Tag Archives: musings

Jesus in A Course of Love–Love’s Focus, the Heart

“This course was written for the mind—but only to move the mind to appeal to the heart. To move it to listen. To move it to accept confusion. To move it to cease its resistance to mystery, its quest for answers, and to shift its focus to the truth and away from what can be learned only by the mind.” (C:I.1)

This quotation seems, at first glance, to give primacy to the mind, as did A Course in Miracles. But the second part of the first sentence changes the purpose to appeal to the heart. So we are talking about a radical change in ACOL from the direction that Jesus took us in A Course in Miracles. In a sense, he had to appeal to the intellect in ACIM, because the ideas about the ego were so mind-dominated. We wouldn’t have listened to anything that seemed too soft, as the heart is apt to seem.

The heart is not soft and mushy, though, and especially not so when you consider that Jesus moves very shortly into a fusion of mind and heart into what he terms “whole-heartedness.” He at first appeals to the heart, so that we don’t become lost, once again, in egoic notions—that this Course can be learned through the mind, even the right mind untainted by the ego.

We focus on the “truth” in A Course of Love. While this can be a term fraught with misunderstanding and even controversy, we are here seeing the truth as understood by Jesus, putting us on very solid ground indeed. The mind by itself cannot learn this truth, and that is why so many of us have gotten stuck in reading A Course in Miracles. We have been trying, intellectually, to understand the difficult passages in ACIM. Jesus sees where we are coming from, and says, in effect, to put the mind aside for a while. Just focus on the heart, which doesn’t need the proofs that the mind demands. We believe in God in large part because of our heart’s leanings. No “proof” is good enough for a confirmed atheist. And no proof is needed by a believer who is listening to his heart.

This is what Jesus is about in A Course of Love. Love’s focus, the heart.

TWO – YEAR TEACHING UNIT ON A COURSE OF LOVE

Note: Today begins two years of focusing on A Course of Love, with a teaching unit that will go, page by page, through ACOL. (There will be some interludes of material with other themes.)

The “Place” of A Course of Love

The dictation Mari [Perron] scribed specifically referred to A Course of Love as a “continuation of the coursework provided in A Course in Miracles.” (A.4) It also stated:

“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.” (C:P.8)

Many of the individuals drawn to A Course of Love are seeking something further than A Course in Miracles, some further understanding that will take them to Awakening. It is almost as though Jesus had “unfinished business” with us after he saw that some of us were floundering following ACIM. So he went back to the drawing board, and the result is A Course of Love. Jesus in this work makes a great deal out of listening to our heart, which does not need proof as the mind does. Many of us were seeking for proof of Jesus’s words in ACIM, proof that we knew enough (with our minds) to reach Awakening.

But this is where we went wrong. The mind cannot think its way to enlightenment. The intellectual construct of A Course in Miracles may have led some of us to think this way. And Jesus gives us another way of seeing in ACOL. He says that the heart needs to coach the mind into a partnership, into a fusion of mind and heart that he calls “wholeheartedness.” This is the way out of the maze for us. This is our way home to God.

Many ideas build upon ACIM. We were encouraged to see our brother in ACIM as our way to salvation. We forgave him, and in the forgiving we moved into a new and better reality. In ACOL, we learn that we are meant to be sharing in this world. We are not meant to be isolated and alone, but in “unity and relationship” with all. Our relationships, the ones that become union, are our way home. And this idea is very, very similar to the “brother” concept of ACIM.

A Course of Love, though, can stand on its own, as we shall see as we first consider the original Course, the first part of the three-part Course. (The other two parts are the “Treatises” and the “Dialogues.”) The original Course acts as a summary of some of what we find in A Course in Miracles. The Treatises and the Dialogues are much more original in scope.

So let us begin a two-year consideration of A Course of Love. We will go through the book in order, though drawing parallels from the whole, as well as similarities and differences with A Course in Miracles and The Way of Mastery.

