe, the all of all in whose embrace you literally exist. Feel the gentleness and the love. Drink in the safety and the rest. Close your eyes and begin to see with an imagination that is beyond thought and words.” (C:20.2)

This reassuring passage is emblematic of the tone of all A Course of Love, for ACOL looks to the heart, first of all, to entice us to give up the false values of the ego, the false identity to which we have clung for so long.

In letting this memorable passage fill our minds, we are led beyond the bounds of the fear-ridden ego. We will know that we want something different from what we have had all of our lives. We know that the enticement that Jesus represents is the true value of love, the way that we will come home to ourselves.

When we come home to ourselves, we will be fully powerful for the first time, and who among us does not want a right sort of power? The egoic power that we have known previously has given us flights of joy, but evermore it has dashed our feet on stones, and prompted tears of grievous regret. We can be finished with these tantalizing fits. We can stop sensing electric joy that dissolves into abject misery. Jesus is showing us the way out when he encourages us to be who we truly are.

When we don’t fear anything, in the embrace, we are primed to come into our real power. We are primed to be who we really are, in love with the whole world. And for this miracle, we need give up nothing! Nothing at all, for what the ego has given us has truly been nothing. The ego gives but to take away. And, even the giving is time-bound to be of short duration. The “gifts” of the ego don’t satisfy very long at all. Then we are off to a new goal. And, ultimately, what we have accumulated becomes ash and dust at our feet. No joy in the “everything” at all, for the everything is not enough. “Is this all there is?” becomes a legitimate question for the vast majority of us. And that is because we are looking for love in all the wrong places.

The best place to look for love is within the miracle. Both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love say a great deal about the power of miracles. We aren’t to decide personally what miracles ought to be done, because we would be misguided if that were our attitude. Jesus makes clear that he decides when and if a miracle is timely, because he is in charge of the Atonement. But when we ask for something, such as love and the centrality of love in our life, we can be sure that Jesus is right there with us, cheering us along. We can’t know how the miracle will happen, only that it will. We are asking in God’s will for the relinquishment of fear and the shift to love in all our dealings. Prayers such as these do not go unattended.

The power of miracles is said in A Course of Love to be the true power. Would any of us want any other power? We need and want to be reverent in our asking, supportive of whatever guidance we get. We don’t need to launch into pipe dreams that become meaningless. With the attraction of true power in our minds and hearts, we will know Love sooner rather than later. And the fear that has hampered all our doings for many years will gradually fall away.

A Course in Miracles Sets the Stage

“The further teachings of the original Course were designed to turn fear into love. When you think you can go only so far and no further in your acceptance of the teachings of the course and the truth of your Self as God created you, you are abdicating love to fear.” (ACOL, P11)

Many come to A Course of Love from A Course in Miracles. And Jesus has made clear that A Course of Love is a continuation of A Course in Miracles. Here we find the continuity that Jesus wanted. Here he expresses this continuity in terms of love and fear.

We are told, in no uncertain terms, that when we feel that we cannot fully accept A Course in Miracles (and, by implication, A Course of Love), we are “abdicating love to fear.” (ACOL, P11) We think we don’t know how to live a life fully in love; we don’t dare let go of fear.

What is this but the ego talking to us? It is nothing but: It is pure ego.
We have such a problem in letting go of the fear-ridden ego in favor of the heart-felt place of our love. We think, wrongly, that the ego has protected us from unnamed disasters—when it is actually just the reverse. We are abject cowards in the fact of the loud voice of the ego that we hear shouting to us to be careful.

We think that if we don’t heed these shrieking sounds, we will be lost. But it is actually the reverse. We will be lost in a hell of our making by refusing to listen to the still small voice that whispers of Love.

So let us take a look at what we are really meant to be, the person that Jesus sees in us. The person who chooses love over fear, consistently.

