Tag Archives: Mari Perron

MEETING MARI

by Celia Hales. Published in the current issue of the free online newsletter, The Embrace (Glenn Hovemann, publisher).

The year was 2004, three years after Mari Perron had published the first part of A Course of Love with New World Library. Like Mari, I was living in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. And, like Mari, I was a seeker.

My story about Mari actually began more than two years earlier with a morning spent in the Barnes & Noble bookstore in my neighborhood. As I was browsing the shelves, my eyes lit upon a pink volume, a lovely pink volume. And, fittingly, for the pink book jacket, the book was called A Course of Love. I picked it up and flitted through the pages. Soon I was sitting in one of those overstuffed chairs at the bookstore, scanning the volume.

I sat there for two hours, reading all that I could devour. In the back of the book was a testimonial to the truth of the volume by four friends of Mari.

I was a skeptic. I believed that these people were truthful, honest, but I didn’t believe that the work was genuine. I would later change my mind.

Some months went by. I saw another copy of the pink-jacketed ACOL in yet another bookstore. This time I purchased it. This time I read the book carefully. I was becoming entranced by the fact that it just might be genuine. And I felt that I ought to publish a book review for Jon Mundy’s Miracles magazine, something that I routinely did for other books that caught my eye and that seemed appropriate to the Course in Miracles community.

I had read from my copy of the New World Library edition that Mari was in the Twin Cities area. Eventually I got on the phone and tried to locate her, suddenly interested in having a conversation with her about A Course of Love. It wasn’t hard to find her. And soon we were talking. She agreed to meet me at the nearby coffee shop owned by her family. And so my engagement with A Course of Love really began.

We met on my morning off from work. I got there first, and settled down with coffee to await Mari. Soon, from across the table, she stood, leaning over to meet my eye.

I said something like, “You’re just a regular person!” with some surprise. Mari was pretty, with long hair, a little curly, drawn back in a knot at the nape of her neck. She looked very, very pleasant.

She responded, “That’s why some people think I couldn’t do this.”

By “this,” I knew she meant channeling Jesus. Would a “regular person” be chosen for such a task?
Our conversation lasted at least an hour. Mari told me that she had two other parts, now, of A Course of Love. I told her I wanted to write a book review, and she offered to send me the books.

In the midst of our conversation, Mari’s daughter Mia came over to greet us. After an introduction, Mari lamented that A Course of Love had not “taken off” the way that she would have liked. Mia said something prophetic: She said that it took a while for A Course in Miracles to take off, and that it would just take some time for A Course of Love to become known as well.

Our conversation continued. Suddenly, Mari said, “I have been praying that someone would come to me to help me get the word out about A Course of Love.”

I was stunned. Mari thought that I was an answer to her prayer.

I thought she had the wrong person. I was A Course in Miracles enthusiast, and I thought that she needed a younger generation to come along and help her. I thought she was mistaken.

Now, 11 years later and six years into writing a blog on both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, I think Mari might have been right all along. Right about a mission for me, right about Jesus as her channeler. My love for A Course of Love has grown over the years. Its heart-centered approach to salvation piques my curiosity.
Now many others are drawn to ACOL, due largely to Glenn Hovemann’s Take Heart Publications and the new combined volume. Yes, Jesus’s “continuation” of A Course in Miracles has an ever-widening and increasingly enthusiastic audience.

And I am no longer a skeptic. To my mind Jesus had “unfinished business” with us, after A Course in Miracles. And A Course of Love answers many of the questions that we have had after reading A Course in Miracles. Now Jesus not only takes us by the hand and leads us beyond the ego, but he tells us how to establish a new identity—in this body but beyond this body, the “elevated Self of form.”

We are on the threshold of a newly created world. The voice Mari heard in her head, Jesus himself, is ever with all of us as we transform ourselves and our world.

AWAKENING THROUGH THE HEART: A REVIEW OF A COURSE OF LOVE

Note: Published in Miracles magazine, May-June, 2015 (publisher Jon Mundy).

TITLE: A COURSE OF LOVE: THE COURSE, THE TREATISES, THE DIALOGUES
FIRST RECEIVER: Mari Perron
PUBLISHER: Take Heart Publications
PUBLISHED: Combined Volume, September 2014
REVIEWED BY: Celia Hales

Can you imagine “another Course in Miracles”? This phrase, “another Course in Miracles,” was the startling introduction that Mari Perron heard internally, shortly before she assented to scribe. She recognized the voice as Jesus. Within a week, he was coming through to her for a new Course with an internal impression of words—the same method that Helen has described in receiving ACIM. The three-year process of receiving (channeling) happened about 15 years ago, and it has been a well-kept secret since, apparently waiting for its time. Now Take Heart Publications has published a new combined volume of the three books scribed by Mari, and A Course of Love (ACOL) is coming into its own.

I interviewed Mari Perron a decade ago, a few months after I wandered into Barnes & Noble and found an enticing pink jacket on a white book with an intriguing title, A Course of Love. Mari is articulate, unassuming, genuine. She told me that those who have studied ACIM were identified for her by Jesus as the best audience for A Course of Love, because we are ready for it. I have found that A Course in Love answers questions that earnest seekers still have despite careful study of A Course in Miracles.

As you most probably know, there are several other individuals who have asserted that they have “heard” Jesus internally, and there are web sites and books arising from this phenomenon. Some individuals do believe that they channel Jesus “live,” that is to say, they speak words as they hear them internally. I make no judgments about these other works and manifestations. I ask you only to consider A Course of Love as particularly appropriate for those of us who are dedicated students/teachers of A Course in Miracles. A Course of Love says that it is a “continuation” of ACIM, and, as such, it describes numerous parallels between the two works. One seeking to channel, even Jesus himself, can only use the vocabulary that is in the mind of the scribe. Mari had read A Course in Miracles (by her count) seven times just prior to channeling A Course of Love. In my opinion, she writes with Presence and as an especially clear channel for Jesus’s purposes in writing A Course of Love. Here is what Jesus in ACOL says about this:
“Where the original Course in Miracles was a course in thought reversal and mind training, a course to point out the insanity of the identity crisis and dislodge the ego’s hold, this is a course to establish your identity and to end the reign of the ego.” (A Course of Love, C:P.8)

Some of us who have studied ACIM and emerged with weakened egos have, in the words of A Course of Love, “rejected” ourselves. We think that to claim our rightful place of identity with the Christ within lacks humility. A Course in Love says that such an attitude is actually borne of fear.

“You prefer selflessness to self because this is your chosen way to abolish ego and to please God.” (C:P.20)

But now we approach “final learning through the realm of the heart. This is where the confusion ends. This is why we call this course A Course of Love.” (C:P.44)

Some will read the first book (the “Course”) of ACOL to be a further refinement of A Course in Miracles–a refresher with added principles for those who have studied ACIM, a compendium of necessary thoughts for those who have not studied ACIM. As much as A Course of Love is believed to be a sequel to ACIM, ACOL can stand on its own because of the material in the first book. The second and third books (the “Treatises” and the “Dialogues”) represent the complexities of ACOL, to be read after the first book has been assimilated, after a break in reading. They have much depth, and their principles will require careful reading.

One overarching theme: We are being led from our emphasis on the mind, where we often think we need proofs, into an emphasis on the heart, which knows without having cognitive proof. Ultimately, we are told, we must combine mind and heart into what Jesus terms “wholeheartedness.”

In ACOL, we see the end of the illusory separated self, moving into our new identity as the Christ Self. We live in Oneness (unity) and in holy relationships (no longer special) with God and with others. Everyone is chosen (an ACIM declaration also). We move beyond old ways of learning to new ways of learning, new ways which include living in observation of our living rather than traditional means of study. Our seeking has an end, and that time is now. We are said to be now living in the time of the second coming of Christ, the time of the Holy Spirit having ended. We don’t need an intermediary any longer; we can approach the internal God directly, no longer being afraid of Him.

As ACOL progresses, Jesus moves into a role no longer as teacher, but as a companion. He directs us to allow elevation of the physical body in Christ-consciousness, and to sustain that new identity in the “elevated Self of form.” This is the way of the future, a future that not even Jesus will predict. Having given up the ego and established a new identity, we are living in a way that is not in conflict with God’s will and our true will for ourselves. We are separate from God no longer, not even in illusion. Jesus speaks directly to us when he concludes:

“You will realize that you know what to do. Expect heaven on earth, you were told. This is what it is. There will be no doubt, no indecision. Your path will be so clear to you it will be as if it is the only path in the world and you will wonder why you didn’t see it all along. Expect this. And it will be.” (E.6)

Many who have loved A Course in Miracles will find much value in A Course of Love. Like ACIM, ACOL too must be read attentively and also slowly, approached with an open mind and a thoughtful heart. The words are beautiful. There are jewels here. And solace, oh, so much solace for the heart! Others, early readers of ACOL, have told me that the emphasis on the heart is very comforting, as well as helpful, to them.

A Course of Love has my enthusiastic recommendation.

Pain is Illusion – Sleep – Deception / Joy Is Reality – Awakening – Truth

“Here will you understand there is no pain. This is the day when it is given you to realize the lesson that contains all of salvation’s power. It is this: Pain is illusion; joy, reality. Pain is but sleep; joy is awakening. Pain is deception; joy alone is truth.” (ACIM, W-190)

This Workbook lesson from A Course in Miracles emphasizes the central place of joy in our lives when we are following the pathway back to God. It makes clear that true reality is joy. When we are feeling pain for any reason, it is assurance that we are still trapped in illusion. Of course, all of us are trapped in illusion to one extent or another, even those who have Awakened. The gifted in Awakening do accept what is rather than try to rail against it. And they are peaceful and contented, regardless of what surrounds them. But as long as we live on the earth plane, we are subject to emotions other than joy. And pain may be experienced, though we can understand that pain does not have to escalate into suffering.

