Tag Archives: magic thoughts

God’s Teachers’ Major Lesson Is to Learn How to React to Magic Thoughts Wholly without Anger

1 – Witnessing to Reality

“If he [the teacher of God] argues with his pupil about a magic thought, attacks it, tries to establish its error or demonstrate its falsity, he is but witnessing to its reality. Depression is then inevitable, for he has ‘proved,’ both to his pupil and himself, that it is their task to escape from what is real. . . .Magic thoughts are but illusions. (M47)”

Sometimes we think we see that our significant other is just off in left field. Sometimes our significant other is suffering, and as a result is stubborn and angry. The reaction of stubbornness and anger is a reaction borne of magic thoughts, of irrationality. If we truly knew, if our significant other truly knew, how to have a completely loving relationship, then together we would create this lovely thing for each other.

2 – Don’t Give Credence to Magic Thoughts

Our ignorance of how to do that is all that is holding us back. But we ourselves must take care, when faced with stubbornness, anger, and irrationality, not to react in a negative fashion. To do so is to give credence to magic thoughts; it is to make them real in our illusory world. If we focus on these negative traits, they will be harder to overlook (ACIM tenet). May we go gentle into the day, overlooking negativity, seeing only light in this potentially beautiful world of ours.

3 – Irrationality

We must not take a direct assault on a magic thought, a thought expressed of irrationality. If we approach the problem gently, our significant other may soften, for we have not attacked his ego. Attacking his thoughts will always be perceived by his ego as an attack on his/her person. And be met with resistance.

4 – Resistance

We don’t need this resistance. It will never get us what we want, which is a loving relationship. Our significant other, as well, wants a loving relationship—even if he/she is not fully aware of the possibility of curing problems with love.

5 – Wholly without Anger

“God’s teachers’ major lesson is to learn how to react to magic thoughts wholly without anger. Only in this way can they proclaim the truth about themselves. (M47)”

6 – Anger

Our brothers and sisters who are not Course students will have many superstitious ideas (“magic thoughts”) that may arouse anger in us. They may attack us. Unless we are quiet and calm, we will react negatively, thus undoing the good that they might receive from us.

7 – Major Lesson

Note that Jesus says that reacting to magic thoughts wholly without anger is the “major lesson” of God’s teachers. This is a significant statement. He knows that we lose our patience easily, and we must be patient if we are to set a good example, if we are to reach others in the only way that they can accept.

8 – React without Anger

We cannot be identified as God’s teachers until we have mastered this difficult lessons of reacting without anger. This asks a lot of us, because the ego, in most of us, has not yet withered away. The truth about ourselves is that we respond to anger with a desire to help and to express love, not retaliate in kind. When we have mastered this difficult lesson, we will be well on our way to being the teachers of God that Jesus needs.

9 – Correction

“Correction has one answer to all this, and to the world that rests on this:
“You but mistake interpretation for the truth. And you are wrong. But a mistake is not a sin, nor has reality been taken from its throne by your mistakes. God reigns forever, and His laws alone prevail upon you and upon the world. His Love remains the only thing there is. Fear is illusion, for you are like Him. (M47)”

We can never get angry from a fact. It is always an interpretation that gives rise to anger, and we allow anger when we emphasize, in our minds, magic thoughts that we incorrectly perceive as threatening. Magic thoughts are illusion, and so they cannot really threaten, but in our illusion, our dream, they can do so. It is up to us to recognize an illusion when we see it. And overlook it. Overlooking, if we are in danger of any real harm, is crucial.

10 – Don’t Correct “Faults”

If we are confronted with a mistake, let us know that it is not up to us to correct another’s “faults.” The Holy Spirit will do this in His own good time. We are being arrogant, an arrogance of our egos, when we think that it is up to correct the presumed “faults” of another.

11 – Egoic Arrogance

We can recognize a mistake, and we can gently substitute what we see as the truth. If we are rejected in this attempt, perhaps we acted too soon. Perhaps in our egoic arrogance, we thought that we, rather than the Holy Spirit, could effect a change in the relationship that we have with another.

12 – Guidance

We need to take the humbler view. We can sometimes do very little, but that little may be mighty. Don’t stew in wondering what to do or say; just ask of guidance, just ask of the Holy Spirit.

13 – Listen

He will respond immediately, and the more often we listen, the more crystal clear His Answers will be.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to react to my brothers and sisters wholly without anger, especially when they are saying things about which I disagree. Sometimes their thoughts will conflict with the Course, and this will bother me, if I am not careful. Help me not to be bothered, but to react wholly with love.

Help me to stand back if my brothers and sisters are not ready to learn the material of the Course. Help me to give what I can in a good and loving manner, and to know when to stop. Thank you helping me to decide the right time to change my manner of response.

