We Are the Energy of God

In our madness, we revolted against God, possibly believing that we could not be free unless we exercised that freedom by choosing a way of living that was opposed to His Will. Doesn’t this sound very much like an adolescent revolting against the reasoning and life patterns of parents? I suggest that this human perennial pattern is a metaphor for our rebellion against our Perfect Parent. The fallacy in this mad reason (because it is mad) is that God is ultimately not only our Parent and Creator, but also the very Energy out of which we are born. We are not separate from Him except when we identify ourselves as ego in a bad dream. Even on the human level we can see some parallel in the humor elicited by varieties of the story we have all heard: “When I was 14, I thought that my father didn’t know anything. By the time I turned 21, I was amazed by how much he had learned.”

On the human level, where this world is opposite from Heaven (T-16.V.3:6), there is good reason to build up a personality separate from our parents. Yet never have our minds been truly separate in this universal growth process. The latter point illustrates profoundly the way of the universe. We are built of the very Existence of God, thus not being separate, we can only retreat into madness and fantasize that we are, lest God be divided against Himself. This God could not allow, and we fancy ourselves apart only; in actuality, we are still at Home in Him.

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Wholly Correctable Mistakes – Not “Sin”

It is particularly hard for newcomers to the A Course in Course to believe it when they are told that they have never sinned: They have only made wholly correctable mistakes. People with background such as mine may think that this is the deception of which we are warned from a “devil.” So what are we to make of this?

It one can just entertain the notion that our minds are, to greater or lesser degrees, at one time or another, in one person or another, insane, then we are well on our way out. Even our society treats the insane criminal differently from the one judged sane, controversial though a given case may be. We recognize diminished responsibility, an inability to see clearly right from wrong. Is this not what we are faced with on a daily basis? We see so dimly without the Holy Spirit’s guidance; sometimes we hardly know which way to turn. Would a loving God condemn us for our lack of clear understanding? No! He would merely give us a Guide who would lead us out of the maze.

Does a loving God demand payment, sacrificial payment, because we have done something bad and need to be punished for it? Certain traditional Christian theology teaches this, in that Jesus “died for our sins” and is the “sacrificial Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.” The Course reinterprets all of this into a much more benign concept. “I was not ‘punished’ because you were bad,” Jesus says. (T-3.I.2:10) He goes on to explain that this interpretation is an egoistic projection borne of the insanity of the ego. So we are back to the concept of insanity.

Surely no parent or loved one who sees his child or family member commit violent acts when diagnosed as mentally ill holds that person by the same standards as she holds a “sane” person. Let us entertain the notion that we only need to enlarge our definition of insanity to accommodate all people, to a greater or lesser degree. Jesus condemned no one. He recognized while on earth that most people did the best that they could with what they had. It behooves those of us who follow in the footsteps of Jesus, however blindly, to try to do the same.

Madness & Illusion

The Course even maintains that the world exists only in our minds: “There is no world!” (W-pI.132.6:2) Jesus says that this is the central tenet that the Course attempts to teach, and that we will go as far toward accepting this as we can. For those of us who have longed to know the metaphysical basis of Reality, these words are welcome indeed. We are told that when we awake from our nocturnal dreams, we simply “awake” to a new dream, in a new form not easily recognizable. The Course also says that awareness of dreaming is the real function of God’s teachers. (M-12.6:6)

When we recognize that what we see and do is illusion, we do not have so much trouble forgiving our brother, for in truth what he did to cause pain never happened. Our real self has been unaffected, and we are led gently to realize that this real Self is far greater than the tiny, mad part of ourselves that longs to be separate. If we can believe it, we are even instructed that the Whole does not know of the tiny part that wishes to be different and “special.” Only the Holy Spirit is the linkage that pulls this bit of madness back to the one Whole.

This is another of the difficult concepts of the Course: Does God Himself really remain unaware of our doings, with only the Holy Spirit to mediate between God and us? If we see God as within, layered over by much unreality, the concept makes more sense. Frequently we can reach God only in silence, so far have we gone into madness. And if we cannot know the Living God, it is obvious that the communication between Him and us has been disrupted. This then perhaps is the basis for recognizing that we in our madness have limited the very knowledge of God.

Can He reach us, if He is hidden within us and we are mad? I think not. But the Course is adamant that God’s Holy Spirit does provide the communication link that we have thrown away. I do not believe that these concepts are possible of understanding in a world of madness. Do let us go as far along the pathway of understanding as we can, leaving it to God to take the final step of uniting us to Him, once again. What we need is faith to see us through.

God’s Goodness

The idea of suffering has long been a stumbling block for individuals who wished, in fact who always intuited that God is good. But it has especially been a stumbling block for people who have blamed God for suffering. They look around at a world torn by war and famine, the slaughter of innocents, and say, “How can God be good if this is what I see?”

The Course offers a way out of this dilemma, a dilemma that is indeed highlighted in particular passages of the books. Jesus acknowledges that all of us, at some point, have believed that God is cruel, because life so frequently seems to mock our good intentions. The way out is the assertion that this is illusion that we are seeing, illusion without any real effects. In our very Spirit, we are not affected by the suffering of ourselves nor others. There is still a part of us in Heaven and unchanged by these appearances. That part recognizes that the harm done by our fellow men and women is actually done out of insanity, that nothing that they do to us is done out of malice; it would not be done at all if our brothers and sisters were in his right mind.

Ah! But that is the crux of the matter. None of us here on earth are in our right minds. We live the insanity in order to work our way out of the maze. We struggle through years of not understanding before we finally find the right tools to lead us back to sanity and release in God’s care. We are never left alone, however much we may think that we are.

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.

Dream Better Dreams

The Course states, “The state of sinlessness is merely this: The whole desire to attack is gone, and so there is no reason to perceive the Son of God as other than He is. The need for guilt is gone because it has no purpose, and is meaningless without the goal of sin.” (T-25.V.1:1-2)

What does this mean? When we perceive another as deserving attack, we are making real his errors. We believe that he does not “deserve” forgiveness because of the reprehensible nature of his crimes (against us). But the truth is that we are One with him, and if he does not deserve forgiveness, neither do we. Also: We feel guilty for retaliating, because our real Self knows that we have attacked one who, in reality, is the Son (or Daughter) of God. We therefore feel that we have done him an injustice, and we feel guilty about it. The truth is that we have done our brother an injustice, because in his depths he is pure; it is only in his illusions that he makes mad actions that hurt others, including ourselves. If we can see the truth of our brother’s real Self, we will not attack because we will perceive that he is lost in insanity.