This Workbook lesson indicates that at Day 190, one can come into the fullness of knowledge. One can walk away from pain in the form of illusion, sleep, deception. And we can replace that pain with joy, awakening, truth, reality. Let us hope that this change will come to all of us, though this assertion from Jesus for this day is on the ideal level of studying ACIM. (There are both ideal and practical levels in ACIM, with the ideal something that not all of us can reach on a daily basis, though we can have glimpses of this level.)

We do not want illusion. And Mari Perron, scribe of A Course of Love, believes that we move from illusion into reality as we walk this pathway. (She was videotaped in a presentation that indicated this.) But we must be patient with the concepts to which we are being exposed. Not all of us are ready for Awakening. God alone makes that decision. Frequently, we do catch glimpses before Awakening is sustained, and in the glimpses do we see what is held out to us for the future. We know what joy there will be in Awakening.

Abiding within Love’s Presence, by Ivor Sowton

I am deeply struck by this quote from Mari Perron’s recent audio recording of Chapter 4 of A Course of Love (ACOL), which is available by joining A Course of Love USA on Mari Perron’s Facebook page:

“The world you so struggle to navigate is what you have made of it, a place where love fits not and enters not in truth. But love has entered you and leaves you not, and so you too must have no place in this world that you have made but must have another where you are at home and can abide within love’s presence.”(4.20)

I am so aware now in my life now of the great desire to know and express more Divine Love, but the actual life experience often does indeed seem much more about boundaries–maintaining a safe place INSIDE where I can affirm love for people and the world while I do what I have to do OUT THERE in the external world, where it is a very mixed bag of energies and agendas, requiring tough love a lot of the time.

I think many people are dealing with this type of experience, and would readily say so if they were to take the risk of being honest with themselves. And Jesus appears to be allowing for this, saying that that very desire for a place of harmony in which giving and receiving love is NATURAL is actually a good and positive step toward drawing down that Divine Love more and more into all areas of life.

Jesus is wanting us to grow into a greater and greater experience of Divine Love, that being our true nature. He makes this comment at the very end of the Chapter: “This foreign world where you have been so lonely and afraid will linger for a while where it can terrify you no longer, until finally it will fade away into the nothingness from which it came as anew world rises to take its place.” (C:4.27)

So I’m given a lot of guidance here about the actual unreality of many of my current perceptions of my world. I do actually feel a lot of sincerity around wanting to close the gap here between much of my current life experience and this great goal of being totally immersed in Divine Love that Jesus is pointing to here. The thing is that ACOL is literally full of encouragement to be real with our current feelings as a very necessary first step in approaching this goal.

This is my current feeling, then: dear Jesus, may I be teachable–by YOU–for I do really want more of that experience of love and harmony right here in the world that you seem to be pointing to.

Thank-you Mari, first Receiver. And thank-you Celia Hales, whose long-term blog MIRACLES EVERY DAY has been representing this work wonderfully for a long time.

Warmest regards in Him,

Ivor Sowton

The Embrace, by Ivor Sowton

I once had the great good fortune to be with Mari Perron, scribe of A Course of Love (ACOL), in a small group setting. As I suppose is natural, the group had questions about the process of receiving ACOL from Jesus and what that was like.

Mari graciously took these questions in stride. But then, as more of these “safe” questions continued, Mari seemed to take charge and volunteered: “But you know a real turning point for me was the chapter entitled “The Embrace.”

The dictation of A Course of Love had seemed a huge challenge at first, but had evened out after the early chapters into much more of a sense of flow. But then gradually efforting seemed to creep back in. By then the developing ACOL was at Chapter 16 or so. After that the chapters in ACOL were increasingly difficult for her, with more sense of tension and strain, like: “I have to do this.” After all, there was by this point a lot of direct instruction from Jesus to us the readers, and certainly also to Mari as the “first receiver”! Perhaps it was becoming more and more daunting, with a sense of a very high bar having been set for our learning.

Then, incredibly, the Voice stopped! The dictation of Jesus to scribe stopped! Mari knew from her relationship with Jesus that the work now called A Course of Love was not over, not complete!

Days of great angst passed. Then weeks with silence from Jesus! Truly a dark night of the Soul! Finally the completely unexpected! Mari was gazing at a beautiful plum on a beautiful plum tree in beautiful sunlight when such a wonderful bursting open of the heart spontaneously exploded forth! The absolutely gorgeous, pivotal chapter 20, “The Embrace,” soon followed, full flow restored!

It may be that we as listeners to Mari’s experiences here have to receive her revelation (for so I believe it truly is) in a way that we can personally access and apply in our own lives. Broadly speaking, we can say that the world became holy for Mari and for us now also, to the extent we can open ourselves to that kind of Union. The Divine was dancing in the surround! The mundane had been redeemed, now clearly seen and felt to be sacred, rather than perceived and felt to be separate from us (ACIM tenets).

And the Divine arms that cradle us in “The Embrace” bring so much needed comfort and reassurance:

This is a call now to move 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. (20.2)

So if you or I am feeling alienated, alone, frightened and cut off from Grace, let us remember the Embrace and be healed. The Embrace is personal. It can help us where we think we are, as who we think we are at present. This is so necessary, don’t you think?

In my online transpersonal therapy with students of A Course in Miracles (ACIM) and ACOL, (I see the two works as a continuum), I just try to facilitate that opening of personal relationship, that acceptance of the embrace FOR THEMSELVES. That is, the opening will be very personal for them. It will happen the only way it can happen for them—tailor made, you might say. Jesus is the guide in that process. Of course there are other guides, but we who have been drawn to Jesus’ current work in the world through ACIM and ACOL can settle down into discipleship with him personally and grow as much and as fast as is right for us.

But again, the essential message of the Embrace is that it is ours NOW. It’s the open heart in wholeheartedness. Jesus states in ACOL that the heart exists where we assume ourselves to be. So if we assume we live in ego world, frightened and alone, our world will FEEL like that, icy cold and bereft of comfort. But if we find our own way to FEEL the Embrace, then we will feel omnipresent divine love.

In Chapter 9 of the ACIM Manual For Teachers Jesus also reassures us that our own personal training is always highly individualized. Just right for us. Our own path will unfold in a beautiful way for us with his help. Not too fast or too overwhelming. But at the same time we can now always remember and remind ourselves that the Embrace is there for us NOW. As Jesus says “Who could be left out of the Embrace? And who from within the Embrace could be separate and alone? (20.18)

May we all come to feel the Embrace more and more, and more and more make our home there.

Let your heart remember that you are holy and that the world is sacred. (ACOL,C 20.23, pg. 140 in the Combined Version)

The Curriculum to Guide Us to the Fulfillment of Our Purpose

“Learning to see anew is the precursor of learning to create anew. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 2:33)”

1 – A New Way

We are deep into an attempt to learn in a new way, through observation of what is rather than through traditional learning through teachers, reading, and study. But for this change to occur, we need to have a new vision, and seeing anew is that new vision.

2 – A New Vision

The new vision emphasizes God’s love, harmony, peace, joy—not material possessions. Material possessions are the bailiwick of the ego, and until we learn anew to leave the ego behind, we won’t ever set foot in the new world that is coming. We will remain in a previous era, struggling along through effortful ways to accomplish dubious goals.

3 – Shared Vision

“Remember, only from a shared vision of what is can you begin to produce unity and relationship through unity and relationship. This is your purpose now, and this the curriculum to guide you to the fulfillment of your purpose. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 2.33)”

4 – Only Way?

Jesus never says that his way is the only way; he just says that his readers of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love have chosen him as their guide, and it would be unwise to confuse our minds with ways meant for others (a tenet of ACIM).

5 – Jesus’s Approach

He has an almost “hands-off” approach to whether or not we accept his teachings. He does not force anyone to believe him. I think that he has enough faith in his teachings and in his relationship to the Father to know that those who read with any open mind and heart will accept what he says. There is an authority here that is found only when one interacts with Jesus. It is akin to the experience portrayed in the New Testament, when it is said that Jesus spoke with authority.

6 – ACOL

In this passage, he is speaking of A Course of Love as the curriculum to guide us. Certainly, in my reading, A Course of Love is the logical, practical next step to A Course in Miracles. A Course of Love works. It is not as complicated a reading as is ACIM, but it is no less authoritative. Jesus partakes of his channel, Mari Perron, to the extent that she has lent her mind and heart to the process. He writes very beautifully through her. Mari did not use the blank verse that is a hallmark of A Course in Miracles. The co-scribe to A Course in Miracles, Helen Schucman, was a Shakespearian scholar, and so perhaps it is natural that transcribed in iambic pentameter. A Course of Love is also part of the curriculum, as Mari heard internally–”another Course in Miracles.”

7 – Practical Works

Both works, A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, are eminently practical to the daily life. Jesus said in ACIM that a universal theology is impossible, but that a universal experience is not only possible but necessary. This experience I believe he continues to give to us, through Mari, in ACOL.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May we join with our brothers and sisters today for a shared vision. May we build upon A Course in Miracles by reading A Course of Love. May both works bring us ever closer to Awakening and to Christ-consciousness.

Thank You for the knowledge God brings to us through these readings.

Be with me as I seek, once again today, to walk Your way. Your way is always the effortless way, but my own anger and attack sometimes rear their ugly heads. I would be done with that way of reacting, as would many other people as well. I am through with the ego; it is only vestiges of old ways of reacting that trip me up still. Help me, I beg of You. I know that the help You will give is in Your will. You know what I need. You know how to need to react.

May this day be a new walk in the sunlight with You.

Amen.

A Course of Love – 40 Days and 40 Nights from the Dialogues

I will publish numerous passages with reflections from what some view as a sequel to A Course in Miracles. It is a three-volume series entitled A Course of Love, channeled by Mari Perron, believed to be from Jesus. The passages chosen are from the last half of the final volume in the series, the Dialogues.

