With the Holy Spirit

“Every obstacle that peace must flow across is surmounted in just the same way; the fear that raised it yields to the love beyond, and so the fear is gone.  And so it is with this.  The desire to get rid of peace and drive the Holy Spirit from you fades in the presence of the quiet recognition that you love Him.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-19.IV.D.5)

The obstacles to our peace are kept in place by our cooperation.  We would remove our cooperation from the equation, and then we will know love as we have never known it before.  We will no longer want to get rid of peace; we will know that we love our Guide, the Holy Spirit, and we will open ourselves, on a continuing basis, to His guidance.

This is the obvious way that A Course in Miracles is teaching us on almost every page.  Turn to the Holy Spirit, succumb to His guidance, and be healed.

We will be living in quiet now.  We will understand that guidance comes to us in quiet moments, normally, though sometimes the situation is urgent enough that the Holy Spirit gets through to us even when we are in turmoil.

We are in turmoil only when the ego has arisen in us.  We can turn aside just as easily as we welcomed the ego.  And turn aside we must, if we are to be saved from disaster.  We would not entertain disaster in any shape at all.  

We would know God’s peace today.  Let us pray for the establishment of a good mood, an uplifted mood, and in this mood, love comes in easily.

There Is No Room for the Tempest of Rough Seas

“There is no room for madness here, nor for the tempest of rough seas.  Here there is only life, peace, and creation.  Nothing will disturb your mind or heart anymore, since everything that afflicted your soul has been forgotten forever, erased from the memory of your heart in love.  Now there will only be expressions of being, extensions of love, and unlimited giving serving the cause and effect of love.  Choose Only Love, bk.7, 1:I.  Message from Jesus.

Here is a fantastic promise from Jesus.  By Book 7 of Choose Only Love, if we have taken all seven books to heart, we are ready to experiment continuous peace.  Choose Only Love has cocooned us with love, given us insights by doing so that take us home to God.  We are not going to fail now unless we abandon our faith.  And who among us would do so at this late date?

We did entertain a “tiny, mad idea” of separation from God, something we first learned from Jesus in A Course in Miracles.  But now “There is no room for madness,” and we have walked by the direction pointed out, back to God.

We may still have certain patterns of thought, called “egoic patterns” by A Course of Love, that will occasionally give us pause.  But even this is very, very rare now–if it happens at all.  We walk humbly before our God, sure of His promises, sure of His guidance, sure of His love.

Not As the World Gives

From Ann Glover O’Dell’s Midwifing the Soul:

‘Not as the world gives’

is your peace you said

yet we would be

content just now with

what the world defines

since such unpeacefulness abounds

we cannot entertain the notion

of a state within

when all about us

life’s demise looms large.   

Power plays take center stage

and those rehearsing roles

soon star in great performances

surprising e’en themselves

with prowess and precision patterning.

Oh greed where is thy pain

which piercing self to inner well

of generosity so makes our

substance sharing

more to be desired

than much fine gold?

Where is the understanding

of that peace not understood

by mortal minds but mandates

light’s deep penetration of the

soul’s storehouse of truth?  

Is there a spirit energy

encased within your peace

propelling us to

show the world the way?

How Can We Be at Peace?

From Ann Glover O’Dell’s Midwifing the Soul:

How can we be at peace when

spirits’ doors are locked against it?

locked and bolted ‘gainst

we know not what but the

unknowing makes us fearful still.

Fearful of whatever lies beyond

paltry presumption of control 

beyond concentrated consciousness

that knows so little

understanding even less.

Fearfulness that lies in wait

albeit quite against its will 

for frequent fear is nonetheless

predictable and anxious huddling

in its shadow is more

to be desired than any sort

of openness to expectation’s

swaddling cloths of vulnerability.

How senseful that our fear 

that chronic lodger

continues welcome with its stale                         

foul breath and stained attire

when we the landlords

with our legalese

could if we dared

advertise our “rooms to let”

and interview new prospects

always with the veto power

tightly clutched within our ring of keys.  

Peace

From Ann Glover O’Dell’s Midwifing the Soul:

God Fruit

I am

you are

he is

            all God-fruit

            from germinated holy seed

            and ripening unevenly           

            appear misshapen and discolored

            as if from bruising

            or poor pollination.

I am

you are

he is

            judged by size and shapeliness

            and sometimes even fragrance

            as would-be orchard laborers

            determine if we’re worth

            the time and trouble

            to sift and sort for sale.

Even I

and you

and he

            forget we are not

            quality controllers

            in the large warehouses of humanity

            where clock time works against us.

The message is the thing

            that seeks to penetrate the rind

            for transformation of the seed capsules

            to let burst forth the flavor of the core.


