Body

“The body is merely a fact in this world. Its abilities can be, and frequently are, overevaluated. However, it is almost impossible to deny its existence in this world. Those who do are engaging in a particularly unworthy form of denial. The use of the word ‘unworthy’ here implies simply that it is not necessary to protect the mind by denying the unmindful. There is little doubt that the mind can miscreate. If one denies this unfortunate aspect of its power, one is also denying the power of itself.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.VII.7:1-7)

Our minds are the salient point, not the body. The body is merely an effect. In this world the body seems very real to us, but true reality actually stems from the mind, and, as A Course in Miracles makes clear elsewhere, “projection makes perception.” What the mind projects, then becomes our “reality” in this world.

When we focus too much on what the body seems to be saying to us, we make pain in the mind as an escalating force. This we don’t want to do. ACIM points to the one reality, the worldview of a united reality, monism. Thus the body’s central place in our drama becomes downplayed. We don’t want to deny the body, but just see that the mind (and heart) are the pivotal places for our experience to grow.

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Pain

“The misuse of will engenders a situation which, in the extreme, becomes altogether intolerable. Pain thresholds can be high, but they are not limitless. Eventually, everybody begins to recognize, however dimly, that there must be a better way. As this recognition is more firmly established, it becomes a perceptual turning point. This ultimately reawakens the spiritual eye simultaneously weakening the investment in physical sight. The alternating investment in the two types or levels of perception is usually experienced as conflict for a long time, and can become very acute. But the outcome is as certain as God.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.VI.8:1-7)

When we misuse our will, it becomes imprisoned. This seems to me to a check on our miscreation. God knew that His universes needed to survive, and His children needed to thrive in them, and so He sets limits. When we make poor, bad decisions, we experience pain. And this pain, when it becomes acute enough, signals to us that we have to change our ways.

It is not necessary to learn through pain; Jesus tells us this in A Course in Miracles, in another section of the book. It is much more lasting to learn through rewards, but sometimes we become extremely stubborn, and the only thing—the only thing—that will get our attention is an understanding that there must be a better way, a way without all this pain (and suffering). When we reach this point (and everybody will reach it eventually), we are primed to choose again, and this new choice is what will save us.

Miracles can shorten this period of discomfort immensely. So it is miracles that we ought to pray for, miracles as expressions of love. The only thing stronger than fear (and fear brings pain) is love. And love sets us on the flower-strewn pathway back to God, the pathway of healing the illusory separation in which we have all believed.

Chalice of the Atonement

“For perfect effectiveness, the chalice of the Atonement belongs at the center of the inner altar, where it undoes the separation and restores the wholeness of the mind. Before the separation, the mind was invulnerable to fear, because fear did not exist. Both the separation and the fear were miscreations of the mind, which have to be undone. This is what the Bible means by the restoration of the temple. It does not mean the restoration of the building, but it does mean the opening of the altar to receive the Atonement. This heals the separation, and places within you the one defense against all errors which can make you perfectly invulnerable.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.VI.6:1-6)

To be perfectly invulnerable! I have experienced the feeling of this, years ago on a solitary walk in a big city, returning to my car from an errand. If we are open to experiencing invulnerability, we will be fearless. It is a heady feeling.

The chalice is in the center of ourselves, in our heart. This is the holy Grail that sent so many knights on quests, venerated in fables and stories. But it is intangible, a secret place within where we are invulnerable to fear, seeing only love (and often Love with a capital “L”). When we let the ego go and thereby heal the separation through an all-embracing love, we will know inner peace. It won’t matter what is going on around us, for our peace will be unshakeable. It is this to which we trod.

Anxieties fall away when the love that we feel takes over our heart and mind. When we are surrounded by love through and through, fear does not assail us. We know that we are safe. We know that God is holding us secure.

And there is no better place to be.

We Return as We Move Forward

“The evolution of humankind is merely a process by which you proceed from one degree to the next. You correct your previous missteps by stepping forward. This represents a process which is actually incomprehensible in temporal terms, because you return as you go forward. The Atonement is the device by which you can free yourself from the past as you go ahead. It undoes your past errors, thus making it unnecessary for you to keep retracing your steps without advancing toward your return.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.V.6:1-5)

We can understand evolution. It is harder, though, to imagine that we actually “return” as we go forward. We are getting back to the time before we left God in the separation. And the Atonement principle makes all of this possible. We know that we are forgiven, and so we can forgive ourselves. Our forgetting has merely been temporal; we will remember what has always been, true reality. And this is the means by which we are saved from all past errors.

Jesus fulfilled his role perfectly. He now stands ready to assist us if we falter. We cannot ever be alone, for we have helpers galore. The Holy Spirit was created to be just such a Helper.

As our errors are corrected, we move forward in time. And as we forgive others for what they did not do, in true reality, we know that we too have been innocent, children who took false steps because we didn’t make the right choices.

Would we condemn a child? So God does not condemn us.

The World’s Plight

“The Atonement actually began long before the resurrection. Many souls offered their efforts on behalf of the separated ones. But they could not withstand the strength of the attack and had to be brought back. Angels came, too, but their protection was not enough, because the separated ones were not interested in peace.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.V.3:1-4)

This quotation highlights the importance of some belief in the resurrection, though many of us believe it in many different ways. In A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, Jesus is never explicit as to whether it was a bodily resurrection or an ethereal one. But the belief in a resurrection galvanized his disciples and others of the time. I think something happened, even if we cannot be sure what.

Jesus is very clear that the crucifixion did not address the Atonement. He simply did not defend himself when he was brought for crucifixion, and in this he is our example, because he doesn’t want us in a defensive posture either. The resurrection is the salient point.

The idea that others came before, and could not withstand the attack from separated people is important, never stated before. Angels, Jesus says, came, too. Nothing seemed to work. Now Jesus, after the resurrection, is spearheading a “celestial speed-up” to try to help suffering people everywhere. A Course in Miracles is part of that speed-up, as he told Helen and Bill. We can imagine that other channeled works from Jesus are also part of the speed-up. Certainly we have been on the brink of destroying ourselves for many long years now.

Jesus deserves our gratitude. We have gotten ourselves in a grand problem, and entities far more advanced than are we are seeking to find a solution. Let us hope that we can add our little part to make a positive change as well.

Treasure

“The means are easier to clarify after the true worth of the goal itself is firmly established. Everyone defends his own treasure. You do not have to tell him to do this, because he will do so automatically. The real question still remains, What do you treasure and how much do you treasure it? Once you learn to consider these two points and bring them into all your actions as the true criteria for behavior, I will have little difficulty in clarifying the means. You have not learned to be consistent about this as yet. I have therefore concentrated on showing you that the means are available whenever you do ask. We can save a lot of time, however, if you do not need to extend this step unduly. The correct focus will shorten it immeasurably.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.IV.13:1-9)

Our treasure ought to be in the heaven on earth that we can create here. This goal would easily create a new world for us all.

Jesus is really trying to help us. There is back scenes work that we can’t see, and then there are A Course in Miracles, A Course of Love, and Way of Mastery. Others have also channeled him. We need to lighten up from our crises, and ask what we really want in life. That would be our goal. That would also be our treasure. And we can get Jesus’ help in identifying goal and treasure.

Devote some contemplation to these basic questions: treasure (what is it?) and goal (what is that?). If we move lightly on our feet, the answers, informed by the Holy Spirit and the Christ-Self, will be obvious. And we will walk a better earth as a result. Our feelings will improve, because Love has shown the way.

Suffering

“It is all right to remember the past, provided you also remember that anything you suffer is because of your own errors. As an analogy, imagine a very young child who falls down the stairs when an adult has her arms open in welcome at the bottom of the stairs, and who then develops a totally unwarranted fear of that adult. The misstep which causes the child’s fall has nothing at all to do with the adult, just as your own missteps have nothing at all to do with me.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.III.9:1-3)

There is a very pertinent point in this quotation from Jesus. He says that we suffer because of our own errors! Nothing more. There is nobody to blame, including him. And, of course, no truth in blaming God either.
Elsewhere he has said that we do not need to learn through pain. Yet the fact remains that many of us do choose to learn through pain, and sometimes this pain escalates into emotional and physical suffering. Jesus says (elsewhere) that it is better to learn through rewards. Would that we could all take to heart what he is saying!