Mari Perron’s web address is as follows:
http://www.acourseoflove.com/A_Course_Of_Love_And_Grace.shtml

I will re-introduce A Course of Love by re-posting an essay that compared A Course in Miracles to A Course of Love.

A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love

by Celia Hales

Mari Perron’s A Course of Love, in three volumes (A Course of Love, the Treatises, and theDialogues, acronym ACOL), is a beautifully rendered narrative that I view as a sequel to A Course in Miracles. She heard internally, as she related to me in an interview when I met her in St. Paul, that ACOL was presented to her by Jesus as “another Course in Miracles.” She said that she had about a week before she consented to tackle such a large project, a project that eventually led her to resign from her position at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities to devote herself full time to the channeling. The channeling was done in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

In my reading, I find in ACOL no contradictions of any kind with ACIM. My summary evaluation is that ACOL is to the heart what ACIM is to the mind. Jesus says that he is combining mind and heart in A Course of Love to lead to a state that he terms “wholeheartedness.” There are many consoling passages, notably a beautifully rendered invitation to join Jesus in an embrace that comforts and sustains us, and that we return in a mutual embrace. He invites us to weep, yet we know that he will not leave us weeping, but instead lifted up to his view of life and love as they are meant to be lived.
There is much in ACOL about the fact that our fiction of a separated self is to be replaced by a union that can be understood only in relationship one to another. As in ACIM, this is meant to be a holy relationship, not a special one. Jesus bids us serve one another, and asserts that this describes the circular nature of the universe–to serve and to be served
Jesus is much concerned in this whole series of three volumes that we not keep seeking for our answers; we are to rest in the view that we know enough to live in love. He talks about the fact that we seem to be continually seeking, but we are weary, and he knows that we wonder when this seeking will finally end. In ACOL, all three volumes, the seeking is finally to come to an end. The two volumes that follow the first, the Treatises and the Dialogues, particularly bid us leave our intellectualism behind and to listen, wholeheartedly, to our mind and heart in conjunction with each other. In these later volumes, particularly the last, he resigns as our teacher and speaks to us as one of us.

When I first began reading the second of the three volumes, the Treatises, I became convinced that Jesus was the author; it was an intellectual decision based in part on the newness of the material and the complexity of it. In addition, the fact that there were no contradictions to ACIM played heavily in my decision. The Treatises are four in number, and they provide an intellectual framework in ways that the other two volumes do not. They are harder to understand, but the same beautiful language is there, along with the forthrightness that I have learned to associate with Jesus. In the early pages, he asks us to choose a miracle, and explains that this will help us to understand what he is saying. Later on, he asserts, in line with Eastern thought, that mindfulness will provide the complement to wholeheartedness.

As the volumes go on, there is much that is new in them–ideas that pick up where ACIM left off, with the time of the Holy Spirit, and assertions that we are now in the time of Christ-consciousness. There have always been individuals who embodied Christ-consciousness, but none (except Jesus, we might add) that have sustained it. Jesus does not make promises about a physical Second Coming, as he did not in ACIM, but he does indicate that now is the time for the sustaining of Christ-consciousness among more and more people, and he asserts that children born now will inhabit a very different world than that of their forebears.
Jesus directly states that ACIM and A Course of Love work hand-in-hand. ACIM was meant to dislodge the ego, and ACOL builds upon this success, giving us the tools with which to work. He asserts in the final volume, the Dialogues, that we are now the accomplished, and he presents a primer that is meant to be read and understood over forty days and nights. We are working in a forty-day ascension to elevate the Self of form on our earth.

So much is devoted to the false thinking that we have about continuing to seek in a never-ending pathway. When is it enough? When does the seeking end? Jesus ultimately says that we are ready now, once we have walked the whole pathway (which he outlines in the latter part of the third volume, the Dialogues), and that continual seeking is not what he means for us. We will let the rough aspects of our personalities fall away, knowing that we are beloved and that we have achieved the Christhood that he holds out to us as his promise. In what appears to be a departure from ACIM, Jesus asserts that no feelings are bad. In ACIM, he had asserted that anger was never justified. In A Course of Love he notes different aspects of personality that do not hinder us from full acceptance to Christ-consciousness. Some of these aspects are negative, but he holds out to us the view that we can have these undesirable traits, undesirable to us, fall away if we do not care for them. Otherwise, it appears that we are simply to be tolerant of aspects of ourselves that will be subject to change as we grow in Christ-consciousness. In ACIM, perfection is seen to be a prerequisite, and Jesus was said to stand at the end of time to undo those errors in us that we otherwise could not undo. The differences between these two thoughts may not be as great as we might imagine, as we remember from the New Testament that the man Jesus, the example-life of Christ-consciousness, got very angry in the last week of his life with the moneychangers in the temple.

To believe that we can retain some negative traits and yet ascend to Christ-consciousness is a remarkable statement that sounds almost too good to be true. Yet I believe that it is true, and that it is only our own ego that would assert that the new understanding is arrogance. This is the suggestion, discussed above, from A Course of Love that we do not have to be perfect to be an ascended Self of form in this world. This is reassuring in the extreme, because how many of us try and try, only to fall up short repeatedly? This is discouraging for those of us on the spiritual pathway, and Jesus’ statements deny the reality of perfection as a criterion on acceptance by him as being Christ-conscious. This statement is one of the more startling in the volumes, and perhaps one of the more controversial.

Relationships are seen in the much the same vein as in ACIM, and special relationships must change to the holy. This is itself will change everything. We will exist in union with our brothers and sisters, in relationship, and this will fuel the new Christ form that we occupy.
We live within the house of truth, according to the Treatises, though within that house of truth is a house of illusion, in which many of us still live. In a significant image, the words describe that there have been “explosions” within the house of illusion, but that it is has not fallen yet. Nevertheless, still this house of illusion is within the house of truth, and so all of us are one together. Those in the house of illusion are still, like ACIM says of us, ruled by the ego; those outside the house of illusion but inside the house of truth are now ruled by the Christ spirit, or Christ-consciousness, as the time of the Holy Spirit is drawing to a close and the time of Christ-consciousness is at hand. This latter point is an expansion from ACIM, a next step.

We are not to evangelize our brothers and sisters, though, who still live in the house of illusion. Instead, we seek just by service one to another to draw everyone to us in the house of truth. Another way of stating this same phenomenon, new to our world but explained above, is that we must individually and collectively sustain Christ-consciousness. This then is the new Self that we are to be.
The third volume, the Dialogues, seeks to lead us to a sustained place of Christ-consciousness in form, i.e., the elevated Self of form. Christ-consciousness replaces perception (as discussed in ACIM) with knowing. This elevated Self of form, to my reading, means the physical form that we occupy on earth, but it is does not mean that death will cease to be (a somewhat common misconception that sometimes is made with ACIM).

The volume concludes with an injunction to remain in the world, but to follow Jesus to the mountaintop for forty days and nights of final observation (not “learning“). The content of the chapters devoted to these forty days and nights is beautiful indeed. As mentioned, Jesus resigns as our teacher and becomes akin to an equal, but just as surely must we too resign as our own teacher (an ACIM thought as well). We learn directly from observance, from within our own selves, of the real world that only appears to be outside of ourselves (an ACIM concept also). But we cannot observe only from within ourselves; we must join in union and relationship with our brothers and sisters. To unite is to be one in being; to join in relationship is to join with our brothers and sisters as beings; both union and relationship are necessary, and this injunction for unity and relationship is repeatedly emphasized.
In observing and living these forty days and nights, we are to remain in our daily world, carrying out our normal activities. Jesus assures us that this is the best way to learn, for, after all, we are creatures of the earth as well as heaven, and we do not need to remove ourselves from our daily lives to learn his truths.
There is a very interesting insertion in the Dialogues of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Jesus is seen to be the “example life,” the one of “doing“; and Mary’s way is seen to be that of “being,” in relationship, the way of the future. There are consistencies between doing and being, though, and the two are not mutually exclusive now nor in the future.

The ultimate revelation of A Course of Love is the fact that we can indeed expect heaven on earth; this Jesus declares. He ends the final volume, the Dialogues, by saying that we will know expressions of love as our service on earth. This is very traditional thinking, but after studying all three volumes, it is a restful conclusion. We are not encouraged to spend ourselves in endless effort, as the end that we seek is peaceful and effortless. It is the way that life is meant to be, and has always been meant to be, lived.

A Course of Love, as I have reiterated, is a beautiful work of art. Though not in blank verse, as is ACIM, the language that Mari Perron channeled is stunningly beautiful. You have a magnificent opportunity in studying these volumes to learn what Jesus wants to say to us by way of sequel to ACIM.

Jesus: “Whenever You Are Afraid, It Is a Sure Sign that You Have Allowed Your Mind to Miscreate and Have Not Allowed Me to Guide it.”

“Whenever you are afraid, it is a sure sign that you have allowed your mind to miscreate and have not allowed me to guide it. (T29)”

Affirmation: “My I allow Jesus to guide my mind.”

Reflections:

1 – Mind Wandering

Elsewhere A Course in Miracles counsels against mind wandering. This mind wandering is exactly the way in which miscreation happens. We fantasize about horrors of the past, present, or future, and soon we find ourselves afraid–full of fear. The exact opposite of love. When we recognize that also, in this other passage, we learn that there are no idle thoughts, that they all create form at some level, we are brought up short, and we realize what a mistake we have made. We don’t know what these forms are, but we can imagine that some of them are probable realities (from Jane Roberts’s Seth), and we may get ourselves in very serious trouble if we allow the forms that we are creating to stand. Allowing these forms to stand is exactly the reason that we are becoming so fearful (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM). And fear is of the ego, always. Let us never forget that.