We may feel threatened by the recognized mental illnesses in our midst, and we may get angry at the illness, but we normally do not blame the individual to any great extent, because we recognize that he is not in his real mind. The Course says that we are living a dream—and that the world we see because of our perceived dream is not real. Many of us are living a dream of attack that we do not recognize as unreal because we do not realize how much happier, under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit, we could really be.

Get the Madness Out

How do we let illusions recede? The world that the ego shows us is illusion indeed. The Course counsels that one need not even oppose the ego (which is to oppose illusions), suggesting that the illusions will go of their own accord when nothing opposes them. We welcome reality because it is true, because it opposes nothing and simply is. Would not we feel glad tidings if such could be our state of mind always?

We do get into trouble by fighting against reality and against God. It is He that we would fortify ourselves against. Doesn’t reason tell us that this looks like a losing battle? God is real, and He created our real selves, and would not have us hide forever in meaningless insanity.

This blessing—that God will find us—is the blessing hidden in the “unreality” we have made for ourselves. Ultimately, we cannot stay in a fog of uncertainty. Eventually we seek better answers, and God has “hidden” Reality in the depths of our hearts and minds, where we will surely find it if we but look. Eventually the sights and sounds of a chaotic world become too much for us, and we are thrown back to our inner depths, where God is. He waits only for this, and this alone is what he needs to turn us from madness. Yet we may look outward at a projected dream for many years. It is frequently only in turmoil that we are led to turn inward to our best resources, those resources found only in God.

Do not fight against the world, when events turn against us, and all seems lost. This is the turning point! This is what God has waited in great patience for us to find. He waits with great patience because He loves deeply, and He knows His creatures. Cause and effect will ultimately make untenable the world of madness. And He waits for that realization of another way, a better way, to dawn upon us. We do not have to seek blindly. Madness cannot keep this better way out of our saner mind. And we can “get the madness out” by simply choosing to look on our chaos and recognize, quietly, “This is not truth.” Sanity thus comes to the quiet mind. We need actively oppose nothing chaotic, for it will disappear when we withdraw our belief from it.

Madness

As we have seen, the Course presents this world as a place of madness, full of violence and cruelty, projected from our own deluded minds. This world is therefore illusion, but we do not need to blame God for what we see, for this world is Heaven’s opposite (T-16.V.3:6) Even the food chain is based on a raw violence, and Jesus would say that we do God a disservice when we blindly dismiss the cruelty as “Nature’s ways.” The Course presents the world as an attack on God, meant to keep Him out and to keep the separation going. By projecting blame onto God, the ego does a good job at ensuring that we will continue to turn to it as our savior rather than to God. That this is patent magic, madness in the extreme, may not dawn on us until the pain of what we project becomes overwhelming. And even then we may blame God for our predicament.

The ego’s thought system is perfectly logical from within the thought system, as are most delusions. It is only the premises that are wrong, sending its world crashing down like a house of cards. From within our mind, it makes perfect sense. Madness is not illogical, though those in psychosis appear to the rational mind to be out of touch with reality. An all-embracing madness is just what has happened on a grand scale in our world, ruled by everyone’s ego. I once had a professor remark that everyone in mental hospitals thought that it was “we”—the ones outside of the hospital—who are “crazy.” He said, “What if they are right?”

Unknowingly, my professor presaged the Course a number of years before it was written. The Course does not say that our diagnosed mentally ill are actually sane, and we usually recognize that they are not. What may be happening, though, is that they are imperfectly seeing reality from another lens. This “other lens” may allow them to be particularly open to revelation. Certainly writers have drawn parallels between the schizophrenic mind and the mystic one. Both are swimming in the waters of their depths, the subconscious mind, but the schizophrenic may be drowning in it. The mystic, on the other hand, swims easily. This analogy is drawn from the writings of Joseph Campbell, an individual who has brought the myths of the ages home to all of us through writings that speak to our time. The Course would extend the definition of insanity to most of us in the world, most who are only partially, most who have only glimpses of true reality.

May we walk into the sunshine with Jesus, listening as we read the Course to what we need to do to emerge from the insanity of an illusory world.

We can do this.

Seeing Truly

“But this vision can be perceived only by the truly innocent. Because their hearts are pure, they defend true perception, instead of defending themselves against it. Understanding the lesson of the Atonement, they are without the will to attack, and therefore they see truly. This is what the Bible means when it says, ‘And when He shall appear (or be perceived) we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.’” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.III.10:1-4)

Without the will to attack, we will indeed see truly. Our innocence will be something in which we believe, unlike now, when we want to believe we are innocent, but often feel, internally, a sense that we are very guilty indeed.
We are not guilty. Would God turn against a child who has simply made mistakes? Making mistakes is inevitable in this confused and confusing world, in which our companions, brothers and sisters alike, and ourselves, are lost in egoic intention. How could we choose rightly in every instance, when we are quite literally lost in madness, insanity?

When we start to lose the madness, we will be ripe to entertain the idea that we really have only made mistakes in our choices, that these are entirely forgivable, even by ourselves. We are our own judge, and we are a harsh judge at that.

Rest in God’s Love, and know that anything done wrong is gloriously forgiven in a universe that knows that we have simply strayed from the path.

Insanity / Madness

“You would not tolerate insane behavior on your part, and would hardly advance the excuse that you could not help it. Why should you tolerate insane thinking? There is a fallacy here you would do well to look at clearly. You believe that you are responsible for what you do but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think. You cannot separate the two by giving autonomy to your behavior. Behavior is controlled by me automatically as soon as you place what you think under my guidance.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.IX.3:1-8)

In a number of places in A Course in Miracles, our thoughts in the egoic state are seen as “insanity” or “madness.” Here Jesus determines that our mind slant is just as important, and maybe even more important (sometimes), than our behavior. We don’t condone insane behavior, but our thinking is insane when it derives from the ego. We have to work our way out of this insane thinking, slowly and over a long period, until the grace-filled moment when God Himself lifts us up to Awakening. Our ego is banished, our good sense returned to us, for remembrance is complete. ACIM is preparing us for this change, dislodging the ego. Then A Course of Love will enable us to form a new identity.

Here, once again, we see that Jesus is assuming a central place in our thought processes, before he brings in the Holy Spirit as our guidance. He will guide us, but the Holy Spirit is the arbiter of what is accurate for many of us. (Not everybody allows the Holy Spirit to so rein in their lives.)

