Tag Archives: pathway

Let God Direct Our Pathway into a Sunnier Clime

“Your ego will strongly resist your attempts to listen to your heart, and will call this every kind of foolishness, a waste of time that could be spent on better things. Yet time is not required, nor is money or the use of any other thing you value. And there is not even the slightest chance of being made to look foolish by what you are asked to do.” (ACOL, C:13.10)

Our ego is very wily. It seems to have a life of its own, though it is simply a part of our belief about ourselves. And we are renouncing that belief as we read A Course of Love.

The change will be dramatic. Here Jesus is reassuring us that we leave behind, with the ego, nothing that we really want. And we are still safe. The ego never, ever, kept us safe—though this part of our belief about ourselves would say that we are unsafe unless we trust in it.

This is a ridiculous notion, for the ego doesn’t do anything good for us at all, and it does do much that is bad. It leads us to separate from our God, to separate from our brothers and sisters, and to try to live a lonely and autonomous life—as independent as we can make it. But independence is not the way. Interdependence is. And the new way of the heart will teach us this.

There is no reason to think that we leave behind anything important. And no reason to think that we are made unsafe by giving up a false idea. On the contrary, we are made unsafe, in theory, by holding to falsity.

Trust in the Lord, as the Bible tells us. Let God direct our pathway into a sunnier clime. The way back is not fraught with dangers, but with the most sincere form of good will—for we have Jesus at our side.

Living with Certainty

1 – Conclusive

“[The Treatise] will. . .be conclusive. . . .[I]t will do this only to reach a conclusion of certainty from which you can live. (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 1.2)”

2 – Overview

The Treatise on the New is the fourth and last treatise in the second volume of A Course of Love, and the entire volume is entitled, Treatises of a Course of Love. This final treatise is written to prepare us for the final book in the trilogy, the Dialogues. The Treatise on the New is a preparatory book to lead into a new age for us in our knowledge of living as the elevated Self of form. At this point, at the beginning of the Treatise on the New, we are not yet ready to turn to inner knowledge only. We still need external guidance in the form of these words.
We are trying to reach a certainty about how to live that will serve us well in a sometimes alienating world. This certainty has eluded all of us, perhaps particularly those of us who are drawn to A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. Many of us have been seekers all of our lives, and elsewhere Jesus specifically addresses this point. We have always thought that understanding (and knowledge) would be found in the “next” book or the “next” speaker or the “next” experience of religion.

3 – Seeking

Jesus would have us step back and to reassess. He says here and elsewhere, repeatedly, that the seeking is to come to an end. There are things that we know, in the most inward way, and yet we still do not trust our knowing. Jesus would have us to leave all of this foolishness behind, and to trust that we do have the certainty that he is, once again, showing us in this treatise. Once again, he is trying to get his message across, this time with a finality that was not fully accepted by us through studying both the New Testament and A Course in Miracles.

4 – New Readings

Always we have sought a way to be sure, to be certain. In the Twenty-First Century, we do have new readings that point the way for our time and place.

5 – Learning

We are getting ready to leave learning in the old way, through intermediaries, behind. We have sought our Way through readings, primarily, and sermons, sometimes. But now we are going to learn through the observation of our relationships in this world. We will dispense with the intermediaries and see directly.

6 – No Disappointment

We will not be disappointed.

7 – Chosen

“A question has been asked and a response is awaited. Are you willing to be chosen? Are you willing to be the chosen of God? All are asked. What is your answer? (The Treatises of A Course of Love: A Treatise on the New, 1.5)”

8 – Asked

The crucial part of this quotation is the statement, “All are asked.” All to often, we think that being “chosen” somehow excludes others. But Jesus says that all are chosen. All can come to know, and come to know now. We no longer have to wait for someone else, some other reading, to show us the way.

9 – Old Ways

This is welcome news indeed. Seekers, such as most of us have been, have constantly looked to the “next,” the next reading, the next sermon, the next lecture. But there has to come a time that we cease seeking. And that time is almost upon us now. This treatise, and the succeeding part, the Dialogues, will show us that seeking in the old ways is not desirable any longer.

10 – Home

We will be home at last.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I live today with the certainty that You love me. May I live with the certainty that, soon, the seeking will reach a glorious conclusion. I do not have to look always for the “next” pathway, the one that will give me peace and reassurance, ultimately. The time for this reassurance is at hand.