2 – Our Guide

When we allow Jesus to guide our thoughts, we do not know fear. This takes great deal of concentration in the beginning, an awareness of what our minds are doing. This kind of concentration usually does not come easily to us. But it can be done, when motivation is strong. Jesus also indicates that we only need to strengthen our motivation to learn A Course in Miracles, that once the motivation is strengthened, everything else will fall into place. We need to talk to Jesus as to a friend, to realize that he is actually near–when we have called to him. It takes very little deviation from science to know that a single object can be in more than one place at a time; this is current day physics. And Jesus, master that he is, can appear wherever and whenever he is needed. In addition, the Teachers of Teachers can help us, giving us their ideas when we falter (from the Manual of ACIM). If having either Jesus or a Teacher appear to us would be disconcerting or fearful, we can tune our minds and hearts to their words. It is not beyond reasonable consideration that we are guided every step of the way. And we do sometimes, even with clear minds and no mental illness, hear locutions (inner thoughts that we did not “think”) that guides our journey.

3 – Strong Fear

If the fear is strong, the motivation to change to a better way of living will be strong as well. We need at first attend only to the motivation to change, and then the remainder will fall into place without effort. This cannot be said enough. The motivation is key. And the more time that we devote to following Jesus’s words, the more desirous we will be to do so all the time. He does not want to make our decisions for us, though. Mari Perron, the scribe of A Course of Love, indicates that he told us just that in an internal monologue. At that time, she was depending on Jesus to make her decisions for herself, and he let her know that this was inappropriate.

4 – Monitor Thoughts

So let us monitor our thoughts. Let us turn inward when we sense fear rising. Let us not fall into miscreation, though we ourselves do not fully understand what we are miscreating. It is enough to know that mind wandering will miscreate, and we need a better option, a better way to spend our days.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I allow my miscreating mind to rest in Your power and strength. May I allow the Holy Spirit to guide my thoughts.

When my mind does not wander into fantasies, I am better off. Thank you for the wisdom that would lead me to eliminate miscreations of my mind and eliminate fear.

I have too long experienced anxieties from time to time, even frequently. I would leave this habit of mine behind me as I walk ahead on my pathway. Help me to do so. Help others to do so as well.

Amen.

Nothing Real Can Be Threatened. Nothing Unreal Exists.

manet - bar“This course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way:
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God. (T-in.2)”

1 – Illusion

As I read this passage, it seems to me that we are encouraged, once again, to see that the world in which we live is illusion. It is not real, and therefore does not truly exist. The real, in my view, are the intangibles of hope, love, joy, peace, and the like. These cannot be taken from us except by our choice. And when we are in our right minds, we choose to keep these blessings in our hearts.

We have the peace of God when we have His intangibles. And the passage concludes, “Herein lies the peace of God.”

2 – Special Attention

This passage is the epigram for A Course in Miracles, and, as such, deserves particular consideration. Let’s take a look at the words themselves, and how they are interpreted elsewhere in ACIM.

3 – The Real

The “real” is usually referred to as the “real world,” the unplaced place that we see when we are nearing Awakening. The real world is experienced only briefly, but we don’t know what “brief” means in eternity. Mari Perron, the scribe for A Course of Love, believes that when we have experienced Awakening, we are in fact not living an illusion any longer, but are experiencing reality. Hugh Prather, in an afterlife visit to his friend Jerry Jampolsky, however, said that A Course in Miracles was absolutely correct, that we are living an illusion. And Hugh was an advanced teacher of God. So there can be no easy answers. We, each of us, need to turn within to ask what truth is for us, what we truly believe.

4 – The Unreal

The “unreal” is the illusion, the maya in which we find ourselves throughout most of our lives, before Awakening, at the least. And this unreal does not have to affect us adversely, though it usually does. The pain, the suffering, all can be seen as the mirages that they are. And we can turn aside from them just as surely as we welcomed them.

5 – Real World

There is an extremely reassuring passage that bears quoting, about the real world:

“Sit quietly and look upon the world you see, and tell yourself: ‘The real world is not like this. It has no buildings and there are no streets where people walk alone and separate. There are no stores where people buy an endless list of things they do not need. It is not lit with artificial light, and night comes not upon it. There is no day that brightens and grows dim. There is no loss. Nothing is there but shines, and shines forever.’ (T-13.VII.1)”

6 – Mystery

I do not pretend to understand what is being said here. But I know that the real world, if experienced as joy, is not dependent upon things of this world to sustain it. This is what I think is meant here. Not that there will be no things of this world, but that we will see them differently. They will not mean anything particular, just because what we see is physical. We will have our sights on the nonphysical, on the intangible. And we will be much the better for it.

7 – Take a Moment

We need to take a moment from time to time to ask what really matters, what the real world will truly show to us. And when we find an answer, we need to engrave it upon our hearts. Certainly we have progressed beyond the desire to attract material objects as a way of self-aggrandizement. But we need something to replace the physical objects with, or we will experience a sense of loss. And there is no need—ever—to experience a sense of loss. The happiness that Jesus gives as we approach Awakening, as we experience the happy dreams the Holy Spirit sends, is without parallel in the physical universe. It is not physical at all. We have our physical needs satisfied, but that is of small consequence to us. We are looking at a higher reality.

8 – All Will Be Well

So let us seek the real as we go about our world. Let us drop the unreal.

And all will be well.

Affirmation: “Let us seek for the real today.”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am thankful for You today. This is a particularly good day, and it comes to me from You. May all with whom I come in contact in any way be blessed by their circumstances today.

Be with my significant others today and every day. May I fulfill what You would have me say and do for them.

Amen.

Jesus: “It Is Possible to Reach a State in which You Bring Your Mind under My Guidance without Conscious Effort.”

“It is possible to reach a state in which you bring your mind under my guidance without conscious effort, but this implies a willingness that you have not developed as yet. (T30)”

Affirmation: “reach a state in which you bring your mind under Jesus’s guidance”

Reflections:

1 – Contradiction?

This passage occurs at the beginning of A Course in Miracles. It suggests that following our guidance must be a willful thing, and that we choose to follow guidance by conscious effort. Yet we are also told that much of the learning of the Course can be effortless. Is this a contradiction?

2 – Progression in ACIM

No, because there is a progression here that we would be wise to understand. In the beginning of our study, we cannot just turn our wills over to Jesus without choosing to do so. It is noteworthy that in these beginning passages, Jesus says that it is “my guidance,” and later on in ACIM, he stresses following the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We are not yet, at this point early on, ready for the more theoretical aspects of the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Later on we are ready. Then we can truly move effortlessly to make decisions with our minds and our spirits.

3 – Jesus as an Accompanying Friend

It is very possible to see Jesus as our friend who accompanies throughout our day and all of our rounds in it. Norman Vincent Peale also recommends that we adopt this attitude. Is it a fallacy? Actually I draw on my faith when I believe that Jesus can clone himself, and be anywhere at once. His mission is to save our souls, and he does so by being on call when we place “one unequivocal call” (from the Text of ACIM) to him. This assurance is much desired on a personal note by me. I like the fact that the Beloved of God is willing to spend time with me–and with all of us, upon the asking. I like the fact that he guides our decision making. He does not want to make our decisions for us, though, as he pointed out, in interior monologue to Mari Perron (scribe of A Course of Love). We make our decisions in consultation with the Holy Spirit (when following ACIM) and in consultation with the inner Christ Self (when following A Course of Love). We are never left bereft of guidance. And I personally have needed to know what to do and say in my life. I have wanted that guidance, though sometimes (in my weakest moments) I have chafed against it. I have sometimes felt, when sensing intuition, that I was in a straitjacket, that I had to do what the guidance indicated. I don’t have to do so, but long experience has shown me that I am happiest when I follow guidance. And the fact that that guidance comes with Jesus’s hand in mine is a very loving attitude that improves my day.

4 – Personal Experience

I have sensed, as time has gone on, that I do not struggle so much to know what guidance is telling me. Words come into my mind, but from a place a bit beyond me, giving me guidance. I test out this form of guidance, for if anything is harmful to anybody, it is of the ego and best left alone. But, by and large, the guidance that I get through unconscious turning over my mind to God is sure. It is benevolent. And kind. This progression is much sought after by me, but it was a long time coming. Surely all of us can can await the time that we bring our minds under guidance without conscious effort. In the meantime, we can use our intuition, which is a form of guidance, to know what and how to respond in our world.

5 – Jesus as Helper

We need to realize that Jesus in all likelihood gets a great deal out pleasure out of helping us. I don’t see it as a burden to him, but the fulfillment of his mission–begun years ago, and if we read Edgar Cayce, honed through many reincarnations before he became the man Jesus. (I neither encourage not reject reincarnation. Let your guidance tell you what you believe.) If I felt that I were burdening Jesus by encouraging the sense that he is near, I would be loathe to do it. But his fellowship is one of the great blessings of my life, and I welcome his help in the decisions that I am called upon to make.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I bring my mind under the guidance of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. May this form of intuition be something that will bless others in my world as well as myself.

I realize that this need not be hard. Indeed, surrendering to guidance can be effortless. Help it to be effortless in me today.

I would lead a good life today, though I know that good intentions are not enough. Give me governance over my temper. May I be good to the people whom I encounter today. May I feel Your Presence, and may Your Presence inform me about what and how to think, say, and do. Thank You.

Amen.

Distress that Rests on Error

“If pardon were unjustified, you would be asked to sacrifice your right when you return forgiveness for attack. But you are merely asked to see forgiveness as the natural reaction to distress that rests on error, and thus calls for help. Forgiveness is the only sane response. It keeps your rights from being sacrificed. (T-30.VI.2)

1 – Pardon

Pardon is always justified, in the ultimate sense, because we live in an illusory world. So nothing has really happened to us when we are attacked. We are living a dream. Only the love that we feel is real in a real world. And in this world we more often, perhaps, experience undesirable things such as attack. Why, then, since the attack hurts our personal selves, our little selves, are we called upon to forgive?

