BE STILL IN SPIRIT

by Celia Hales

Note: This column has been recently published in the November – December 2018 issue of Miracles magazine (Jon Mundy, publisher; Eileen Katzmann, editor).

“If you speak from your spirit, you have chosen to ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.I.3:3)

“When action is seen to be necessary, this is exactly when a time of stillness is needed.” (ACOL, C:25.23:1)

We want to speak from our spirit, and when we do, we will not be cast downward in depression, “dispiriting” ourselves. Yet in this time before the ego is relinquished, we oscillate between spirit and ego. As we spend more time with our spirit, we will be welcoming Awakening. Our goal. The place we want to be. And when we speak from our spirit, we will be blessing ourselves and our brothers and sisters as well.

Jesus says that the quotation that begins, “Be still,” are inspired words, coming from knowledge. This is definitely opposed to what we have become accustomed to coming from, which is speaking from the ego. When we speak from the ego, in this dispiriting, and depression happens, we are seeing the reason that the world can seem at times to be such a very demoralizing place.

We will also find that, like Jesus, we want knowledge, as opposed to perception. In knowledge, we have a certainty about what we discover, whereas perception is so variable. When we know a thing, we relax in that knowledge. It is the easiest way to live, for we are listening to the Holy Spirit. We usually have to get quiet to hear His promptings, and getting quiet is something that we often fail to do in our busy lives. We may devote a while to devotionals, but then we head off into our work lives, and there busyness characterizes the day. In welcoming the promptings of the Holy Spirit, we listen to our intuition, what I have found to be the primary tool of the Holy Spirit in His attempts to reach us.

We have our own spirit, one that indwells, from a personal standpoint, with the all-embracing Holy Spirit. As we progress on to A Course of Love, this spirit is known as the Christ-Self. One with God, Who also dwells within, our minds are teased out of all thought as we seek to understand what can be glimpsed only intuitively.
Ask today that intuitive knowledge might be ours. We want to discover how to live well, and we can’t do that in hectic lives unless we take this time out that I am recommending. Our depressed spirit can be the catalyst for us to slow down. Ask today that we speak from the spirit, and in this, bless all others.

“And in all situations, no matter what another is doing, your first response will be to enter into the quiet stillness within and merely ask the Holy Spirit: What would you have me say?” (WOM, Bk. 1, Lesson 3)

In the relaxed, peaceful frame of mind and heart in which we find ourselves, we will know that we will say what guidance prompts. And at this point Awakening, for us, is but a moment away.

Ask to see a glimpse of Awakening today. Ask to be safe and secure in God’s arms.

Advertisements

DEVELOPING A RELIGION: A Review of Thomas Moore’s A Religion of One’s Own

Republished from Miracles magazine, July/August issue (Jon Mundy, publisher)

TITLE: A Religion of One’s Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World

AUTHOR: Thomas Moore

PUBLISHER: Gotham Books (Penguin Group)

REVIEWED BY: Celia Hales

Thomas Moore’s writings on the soul have a particular interest for students of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. And this book, A Religion of One’s Own, he views as a sequel to his well-known, well-recognized Care of the Soul. Notice the following quotation, a quotation that fits right in with the philosophy of ACIM and ACOL:

“Bliss is the joy that arrives when you are released from the pressure to be a small self. Bliss descends when you open yourself to life in all its abundance and breathtaking power and let it so suffuse you that you forget your worries about being somebody and justifying your life. You give in. You let life take over. You become a holy person instead of a secular egotist, and you then you discover that your holiness is the base of your own religion.” (89% through the kindle book)

A Course in Miracles affirms that happiness—another term that includes bliss—is one of the several functions that are given to us. (The other principal ones are forgiveness and salvation.) And A Course of Love strongly recommends giving up the little self and substituting the larger Self. Both ACIM and ACOL say that we must give up the ego.

I suspect that Moore has read A Course in Miracles, as have most religious leaders of today, but he does not lean on its philosophy to any real extent. The similarities to ACIM and A Course of Love are, instead, perennial wisdom with Moore’s particular take on today’s plight. The thesis of A Religion of One’s Own is that we have been living too much of a secular life, a life that has failed us, and it is mandatory that we overturn this tendency by sampling the rich heritage in religion, mythology, psychology that is available to us. Throughout this book, he gives hints of how to incorporate this heritage into our modern day life.

Moore’s ideas are sometimes startling. He gives a great emphasis to intuition, or what ACIM and ACOL would turn guidance. But he recommends somewhat magical techniques for ascertaining intuition, from casting runes to tarot cards to reading tea leaves. He sees these methods as practical ways of enhancing our intuitive leanings. He does not overlook the role of the psychic in utilizing these methods effectively. He sees dreams as a particularly effective way to give us direction in life, believing that a dream diary fits right in with a life of prayer, mediation, and quiet reading.