Our suffering has no basis. Trials are but lessons presented again, so that we make a better choice where before we made a faulty one. This idea from A Course in Miracles is also pertinent, for what are “trials” but suffering?

Jesus does not ever give a full explanation for the meaning of suffering, though in A Course of Love he indicates that Love is the answer. If we love enough, he says, we are free of pain and suffering. But it is, nevertheless, wrong to “blame the victim.” No human personality is to “blame” for the ills that he/she experiences. These errors are on another level entirely.

In The Way of Mastery, Jesus indicates that believing in karma as a way to explain the negative is a faulty world view. So it seems that we can’t place the blame on past lives.

Another channeled writing, from Pat Rodegast, has her source, Emmanuel, saying that there is no way, here on earth, for us ever to understand suffering. That is something that will be resolved for us only in the afterlife.

That makes sense to me, for even Jesus does not answer the riddle of suffering so that we cease having questions.

Jesus: “You Can Do Anything I Ask”

“You can do anything I ask. I have asked you to perform miracles, and have made it very clear that these are natural, corrective, healing, and universal. There is nothing good they cannot do. But they cannot be performed in the spirit of doubt. You have asked yourself why you cannot really incorporate my words. But remember my own question before you ask yours: ‘O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?’” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.III.3:1-6)

“You can do anything I ask.” What a lovely reminder and supportive comment! We must not doubt when we receive an inkling that an expression of love—a miracle—is called for. Our personally selected expressions may be misguided, for not everybody is ready. But the ones that we intuitively sense—that is something different. Jesus speaks to us through our feelings, as well as our sudden thoughts, and we would do well to listen in faith—not in an attitude of doubt about what we have received.

Escape from Fear

“All fear is ultimately reducible to the basic misperception that you have the ability to usurp the power of God. It is again emphasized that you neither can nor have been able to do this. In this statement lies the real justification for your escape from fear. This is brought about by your acceptance of the Atonement, which places you in a position to realize that your own errors never really occurred.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.II.16:1-4)

God’s world is still in His hands. We can’t change ultimate reality; we just fall into illusion. It is this that will save us. It is this that will save us from the debilitating experience of fear.

When we accept the Atonement, the place of Christ in history, the rapprochement of man/woman and God, then we have by-passed the separation forever. We have also eliminated the ego from our way of thinking. Of course, all of this is easier said than done. Often, the Atonement is felt over years, years in which we slowly come to see that God’s will and ours are actually identical. We stop trying to play God ourselves. We acknowledge that we did not create ourselves, something the ego wanted to have us believe.

We have been living in illusion. In the Atonement, we may still find illusion clinging to our feet, but we have nevertheless made progress. True reality, the intangible benefits of peace, love, joy, contentment, harmony—will become a tangible, viable result of healing the separation. True reality offers us what an illusory separation never did: peace of mind and, as A Course of Love says, a heart that informs our living.

Deep Sleep of Adam

“One translation of the fall, a view emphasized by Mary Baker Eddy and worthy of note is that ‘a deep sleep fell upon Adam.’ While the Bible seems to regard this sleep as a kind of anesthetic utilized for the protection of Adam during the creation of Eve, Mrs. Eddy was correct in emphasizing that nowhere is there any reference made to his waking up. While Christian Science is clearly incomplete, this point is much in its favor.” (ACIM, COA ed., T:2.II.14:1-3)

We are all trying to be Adam “waking up.” That is what the Awakening is really all about. And until we experience Awakening (enlightenment or Christ-consciousness), we aren’t going to know what we are missing. A Course in Miracles offers a pathway to this ultimate that is easy and peaceful, not scary at all, a gentle pathway.

We can’t choose the time, and that can be frustrating to those of us on the spiritual pathway. We can remove blocks to the awareness of love, and that is important. That removal of blocks to the awareness of love is about all that we can do to prepare. The holy instant, which can speed things along, is solely a gift of the Holy Spirit for which we are encouraged not to try to “prepare.” We can forgive, we can drop anger and attack, we can intend to love more. These things do remove blocks to the awareness of Love.

Reopening Our Spiritual Eye

“When the ‘lies of the serpent’ were introduced, they were called lies because they are not true. When man listened, all he heard was untruth. You do not have to continue to believe what is not true, unless you choose to do so. All of your miscreations can disappear in the well-known ‘twinkling of an eye,’ because they are a visual misperception. Your spiritual eye can sleep, but remember, a sleeping eye can still see.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.II.13:1-5)

The “lies of the serpent” were, I believe, egoic lies that we told ourselves and each other when we fell into separation from God. Certainly many times we equate the ego with the “devil,” and this is not always a bad analogy. Our spiritual eyes, so long as we are trapped by the ego, are “asleep.” As Jesus says elsewhere, when Adam was put in a deep sleep in the Genesis story, an analogy, there is no recorded evidence of his awakening. This is what awaits all of us, though, when we choose to heal the separation from God. And the Holy Spirit will show us how to reestablish our relationship with God. (In A Course of Love, our relationship with God is “direct,” and the inner Christ-Self does the work for us of healing.)

We have miscreated when we fall into anger and attack, isolation and rejection, bad temper and assorted other troubles that signal a disconnect from Love. We have also miscreated material objects in our world, fashioning chemicals that pollute our environment, and weapons of war that destroy the lives of others and sometimes ourselves. Of course, we think that we have no choice but to defend ourselves, but we need to give Love a chance. There is no telling what progress could be made if all of us were to turn to a more harmonious interaction with our fellowman and woman.

Even an ordinary person makes a difference when he chooses harmony rather than discord. All of us are included in creating a better world, and actually none of us should be discounted as unimportant to that endeavor.

Needs

“The Garden of Eden, which is described as a literal garden in the Bible, was not originally an actual garden at all. It was merely a mental state of complete need-lack. Even in the literal account, it is noteworthy that the pre-separation state was essentially one in which man needed nothing.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.II.4:1-3)

Many years ago we imagined that our “parents” lived in a Garden of Eden. This scenario, Jesus says, was metaphorical and true, but not actual. In this pre-separation state, entities needed nothing, for all of their needs were fulfilled. Even now, in post-separation, we learn that our needs are fulfilled at the point of need, and that therefore we too have no needs. Our prayers to God are answered, and all true needs find their solution.

This is similar to the truth, also in A Course in Miracles, that solutions are given to problems at the time that the problem is articulated. We may not feel that this is true, but if we can imagine that the solution is always given with the problem, we can be thankful that this is also a need that is fulfilled. It is true, but our limited mind does not always recognize a blessing when it appears. So we tend to hang on to our problems rather than let them go, into the inner peace that is always ours when we live in the present.

We worry with problems as a dog chews a bone. This need not be. When we allow the problem to rest easy on the mind, we will see, dimly, what the solution actually is. This may include acceptance of what we don’t want to accept, but this is not insurmountable. We CAN rest in God’s arms, sure of His love and of His constant care for us.

Mental Health Is Inner Peace

“You are perfectly unaffected by all expressions of lack of love. These can be either from yourself and others, or from yourself to others, or from others to you. Peace is an attribute in you. You cannot find it outside. All mental illness is some form of external searching. Mental health is inner peace. It enables you to remain unshaken by lack of love from without, and capable, through your own miracles, of correcting the external conditions which proceed from lack of love in others.” (ACIM, COA ed.,T-2.I.26:1-7)

This person that Jesus is talking about in this quotation is the “real” “you,” the Self, the Christ-Self. Our personality, while it is egoic, does react to lacks of love, but all of this is not truly real. Our mental health for the Self gives us only peace. And it is this we can experience when we don’t get stuck in the egoic self, for this self is actually mentally ill (to use Jesus’ terms in this quotation).