2 – Forgiveness

Forgiveness helps us. When we fail to forgive, we are pointing one finger of blame at the other person or persons, but three fingers point back at us. And this is no way to live. We can forgive or pardon, therefore, because we first recognize that nothing has happened, being an illusion, but, more importantly, the person who is attacking us is actually calling for help. He or she is experiencing distress that is based on error, sometimes for things that we ourselves have done to him or her.

3 – Listen to Your Heart

Our hearts will always tell us to answer a call for help by running to the side of the person who is calling out to us. If doing so at a particular time would not be smart, we can wait, but sooner or later we will always be asked to answer that call for help. And in the answering, the forgiveness of the attack from him or her becomes easy. When we reach out to help another, we don’t hold anything against that person. We recognize his or her need, and we move to answer it.

4 – Personal Experience

“Distress based on error” is a enlightening concept. I have thought of this phrase often in the years since I began studying A Course in Miracles. Certainly when we live closely with another, there will be times when that person, as well as ourselves, will be overwrought. And being overwrought is a form of distress. The person is agitated and stressed, and when one is stressed, anger often follows as a result of the stress. Indeed, as I told mentioned previously in this blog, I never get angry unless I am stressed. Other people often have the same ego dynamic. And so we ought to recognize that what we know about ourselves may be shared by others with the same ego dynamics. Yes, it is not good to attack, but in this flawed egoic world, we may attack and we may know attack from our brothers and sisters. If we have enough love in our hearts (and all of us do), we will not hold against another what he or she cannot help at the time.

5 – Extend the Pardon

So extend the same pardon that you would want if you were distressed. There is no better way. Forgiveness is the hallmark of ACIM. And love closely follows. But never forget that the distress to which we are subjected need not be taken inward. We know enough now to know that anger and attack are never justified. We do not stuff downward our own anger and attack, but neither do we vent it. We take ourselves apart and commune with God until we are quiet once again. Then will all be well.

6 – Mari Perron

Mari Perron, the scribe of A Course of Love, believes that when we have walked further along the pathway, the pathway that ACOL points out, we are no longer living in illusion. Certainly ACIM’s “real world,” seen upon Awakening, is reality based in love and forgiveness. Thus this is not illusory. But when we are studying ACIM, many of us have not yet walked far enough toward Awakening to be catching glimpses of the real world. We may truly be caught in an egoic illusion, or maya (an Eastern concept). And at such times, we must have the will to apply forgiveness or pardon when we are attacked. The other person knows no better—yet. The time will come when he or she, and well as ourselves, will know better. And then the glorious truth of who we are will open up to us. We are Sons and Daughters of God, the Christ Self within (from ACOL). And we will, in that state, freely offer pardon to all our brothers and sisters, as well as to ourselves.

Affirmation: “Forgiveness is the natural reaction to distress that rests on error.”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Sometimes I am confronted with people who seem to react irrationally. I can get myself all bent out of shape trying not to offend them. But if a person is truly neurotic, all of my thoughts are not helpful. They have gone deep into insanity, and for the moment may not be open to rationality.

I do not want to lose myself in the ego’s madness. I do not want to be troubled by things that I cannot help. It takes great learning to know when and where to help if the situation is difficult. The best that I can always do is to depend on You for guidance.

And I do so today. Thank You for the green light that will come on when it is time for me to act.

Amen.

What Do You Want to Do with Your Life?

Beautiful-Art-Paintings-By-Renoir
“Illusion has at its base a false cause and so no effects that exist in truth. Now your every thought and action will have effect and the choices that lie before you will be choices of where your thoughts and actions will have the greatest effect. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 20.1)”

Affirmation: “I am living in reality now, in truth.”

Reflections:

1 – Mari Perron

This passage for today helps to explain why the scribe of A Course of Love, Mari Perron, believes that once we have walked the pathway, we are not lost in illusion any longer. Now our thoughts have effects, for our thoughts are lived in truth, in reality, in the real world. So we must choose where our thoughts and actions will have the greatest effect. What do we want to do with our lives?

2 – Happiness and More

Maybe we want to be happy. Is that laudatory? Yes, it is, but it may not be enough. Jesus calls to us to lead other people to him, the selfsame call that has followed people through the ages. How might we lead others to Jesus without proselytizing, which we have been told is not desired? We can lead by an informed example, but we must be careful that the ego does not rear its ugly head when we seek to be a good example.

3 – Being Religious

I sometimes think that religious people have a greater calling to lead a good life than anybody else. Who would want to emulate us if they see our clay feet? If we are dishonest, then we dishonor the God whom we serve. And we will not draw others to us. They will see through us, and they will see that we do not walk the talk.

4 – Guidance

Choose today how we would follow Jesus. Let us make decisions about how we will live, knowing all the while that good intentions are never enough. We need guidance, and let us first ask for that guidance when we seek to know what we want to do with our lives.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I seek your guidance today. What specific ways would You have me live my life today and every day in the future? What goals would You give to me? I try to be Yours. And I need Your assistance in knowing how to go with the flow in everyday life.

Help me to truly give up on the ego. I cannot follow You well if I am consumed with how everything is affecting my personal self. I would live the way that my Self would indicate, and for that I need to respond without ego to the people and places in my life.

Be with me today. Take fear from me, for surely fear is an indication that I am still kowtowing to the ego. I know that Jesus has said in A Course of Love that the ego is gone. Give me that reassurance today, as surely as I seek to drop egotism from my repertoire of emotions.

Amen.

Answer to All Our Dreams

Autumn Effect at Argenteuil, by Claude Monet, 1873“Accept one ‘part’ or tenet of the truth and see the reverse take place. See how quickly the thought system of the truth build upon itself and forms a real and true interrelated whole. What forms the house of truth is love eternal and it has always encompassed you, even unto encompassing the house of illusion that you made to obscure it from yourself. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 16.17)”

Affirmation: “Love eternal has always encompassed me.”

Reflections:

1 – Neurotic Funks

We so often do not let ourselves be comforted. We get in a neurotic funk, we get angry and attack, we worry—and all of this is so unnecessary. Yet here in the passage for today Jesus assures us that even in illusion we have been surrounded by love eternal in the house of truth.

2 – Truth vs. Illusion

Jesus’s use of the terms “house of truth” and “house of illusion” can be somewhat confusing, and I think that if we find the “house” metaphor an impediment, we can simply think of both truth and illusion in contrast to each other. We know that we have been living an illusion here. But there is a way to step out of this illusion, and we do so when we awaken. And Awakening, or Christ-consciousness within the elevated Self of form is where we want to head.

3 – Mari Perron

We have not always welcomed truth. That is the reason that we have been caught in illusion. There is no way to know if the “reality” that we experience once we are Christ-conscious is yet another illusory world, but just a better one. Mari Perron, scribe of A Course of Love, has spoken on her belief that at such a time we step away from illusion. I respect her belief, and she knows much, having walked far along the pathway.

4 – God’s Way

Why would we make a world of illusion to obscure the truth from ourselves? We may never know in this lifetime, honestly. But we can catch glimpses. We thought that we made a way that we would like more than God’s way for us. And we were so wrong. God’s way is the best right way that we can go, and it is the answer to all of our dreams.

5 – No Better Way

There is no better way to walk than from the house of illusion into the house of truth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Let me, help me, walk from illusion into truth today, though I know that “truth” is a slippery concept. Many in our world think that You rubber stamp their version of truth, and yet that version of truth hurts people, sometimes drastically. I would know today that nothing of the truth is anything but healing to another. And may I live the way that will be healing to others.

Thank You for my blessings! Most recently you have soothed me and given me good sleep and rest. I need to “knit up the raveled sleeve of care.” And I do so when You watch over me at night. Thank You.

Amen.

Change that Even Angels Could Not Bring About

hass - pennsylvania impressionist“How difficult it is to believe that you need not change the world but only your own self. How difficult to imagine that this one change could bring about all the changes you would imagine that even an army of angels could not bring about. While such a thought remains inconceivable to you it will not come to be. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 8.8)”

Affirmation: “I need change only myself today.”

Reflections:

1 – Comparison to Traditional Christianity

The passage for today actually suggests a similarity to traditional Christianity, the personal salvation that will reach and change the world. But it is not the social gospel. We must change ourselves first through a personal commitment to God, and, in traditional Christianity as in A Course of Love, this commitment extends to Jesus as our leader and savior.

2 – Change Ourselves

If we can change ourselves, we will walk a new earth. This is a tenet of A Course in Miracles as well as ACOL. We will see things differently, entirely differently. We project that which is within, and when the within is informed by the Christ Self, that projection changes accordingly. And we dream the happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings (from the Workbook of A Course in Miracles), at least until Awakening beckons. And then we are in the real world, a concept that is never defined very precisely, but which we can intuit is a shining world awash with joy.

3 – No Idle Fantasy

How can we change ourselves? It could be argued that we are in the driver’s seat on this one, but we have plenty of assistance. Jesus himself will assist us. We need only imagine that he is holding our hand as we walk along the pathways of this world. And this will be no “idle fantasy.”

4 – Changing the World

We imagine that we need to change the world, but we will be curiously inept until we change ourselves. Other people, the ones we are trying to help, will see through us, knowing that our hearts are not right. And they will be helped only superficially, if at all. When we change our hearts to be in league with God, we will know success as we seek to change the world.

5 – Mari Perron

Mari Perron, the scribe of A Course of Love, seems to me to be particularly interested in seeing changes in our world. This is perhaps a difference between Mari and Helen Schucman (the scribe of A Course in Miracles). Their times were different, and Helen kept her involvement with ACIM a secret; even the channeling was not mentioned at her funeral. Mari is actively speaking for A Course of Love, to great benefit to our world.

