An End to Wearying Ourselves

“When you feel tired, it is merely because you have judged yourself as capable of being tired. When you laugh at someone, it is because you have judged him as debased. When you laugh at yourself, you are singularly likely to laugh at others, if only because you cannot tolerate being more debased than others. All of this does make you tired, because it is essentially disheartening. You are not really capable of being tired, but you are very capable of wearying yourself.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.X.6:1-5)

Would it not be great incentive to know that there is a way to eschew tiredness?

Jesus says here that there is, that we have wearied ourselves by judging our world and the people in it. One way that we judge is by laughing at another, and even laughing at ourselves. Even if we call the laughter just a jest, it is still disheartening. Best to give up debasing other people, even as we give up debasing ourselves. There is a better way to live: Live and let live. Be magnanimous. Be tolerant.

We have wearied ourselves, and many times over the years. Now that we know what has caused this—judging ourselves and others—we can gently turn aside from this bad behavior.

And Awakening is more likely on the horizon, an added blessing indeed.

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A Gentler Way

“You have no idea of the tremendous release and deep peace that comes from meeting yourself and your brothers totally without judgment. If you will look back at the earlier remarks about what you and your brothers are, you will realize that judging them in any way is really without meaning. In fact, their meaning is lost to you precisely because you are judging them. All uncertainty comes from a totally fallacious belief that you are under the coercion of judgment. You do not need it to organize your life, and you certainly do not need it to organize yourself.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.X.4:1-5)

We need to flow gently with life, and we certainly don’t do that when we are caught up in resentments, judging negatively our brothers and sisters. When we blame them for presumed wrongdoings, we neglect to realize that we invited that wrongdoing into our lives. If we had not opened to it, the wrongdoing would not have happened, because we are in control of our own lives, however much it might seem that we are victims.

Leave judgment behind. If we don’t, we close the door to Awakening. Fear and judgment are the two emotions/actions that prevent us from coming into the ultimate in salvation. Is not our own Awakening worth giving up a debilitating emotion that limits us to feet of clay?

If we find that our mind dwells in resentment, we are damning ourselves.

Can’t we see this? Don’t we know that forgiveness is the way? Haven’t we studied A Course in Miracles enough to know this, through and through?

A gentle way is always superior to any other way. When we calm our mind and heart, we will realize this.

“I Think; therefore I Am”

“Descartes engaged in a very interesting teaching procedure, and one from which he himself learned a great deal. He began with doubting the existence of everything except himself. He insisted that his own existence was not open to doubt and rebuilt his entire thought system on the one premise, ‘I think, therefore I am.’ It is noteworthy that he arrived at accepting the entire system he originally doubted, solely on the basis of this one piece of knowledge. There was, however, a distinct shift in his own perception. He no longer questioned the reality of what he perceived, because he knew he was there.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.XI.11:1-6)

This piece about Descartes is new to the complete edition of A Course in Miracles. On one piece of knowledge, Descartes based his whole system of thought. He believed, basically, that he existed. This is even more fundamental than the aspect of thinking that is a part of his great revelation. “He knew he was there.”

We also know that we are here. We can extrapolate this understanding to greater knowledge if we realize that just one piece of information can set us free. This piece will differ from person to person, because our pasts are different, and so the healing of the unconscious that needs to happen will also differ. But when you come upon a piece of knowledge—and it will be knowledge—that is unassailable, then we must hang our hat on that. It will be enough.

Pray for the gleaning upon the mind of that piece of knowledge that will save. And then go out and teach it. Others will learn from our own revelation.

Following in Jesus’ Footsteps

“You would be right to maintain that this course is a prerequisite for any rightful course you may teach. However, you would really be saying much more than that. The purpose of this course is to prepare you for knowledge. So is the only real purpose of any legitimate course. All that is required of you as a teacher is to follow me.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.IX.8:1-5)

We are learning the way of A Course in Miracles, and in following its teaching, our own teaching will be set forward rightly. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are following in Jesus’s footsteps, taking his pathway, when we attempt to prepare ourselves for teaching.

Jesus is doing something for us, too, that is beyond simply the hope that we will bring others to salvation. He is introducing us to knowledge, as opposed to simple perception. When we truly know a thing, we will sense it in our depths. There will be no doubt.

Perceptual understanding is always open to doubt, because perceptual understanding is based on the variability of our personality, its past and the way that personality views things. Knowledge is of God in the end, and He is the Unmovable. His way is always certain, and when we open our mind and heart to that way, we will know that His way is certain.

Jesus: “I Have Made Every Effort to Teach You Entirely without Fear”

“The role of a teacher, properly conceived, is one of leading himself and others out of the desert. The value of this role can hardly be underestimated, if only because it was one to which I very gladly dedicated my own life. I have repeatedly asked my pupils to follow me. This means that, to be effective teachers, they must interpret teaching as I do. I have made every effort to teach you entirely without fear. If you do not listen, you will be unable to avoid the very obvious error of perceiving teaching as a threat.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.IX.6:1-6)

When we perceive teaching as a threat, we are living in fear. This is the exact opposite of what Jesus hopes for us, the exact opposite of what he intends. His words, when considered rightly, envelop us in a sense of love. We do not have to “accept” him for this to be true, but we do need to open our mind and open our heart, at least ever so slightly. When we live in harmony with love, we appreciate the truth in teaching, and we can become good teachers ourselves. No other way, no way other than love, can do this for us.

We are still making our way tentatively out of fear. There will be missteps, of course, but the way is still upward, toward love, away from fear. We are blessed by the channeled writings of Jesus. When we reflect on how we accept these teachings, we will realize that his love for us has been palpable. The love has drawn us in. And there is no better way to set our foot on the pathway back to God than to realize that a loving brother is leading us by the hand.

Open Our Heart to Parents & Friends

“Your parents probably did misperceive you in many ways, but their ability to perceive may have been quite warped, and their misperception stood in the way of their own knowledge. There is no reason why it should stand in the way of yours. It is still true that you believe they did something to you. This belief is extremely dangerous to your perception and wholly destructive of your knowledge. This is not only true of your attitudes toward your parents, but also of your misuse of your friends. You still think that you must respond to their errors as if they were true. By reacting self-destructively, you are giving them approval for their misperceptions.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VIII.13:1-7)

Here we find that our attitude toward our parents and our friends is pivotal for a good future for our minds. When we believe that parents and friends “did” something to us, we are giving our power away, dangerous to perception, wholly destructive of knowledge.

We still don’t believe that we ourselves, and others, are innocent creatures, children of God, who made mistakes that actually, in reality, never occurred. We are living in illusion! How often do we have to reiterate this to ourselves?

When we believe that illusions are true, we bind ourselves to the past, and we make a future like the past, a deplorable future. Let’s wash ourselves clean, now, of these misperceptions. Let’s ask God to tell us how we can all be innocent. Step out in faith, and His Voice will answer.

We don’t need to stay in self-destructive thinking. Let the heart lead, for its way is Love, and its understanding is true. We can and will come to understand what innocence is all about when we open the heart to our parents and our friends. We have closed down when we misconstrued them, and this makes a mockery of innocence.

Invulnerable Children of God

“You have no justification whatever for perpetuating any image of yourself at all. You are not an image. Whatever is true of you is wholly benign. It is essential that you know this about yourself, but you cannot know it while you choose to interpret yourself as vulnerable enough to be hurt. This is a peculiar kind of arrogance, whose narcissistic component is perfectly obvious. It endows the perceiver with sufficient unreal strength to make you over, and then acknowledges the perceiver’s miscreation. There are times when this strange lack of real courtesy appears to be a form of humility. Actually, it is never more than simple spite.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VIII.12:1-8)

We are actually continuing the theme of blame in this quotation. If we believe that another can hurt us, we are misperceiving, and in this misperception, thinking that a perpetrator means us harm that we can’t get over.

We are not that vulnerable. We are actually invulnerable to hurts from another. We ourselves only seem to hurt ourselves. And then we spitefully blame the one outside of ourselves.

We are also not an image, but a real, divine part of God Himself. When we imagine ourselves as something else, we truly do ourselves an injustice. We are invulnerable children of God Whom He loves deeply. This is the only image of ourselves that matters.

Forgiving Our Parents

“Why should anyone accord an obvious misperception so much power? There cannot be any real justification for it, because even you yourself recognize the real problem when you say, ‘How could they do this to me?’ The answer is they didn’t.