We Have a Loving and Compassionate God

“Remember, the heart must abide in the reality where you think you are. Only through your mind’s acceptance of your new reality has the heart been freed to exist in the new reality that is the state of unity and relationship.” (ACOL, Treatise on the New, 4.16)

Jesus stresses “unity and relationship” repeatedly in A Course of Love, so much so that we are apt to forget what he is really saying. We are One with All, but we are differentiated into parts, and these parts have relationship with each other. This includes everything, living and dead, but Jesus usually refers just to living things when he talks.

Our mind has been tutored by the heart, and therein a change has taken place. No longer egoic, the mind now joins with the trusting and loving heart to form what Jesus calls “wholeheartedness.” Our mind has thus accepted a new reality, and this new reality we all know in the fullness of unity and relationship.

“As your natural state returns to you through a heart and mind joined in unity, your body too will exist or abide within this natural state. It cannot help to, as it, just like your heart, exists in the state or reality in which you think you are. The only thing that has created an unreal reality for your heart and body has been the inability of the mind to join the truth with your conscious awareness.”

Our bodies are form, but they too join with us in unity and relationship. We heretofore lived in illusion, and there is some question about whether the physical is still illusion once we have reached Christ-consciousness, are seeing with new eyes, and living with unity and relationship. Certainly we have the reality of harmony, joy, peace, certainty, in a way that has been denied us previously. And these intangible blessings are not illusion.

“Your heart knows the reality of this truth, knows that this new reality is real and different from the reality of old. Ideally, mind and heart in union together accept this new reality and, with this acceptance, the heart is freed to dwell in the house of the Lord, the new world, the Kingdom that has already been prepared and so needs no preparation.” (ACOL, Dialogues, 1.6)

We are encouraged, once we have reached this new level of salvation, to accept our new reality. The heart, in particular, we see, is dwelling in the house of the Lord, of the House of Truth. And we are living in the new Kingdom of God. We don’t have to prepare to live in this kingdom, for it is our inheritance, saved for us for the days beyond which we will walk without the ego’s dragging us backward.

“Like all that was taught within this Course, this is a matter of all or nothing. You cannot accept part of one reality and part of another. You cannot accept, for instance, the compassionate and loving benevolence of the universe, of God, of the All of All, and still accept the reality of lack. You cannot accept that in the reality of unity all things come to you without effort or striving except money.” (ACOL, Dialogues, Day 3, 3.59)

Jesus talks about money in A Course of Love; he gets very practical. We can even, in the new reality, have financial means without effort or striving. If this seems to be “pie in the sky” thinking, reflect upon who it is who is saying this. And most of us trust Jesus to know what he is talking about.

We do not have to accept lack. The Kingdom of God, the House of Truth, is compassionate and loving. It bodes no ill for us. And in this new day, we find new ways to improve our financial situation, new ways that don’t include a struggle. Be alert to intuitive glimpses of what to do, where to be, and what to say. These will lead you to financial independence and a new day in money, so that lack is no more. We have learned all that we need to learn from lack. The universe is prompting us now to rest in its beneficence.

Turn Aside from Illusion in Favor of Truth

“Now you must imagine yourself walking outside of the doors of this house of illusion and finding a completely new reality beyond its walls. . . .Yet you soon will find that this new reality is known to you and requires no new learning at all.” (ACOL, Treatise on the Personal Self, 9.3)

Jesus goes into great detail about the house of illusion and the house of truth, saying that the house of illusion (where we have been living) is always contained inside the house of truth. Now that we are emerging from the house of illusion, we note that there are explosions within, that its foundation is crumbling. Once outside, though, we are encouraged (really told point blank) that we should not attempt to reenter the house of illusion. That is finished for us now, even though our loved ones may still reside there. We are to help while outside the walls of the house of illusion, residing in the house of truth.

“These words, truth and peace and love, are interchangeable in the house of truth as their meaning there is the same. These words, like the words House of Truth represent an awareness of a new reality, a new dwelling place.” (ACOL, Treatise on the Personal Self, 11.3)

Living in the House of Truth, we know truth, peace, and love in a way that we never have before. We are indeed in a new dwelling place and a new reality. We are living in a new world that we have helped to create.
Our lives will never be the same.