From Celia’s Images from a Reflecting Pool: a Journal:

On what “works” in work for me:  “This morning I was very sleepy and relaxed–a little numb.  As a result I slowed down at work to great benefit.  I need to stop falling all over myself to get my work done.” Yet, the very next day, I wrote, “I seem to anticipate work and have a hard time doing that.  I don’t handle a million things to do very well.” Yet, though I clearly recognized this in 1992, I still haven’t truly accepted it and planned my work accordingly. 

I have a pattern of taking on more and more, getting “swamped,” and pulling back—only to repeat the same dynamic.  I may be addicted to an adrenaline rush which my body can’t sustain over the long haul.  So I end up anxious, and my husband does therapy for me over breakfast. Not fair to him or my real Self. 

A Course in Miracles says that the first obstacle that peace must flow across is the desire to get rid of it. (T-19.IV.A.1:1) 

How true!

Peace

From Ann Glover O’Dell’s Midwifing the Soul:

Deliver Me!

Deliver me

            from indignation’s wrath that

              saps my creativity

                and true compassion

                   and poises on the brink

                      of righteousness so false that

                         I can see no way around my

                            puffed-up sense of rectitude

                               and blinded arrogance.

Deliver me

            from anger so projected on

              pale circumstance or conversation

                 so lightly entered into by another

                    as to be overwhelmed at my

                        unleashing fire and thunderbolt

                           from sources never intimated

                              by what would seem

                                 a casual exchange.

Deliver me

            from cheap facade–

              the painted harlequin of face

                that covers rage so deep as to

                  explode in unforeseen expression

                     inexplicable by me

                        or anyone who listens or observes

                          or hears a later telling of

                             the strange and puzzling tale.

Deliver me

            from table overturning in a

               self-appointed moment of smug

                 superiority of justice meted out

                   or conspicuous display of brute force

                        from dark imprisonment

                           in invulnerability’s easy guise                    

                             that camouflages craftily

                                the well-thought-out charade.    

Deliver me!


From Celia’s Images in a Reflecting Pool; a Journal:

For me, too much stress brings on anger (and, all too often, resulting attack), whereas overwork linked with perfectionism brings on a critical attitude.  Knowing this suggests that I should consciously avoid filling my life with patterns that bring out the worst in me.  Knowing this, does it not follow that I should cultivate Peace at whatever cost to ambition?  It is best to observe what triggers one’s negative behavior, and then turn in the opposite direction.

“Stop and smell the roses.”  This everyday admonition invites speculation: If we don’t, what is the worst that will happen to us?  An unexamined life may mean less real living (as opposed to existing), especially if what happens always seem to happen to us, rather than being selected by us.

Peace

From Ann Glover O’Dell’s Midwifing the Soul:

The Holy Promise

The holy promise

   planted in the soul of each newborn

     reverberating through the lineage

       to those who hear the words aloud

            repeated by their elders as they learn

              the answers to the “who made you?”

                 and struggle with their own

                   repeated “why?” and “what now?”

                     and the tension of the sometimes

                        too taut tether cord

and planted, too, this covenant

   within the deeps of those

     who never hear the sacred sentence

       Scripture speaks to those

           within the confines

             of an orderly progression

                of confessional conscientiousness

                   where stories of the patriarchs

                      weave threads of continuity

                        irrefutable by time

this covenant

 announces from on high

   the ‘I will be’ and ‘you will be’

       resounding through all heartbeats

           transcending sacred writ

              telling all attentive

                 and declaring loud to deafened ears

                     and sending solace to the spirits

                          of those who never harken

                              to the inner urgings of their soul.


From Celia’s Images in a Reflecting Pool: a Journal:

The re-entry problems at work on Monday are not physiological or even psychological for the frequently cited reasons.  After “flight” on the preceding two days, the body gets up once again to “fight.”  And the more relaxing the flight has been, the more likely the fight will bring fears. 

One has let down one’s guard, and the ego doesn’t take kindly to peace.  It knows its days are numbered if its owner should ever learn to choose Peace consistently.

Why is it that so many of us are cowards in the middle of the night? 

If we could all learn how to separate “big deals” from trifles, we would certainly be well along the way toward living satisfactorily and peacefully.

Peace & Understanding Found Together

“Think not you understand anything until you pass the test of perfect peace, for peace and understanding go together and never can be found alone.  Each brings the other with it, for it is the law of God they be not separate.  They are cause and effect, each to the other, so where one is absent the other cannot be.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-14.XI.12)

We focus today on twin values—peace and understanding, which Jesus says are never found apart.  With one, the other comes.  Without one, the other does not come.  The dual nature of peace and understanding is particularly apt to be overlooked in a study of A Course in Miracles, but when seen clearly, this tidbit of information tells us much.  It tells us why we have not understood before (we lacked peace), and why we didn’t have peace (we lacked understanding).