“You have a very serious question to ask yourself in this connection. We said before that the purpose of the resurrection was to demonstrate that no amount of misperception has any influence at all on a Son of God. This demonstration exonerates those who misperceive, by establishing beyond doubt that they have not hurt anyone. Your question, which you must ask yourself very honestly, is whether you are willing to demonstrate that your parents have not hurt you. Unless you are willing to do this, you have not forgiven them.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VIII.9:1-3 and 10:1-5)

Blaming our parents has become perhaps even more common than was the case in the sixties and early seventies, when A Course in Miracles was channeled. We have to get into the theology of ACIM in order to understand that blaming is counterproductive. On one level, everyone does the best that he/she can, given his level of understanding. And so, forgiveness is due one’s parents in this regard.

In the larger dimension, we are all innocent children of God, living in illusion, not actually doing anything at all that is true reality. So, on this more ethereal level, our parents deserve forgiveness. They have really done anything at all to us, for illusion means nothing.

It is true that we perceive illusion as real. It certainly seems like the things that happened to us when we were growing up were real enough. But let our minds play with the idea of living in illusion. Our parents dealt with us from a place of madness, or insanity, for all of us are lost in insanity until we Awaken. Madness is forgiven when it is not made real in our minds. If we focus on the bad deeds, we will attempt to make illusion real, and then we will find forgiveness harder to allow.

Know that we choose the things that happen to us, on some level, from our soul. This is not to blame the victim, because the personality doesn’t do this. But our soul knows better what we need than we do. And emanating from the God within, our soul doesn’t make mistakes. It is only the personality that makes mistakes.

So: On many levels, our attitude toward our parents needs to change, change, that is, if we are still blaming them for not giving us a perfect upbringing. We did have the perfect upbringing for what we wanted to accomplish in life.

And on this we ought to stand.

Courtesy

“The therapist (hopefully) does have the role of being the better perceiver. (This is also, again hopefully, true of the teacher.) It does not follow that he is the better knower. Temporarily, the therapist or teacher can help in straightening out twisted perceptions, which is also the only role that I would ever contribute myself. All therapy should do is try to place everyone involved in the right frame of mind to help one another.

“It is essentially a process of true courtesy, including courtesy to me. You should know that all God’s children are fully worthy of complete courtesy. There are ways of treating others in which only consistent courtesy, even in very little things, is offered. It is a very healing habit to acquire.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VIII.5:1-5) and 6:1-4)

Here we see words first intended for Helen and Bill, who were therapists. The therapist may be the better perceiver, but knowing may be beyond him/her. Knowing from the patient may thus be keener.

In any relationship, including therapist and patient, we are encouraged to practice simple courtesy. This very prosaic behavior is close to kindness, the religion of the Dalai Lama (as he says). If we choose to treat others with courtesy, we certainly won’t attack them. Even in anger, we will keep a cool head. Our heart can inform us as we seek to practice courtesy in all our dealings.

This idea of courtesy is new to the new, complete edition of A Course in Miracles (published by the Circle of Atonement). It is one of the gems, just waiting to be discovered.

We Are a Perfectly Clear Miracle

“All words, at best, are preparatory. The Word is really a thought. No one word is universally meaningful, because a word is a symbol. But thought is not divisible at the level of creation. The original name for ‘thought’ and ‘word’ was the same. The quotation should read, ‘In the beginning was the Thought, and the Thought was with God, and the Thought was God.’

“How beautiful indeed are the thoughts of God, who live in His light. Your worth is beyond perception because it is beyond doubt. Do not perceive yourself in different lights. Know yourself in the One Light, where the miracle which is you is perfectly clear.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VII.16:1-6 and 17:1-4)

We are ideas in the Mind of God, a synonym for “thought.” This is why we project the world that we see; it is all an idea, real only as an idea is real.
We are a miracle in the sight of God. We are one Light with Him, blessed and blessing. Let us become all that we can become in this world, no limits anywhere.

The biblical quotation, here given in revised fashion by Jesus, is instructive. The “Word” and “Thought” are said to be the same. And so the notion that we are ideas in the Mind of God seems sure, on solid ground. This was set forth by the philosopher George Berkeley in his theory, called Idealism. He believed that what we see in the outer world is just a collection of ideas, that it is immaterial. This is trumpeted by A Course in Miracles, in its non-dualistic worldview.

Because we are ideas in the Mind of God, we simply change form in different vibratory frequencies. Energy isn’t ever destroyed; it just changes form. That is why we are assured of immortality in an eternity.

Communion with God

“As long as perception lasts, prayer has a place. Since perception rests on lack, those who perceive have not totally accepted the Atonement and given over themselves to truth. Perception is a separated state, and the perceiver does need healing. Communion, not prayer, is the natural state of those who know. God and His miracles are inseparable.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VII.15:1-5)

This quotation gives us an understanding of the movement from traditional prayer, as supplication, when we are perceiving, into communion with God, when we know instead of perceive. This is an important distinction, because we need to comprehend very precisely, or we will feel bereft, without a God to Whom we can appeal when things get rough. And they will still sometimes get rough.

When we commune with God, we go into a very deep place that is calm and tranquil. We never frantically try to get His attention, something that we are prone to do in supplication when we are distraught. The God we are seeking is deep within us, so deep that we had lost sight of Him earlier, when the ego ruled.

But now we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, an Intermediary Who leads us into God’s presence when we still cling to tendrils of fear of Him. Later on, in the age of Christ (actually where we are now), we will approach God directly, for we no longer will be fearful of His Being. We will know that we are in a right relationship to Him, and we will not foolishly think that He is going to judge us for trying, in illusion, to be separate from Him.

So we seek communion with God now. This is the blessed state all the saints enjoyed. And it is here for all of us now.

Knowledge

“What happens to perception if there are no judgments, and there is nothing but perfect equality? Perception is automatically useless. Truth can only be known. All of it is equally true, and to know any part of it is to know all of it. Only perception involves partial awareness. Knowledge transcends all of the laws which govern perception. Partial knowledge is impossible. It is all one and has no separate parts (i.e., the parts have not separated). This is the real knowledge. You who are really one with it need but know yourself and your knowledge is complete. To know God’s miracle is to know Him.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VII.13:1-11)

We are God’s miracle, and when we know this (as opposed to perceive it), we will be home free. We will have assumed Christ-consciousness or Awakening, enlightenment, and we will be all set to create a new world. Truth can only be known, Jesus tells us, and when we know, really know, a thing, we have no reason for doubt.

We are a part of the whole, like a hologram, and the truth is whole, and so we are whole. This is the real knowledge of which Jesus speaks.
Perception will not last when knowledge has come to take its place.

We, as God’s miracle, need but accept that knowledge is complete to take our rightful place in cosmos. Shorn of the ego, we are at last ready to live fully in God’s grace. We know all that we need to know to become part of the “celestial speed-up,” the time now in which those who follow God’s way want to eliminate the possibility of self-destruction on earth.

Prayer

“Prayer is a way of asking for something. When we said that prayer is the medium of miracles, we also said that the only meaningful prayer is for forgiveness, because those who have been forgiven have everything. Once forgiveness has been accepted, prayer in the usual sense becomes utterly without meaning. Essentially, a prayer for forgiveness is nothing more than a request that we may be able to recognize something we already have.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VII.10:1-4)

What is the “usual” sense of prayer? It is supplication, and when we know, firmly, that we have everything, we are saved for a new kind of prayer: communion with God. This communion assumes that we have forgiven ourselves, for He doesn’t forgive, for He has never condemned.

We need desperately to forgive ourselves for real and imagined mistakes. We need desperately to love ourselves, for self-love allows the type of mental attitude that welcomes love of others as well. If we don’t love ourselves, we can’t very well take inner love and project it outward.

We already have forgiveness from the universe, all brothers and sisters everywhere. They wish us well, even though they may have a hard way of showing it in this world. And since God has not condemned, and therefore doesn’t need to offer forgiveness, we are home free there as well. God’s love wraps us up in a warm blanket, and we are safe. Safe and sound. Forgiven, including by ourselves.

Prayer as communion with God is immensely practical. Our guidance will give us the solutions to problems as soon as we have clearly articulated the problem. The solution is with the problem.

Know that forgiveness, when we have extended it to ourselves, is total. We don’t condemn another when we feel forgiven.