Amen.

Anger in Response to Perceived Magic Thoughts Is a Basic Cause of Fear

1 – Basic Cause of Fear

“Anger in response to perceived magic thoughts is a basic cause of fear. (M45)”

Has someone whom you always considered a very rational individual suddenly started expressing what appear to be irrational thoughts? I think this is because each strong character trait, such as rationality, has a shadow side, as Jung would tell us. The shadow side of rationality is irrationality, and irrationality is very threatening, especially when a significant other seems to be reversing trends of a lifetime.

2 – Irrationality

This irrationality, which we may hear, is what we are perceiving as a magic thought. And this is a prime reason that we fear, if we get angry about the threatening of our world view. If we become afraid, our own better thinking may fall by the wayside, and we ourselves may become irrationally fearful.

3 – Stress

Stress can bring all of this lamentable thinking about. I have come to see stress as a manifestation of the fear vs. love dichotomy in our world. And stress is the manifestation of fear.

4 – Holy Spirit

Let’s do what we can today to walk a smooth pathway. The Holy Spirit, God’s Voice to us, will help. He can keep us calm even if our significant others are not calm. Even if our significant others are caught in irrational thinking.

5 – Irrationality

If we ourselves have ever been irrational (and who of us has not been?), then irrationality in another will become more threatening to us. Let’s pray together today that all such insanity fall from us. Let’s pray today for a good day.

6 – Magic

“A magic thought, by its mere presence, acknowledges a separation from God. (M45)”

We are having magic thoughts also when we let the irrationality of another get to us. This is because when we are attached to God in prayer, we don’t feel fearful of presumed irrationality. We know that God has everything in hand. It is when we ourselves allow ourselves to become fearful (and this will happen when we are threatened by another’s fears) that we are most cognizant of our separation from God.

7 – Prayer

Pray today to mend this separation. Pray today to mend the barrier between you and your brother/sister. Barriers fall down when we get guidance from the Holy Spirit.

8 – Counterproductive

It may be counterproductive to tell someone else that he/she is being irrational, or that we are perceiving that he/she is being irrational. By the very definition of irrationality, if someone else is being irrational, that person will not recognize truth when confronted with it. He/she will see our evaluation as a kind of attack, which indeed it is. It may very well be best to keep one’s interpretations (for they ARE interpretations) to one’s self, and just smooth the troubled waters.

9 – Later On

Later on, when the coast is smoother, we can ask our significant other about those expressed opinions which have upset us. We need to share everything that we possibly can. There are no exceptions to this rule, unless sharing would hurt the other person. Sharing is normally healing.

10 – Sleeping Guilt

“But what will now be your reaction to all magic thoughts? They can but awaken sleeping guilt, which you have hidden but have not let go. Each one says clearly to your frightened mind, ‘You have usurped the place of God. Think not He has forgotten.’ Here we have the fear of God most starkly represented. (M45)”

This passage explains why we are sometimes confronted with magic, or irrational, thoughts in another. We are being shown our “sleeping guilt.” We have become frightened of God. We are fearful of God.

11 – Insanity

This is stark insanity. There is nothing in our relationship to God that, in a sane mind, is fearful. All of us are said, in A Course in Miracles, to be mad, to one extent or another—until we awaken. Let us pray to be healed of our guilt, for it is the guilt that has driven us insane, the guilt of our presumed “sinful” nature. But we have only made mistakes, correctable mistakes. And we don’t need to stay insane. The Holy Spirit will take us by the hand—indeed, Jesus will take us by the hand. And we will be led to freedom of thought, to freedom of thought without fear.

12 – God

Then the irrationality of magic thoughts won’t hurt so much. We will know that God is handling this situation for us.

13 – God’s Teachers

“Into this hopeless situation God sends His teachers. They bring the light of hope from God Himself. There is a way in which escape is possible. It can be learned and taught, but it requires patience and abundant willingness. (M46)”

Here Jesus laments the worsening situation of our world. He knows that we cannot continue to survive, nor to thrive, if those of us who have followed him do not do our part in salvation. But he is optimistic, even as he sounds a cautionary note. We can help ourselves and our brothers and sisters to escape from this impossible situation in which we find ourselves. But we need patience and abundant willingness to do so.

14 – Practicality

What does this mean for us, practically? I think that for those of us who have chosen the Course as “our Way,” then this passage means that we must study and learn ourselves all the time that we are trying to reach others. The Course is long enough and sophisticated enough that we cannot recall all its tenets unless we refresh our memories on virtually a daily basis. This does not mean just doing the workbook, but also dipping into the text and the manual for teachers.

