Tag Archives: New Testament

Now Can the Teacher of God Rise Up Unburdened, and Walk Lightly On. Giving Up Judgment, His Sense of Care Is Gone.

1 – Sense of Care

“Now can the teacher of God rise up unburdened, and walk lightly on. Yet it is not only this that is his benefit. His sense of care is gone, for he has none. (M28)”

2 – Holy Spirit

This passage refers to turning over our decisions to the Holy Spirit. We carry life more easily once we have done this, and we do not feel burdened, as if we are carrying a load on our backs.

3 – Walk Lightly

Our sense of care is gone. We walk lightly in the light. These reassurances are worth their weight in gold. Who would not wish to walk the earth in peace and calm that is not abated?

4 – A Sure Guide

Why would we have a sense of care, when we have a Guide that is sure? We must only ask that we be given the grace always to follow that guidance. As we do follow that guidance, we become more and more reassured that it will always be there for us, and we drop our cares into the lap of God.

5 – Judgment Gone

“He has given it [sense of care] away, along with judgment. (M28)”

6 – Martha and Mary and Jesus

What a joy to give up the sense of care! We are, like Martha of the New Testament, worried about so many things. Martha was preoccupied with preparing a meal, and she wanted Mary, her sister, to help her instead of sitting at the feet of Jesus, where Mary was drinking in the words of Jesus.

7 – Rebuke

Yet Jesus kindly rebuked Martha, saying that Mary had chosen the best part, which in this case, was listening to him.

8 – Sit at the Feet of Jesus

May we be like the Marys of the world, not to disregard our obligations, but as often as at all possible, to sit, metaphorically, at the feet of Jesus and drink in his words. Then indeed is our care given away.

9 – Judgment

“Judgment, like other devices by which the world of illusions is maintained, is totally misunderstood by the world. It is actually confused with wisdom, and substitutes for truth. (M27)”

10 – “Good” Judgment?

Judgment seems to be wisdom, but, as we have been suggesting, it is far from wisdom. We think that “good judgment” will get us the outcome that we cry to have.

11 – Guidance

This is not true. Good judgment, whatever that is, will not get us the outcome that we cry to have. Only following guidance will do that.

12 – We Cannot Judge Rightly

“It is necessary for the teacher of God to realize, not that he should not judge, but that he cannot. In giving up judgment, he is merely giving up what he did not have. He gives up an illusion; or better, he has an illusion of giving up. He has actually merely become more honest. (M27)”

13 – Honesty

Would we like to be more honest? Of course! And this is the way—give up judgment! We cannot judge aright—ever. We may make wise decisions because we have been protected by God, but the consistent right decisions only come from guidance.

14 – Intuition

What does it feel like with intuition, the most prevalent kind of guidance? I sense a feeling tone to such guidance, in that I sense what the next right step should be. Sometimes guidance looks to the future, but in the step-to-step process of our days, intuition usually gives us the next right step. Sometimes the guidance comes to us as our own thinking rather than as a feeling. We will know that this thinking is guidance because it will seem a bit beyond us, though actually the thinking is coming up from the unconscious deep within. There God rests, and there the Holy Spirit communicates from God to us.

15 – Judgment Always Impossible

“Recognizing that judgment was always impossible for him, he no longer attempts it. This is no sacrifice. On the contrary, he puts himself in a position where judgment through him rather than by him can occur. (M27)”

16 – Relinquish Judgment to the Holy Spirit

This inner process of thinking, or the inner process of feeling (intuition), allows judgment “through” us to come out. So we do not give up judgment entirely; we just relinquish it to the Holy Spirit, Who is deep within. And His decisions are right. We will soon realize this. It takes little time to know that one’s egoic notions are faulty, and that the guidance of the Holy Spirit is on the beam.

17 – Guiltless Son/Daughter of God

“And this judgment is neither ‘good’ nor ‘bad.’ It is the only judgment there is, and it is only one: God’s Son is guiltless, and sin does not exist. (M27)”

18 – Theology

This passage is a theological construct of A Course in Miracles. God’s Son (or Daughter) is innocent of wrongdoing, for he/she has acted only in illusion, a dream. And thus he/she has not acted at all.