Moore returns to his favorite individuals in this book, building on a short list that he has developed in previous writing. His favorites are headed up by James Hillman, his mentor and the inspiration for much of his writing in the Neoplatonic tradition. Others cited include Emerson, Thoreau, Thomas Merton, Jung, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Moore builds from his counseling practice to give anecdotes from his patients, disguising their identities. He gives his wife great credit for helping him to live a monastic-like life outside of the monastery, but one that is erotic also. He believes that all of us would benefit from just such a peaceful retreat from the world, even as we go out daily from our retreat to earn our living.

Early in this book he affirms, “This new kind of religion asks that you move away from being a follower to being a creator.” (4% into the kindle edition) This is a primary emphasis of A Course of Love, in which we are encouraged to move into Christ-consciousness and then, by sustaining this new state of being, create a new world. Moore also affirms the value of waking up and staying awake, an emphasis of both ACIM and ACOL.

Yes, there is much in Moore’s latest offering to interest students of both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. He does use the concept of soul repeatedly, and this is a word that Jesus avoids, most of the time, in A Course in Miracles. But Moore says that we need a “religion that comes out of our hearts and minds and is tailor-made to our own values and sensitivities.” (5% into the kindle edition) Readers of A Course of Love will immediately recognize the similarities.

Moore’s writing invites soul in the Ray Charles tradition. His prose is often mesmerizing in its impact.
A Religion of One’s Own is an important book, fully promising an enthusiastic following in line with Moore’s earlier Care of the Soul. A wholehearted recommendation.

Is Reincarnation So?

1 – Not to Deal with Now

“Reincarnation would not, under any circumstances, be the problem to be dealt with now. If it were responsible for some of the difficulties the individual faces now, his task would still be only to escape from them now. If he is laying the groundwork for a future life, he can still work out his salvation only now. (M60)”

2 – Take No Stand

“For our purposes, it would not be helpful to take any definite stand on reincarnation. A teacher of God should be as helpful to those who believe in it as to those who do not. If a definite stand were required of him, it would merely limit his usefulness, as well as his own decision making. (M60)”

3 – Litmus Test?

Many people would use reincarnation as a litmus test for the validity of the Course, if we were to take a public stand on where we stand on this issue. Jesus is not interested in controversy, but only in what will work for us in our lives in a practical way. So he recommends that we avoid the question of reincarnation publicly, for to engage in debate would only lessen our usefulness.

4 – Jesus

Elsewhere Jesus says that the Course can be used by both those who believe in reincarnation and those who don’t. Jesus is not interested in theological interpretation, but only in the day-to-day lives of his followers. Elsewhere he says that there can be no universal theology, but a universal experience is necessary.

5 – Only Way? No

This universal experience he spells out in the Course. This is not to say that the Course is the only Way. It is one way that many people have now chosen for salvation in this world. And the introductory pages of the text say that this is a required course, with only the time that we take it to be voluntary. Our way is to have brothers and sisters in significant relationships–holy relationships–with ourselves. This eliminates the tedium of long hours spent in meditation. All special relationships, the Course says, are meant to become holy. This is the practical means that the Course is bringing us Home.

6 – Reversal of Thought

“It cannot be too strongly emphasized that this course aims at a complete reversal of thought. When this is finally accomplished, issues such as the validity of reincarnation become meaningless. Until then, they are likely to be merely controversial. (M61)”

7 – When It Is OK to Discuss Reincarnation

This passage gives the reason that we are not to discuss reincarnation unless we are with people of a like mind. We don’t need to invite controversy. I myself have tried very hard, over the years, to keep controversy out of my blog. My innate reaction is to avoid controversy, to keep life smooth, and I would like to feel that people who read my blog are looking for a calm reassurance that all is well.

8 – Our Witness

Controversy would just interfere with our witness. We don’t need to start arguments; we need to avoid them. We don’t have to dissemble, but we can be circumspect is what we say.

9 – ACIM Leaders

Leaders in the ACIM movement differ on how they feel about reincarnation. Based on his writing, I have concluded that Jon Mundy, publisher of Miracles magazine, does not believe in reincarnation. Most other leaders have not taken a stand, and so I don’t know how they feel. I find that I can read the words of ACIM two ways, and so there is much room for disagreement.

10 – Silence

But the benefit is that we don’t have to proselytize for our opinion. We can remain silent on this issue unless and until we are in a group of kindred spirits. Then we are encouraged to discuss reincarnation, if we so desire.

Dear Father/Mother,

Remind not to engage in controversy, because this will only limit my helpfulness. May I discuss reincarnation only in intimate circles of like-minded individuals. Publicly to take a stand on reincarnation might limit my usefulness.

I know that You will guide my speech. May I not be tempted to run ahead of Your guidance.

Amen.