Ask to be rid of madness today. It is perhaps new to believe that virtually all of us have lived part of our lives on earth as insane. We have thought that only a tiny percentage of our populace would merit that characterization. But anybody who willingly allows the ego full rein in their thoughts is actually thinking amiss.

Ask today. You have nothing to lose but a part of ourselves—the ego—that does not mean us well.

Recognizing Love Will End Our Madness

“The insanity of your thought process and the world you perceive must be made known to you before you are willing to give it up. You do know this, and yet you constantly forget. This forgetting is the work of your ego. Your true Self does not want to forget, and cannot for even the tiniest fraction of a second. It is precisely the inability of your true Self to forget that gives you hope of learning to recognize love, and, with that recognition, of ending the insanity you now perceive.” (ACOL, C:2.9)

When we are enthralled by love, we remember our real Self, and we forget the ego. At least for the moment. We are going to be leaving the ego behind as we read A Course of Love. Why not do so now? Why not decide that we will do nothing for egotistical reasons, that we will follow guidance as we understand it to be, that we will welcome the Self into our lives. This Self is the Christ whom we all share, the Oneness of an Entity Who knows us intimately and adjusts life to give us what we really need—as long as our free will doesn’t step in to mess things up.

We have been living in insanity. This is a cardinal point of both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. When someone mistreats us (as we perceive it), we can get over the hurt by saying, “It is just insanity.” And I would have no more of it. So I forgive, something that I can do.

And life will get better. Forgiveness ousts insanity from our experience.

We do know that we have been living in insanity, but, as Jesus says, we constantly forget. This is because the illusion that insanity weaves is so convincing. We had to enter into the whole insane experience to reap the rewards of living a life on earth.

But there comes a time when a transformation is needed. The time for a transformation is here and now. Don’t drag our feet about this. We need to be patient with ourselves, but not so patient that we countenance insanity.

Insanity. What a ridiculous notion! How did we ever, ever, get caught up in this?

We don’t have all the answers. A Course in Miracles says that we were hoodwinked by a “tiny, mad idea” about which the Son of God forgot to laugh. But we can laugh today. We can recognize that this tiny, mad idea has done its worst, and we are still here. We are ready and willing to get over the insanity that this tiny idea fostered in us. May we reach out and touch the love in Creation that will make us ready for the transformation that we all need so very desperately.

In Separation from God, We Have Distorted Reality

“Is it so impossible to imagine that what God created was distorted by your desire to have your reality be other than what it is? Have you not seen this kind of distortion take place within the reality you do see?” (ACOL, 9.28)

Eons ago, when the “tiny, mad idea” (from A Course in Miracles) took hold, we thought that we would make a world that we would like better than the one that God envisioned and created for us. This was indeed madness. But, like adolescents, we forged ahead, and he made the decision to let us exert the free will with which He had endowed us. And what a mess we made for ourselves!

This was the detour into fear, the detour from true reality. And it is only now, in Christ-consciousness, that we have a chance to recoup what we have lost—the true meaning of reality as God intended it for us.

We know that this world is a place of madness. We know this if we have even an inkling of how badly things have gone for us. We have pain that escalates into suffering, and we feel so alone in all the world.

But now we are finding our way back, making out way back on the carpet laid out before us. We are heading backward into time (an ACIM concept), to the place that we left. And we tell ourselves that everything will be better this time. We know better now, we know better from hard experience. We cannot get along without God, as much as we might think we can. He made us to commune with Him, our Maker, and the extent to which we do so fuels the pace at which we right our world again.

Don’t be satisfied with a partial world of adolescent rebellion today. Free will is a great gift, but not when it is misused. Ask deeply, today if you like what you have made. The answer, if asked honestly, will be “no.” Then set about to get the guidance needed to create as elevated Selves of form with the God of our greater imaginings.

He will be there waiting for our return. He has never left us. He has always been waiting for our return to sanity. And that sanity is now beckoning us for a great Awakening.

Misery and Despair Are Madness

“If you believe even the tiniest fraction of what is true, if you but believe you are a small part of God no bigger than a pinprick of light in a daunting sun, you still cannot believe in the reality of misery and despair. If you do, you believe this is the state of God as well.” (ACOL, 2.12)

We are one with God, and so in this context the quotation makes sense. We need to realize that the misery and despair that we wallow in is insanity, nothing more. But insanity is very hard to overcome, and the solution does not always come easily. The solution is Awakening, or Christ-consciousness, and not many people have currently reached this state. I, for one, have not, though I long for this place of “carry water, chop wood” that the Eastern religions extol.

We must realize that our misery and despair are insanity, and when we do believe this, we are on the road home.

Nothing bad has happened to us except that we dreamed a bad dream, and we continue to sleep in bad dreams. Happy dreams will come before enlightenment, and it is these that will save us now.

We are part of God, and so with communion with our depths, our way out is assured. Cling to this in the hard times. God is a very present Force in our lives, and the nearer we get to enlightenment, the more real He becomes. A Course in Miracles recommends the Holy Spirit as a Mediator, but A Course of Love indicates that, no longer afraid of God, we can approach Him more directly.

And this direct approach will take us out of any and all misery and despair. Approach God and see if this is not your truth as well.

This World Is Enveloped in Madness

“For truth brought to this could only remain within in quiet, and take no part in all the mad projection by which this world was made. Call it not sin but madness, for such it was and so it still remains. Invest it not with guilt, for guilt implies it was accomplished in reality. And above all, be not afraid of it.” (ACIM, T-18.I.6)

We have been mad for eons. We have been lost in insanity, and to a great extent (before Awakening) we still are lots in insanity. What a way to live! How do we get out of it?
We don’t get out of it by fearing it, but fear and its defenses of resistance only make the fear greater. If we feel guilt about this choice of madness, we will think that we are living reality—though we won’t be.

This quotation, once again, emphasizes that projection makes perception. We are projecting from within to see an illusory world outside of us. And this illusory world makes what we have seen within first.

This is no way to live.

“Faith in the unreal leads to adjustments of reality to make it fit the goal of madness. The goal of sin induces the perception of a fearful world to justify its purpose. What you desire, you see. And if its reality is false, you will uphold it by not realizing all the adjustments you have introduced to make it so.” (ACIM, T-21.II.9)

We continue with the theme of projection. “What you desire, you see.” And we have wished it to be so, as desire does make for wishing.