6 – Personal Salvation vs. Salvation of the World

This question of personal salvation vs. salvation of the world is a controversial one. Here A Course of Love says definitively that no lasting change will occur in this world until we ourselves are changed first. Then our efforts, and only then, will bear fruit.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

All too often I want to make a greater change in this world than I am capable of doing. I know that only when I change myself will any action in the world bear fruit. This is the message of ACIM and ACOL, as well as traditional Christianity. It is a step removed from the social gospel, but changes do occur in this world when our own hearts are right. And we will be zealous then in making those changes.

Thank You that there is no conflict in changing myself and changing the world. But I must change myself first, and that is not my doing only. You are there every step of the way; You make the changes, with my consent.

Thank You for the joys that You are giving me every day. Thank You for being there for me. And thank You for the smooth path on which I walk. Even struggles take on a different hue when I realize that You are there for me in the midst of them.

Amen.

No Reason to Be Afraid

monet - japanese bridge2“The Christ in you has no need to plan. A need to come to know. . .yes. But a need to plan. . .no. The Christ in you needs not for you to choose a lesson plan, but to let life itself be your chosen way of learning. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 10.19)”

Affirmation: “May I do no planning today.”

Reflections:

1 – No Need to Plan

Jesus warns against planning, first, in A Course in Miracles. In a little-known section of ACIM, he indicates that the way to lose one’s way to salvation is to attack, to judge, and to plan against contingencies to come (unless planning has been informed by the Holy Spirit). We can recognize that all three of these–attack, judging, and planning–are defenses against an uncertain future, a future that we don’t want to be uncertain. We are scared.

2 – Fear the Future?

But do we really have to fear the future? If we are dreaming the happy dreams that the Holy Spirit brings, we will walk a smooth path. And, in A Course of Love, the dreams give way to (at least) glimpses of reality. Mari Perron, who channeled ACOL, believes that in the time of Christ we are no longer living dreams. She believes that we thrust into the real world, as indicated by ACIM as well as the “reality” of ACOL. If so, we really do not need to choose the defense of planning. We do not need to make a lesson plan out of our lives. We just need to live our lives and therein to learn from our lives.

3 – Learn through Life

So we are to learn through life itself. Actually, has not this always been the case? Many spiritual writings, though not all, believe that we are in a school room on earth. Psychic writers have said this as well. (Notably, Neale Donald Walsch in Conversations with God does not see the earth as a school room.) Whether or not we are actually in school is not a question with which we need to preoccupy ourselves. We do not need to let theology delay us, for all of us will never agree on theological points.

4 – Next Step

We do need the universal experience, though, and that is life itself. We do not give up planning entirely, if we have to catch a plane, for example (as detailed by Eckhart Tolle in a CD entitled “Even the Sun Will Die”). But we do not make sweeping generalizations about our life’s course. The next step is really what we need to know. And that next step will enter our minds unfailingly when we ask for guidance, either from the Holy Spirit (if one is following A Course in Miracles) or the Self/Christ (if one is following A Course of Love).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would realize today that my fears have always been ungrounded. What I need to know comes to me in the moment, not from extensive defensive planning. I do not have to be afraid of anything. Even if the worst that I contemplate comes to pass, You are here for me. And that is all that I really need to know.

Be with me today as I seek to leave social anxieties behind. And all other anxieties as well.

There is no reason to be afraid. May I never lose sight of this truth.

Amen

Mary

rouen cathedral

“Illusion is the death you need but arise from.  Arise and awaken to your resurrected self!  There is no longer a god-head to follow into paradise.  Take not the example of any of these and know instead the example of woman, of Mary, Mother of God.  (Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 8.9)”

Affirmation:    “What would Mary do?”

Reflections:

1 – Mary in ACOL

Jesus does not mention Mary in A Course in Miracles.  But she plays a pivotal role in A Course of Love.  She is said to emphasize the life of “being” as opposed to the more active life of Jesus, which was “doing” (from ACOL).

2 – The God-Head

I think that the description in the passage of the god-head is meant to encourage us not to see God as an external figure who will usher us, after we die, into heaven (if we, presumably, have so merited).  These ideas are partially derived from traditional Christianity, which has a theology of a God Who stands outside His creation, His handiwork.

3 – ACIM and ACOL Differ

A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are different in philosophy.  We are all enclosed in God’s umbrella Self.  There is nothing outside.  Indeed, as in a hologram, there is nothing outside ourselves (the latter from the Text of ACIM).  For the whole is in each part.

4 – Theology

But, again, do not let theology delay you.  If these ideas feel foreign to you, you do not have to believe them to experience the value of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

5 – Mary

Mary incorporated in herself the more passive elements of God, the “being” rather than the “doing.”  She gave birth to Jesus, and nowhere in A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love does Jesus deny the Virgin Birth.  Yet we are not required to take any particular beliefs that are theological unto ourselves if we have doubts.  We are encouraged that Jesus takes us where we are, and guiding us by holding our hands, he leads us onward.

6 – Mari Perron

Mary is a great icon of the Roman Catholic faith.  Her mention is ACOL may in part have been that Jesus channeled the trilogy through Mari Perron, who is herself Catholic.  As with all channeled works, Jesus speaks first to the one who is receiving the material.  But Helen Schucman, who scribed A Course in Miracles, was also Catholic (though Jewish), and Jesus does not mention Mary in ACIM.  Perhaps we are ready to see men and women as equally important to the furtherance of salvation.  And so Mary takes her place, in ACOL, beside Jesus.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I spend much time today just “being” instead of doing.  May I reflect on the part that Mary played in the life of Jesus, and may I learn from her.

Be with me today through thick and thin.  You have always been there for me, even when I sensed nothing of Your presence.  I would sense Your presence today.  May I walk in Your way, as always.

Amen.

Give Up Difficulty for Ease

P1050504 - impressionism

“Let me be clear.  The seeming lack of difficulty in this course is where its difficulty lies.  To give up difficulty for ease is more than some egos are willing to accept.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “May I know ease today.”

Reflections:

1 – Ease

Reading A Course of Love should be a task full of ease.  The difficulty arises when we try to study it as we study other courses of study, including A Course in MiraclesA Course of Love is more abstract, which is the means by which our hearts are engaged.  We do not have to study, and, if we try, we will go astray.  We will also be greatly frustrated if we try to study it as a textbook.  This is not the right approach at all.  Just let the words drift into your mind, stopping for nothing, taking deep thought for nothing.  Repeated readings will get the gist of it into your heart, actually by bypassing the mind (which wants to analyze).

2 – Beauty of the Language

The beauty of the language is enthralling.  When we let the words flow over us, we are captivated by the content as well, though we may not recognize this at first.  We may think, and rightly so, that we are missing a lot, or that we are reading things that we do not fully understand.  As we move closer to Awakening, the words will begin to make more sense to us, and without any strain at all.

3 – The Ego

Our egos continue to get us into trouble.  The ego wants to make everything hard that is actually meant to be easy, because its rule is to seek but not to find (an ACIM tenet).  Try to loosen the ego’s hold on our minds, but not by overtly resisting it, for resistance makes the ego strong.  The ego is strong in strife (another ACIM tenet).

4 – Easy Reading

A Course of Love is actually easy reading, much easier than A Course in Miracles.  Mari, the scribe, listens with her heart perhaps more than her mind, and Helen (ACIM scribe) listened to her mind.  This approach is exactly what Jesus needed in channeling to the two individuals, for ACOL is to the heart what ACIM was to the mind.

5 – ACIM and ACOL

We will do well when we realize that, after ACIM and now as we consider A Course of Love, we are ready to listen to our hearts.  They know without demanding proof of everything.  They lead us aright.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose ease today, especially in reading A Course of Love.  I wish no more to be frustrated by the fact that my mind cannot study ACOL as it did A Course in Miracles.  

May this day morph into one of ease.  May my heart inform my mind that egoic influences are dead in me.  And may that deadness be true.

Amen.

How to Read A Course of Love

water and sailboats - images“Listen to the words as if they are spoken to you, for such they are.  Listen as you would listen to a friend in conversation.  Listen simply to hear what is being said.  Listen simply to let the words enter you.

“This is recommended for your first reading of this Course.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “Let me read ACOL as I would listen to a friend.”

Reflections:

1 – Don’t Study

It is hard to study A Course of Love.  We are told in this passage for today that such studying, such learning, is not necessary–or even desired.  It is preferred that we listen lightly to what we read, that we let the words come into us in what I would describe as an abstract way.  We are learning through observation, not study, and observation is the new way of learning in the new world of Christ.

2 – Mari

Learning in an abstract way may be frustrating to us.  Indeed, I found it frustrating, for I was used to the real study that A Course in Miracles required.  Different people respond differently.  Mari herself (the scribe of A Course of Love) said that she had forgotten much of what was in ACIM, despite reading it seven times before channeling A Course of Love.  Her mind is simply different from that of some of us.  And in her case, we can be glad indeed!  Otherwise, Jesus’s wise words might never have reached us at all.

3 – Relax

So let us relax as we read A Course of Love.  A calm and tranquil spirit will find all that we need to find in such relaxation, such easy reading.  Do not think that you have to catch it all on the first reading.  Jesus recommends repeated readings in this addendum.

4 – Gentle and Easy

The conversation with a friend, which reading A Course of Love compares, is gentle and easy.  Let us be gentle and easy as we seek to incorporate into our hearts all that ACOL says to us. Then and only then will we be ready for the wholeheartedness that is largely the goal of A Course of Love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

As I read A Course of Love, help me to approach it in an easy and relaxed way.  May the words wash over me without effortful thinking.  You mean for us to assimilate ACOL differently from A Course in Miracles.  I thank You that we are farther along on the pathway home.  May I find the right approach to enlarge my understanding and to truly hear the words that this trilogy conveys.

Be with us this day to keep as calm as ACOL would have us be.  Just as ACOL is meant to be read from a serene viewpoint, may I carry this attitude over to interactions with people as well as books.  Be with me for a day that will make for great strides toward home to You.