All Are Chosen

“Only your misperceptions stand in your way. Without them, your own choice is certain. Sane perception induces sane choosing. The Atonement was an act based on true perception. I cannot choose for you, but I can help you make your own right choice. ‘Many are called but few are chosen’ should read, ‘All are called, but few choose to listen. Therefore, they do not choose right. The ‘chosen ones’ are merely those who choose right sooner. That is the real meaning of the celestial speed-up. Strong wills can do this now, and they will find rest for their souls. God knows you only in peace, and this is your reality.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VI.18:1-11)

The “celestial speed-up,” of which A Course in Miracles is an example, is an attempt by Jesus and his associates to bring salvation to the earth before we destroy ourselves. Edgar Cayce, the psychic, was an early example also. We are bent on destruction unless drastic measures are taken. So any of us could be part of the celestial speed-up. Many of us may have been born for that purpose.

All are chosen. Kenneth Wapnick wrote a book by that title, part of a two-book series that also gave the second part of that quotation, that few choose to listen. We must change this. We must know that we are chosen, and we must listen. Then we do take our place in the celestial speed-up.

Many of us have strong wills, but that strong will must be bent to God’s grace and guidance. I once wrote on a scrap of paper, and put it in my grandmother’s Bible: “I am determined to go God’s way.”

This when I was nine years old, for I can tell from my early handwriting my age. So I was one who had a strong will, and I attempted, in my immature way, to bend that will to God. I was witnessing even then.

Many of us can witness, and then we will become a multitude who change this world, and then create a new world. This is the message of A Course of Love. That we either change the world, or that (better) we create a new world. When we know that all are chosen, we can rest in the assurance that we are among that chosen.

Ego

“The ego is as frail as Freud perceived it. The later theorists have tried to introduce a less pessimistic view, but they have looked in the wrong direction for their hope. Any attempt to endow the ego with the attributes of the spirit is merely confused thinking. Freud was more clear-sighted about this, because he knew a bad thing when he perceived it. But he failed to recognize that a bad thing cannot exist. It is therefore wholly unnecessary to try to get out of it. As I have said before, the thing to do with a desert is to leave.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VI.10:1-7)

The ego does not really exist, though it seems mighty real to us most of our lives. The ego is part of the illusory world that we have made. We don’t need to struggle to get out of it. We just turn aside without giving it any emotion. If we resist the ego, we may find ourselves trapped by our own wrong notions. As Jesus says, “the thing to do with a desert is to leave.” So if we leave the ego, we do so without a fight on our hands. We just leave it. It withers away from disinterest.

The ego is a bad thing, and Freud knew this. But he didn’t know any way out. He thought that an ego was necessary as part of the persona of the developing child, the child growing into an adult. Many people still believe this. But ego, as defined by Jesus in his channeled writings, is a false notion of what we are; it is not a necessary part of who we are, even when we are maturing into grown-ups.
Most of us don’t make the decision to leave the ego behind until quite advanced in spiritual matters. Then we realize that egoic and egotistical attitudes get us into competition with each other. Many in our societies think that competition is a good thing. But it pits one person against another, one group of people against another. It is hardly harmless. If cut-throat, it is damaging in the extreme.

What about sports? We must realize that a game is a game, not a life-and-death matter. We can thrill to the excitement of the moment, and then we can go our own way when the game is over. We are not meant to have ego involvement as fans. The participants likely lack the wherewithal to keep ego out of their competition. But as time passes, they too will realize that this all happened a long time ago. They lose their ego involvement as well.

Egoless people are very ordinary people, viewed as such in our culture. They don’t try to impress, and so they are often overlooked. But egoless people don’t care about the opinions of other people. They are marching to the beat of a different drummer.

Leaving Fear Behind

“Intrapersonal conflict arises from the same basis as interpersonal. One part of the psyche perceives another part as on a different level and does not understand it. This makes the parts strangers to each other, without recognition. This is the essence of the fear-prone condition, in which attack is always possible. You have every reason to feel anxious as you perceive yourself. This is why you cannot escape from fear until you know that you did not and cannot create yourself. You can never make this misperception valid, and when you at last perceive clearly, you will be glad you can’t. Your creation is beyond variance by your own errors, and this is why you must eventually choose to heal the separation.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VI.6:1-8)

We cannot damn ourselves, though that is exactly what we are about when we let the ego rule. God created reality for His children with Love at the helm. When love is in force, we know that we can ascend to great heights, letting God’s action in us allow the transformation that we all need.

“Your creation is beyond variance by your own errors, and this is why you must eventually choose to heal the separation.” Yes! We “make” only illusions, for God’s creation is protected. True reality is harmony, peace, joy, lightheartedness—all the attributes of intangible factors that are hidden, just beyond the reach of illusions of materiality in which we find ourselves.

We have lived with anxieties for eons, for this is the outcome of the fear that is the opposite of love. Is there not a better way? We know that there is, but now we have become so caught in our fear that we don’t know how to extricate ourselves. This is why we need the guidance of the Holy Spirit, for He is a Spirit Who can see that God’s way becomes understandable to us. He shows us how to extricate ourselves from fear/anxieties. As we heal each part of the subconscious by bringing it up to the Light, we are made new. We are remade in the image of God, full of illusion no longer.

It has been a long and arduous battle of the ego. Now, we hope, that battleground is silent, and weapons of destruction are gone. We know, for in our seeking, the ways of God have been made plain to us. Jesus’ contribution in his channeled writings have hit the mark.

Now we are being guided, step by step, into the Awakening that will eventually become widespread on this earth.

Awake Beings in the Image of God

“Consciousness was the first split that you introduced into yourself. You became a perceiver rather than a creator in the true sense. Consciousness is correctly identified as the domain of the ego. Jung was right indeed in insisting that the ego is not the self, and that the self should be regarded as an achievement. He did not recognize (a term we now understand) that the achievement was God’s. In a sense, the ego was a self-made attempt to perceive yourself as you wished, rather than as you are. This is an example of the created/Creator confusion we spoke of before. You can only know yourself as you are, because that is all you can be sure of. Everything else is open to question.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VI.4:1-9)

When we made the ego, we also made an authority problem, confusing created with Creator, trying to make of ourselves someone who was different from what God wanted. We thought we had succeeded, and we did, in a way, for eons. But as time has passed, and we have suffered greatly at our own hands, we have come to know that chasing illusions is a false pathway. Bottom line, we can never actually be anyone other than who God created. We have to walk that solid line back to Him. We know better now, know that what we have made is decayed and ill-advised. Suffering, our lot in life when we are consumed by the ego, is not worth the price that we pay. Who really wants suffering, even at the cost of rebellion from our Creator?

The only way that we can thrive is to remain the created that we are, Sons and Daughters of the Divine, a blessing to all whom we love. We can know this accurate picture of ourselves only when we do love, for love is the great eye-opener. We drop the insane idea that we cannot will for ourselves what God wills, ridiculously sure that we must want something else. In actuality, in true reality, our will and God’s will are identical, for He lives through us. And He is not insane.

Let God’s direction infuse our life with real purpose. Loose the ego from clutched hands. We can never know peace until we understand that we are the created, that we did not create ourselves. We did, it is true, “make” ourselves over in an image that is not sustainable. But that is all. And when we let the ego go, we will realize that now we know in a way that previously was closed to us. We know who we were intended to be, Christ-conscious, awake beings in the image of God.

When We Love

“Most of the abilities you now possess are only shadows of your real strengths. Your spirit knows, loves, and creates. These are its unequivocal functions. All of your present functions are equivocal, or open to question or doubt. This arises because you can no longer be certain how you will use them. You are therefore incapable of knowledge, because you can perceive lovelessly. And you cannot create surely, because perception deceives and illusions are not sure.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VI.1:1-8)

We are heading into ever-greater realms, but now we live uncertainly, not yet Christ-conscious, not yet Awakened. We head into greater realms when we love totally and completely, no uncertainty, no doubt.

Until we assume Awakening status, we will be unreliable in our world. Others cannot depend on a being who sometimes loves, sometimes hates. We need to drop the ambivalence of our feelings for other people, drop the negative and assume the positive always. And that positive is always a greater love. We create our own reality, and it is only love that creates a reality with which we can be happy for eons in the future.

We have been weaving illusions in an erratic fashion. When we love, we create a true reality, and we are blessed by our creation. God steadies our hand as we create; His insight informs our own. We create surely, lovingly, and we walk into the sunlight with Jesus.