Choose Love – Not Fear

Note: I am going to move to a consideration of love and fear as presented by A Course of Love, with some inclusion of A Course in Miracles. I will return to The Way of Mastery later on. – Celia

“All feelings you label joyous or compassionate are of love. All feelings you label painful or angry are of fear. This is all there is. This is the world you make. Love or fear is your reality by your choice. A choice for love creates love. A choice for fear creates fear. What choice do you think has been made to create the world you call your home?” (ACOL, C:1.180)

So we are off on an adventure, a decision to shed fear for the much better value of love. The question in the quotation begs itself, for we know that previously all of us, encrusted with an ego that is destructive and violent, have chosen fear as our guide to walking through this world. We don’t have to make this choice anymore. There is another way, outlined in A Course of Love, scribed by Mari Perron, just as Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford chose another way that way culminated in A Course in Miracles.

We want our reality to be love, whether or not we are thinking about this all the time. We often make decisions that are steeped in fear, thinking that we are making a choice for love. Our special relationships are the most obvious example of this dynamic. We find a “special” someone, we fall “in love,” we think that we cannot live without this lovely thing—for the person has become a “thing” to us. We want to possess the other individual for ourselves, but we are fearful about losing this precious object. What do we do now? How do we find a way out of fearing and loving, seemingly at the same time?

This is the dilemma of our world. And , in taking a look, directly, at love and fear, we will be directed to a new and different, never way tried by ourselves before. It is a fabulous journey without distance to a goal that has been ours for eons.

We just didn’t know it before.

Living in Love

As of this date on your calendar, there have only been a handful of beings who have truly lived life upon this lane, a very small handful. There are many of us that would just absolutely be thrilled if you would join the club!

I will let you in on a little secret: Until you do, you do not get to graduate. You will never leave this plane, filled with conflict and suffering, as it seems to be, until you have lived the experience of walking this Earth wholly as the thought of Love in form, with no other allegiances, but to Love. You will never leave this plane. You will never take up your cross and follow me. You will spin around again and again and again, only to be confronted by the same need to decide wholly for Love. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 6, Page 79 – 80)

Jesus is here telling it like it is. We don’t “get to graduate” until we know how to live. We will stay on this plane, this earth, going around and around, often in misery and suffering, if we don’t learn to live in Love. On this plane forgiveness is all. Forgiveness will show us how to love. Only forgiveness.

Nobody else has done it to us. We have done it to ourselves, for we are manifesting our illusions, illusions that keep us tied to an existence that is not worthy of us.

Life is meant to be full of great joy, great blessings. Our only reason for being here is salvation, making the choice for Love.

Decide that real life is what we want. Decide today. Real life means that we remove the blocks to the awareness of Love, and a prime way to do that is to forgive.

We will “graduate” when our purpose here has been fulfilled. That may be a long way off, but if we live in Love here, we can enjoy heaven on earth. Truly. Completely.

There is no better way to live a life.

Let Love Live through Us

The Truth is very simple. It is not complex at all. Get out of the way, and let Love live through you. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 6, Page 77)

How do we get out of the way, and let Love, let God, live through us? This takes a humble mind and heart. A sense of surrender, knowing that when we cast our cares on Him, He will keep us safe. If we let fear intrude, we have let the patterns of the ego intrude—even if the ego, proper, has been vanquished from our being.

We need just to rest in the assurance that all that we need for daily living will come to us, a gift of God. It does now mean, of course, that we do nothing.

Believing this would be a belief in magic, and a testing of God. But every busy doing on which we are sent will seem easy. Effortlessness will reign. And we will be happy.

This is how life is meant to be lived. This is how we live the Truth. The Truth will dawn suddenly upon the prepared heart. And the heart is prepared when we turn our affairs over to a Higher Power, turn our affairs over to God. He wants to show us how to work, how to live. The effortlessness by which all things come to us is simple indeed, not complex.

We are making the decision to let go and let God.

And this makes all the difference.