May we prepare ourselves for a new way of thinking, a new way to find solace in a sometimes difficult world. We know that Jesus leads us precisely, and that we do not have to be on an endless pathway of seeking. Thank You for that knowledge. For so long we didn’t know any better. We thought that further seeking was the only way that we could find You. Now we know that we are ready. We have learned enough. And You are here to welcome us home. Thank You.

Thank You for these words of Jesus. May I read and interpret correctly. And may you stay by my right hand always in these moments, guiding my thoughts to fuller understanding.

Amen.

Joy

“The ego is afraid of the spirit’s joy, because once you have experienced it you will withdraw all protection from the ego, and become totally without investment in fear.  (T55)”

Affirmation:  “the spirit’s joy”

Reflections:

1 – A Comparison to the Ego

We have all experienced the spirit’s joy, because we are not totally insane.  The ego is only a part of our belief about ourselves.  The more we can coax the spirit’s joy to come forth, the more progress we will make.  How do we do this?  It can only come from turning inward asking for assistance.  God always responds, even when we don’t readily see His response.  Be on the lookout for the next meaningful comment, be it an interior word from the Holy Spirit, a sentence in a book, or a comment made by a brother.  God comes to us in all these ways, and more.

2 – Withdraw Protection from the Ego

Perhaps it seems fearful to withdraw protection from the ego.  Our world has put much store in developing a strong ego, one that is meant to protect us in an often hostile world.  But a strong ego is not the way of the Course.  The ego, in fact, is always being undone, and we will know humiliation and much fear as long as we try to depend upon it.  It may not always be easy to relinquish the ego, but to do so is our way home.

3 – Still on the Pathway

Perhaps all of our days will not be filled with joy, for we are still on the pathway home.  But the more that we adjust our attitude to Jesus’s recommendations, the better days we will have.  If we are hurt, we will know that we are experiencing an egoistic attack, for actually we, our Self, cannot be hurt.  Only the ego can experience hurt, and if we relinquish our investment in the ego’s way of looking at the world, we will be the wiser for it.  If we come in anger, whether acknowledged or under the surface, we are strengthening the ego.  We do not want o strengthen the ego.  We want to open our hearts to the spirit’s joy, the innermost part of ourselves that has never been either hurt or angry.  We need to return home to God.  We may not know how to do this now, but if we learn of the spiritual truths that confront, we will know more, and, not incidentally, have more faith that God is in His Heaven, and all is right with the world (Robert Browning, though he wrote this in a poem that was satirical; we do not want to see it as satirical).

4 – Joy of the Spirit / Fear of the Ego

When we recognize that joy is of the spirit, and fear of the ego, we will not lack for motivation.  Jesus is teaching us to equate joy with the spirit.  Once we have done this a few times, we will doubt no longer.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I experience the spirit’s joy, and thereby be led to withdraw all protection from the ego.  The ego was always insane, and when I followed it, I was following blindly down a dark alley.

It is great news that when experiencing the spirit’s joy, I will want to withdraw all protection from the ego.  May this happen now and always.

Amen.

Specialness

“The specialness of God’s Sons does not stem from exclusion but from inclusion.  All my brothers are special.  If they believe they are deprived of anything, their perception becomes distorted. (T12)”

Affirmation:  :”I would have clear perception today, perception leading to knowledge.”

Reflections:

1 – Everyone Is “Special”

All of us are included in this statement about specialness.  We are all equals.  Elsewhere Jesus says that none of us has anything that is not also given to our brother.  He also says that temporarily some may have more than another, but eventually this will change.  These are theoretical foundations of A Course in Miracles.  What is this “more” that some have now?  It is an understanding about forgiveness that leads to salvation, and, with this, happiness.  All of these–forgiveness, salvation, and happiness–are said at different points in ACIM to our “function.”  We may find that we are too self-centered when we are unhappy to reach out effectively to others, or even to forgive them.  And we may get so down on ourselves that we don’t see how salvation is possible for one such as ourselves.

2 – Wait for the Mood to Lift

This is faulty thinking.  When our mood lifts, we will see more clearly.  Our seeing may still be perceptual rather than a knowing, but the right perception leads inexorably to knowledge of God.  This pathway becomes clearer the farther along we walk.  At this point, it may be enough to know simply that we will be happier when we ask for guidance, and this guidance will console us.  Our needs will be met.  We may not now believe this, for we live in a sometimes difficult world, but our attitudes will change, and even if other people perceive problems for us, we will live protected in the haven of God’s Arms.  (These are interpretations, not stated in ACIM.)