19 – Sin

Sin does not exist, for sin is seen as an attractive alternative. Call something a “sin,” and we want to do it again. This is lamentable human nature.

20 – Mistake

In contrast, call something a “mistake,” and the only right thing is immediately seen to be correction of the mistake. Our “sins” are all mistakes, in the theology of ACIM.

21 – Past, Present, and Future

“In order to judge anything rightly, one would have to be fully aware of an inconceivably wide range of things; past, present and to come. One would have to recognize in advance all the effects of his judgments on everything and everything involved in them in any way. And one would have to be certain there is no distortion in his perception, so his judgment would be wholly fair to everyone on whom it rests now and in the future. Who is in a position to do this? Who except in grandiose fantasies would claim this for himself? (M27)”

22 – Prescience

This passage summarizes what we have been considering. We can’t know, in a prescient manner, what we are about. Lacking knowledge of past, present, and future in all its ramifications, we no longer attempt to judge on partial understanding. We give over judgment to the Holy Spirit, who is omniscient or all-knowing.

23 – Lay Judgment Down

“Therefore lay judgment down, not with regret but with a sigh of gratitude. Now are you free of a burden so great that you could merely stagger and fall down beneath it. And it was all illusion. Nothing more. (M28)”

24 – Jesus’s Appeal

This passage is Jesus’s appeal to us to stop the foolish judging to which we are almost addicted. If possible, try to live this day without judging what to do next. Let guidance direct your footsteps.

25 – Close of the Day

And see, at the close of the day, if you did not get into a free-flowing frame of mind that offered you a good day.

26 – Reassuring Passage

A reassuring passage, as so many of the passages A Course in Miracles, are. We are bade to lay judgment down–to make no decisions for ourselves. Can we really do this? The Course elsewhere indicates that we should set our will at the beginning of the day to follow guidance, and then give thanks at the end of the day. Then our decisions will be far more likely to be right. ACIM is always practical, and asking at every juncture may not always be practical (an ACIM concept).

27 – A Guide

It is calming to know that we have a Guide who will not fail. This we can feel with gratitude.

28 – Burden of Judgment

The burden of trying to make judgments of what to do or say has always been extremely difficult for us. And we learn now that doing so has all been illusion. We don’t have to feel all alone in the universe. We have a Guide, and His guidance is the Way that makes our life a calm and gentle experience.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be led to lay judgment down forevermore. I do know in my heart of hearts that judgment can only hurt me. Let me be through with it forever.

Thank you for guiding me through the Holy Spirit. When I follow His prompting, I know that I am always taking the right pathway.

Amen.

The Kingdom of Heaven is You. What Else but You Did the Creator Create, and What Else but You Is His Kingdom?

1 – Understandable?

“It is hard to understand what ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is within you’ really means. This is because it is not understandable to the ego, which interprets it as if something outside is inside, and this does not mean anything. The word ‘within’ is unnecessary. The Kingdom of Heaven is you. What else but you did the Creator create, and what else but you is His Kingdom? (T60)”

2 – Not “Within You” – But “You”

Here Jesus clarifies a quotation from the New Testament: The Kingdom of Heaven is “within” you, but this becomes, in A Course of Miracles, that Kingdom of Heaven “is” you. This interpretation is theological, and we need to be careful about theology—not to let it divide us as students of ACIM. But, for those who are interested, I think that this means, essentially, that we are the body of Christ, or of God, that God does not stand outside His creation, but that the All is He. This differs from traditional Christianity, which sees all that is created as God’s handiwork, and sees God as standing apart from His creation. Here Jesus affirms, “What else but you did the Creator create, and what else but you is His Kingdom?”

3 – God Stuff

The “stuff” of the universe—the totality of all universe(s)—is thus seen to be God stuff. There are worlds upon worlds, much beyond what we can understand. But out of the void, the First Mover moved, knowing that He did not want to be alone. Joseph Campbell gives ancient myths that help to see this dynamic, metaphorically. The Void, that is God, felt fear upon realizing that He was alone. But then He said, “What do I have to fear? There is only Me.” Then he felt lonely, and so He decided to create from within His “body.” And from the undifferentiated Mass of His Body, He created the All that exists. And He is still creating.