Now We Know What Love Is

No matter how deep you go into the depth of God, and no matter how deep you achieve an awareness and consciousness of union with God, what God is remains forever beyond your growing capacity to understand God. It is like an ocean of infinite depth. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 64 – 65)

We will never, if we visit a thousand worlds, know God completely. His Godhead is the All, and we can know, intuitively, only facets of His personality. He shares with us, but the sharing is not a sharing of equals. We are creations of the Creator. It is true that we are a part of Him, in that he differentiated His essence to form entities without number, an infinite number. The magnitude invites humility in us. Knowing that we are God, but we are not all that God is, can give us a realistic estimate of ourselves.

We are growing in understanding. Not so long ago, most men and women of faith believed that God stood apart from His handiwork, that we (and the earth) were His handiwork, and that the distance between ourselves and our God was so great as to be unreachable. Now we know that we can have a direct knowledge of God, and this knowledge is known to us because in the age of Christ we are not so afraid of Him. His magnitude, when we were sinners caught by the ego (read “Devil”) was beyond us. We needed a Comforter to bridge the distance, and that Comforter was the Holy Spirit. Now we know that this, a holy spirit, is a part of us, and we no longer quake in our boots at the thought of approaching His majesty as just our humble selves. We know what love is, and we sense that we are loved just as we are, mistakes and all. It is awe-inspiring. And humbling at the same time.

Let God talk to you today. He is in the silence of our meditations. He will comfort our aching minds with wisdom of our hearts.

Let the heart tell us this today.

Love Is the Elixir

Rest assured, whenever you believe you have not succeeded or not completed some decision fueled by desire, it is because you were simply not wholly committed—or you decided to change your mind. And when you change your mind, you literally change what you experience in the world or the solar system in which your self spins. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 56)

Our mind does control what we experience. If we are not firmly in the driver’s seat, for God makes a difference, we have some power in our creations. If we are constantly changing our minds about what we want to experience, we will go through oscillations that seem never-ending. We will also have conflict, as one idea rubs against another.

There is a better way. We need to let desire be informed by the Holy Spirit or the Christ Mind, and if we do this, we will have a way of living that will emerge as our heart’s desire. Conflict aside, we will be well-equipped to deal with the many disturbances in our world, this world of illusory separation from God. Our way forward will be magical in a good sense, not in the lamentable way of viewing magical thoughts that A Course in Miracles describes.

Our desires fuel what we bring into our little corner of the world. And when we allow God to act in us as He would will, we know that His will and ours are inseparable. We know that we never really wanted anything but His presence in our convoluted lives. When we feel His Love, we are transported beyond ourselves, into something that offers us our dreams.

Love is the elixir. Let Love fuel the choice of our desires, and keep our will firmly rooted in the Holy Spirit or Christ Mind. God’s choices then give us a value to everyday experience that has heretofore been lacking.

And suffering is no more, for, as illusion, it retreats into mists before the sun.

Love or a Call for Love

What a depressing idea is the ego! This false idea believes that guilt can never be escaped, that sin will forever hold us bound. We find misery on the one side, misery of the ego; we join, on the other side, the Holy Spirit. Which will we choose? The Course’s particular understanding of the world must be addressed in this context.

Traditional Christian belief holds that sin is real, but that through the grace of God we can be led to forgive any evil, however black. But this part of belief has always been a particular stumbling block, because the effects of sin (pain, suffering) are first made real (by belief) and then a superhuman effort must be made to forgive.
The Course’s cosmology is different. Believing that this world is an illusory one based on madness, it does not make something real before one is asked to forgive. One forgives because everything that happens is either an expression of love or a call for love. One does not dwell on the mistake (“sin”), but quickly overlooks it, thereby not making it “real” in one’s consciousness.

A call for love begs answering, and if one in madness has done wrong, both the realization that one actually needs love, and the realization that one is mad, inspire the other to rush to her side with help and love.