We need to realize that regardless of how vicious our dreams of reality really are, we are lost in illusion. Our dreams don’t make a true reality. Our dreams only scare us, if they are frightening dreams, and encourage us, if they are joyous dreams. But never will a dream be true in any sense of the word.

“What can He [God] know of the ephemeral, the sinful and the guilty, the afraid, the suffering and lonely, and the mind that lives within a body that must die? You but accuse Him of insanity, to think He made a world where such things seem to have reality. He is not mad. Yet only madness makes a world like this.” (ACIM, W-152)

God is not mad, and if we think that he created the world that we see, then we, in some part of our minds, either blame Him as cruel or see Him as mad. There are no other choices in how we view God.

It is part of the theology of A Course in Miracles to believe that on some level we, out of madness, made this world in which we dwell. We cannot understand this on the literal level. Certainly not. But we can rise above this mad world by rejecting, gently, the projections that are making it cruel in our perception. We can give our God a good day by gently approaching that day with the communion with God that we need.

Then our projections take on a gentle air. We don’t see a world that needs fixing nearly as often.

We are getting closer to home. And home is where we long to be.

Forgive Your Brother and the Atonement Is Mutual

“He [your brother, everyone] can do nothing that can hurt you, and by refusing to allow him to think he can, you tell him that the Atonement, which you have accepted for yourself, is also his. There is nothing to forgive. No one can hurt the Son of God. His guilt is wholly without cause, and being without cause, cannot exist. (T-14.III.7)”

Our true reality has not been affected by hurts, pain, suffering inflicted on us in this illusory world. Our brother has not really hurt us in any actually “true” way. It is all madness.

It sometimes helps, when a brother is attacking us, to think, “This is insanity. He is just being insane.” This is the absolute truth, and saying this type of understanding, silently, touches our hearts with the truth, and we can overlook what is happening. Because nothing has actually happened, in truth, there is nothing to forgive. But forgiveness is the one illusion that doesn’t build on others. Our forgiveness in this illusory world paves the way for the true reality, the real world. And our forgiveness softens our heart toward our brother.

In this quotation, Jesus is speaking on the level that to forgive is not even required, because nothing real has happened. Sometimes, in A Course in Miracles, Jesus speaks on another level, when he encourages us to forgive as the pathway to salvation. On this other level, forgiveness is seen as our function in this illusory, ruled by the ego of both ourselves and that of our brother.

In Accepting Atonement, Give Up Guilt and Its Madness

“When you have accepted the Atonement for yourself, you will realize there is no guilt in God’s Son. (T-13.I.6)”

We give up guilt by accepting correction, by accepting the Atonement! So this gives us motivation indeed. We don’t realize yet that it is guilt that has driven us mad (though A Course in Miracles tells us this). We easily and willingly will give up guilt when we know that there is a better way to live. We think that we are not good enough, that we have made sinful mistakes that keep us from being justified. But our mistakes are imminently forgivable. Jesus tells us that our concept of a mistake as a sin is largely causing us all of our misperceptions.

We think that we are guilty of deep, dark wrongs that can, in truth, never be corrected. But this is not so.
We know that mistakes are correctable, even in our deluded world. At least some mistakes. And Jesus says that all mistakes are forgivable.

What more do we really need to know? Isn’t this motivation the real reason that we are intrigued with the concept of Atonement?

“Seek and Ye Shall Find” Does Not Mean that You Should Seek Blindly and Desperately for Something You Would Not Recognize.

1 – Where Can I Go for Protection?

“This is the question that must be asked: ‘Where can I go for protection?’ ‘Seek and ye shall find’ does not mean that you should seek blindly and desperately for something you would not recognize. Meaningful seeking is consciously undertaken, consciously organized and consciously directed. (T66)”

We ought not to beseech Heaven for a miracle that we would not recognize at high noon. This is a paraphrase from a favorite book of mine by Michael Drury. If we seek haphazardly, we seek amiss. And we will not find. But meaningful seeking, that is seeking that is directed by the Holy Spirit, always ends happily. We find. And we are blessed by what we find.

2 – Seek and Ye Shall Find

When I was in high school, the quotation from the New Testament given here (“Seek and ye shall find”) meant a great deal to me. With science and evolution, I was no longer a fundamentalist. And I needed something to cling to. I somehow realized that if I sought from God, He would answer.

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. (Matthew 7:7)”

This was my lodestone, in high school and beyond.

3 – Learning

“You learn best when you believe what you are trying to learn is of value to you. However, not everything you may want to learn has lasting value. Indeed, many of the things you want to learn may be chosen because their value will not last. (M66)”

Why would we choose to learn something that is not of sting value to ourselves? This seems to be a paradox, and perhaps it is. But when we realize that we may have chosen whole careers that were not chosen for the right reasons, we may realize that the ego has been involved.

4 – Careers

But we probably had problems in those careers that were chosen for less-than-the-best reasons. More than just careers have been involved, though. Our choices in relationships may have been flawed as well. Our insanity covers a great deal of our lives.

5 – Value

We can learn best when we turn to learn those things that are of value. And those things are always lasting. Surely we can do this as we learn from A Course in Miracles to choose aright.

6 – What For?

“In all these diversionary tactics, however, the one question that is never asked by those who pursue them is, ‘What for?’ This is the question that you must learn to ask in connection with everything. What is the purpose? Whatever it is, it will direct your efforts automatically. (T67)”

We need to choose aright, obviously. “What for?” can put us on the right pathway. Elsewhere ACIM says that we sometimes want to learn something because its value will not last. I think that this is a diversionary tactic by the nefarious ego, always with the intent to waylay us. The ego acts as though it were autonomous, and sometimes it does seem to be, but we remain in control. Our minds can turn to the Holy Spirit for guidance just as easily (more easily, actually) as the ego.

7 – Egotistical

Turn from the egotistical. Don’t let such notions occupy our holy minds a moment longer. The “egotistical” is not all that the ego means, but it is a start. The ego is our false persona, the one that strives for triumph at our brother’s expense, the one that longs to achieve when cooperation works best in our world, the one that puts the self in a very self-centered light. Don’t follow these dictates any longer. They will not get us what we want. Oh, they may seem to do so. But after the short-lived joy of getting something we want, we are once more in despair because our wants have not been satisfied. When we place our faith in the intangibles of God, the peace, hope, joy, harmony, music of the spheres, we are led along a rose-strewn pathway that always leads to what we truly want.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May we choose only those things that have lasting value. May we turn aside from those things that do not have lasting value. May we not be tempted to learn those non-lasting things because they do not have value.