15 – The Course

If we study the Course, our own lives will go better. We will then be in a much better situation to reach our brothers and sisters. We will be in the right frame of mind to want to share the good news. We will not be resistant. Remember that Jesus is there to help us always. He promises this. And our guidance from the Holy Spirit is a sure thing. With Helpers like these, how can we fail?

16 – Anger

“If anger comes from an interpretation and not a fact, it is never justified. Once this is even dimly grasped, the way is open. (M46)”

We are interpreting the magic thoughts of another. And if we get angry about being confronted with irrationality, we are not feeling something that is justified. We get angry when we are threatened in our world view. We don’t want our boat rocked. But sometimes, in our troubled world, this happens.

17 – Facts vs. Interpretation

But we never get angry at a fact; it is always an interpretation that gives rise to anger (ACIM tenets). And our anger at irrationality may be so subtle as not to be felt very keenly.

18 – Hidden Anger

This hidden anger is especially insidious, for it subjects us to fear, to stress manifested in ourselves. If we are not careful with our emotions, this stress will have an outlet, and that outlet will be an expression of anger.

19 – Brothers/Sisters

Our brother/sister deserves better than this from us. Let us pray to have our own magic thoughts, our own irrationality, healed around these concepts. We are safe, and when we fear another’s irrationality, we think that we are not safe. And, on some level, this makes us angry.

20 – Calm Mind

There are rules by which this will not occur, but first and foremost, we need a calm mind.

21 – Madness

“Madness but seems terrible. In truth it has no power to make anything. (M46)”

Madness can do nothing, for it is illusion. Be calm, be not overwhelmed by another’s irrationality. It is only madness, and madness has nothing that can cause fear in a mind (ours) that is steeped in comfort given us by God’s holy Presence.

22 – Fleeting

So the irrationality of another cannot ultimately hurt us. The fact that irrationality is mostly fleeting is a blessing. We don’t have to dwell on these magic thoughts. We can set them aside as insanity. And we can know that the expression of magic thoughts, the expression of madness, is “distress that rests on error” (from the ACIM Text).

23 – Walk a Green Earth

Pray today to do your part to assuage that distress. Then you, as well as your significant other, will walk a green earth again.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I have the patience and willingness to function rightly as a teacher of God. May, indeed, I be a teacher of God. May I never lead anyone astray.

I know that not all of my brothers and sisters are ready to receive direct teaching. May I be sensitive to what they are ready for, and may I offer only this in confidence that I am making the right decision in reaching them.

Amen.

Anger Leads to Fear

“Anger in response to perceived magic thoughts is a basic cause of fear. . . . A magic thought, by its mere presence acknowledges a separation from God.  (M-17.5)”

Affirmation:  “I choose harmony over anger.”

Reflections:

1 – Anger and Fear

Anger and fear are closely related.  Somewhere in our deepest mind we know that we are seeing amiss, that we are not recognizing that the anger that we feel toward ourselves or others is a misperception.  We feel guilty, and fear is not far beyond.  We are caught in the ego.

2 – Magic Thoughts

The “magic thoughts” are never defined in A Course in Miracles.  But we know that magical thoughts, as defined by secular psychology, is a thought brought on by some form (major or minor) of mental illness.  It seems plausible that Jesus is using the term “magic” in the same sense.  We do not want to encourage our own insanity.  We are all insane, to one degree or another, in this world.  And it is when the insanity is particularly predominant that the magic thoughts appear in our psyche.

3 – Love

May we come to see that love is the answer to fear brought on my magic thoughts.  Love is always the answer, although we are not always in a mind slant that can see this.

4 – Superstition

I would surmise that magical thoughts are particularly prevalent when superstition reigns in our mind.  And it does, for some of us, a good bit.  It is particularly prevalent in sports, when we believe that wearing a particular shirt, for example, will enhance our team’s chance of winning.  There are similar ideas out there.  If we look further within, we know that this is, in fact, superstition.  If one is close to an athlete, perhaps knowing that we are pulling for him/her is sufficient to make the superstition seem warranted.  And the superstition may make a difference in the play on any given day.  But not always.  And that is the downfall of superstition.

5 – Harmony

May we choose to live in harmony today, not in anger of any kind.  And may we drop any and all magical thoughts, which we recognize, from our minds.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Although anxiety has dogged my steps all of my life, I would sooner rather than later let this trait drop from my psyche.  Anxiety and fear are closely aligned.  And any tendency still in me in regard to anger will accentuate the anxiety and fear.  Let me drop these negative emotions immediately.

Thank You for leading me ever closer to You on this day.  Thank You for the glorious day that is occurring.  May I not forget this blessing on days that are less good.  But You want my happiness, and so You would lead me to follow Your pathway all the time.  And that is my desire as well.