Jesus refers to the insanity of the ego in other places in A Course in Miracles. We can never, never, expect to be mentally healthy until we have dislodged the ego, and dislodging the ego is a major goal of ACIM. When the egoic self is gone, we are free to let the Christ-Self emerge from the depths. Once this Self has learned how to proceed in the external world, we are set for life. This change is detailed in the continuation of ACIM, A Course of Love.

Anger and attack are evidence of madness, and it is this that the egoic self is familiar with. Forgiveness sets us on a higher road, with love a part of that road. Then the stress, fear, that led to anger and attack largely dissipate.

Inner peace is our elixir, the road to eternity in a time-bound world.

Depression & Anxiety

“Generally, three types of emotional disturbance result:

“a) The tendency to maintain the illusion that only the physical is real. This produces depression.

“b) The tendency to invest the physical with nonphysical properties. This is essentially magic and tends more toward anxiety-proneness.

“c) The tendency to vacillate from one to the other, which produces a corresponding vacillation between depression and anxiety.

“All three result in self-imposed starvation.” (ACIM, COA ed.,T-2.I.7:1-7)

Here Jesus gives us a metaphysical approach to depression and anxiety. If we think the physical is all that there is, of course we will be depressed: Who wants to end in the grave? And if we try magical solutions in materialism, we will become anxious, because we know, deep inside (where God is), that this is a falsehood. Lastly, we can vacillate between these two extremes, and then vacillate between depression and anxiety.

All of this is essentially disheartening. If we live from our heart, as A Course of Love (the continuation of A Course in Miracles), we will bypass all of this nonsense. Bypassing such false ideas is just good thinking, and in so doing we won’t feel depressed/anxious that we are on the wrong track.

Bypassing depression and anxiety is just good common sense. Why, when these falsehoods have been pointed out to us, would we continue allowing mood swings to affect our good living?

Irresistible Attraction of God

“The real meaning of possession should be clarified. Fear of possession is a perverted expression of the fear of the irresistible attraction of God. The truth is still that the attraction of God is irresistible at all levels, and the acceptance of this totally unavoidable truth is only a matter of time. But you should consider whether you want to wait, because you can return now, if you choose.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.I.1:1-4)

Here we begin Chapter 2 of the complete A Course in Miracles. This part of the new ACIM is quite technical with psychological dimensions. But even a lay person can understand some of what is being said. Of course, Helen and Bill undoubtedly understood it all.

Perhaps we have had a fear of possession by evil spirits. Here Jesus says that this is a perverted expression of our fears about God.

We know, deep within, that we are One with Him, and we don’t know what to make of this, I think because we still fear Him so. This fear is the reason for the creation of the Holy Spirit as an intermediary between God and ourselves. But we have nothing to fear, and as we go further in ACIM, we will come to see that.

We are irresistibly attracted by the love of God. When we think on these things, we know that there is nothing we really want besides this love. And the love that we feel, however imperfectly we feel, gives us limitless release and great joy.

We are home free when we give into this feeling. Trust a little, and let the sense of God’s indwelling comfort us through and through. When we sense the comfort, we won’t be afraid any longer.

Taking the Course

“After you have taken the course, you will accept it and keep it and use it. That is the final exam, which you will have no trouble in passing. Midterm marks are not entered in the permanent record.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.50.6:1-3)

Jesus is here talking to university professors (Helen and Bill), and we can enjoy his humor, for we remember our college days. There is a serious side to what he says, though, indicating that when we apply our learning from A Course in Miracles, we will have no trouble in passing the course. Mid-term grades are not calculated!

And we will all, eventually, head into Awakening. Forgiveness and awakening are the goals of ACIM. When we forgive (though nothing actually ever really needs forgiveness if we haven’t condemned), we are priming ourselves for Awakening. When we listen to how God speaks to our heart, we will know more. Jesus wants all of us to walk the peaceful way back to God. He prepares us well, so that we don’t become panicked if enlightenment should descend upon us suddenly. Most of us, though, will have a quiet Awakening. We have indeed been well-prepared.

Happy Dreams the Holy Spirit Brings

“The purpose of this course is integration. You cannot use it right until you have taken it. As long as your identification either vacillates or is weak, you cannot accept the gift that belongs to you. You are still vacillating between recognizing the gift and throwing it away, or regarding yourself as too weak to accept it. You do not know its healing power.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.50.5:1-5)

This is likely a personal reference to Helen and Bill, co-scribes of A Course in Miracles. But we can expand it to know that Jesus is also possibly talking to us as well. Jesus wants us to integrate ACIM into our very souls, and most certainly into our lives. If we don’t accept the gift of ACIM, we will not save ourselves much time. Our way back to God could theoretically take much longer.

Read A Course in Miracles carefully, and, if led to do so, repeatedly. One can get more from each reading, because our mind has expanded to understand more. Reading ACIM will be healing, and I can vouch for that. I fell in love with the channeled writing upon first reading, and I have never in all these years since 1981, strayed too far from another reading.

We do not have to see ourselves as weak. We become strong in the Holy Spirit, the One Who will be our strength as long as needed (and this may be needed for a very long time). Even if the way back for all of us takes millions of years (even longer than the separation, as Jesus says), we can rest in the love that will be ours along the way. Try not to be discouraged by the length of time. Our happy dreams, sent to us by the Holy Spirit, will encourage us that we are making progress, and happy dreams leads easily into Awakening.

Our goal is exalted, to save the world. But not by forcing our opinions upon those who are not ready. We are meant to be examples of right living, not evangelizing those who are not ready.

Pray that we ourselves are ready. Life gets ever better when we follow the wonderful advice in A Course in Miracles.

Love and Fear

“In sorting out the false from the true, the miracle proceeds along these lines:

“Perfect love casts out fear.

“If fear exists, then there is not perfect love.

“But

“Only perfect love really exists.

“Therefore, if there is fear, it produces a state which does not exist.

“Believe this and you will be free.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.50.2:3-8)

This quotation is a favorite part of A Course in Miracles for its students and teachers. Of course, saying that we love, and that we want to be free of fear, is easier than having it done for us. But it can be done for us, by the Holy Spirit. And by God, when He reaches down and lifts us up to Awakening.

In the meantime, for us lowly mortals, we know that we need to love more completely to get line for these great blessings. Any attack will move us farther away from our goal, and attack/anger are the result of fear. When we don’t have stress/fear, we may proceed in a harmonious way through our days.

But life is life, and things happen, prompting us to leave our good intentions for something that doesn’t work at all. Keep in mind that we think awry when we fear and stress, and that we are on the beam when we love. And the more completely we love, the better off we can be.

Miracles for Everyone

“Christ-controlled miracles are selective only in that they are directed toward those who can use them for themselves. Since this makes it inevitable that they will extend them to others, a very strong chain of Atonement is welded.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.49.2:1-2)

When we perform a Christ-controlled miracle, i.e., choose expressions of love directed by Jesus, we gain just as much as the recipient. This is illustrative of what a blessing miracles really are. We find out how to live “in the flow,” going about our day without trying to control everything, and we keep constantly attuned to the Answer. Our joy overflows, for living with a readiness for miracles is truly living a charmed existence.

If we strive to be happy, we will find that keeping an ear attuned to miracles will fulfill that adventure. Living close to Jesus is its own reward. If we think that we have a personal relationship with him, indeed we do. But he loves us more than we love him, for we are not purified as he is. His ability to love is therefore greater. It will not always be this way, but the earth sojourn is not easy, and we have learned things that will not help us as well as learned things that will.

Open ourselves to miracle readiness. Open ourselves to the Holy Spirit (if following A Course in Miracles) or the Christ Self (if following A Course of Love). It matters not that we think, in the beginning, that we are losing control of our lives. We are really growing into them, in the best way possible.