Amen.

Tenderness

camille-pissarro-harvest“And each learning experience will be a learning experience because it will touch your heart. . . .You may feel as if everything makes you want to cry because everything will touch you, each lesson will feel tender.  Unlearning has no harshness about it.  If you simply allow it to come, it will reward you constantly with what can best be described as tenderness.  (A Course of Love, 24.1)”

Affirmation:  “I invite tender thoughts to my day.”

Reflections:

1 – Being Vulnerable

The tenderness that Jesus speaks of in the passage for today is not, perhaps, a wholly welcome feeling.  We feel too vulnerable when we are feeling tenderness.  But our heart is softening, and we are sometimes close to tears as we contemplate the gentleness with which God treats us.

2 – More Desired Emotion

Yet tenderness is a much more desired emotion than is harshness.  Tenderness is of love, and harshness is of fear.  And love will crowd out fear.  The more tender we are, the more open our hearts are to the blessings of God.  And we ourselves help in the process of gaining a better life, for like attracts like, and we find ourselves without the will to condemn, a will that ruined things for us as well as the others whom we sometimes condemned.

3 – Allow Tenderness to Envelop

We need to allow this tenderness to envelop us.  We need to welcome the vulnerable part of our hearts, the part that makes us want to cry–for it is indeed a tragedy that we have walked this earth for so long in such a bad fix.  We felt separated from God, and we blamed ourselves for this sense of separation.  But what is part of God (we ourselves) can never actually have been separate.  God has been waiting patiently, while we had our adolescent rebellion against him.  As His communication channels with us open once again, after eons of being asleep to the knowledge of Him, we are welcomed back with just this tenderness that we are experiencing.

4 – A Softened Heart

There is no mystery here.  We know, if we think about it, that we like a softened heart.  We feel love that way.  And it feels good to feel love.  May our days go better as we let this knowledge–for it is knowledge, not perception–become an intimate part of our assessment of our lives.  When we are happier, we will be in a better position to reach out to others in our lives, to make their lives go better as well.  We do not reach out, if our advances are unwelcome.  But we stand ready to help when others express an interest in our lives and in what we believe.

5 – Charmed Lives

It may seem sometimes, in this process, that we ourselves are living charmed lives.  But those who do not know why will wonder what gives us the joy.  If they ask, we can respond, in as kindly a way as possible.  Our lives are no more charmed than the lives of others who have seen the same light that we have.  And that light is within us all.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

As I live more mindfully, I will react from a tender spot in my heart.  This is You softening my harshness, and I do only welcome this change.  If I cry, You will cry with me.  You will soften my heart to gentleness and lovingness, and all will be well.  I will live a charmed life, as will all who listen carefully to You.  Thank You.

I welcome this time of tenderness.  Having met Mari, who scribed A Course of Love, I know that she lives tenderness, and she is a good role model for what Jesus was trying to tell us in this remarkable trilogy.  Be with us as we would all seek to be more like Mari, who heard the words first.  She lives a quiet life, and it is in quietness that You are heard most consistently.

Be with me today as I seek to be attentive, ever more attentive, to the significant others in my circle.  Thank You for the camaraderie that I know in everyday life.  The camaraderie and the love.  You are blessing me tremendously, and for that I thank You.  I ask You to bless, in a similar way, all of my brothers and sisters in this world.  May what I say in this blog touch their hearts, and it will be You touching their hearts.

Amen.

Jesus Is Speaking in A Course of Love

“But if your joining with Christ is the accomplishment and completion oif all lessons, who is he who provides the lessons?  This is Jesus.  (A Course of Love, P.38)”

Affirmation:  “May I listen to Jesus today.”

Reflections:

1 – Jesus Speaking to Mari

I feel more certain than not that the one who sent A Course of Love to Mari Perron was indeed Jesus.  Perhaps Jesus will not be disappointed that I do not affirm with certainty that he is speaking, for there have been many scribes since Helen Schucman who believed themselves to be channeling Jesus.

2 – The Language of ACOL

The proof is in how the words, the material of A Course in Love, reacts on me.  I do not find questionable passages.  Like A Course in Miracles, the words ring true.  And certainly I trust Mari Perron in her belief that the channeler was Jesus.  I have interviewed her and found her credible and overwhelmingly sincere, and she is a mystic (in my opinion) with a humble attitude that shows no arrogance.

3 – A Channeled Work

These words were indeed channeled, and the individual coming through to Mari said that he was Jesus.  At this point (and this has been true for a long time), this is enough for me.  I feel drawn to A Course of Love as to no work since A Course in Miracles.  And so I will do what I can to introduce A Course of Love to individuals who may find in the work the next logical step after ACIM.  Perhaps Jesus has unfinished business with us, and wants to carry us beyond what A Course in Miracles, channeled in the sixties, could do.  I would like to think that.  And I pray that I would mislead nobody.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When Jesus speaks, may we listen.  This has been true for multitudes of people in the last 2,000 years.  And I believe that he is speaking in A Course of Love.

Be with us as we seek to learn together what he would tell us.  And may nothing that we say or do ever reflect poorly on his message.

Amen.

Beginning Today to Consider A Course of Love

“The separated self or the ego does not learn.  Even when the ego has taken many courses and received many teachings, the ego has not learned but has merely become threatened.  (A Course of Love, P. 3)”

Affirmation:  “I would have my ego threatened out of existence.”

Reflections:

1 – Beginning A Course of Love

Today begins a six-month consideration of the first volume of A Course of Love, channeled by Mari Perron and first published in 2001.   Mari’s belief, which many share with her, is that this is a sequel to A Course in Miracles, meant to draw together many of the ideas that Jesus wants to impart to us.  ACIM dislodged the ego, but some of us have been somewhat “stuck” since that happened, and A Course of Love appeals to both the mind and the heart, in concert with each other, to let us know that we really do not have to keep seeking.  We are learning, though, in the first volume.  This first volume, in my opinion, can be read even by those who have not been students of A Course in Miracles, because Jesus lays the groundwork for the three-volume A Course of Love by drawing comparisons with A Course in Miracles.  This blog will attempt to do the same, drawing parallels when doing so seems particularly appropriate to me personally.

2 – Seeking

Those of us who have spent our lifetime seeking do know of what  passage for today speaks.  There always seems to be another thing to learn, another book to read, another spiritual tradition to explore.  But we find in A Course of Love that this is the time for an end to seeking.  For us, Jesus is the Way, and he has spoken in the three volumes of A Course of Love to encourage us to stop our mindless exploration, to stop tantalizing the ego with yet another way.  We have our way, and that way, if we believe that A Course of Love is a sequel to A Course in Miracles, that in these two works, we have our way.

3 – ACIM Dispels the Ego

A Course in Miracles spent much time trying to dispel the hold that the ego had on our minds.  Now, in A Course of Love, we are encouraged to get beyond the ego, once and for all.  We are ready for the message of complete acceptance that Jesus offers to us, however marred we still think we are because of mistakes made and perhaps not recognized.  We are even told in A Course of Love that we do not need to worry so much about “perfection.”  Just as we were told in ACIM that Jesus will stand at the end to correct any mistakes that we ourselves cannot correct, A Course of Love (ACOL) states this promise in even stronger terms.

4 – Embraced by Jesus

So we find ourselves at the beginning of the first volume in the trilogy of A Course of Love.  We will find ourselves comforted, even embraced by Jesus.  Let us learn what we finally need to learn, and then let us realize that the time of learning is close to an end.  And then let us rejoice!  We have our pathway.  We need no others.  ACIM and ACOL will lead us home.

5 – Welcome Comments

I welcome your comments as we proceed with A Course of Love.  You will find, as I have, a certainty of salvation that even A Course in Miracles lacked.  Jesus says that we are the “Accomplished,” even though we ourselves believe that the ego is still in ascendancy.  The ego may be in ascendancy, but this problem is readily alleviated.  As we will see.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I learn what I still need to learn, and then may I be satisfied.  I plan to cease my constant seeking, as Jesus has reassured me that I now know enough to live well.  Thank You for this.

May my ego wither away.  None of needs an ego, in the sense that Jesus defines it, and we will learn through observation all that we need to know.  The time is now.  And I pray that I am ready.

Amen.

A COURSE OF LOVE: REVIEW I

Scribed by Mari Perron.  To order, visit <http://acourseoflove.com&gt;.

This review covers the first volume in the series of three volumes.

Review by Celia Hales.  Revised with new title.  Previously published in Miracles magazine (publisher Jon Mundy).  

A Course in Love is believed to answer questions that earnest seekers still have despite careful study of A Course in Miracles.  The framework is the same; the author (Jesus), the same.

Some of us who have studied ACIM and emerged with weakened egos have, in the words of A Course of Love, “rejected” ourselves.  We think that to claim our rightful place of identity with the Christ within lacks humility.  A Course in Love (ACOL) says that such an attitude is actually borne of fear.  “You prefer selflessness to self because this is your chosen way to abolish ego and to please God.  (P.20)”  But now we approach “final learning through the realm of the heart.  This is where the confusion ends.  This is why we call this course A Course of Love.  (P.44)”

I interviewed Mari Perron, who channeled this work, for this book review.  She is a genuinely humble individual who is articulate and very attuned to the values of ACIM.  Much about the initiation of ACOL can be found on her web site (http://www.acourseoflove.com).  Those who have studied A Course in Miracles were identified to her as the best audience of the Course of Love series, because they are ready for it.  Indeed, the works, three in all, were presented to Mari as “another Course in Miracles.”  It is true that others have believed themselves to be channeling for Jesus in the years since ACIM; I make no judgment about any of these works, but do encourage you to check out ACOL.