Call for Love

We do not have to “decide” whether or not this or that “sin” is “worthy” of forgiveness; we know all reprehensible deeds are done from a mind slant of insanity, and done as well in a world of illusions, so our forgiveness rests on solid foundation. Not only has our brother acted out of insanity, but he has also done nothing real, nothing that will have any effect except in the world of illusions, and, without effects, it is easily forgotten even as it is forgiven. He has called for love, in whatever misguided way he might do so. Because we are One, and his need is our own, we rush to his side with that love. And so we are both saved from the illusions of our presence in a mad world made by us to keep God out. We open our consciousness to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and we are on the pathway Home.

Awaken the Christ in Each Other

We must always try to remember that we awaken the Christ in each other. Just so long as we persist in holding grievances against our brother, that is how long our deliverance will be delayed. These grievances are a “shadow” that obscures the face of Christ and the memory of God. (T-26.IX.2:2) Remember that the passage of time is not a problem, for whether we have the shadow removed now, or a hundred or a thousand years from now, for Heaven itself there is no time. It is only our own suffering that we collapse into nothingness when time is foreshortened.

Love one’s brother, however deep may be the rancor. He is our way back. Jesus says, “The holiest of all the spots on earth is where an ancient hatred has become a present love” (T-26.IX.6:1)

God Offers Comfort

The third law of chaos affirms that God must accept His Son’s belief about what he has become, and hate him for it. This illusion seems to be humility, saying, in effect, that we are miserable sinners in need of grace. But this is actually arrogance that would seek to circumvent the Creator. Now do we dare not turn to God for comfort, because He has become our enemy. Salvation, under this law, seems actually impossible. The ego cannot help in escape from this interpretation, but the Course was made that we might choose another way.

The fourth law of chaos is that you have what you have taken from another. By his loss, we win. This illusion says that there is a finite amount of treasure in the world, and if we gain treasure, we have it because we have taken it from our brother. In its most extreme form, this law says that we must destroy our brother to save ourselves. But Jesus affirms that we can only take away from ourselves. Instead of an “enemy” having our treasure, from whom we must wrest it, we are in firm control, and it is we who would deny ourselves. The enemy does not hold our inheritance away from us—it is we who have rejected it for the dubious “values” of the ego. There is a portion of this law that believes that we act unkindly because our brother has been unkind to us—forcing us into justified attack. But all of this illusion!

Finally, the last law of chaos is that there is a substitute for genuine love. This substitute is given us by the ego when we take back from our brother what we feel is rightfully ours. This is the ego’s secret gift. This secret gift has apparently been torn from us by our brother, and must be reclaimed if we are to have the ego’s notion of salvation. Our brother, by tearing this gift from us, has kept salvation from us. This is why enmity, one to another, can be seen as salvation.

When studied carefully and dispassionately, we can see clearly that these laws of chaos do not make sense. The illusions upon which they are based can be seen as illusions, and thus identifying the “laws” that illusions have, we are in a better position to seek further for the true laws—God’s laws—creating reality. Because these laws do not make sense, we are free to discard them for something better. Therein lies our true salvation. We have used our intellect to help us out, and while intellect is never enough (love and forgiveness, emotions of the heart, are required fundamentally), it is a start. And the lack of a satisfying worldview has kept many a skeptic in his darkness. I can imagine nagging Jesus for just such an elucidation of ultimate Truth that Course provides for us. “. . .seek, and ye shall find,” ((Luke 11:9 – KJV)and the world was finally ready in 1975 (the year A Course in Miracles was published) for this new way.

The Course declares that we think we do not believe in these laws. When articulated bluntly, their insanity becomes evident. But do we believe in these laws on an unconscious level? It is only their plain statement that allows us to reject them. Normally the actual intent is well-hidden. If, when raised to the light of day, we do reject the laws of chaos, then Jesus has done us a great service. It becomes clear that these laws govern chaos (illusion), never reality. A crucial three sentences explain: “There is no life outside of Heaven. Where God created life, there life must be. In any state apart from Heaven life is illusion.” (T-23.II.19:1-3)

Love

The way of Mary is not a place or state of non-interaction however. This is not the state or place of the monks, nuns, or the contemplatives of old. It is not solitary nor isolated, nor confined to a specific community. It is a way of existence in which relationship is paramount. It is not listening to a calling to “do” but a calling to “become.” (ACOL, D:Day19.9)

All of us will eventually move into a calling to “become.” Mary’s way. But we are not there yet. In all likelihood there will be a period of merger for both doing and being, with doing predominant in many people for a while. The more that we can accept our ultimate best choice, though, the more we will realize that “becoming” prepares us best for the future. A future in a new world that we are creating every day.