God Just Loves

“God is not a stranger to His Own Sons, and His Sons are not strangers to each other. Knowledge preceded both perception and time, and will also ultimately replace (or correct for) them. This is the real meaning of the biblical account of God as ‘Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.’ It also explains the quotation ‘Before Abraham was, I am.’ Perception can and must be stabilized, but knowledge is stable. Fear God and keep His commandments is a real scribal error. It should read, ‘Know God and accept His certainty.’ This error is why the commandments are almost all negative, in contrast to my statement: ‘Thou shalt love.’” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.V.11:3-10)

No, we are not meant to be afraid of God, if by fear, we mean apprehension. We are meant to know God, and as time passes, we will come ever more into this bliss. Jesus here contrasts his own new revelations, as recorded in the New Testament, with the harsh portrayal of God in the Old Testament. Jesus proclaimed a God of love, the Old Testament, a foreboding Figure—hence the negative tenor of the Ten Commandments.

The God of the Old Testament was all egoic, a projection of the scribes who were lost in egoism. Good and bad, right and wrong—all was slated through the eyes of a God Who could be very fierce, denunciatory toward His children. Jesus, with kind eyes, encouraged little children to approach him, and he loved with a deep and abiding love. The difference could not be more striking.

When we love as Jesus encouraged, we come to know, as opposed to perceive. And this knowledge is of a God Who wishes His offspring well. It is of a God Who lives through us, for we are part of Him. This is the new revelation in Jesus’s channeled writing, so new on the scene of our world. This is the view, of Gods in miniature that we are. God, in living through us, is constantly leading us to discover that His way is benign. We know this, when we listen to our heart. We know that our Maker, living through us, is wishing us well, loving us, for his creation will hold together only when the laws of love are obeyed.

The laws of love are open to us. We advance when we love; we fall back when we are caught in negativity. The only way that the universes could survive is if they were predicated on love for the discrete parts, one part feeling and expressing love for another. Anything else would self-destruct.

Walk along in peace borne of love for our fellow men and women, our brothers and sisters. The advantages will unfold before us, with nothing to trip our foot upon as we walk.

Love without Attack

“If you attack another’s error, you will hurt yourself. You do not recognize him when you attack. Attack is always made on a stranger. You are making him a stranger by misperceiving him, so that you cannot know him. It is because you have made him into a stranger that you are afraid of him. What is he to you? He is your brother. What else do you need to know? But do know that. This is not a matter of perception but a fact. Perceive him c
correctly, so that you can know him. The prayer for the miracle is:

“Jesus, help me see my brother [name] as he really is, and thus release both him and me.

“Anytime there is anything unloving that crosses your mind, you should immediately recognize that you do not want to hurt your brother.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.V.10:1-14)

Love our brother. And, of course, this includes our sister as well. If an unloving thought or feeling is in our mind or heart, we need to reconsider and choose again. There is so much that will be solved aright if we keep love in our mind and heart. When we love, we leave fear behind, no longer afraid of what our brother might say or do to us. We know that God Himself is protecting us from harm. And so there is nothing true that our brother can do to harm us. We remain in control always.

The world is harmless. It is our projection only. From our mind outward. And when the mind is healed, the projections will all be good. This is what we need. This is where we are headed.

Let the heart rule the mind, for the heart loves deeply and well. And then all of our thoughts about, and our actions toward, our brother will be true and good.

Inviting Certainty

“To know is to be certain. Uncertainty merely means that you don’t know. Knowledge is power because it is certain, and certainty is strength. Perception is temporary. It is an attribute of the space-time belief, and is therefore subject to fear or love. Misperception produces fear, and true perception induces love. Neither produces certainty because all perception varies. That is why it is not knowledge. True perception is the basis for knowledge, but knowing is the affirmation of truth.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.V.2:1-9)

We will return to the difference between perception and knowledge many times in A Course in Miracles; here we see the difference, elucidated in this quotation for today. Our perceptions vary, and our perceptions may be true or false. If they are false, they will elicit fear, and we will walk backward on the pathway. We need to invite true perception, being as loving as possible for us at all times. Love heals in its true perception, paving the way for knowledge that does not need to be proved.

We need certainty in our lives, and our attraction to knowledge will ensure that we will have certainty about many things. When we have certainty, we are sure about our decisions. The insights that we gain have an authority that they have been lacking heretofore. The insights carry the stamp of divine Authority, and this Authority is of God Himself.

If we are certain about something, we need not constantly second-guess ourselves. We need to stand on what we know, and when the ring of truth sounds, we will know that our guidance is true.

We will know what to do.

Innocence

“Innocence is also not a partial attribute. It is not a real defense until it is total. When it is partial, it is characterized by the same erratic nature that holds for other two-edged defenses. The partly innocent are apt to be quite stupid at times. It is not until their innocence is a genuine viewpoint which is universal in its application that it becomes wisdom. Innocent (or true) perception means that you never misperceive and always see truly. More simply, this means that you never see what does not exist in reality.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.IV.3:1-7)

Innocent perception, true perception, is our perception just before knowledge dawns on our previously deluded minds. “The partly innocent are apt to be quite stupid at times.” The term “stupid” is a correction harkening back to the original; the edition of the Foundation for Inner Peace used the term “foolish.” We can see that “stupid,” in this case, does mean “foolish,” though there is a denunciatory slant to “stupid” for our minds that have long sought to be superior to the heart.

Innocence is total when we have found Awakening or Christ-consciousness. Until then, we will oscillate between innocence and only partial innocence, and we will be erratic in our emotions around these terms. When we are innocent, we know that we have only made mistakes, not committed “sins.” When we are partly innocent, we will harbor a fear that our mistakes, some of them at least, have actually been sins.

This is not so, of course. Sin carries a sense of hopelessness that mistakes do not. And sin also is thought to be erased only by blood sacrifice, at least in traditional Christianity.

Jesus has altered all this in A Course in Miracles. He asks us not to look to the cross for our salvation, but to the resurrection, which assures eternal life. The resurrection is the mystery that binds us to Jesus. Let its value sweep over us, and take us home to God.

Inviting Light

“It is absolutely essential that you understand completely that behavior is erratic until a firm commitment to one or the other is made. Yet a firm commitment to darkness or nothingness is impossible. Nobody has ever lived who has not experienced some light and some of everything. This has made everybody genuinely unable to deny truth totally, even if he deceives himself in this connection most of the time. That is why those who live largely in darkness and emptiness never find any lasting solace.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.IV.2:1-5)

When we feel reverence in our daily life, we are sensing reality. And this reverent feeling is Light. When we don’t invite Light consistently, we are erratic in our behavior. When we fall into egoic thinking, we are erratic, for this is darkness. While darkness cannot be experienced totally, it can be experienced just enough to unsettle us. This we do not want.

We have lived a very secular life in this world, in this culture. We do not have to find God in religiosity, but we do need to find a reverence for life that will allow us to experience the best. And the best is a sense of loving ourselves, all created beings, nature, and, of course, God Himself/Herself. This reverent attitude will give us peace. It will swell our hearts in gratitude for the beauty of the world in which we reside. It will warm us, soothe us, comfort us. Reverence works.

We do not have solace in darkness, and everything of the ego is dark. Ask today that we might drop egoic orientation and walk into the sunlight of God’s creation.

Sacrifice

“It is obvious that these individuals have not been able to transcend the misperception of the need for sacrifice, or they could not possibly be willing to sacrifice themselves. Anyone who is unable to leave the requests of others unanswered has not entirely transcended egocentricity. I never ‘gave of myself’ in this inappropriate way, nor would I ever encourage you to do so.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.III.13:1-3)

Jesus continues his theme that the sacrifice on the cross was not what made him the savior for us. In this passage, he doesn’t mention the resurrection, but in clearly turning aside from sacrifice as a way of life, he has pointed the way to our own rising up, our own resurrection. He is trying to make enlightenment more believable.

Originally Jesus talked about Edgar Cayce’s increased number of readings, a choice Edgar made that was sacrificial. Here very precisely, Jesus turns aside from any command that we do something similar.

Sacrifice is simply not called for. And if we think it is, we are thinking in the insanity of the ego. The ego thinks that its own sacrifice is necessary, and because this “entity” thinks that it is us, it thinks that we too have to sacrifice to God. This has to make God a fearful being. And God truly is anything but fearful.