I know that the ego is involved when I reach for something that cannot be sustained. Help me always to choose aright, and this means that it is time to leave the ego behind.

Amen.

Forgive Yourself Your Madness, and Forget All Senseless Journeys and All Goal-less Aims

1 – Simple Course?

Jesus says repeatedly that his course, A Course in Miracles, is simple to learn. Most students/teachers don’t agree with him, I think. It takes some digging to get through the prose, though it is beautiful prose poetry (iambic pentameter after the beginning of the Text, which was Shakespeare’s rhyme scheme). But when we master the text of all three works in the trilogy, we can see that Jesus is right: ACIM can be viewed as easy to learn.

2 – Go toward Happiness

We need to follow roads TOWARD happiness:

“Think not that happiness is ever found by following a road away from it. This makes no sense, and cannot be the way. To you who seem to find this course to be too difficult to learn, let me repeat that to achieve a goal you must proceed in its direction, not away from it. And every road that leads the other way will not advance the purpose to be found. If this be difficult to understand, then is this course impossible to learn. But only then. For otherwise, it is a simple teaching in the obvious. (T-31.IV.7)”


We need to go in the direction toward truth, toward happiness. And we want to do so. We must remember, always, that happiness is a worthy goal. Certainly we feel more like helping our brother when we ourselves are contented, not tied up in neurotic knots. Only if we aren’t inclined to take the straight road do we encounter difficulty. The first obstacle that peace must overcome is the attempt to do away with it (peace). This is an ACIM tenet, and it is important. Why would we do away with peace? In Marianne Williamson’s opinion, we are addicted to the adrenaline rush. We have walked along our pathway in such stress for so long that we are unfamiliar with anything else. If things are calm, we think that we are getting depressed. But the Holy Spirit would tell us to relax always. Even in the midst of busy activities. Maybe especially then. We function best when we are on a relaxed and easy pace.

3 – Decisions

“This course attempts to teach no more than that the power of decision cannot lie in choosing different forms of what is still the same illusion and the same mistake. (T-31.IV.8)”

We often, according to ACIM, choose to learn things that are not lasting, simply because they are not lasting. This is ridiculous! It is avoidance behavior. And we would not go this way along our pathway to home. Why would we choose transient things to learn? We are scared that the permanent things are threatening to us. We also think that they are not applicable to our world. And they may not be, as we have been living. But we would not live as we have been living. It is time for a transformation. We are seeking Awakening, and, while we cannot effect it ourselves, we can study the means, as given in ACIM. Revelation may occasionally reveal the end to us, but to get there the means are needed. And they are being carefully explained. All ACIM tenets.

4 – Our Brother and Us

“All choices in the world depend on this; you choose between your brother and yourself, and you will gain as much as he will lose, and what you lose is what is given him. How utterly opposed to truth is this, when all the lesson’s purpose is to teach that what your brother loses you have lost, and what he gains is what is given you. (T-31.IV.8)”

In ACIM’s way, we walk with our brother as a means of saving time. This cannot be stressed too often. If we walk a little ahead or a little behind, walking ahead and falling behind, we make no progress. So we take our brother’s hand, and all improves. We can also take Jesus’s hand, as he encourages us to visualize. He will come in response to one unequivocal call (ACIM tenet).

5 – Madness

“Forgive yourself your madness, and forget all senseless journeys and all goal-less aims. (T-31.IV.11)”

We need to realize that all of us are mad to one extent or another. All of us who have not yet experienced Awakening, that is. We can be especially compassionate to the certifiably mentally ill in our midst, with our recognizing that we have more in common than we realize. Joseph Campbell, in Myths to Live By, said that schizophrenics are drowning in the very unconscious waters that mystics are swimming in. That may be the secret to the fact that many mentally ill people become highly religious. They are seeing some truth, though their health providers and family/friends do not normally recognize this insight of theirs.

6 – Awakening

If we move into Awakening, our unconscious will become conscious for us—just as it does for mentally ill people. But we will not scream in mortal terror (from ACIM), because we have been prepared by A Course in Miracles. If a light is suddenly turned on in a nighttime dream, we will fear, for we will at first think that the light is in the dream. But when we awaken fully, we will realize that the dream is over.

And that is what happens in our spiritual Awakening, the culmination of all forgiveness and our blessing of greatest degree.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Please be with me in the stresses of this day. May I listen to You so that the stresses disappear into oblivion.

Be with my brothers and sisters. May we all have a good day. I ask that so often, but I know that our happiness is in Your will. Help me not to tangle myself up today. Help my brothers and sisters not to get tangled up, either.

Thank You.

Amen.

Bitterness Is to the Heart What the Ego Is to the Mind

pennsylvania-impressionist-impressionism-painting-by-roy-c-nuse-along-the-river-1930-original-size-20-x-16“You may believe that bitterness is just another word, another label for the evil you have always been convinced existed in the hearts of some, but even being that it is just another word, it is one chosen to introduce an idea of such fallacy that it rivals only the ego in its destructive potential. Bitterness is to your heart what the ego has been to your mind. It is the one false idea that has entered this holiest of places, this abode of Christ, this bridge between the human and the divine. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 6.5)”

Affirmation: “I would drop any bitterness from my heart today.”

Reflections:

1 – Drop Bitterness

Bitterness is not stressed in A Course in Miracles, but it rivals the ego in A Course of Love. Here we learn that bitterness is to the heart what the ego is to the mind. And to learn such a lesson means that we ought to drop bitterness entirely. We ought not to hold anything against anybody. We ought to forgive entirely.

2 – A Raw Deal

Why are we sometimes bitter? I think that it is largely a matter of self-pity. We think that life has given us a raw deal, not a fair shake. We think that we ought to have had it better. But is this reasoning sound?

3 – Hard Knocks

Not at all. We may believe that we planned our lives before we were born (though this is not a concept in ACIM or ACOL). Certainly we know now that we have a loving Father who wishes us only well-being. And so the hard knocks of life are there to teach us something. And certainly the hard knocks would not be so hard if we were less stubborn. Our biggest enemy, as many have said, is our own self. We made our own difficulties, and then we project outward on others who surround us.

4 – Insanity

This is insanity. We would not blame another for our own difficult times. We would recognize perhaps that there is something that we cannot understand on this earth, and we would realize that there is a better way to live. This better way is what ACIM and ACOL are trying to teach us.