Reason for the Physical World

“The physical world exists only because you can use it to correct your unbelief, which placed you in it originally. As long as you knew you did not need anything, the whole device was unnecessary.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.48.24:4-5)

What is our “unbelief” but an idea that we can go it alone, not needing each other, not needing God? But we learn in the physical world that, contrary to what the ego tells us, we cannot make it independently. We need each other and we need Divine Love. Our idea that we ought to be autonomous and without needing to love is a false idea indeed.

Jesus here asserts that our souls would not have needed physicality unless the separation had happened prior. Then a new choice was needed to preserve the universes and our own God-given divine Self. The choice for physicality now gives us a new lease on life; we know that in these frail bodies, we are needy, and it is only when we return to true reality that we realize what we have lacked all along. These frail bodies taught us that much.

In our risen Self, we don’t have “needs” in the same way as on earth. We love, but we don’t reach out to others in a false way, to prop us up, to give us validity. This way of thinking is egoic. When we are surrounded by the reality of love, we know that all of our needs are met, and therefore we have no unsatisfied needs. We are free in this new reality.

Let the choice for physicality do its work. We reach out to others, knowing that they are here for us, and we reach out to God. Then we are truly saved. Then we know that we have no other needs.

Choosing Our Mate

“The sex impulse is a miracle impulse when it is in proper focus. One individual sees in another the right partner for propagating the species and also for their joint establishment of a creative home. This does not involve fantasy at all. If I am asked to participate in the decision, the decision will be a right one, too.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.48.9:3-6)

How many of us might be inclined to have enough of a personal relationship to the Jesus of A Course in Miracles that we would invite him into our selection of a mate? Maybe we didn’t know that this were possible. According to ACIM, Jesus makes himself available to us for all manner of ordinary decisions, and marriage is certainly one of the most important. Jesus wants us to make right decisions about marriage, forming a holy relationship, not special. If fantasies predominate, he implies here, the choice is for a special relationship. And special relationships do not have the staying power of holy ones.

Our holy relationships do not oscillate between highs and lows, drama and controversy. Our special relationships are akin to a fast track to nowhere, because the one in whom we had placed such faith tends to have feet of clay. Our special relationships divide; our holy make one. It is imperative that we move forward into creating a new world peopled with the holy. We will not have peace in the special, but only in the holy. And isn’t peace an overriding desire of us all?

We find our greatest challenges in our relationships. Here we are given an option: From Jesus, “get my advice.” Of course, we don’t know how he can be in so many foci of consciousness all at once. And perhaps, he can’t, that he was speaking just to Helen and Bill when he offered all manner of help. But I think not.

There are more wonders in heaven and earth than we have dreamt of. Jesus’s help for us is a responsibility he assumed eons ago as the leader of souls coming to earth to rescue the trapped (an Edgar Cayce assertion). He has not wavered in his commitment. Can we say the same? I think not. But the future can use Jesus’s example as our way to be faithful to the God we worship.

Wholly Satisfying Nature of Reality

Note: If I don’t post, we are having problems with our Internet connection.

“No fantasies, sexual or otherwise, are true. Fantasies become totally unnecessary as the wholly satisfying nature of reality becomes apparent.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.48.9:1-2)

As we progress, we feel better almost constantly. This is the “wholly satisfying nature of reality.” In the frame of mind that we develop, we have no need to escape into fantasies.

Fantasies have no basis in fact, and indulging in them catches us up in a false reality, an even greater illusion than we normally experience.

It is hard to imagine a more illusory state of mind than we normally inhabit in this world, for we are lost in illusions, far removed from God’s true reality. Only when we have progressed farther will we know the truth of this. And fantasies delay our progress. No one can fantasize often and expect to join God’s Kingdom, the real world, the House of Truth (the last, as called in A Course of Love).

What do we need to experience the wholly satisfying nature of reality? We need to open ourselves to the experience of God, something that comes very easy as we do so more and more often. Let Him speak to us, let Him remind us of Scripture that will ease our minds and hearts.

His way works. Our own does not, especially when that own is a fantasized projection from a deluded mind.

Live and Let Live

“Fantasies and projection are more closely associated, because both attempt to control external reality according to false internal needs. ‘Live and let live’ happens to be a very meaningful injunction.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.48.7:4-5)

When we see something “out there” that we want but seemingly can’t have, then we are likely to indulge in fantasies that will make it ours, or (more likely) we imagine that it really IS ours by way of projection. In projection, we imagine that what we perceive internally is sent to another, “projected,” and that out there the truth is the same as our internal, fantasied “reality.”

It is unlikely that Jesus would have said so much in psychological terms if Helen and Bill, co-scribes, had not been psychologists who knew well the connotations of what Jesus was saying. Jesus returns to our understanding, a lay understanding, when he says, “Live and let live.” In other words, we must choose a better way than fantasy and projection to make our reality. We must live our real truth, and allow our brother to live his. We must live (ourselves) and let live (our brother). We must reject the notion that we can alter circumstances to suit our fancy. We come very close to the insanity that Jesus says we all have in the madness of this world. Here he uses psychological terms that will illustrate for us just how close to the world’s evaluation of madness we could come—if we are not careful.

So: Let our brother, who is our savior, meant to be in holy relationship to us, walk his own way. We each have truly holy relationships that do not evolve into intimate terms in this world.

Special Agents

“You do have special talents which are needed for the celestial speed-up at this time. But note that the term ‘speed-up’ is not one which relates to the transcending of time. When time is abolished and all the Sons of God have come home, no special agents will be necessary. But do not underestimate the power of special agents now, or the great need there is for them. I do not claim to be more than that myself. No one in his right mind (a term which should be specially noted) ever wants either more or less than that.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.48.6:1-6)

Most of us must be “special agents.” If we are on the spiritual pathway, it is a foregone conclusion that we are indeed. And Jesus needs us all, for the salvation of the world.

First, we have to get our own lives working, though this is more of a hope than an accomplished fact. Jesus has used many people over the ages who had great limitations and many struggles. This in itself does not mean that we can’t claim “special agent” status.

St. Paul himself had a “thorn in his side.” Nobody has ever known conclusively what this meant. But look at all he accomplished in spite of that thorn, a thorn he asked to have removed, a request that was not granted.

Despite limitations, we must forge on ahead. And the “special agent” status, we hasten to add, is not a matter of ego. We each have callings in this world, and we will be happy, contented, only when we answer.

Let us answer today. Ask to be shown what God (and Jesus) have in mind for us. We will be shown.

Light for Our Pathway

“You can wait, delay, paralyze yourself, reduce your creativity almost to nothing, and even induce a real developmental arrest or regression. But you cannot abolish your creativity.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.48.3:3-4)

This says that we can go backwards. Helen herself (scribe of A Course in Miracles) is said to have had such a regression, previously, in other lives. So might we all. But if we stay close to the tenets of ACIM, we will be alright. We have the power to halt our progress to ultimate salvation. But why would we do that?

The way back is easy, when we are pliable in God’s hands. He takes care of us, leads us back to the fold. And in the coming back, we can help others. There is nobody so lost that he/she cannot help others.

Why would we reduce our creativity? Why would we ever? Because we don’t think we know any better. Our own sense of being lost from God is a major impediment to our progress back to Him. If we don’t see where we are going, how can we go toward the straight and narrow? We can’t. But we would be wise to ask for a Light for our pathway. A Course in Miracles is such a light.

The world needs wiling saviors. Let us join that group today. Let us know that we can make a difference.

All it takes is a tiny step toward beginning our mission. And our mission is salvation for the world.

Miracles Save Time

“There is no relation between the time a miracle takes and the time it covers. It substitutes for learning that might have taken thousands of years.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.47.2:5-6)

What a joyous revelation! The miracles that appear in our lives may be saving thousands of years, years often filled with suffering and pain. Jesus doesn’t specify if these miracles affect us or the people that we express love, a miracle, for—but it does seem obvious that the miracle affects everyone involved, giver and receiver. A Course of Love makes clear that giving and receiving are identical in this life. So we can be sure that any miracle happening around us in any way at all does bless us.