4 – Prime Mover

This explanation is a very rudimentary form of explanation, something that we can hold to when we wonder about the Prime Mover, God Himself. It is not the truth, for our minds are too tiny to understand the truth, but metaphorically it answers some of our questions. The “you” in the following question is the One, the All, “What else did the Creator create?”

5 – Tiny, Mad Idea

So we move to the tiny, mad idea that we allowed to happen in our holy minds, the One that was the All, and then seemed to separate:

“You project onto the ego the decision to separate, and this conflicts with the love you feel for the ego because you made it. No love in this world is without this ambivalence, and since no ego has experienced love without ambivalence the concept is beyond its understanding. (T61)”

We thought that we would be controlled too much if we allowed God to direct us. We thought that All should not be One, that to express ourselves demanded diversity. And so the Whole fragmented. And the ego, part of our belief about ourselves—nothing more—separated. Even this was an illusion, for we cannot separate from our Essence, which is God. But we could think that we had, and in the thinking, God could experience with us what He is really like. We head ultimately to being Co-Creators with Him. But right now we are caught in “making,” not “creating.” For we make illusion, a dream.

6 – Love

Our loves are tainted. Our loves are not pure in this world. And the reason for this is the ego, which sees ourselves as not needing or wanting others. We try to be independent, but this is not the way of God’s creation, and so we fall on our faces repeatedly. Pain enters, for our will is no longer free. We are not listening to the Holy Spirit, Who chooses the best for us—the will that we would have if we knew what was best for us.

7 – True Want

“Love will enter immediately into any mind that truly wants it, but it must want it truly. This means that it wants it without ambivalence, and this kind of wanting is wholly without the ego’s ‘drive to get.’ (T61)”

We sometimes limit the love that we can receive by specifying that this love must come from a particular source. Such thinking usually signals that one is dealing with a special relationship, not a holy one. But the Course would purify our special relationships, rather than remove them from us by force. All special relationships are meant to become holy eventually.

8- Source of Love

We would do better if we did not specify the desired source of the love that we invite to come to us. Then the real world can deliver our desired love in any number of ways. Love is not always found in a special relationship, even in the beginning. The love of nature, for example, is a great healer in times of stress. The love we desire does not have to be always from another person.

9 – Love Is with Us

When we truly want love in our lives, it is there already. There are no exceptions to this rule, though the ego would often make us think so. God answers our prayer for love by sending into our lives the love that is ours for the asking. We do not have to plead or to struggle. We simply need to ask. And this is truly without the ego’s “drive to get.”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I do want love. I want love to enter my life immediately and unconditionally. I don’t want my ego to interfere.

May I drop all desires to have something that my ego dictates. May I have, instead, the love that You have promised me.

May the theology that I posted today be acceptable to some, and may others just drop it from their minds. We are not meant to divide ourselves by theology, but we are meant to enjoy a common experience. And You have pointed out that common experience in A Course in Miracles. Thank You. For this common experience is necessary, whereas a common theology is impossible for individuals with such disparate personalities.

Amen.

In This World You Need Not Have Tribulation because I Have Overcome the World. This Is Why You Should Be of Good Cheer.

1 – New Testament

The title of this posting, a passage from ACIM, sometimes causes problems for students of A Course in Miracles, because it is a statement directly contrary to one that occurs in the New Testament. On a number of occasions, Jesus clarifies and refutes words attributed to him in the New Testament, but I do not think that a refutation is what is happening in this instance.

2 – Before Resurrection

In the New Testament, he is speaking before his resurrection. He says at that time that we will have tribulation in this world. But in A Course in Miracles, he is speaking after his life, death, and resurrection, from the Other Side, and he is saying that he overcame the world. He has made the journey before us. He has paved the way. So we need not have tribulation (a caveat: we sometimes do), but ought to be of good cheer.

3 – Tribulation

Why do we have tribulation in this world when Jesus says explicating in ACIM that we need not endure tribulation? I think that we don’t know any better. We use the law of attraction by thinking of disaster, and so disaster all too often comes. When we think of the joy that Jesus promises, we are much more likely to live a life of equanimity.