Jesus came to pass along to the world a new view of God, a loving Creator Who blesses His creations (us) with tolerance. God has never condemned us at all, and so He doesn’t need to “forgive.” He waits patiently, as we walk daily along the pathway back to Him. Our Holy Spirit guides the way.

And soon we will all be home, even if this “soon” is millions of years. Time, in the universe, after all, is an illusion.

Seeing Truly

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

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

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

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

Commend Our Spirit into the Hands of the Father

“Nothing can prevail against a Son of God who commends his spirit into the hands of his Father. By doing this, the mind awakens from its sleep and remembers its Creator. All sense of separation disappears and level confusion vanishes. The Son of God is part of the Holy Trinity, but the Trinity Itself is one. There is no confusion within Its levels, because they are of one Mind and one will. This single purpose creates perfect integration, and establishes the reign of the peace of God.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.III.9:1-6)

We need to surrender to God; this is what commending the spirit into the hands of the Father actually means. When we surrender, we are literally one step away from Awakening. We are not relying on our puny little self; we are relying on the God within Who makes all things happen.

When the mind awakens from its sleep, we have enlightenment. The way may yet be long for some of us, but for others, it is just a step away. Jesus is hoping that his channeled writings will take humankind to the next level, the level of Christ-consciousness. Eventually all will occupy this level.

The Trinity explains a great deal, and for this we are dependent on traditional Christianity. All parts of the Trinity are within each individual. To objectify God, and not know what one is doing, is a misstep—though objectification can give us something to rely upon. As long as we know what we are doing.

Turn to the Holy Spirit today, and ask to be show mysteries. God would keep no secrets from the prepared mind and heart. He wants us to know Him.

Crucifixion & Resurrection

“The crucifixion did not establish the Atonement; the resurrection did. This is a point which many very sincere Christians have misunderstood. Nobody who was free of the scarcity fallacy could possibly have made this mistake.

“If the crucifixion is seen from an upside-down point of view, it certainly does appear as if God permitted and even encouraged one of His Sons to suffer because he was good. Many very devoted ministers preach this every day. This particularly unfortunate interpretation, which actually arose out of the combined projection of a large number of my own would-be followers, has led many people to be bitterly afraid of God. This particularly anti-religious concept happens to enter into many religions, and this is neither by chance nor coincidence. The real Christian would have to pause and ask, ‘How could this be?’ Is it likely that God
Himself would be capable of the kind of thinking which His Own words have clearly stated is unworthy of His children?” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.III.1:2-4 and 2:1-6)

God did not command Jesus to die; he set up his own drama, making his own decision. His Self, his Christ-Self, was the God within of Jesus.

When growing up, Jesus observed the temple sacrifices. And the thought likely arose in him that the ultimate sacrifice would be his own body. This is something that ego-oriented human beings could understand. And this idea, that Jesus was the sacrificial lamb, has been played out throughout the centuries, and still is being played out in fundamentalist circles.

Many are turning away from this interpretation. And Jesus himself turns away in these passages, lauding the resurrection as the real miracle. He doesn’t say how this can be, but if we believe in materialization and dematerialization, we have a peg to tie it to.

Jesus does not ask us to follow in his footsteps with sacrifice. The days of sacrifice die with the ego that caused them.

Jesus: “When You Perform a Miracle, I Will Arrange Both Time and Space to Adjust to it”

“The miracle abolishes the need for lower-order concerns. Since it is an illogical, or out-of-pattern, time interval by definition, the ordinary considerations of time and space do not apply. I do not regard time as you do, and your space problems are not mine. When you perform a miracle, I will arrange both time and space to adjust to it.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.II.1:1-4)

Here are the ground rules for miracles. If we need more to time to perform one, one that has been prompted by Jesus, he will arrange it. And arrange space as well.
There is no way that we can comprehend what he is telling us. It is something that we will have to experience, this business of miracles. Miracles are expressions of love outside time and space, and he makes sure that we have all the time and space we need to perform them. We aren’t bound in any way.

Surely the miracle does bless both giver and receiver. We are constantly wanting miracles to get us out of the fixes we get ourselves into, but we still don’t often ask for a miracle. Let’s change that.

A close walk with Jesus will create in us a desire to be more miracle-minded. We will indeed be blessed when we ask, each day, to be extended the grace to offer miracles to our brothers and sisters.

And accept miracles for ourselves.

Images of God

“So far, this course has had only indirect recourse to God and rarely even refers to Him directly. I have emphasized that awe is not appropriate in connection with me, because of our inherent equality. I have been careful to clarify my own role in the Atonement, without either over- or understating it. I have tried to do exactly the same thing in connection with yours. The next step, however, does involve the direct approach to God Himself. It would be most unwise to start on this step at all without very careful preparation, or awe will surely be confused with fear, and the experience will be more traumatic than beatific.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.I.6:1-6)

We are asked to read through the Text of A Course in Miracles in right order. Jesus says that if we don’t, if we skip over, we will become fearful, and when we are in fear, we are not good learners. We are heading into a direct route to God Himself, the means of our living when we have moved beyond the indirect approach of the Holy Spirit. In the meantime, listening to guidance from the Holy Spirit is less terrifying.

Bottom line, we are scared of God. We think He blames His children for leaving Him, and, in a projection of our own, we think He is mad with us, very angry.
This is Old Testament thinking, Scripture for another time and place. The image of God in the Old Testament is very different from the loving God whom Jesus presented to us in the New Testament. In the Old, God was seen as judgmental and angry with His children, surely a projection of the ego. In the New, we are primed for the revelation that
Jesus made so clear, that God is Love, and that God envelops us with that Love, blames us for mistakes not at all. He knows us through and through, indeed lives through us, for we are not separate.

We do not approach Jesus, appropriately, with awe. But we are rightfully in awe of God, awe but not fear. Being scared of the One Who knows us through and through, and holds nothing against us, makes no sense at all. Any other conclusion is the work of the insane ego.

ACIM–Preparation for Our Mission

“All learning involves attention and study at some level. This course is a mind-training course. Good students assign study periods for themselves. However, since this obvious step may not have occurred to you and since we are cooperating in this, I urge you to make the obvious assignment. You may understand the need to study this course yet still not realize that many of the problems you keep being faced with may already have been solved here. Perhaps you do not think of the course in this way at all. Or perhaps you do from time to time, but then think the answer is probably in here and do not look it up. You vaguely know that the course is intended for some sort of preparation. But are you prepared?” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.I.1:1-9)

Here Jesus is talking to Helen, we might believe, Helen and Bill, the co-scribes. We, like they, are training our minds. We are bringing up for reconsideration all of the subconscious material that has so plagued us. Then we are ripe for healing, all the way down to the depths of the mind.

Jesus answers many of our questions in what he channels in A Course in Miracles. I remember my first reading of the Course. I would be puzzled about something, ask in my mind the answer to my question, and then find the answer on the very next page, if not the next paragraph. The flow of words is masterful, as befits a master, Jesus himself. One sentence builds on the preceding and flows into the next. We are not left hanging at any point.

Jesus shows ever so slight an impatience with Helen and Bill that they are not making good use of the material he is giving them. Are we?
We are not yet fully prepared, even if we have walked closely with Jesus for a long time. The time with the ego has been damaging, and we need a healed mind to proceed on our real work, the work of awakening our fellow souls. This is the real task ahead.

And A Course in Miracles provides answers to how best to do that.

Retain Only What is Lovable

“Your own final judgment cannot be directed toward yourself, because you are not your own creation. You can apply it meaningfully and at any time, however, to everything you have ever made, and retain in your real memory only what is good. This is what your own right-mindedness cannot but dictate. The purpose of time is solely to ‘give you time’ to achieve this judgment. It is your own perfect judgment of what you have made. When everything that you retain is lovable, there is no reason for any fear to remain in you. This is your part in the Atonement.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.XIII.8:1-7)

We need to look at what we have made, and this making was of the ego. We “make” with the ego, but we “create” with our joining to God, our Self, the Christ-Self. When we look at what we have made, we discard, just turn aside, from what lacks value. We, in a sense, elevate the best to a creation, not a making. We thus judge, in our own way, what experiences and objects we have taken into our world. When what is left is simply lovable, we have fulfilled our mission.