If anger intrudes today, help me to calm down.  I have found, over the years, that I never get angry unless I am stressed.  And so I would look to the removal of stress by You as a blessing to be sought.  Be with me as I seek to reduce the negative stress in my life.  The positive stress is actually good, and sometimes I forget this.  Positive stress does not lead to anger in my experience.  Thank You for being there as I seek to improve my reactions to my brothers and sisters, and also to myself.

Amen

Depression, Pain, Fear, Disaster Avoided

“If a magic thought arouses anger in any form, God’s teacher can be sure that he is strengthening his own belief in sin and has condemned himself.  He can be sure as well that he has asked for depression, pain, fear and disaster to come to him.  Let him remember, then, it is not this that he would teach, because it is not this that he would learn.  (M-17-1)”

Affirmation:  “no magic thoughts”

Reflections:

1 – Avoid Depression by Avoiding Anger

I would not know depression today.  If I am to avoid depression, I must avoid anger, because the two are linked in my mind.  Also pain, fear, and disaster come as a result of anger aroused by magic thoughts.  I would not place my faith in superstition, a form of magic thought.  I know that much that A Course in Miracles says would be seen by someone else, a non-student, as superstition.  But help me to know the difference.  My curriculum is A Course in Miracles.

2 – Peace and Harmony

May we gather together today in peace and harmony.  May we know that our true cure for all the ills of this world is found in relationships, holy relationships, with our brothers and sisters.  There is no other way, if we are to find our home in ACIM.  These holy relationships, salvaged from special relationships, will give us the peace and harmony that we seek.

3 – Special vs. Holy Relationships

How we do turn a special relationship into a holy one?  Intention has a lot to do with it (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  We must realize that our seeking for superficial qualities in a relationship is very, very likely to be our ego speaking to us.  God does not dwell in superficial qualities.  Beauty is fine, if the beauty is also internal.  The world itself, with its green and blue predominant, is beautiful in the extreme.  So God, we must believe, loves beauty.  But we must know that we will not even notice this beauty is our eyes are set on superficial qualities.  The material plane has much to tempt us.

4 – Magic in ACIM

I would set aside magic thoughts today, and by this I mean the magical thoughts that secular psychology also sets aside as being part of mental illness.  I do not mean the airy, attractive qualities of the definition of “magic” that is sometimes used.  There are these two different definitions, and the more benign one, the one that children believe in, is not to be deprecated.

5 – Keep God Central

Help me to have a good day.  I know that depression and pain will not be a part of this day if I keep God central to this day.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Today I have written my blog in a personal way, more personal than usual.  But I am actually also speaking to You.  I ask for You to assist me today to live a good day in Your sunshine.  I know that this kind of joyous living is strictly in line with Your will.

I would avoid depression and anger, and all the other negative adjectives that I have used in this blog posting.  Help me to choose again how I will react, knowing that the choice is within my power, with You helping me.  Help me to know that I can always choose the benign response and the loving response.  I don’t have to fly off the handle with rage.  I don’t often react that way, but my rage sometimes comes upon me suddenly and loudly, and I would cease this reaction entirely.  Help me to do so.

Be with all of my brothers and sisters today.  We are One, and it is to our good that You call us.

Amen

React Without Error

“God’s teachers’ major lesson is to learn how to react to magic thoughts wholly without anger.  Only in this way can they proclaim the truth about themselves.  (M47)”

Affirmation:  “Help me to react to magic thoughts wholly without anger.”

Reflections:

Our brothers and sisters who are not Course students will have many superstitious ideas (“magic thoughts”) that may arouse anger in us.  They may attack us.  Unless we are quiet and calm, we will react negatively, thus undoing the good that they might receive from us.

Note that Jesus says that reacting to magic thoughts wholly without anger is the “major lesson” of God’s teachers.  This is a significant statement.  He knows that we lose our patience easily, and we must be patient if we are to set a good example, if we are to reach others in the only way that they can accept.

We cannot be identified as God’s teachers until we have mastered this difficult lessons of reacting without anger.  This asks a lot of us, because the ego, in most of us, has not yet withered away.  The truth about ourselves is that we respond to anger with a desire to help and to express love, not retaliate in kind.  When we have mastered this difficult lesson, we will be well on our way to being the teachers of God that Jesus needs.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to react to my brothers and sisters wholly without anger, especially when they are saying things about which I disagree.  Sometimes their thoughts will conflict with the Course, and this will bother me, if I am not careful.  Help me not to be bothered,, but to react wholly with love.

Help me to stand back if my brothers and sisters are not ready to learn the material of the Course.  Help me to give what I can in a good and loving manner, and to know when to stop.  Thank you helping me to decide the right time to change my manner of response.

Amen.