The way of Mary does not mean isolation as it did for many of the contemplatives of old. We reach out into the community, showering love wherever we go, and we thrive in this new way of being. We are not withdrawn unto ourselves at all; we take our meditative moments, and then we shower them on our friends and family, our significant others. We have learned, discovered, in meditation, what works.

We have discovered how to love.

Living as Who You Are

The ultimate accomplishment is living as who you are within the world. But in what kind of world? This is the catch that causes feelings of purposelessness in those who are content to live as who they are within the world. Until they realize the power of reflection, they wonder why they, unlike their brothers and sisters called to ‘do,’ do not have a specific part to play in establishing the world in which all are able to be content with who they are. (ACOL, D:Day19.5)

As forerunners of the way that all of us will be later on, those living in the way of Mary, of being rather than doing, will influence all of us for the better. Jesus discusses the “power of reflection,” (D:Day19.5) which is a mighty power when under the sway of being. Those of the way of Mary will influence all of us to move faster toward the time when we live in a new world. If we are called to “doing,” the individuals who are called to Mary will have the solace that they need to carry out their tasks. Mary’s way is at that point in a supportive role, though that role will not long remain just supportive.

Mary’s way is the way we will all embody later on, once the new world has been created. We will relax in this new world, content that the weariness of the old egoic way is no longer—for almost everybody. Of course, there is work still to be done, and Mary’s adherents will effect that work in the most blessed way for the new time and place. Being who we are, we will transform the whole into something much better. And Love will have made this difference.

Love

Love is not being nice when you are feeling surly. Love is not doing good deeds of charity and service. (ACOL, C:4.11)

Here we see that our preconceptions about love have been all wrong. Jesus gets right to the point: Playing nice when we are in a bad mood, “feeling surly,” fools nobody—not our brothers and sisters, not ourselves, not God. And most of all not Jesus. And our good deeds are like the “works” that St. Paul said were not sufficient for salvation; he said “not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:9, KJV)

And now Jesus is saying the same thing to us in channeled writing of the turn of the Twenty-First Century. We must be onto something important.

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.

Tend Our Gardens

“Be you therefore, a wise gardener. Cultivate a deep love and respect for yourself, for you are not here to ‘fix’ the world. You are not here to ‘fix’ your brother or sister. It is only love that heals. And until you have loved yourself wholly by having purified the mind of every erroneous thought you have ever held—until you have loved yourself—you do not, in truth, love anyone or anything. Save in those brief moments when you let your guard down and the Love of God shines forth through you so quickly you do not even know what happened! The wise gardener cultivates a state of consciousness in which the Love of God is unimpeded.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 1, Page 8)

What a lovely passage! We must tend our gardens, a concept that is developed by Jesus in A Course of Love. And this tending prepares our heart to love. We are not here to solve problems for others; these brothers and sisters have their own pathway, being pointed out by the Holy Spirit or the Christ-Self. When we love, we mesh with others, but we don’t try to “fix” them, as Jesus says. We just calmly do the best we can, to love, and love deeply.

Cultivate our gardens today. Let the love of God shine in everything that we do, say, and even think.