4 – Humility

When we have understood Jesus’s lesson, we will be in the spirit, and we will beyond humility. Note the following passage:

“Humility is a lesson for the ego, not for the spirit. Spirit is beyond humility, because it recognizes its radiance and gladly sheds its light everywhere. (T56)”

We do not have to worry about whether or not we are humble enough. The ego will always tell us that we are being arrogant when we claim “great” things for ourselves, but Jesus reassures us that it is not us, but the ego in us, that is really the source of arrogance. When we are meek, as Jesus encourages both in the New Testament as well as A Course in Miracles, we will know great things and not be moved, egotistically, by them.

5 – Meek

“The meek shall inherit the earth because their egos are humble, and this gives them true perception. (T56)”

True perception comes before knowledge, and knowledge is of God. Our true perception will not last when knowledge has arrived via Awakening. But most of us have not yet known Awakening, at least to be sustained. What may we hope for in that regard?

6 – Awakened

I think that the Awakened are meek people, and the adjective “meek” is not soft or downtrodden or falsely humble. They have let their egos go, and with that omission from their minds, they see truly. I know two enlightened people, one from books and one from my circle of intimate friends (right here in the town where I live). The first is Eckhart Tolle, and his accounts are engaging in the extreme. He is a distinctly and quietly happy individual, with no sense of ego involvement as he tells his story. He has sustained enlightenment for over 30 years, and so his experience is not just a glimpse, or satori.

7 – Personal Experience

Similarly, in the town where I live, my personal friend is to all accounts an ego-less individual. But she doesn’t push herself forward. I have known her for eight years, taking part in a writing group in which we share our impressions of religious themes. She always writes poetry that is deep and heartwarming. But I never suspected that she was Awakened until she requested that I read a manuscript that she drafted some 30 years ago. For several reasons, she has not tried to publish until now. But now she is eager to share her story. And I hope that she will succeed in finding a publisher. My friend’s demeanor is quiet and gentle. The words in her manuscript are convincing of her experience of enlightenment.

8 – Christ-consciousness

I feel blessed to have read, and to know, of experiences of Christ-consciousness. It gives hope to all of us that this blessing is perhaps not far away and impossible of accomplishment. But I hasten to add that we must be patient and wait on God’s timing, for it is He who makes the decision about when we are ready to Awaken. As my friend notes, God gave us free will, and if we impose preconditions on our desire for enlightenment, God will hold off. There must, in her belief, be a total surrender, no preconditions.

9 – Tribulation

Let’s return to the title of this posting:

“In this world you need not have tribulation because I have overcome the world. This is why you should be of good cheer. (T56)”

10 – ACIM Differs from the New Testament

This passage from Jesus is a paraphrase of what he is quoted to have said in the New Testament. But in the New Testament, we are led to believe that we will have tribulation. His resurrection is meant to counter all of that; the resurrection happened after his teaching that said the reverse. And the Course stands by the resurrection as truth. A Course in Miracles does not say if the resurrection was revelation or a miracle, but, given the definitions found therein, it seems to be a miracle.

11 – Avoid Tribulation

Tribulation is pain that we would want to avoid at all costs. Remembering that Jesus overcame the world, and harkening to good cheer are mental actions that we can take at any time.

12 – Be of Good Cheer

When we are feeling down, it is wise to recall such passages. We can conjure up good cheer, even when the day seems drab. It takes only a moment to recall us to ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank you that in this world we do not have to have tribulation. We can be of good cheer, because Jesus has overcome the world. Help me not to be confused by the difference that this quotation from A Course in Miracles constitutes from the New Testament. Help me to take from this ACIM quotation what it can do for me, something that is considerable.

It takes only a moment of reflection or of prayer to recall us to ourselves. We can know peace as well as good cheer, even in this world that too often seems filled with woe.

Amen.

From the Dialogues, 40 Days/Nights. Jesus: “Accept Me.”

“This has been spoken of as the second coming of Christ because my story goes unfulfilled without your fulfillment. It is only in your fulfillment of the continuing story of creation that my story reaches completion. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 90)”

Affirmation: “May I know my fulfillment.”