Jesus does not take a stand on reincarnation in A Course in Miracles, but the hint is seen here that we might save ourselves many thousands of years of reincarnations if we approach the miracle with the right mindset. Certainly we fall into unknowing in this life, failing to remember the love that may be so evident when we are on the Other Side (Heaven, if we wish to call it that). This forgetfulness can be very damaging to us, but it is necessary for the illusion to work.

We set ourselves very severe challenges in this life, though Jesus does say in the Manual for Teachers that there is no challenge to an advanced teacher of God. The reason for this is that we choose for all humankind, following guidance by turning to the Holy Spirit before we act.

Ask for miracles to surround us today. If we are open to this miracle-minded thinking, we will perhaps save ourselves many years of potential agony.

Miracles & Revelation

“When the Sonship can return to its original form of communication with God by direct revelation, the need for miracles is over. The Holy Spirit mediates higher- to lower-order communication, keeping the direct channel from God to humanity open for revelation. Revelation is not reciprocal. It is always from God to you. This is because God and you are not equal. The miracle, on the other hand, is reciprocal because it always involves equality.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.46.20:3-8)

This quotation gets to some of the keys in the theology of A Course in Miracles. We are given the Holy Spirit as a Gift, because we are, unfortunately, not ready for direct communication from God; our fear is too great. We think that God doesn’t mean us well, because what we have done with our lives is so despicable that He could not forgive our deeds. Actually, we learn in ACIM that God never forgives because He has never accused; He doesn’t blame us for anything, seeing us as innocent children who haven’t known any better. God thus has never, ever, condemned us in any sense at all. We are His prodigal sons and daughters, whom He wants mightily to return to the fold.

When we experience revelation (if we recognize it as revelation), it is intensely personal and cannot actually be explained to another. We know what we have experienced, but nobody else would believe us. Miracles are our expressions of love, though, prompted originally by the love of God, and so there is a reciprocal relationship in these. When we feel led to express love, Jesus will arrange time and space to allow us to do so—but only if that expression of love, that miracle, is something that Jesus recognizes as needed and right. He gives us the cue, and we would do well to remember this. Misplaced miracles miss the mark.

When we are stressed, we need to turn to the Holy Spirit, if direct relationship to God still threatens. Later on, in A Course of Love (many believe a sequel to ACIM), we will see a direct approach to God Himself by inviting the Christ-Self from our depths, where God resides, to lead us.

Miracles are more useful now to us and to others. We would do well to ask internally what miracles are needed each and every day, what there is there for us to do.

Jesus: “I and My Father Are of One Kind”

“This appears to contradict another statement: ‘I and my Father are one.’ It doesn’t. There are still separate parts in the statement, in recognition of the fact that the Father is greater. Actually, the original statement was ‘are of one kind.’ The Father and the Son are not identical, but you can say ‘Like Father, like Son.’” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.46.18:1-5)

Jesus is here articulating the difference between the Father (God) and the Son (Christ). He is speaking for us as well as himself when he says that God and the Son (or Daughter) are “of one kind.” We are differentiated out of “God stuff” (for what of a better term). All energy in the cosmos is of one kind, and this energy is of God. Living consciousness pervades the whole.

But God, the Limitless, is greater. To know all is to reach far beyond our own limited, finite minds. We can intuit the whole, occasionally, but our powers are circumscribed, for we are not yet all that we will one day be, when we have remembered the Father and submerged our will entirely into His.

The indication that the phrase should be “of one kind” is new to this edition of the Circle of Atonement. It certainly does clarify the nature of God Himself and our relationship to Him/Her.

Lest we puff ourselves up by these statements, let us know that the humble are those who have actually walked the whole pathway of salvation. Shorn entirely of ego, they walk in peace and joy forever. They never try to be something that they aren’t, and they never claim for themselves a status that we will not all one day reach. Jesus says that there is nothing he has that will not one day be granted to all. Right now this pentacle is potential in us only.

Jesus’ Help on Our Pathway Home

“There is nothing about me that you cannot attain. I have nothing that does not come from God. The main difference between us as yet is that I have nothing else. That leaves me in a state of true holiness, which is only potential in you.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.46.16:1-4)

Here Jesus explains, more or less, that we are moving on the same pathway that he has traversed. We will get there, for he has promised elsewhere that he stands at the end of the carpet to resolve any mistakes that we could not correct.

Why not follow his advice, as an elder brother who has already found out how to return to God, how to heal the separation. We would be very foolish to turn aside from his recommendations, for he is smoothing the way for us. We can only imagine that his pathway was more difficult than ours, though the fact that he remained so close to God might have been a mitigating factor.

We have only the potential to be as Jesus is. Everything that he has comes from God, and we have gotten lost in irrelevancies brought about by the misuse of our free will. We can get back home; it is only a matter of time. But the world winds on wearily, and there is much suffering as we walk in a mist of our own making.

Enough of this! Revel in the joy of knowing that Jesus is here for us, right here, holding our hand. He will call (as I have often quoted) upon “one unequivocal call.”

When he comes, don’t forget to thank him.

Jesus: “I Kneel Beside You, Facing the Light”

“Awe is not properly experienced in relation to me. I kneel beside you, facing the light.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.46.14:3)

This image of Jesus kneeling beside us, facing the light, which is God, is lovely. He sees himself as an elder brother who has walked the pathway a little ahead of us; as an elder brother, awe is not appropriate when we think of him. Awe is appropriate when we are sensing the numinous that is God.

The “light,” in addition to suggesting God, also suggests wisdom and knowledge. This is what Jesus is doing for us in channeling A Course in Miracles—imparting wisdom and knowledge. There is little way that I could articulate how very much ACIM has meant to my life. It has captivated me for many years.

Think of God with awe, and then think of Jesus with gratitude for his gift of ACIM.

His was inspired writing, from God, I believe, and so in considering A Course in Miracles, we need to consider the pivotal place that Jesus’ inner Deity has played in its conception.

Prayer & Miracles

“We said before that prayer is the medium of miracles. The miracle prayer is:

“If you will tell me what to do, I will do it.

“This prayer is the door that leads out of the desert forever.

“This however, is not a complete statement, because it does not include the negative. We have already told you to add the thought ‘and not to do those you would not have me do’ in connection with miracles.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.46.9:1-3 to 10:1-2)

Jesus gives very precise guidance in line with our acceptance of his terms. We both perform miracles that he has authorized, and we refrain from performing miracles to which he has not given the nod. We are held strictly to guidance when it comes to what we do in regard to miracles.

Surely this must be because miracles are of a higher order in reality. If we tried to perform them with our limited knowledge, we would disobey laws of the universe that God keeps under strict control. The law of love is one such law, for if the law of love did not exist, then the whole fabric of existence would fall apart. The universe(s) would self-destruct. So God knew what He was doing when Love was placed front and center.

Miracles as expressions of love are a movement into a deeper reality. They are what Love can wrought when other laws are suspended. So we have to have guidance; we can survive and thrive in no other way.

When we pray, we discover what to do as well as what to deny the doing. We get on God’s beam, and what better place is there for all of us to exist?

In Times of Temptation

“Child of God, you were created to create the good, the beautiful, and the holy. Do not lose sight of this. Invite me to enter anywhere temptation arises.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.46.7:1-3)

“The good, the beautiful, and the holy.” This phrase antedates The Way of Mastery, and these words reappear in this later channeling. The one who channeled (and continues to channel) Jesus, Jayem, emailed me that Jesus had prevented him from reading A Course in Miracles, a directive, as it were. So Jesus himself is responsible for this turn of phrase.

What does this beautiful phrase actually mean? It is what we are to be about in this world. And in changing this world, and, ultimately, in creating a new world. The words are actually synonymous, though we recognize that there are differences among the words. May we listen to Jesus today, and do what we can to lead a beautiful life while carrying out his instructions to create the “good, the beautiful, and the holy.”

