Tag Archives: open mindedness

Nothing but Sparkles Now which Seemed So Dull and Lifeless Before. And Above All, All Things Are Welcoming.

“Open-mindedness comes with lack of judgment. As judgment shuts the mind against God’s Teacher, so open-mindedness invites Him to come in. (M16)”

Open-mindedness is said to be the last of the traits which a teacher of God takes unto himself/herself. I wonder about that, whether it is true for all people. I have personally found other traits to be harder to acquire. Open-mindedness makes a smooth pathway in the walk ahead. When I am mellow, open-mindedness seems an easy way to go. When I am stressed, open-mindedness seems impossible, for I lapse into judgment.

1 – Non-Judgmental

Open-mindedness suggests a non-judgmental stance, and certainly judgment is a problem for many of us, perhaps most of us on the spiritual pathway. Hugh Prather says as much, in a little book entitled, The Little Book of Letting Go. He indicates that those on a spiritual pathway are perhaps more insufferable than those who have never given much thought to spirituality.

2 – Personal Experience

This attitude, expressed by Hugh, is a stern warning. I have thought back over some of the religious individuals whom I have known, and, like Hugh says, I have identified three deeply religious men (two of whom are ministers) who have particularly big egos. They are difficult to be around, because judgment is also a big part of their emotional makeup.

3 – Sanctimoniousness

We really don’t want to be like this. Sometimes I think that I would rather be around people who are not particularly religious, because they are more comfortable people with whom to associate. There is none of the sanctimoniousness that religious people sometimes exude.

4 – Judgments

These, in themselves, are judgments. I wonder how much others might agree with these thoughts. I myself struggle with judgments when I am confronted with seemingly irrational anger and attack. What did I do to cause this, I ask in vain. Probably nothing. The anger and attack are just manifestations of the depth of insanity into which all of us have fallen. We have to climb the ladder back up to sanity, but we do have help from guidance. It helps sometimes just to identify anger and attack, directed at ourselves, to be just madness or insanity. Then we are in a better position just to forgive without judging.

5 – Avoid Judgment

Judging should always be avoided.

6 – Peace

“Only the open-minded can be at peace, for they alone see reason for it. (M16)”

Affirmation: “When I am open-minded, I can be at peace.”

Open-mindedness and tolerance for the thoughts and actions of others are closely aligned. It is good to find out in the Course that open-mindedness will allow us to be at peace. Who would not want to know how to be at peace?

7 – Definition

What does open-mindedness mean? Basically, it is the contrasting way to say that we do not judge each other. We need a positive expression, rather than the more negative “do not judge.” And “open-mindedness” is given us in the Course. It is always better to state a truism in positive terms rather than to muddy our minds with the negative.

8 – Peace

We will be at peace when we embrace open-mindedness. Do we want this? Of course, and the Course specifies exactly how to make peace of mind ours.

9 – Forgiveness

“How do the open-minded forgive? They have let go all things that would prevent forgiveness. They have in truth abandoned the world, and let it be restored to them in newness and in joy so glorious they could never have conceived of such a change. (M16)”

This passage is a great promise and promises a great joy. To have the world restored to us in newness is a blessing, a boon, that all of us would want.

10 – Let Go of Judgment

What things do we need to let go that prevent forgiveness? Primarily judgment, I think. We need to avoid the memory of wrongs done to us. We need truly, as they say, to forgive and forget, remembering that we live in an illusion and nothing bad has, in truth, happened. Our brother/sister has been living in madness, saying and doing things that hurt us. He/she would not say or do those things if they knew better. We sometimes cannot teach them any better, and to do may be arrogance. We don’t have to make the way to Heaven plain (an ACIM tenet). We are not better than they, forgiving out of a sense of superiority. We are not superior in any way. Only time separates us from our brothers and sisters on the spiritual pathway, and time does not really exist.

11 – Spiritual Pathway

The spiritual pathway is its own reward. Others do not have to change for us to be at peace. We may have to distance ourselves from an abusive relationship, but we still can forgive even the heinous wrongs. We do this for ourselves as much as for the other person, who may not even know of our forgiveness. We simply walk a better path, a joy-strewn path.

12 – Seeing the World Anew

To see the world anew is what we really want. It can be done, and, when we are calm and harmonious, seeing the world anew seems the easiest thing out there. Stress is, to my mind, the great boogieman. We don’t need to let stress get to us, although sometimes this seems unavoidable. Anger and attack can be left behind, as many hours out of the day as possible. Our lives will be immeasurably better for walking the primrose pathway.

13 – Sparkling

“Nothing but sparkles now which seemed so dull and lifeless before. And above all are all things welcoming, for threat is gone. No clouds remain to hide the face of Christ. Now is the goal achieved. Forgiveness is the final goal of the curriculum. (M16)”

We frequently feel anger, and we attack, when we are threatened. One family member in my past was particularly vicious when threatened, and I understood this even as quite a small child, long before I discovered A Course in Miracles. Recognizing what had happened, the fact of feeling threatened, meant that the insanity of it did not touch me very deeply. I knew that in her better moments, the love for me was very deep. I could forgive, even as a quite young child.

14 – Forgiveness

The passage above ends with the a truth that we need to understand about A Course in Miracles. Forgiveness is the final goal of ACIM. We do not, in these books, go beyond that. A Course of Love does take us beyond, though, and some feel that this trilogy is a sequel to ACIM, that Jesus had more to teach us. The idea is that we seemed to have dislodged the ego, but didn’t have anything with which to replace it, leaving us still searching. In A Course of Love, we end the search. We are enough. It is time to end the search. We do not have to remain endless seekers.