Reflections:

1 – Continuity with the New Testament

This first day of the Forty Days and Nights on the mountaintop with Jesus in the Dialogues of A Course of Love solidifies continuity with the New Testament and Christian orthodoxy:

“Acceptance of me is acceptance of Your Self. Acceptance of me is acceptance of your inheritance. This is nothing new to those of you of the Christian faith.”

2 – Personal Interpretation

I have long viewed A Course in Miracles and A Course in Miracles as a continuation, to fulfill modern-day needs, of the Bible. Jesus has not changed a great deal in the last 2,000 years. He is steady as a rock. He is with us still. And he makes claims that no individual would make who was unsure of himself.

4 – New Testament

“The New Testament was the beginning of the new.”

We see a direct statement from Jesus here in regard to new times. The implication to me clearly is that the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible did not present, very often, a loving God. And the New Testament presented a God who was loving and forgiving, quite different from the monarch who would punish if his every rule were not kept.

5 – Why Required?

“Why should this [acceptance] be so important? Why not leave well enough alone? If acceptance of Jesus is a stumbling block for many, why should it be required?”

Jesus goes on to explain that to take college courses and get a degree have requirements. To get to the moon requires a spacecraft and spacesuit. Would we strain at the gnat? Jesus is only giving it to us straight, straighter than he did in A Course in Miracles. We must accept his authority, which is what accepting him is all about.

6 – Second Coming

“This has been spoken of as the second coming of Christ because my story goes unfulfilled without your fulfillment. It is only in your fulfillment of the continuing story of creation that my story reaches completion.”

We are making the succession from Jesus to a new day. We are It. There is not compromise herein, and only when we accept Jesus’s authority do we find the peace that he is offering us.

7 – Cease Searching

“Lay aside your want of other answers, other stories, and accept the story we share.”

Jesus is asking us to stop searching, and this injunction will become clearer when we realize that many of us who studied A Course in Miracles did not stop searching at its conclusion. We kept looking for something further, almost like an addiction to searching. Now in A Course of Love, the trilogy, Jesus says that enough is enough. We no longer have to keep searching. With the “Treatise on the New,” we recognize that we are The Accomplished. We no longer need nor should we, search.

8 – Day One

This “Day One” represents the first of 40 days and nights on a “mountain top” with Jesus as our guide. In this chapter of the Dialogues, Jesus makes a comparison of these 40 days and nights with his own 40 days and nights in the desert, prior to the beginning of his mission on earth 2,000 years ago. We are to become what he became.

9 – God

Jesus stresses that it matters not what we call “God,” because God knows who He is. But acceptance of Jesus as our guide is necessary; it explains that this is just the way it is in salvation. This tenet of A Course of Love, the Dialogues, will be difficult for some of us to accept, perhaps, but if we realize that in A Course in Miracles we have already accepted Jesus as our guide, we will be less resistant.

10 – Jesus

We are meant to become all that Jesus was. His was the example life. We do not have to go through what he experienced, because that was for him alone. But we do have to accept him as our guide. Then we will be well on our way to recognizing that indeed this is the time of the second coming of Christ. We are meant to embody that second coming as we elevate our self of form to the elevated Self.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I wholeheartedly accept Jesus as my guide. May I drop any resistance that I have ever had around this idea. May I choose the best for my future, and may I realize that Jesus is a part of my personal future.

Thank You, dear God, for leading me to love better. As I go to the mountain top with Jesus, may I know a resurrection that only You can bring to me.

May today I attract only good things. May I love with a deep love, feel gratitude for all things coming from Your hand, and be at peace in the midst of my too busy life. Today has lightened up since I awoke, and I thank You for that. I will cocoon on this winter day, ready for another busy day tomorrow. But keep me in the present moment, the Now. That is the only way to live Your way. And I thank You for this truth.

Amen.

Material Treasures Are of the Ego

170px-Girl_with_a_HoopAs this treatise is not concerned with material treasure, we will not explore the dimensions of physical treasure except to say that the feelings that cause one to think that any physical thing is capable of being a treasure or being treasured are of the ego. We will instead assume that you have moved beyond these ego concerns and explore the realm of internal treasures. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 1.3)”

Affirmation: “I choose only internal treasures today.”