If we sense that we are about to take the wrong turn, let us turn to our leader, Jesus, to refrain from allowing temptation to have its way with us. None of us are above temptation. Actually it is the last vestiges of the ego in ourselves. The ego is one way to look at the hated and feared “devil.” The ego does not mean us well. Historically and traditionally, we have seen the devil as the tempter.

Jesus at this point in A Course in Miracles is taking upon himself the role that will later be assumed by the Holy Spirit, and, later still, the Christ-Self. He is telling Helen and Bill, and, by extension, us, to turn to an epitome of good (in himself) to withstand the wily ways of temptation.

We know when we are being tempted. There will be a little excitement, and a sense of not being able to stop ourselves from moving forward. But we will have an uneasy feeling, and all will not be well.

Turn to our companion and guide, Jesus, at such times. Let the good, beautiful, and holy envelop us.

And all will be well.

Sex

“Sex was intended as an instrument for physical creation (see previous notes), to enable souls to embark on new chapters in their experience, and thus improve their records. The pencil was not an end in itself.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.46.4:1-2)

Jesus must take a dim view of our society, for we have long noted that our commercials, television programming, and movies are saturated with sex. Even we realize that we are getting it wrong.

Jesus says that sex is intended for physical creation (think babies) as well as to enable us to embark on new experiences that will improve our “records.” These records are the history of our soul’s experiences on earth, though Jesus never takes a stand for or against reincarnation (believing that it will limit our usefulness to others who both believe, or don’t believe, in reincarnation).

Jesus aptly uses a Freudian symbol when he says, “the pencil was not an end in itself.”

In the spirit of Jesus, how might we approach sex? It is a gift of the Creator, not meant for personal, selfish aggrandizement. A Course of Love, believed by many to be the “continuation” of ACIM that it proclaims itself to be, says that many may want more physical expression as we proceed along the way to God, but many may also wish less. There is no judgment either way. ACOL also has quite a lot to say about “use” of others, and certainly sex can use others. But that is a wrong purpose. Sex is neither glorified nor debased in Jesus’s view. He does note that the physical closeness that we try to have satisfy us will not actually do what we want; nothing can take the place of our closeness with God.

Jesus’s message is a positive, all-inclusive one. He accepts homosexuality, and bids individuals not to be frightened by what they don’t understand. Indeed, it is generally known that Bill, co-scribe with Helen of A Course in Miracles, was gay.

Love, wherever it is found, if it is genuine love and not taking from what belongs to another, is seen to be good and true.

A Miracle is Never Lost

“A miracle is never lost. It touches many people you may not even know, and sometimes produces undreamed-of changes in forces of which you are not even aware.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.46.1:1-2)

We are lost in mystery in this world. And this is true for the effects of the expressions of love that we exhibit, our miracles. We don’t know how broad the umbrella of our force actually is. It seems to be very large indeed.

We are seven degrees apart from virtually everyone on earth, this calculated by secular, not spiritual, means. If we know someone, and then that someone knows others, by the extension seven times, we have known all on earth. An amazing thought. It serves our purposes here when we realize how the ripples of influence spread out. Our thoughts, expressed, our expressions of love, mean a great deal. So keep in mind that each of us doe make a difference, and that difference can be for good or ill.

Miracles reach out, and that is what we are really about. Miracles prompted by Jesus, as he explains in A Course in Miracles, for he knows the whole picture. Aren’t we lucky to have someone so in the know guiding us?

More on Miracles

“The miracles you are told not to perform have not lost their value. They are still expressions of your own state of grace. But the action aspect of the miracle should be Christ-controlled, because of His complete awareness of the whole plan.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.45.3:1-3)

When we sense love for another, that awareness of love may lead us to want to express love right away. An expression of love is the definition given to miracles. But we don’t always make the best decisions about performing miracles. We may feel love, but maybe right now is not a propitious time to express that love. So we must ask. Always ask; we will be answered by guidance, often in the form of a deep awareness or an intuition.

This quotation talks about “Christ” control, and by this Jesus may be meaning something more than just himself. He may be meaning the Christ soul that inhabits all of us, deep inside. A Course of Love says more about the inner Christ-Self. It is a manifestation of God Himself/Herself, found within each of us. It becomes our way to know when we have moved beyond the Holy Spirit as intermediary, and we wish to contact God directly.

When we know by guidance, we are tapping into knowledge of the whole plan. And knowing the whole plan is vitally important. It is the way that we stay in harmony with all of God’s creation, this world and worlds beyond. At its simplest, it is cooperation rather than competition, and it assures us that we are on the beam. It never asks us to stand independently, for the desire for psychic autonomy is left over from our ego. Our ego would like us to strive mightily to be independent, but independence is not the way. Interdependence is. We are with others on this plane for a reason; we are meant to join with our brothers and sisters to create a viable world, shorn of misdirected impulses of those who turn from God.

So: Ask what miracles we are to perform. Let love be expressed where it will do the most good, succeed better than at any other time or place. An expression of love is always good, but this may sometimes need to be an internal matter, not moving into the external realm outside one’s mind and heart.

Jesus: “The Thing to Do with a Desert Is to Leave”

“A desert is a desert is a desert. You can do anything you want in it, but cannot change it from what it is. It still lacks water, which is why it is a desert. The thing to do with a desert is to leave.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.43.12:2-5)

Jesus doesn’t explain exactly what his “desert” really means, but I think he is referring to the unsatisfying lives that many of us lead. We don’t have to live like that, of course. We can leave the desert at any time by turning inward to a contemplation of eternal values. These values will lift our spirits. And if there is something that we need to do internally or externally to lift our spirits, our intuition will tell us what that is. Living with the Holy Spirit and the Christ-Self is living with the very best that is available to us in this world.

We need to make sure that we stay out of the desert. We need to make sure that our goal of leaving behind the ego actually is sustained. There is a stern warning in A Course of Love (a continuation of A Course in Miracles) that we may form a new ego on the ashes of the old. We do have that potential if we don’t stand firm with our new knowledge. And this indeed would be the desert. A terrible, terrible back step.

Leave the desert today. Do what we know to do to create good lives in a new world, for we are creating a new world as we speak.

The way to better living is contained in our refusal to live superficially with material objects that don’t satisfy for long. Lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven, and we will have succeeded in this life. And our heaven can and should be right on this earth, long before our death takes us to another world.

Feet on the Ground / Fingertips in Heaven

“All actions which stem from reversed thinking are literally the behavioral expressions of those who know not what they do. Actually, Jeane Dixon was right in her emphasis on ‘feet on the ground and fingertips in Heaven.’ Although she was too literal for some, many people knew exactly what she meant, so her statement was the right miracle for them.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.43.9:1-3)

I am delighted with Jeane Dixon’s characterization of a good way to be. Only recently in reading the new edition of A Course in Miracles, by the Circle of Atonement, did I read what Jeane said many years ago. But I had, years ago also, said something similar to characterize my way of being in this world, and it was “feet on the ground and my head in the clouds.”

We often do live a kind of double life in this world when we are seeking for higher answers. When our minds and hearts seek to know eternal truths, it certainly can feel as though we have our “fingertips in Heaven.” But, to live here, we have to be stabilized with a rational mind and heart, living practically, and this is evidenced by the saying, “feet on the ground.”
When we know not of what we are doing, we are living askew. This is an echo from one of Jesus’ statements of forgiveness from the cross. (“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”) We find in A Course in Miracles, particularly the complete edition, that Jesus often revisits his life on earth, quoting from words written in the New Testament.

When we have walked along the pathway of Atonement, the pathway of surrender to God, of return to Him, healing the separation, we often have to balance our thoughts of eternity with “real life” practicality. Jesus wants us still to understand our brothers and sisters who are not yet on this pathway, and to understand them, we have to remember from where we have come.

Walk today as Jeane Dixon encourages, “feet on the ground but fingertips in Heaven.”