15 – Single Aim

“Forgiveness is it single aim, at which all learning ultimately converges. It is indeed enough. (M16)”

Learning converges with forgiveness. A Course of Love goes beyond learning, though, and it would be good for us to review some of those lessons. (See the “History of the Blog” in “About Miracles Each Day,” and then refer to the Archives to get the right month and year for previous postings.)

16 – ACIM and A Course of Love

I wonder if Jesus changed his mind between A Course in Miracles and the scribing of A Course of Love. Was forgiveness not enough? I wonder deeply. Certainly we need to realize that we want an end to the endless searching for something more. Otherwise, we are never truly at peace. Jesus would have us be at peace.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to be open-minded and tolerant of the words and actions of my brothers and sisters. May I not fume in private at anything that they say or do.

I long for Your peace. Thank you for giving me one more way that Your peace can come to me.

Amen.

Being Open-Minded / All Sparkles Now

“[The open-minded] have in truth abandoned the world, and let it be restored to them in newness and in joy so glorious they could never have conceived of such a change. . . .Nothing but sparkles now which seemed so dull and lifeless before.  (M-4.X.2)”

Affirmation:  “I would see a sparkling world today.”

Reflections:

1 – Being Tolerant

The “open-minded” are tolerant of their brothers and sisters, when the decisions that others make are good and when they are bad.  The open-minded do not judge, leaving judgment to the Holy Spirit, Who alone knows all the factors in play.

2 – Give Up Judgment

The beautiful prose of this passage is well-visited when we are in a dejected mood.  We would wish to see the world as glorious in newness, and we ourselves would invite joy as a constant companion.  Jesus makes the promise in this passage that when we give up judgment (be open-minded), we will see a world that sparkles, one that “seemed so full and lifeless before.”

3 – A Serene Pathway

Would we not all desire such a sea change?  Would we not all desire the dreams that the Holy Spirit brings (from the Workbook)?  We can live in such a world, because we can see through the illusion in which we live by recognizing that what we are seeing is not real.  We do not have to deny what our eyes report (and indeed, we should not).  But we know that what we are seeing is not true, and we therefore walk a serene pathway.

4 – We Are Needed

Walking a serene pathway in the midst of the troubles of this world is not an invitation to be uncaring.  We are needed in this world, for the salvation of our brothers and sisters who are ready for salvation.  We do not help when we sympathize by accentuating their problems and troubles.  They need a compassionate individual in us who will understand and seek to bring their minds to a higher level.  Only time separates any student from a teacher.  We are all equal, not in time, but in eternity–and there is no time.  (These are all ACIM tenets.)

5 – Heaven on Earth

May we see today as glorious and as a sparkling place to happily spend some time.  We can indeed have Heaven on earth, so long as recognize that Heaven is not a place nor a condition, but the understanding of perfect Oneness (from the Text).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be open-minded today.  Help me, dear God.  I would see a world that sparkles as I walk through it, and I know that this is Your promise for me.  Help me always to forgive as I seek to be open-minded, tolerant.  There is no better way to live, and You and the Holy Spirit, with Jesus, are pointing these blessings out to me.

May today be a glorious day, enjoying the light of Your blessings even as sometimes the sun does not shine.  Everyday can be glorious, regardless of the weather.  Sometimes I forget tiny things like that.  I would not forget today.

Be with me as I seek to follow the pathway that You seem to point out to me.  May today belong to You, with Jesus holding my hand as I walk along.

Thank You.

Amen.

We Are All One

ACIM Workbook Lesson  262 – for Monday, September 19, 2011

Affirmation:  “Let me perceive no differences today.”

“Father, You have one Son.  And it is he that I would look upon today.  He is Your one creation.  Why should I perceive a thousand forms in what remains as one?  Why should I give this one a thousand names, when only one suffices?  (WB426)”

Reflections:

This passage seems to say, basically, that we are One.  We are one with our brothers and sisters, and we are one with God.  There is an extended discussion in the Text about whether or not we are the same or we are different.  Our personalities differ (according to the Manual), but at base we are One.  This means that we are just as capable of misdeeds as are our brothers and sisters who might know less about salvation than we think we know.  (We may be mistaken about how much we think we know.)  We have the capability to go astray.  This is quite in line with virtually all religious teaching.  Whether “once saved, always saved” is a theological issue that ACIM does not address, nor do I want to address it.  I am reminded of the fact that Jesus cautions us in the Text not to be involved in controversial issues.  Theology often divides us from our brothers and sisters.  We need the open-mindedness that the Manual says is one of the last traits that the teachers of God will develop.

If we look today upon the brothers and sisters whom we encounter, and we realize that we are actually One with them, we will need to try to see with the eyes of Christ, of our Self.  (This does not mean simply Jesus.)

We are the Son/Daughter of God.  Let us spend some time today asking God to teach us the meaning of this great truth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would recognize today that my brothers and sisters share the Self that we actually are.  Differences are perceptual only.  And we would choose only a cleansed perception, one that has seen God’s truth and would share His knowledge.  We would leave egoic perception of differences behind.

Help me to intuit how my brother and sister can be the same as I am.  Do not let theology delay me today.  Help me to find this knowledge deep inside, where You dwell.  And when I find that knowledge, help me to act on it when I next am tempted to turn on a brother or sister with attack or anger.

Amen.