Reflections:

1 – Law of Attraction

This passage takes a stand diametrically opposed to the emphasis that is sometimes placed on attracting physical treasures by the Law of Attraction. Certainly we do know, from observation, that physical treasures may be attracted, but does our pleasure in them remain for very long? We drop them, as a child drops a favorite toy, and go on to the next material boon. And we remain dissatisfied at our core, even though momentarily we have received the best of a thing that we thought we wanted.

2 – Internal Treasures

Internal treasures do not fade in their blessing to us. We do not become dissatisfied over time when we hold the internal deeply within ourselves. The internal does not turn to ashes and dust in our hands because we have neglected the intangible treasures of God–the peace, harmony, joy, serenity, ecstasy that is ours when we have sought our treasures in heaven. The New Testament makes this same point in telling us not to lay up for ourselves that which does corrupt, but to lay up treasures in heaven.

3 – Attracting the Material

It is clear to me that the Law of Attraction can attract material things of this world. And God wants our material needs to be satisfied. But He wants more beyond this for us, His beloved children. He wants us to be satisfied in our souls, and material blessings, however good, cannot, ultimately, satisfy the soul. Some individuals in our world who have the least material blessings do indeed have rich intangible treasures that give them a joy that is unknown to most of us. Those who minister to the sick and dying know a serenity that can give great joy in the midst of sorrow, for they know that they are fulfilling a need for their brothers and sisters.

4 – Material Reward

There simply is no correlation between happiness and material reward. Certainly material want can bring much pain, but not all with little material blessings endure the pain that more affluent people do. The dark night of the soul is not limited to the materially bereft.

5 – Our Birthright

The internal treasures that Jesus assures us are our by birthright will give us a life beyond our wildest dreams. We will know joy. We will know peace. We will know even ecstasy. And we will know that we have heaven here on earth and we are at home.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would bless those of my brothers and sisters who still seek for their treasure in the material, but I would be interested in having my loved ones recognize that there are greater joys in the intangible. May all of us satisfy our physical needs, but may we realize that internal and lasting happiness cannot be acquired by accumulating material blessings.

May we use the Law of Attraction wisely. We do have physical needs, and may these be satisfied. But may we also use this Law to attract the intangible. What we think about the most may appear. And may that thought be good.

Amen.

Does God See Suffering?

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“This is what has been meant by the many references that have been made to God not seeing suffering. God exists with you in peace. When you feel peace, you feel the Peace of God. There is no other peace. There is no other God. Whether you believe it now or not, I assure you, within the Peace of God is all the joy of what you have known as the human experience and none of the sorrow. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Art of Thought, 10.8)”

Affirmation: “God is with me in peace.”

Reflections

1 – Personal Interpretation

My interpretation to the assertion that God does not see suffering is that, to Him, what He sees he reinterprets, seeing the pain not as suffering, but as a call for help. I think that he always recognizes a call for help. There is a difference of opinion among students/teachers of A Course in Miracles in whether or not God is outside the illusion in which we are immersed, and thus does not know about us. This idea would say that God has sent us out to play, as children, and He does not care what games we play, because He knows that all our the games that we play are dreams, maya, or illusions.

2 – God

I feel, based on what I have experienced, that God is right here, knowing about every part of our experience. He does not become perturbed (for that is a perception) about our trials; he just acts to give us comfort in the midst of them. I have felt such peace, in my better moments of prayer, that I have no doubt that I have touched the edge of God’s garment (a metaphor). To live without thinking that God counts the very hairs of our head would be a demoralizing way for me, personally, to live. And we are promised in the New Testament that the very hairs of our head are numbered.

3 – Part of God

Of course, A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are non-dualistic systems of thought, and so we are recognized as a part of God. He is within all of creation, but all is One, and so this is not really a pantheistic belief, one in which there are gods in everything. The fact of the One, and the belief that the One is totally in each part, is to my mind best exemplified by a hologram. From within, we project the world without. There is nothing outside of us (from the Text of ACIM).