When we retain only what is lovable, fear will leave us. Is this not motivation enough? To live a life without fear is what God wants for us, for we will have given up the ego, and with it our false life. We will be headed straight for home in God, the separation over, healed. Is this not what we want, now that we know better than we used to know?

This is our part in the Atonement, giving up the valueless for what truly has value in our life. It cannot be hard, for the Holy Spirit, if we let Him, will guide our every action of relinquishment. When we retain the lovable, I reiterate, we are safe and secure in the home where we belong.

A Final Healing

“The Last Judgment is generally thought of as a procedure undertaken by God. Actually, it will be undertaken solely by the Sonship with my help. It is a final healing rather than a meting out of punishment, however much you may think punishment is deserved. Punishment as a concept is in total opposition to right-mindedness. The aim of the Final Judgment is to restore right-mindedness to you.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.XIII.4:1-5)

This is the purpose of the Last Judgment: to restore right-mindedness to God’s children. We can’t bring ourselves out of insanity; it is far beyond what we can do. We must simply surrender, turn ourselves—body and soul—over to God, and let Him work the miracle.

We do think that we deserve punishment, but this is just a ploy by the ego to make us fear God, and thus turn to it for protection. But the insane ego doesn’t mean us well. Wholly insane, it represents the very best that we could devise apart from God. And a sorry solution it was! When we tried, in vain, to make a world apart from God, and experiences apart from Him, we only lost ourselves. We only hurt. And this is not God’s will for us.

The Last Judgment will be meted out by the Sonship, the brothers of Jesus. We will know when this procedure is happening. We will be led, ever so gently, to reassess our bearings, to reconsider our choices. And then we will have tasks to complete to take us back to God. Some of the Last Judgment may occur in an altered state of mind.

We can look forward to this healing. And it is indeed true that some of us have already experienced it, though our minds may have been protected from the brunt of it for a time. Hypnosis sometimes provides this elixir.

Welcome the Last Judgment, for it is healing indeed.

The Return to God

“Just as the separation occurred over many millions of years, the Last Judgment will extend over a similarly long period, and perhaps even longer. Its length depends, however, on the effectiveness of the present speed-up. We have frequently noted that the miracle is a device for shortening but not abolishing time. If a sufficient number of people become truly miracle-minded quickly, the shortening process can be almost immeasurable. But it is essential that these individuals free themselves from fear sooner than would ordinarily be the case, because they must emerge from the basic conflict if they are to bring peace to the minds of others.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.XIII.3:1-5)

The Last Judgment is nothing to fear, for fear would be counterproductive to what Jesus is trying to do. The Last Judgment is a time of right evaluation and a soothing conclusion to eons spent engulfed by the ego. We are led to this experience by the Sonship, the brothers of Jesus, our fellow men and women (Jesus tells us elsewhere). He does not do it alone.

It seems to me that we have done Jesus a disservice by seeing him as a judge of our actions. Like his Father, he only loves. We think judgment is right and natural, that we deserve to be cast out (perhaps), but such is not the case. All will return home eventually, though it may take millions of years, as Jesus says here.

Millions of years sound daunting and discouraging. That is why the current “speed-up,” of which A Course in Miracles is a part, is so important. The miracle can shorten time immeasurably. Let us let time be shortened. There is much suffering in a world wrought by egoic thinking, and we would be wise to realize that only God’s way will really work.

Nothing we have tried to do in separation has worked. We have only hurt ourselves, and our brothers with us. The only way is surrender to God’s plan for His children, for He is omniscient, and He knows what works. Would we say the same about ourselves? Do we know? I think not. We must simply rest in His arms, certain that He will take us home.

Seek to Master Love, Not Fear

“We began this section with an attempt to correct the fundamental human error that fear can be mastered. The correction was that only love can be mastered. Even if you are ready for revelation, though, that does not mean that you have in any way mastered that form of communication. Mastery of love necessarily involves a much more complete confidence in the ability than you have as yet attained. Readiness, however, is at least an indication that you believe this is possible. This is only the beginning of confidence. In case this be misunderstood as a statement that an enormous amount of time will be necessary between readiness and mastery, I would again remind you that time and space are under my control.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.XII.10:1-7)

Yes, time and space are under Jesus’ control, and here he is trying to get us to do what seems impossible to us—to master love. We often attempt to do the reverse, master fear. We are in pain when we experience anxiety, and we just want to get rid of the feeling. But we are limited in what we can do until we turn our bodies and souls over to love. Then, when love is attained, and even mastered, our fears drop away. It is just that simple.

I have long been prone to anxieties; they have dogged my every step through this life. But when I am immersed in love, feeling love with every bone in my body, I notice that there is no trace of fear/anxieties. And this is what Jesus is talking about. We master fear by first mastering love.

Of course, we don’t stay in a cloud of love all the time. This world drags us back. But as often as we retreat from love, and then feel fear, we can try again, take another step in a better direction. We move forward and retreat throughout our lives. Only in Awakening are the vicissitudes altered. Then we have smoother sailing.

So: Seek to master love, not fear. The benefits are stupendous. The way opens to God Himself, for God is but Love.

We Can’t Return Home without Everybody

“The Sonship in its oneness does transcend the sum of its parts. However, it loses this special state as long as any of its parts are missing. This is why the conflict cannot ultimately be resolved until all of the individual parts of the Sonship have returned. Only then can the meaning of wholeness in the true sense be understood.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.XII.7:5-8)

What is alluded to in this passage is why we are here on earth. We are to save our fellow men and women. This is why form is important, for our earth, we need form, and we need not to long for the ethereal only. In my opinion, this need, to save the Sonship, is why Jesus scribed A Course of Love. Readers of A Course in Miracles were left with a desire just to go into the ethereal, the formless, after death—and are we not needed on earth?

The Sonship needs each and every one of us saved in the ultimate sense, with Awakening, with Christ-consciousness (which is the same thing). Only when all have returned is our mission completed.

Only then can we float into the ethereal with a clear conscience. For we take everyone with us.

Are We Afraid of Religion?

“However, the major purpose of his [Freud’s] incarnation was not neglected. He did succeed in forcing recognition of the unconscious into humanity’s calculations about itself, a step in the right direction which should not be minimized. Freud was one of the most religious men I have known recently. Unfortunately he was so afraid of religion that the only way he could deal with it was to regard it (not himself) as sick. This naturally prevented healing.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.XI.18:1-5)

More on Freud in this quotation. So Freud was “one of the most religious men I have known recently.” That is not an evaluation that would occur to us. But it is in A Course in Miracles, the complete edition. So we ought to take it seriously.

Freud was “afraid” of religion, and so he formed a particularly negative attitude toward it. We might ask when and if we do the same. Are we afraid of these assertions, so cogent and illuminating, in A Course in Miracles? Where do we fear Jesus? Do we see him as a judgmental figure?

If we open our hearts to the man Jesus, we will see that there is nothing to fear about him. He is not lying in wait to judge us. We judge ourselves, and in the last judgment, Jesus’ brothers, the Sonship, will assist. But it is final evaluation in which we retain only what is good and true, and so there is no reason to place “hellfire” in it.

If Freud was afraid of religion, having such a good mind, then we too may be, perhaps without fully realizing it. This bodes ill, and we ought to correct it.

Spirituality is our savior from miscreations of the mind. Let the heart lead to true spirituality.

Freud

“The structure of the psyche follows along the lines of the particular libido concept the theorist employs. Freud’s psyche was essentially a good and evil picture, with very heavy weight given to the evil. This is because every time I mentioned the Atonement to him, which was quite often, he responded by defending his theory more and more against it. This resulted in his increasingly strong attempts to make the illogical sound more and more logical. I was very sorry about this, because his was a singularly good mind, and it was a shame to waste it.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.XI.17:1-5)

Freud! Jesus, it seems, consulted with Freud, and even though Freud barricaded himself against Jesus’ advice, we see here that Jesus respected him. Freud originated the concept of the ego, without which A Course in Miracles could not have been written in its present form. Prior to Freud, we had only the “devil” to contend with, and this projection of the ego did not serve humankind well.

So Jesus “mentioned” to Atonement to Freud “quite often,” but Freud was not open to these thoughts that were occupying his mind. He resisted.

We might as where we are resisting, for we are bombarded daily with advice, good advice, that we don’t take to heart.

Open our minds and hearts to advice from the master, Jesus himself. He seems omniscient, and so he can certainly be with all of us. He comes upon a “single unequivocal call” (from ACIM).