5 – Madness of This World

May we adopt a smooth walk through this world today. And may we know that the hard knocks are there for a reason, however obscure we may find the way to be. It may just be the madness of this world, and we ought never to underestimate how far into madness we have gone (from ACIM). We will be happier, and life will smooth out very well, when we have come to understand more. Ask God for the answers, and see if those answers don’t begin to come ever more frequently.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would seek some answers today. Why is life sometimes so tough? Is it all just madness borne of the ego and of bitterness? Is there a larger reason that I sometimes struggle? I choose not to go from one crisis to another. I choose to live, with You, in harmony, peace, serenity, calm, tranquility. Help me to live this better way today and every day.

May I do for others what I would like for them to do for me. May I realize that giving and receiving happen in concert, that one leads inexorably to the other. And may I rejoice, with You, at my happiness over the many blessings that You give to me. You want Your children happy. Being happy is a worthy goal. May I remember this always.

Be with me today as I walk through this sometimes insane world. But I would not have it insane today. I would choose only happy dreams, and I would ask for glimpses of a reality beyond what I normally see.

Thank You.

Amen.

Tiny, Mad Idea

cezanne - bowls of fruit
“It is impossible for you to imagine this holiness [of the Self] with the concepts of the thought system you heretofore have relied upon. This thought system has allowed only the acceptance of a reality within certain parameters, for it has not allowed you to imagine being able to take steps ‘back’ to the God you believe you left in defiance, or the self you believe you abandoned there. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 2.11)”

Affirmation: “I can believe that to separate from God was a ‘tiny, mad’ idea.”

Reflections:

1 – Madness

Earlier I suggested some “reasons” for a presumed separation from God, “reasons” set forth by individuals other than Jesus. Elsewhere, near this passage, Jesus indicates that we don’t have to look for a reason, though we have done so for eons. And maybe there was no reason other than madness. The “tiny, mad” idea is set forth early in the Text of A Course in Miracles, and this ACIM passage goes on to say that we “forgot to laugh.” And so the mad idea became possible of effects, without a cause. If this reasoning is sound, then we need look no further for reasons for a fall of humankind. There is no reason except madness.

2 – Guilty?

In today’s passage, we are almost seen as feeling guilty for this lapse, this separation. So we don’t look further for its cure. But there is a reason to look for the cure. And in that reason we move from the ego-self, to the personal self (also a persona) that is informed by the Self/Christ from within.

3 – God Is Not Angry with Us

If we can believe that we did not leave God in defiance, and especially if we can believe all that ACIM and ACOL have told us about God, we know that He is not “angry” with us. He has never condemned us, and so He also has no need to forgive us. What a glorious promise this is! We are redeemed, when we have walked the pathway back. The “journey without distance” (from ACIM) is as though we stand at the end of the pathway, looking back, and the carpet rolls up in retrospect.

4 – We Relive the Past

Jesus indicates that we do indeed stand at the end of the journey, that all that we experience now is in the past. We simply look back, reliving, a journey in which we are retracing our steps. The “tiny, mad” idea met with a Solution (the Holy Spirit) at the very point of the inception of the mad idea.

5 – Leave the Ego Behind

So let us decide today that we are through with all this egoic madness. We are, in fact, through with it, if we believe Jesus’s assertion that we are reliving the past. And so today is just as good as any day to take ourselves lightly as we retrace our steps.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would leave behind this tiny, mad idea of separation today. I did not leave God out of defiance, though I may have believed this for a very long time. And now is the time to return. I am ready, from a personal standpoint. But good intentions are not enough. I need You. Be with me as I make this transition into sanity.

Thank You.

Amen.

Self-Accusing Shrieks

“Forgiveness is the only thing that stands for truth in the delusions of the world. . . .It does not heed the self-accusing shrieks of sinners mad with guilt.  It looks on them with quiet eyes, and merely says to them, ‘My brother, what you think is not the truth.'”  (WB249).

 

Affirmation:  “I would forgive today.”

Reflections:

1 – Guilt

Guilt is a great bugaboo in our world:  “the self-accusing shrieks of sinners mad with guilt.”  Guilt makes hell for ourselves.  It is only through our forgiveness of others as well as ourselves that we emerge from this self-made hell.

2 – Personal Experience

Sometimes others in our circle try to make us feel guilty.  In my family, this happened to my mother from another relative.  I thought that it was my mother’s hang-up, until this relative did the same thing to me!  Then I realized how prone I too was to guilt that others attempt to inflict upon ourselves.  I do not still have the answer, but I do believe that if you do the best you can and remain kind to another in need (for this dynamic always comes with need), then we are less prone to feel guilty about our exchanges with others.

3 – Really Nothing to Forgive

Eventually we see that not even forgiveness is needed, because there is nothing to forgive in illusions.  We have not actually been harmed in any real way, because the real way is only the way of love.  Notice that “quiet eyes” are needed to perceive the truth.  Forgiveness looks with quiet eyes.

4 – Stay Calm

We must stay calm in this world.  As I have mentioned before in this blog, I do not get angry unless I am stressed.  The same might be said for feeling guilt.  A serene attitude, being right with God, holds many answers for us.

5 – Beautiful Words in ACIM

This passage is filled with vivid images.  Vivid images are a hallmark of the Course.  The words are terrifying, but strangely beautiful, and we do well to heed them.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not act badly today, and thus invite guilt.  I would forgive, in myself and others, any previous “bad” behavior, and by this I mean verbally attacking behavior.  Thank You for reminding us that we need to forgive, and that this is our way–forgiveness of our brothers and sisters in this world.

Help me to stay calm on this day.  When I am not stressed, You know that I behave better.  May all of us who have moments of pique turn those moments over to our Guide to resolve for us–immediately.

Thank You.

Amen.

The Secret of Salvation

“The secret of salvation is but this:  That you are doing this unto yourself.  No matter what the form of the attack, this still is true.  Whoever takes the role of enemy and of attacker, still is this the truth. (T587-T588)”

 

Affirmation:  “I am doing this unto myself.”

Reflections:

1 – Are We “Blaming the Victim”?

If life seems very hard, we can think of these words.  They are not easy to understand, because they sound like a “blame the victim” scenario.  But the Course never intends this.  We do not consciously bring bad things upon ourselves, at least most of the time.  And the evil that is in the world is not our own personal fault.