Gladden Ourselves–for Jesus Is with Us

“I offer far more than partial guidance, although you do not ask for more. The uneven quality of your skill in both asking and following my direction is due to the alternations you experience between ego- and miracle-oriented perception. This is a strain, but fortunately one which can be overcome along with the rest. There will never be a time when I do not will to try again. You might be gladdened by remembering that.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.IX.10:1-5)

Jesus is once again speaking just to Helen (and maybe Bill) in this reassurance that he offers continual guidance. But if we ask, he will do the same for us. In these early words, he has not yet solidified the Holy Spirit in A Course in Miracles. Soon he will ask that all of us turn immediately to the Holy Spirit when confronted with a dilemma. The Holy Spirit connects us to God, but not in a threatened way. At this point in our progress, we are still too fearful of God to approach Him directly.

Jesus points out the strain that we under. He seems particularly aware of this strain, as we seek to mediate between hell and heaven, the ego and love. Heaven and love are the only things that we truly can want, once we have let the magnitude of our mistakes sink in. Our attempt to create unlike God, something that is actually “making” rather than “creating,” has produced all of the chaos in which we live. We need to get beyond this. We need to recognize that our attempt to create something beyond God has just failed miserably. There IS nothing beyond Him except illusion.

Jesus constantly looks for reasons that we might gladden ourselves, for he knows that we are usually morose when caught in the vines of the ego. We need just to kick those vines away from ourselves, away from our feet (as Pat Rodeway’s Emmanuel says), and be on about our business. Jesus will untangle any egoic vines that won’t automatically disengage from our toes.

Love Deeply Today

“All things work together for good. There are no exceptions, except in the ego’s judgment. The ego resents everything it does not control. Control is a central factor in what the ego permits into consciousness, and one to which it devotes its maximum vigilance. This is not the way a balanced mind holds together. Its control is unconscious.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.VII.1:1-5)

Jesus is quoting the biblical passage, “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose.” But in his quote, he makes no provisos: ALL things work together for good. He continues, “There are no exceptions.”

This biblical verse gave me much comfort when I was in my teens, just after hearing a sermon on the topic. Now it can do the same for us at any age. We want a balanced mind, and if we keep in mind that all works together for good, we will stop much discouragement in its tracks.

A balanced mind is controlled only by its unconscious; no effort at getting and retaining control on a conscious level is needed at all.

Does this tell us how easy salvation really is? Here we listen to the Holy Spirit (or the Christ-Self), and we do what guidance has prompted. Our mind then soon becomes clear in every predicament, with the next step, and then the next, and the next, pointed out to us in certain fashion.

Pray for a balanced mind today. Our mind is very precious to God, and we have let it be taken over by an insanity, the ego that arose because we didn’t know how else to counter fear. If we love deeply, love enough, fear will leave us.

Love deeply today.

Einstein: “Is the Universe Friendly?”

“Again I tell you that when you are afraid, be still and know that God is real and you are His beloved Son in whom He is well pleased. Do not let your ego dispute this, because the ego cannot know what is as far beyond its reach as you are. God is not the author of fear. You are. You have willed, therefore, to create unlike Him, and have made fear for yourself.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.II.18:1-5)

Yes, we made fear. What other emotion were possible when we thought that we were a teeny point in the universe, cut off from all the rest? Would that not be reason enough to be afraid?

Know that this mirage is just that—an illusion made of nothing. When we know that we are merged with the cosmos, melted together in love, we will know that we are not and have never been alone, solitary creatures that had to make it on our own. We have a Guide, the Holy Spirit, Who will metaphorically take us by the hand and lead us back from whence we came. He will take us into heaven, when the time is ripe. And God Himself will transform us, when we are ready, by something called the “Awakening.” When this transformation happens, we will know that whether the time for us on earth is short or long, we are accepted and beloved children of God who can know bliss anywhere. Because God is everywhere.

Drop the ego, and when we do this, we will know far more than beforehand. We will know that fear is easily avoided in a universe that is cooperative, with all beings sharing in the glorious Light of the Creator. We live in a friendly universe, what Einstein queried: “Do we live in a friendly universe?”.

This query is one of the most important, if not the most important, queries we could ever have.

When we can certainly answer in the affirmative, our worries are behind us.