3 – Perceiving in a Distorted Fashion

When we feel little and left out, we are perceiving in a distorted fashion.  We think that we are deprived.  But none of us are deprived of anything, except it be our choice.  We can choose again, and the Holy Spirit will respond.  We may actually receive what we ask, or we may not.  If it would hurt us, we will not receive it.  Jesus says that a loving Father does not give a Son (or Daughter) what would hurt him (or her).  He will protect us still, if in our ignorance we ask for what will harm.

4 – Gifts of the Holy Spirit

When we ask for the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we are always answered in the affirmative.  These are not “special” gifts, but gifts that are the inheritance of everyone.   By so doing, we have taken the right prayer and wedded it to the philosophy of A Course in Miracles.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I do understand that all of us are “special,” which can also be stated that none are “special,” because we are all equal.  I would not let the ego intrude today; I am trying to encourage my ego to wither away.  I do not mean my personal self, but the egotistical, false sense of self that I all too often had in the past.  I would let that past stay in the past.

May we come to understand that one day all gifts from You will be shared by everyone.  In the meantime, for awhile some will have more of one thing, and some more of another.  All of this is only temporary, in our illusory world.

Be with me today as I seek to remain in the flow with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  I would welcome entry into the Christ-consciousness, but I await Your nod on this.  I have had glimpses of Awakening, and for that I am grateful.  I pray for all my brothers and sisters that they will have glimpses, before the new Way is sustained.

Amen.

Trials

“Trials are but lessons that you failed to learn presented once again, so where you made a faulty choice before you now can make a better one, and thus escape all pain that what you chose before has brought to you.  In every difficulty, all distress, and each perplexity Christ calls to you and gently says, ‘My brother, choose again.’  (T666)”

Affirmation:  “Choose again.”

Reflections:

1 – Remember when in Pain

This passage, beginning “Trials are but lessons that you failed to learn presented once again,” is to be remembered in times of pain, times of suffering (if the pain lead to that).  All of us will know weaker times as well as stronger, and if we recognize that we are bearing a trial that is meant to allow us, this time, a better choice, we will realize that we are learning through our pathway in this world.

2 – Choose Again

And Christ is there to heal us.  We have the option to “choose again,” and we can seek the guidance that will allow us to know how to choose again.  We will come to know where we erred in the past, when a similar situation arose, and we will be led to make the better choice now.

3 – Trials May Last for Awhile

Of course, in this world the trials may seem to last for a very long time, years even–though we are praying diligently and seeking to learn the lesson that we believe is being presented.  Remember that God’s time is not ours.  The idea that time does not exist is an ACIM tenet.  But in this world, time does exist, and our timetables and our expectations for them sometimes collide.  We do well to become accepting of the trials in which we find ourselves.  Of course, this is easier said than done, but God (and His Guide, the Holy Spirit) will help us to rise above the troubles, the trials, that afflict us.

4 – Things Denied Us = for Our Own Good

Look back now on a trial that presented itself earlier in your life.  Cannot we often see that the things denied us were for our own good?  We would do well to welcome trials as another chance to choose (as the Text says).  We do not have to lie down in the dust and resign ourselves to misery.  That is not what is meant.  We are meant to be happy, even in the face of temptations and trials.  Happiness is a worthy goal, and one of the easiest ways to reach God.  If we are miserable, we will frequently try to blame God for our plight.  And this, we know inwardly, is not accurate.  We make our own decisions on some level (though maybe not the personal self, but the Self).

5 – In Greater Light after Trial Is Over

No greater blessing can we have than to go ahead in greater light along the pathway that this lifetime would lead us upon.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not rebel against the trials that come my way, neither the ones that have passed, the ones I am experiencing now, or the ones that will come in the future.  Jesus says that in this world we will not be without limitations, but that he has overcome the world–and we can also.  May You guide me today to get the lesson of any current trial past me.  May I choose again, a better choice this time, knowing that somewhere in the past I did not make the best choice.  I now have, from You, another chance.

Be with me in serenity today.  I would not entertain thoughts of bad things, things that I fear.  To fear that which I do not want is to give it power over me.  I would follow Your will today, as I experience it through the guidance of Your Guide, the Holy Spirit.  May I not let conflict come into a day that I am reserving for You.  May I stay true to this promise, made now to You.

Amen.