2 – Some Misinterpretation of ACIM

This aspect of the Course has been misinterpreted by many people.  And many have rejected it because of the “victim” problem.

3 – Pain vs. Suffering

Do not reject any longer.  With the help of the Holy Spirit, we will see happier days.  We will ponder the happenings around us, and they will cause pain.  But suffering is our own choice, and we can choose to turn over to the Holy Spirit all things that hurt.  This includes for others as well as ourselves.

4 – From Eckhart Tolle

We never have to let pain turn into suffering, though most of us are not so evolved as to miss this mistake in all instances.  Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth says a great deal about the fact that it is ourselves who turn pain into suffering.  He has a concept called the “pain body” that he believes is activated either frequently or infrequently in virtually everyone.  This concept is not a part of A Course in Miracles, but Eckhart quotes from ACIM, and so his study, following his Awakening, included ACIM.  And he does not, in the reading that I have done of Eckhart, ever say anything that contradicts ACIM.

5 – Choose Again

When we realize that we are doing this unto ourselves, we can choose again.  And that is a very important concept.  We need simply to start the day afresh, regardless of what hour on the clock the day actually is.  (ACIM recommends starting the day afresh if we begin amiss.)  I often start the day again, because I have a tendency to arise with a great deal of pressure to get started on what I need to do on any given day.  (This compulsion dissipates in an hour or two, but why stay with such a compulsion even an hour?)

6 – Choose to Be Free of Neurosis

We must choose again.  That is the only way that we will be free of the neurosis that has dogged our days.  And Jesus can heal us of our madness, our insanity–the state of virtually everyone in this world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When my day turns grim, may I pause just a moment and remember that I can choose again.  I absolutely do not have to turn pain into suffering, an idea that Eckhart reminds me.  I would not let fears that I am blaming myself for my misfortune turn me into bitterness, even for a second.  I would know that bitterness is a form of insanity, of neurosis, and I would be free of the madness that is surely elicited by listening to the ego’s madness.

I would not be egotistical today.  I would let my ego wither away, and I would ask Your help in doing this.  Any time that I am tempted to let pride intrude, a false pride that is disastrous, I would ask that my Guide gently remind that I have turned aside from walking the pathway to You.  And I would walk the pathway to You on a constant basis.

Be with me on this, a sunny day outside. May the joy that spring will surely bring help me to remember to thank You for this beautiful world.  We have spoiled the environment in some ways, but may we know that the beauty is always there, waiting to be reclaimed.

I thank You in advance for keeping me “in the flow” of You and Your gifts today.  May I follow my intuition unfailingly, unless I am misled by an egotistical thought that would take me away from You.  

Thank You for Your felt Presence.

Amen.

Nightmares

“[Miracles] thus atone for your errors by freeing you from your nightmares. By releasing your mind from the imprisonment of your illusions, they restore your sanity.  (T5)”

Affirmation:  “May miracles restore my sanity.

Reflections:

1 – The Return of Sanity

The restoration of our sanity is the great need of all humankind.  It is not sanity as perceived by the world (which is a concept in emotional disturbance), but sanity as perceived by the Awakening.  We are indicated in A Course in Miracles to be living with a mad mind, and that includes all of us who have not yet walked the full pathway back to God.  Along the way, we probably will experience glimpses of Awakening, but they will not last beyond even a few moments, a few weeks, or a few months.  A Course of Love, which some view as a sequel to ACIM, indicates that we are to sustain, physical form, our acceptance of Atonement, which will lead to Awakening.  Nowhere in either set of volumes is Awakening fully defined, but we can surmise that it is the state of Enlightenment, which many other religions have championed as well.  It is less noted in traditional Christianity, which tends to stop with a specific moment of the experience of being “saved.”  There is some emphasis in moving onward to the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and this is the way of ACIM.  Miracles will bring these great events closer in time.

2 – Lost in Nightmares

We have indeed been lost in nightmares.  We have been made mad by guilt (an ACIM concept).  Happy dreams will arrive as soon as we let the miracles replace our madness.  And the real world, according to ACIM, will arrive soon afterwards.  Then it is only a brief moment in time before God Himself will take the last step, the Awakening.  This is not something that we can effect ourselves.

3 – Time for God and Ourselves

It is wise always to remember that God’s time and our time are not identical, and so we do not know (because it is not said in ACIM) what “soon” really means.  How long to we await the Awakening after we have recognized that we are seeing the “real world.”  Even the “real world” is not defined precisely in ACIM, but I have interpreted this boon as a time in which we experience the loving attributes of salvation:  love, joy, peace, tranquility, serenity, happiness, forgiveness of ourselves and others.

4 – Nightmares and Illusions

“Nightmares” and “illusions” are linked in this passage.  May we reach toward the promise of sanity in the real world when we give up our illusions, and, with them, our nightmares.  Fear will subside, and in calm and quiet we will live in the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  This guidance will continue until after Awakening, called “Christ-consciousness” is A Course of Love.  We are then to know internally of the way in which we are to travel.  The time of Christ follows the time of the Holy Spirit (according to A Course of Love).  This is a natural transition, but not one for which all of us ready.  We must be patient, and, until the time of learning is over, listen to our guidance from our Guide, and then we will be swept up in the knowledge that our real Self, the Christ within, will give us.  (These are tenets from A Course of Love.)

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live in the real world today.  I would no longer be lost in illusions.  I ask for the blessing of the return of sanity, in the sense that A Course in Miracles means.  Virtually all of us have been lost in madness.  Some have had fleeting glimpses of the Awakening, but few have sustained the Awakening.  I do realize that this is a blessing that You will offer all of us when we are ready.  And I ask for my Guide to tell me what to think, say, and do today that will prepare me for this blessing.

Be with me if I get discouraged.  Life does not have to be difficult, even when outward circumstances seem so.  You are there to comfort and to sustain us.

May I never forget this.  May I never forget to turn to You.

Amen.

Self-Accusing Shrieks of Sinners Mad with Guilt

“Forgiveness is the only thing that stands for truth in the delusions of the world. . . .It does not heed the self-accusing shrieks of sinners mad with guilt.  It looks on them with quiet eyes, and merely says to them, ‘My brother, what you think is not the truth.'”  (WB249).

Affirmation:  “I look out on the world with quiet eyes.”