Getting on the Right Road

“Inappropriate denial and equally inappropriate identification of the real factors in the basic conflict will not solve the problem itself. The conflict cannot disappear until it is fully recognized that miscreation is not real, and therefore there is no conflict. This entails a full realization of the basic fact that, although you have miscreated in a very genuine sense, you need neither continue to do so nor to suffer from your past errors in this respect.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.XI.15:1-3)

Good news indeed! Miscreations that are not ongoing but in the past certainly don’t need to hold us back. We can welcome love, and true creation, at any and all times. We are free to drop our obsession with the ego, free to let the true heart lead the mind to creations of great value.

Just ask, internally, what experiences we really want. These experiences are creations, and they will take on a better tone, much more positive, much more loving, when we have dropped our pride and asked for help from a Higher Power. This can be Jesus himself, or God Himself. Our own Mind reaches deep within us to the Self, for we are a part of God. And with a Champion like this, how can we fail?

How to Drop Fear

“No one as yet has fully recognized either the therapeutic value of fear or the only way in which it can truly be ended. When you miscreate, you are in pain. The cause and effect principle here is temporarily a real expeditor. Actually, Cause is a term properly belonging to God, and Effect, which should also be capitalized, is His Sonship. This entails a set of cause and effect relationships which are totally different from those which humanity introduced into the miscreation.

“The fundamental opponents in the real basic conflict are creation and miscreation. All fear is implicit in the second, just as all love is inherent in the first. Because of this difference, the basic conflict is one between love and fear.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.XI.9:1-5 and 10:1-3)

Jesus talks about love and fear in a new way in this passage, a way that explains that our own miscreations in this world have made our fear. When we get on the beam with him, we won’t be miscreating any longer. And so there is no reason for fear. What a glorious promise!

Our next step is to ask the omniscient Jesus how to create anew, how to drop the miscreations that have caused us such grief. If there is something particular in our life that is making us miserable, there is our opening. There is a miscreation, for nothing God has created, or which we have truly “created” (as opposed to “made”) can harm us.

We need help. We must not be too proud to ask for it. Jesus, our teacher, is ever near to guide and direct. And his way works.

Let love overshadow us today, let us create well, and then fear will drop from sight.

Miracles & the Akashic Record

“The deepest level of the unconscious is shared as an ability. As miracle-mindedness, the content—or the particular miracles which an individual happens to perform—does not matter at all. They will, in fact, be entirely different, since I direct them, because I make a point of avoiding redundancy. Unless a miracle actually heals, it is not a miracle at all. The content of the miracle level is not recorded in the individual’s unconscious because if it were, the miracle would not be automatic or involuntary, which we have said repeatedly that it should be. However, the content is a matter for the record, which is not within the individual himself.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.XI.4:1-6)

The “record” is the long list of happenings that are personal to us, and that are kept in the cosmos. Often this record is called the “akashic records.” This is somewhat separate from our unconscious mind, a thought that we may not have realized.

Here Jesus goes to some pains to impress upon us that he is directing miracles, that he is not repeating the same miracle with different people, and that we ourselves are not supposed to attempt miracles of our own volition.

Miracles are healing, and when they do not happen, something has gone wrong. This in itself is a major insight as well as cause for rejoicing. Miracles ought to happen, Jesus seems to be saying. Can we not just benefit from that assertion?

This somewhat lengthy quotation is not easy to understand, and perhaps we can well see why Helen deleted a good bit of the ideas from the editions that she developed. Here, in the complete version, we see that the unconscious is viewed differently by Jesus from Jung, who thought that his collective unconscious was shared by all minds. Jesus is at first talking to psychologists, Helen and Bill, and so the more academic approach to the unconscious would have made perfect sense to them.

We can focus on the miracle-mindedness that Jesus promulgates. We can rest in the knowledge that if we need a miracle, we need only ask. If we have met the conditions that Jesus places upon us (these differ from individual to individual) then we will find ourselves a recipient of a miracle. Our expectation actually helps along the process.

Let’s watch our mind and heart to allow the cosmos to etch good happenings in our akashic records.

Miraculous Thinking

“It is certainly much more useful for me to remind you that you do not guard your thoughts at all carefully, except for a relatively small part of the day, and somewhat inconsistently even then. You may feel at this point that it would take a miracle to enable you to do this, which is perfectly true. Human beings are not used to miraculous thinking, but they can be trained to think that way.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.X.9:1-3)

If we expect a miracle, we are likely to find ourselves experiencing one. Miracles are our blessings, and it is only the skeptical mind that will make accepting them difficult.

Here we are encouraged to guard our minds, because we often lapse into negative thinking with resultant manifestations that are unfortunate. Probably Jesus was at first speaking to Helen here, since the words seem so personal and have personal knowledge of thought processes. But the words are widely applicable to us, and we would benefit a great deal if we take Jesus’ advice to heart. Lift up our minds to higher thinking, and watch our days go by pleasantly. Perhaps at first the exercise will be inconsistent, but the reward is great.

Watch our thinking. Our mind is precious, and Jesus would have us use it wisely.

Move Easily through Life

“You who complain about fear still persist in producing it most of the time. I told you in the last section that you cannot ask me to release you from it, because I know it does not exist. You don’t. If I merely intervened between your thoughts and their results, I would be tampering with a basic law of cause and effect, in fact the most fundamental one there is in this world. I would hardly help you if I depreciated the power of your own thinking. This would be in direct opposition to the purpose of this course.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.X.8:1-6)

We chafe at these words of Jesus. If a tranquilizer can calm us, if this magic can calm us, then why, really, does Jesus not intervene and give us a miracle?
He wants us, he says elsewhere, to get his help in the conditions that have brought the fear about. This makes for real change, not a bandaid that cannot last any more than a tranquilizer can. These conditions are always a willingness to remain separate, and this is our problem. Unless and until we give up our illusory separation from God as a bad idea, we will continue to experience turmoil. Pain will cause us to reconsider, and sometimes this pain will escalate into suffering.

There is a better way. Jesus tells us in A Course in Miracles. It is better to learn through rewards, because rewards are more lasting than the expedient of pain/suffering. What reward would lead us to see that separation is not the way? A simple choice, taken one time and then repeated, will let us realize that we are much more joyous without our stubborn will to go our own way. When we relax into the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we know a flow in our minutes, hours, days, that is like the difference between day and night—prior to the Holy Spirit, and after we welcome Him into our life. We know real happiness for possibly the first time. It then becomes up to us to sustain this link to Wholeness, for only the Holy Spirit knows the way.

So: Do ourselves a favor, and choose happiness by the only way it will come. Get help in the conditions that have caused fear, and these conditions are always a choice to remain separate. We don’t do well “separate.” Our merger with God, in intent and purpose, is the only sure way to joy that we will ever know.

Praying with Jesus

“It may help if you say this prayer to me:

“I would like to pray that my will be united with thine, recognizing that thy perfect love will suffice (or correct) for my imperfect love.

“I pray that I may accept the Atonement with conviction, recognizing its inestimable worth, and my own divine worth as part of this identification with thine.

“I pray that my fear be replaced by an active sense of thy love, and they continual willingness to help me overcome the split or divided will which is responsible for my difficulty with this.

“I accept the divinity of the messages I have received, and affirm my will in both accepting and acting upon the Atonement principle.
“Here I am.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.IX.14:1-6)

We need to empty ourselves, as Marianne Williamson says. And when we pray a prayer of such dignity and grace as this one, here quoted, we are led to empty ourselves so that we might be filled with the power and single-minded purpose of Jesus. He guides us as we pray, and if we listen attentively, and pray intently, we will join our will with our heavenly Father, and join our will with the intent of the Atonement.

There is, in truth, little more we need to do. When we empty ourselves, we are overcome with a warmth that indicates that God Himself is right here with us, in us, around us, everywhere. He is living through us, for we are part of Him. His way will ultimately win out, but we have to join our will to his, for our will itself is free, and there is no coercion.

When we realize that our way of a separate path has not worked and can never work, we are more flexible in His hands. We know that the separation is a myth best left behind. We know that God means us well, as He lives through us, and we realize that our trial of a separate existence has failed miserably. We are then ripe for the Atonement, which is the merging of our will with His, and the acceptance of Jesus’s part in our salvation.