We can do no better than that while we still occupy space in this world.

Suffering

“One of the more horrible examples of inverted or upside-down thinking (and history is full of horrible examples of this) was the Nazis’ ‘Final Solution.’ I shed many tears over this, but it is by no means the only time I said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.43.8:1-2)

In this passage from the complete edition of A Course in Miracles, Jesus tells us personally what type of reaction he has had and continues to have over the terrible deeds of humankind and the suffering these deeds have wrought for ordinary people. He specifically refers to unspeakable crimes against Jewish people during World War II. Jesus responds with an appeal to the Father, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

His reaction is to be our own when we consider awful occurrences of human against human in this world. Jesus says that he has repeated his prayer with many incidents. We must do the same.

In this world, we cannot ever understand the “why” of suffering that innocent human beings undergo. Pat Rodegast’s Emmanuel says this. Perhaps an incomplete answer would be that it is enough for us to recognize in our own suffering that, when it is passed, we comprehend more; we may never understand, but we can realize that through it all, God was with us, and we have grown. I do not mean to say that the end justifies the means. We simply can’t with our little minds wrap around the awful things that people go through. It is a mystery.

But God does not “cause” our suffering. And it is never right, Jesus tells us in A Course of Love, to blame the victim. Jesus indicates that we are to have compassion, not heartlessness. Love is the healer of suffering, the end in sight. Jesus indicates this also elsewhere in A Course of Love. In “The Way of the Heart” (from The Way of Mastery), Jesus even affirms, “There is no suffering.” Of course we can’t know fully what he means.

If we believe that God is living through us, then He is experiencing right along with us. His Presence makes all the difference when we are confronted with eternal questions that seem to have no answer. Especially when that eternal question is the “why” of suffering.

Hellfire

“Remember that I came to fulfill the law by reinterpreting it. The law itself, if properly understood, offers only protection. It is those who have not yet ‘changed their minds’ who have entered the ‘hellfire’ concept into it.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.42.5:6-8)

The ego is responsible for the good vs. evil world in which we live, with many of us having judgmental attitudes about those things in our world that seem to us to be wrong. We are out in left field when we judge at all; judging will keep us from Awakening. We don’t condone those things that we think are wrong, however; we simply turn aside from them, offering forgiveness and love to the people involved. As hard as it may be to believe, everybody is doing the best that he/she can at any given time, given the level of understanding that that person has.

The idea of hellfire is an egoic idea. And it comes from egoic concepts. In this, we turn aside from New Testament understandings. Jesus is giving us in A Course in Miracles a deeper concept to understand and to follow.

Jesus could not have taught about the ego prior to Freud. The ACIM scholar Ken Wapnick made this point in his lectures and books.

Our idea that there to be good, there must be evil, is also a flawed concept. Opposites are not the way of heaven. We think in contrasting ways, but our Father does not think that way. We need a new comprehension, one that will come to us as we step nearer Awakening.

Our glimpses, which have come to all of us on the pathway back to God, those who have “changed their minds,” will show us a heaven on earth that leaves no room for the illusion of evil. When we are living in the ego, we are living in illusion. True reality is something else entirely, and it is to true reality, brought to us by the Atonement, that we are heading.

We Have Been Given Everything

“Truth is always abundant. Scarcity leads to overeating and other false drives. Abundance eliminates these. Those who perceive and acknowledge that they have everything have no need for driven behavior of any kind.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.39.2:4-7)

Truth is one of the intangible outcomes to abundance, and abundance is the law of attraction in operation. We have been given everything, as A Course in Miracles makes clear in other passages as well as this one. We do not recognize that everything, of course, because we are finite, and knowing that we have everything requires a mind that is open to eternity, for it is in eternity that we do have everything.

The law of abundance is the idea that what we inwardly ask for, we will receive. It can be a secular idea, but the best reading of it (as with all things) is to invite the spiritual in. We are not long pleased with material objects that feed the ego; we are constantly striving for more and more, more and different, not satisfied for long.

Intangible blessings, especially the peace that passeth understanding, has none of this drive to acquire more. Peace is all or nothing (though we may not perceive it this way). And peace is our due when we invite this great calm. And all we need do is ask.

Note: I have a new blog on the spiritual dimensions of the law of attraction, entitled “Thou Shalt Receive,” a blog that is being well-received. I welcome your visits: http://halesceliaelaine.wordpress.com

Thank you.

Miracles

“A miracle is a correction factor introduced into false thinking by me. It acts as a catalyst, shaking up erroneous perception and snapping it into place.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.37.1)

Jesus indicates that he is personally involved in the bringing of miracles. And, as we learn elsewhere, miracles are always expressions of love. This means that they are expressions of love that Jesus inspires. We ought to be very humble in the midst of such knowledge.

Our own self-directed “miracles” would likely be misguided, because we cannot see the whole picture. Often we think that we would like to do something nice for someone, and we wonder if this is a legitimate miracle to perform. Just ask in our mind. That is the best way to come to understanding. Wait for the intuitive nod from Jesus himself.

It is a legitimate question as to how one entity can do so much. This is simply an unknown when it comes to Jesus. We need to suspend our judgment and look at the results to the questions we pose to the universe. Once we have been reassured that all is in good order, it would be unwise to continue to doubt. Give Jesus the benefit of the doubt. I for one think he knows what he is talking about.

The perceptions of ourselves and others have been very wrong for eons. Now we have been given a way to be sure that our perceptions are clarified to real truth. Miracles effect this, and so let us ask that miracles be our way.

When we are perturbed, remember what Marianne Williamson said, “I could have had a miracle!”

Atonement and Miracles

“The answer is to never perform a miracle without asking me if you should. This spares you from exhaustion. Just because miracles are expressions of love, it does not follow that they will always be effective. I am the only one who can perform miracles indiscriminately, because I am the Atonement. You have a role in the Atonement, which I will dictate to you.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.35.5:1-5)

For students of A Course in Miracles, the admonition from Jesus to ASK before attempting a miracle is well-known. But how many of us really do stop ourselves as we go about our day, asking if now is the right time to give an expression of love. Many of us don’t think of love at all in our daily grind; we just want to get through the day creditably. Yet expressions of love, as miracles, would mean so much to our brothers and sisters. And to us, for the first person that a miracle affects is the one who is charged with bringing that miracle into the world.

We aren’t to push ourselves to exhaustion, for this is a form of sacrifice, and Jesus has also asked that we not sacrifice ourselves, even to Love. He says that he did not do so, and thus it is correct to know that he would never ask us to do so either. We need Jesus’ guidance about when to act and when to rest. We need to know that we are proceeding under guidance that is just beyond what we normally think about in our daily pathway. The Holy Spirit and, later, the Christ-Self, will provide careful instruction to us.

We are never left in the dark about what to do next; we just need to ask of a Power greater than our little, finite, personal selves.
Jesus, in charge of the Atonement, does let us know what is expected of us by way of support for the Atonement. We are joining together to create a new day, a day of ultimate salvation, a day of Christ-consciousness or Awakening. We are needed. All of us.

Miracles & Revelation

“29. Miracles are a way of earning release from fear.

“Revelation induces a state in which fear has already been abolished. Miracles are thus a means, and revelations are an end. In this sense, they work together. Miracles do not depend on revelation. They induce it. You are quite capable of miracles already, even if you may be still too fearful for revelations. Revelation will occur after you engage at the visionary level in a process of denying fear.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.29.1-2)

When Jesus or the Holy Spirit prompts a miracle, we are expressing love to the person(s) receiving the miracle. This heals us as well as them. And it prepares the way for revelation, which is always from God.

Perhaps at this early place in A Course in Miracles, we are still fearful of God. This is the reason for the Holy Spirit as intermediary; we don’t cringe before Him. His loving Spirit gives us comfort. Eventually, though, we will want to approach God more directly. And this is what the sequel, A Course of Love, does for us. We are said to be in the time of Christ now, the time of Holy Spirit having passed.