4 – Theology

These are mostly theological studies, and I hasten to add that Jesus fears that theology will divide us. He says in ACIM that there can never be a universal theology, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary. Take nothing unto yourself in these ideas, the ideas not specified in ACIM and ACOL, unless they find a place in your heart.

5 – A Comfort

Let however you view God be a comfort to you.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for Your reassurance to me that You are right here with us. This is my personal belief, and I realize that others may view You differently. But I feel Your presence as an almost constant, and so I do not have, ever, to feel alone.

Be with me for me to turn aside from attack and anger always. I do not need to make my significant others pained by my reactions. May I live the peaceful life that leaves out stress, for I never become angry unless I am stressed.

May I live with You in harmony today. And may I make this resolution for each day in my future.

Amen.

Be Like the Little Children

Sunset_Foggy_Weather_Pourville - monet“Your learning must take on a new focus.  Be like the little children and inhale the world around you in order to make it part of your Self.  Be like the little children, and learn in order to claim your learning for your Self.  Learn who you are through each experience rather than learning in order to find out who you are or what your contribution will eventually be.  (A Course of Love, 30.3)”

Affirmation:  “I would think of a childlike response to the world today.”

Reflections:

1 – Echo of the New Testament

This passage echoes the New Testament, of course.  And here Jesus is using the analogy of little children to teach us a new way to learn, and it is through observation (though he does not say so at this point).  We need to “inhale” (a strange word) the world that surrounds us in order to learn through each experience that we have.  It is the process, rather than the end result, that Jesus emphasizes in today’s passage.

2 – Being Supersensitive

How might we inhale the world?  How might we observe?  We can indeed become supersensitive to the world in which we find ourselves, and supersensitive to the daily experiences on our daily round.  Neither of these suggestions is difficult.  But we need to get beyond a focus on the end result of what we are seeing (observing), just to experience–period.  Then the observation that we make will be learning in a new way, the new that has been presaged in A Course of Love.

3 – The Present

Often we settle down into a book or a web site, and concentrate with all our might on the message that it might contain.  But we also have an eye to the future, what we will get out of this message that will transform us, or somehow make us better.  This is not living in the present, and many religious leaders counsel living in the present as much of the time as possible.  Always the present is the only time that there is, but, oh, how hard it is for us to recognize this very simple truth.

4 – Observation

Observation of the outer world, focus on our experiences in it–both will eventually take us to the present, and to our home in God.  May we leave aside preoccupation with past and future today as we dwell in the only place that there truly is, the present.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I spend time today thinking of what it means to think as a little child.  I recognize that this is not an exercise in immaturity, but the height of rationality and good sense.  But I don’t usually think this way.  Perhaps I need to trust You ever more, and trust is a prime attribute of little children.  They normally have trust in their parents, and I can transfer that same kind of trust to You as my heavenly Parent.

I do not fully understand trust.  Guide my thoughts today so that I come to comprehend better.

Amen.

Overcoming Masochism

“The ego believes that by punishing itself it will mitigate the punishment of God.  (T84-85)”

Affirmation:  “The ego believes. . .mitigate the  punishment of God.”

Reflections:

1 – An Explanation

This passage seems to explain masochism.  We think that if we cause pain to ourselves first, then God’s punishment of us (in which we erroneously believe) will be lessened.

2 – Insane Thinking

This is insane thinking.  The ego is insane.  Let us not forget this Course concept.

3 – We Do Not Have to Punish Ourselves

We in our egoistic thinking do not have to punish ourselves at all.  To do so actually is the reverse of what we want, for any number of reasons, including the fact that punishing ourselves strengthens the ego.  We want to let the ego wither away.  In no way does God punish us.  This concept of the Course is in line with the New Testament, but opposed to the Old Testament.  May we accept Jesus’s teaching in both the Course and the New Testament, and know God as a loving and accepting God who wants only the best for us.  Anything else we have unconsciously chosen, and this can be changed with the right understanding, and the right reflection upon what we are actually doing to ourselves.