Reflections:

1 – Guilt

Guilt is a great bugaboo in our world:  “the self-accusing shrieks of sinners mad with guilt.”  Guilt makes hell for ourselves.  It is only through our forgiveness of others as well as ourselves that we emerge from this self-made hell.  Guilt is even said in ACIM to “be” hell.  We probably do not fully understand this, but probably can relate to the idea, also in ACIM, that our way to salvation is forgiveness.  And we inevitably feel guilty when we have not forgiven.

2 – The Place for Forgiveness

Eventually we see that not even forgiveness is needed, because there is nothing to forgive in illusions.  We have not actually been harmed in any real way, because the real way is only the way of love.  Notice that “quiet eyes” are needed to perceive the truth.  Forgiveness looks with quiet eyes.  Our wrongful deeds toward another have always been a call for help, and when we receive attack from others, we can therefore recognize that this time they are asking for help.  If we perceive all that happens as either an expression of love or a call for love,  we will be well on our way home.  I have never found in ACIM this exact quotation, though many commentators on ACIM use it.  Certainly the sentiment is implied in A Course in Miracles.

3 – ACIM’s Language

This passage is filled with vivid images.  Vivid images are a hallmark of the Course.  The words are terrifying, but strangely beautiful, and we do well to heed them.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would look out on the world with quiet eyes today.  I would not live in hell out of a sense of guilt.  I would forgive when I have held offenses in mind; I would know that illusions are not part of the real world, and it is in the real world that I would live today.

I would not overreact to terrifying images.  Hell only seems terrible.  In truth it cannot touch me as long as I keep my eyes on You.  Only when I fall away from following my Guide do I make mistakes that lead me to feel guilty.  I would avoid those mistakes, with their attendant guilt, today.

Amen.

Temptation = Insane and Meaningless

“Be vigilant against temptation, then, remembering that it is but a wish, insane and meaningless, to make yourself a thing that you are not.  And think as well upon the thing that you would be instead.  It is a thing of madness, pain and death; a thing of treachery and black despair, of failing dreams and no remaining hope except to die, and end the dream of fear.  This is temptation; nothing more than this.  Can this be difficult to choose against? (T665)”

 

Affirmation:  “temptation – insane and meaningless”

Reflections:

1 – Temptation Should Not Scare Us

This commonsense attitude toward temptation does not scare us.  It comforts.  At this same time, though, it warns of the very real problems that yielding to temptation does bring.  “Be vigilant against temptation” because, in part, it is a “thing of madness.”

2 – We Know when Temptation Visits

We know when we are being tempted, because the guidance of the Holy Spirit warns us (if we listen to Him).  Then, our best response is to turn away as soon as we are able.  Sometimes we yield momentarily, because our stubborn wills get in the way.  We feel rebellious, and we don’t listen to guidance from the Holy Spirit.

3 – To Choose to Follow Temptation Is Madness

The madness, though, is answered in Jesus’s final question, “Can this be difficult to choose against?”   The description just prior to this question is vivid indeed:  “black despair, of failing dreams and no remaining hope except to die.”  Surely we can be flexible enough to follow the Holy Spirit when He warns us that we are treading into dangerous, ego-willed, behavior–temptation.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be flexible enough today to avoid temptation, because, if I am listening closely enough, the Holy Spirit warns me when I am becoming a little bit insane.  Thank You for keeping my Guide within close to my conscious mind.  I would, as part of You, not diverge from the pathway that is best and right for me.  You would wish no less of me.

Be with me as I escape from the madness that temptation really reflects.  A thing of madness is not the thing that I would choose.  Help me today to be turn aside when temptation beckons, and lean instead to a listening ear that hears my Guide.

Thank You for letting me feel Your presence.

Amen.

Anger Must Come from Judgment

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

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

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

Reflections:

1 – The End of Insanity

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

2 – Eliminate Judgment

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

3 – Anger Has No Justification

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

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

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

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

I would live in rest today.

Amen.

How to Cure Madness and Fear

ACIM Workbook Lesson 278 – for Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Affirmation:  “If I am bound, my Father is not free.”

“Father, I ask for nothing but the truth.  I have had many foolish thoughts about myself and my creation, and have brought a dream of fear into my mind.  Today, I would not dream.  I choose the way to You instead of madness and instead of fear.  For truth is safe, and only love is sure.  (WB435)”

Reflections:

1 – Choose Reality

If we would not dream, we must choose the real world; we must choose God’s reality.  We are caught in dreams, still, most of the time.  Most of us do have glimpses of Awakening, glimpses of the real world that precedes Awakening.  The dreams that the Holy Spirit brings are meant to calm our frantic minds so that we welcome Awakening and are not fearful of the experience.  Jesus tells us that if a light is turned on while we are asleep, we will initially be afraid be afraid of this light, thinking it is part of our dream (or our nightmare).  But once we awaken, we realize that we are no longer dreaming and that we have returned to the world.  So we are no longer afraid of the light.  (These are paraphrases from ACIM.)

2 – Dream Not of Fear

We would not dream of fear today.  We would not dream at all, but pray to awaken.  We would not be insane any longer, for that is exactly what we have been in this disturbed world.  We have been mad, just as surely, though less obviously, than the unfortunate individuals who are committed for mental illness.  Our mental health is precarious also.  We need to know that just because we are walking freely into the world and not behind locked asylum doors, we are not necessarily sane.  Most of us are not sane.  May we come to understand the Voice that speaks to us of the reality of God in which we can walk away from madness.

3 – Take Steps to a Sane Reality

If we love, we are taking steps to a sane reality.  By love, we do not mean special love relationships, unless these special love relationships are well on their way to being holy relationships.  Our way home is through the love that we bear for our brother (and sister), and this is the way in which we practice forgiveness.  It is the way of A Course in Miracles.  When we are together with our brother (or sister), we are forgiving, kind, generous, and in so being, we are learning God’s way.  We do not need to contemplate (or meditate) for extremely long periods.  This is a way meant for others, and ACIM is meant for us.  Let us follow the way of ACIM today, and let us start by totally forgiving our brother (or sister), knowing that to do so is the way home for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would follow God’s Voice today.  I would do so knowing that I wish not to be misled into believing that my illusions, fueled by the ego, are masquerading as God’s Voice.  Be with me to ensure that I make this distinction between delusion and sanity.

May I walk into the real world as quickly as my steps can take me there.  You have prepared me, and it is up to me to follow Your Way with joy.  When I am truly joyous and at peace, then I am less likely to listen to the ego and to be misled back into insanity.  Be with me today as I seek only what You bid me to find.

Amen.