There is a period of crossover, for many are just now learning that ACIM exists. And our Guide during its reading is the Holy Spirit, Who has not gone anywhere, but is right here to help us. He will help us to envision a denial of fear. He will pave the way for this more direct approach to God Himself, the Deity. God dwells deeply within all of us, and His way counsels a life of Love.

Miracles and revelations do work together. And we are so blessed in our daily lives that we can and do have both. The trick is to recognize these blessings when they occur.

Mission

“Souls cannot rest until everyone has found salvation.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.27:3)

Here Jesus says something that I read a long time ago in Edgar Cayce. (Jesus mentions Cayce in the complete edition of A Course in Miracles.) Edgar indicated that certain souls came to earth to rescue other souls who had lost the light and were trapped here. In this quotation, Jesus seems to be saying that we have a mission, to save souls. Of course, we aren’t encouraged to save souls if the people having those souls are not open to hearing from us. We wait until God’s Voice has spoken to their hearts.

I think that this statement of Jesus goes a long way toward explaining the heralding of the elevated Self of form in A Course of Love. We need to inhabit a physical body to fulfill our mission. A Course in Miracles had focused on the ethereal so much that many of us just wanted to be rid of the earth, to get on with a better place on the Other Side. But we are needed here.

Each day we might ask the Holy Spirit or our deeper Self what the miracles for the day really are. As we know, we don’t make this decision. We ask how we might best express love in our daily round. We ask, and we are told. Then we act.

Listen, Learn, and Do

“The slogan for this Crusade is ‘Listen, learn, and do.’ This means:

“Listen to my voice, learn to undo the error, and do something to correct it.

“The first two are not enough. The real members of my party are active workers.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.26.6:5-9)

The easy way in which Jesus speaks to us in the new complete (and annotated) edition of A Course in Miracles is highlighted by this quotation in which Jesus stipulates that he wants “active workers.”

This doesn’t mean sacrificial effort, though, as he points out elsewhere in this edition. Edgar Cayce, the great psychic, gave numerous readings toward the end of his life in a sacrificial gesture that shortened his life. Jesus indicates that this was a mistake, that he himself did not do such.

Jesus’ death on the cross is not sacrificial, as Jesus explains. It was meant to show that even in outrageous circumstances one does not have to become defensive. He had not hurt anybody, and he had healed many. Instead, we look to the resurrection of a body, in some other form (as said in A Course of Love), to be the Atonement.

So our active working for salvation, the mission of Jesus, is meant to keep us busy but not deluged. He does want us to be busy in this mission, but we do have to use common sense and not let our guilt at not being any more perfect keep us tied to a sacrifice that is not only unnecessary, but is undesirable.

Forgiveness and Need

“If, when you have been forgiven, you have everything else, and you have been forgiven, then, you have everything else.

“This happens to be the simplest of propositions:

“If P then Q

“P

“Therefore Q.

“Your real question is, is P true? If you will review the evidence, I think you will find this inescapable. I went on very personal record to this effect, and I am the only completely true witness for God. You have every right to examine my credentials. In fact, I urge you to do so. It may have been years since you have read the Bible.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.26.4.2-5)

When we have been forgiven, Jesus is saying, we have everything that we need. And he is also saying that we have been forgiven.
He humorously asks Helen and Bill to go the Bible to examine his credentials. Certainly we can go to the Bible also.

Do we really believe Jesus here? Do we think that we have everything that we need? Our needs are met at the point that they are recognized, and this means that because solution is with the problem, we literally have no real “needs.” Of course, this is hard for us to accept. We make everything difficult for ourselves, for we surely are our own worst enemy.

Spend a while recognizing that God answers need at the point that the need is recognized. And go to the Bible, as Jesus asks Helen and Bill, and by extension, us, to do.

Time

“I cannot save you more time than you will let me, but if you are willing to try the Higher Shopping Service, which also covers all lower-order necessities, and even quite a number of whims within reason, I have very good use for the time we could save.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.25.6)

Jesus has a sense of humor! This comment, meant for Helen, is telling her that he would like for her to focus on their work together and not the new coat that she hopes to find! It is insightful passages such as this that gives us such a gem in the new, complete A Course in Miracles.

We apparently do get help from the Other Side, but only when we open ourselves to it. This saves us time, and most of us realize that there are things that we can do on earth that are closed to those spirits who hover around us. With the time that we save, we can cooperate in higher order concerns.

Even “whims” are included! Jesus knows us very well, knows that we imagine ourselves needing things that while unimportant in the grand scheme of things, are important to us.

And he cooperates with us in all of that. I also love the human side of the human/divine Jesus, shown in the new edition of ACIM.

Prayer

“Prayer can be very specific in little matters. If you need a coat, for example, ask me where to find one. I know your taste well, and I also know where the coat is that you would eventually buy anyway. If you do not like the coat afterwards, that is what would have happened anyway.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.25.5:1-4)

Jesus is here encouraging Helen to get his help in all the little mundane matters of life. There are many helpers on the Other Side; we don’t all have to trouble Jesus with the little things. But the fact that help is available does indicate that we ought to avail ourselves of it.

We live in a larger world, this one and one that we can’t see and can only imagine. It is this larger world which stands ready to help at every junction.

Try it and see. Ask for help in all the parts of our lives. See if it isn’t possible to lead a charmed life this way.

And give thanks when the help arrives. This puts us on the wavelength of love, and love is the great solver of all questions/problems.

Jesus Assists

“The reason I direct everything that is unimportant is because it is no way to waste your free will. If you insist on doing the trivial your way, you waste too much time and will on it.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.25.3:1-2)

This statement is made before the Holy Spirit is precisely introduced in A Course in Miracles. Jesus is actually talking to his close allies, Helen and Bill, who are working with him to bring his channeling into the world. We may, if we wish, imagine that Jesus acts for us in a similar way. This is something that I have discussed at length in this blog. Jesus is a spirit whose focus of consciousness is beyond belief; he will come to each of us with a “single unequivocal call” (from ACIM).

It is good to imagine Jesus’ partnership with us in this sometimes difficult world. His way, his helpful way, will smooth pathways far more than we can believe.

Give him a little choice in our lives, and we will be stunned by the magnitude of what he can bring about.

How to Ask for Divine Instructions

“Therefore, when you say, ‘If you want me to I will,’ please add ‘and if you don’t want me to I won’t.’ This is the right use of inhibition.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.24.5:3-4)

These are very specific guidelines for following guidance. We do get a sense of what we are to do, and when. Whether or not we follow that guidance depends on our resistance to what God is trying to tell us. Here Jesus is directing Helen and Bill, and by extension, us, very well. He knows that if he doesn’t want us to do something that we seem intent on doing, we need to be willing to be pliable.

Guidance is vitally important to a full and active life in the Spirit. Our little, finite, minds don’t know the whole picture, can’t see it, and so following the nudging of the Holy Spirit is vital. He guides us very specifically, whether to turn right at the next corner, even, sometimes. We don’t follow impulses willy-nilly, of course, but if we test out an impulse, and we see that there is no harm in what we think is being asked of us, then why don’t we respond, and respond quickly?

We don’t respond quickly because we have our own ideas about what is best for us, for our brothers and sisters, and the world. But how wrong we can recognize we have been in the past, before the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and even afterwards, when we were being headstrong.

There is a better way. Ask before resistance becomes confirmed. Ask what to do or say. The way will open. It will be a bright and glorious way, full of God, full of the Holy Spirit, and full of our best Self.

Take time to ask first today. If we proceed without that divine approval, we may make problems for ourselves that could be overcome with a little flexibility on our part.

Dear God,

Thank You for answering my prayer, and removing my resistance, to something You intend for me. I have known all along what You were saying, but I did so want to go my way. This is utter stupidity. The best way is always Yours, and I do know that my real will and Your will are identical.

Thank You for the blossoming of this day, after I bent my will to what I knew was divine leading.

Amen.