4 – Healing

It is true that we can seek guidance and often be told the way to proceed in any affliction.  This does not mean that we avoid other healers and depend only on our minds.  Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that pills are a form of “spell,” but that if we are not strong enough, we need to turn to medications as a compromise approach to healing.  To do without the medications might raise the fear level, which is the last thing that we want to do.  (These are Text tenets.)

5 – Jesus Is Near

So we seek for healing on whatever level we can, knowing that the healer who is Jesus is never very far from us.  He promises us that he will come in response to one unequivocal call (from the Text).

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I know that there is no need for me to punish myself for anything that I have done.  I may know guilt, and this is a form of punishment.  God would never punish; it is always us that are doing this.

May my ego wither away.  I have prayed for this often, and so I have not accepted the truth of this promise that it can wither away.  May I accept this promise now and forevermore.

Amen.

Turn the Other Cheek

“You cannot be hurt, and do not want to show your brother anything except your wholeness.  Show him that he cannot hurt you and hold nothing against him, or you hold it against yourself.  This is the meaning of ‘turning the other cheek.’  (T82)”

Affirmation:  “You cannot be hurt.”

Reflections:

1 – Pain Hurts Ourselves and Others

It hurts our brother for him (or her) to see that he has hurt us.  While our brother may not tell us this, and he even may not recognize it, still is it true.  We cannot seek to hurt another without being in pain ourselves.

2 – The Real Self Is Unhurt

Our real Self cannot be hurt in any way.  This is a magnificent truth that even among seasoned veterans of the Course can easily be overlooked as we live daily in this world.  Certainly we seem to suffer, or, at the least, to know pain–even when it doesn’t lead to real suffering.  Yet the Self continues unabated.  The Self knows that we are whole.

3 – The Personal Self Is Hurt

Our real Self is not hurt, but it is still obvious that the personal self does seem to be hurt by words and actions of other people in our world.  We also seem to hurt the personal self through our own thoughts, words, and actions.  We should not deny the fact that the dream in which we find ourselves seems very real indeed.  We are not to deny what appears before our eyes, for as long as we are in the dream and not yet in the real world, we will have times in which we are hurt, either by others or by ourselves.  Jesus does not ask in A Course in Miracles that we live in denial of what we see before us; he only indicates that we are lost in a dream that we are making up.  We are the actors; we are doing this unto ourselves (ACIM tenets).

4 – “Turn the Other Cheek”

What a blessing to have in the Course this interpretation of the New Testament injunction of “turn the other cheek.”  So often over the years have Christians sought to understand this scripture, and so often we have failed to understand.  May the Course remedy that confusion.  We are whole Selves, and a part of us that we do not usually recognize is unhurt by anything that the world can do to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

Now that I know the real meaning of “turn the other cheek,” may I do so promptly when something happens that disturbs me.  May I realize that my real Self is never hurt at all.

May I come to feel my real Self more and more.  When I do so, I am safe in this world.  Thank you for this safety.

Amen.

Are We “Chosen”?

“‘Many are called but few are chosen’ should be, ‘All are called but few choose to listen.’  Therefore, they do not choose right.  The ‘chosen ones’ are merely those who choose right sooner.  Right minds can do this now, and they will find rest unto their souls.  (T44)”

Affirmation:  “rest unto their souls”

Reflections:

1 – Differs from the New Testament

In this passage Jesus corrects a statement attributed to him in the New Testament.  We will stress the new version:  “All are called.”  There is nobody outside salvation, ultimately.  It may be millions of years before the Atonement takes place for all, just as the separation occurred over millions of years.  But we are bade to be patient, because once begun, the end of the journey is sure.  We will all come home in God.

2 – The Role of God’s Teachers

Teachers of God are those who lead the way, but only time separates students from teachers, and time does not really exist (a Course concept).  Teachers of God have chosen right sooner, and are thus freed to lead others back to God.

3 – Rest Will Be Ours

Children of God, we will then find the rest that all of us crave.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank you that all are chosen, and that we can choose to listen sooner rather than later.  Then we have rest unto our souls.  This is a great blessing.  Thank you.

May we realize that we are called to save our brothers and sisters.  This is the plan of salvation, and when we take our place in it, the time of return is shortened considerably.

Amen.