If there is a single difference between A Course in Miracles and  A Course of Love, it is this:  ACIM, through the Holy Spirit, brought comfort to the mind; ACOL seeks to bring comfort to a troubled heart.  (2.15)  And this comfort is by identity with the Christ within, a source not for pride but solace brought to us by Jesus himself who embraces us with love.

There is an assumption winding its way through ACOL that how dare we be happy when all about us is such unhappiness and injustice in the world.  ACOL‘s answer is that we claim our power by following our internal guidance to do good in the world.  We cannot know what to do ourselves; even to try would be to strengthen the ego.  We are meant to be in union, and with this the heart intercedes.  (5.20)  “Those who would not change the world one iota through their constant effort, in peace create the world anew.  (6.17)”

ACOL bids us feel joy, noting that all often we prefer to be serious:  “You are looking for the rest and quiet joy that only comes from love.  (12.5)”

The thesis of A Course of Love can perhaps be summed up in the following sequence of ideas:

A wholehearted choice to abandon all ideas of glorifying the separated self and to let the world be what it is, will begin the transformation.  This requires the first unification, the unification of mind and heart, after which unification with God is naturally returned to our awareness, but this unification returns us to the Christ in us and the one mind united with God that we have never left.  Creation’s power then returns to us to help all the separated ones remember union.  (19.4)

ACOL is a very comforting book.  Jesus bids us come into his embrace and be safe.  (20.2)  “The embrace makes one of two.  (20.7)”  He continues, “The embrace can be likened to the starting point of a shared language, a language shared by mind and heart and by all people.  (21.6)”

Jesus bids us to be the Self that we truly are, the Christ within.  This is not egotism, but the truest clarity.  And this Self is known through relationship, through union.  It is a time of “great humility.  Of wearing the face of Christ for all to see.  (28.8)”

Those who have loved A Course in Miracles will find much solace in A Course of Love.  Like ACIM, ACOL too must be read attentively and also slowly, but when approached with an open mind and a thoughtful heart, this book in the A Course of Love series merits my unreserved recommendation.

May Heaven Be Restored to Us

ACIM Workbook Lesson 252 – for Friday, September 9, 2011

Affirmation:  “The Son of God is my Identity.”

“My Self is holy beyond all the thoughts of holiness of which I now conceive. . . .Its strength comes not from burning impulses which move the world, but from the boundless Love of God Himself.

“Father, You know my true Identity.  Reveal It now to me who am Your Son, that I may waken to the truth in You, and know that Heaven is restored to me.  (WB420)”

Reflections:

We would have Heaven restored to us, and the sense in which the prayer for today encourages this, is the sense that Heaven can begin while we are still in this world.  We can indeed know “Heaven on earth,” though this may not be a constant state.  We will return to “lowly paths of learning” (an ACIM quotation), but we have been to the heights.  A Course of Love carries this understanding a step farther.  We are led to a mountaintop experience, and we are told that we are not meant to take this climb repeatedly.  Some of us, I would intuit, are never satisfied when we are not yet perfect.  Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that he stands at the end, to correct the mistakes that we ourselves could not correct.  A Course of Love makes plain that he is our equal (by this time), and that our learning time is over.  A Course in Miracles, as the first set of books, does not go this far.  (A Course of Love is seen by some as a sequel, channeled by Jesus to Mari Perron, to help us farther along the pathway.)

Our holy Self is not something that we can understand fully.  We do not know the Self because we are too caught up in the little self that thrives and also despairs in this world.  But we would move to knowledge (not perception) of this Self by communion with God in these Workbook lessons.  We are coming closer to God’s Way.  We will soon be out of the woods of the ego’s wily ways.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to respond to You and to others in this world with love and understanding of where all of us are coming from.  May we listen to You through Your Universal Inspiration, the Holy Spirit.  May we live today the compassion for others that you would have us exhibit.

I would do nothing today that I would regret later on.  Help me to see evermore frequent glimpses of the Heaven on earth that You intend for us.

Amen.

Walking in the Real World with My Brother

ACIM Workbook Lesson 250 – for Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Affirmation:  “Let me not see myself as limited.”

“He is Your Son, my Father.  And today I would behold his gentleness instead of my illusions.  He is what I am, and as I see him so I see myself.  Today I would see truly, that this day I may at last identify with him.  (WB418)”

Reflections:

This prayer is another example of the idea that we are all One, including being One with God.  Perhaps we are forgiving of another to the extent that we identify with him or her (not stated explicitly in ACIM).  Certainly identifying with another is a sure way to invite intimacy, a term used often by Mari Perron, who scribed A Course of Love and authored The Given Self.  We need the intimacy that Mari extols, because otherwise our sense of separation from each other in this world, and perhaps our perceived separation from God only is accentuated.  As we have noted previously, we have not separated from God; we have simply made illusions and lived in an illusory world.  We would return home to the real world as soon as our learning can take us there.  (And A Course in Miracles is very helpful to returning us to the real world.)

The real world is not defined precisely in ACIM.  We are told that our stay in that “place” will be of short duration, that shortly after we perceive the real world, God will act to awaken us.  We will then not be identified with God (unless we are not drawn to stay on earth any longer), but we will recognize ourselves as His Sons and Daughters.  We will embody the Self that we have been meant to be all along, before a “tiny, mad idea” came along about which we “failed to laugh” (the quotations are from ACIM).  When the tiny, mad idea came along, we thought that we wanted to have a will different from God’s, and, while we could not actually separate from Him, we could imagine that we had.  That was the beginning of our insanity.  ACIM does not state precisely when in our history this occurred, but does used the symbolic Adam to illustrate.  This first man fell into a deep sleep, and ACIM notes that nowhere in the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible) is it said that he awoke.  There has been no comprehensive Awakening in all the eons since, but we may be on the brink of a breakthrough.

Eckhart Tolle, an enlightened teacher (The Power of Now and A New Earth), sees himself as at the epicenter of a new Awakening.  Those who sense that enlightenment (another term for Awakening) is upon them frequently contact Eckhart for counsel.  He is arguably the most visible example of an Awakened individual in our midst, at least in that he talks openly and writes often about how we too might have what he has.  He quotes from A Course in Miracles, but his pathway to Awakening was one of pain rather learning through rewards (as ACIM counsels).  Jesus tells us in ACIM that pain can bring only a temporary effect, and that the lasting comes through rewards.  But Jesus also recognizes that pain is part of the human condition, as he says that the threshold for pain may be high, but that sooner or later all will recognize that there is a better way.  (These are paraphrases from the Text.)

One of the inheritances of the Son or Daughter of God is trust.  It is the one trait on which all the rest are built (an idea from the Manual).  We need to trust our God to join us a we seek to leave illusions behind and to experience the real world, with Awakening promised soon to follow.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would notice only the gentleness that is in the Self that my brother has, the inner Self that is as You created him.  And I would see this gentleness in the real world, which I hope that he and I will share sooner rather than later.  Help us to be good to each other in our holy relationship.  May my most significant other love me as I love him.  May we be there for each other, both under Your loving gaze at all times.

I would find You inwardly.  Please help me to understand this fully, and to project the best of You that I can reach within.  When I project the best, my perception is cleansed, and then my brother and I walk into the sunlight always.  Thank You for the many blessings that are ours today.

Amen.

Conclusion to “Treatise on the New”

“Make no mistake that what is asked of us is everything.  What is asked is our total willingness to abandon the old, our total willingness to embrace the new.  But also make no mistake that what is given to us is everything.  All the power of creation is released unto us.  Let us begin.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 12.36)”

Affirmation:  “embrace the new”

Reflections:

This is given by Jesus at the conclusion of “A Treatise on the New.”  We are ready to move into the Dialogues, which are meant to be a sustained conversation with Jesus in which we are seen as equals.  Unlike ACIM, he does not describe himself as our elder brother.  He does not describe himself as our teacher.  He is our companion on our life’s journey, and he remains there for us always.

In ACIM, we are bade to imagine that he takes our hand as we walk along, and we are told that this will be no “idle fantasy.”  May we believe this promise today.  We are not alone.  Not only is Jesus with us (which may take a suspension of disbelief), but also mighty companions whom we don’t know on this plane (an ACIM tenet).  If we knew what is available to us by way of help, we would never fear again.

May we never fear again, beginning today.

Prayer;

Dear Father/Mother,

I feel excited about the “new” that Jesus has promised, and for which he has prepared me.  May this upcoming year be a good one, and may I know that You are there for me always.

Thank you for the “Treatise on the New.”  And thanks to Mari Perron for channeling this writing.  May we share with our brothers and sisters, as they are ready to accept.

Amen.

Do We Have Free Will?

“Your finger does not act independently of the whole.  You might say that your finger does not, then, have free will. . . .The same is true of you!  You cannot express yourself independently of the whole! (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 5.8 – 5.9) ”

The concept of free will was long a challenge to me, until I read A Course in Miracles, and learned that God’s Will and my real will are one and the same!  What a glorious realization this is.

In A Course of Love, we see that, as in ACIM, we choose for the whole rather than our little self; we choose for all of our brothers and sisters when we make a God-inspired choice.  This helps to explain why “free will” doesn’t mean that we can miscreate and never reap the consequences.

We do have free will, but God has set the boundaries of our miscreations.  We cannot go outside these boundaries.  Pain becomes too great, and we learn, as Helen Schucman scribed in ACIM, that pain is not without limit.  Sooner or later we realize that there must be a better way.  This other way is what she and Bill Thetford sought to find, and Jesus gave them ACIM was the result.

Now we might say the same for Mari Perron and A Course of Love.  “Another Course in Miracles” was presented to her.  And she was willing to provide what many view as a sequel to A Course in Miracles.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I look to You for a full explanation of what my free will really is and what it means.  A very important concept, I realize that it is one that must be understood and understood fully.

Thank You for the explanation given us today in this passage from A Course of Love.  Thank You for the peace of mind that this passage gives me.

Amen.