“How then, do you access and live within this new reality, this new beginning? Through living by the truth.” (ACOL, Treatise on the Personal Self, 15.12)

Jesus says a great deal about the “truth” in A Course of Love, but what he means may at first be obscure to us. He is setting truth aside, and opposite from, illusion. And we are very familiar with the concept of illusion, for we have lived this way for eons.

We live in this new reality, this new beginning, when we set aside illusion for all time. We are getting a fresh start.

And Jesus is right there by our side, helping us.

Miracles Appear Right Before Our Amazed Eyes

“Miracles create an out-of-pattern time interval. Thus living in a state of miracle-readiness is the creation of a new reality outside of the pattern of ordinary time. Although this state exists as the already accomplished, it is up to you to create it for yourself.” (ACOL, 6.9)

This quotation, about miracles, is part of the theology of A Course of Love, but it builds on the theology of A Course in Miracles. The salient point is the “out-of-time” aspect of miracles. Jesus first said in ACIM that he would arrange space and time to allow us to work the miracles that he picked out for us to work. Not any of us understand how he can do this, but he has said many other things that strain credulity, and I trust him on this. He follows up the ACIM assertion with this point in ACOL: “Miracles create an out-of-pattern time interval.”

What are we to make of this? Miracles are outside time and space. By the very nature of their occurrence, miracles are a one-time thing. And we don’t always know when we have performed a miracle. The miracle may mean something to somebody else, but with a lost meaning on us.

The time of that miracles take thus creates another reality, a new reality outside, as we have said, ordinary time. We must agree to work this new creation. We are not left out of the equation.

This state of miracle readiness is already accomplished, but our cooperation is necessary for the miracle to work. We have to be there. Then we will see changes in our world that we never dreamed of. The new world will be created right before our amazed eyes.

Knowing Does Not Entail Belief

“Thus the absence of good health is disease; the absence of peace is conflict, the absence of truth illusion. This belief does not accept that there is only one reality and that it must exist where you are.

“We are moving you now away from all such beliefs to a knowing that precludes the need for belief at all.

“Yes, I have said that contrast is a favored teaching device of the Holy Spirit. But I have not yet said that the time of the Holy Spirit is ending even though I have stated that the time of second coming of Christ is here.” (ACOL, 7.2 – 7.4)

Nowhere in A Course in Miracles nor A Course of Love does Jesus promise his physical return, through reincarnation or any other means.  But he does say, adamantly, that the time of the Second Coming is now.  What does he mean by this?

We can be assured that we are living in resurrected times, in the time of the resurrection.  This is another way of saying that our time to reach Christ-consciousness is at hand.  And we can also understand from reading ACOL that it is easier in this time to reach Awakening.  Others have longed for the time that we have now.  The “celestial speedup” that A Course in Miracles inaugurated is well underway.

So the bottom line is that we don’t know for sure what Jesus really means.  We must turn to our inner Christ Spirit to know if we are on the right track.  And keep in mind that we may be surprised by the ease with which we reach Christ-consciousness in this new day.  This may be the second coming of Christ that Jesus is talking about in A Course of Love.

We who live in the time of Christ, now, are living in the one true reality, a reality that exists where we are. We don’t have to learn by contrast any longer, though that was often the way of the Holy Spirit (whose time is past). Contrast highlighted the difference between the egoic way of life, and the way of life of the truth. The ego was not the truth, never and always. The way of the truth is the way of the wholehearted joining of mind and heart to a new reality of peace and contentment. We live in that reality that we choose, and choosing anew will benefit us mightily.

We can have good health, peace, and truth in our experience. We don’t have to experience the opposite of these blessings to experience fully. We can just know. And in the knowing we have found our way back. We are living the truth of existence once again. Never fear that we will be led astray, for such is not possible if we listen to the Christ Self who dwells within each of us.

Just as the Holy Spirit used to guide us, now the Self does so. The Self is also internal, just as the Holy Spirit was, and the change in terminology is a bit obscure. But the reason is that we are incorporating ever more closely the matters of God. We are joined with God, and we talk to Him without fear. No longer do we need an intermediary (Holy Spirit) because of our fear.

Our lives are certain now. We are contented. The drama of the past is over, and with good reason, for we have walked into the future with Christ. Our time of Christ has done this for us.