So: Let us empty ourselves so that we might be filled with the grace of God. There is no better way to live well, no way to live well apart from this at all.

Healing of the Atonement

“It is obvious, then, that when you are afraid, you have placed yourself in a position where you need Atonement because you have done something loveless, having willed without love. This is precisely the situation for which the Atonement was offered. The need for the remedy inspired its establishment. As long as you recognize only the need for the remedy, you will remain fearful. However, as soon as you use the remedy, you have also abolished the fear. This is how true healing occurs.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.IX.13:1-6)

How do we “use” the remedy of Atonement to reach our own fearlessness? It is easy to say, but sometimes difficult to do—but we clear our minds, choose love in the setting where we are afraid, and the Love heals. Just that easy. It will work if we work it.

We are after true healing in this life. Nobody receives true healing who still holds something against a brother or sister. Our ego, withering though it is, makes that impossible. We must over and over, in every situation, choose to keep a positive, kindly attitude toward those whom we feel have wronged us. This is called forgiveness, and if we recognize that we called that action to ourselves, we will realize the innocence in another. Everyone is doing the best he/she can do in every situation. Not all are ready for love, and if we are in their way, we may get burned.
Our own innocence in this process must be highlighted. We are not victims of another; we merely got in the way, choosing to get in the way when we didn’t know better how to handle the situation. Would we blame ourselves for our ignorance? I think not. We simply learn, discover, from the mistake we made what is better next time to choose. We choose again.

If there is an unhealed place in our lives, let us ask for healing today. We will not be left in disaster; our guidance will tell us how to extricate ourselves from the problems in which we find ourselves.

Mind Wandering

“The correction of fear is your responsibility. When you ask for release from fear, you are implying that it isn’t. You should ask, instead, for help in the conditions which have brought the fear about. This always entails a willingness on the part of your separated mind. At this level, you can help it. You are much too tolerant of mind wandering, thus tacitly condoning your mind’s miscreations. The particular result never matters, but this fundamental error does. The fundamental correction is always the same. Before you will to do anything, ask me if your will is in accord with mine. If you are sure that it is, there will be no fear.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.IX.5:1-10)

The most important sentence in this quotation, I think, is the following: “You are much too tolerant of mind wandering.” Is this not just about everybody’s problem?

We need to discover how to wipe clean our minds, put problems on the back burner, and (as A Course of Love says) let our inner Christ-Self come up to the surface with an Answer, a divine Answer. This is the same as looking to the Holy Spirit, Who is within us also. Of course, we need the patience to allow this to happen. If we persist in wiping our minds clean of pesky problems, letting a wiser Wisdom surface, the results will be the proof. We really will find that the Self knows better, for it draws from Divinity, God Himself, to lead us, ever so gently, to the resolution of those matters that threaten to disturb our peace of mind.

We need not be fearful, but it does take an ego-free mind to realize this. And many of us are not there yet. As we make decisions, if we allow Jesus to influence us, we will know that the process by which we come to a decision is divinely led. This may not completely remove the fear, for we are used to fretting over trifles, and sometimes we are confronted with more than trifles in this life.

Let guidance from within lead. It will not fail. And we will rejoice when we know that this is so.

Way Out of Fear

“Whenever you are afraid, it is a sure sign that you have allowed your mind to miscreate; that is, you have not allowed me to guide it. It is pointless to believe that controlling the outcome of misthought can result in real healing. When you are fearful, you have willed wrongly. This is why you feel you are responsible for it. You must change your mind, not your behavior, and this is a matter of will. You do not need guidance except at the mind level. Correction belongs only at the level where causation is possible. The term does not really mean anything at the symptom level, where it cannot work.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.IX.4:1-8)

Jesus knows that we have not given up fear, that we still have misthought, and we feel the results, in pain often. He emphasizes that a change of mind is far more important, and pivotal, than a change in behavior. A change in behavior will happen when we have changed our mind, then and only then.

He wants us to correct our thinking, and then we will see an improvement in our behavior. It seems that he is not so much concerned with the outcome of misthought as he is with the problem of the mind itself. He wants us to think aright.

A Course of Love, channeled later, emphasizes that we change our mind when we listen to our heart—a heart that has always known what to think, say, and do. Our heart does not need any teaching, but our mind, so long egoic, has still patterns of the ego lingering. And so we need a sounder basis for making decisions, and that sounder basis is our heart.

Everyone knows what the heart means without a tedious telling. Our heart will inform our mind, which will inform our behavior. Then we will really be healed.

Insanity / Madness

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

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

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

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

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

The Spiritual Eye

“There is no doubt that the spiritual eye does produce extreme discomfort by what it sees. The thing that you forget is that the discomfort is not the final outcome of its perception. When the spiritual eye is permitted to look upon the defilement of the altar, it also looks immediately toward Atonement. Nothing which the spiritual eye perceives can induce fear. Everything that results from accurate spiritual awareness merely is channelized toward correction. Discomfort is aroused only to bring the need to correct forcibly into awareness.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.VIII.8:4-9)

The concept about the “spiritual eye” will allow us to realize that God is always and forever looking to move us closer to Him. If we realize that our own altar, the inner place in us, has been defiled by our choices, we can immediately look to the solution provided by Jesus, the Atonement, which will give us comfort and ensure us that the defiled altar will not stand when we are confronting Atonement. We begin to feel better. Our spiritual eye has saved us.

We all have this spiritual eye, and the eye is informed by the Holy Spirit (or the Christ-Self, if we are following A Course of Love). The spiritual eye is the discernment of our Wisdom, and this Wisdom is accessed in the present moment, especially when our heart is filled with gratitude about what life is presenting to us. Even if outer blessings appear to be minimal, there is still much to praise. And it is this praise, this gratitude, that will save us. It is this praise that will set us back on the pathway.

Let our spiritual eye discern today. Let our spiritual eye show us what needs to change, for all of us have desert places that need to be left. If we utilize our spiritual eye, we will walk a fresher path.

We will know the Love that spiritual discernment will always show us.

The Miracle Worker

“The healer who relies on his own readiness is endangering his understanding. He is perfectly safe as long as he is completely unconcerned about his readiness, but maintains a consistent trust in mine. Errors of this kind produce some very erratic behavior, which usually points up an underlying unwillingness to cooperate. These errors inevitably introduce inefficiency into the miracle worker’s behavior and temporarily disrupt his miracle-mindedness.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.VIII.2:1-4)

At this point in A Course in Miracles, Jesus is asking us to rely on himself to note when and if a miracle is warranted. He has not yet made the Holy Spirit’s role plain. He does make clear at this point that if we don’t follow himself, we will lose our way. When we depend on ourselves to try to determine what expressions of love we might offer, we depend amiss.

Depending on ourselves seems such a good goal, being independent in our spirituality seems OK. But it is not. Why? We don’t know enough. We are never encouraged, in A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love, or in The Way of Mastery, to depend on ourselves. It is a slim reed indeed if we attempt this.

Our minds and hearts need to be attuned to a greater understanding than we personally have. That is the only way that we can succeed in this miracle readiness of ours. It is the only way to offer love that will be accepted fully.

Offering Miracles Rightly

“The value of the Atonement does not lie in the manner in which it is expressed. In fact, if it is truly used it will inevitably be expressed in whatever way is most helpful to the receiver, not the giver. This means that a miracle, to attain its full efficacy, must be expressed in a language which the recipient can understand without fear. It does not follow by any means that this is the highest level of communication of which he is capable. But it does mean that it is the highest level of communication of which he is capable now. The whole aim of the miracle is to raise the level of communication, not to impose regression (in the improper sense) upon it.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.VII.10:1-6)

When we engage in expressions of love, miracles, we need to be well aware of what we perceive the understanding level of the recipient really is. It is not enough that we understand what we are trying to do when we express love; it is vitally important that we correctly figure out what the receiver is ready to accept. Then the miracle, prompted by Jesus, can find a true home. Then the miracle truly heals.

We need to be sure that our communication, expression, of love does not contain any elements that might cause the other person to feel fear. Knowing what to say and do then requires guidance, for who among us would know how to couch our words in a wholly benign and loving way? If another feels threatened by what we say, the miracle would be lost. No love would have been felt, no miracle truly received.

Let your expressions assume miracle status by asking for guidance in this matter of giving. Not only do we need to ask if a miracle is appropriate, but we need also to ask what to say or do. So all aspects of our miracle readiness draws on a higher Source.