We need perfect peace, and for this we need understanding.  A Course in Miracles is giving us the means to reach Awakening, the end that we all seek.  God makes the decision of when, but we must be prepared.  And we will be effortlessly and easily prepared when we study ACIM carefully and well.

Peace and understanding are both cause and effect to each other, a dichotomy that is difficult to understand.  But Jesus frequently makes reference to cause and effect in ACIM—a favorite learning device of his.  We can see that each causes the other, and therefore each is the “effect” of the other.  We cannot make progress when either is lacking from our lives.

May we experience at least fleeting moments of perfect peace today.  To do so, we will realize that we have understood some of what A Course in Miracles is telling us.

And we will seeing accurately.

To Be Free of Fear & in Perfect Peace

“You have one test, as sure as God, by which to recognize if what you learned is true.  If you are wholly free of fear of any kind, and if all those who meet or even think of you share in your perfect peace, then you can be sure that you have learned God’s lesson, and not your own.”  (A Course in Miracles FIP ed., T-14.XI.5)

This quotation comes early in the Text, and this is perhaps surprising, because it gives us a secret by which we can know if we are assimilating the message of A Course in Miracles.  We are, though, at this juncture perhaps unable to affirm that pass this test.

Are we free of fear?  Do others think of us with peace only? 

This is a hard test.  Even those who have been on the pathway to Awakening for a long time may not feel sure about their freedom from fear, or their choice to spread only peace.

How might we do these things?  How might we be free of fear and embodying peace always?

There are no easy answers.  A Course in Miracles in its entirety is seeking to bring us to this end.  But we can begin.  And we begin with study of ACIM.  We commune with God.  We listen to the Holy Spirit, Whose guidance will take us home to God surely.  We walk alongside Jesus, in imagination holding his hand.  This is the Holy Trinity, and in this we build on what we learned from the New Testament.  ACIM now seeks to take us where we are in our progress as human beings in this Twenty-First Century.  We have somewhat different needs in our salvation than people years ago had.  We have become changed people.  And we now know what the ego is, and we realize that its ways are not best for us.  If we are spiritually smart, we will reach for forgiveness of our brother as our pathway.  This is the means that A Course in Miracles is using to take us to God.  This is our salvation, our access to Awakening.

Speak to God today in your effort to move closer to Him in daily life.  Follow guidance for the best pathway in everything.

Peace

I can choose peace instead of this.  I am surrendered, and nothing matters save the extension of the good, the holy, and the beautiful.  Therefore, Father, in this moment what is your will for me?”  (“The Way of Transformation,” The Way of Mastery, Chapter 19, Page 235)

Many of us “overdo.” We are constantly busy. Of course, some of this is the pressure of a paying job. But when we go home for the night, and for the weekend, do we stop our hectic pace? Many times not.

I need to read this quotation often. God’s pace is not frantic, neither does it leave us overwrought. We do that from the habits of a lifetime of attempted achievement. We do this to ourselves.

Be easy today. Know that if in God’s good time, “it” is not there, “it” was not meant to be there. This maxim, from Norman Vincent Peale, could be a mantra for a slower pace.

Ask God to direct our every step today. He will not ask too much of us. When we work in God’s spirit, we get the work done, enjoy doing the work, and suffer not at all in the work.

Quiet Soul

“Quiet your soul now and close your eyes.  Leave everything aside.  Open your heart and in the serenity of the self.  Receive the grace of being aware of the Christ that you are and have always been.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 9:II

When we sense that we are Christ—we ourselves as well as Jesus—we don’t have any worries.  We know that the power that was in him is in us as well.

And we know that God would have us happy in His world, despite appearances of difficulties worldwide.

These difficulties are a harbinger of a turning from the past to something better, amazingly better.  We are living in perilous times, but we don’t have to obsess about this. 

We can still live peacefully, with a quiet soul.

Miracles Offer Peaceful Love to Us

“Peace is an attribute in you.  You cannot find it outside.  Illness is some form of external searching.  Health is inner peace.  It enables you to remain unshaken by lack of love from without and capable, through your acceptance of miracles, of correcting the conditions proceeding from lack of love in others.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-2.I.5)

We have peace internally, but it is layered over with turmoil, anxieties, and guilty feelings, and thus we cannot access the feeling of peace on a constant basis.  But we have to look within, or we are constantly swayed by the vicissitudes of what we see, what we project onto, a suffering world.  We project turmoil when we are not looking deeply enough within, deep where the peace really is.

When we have raised our vibration sufficiently to find that peace that is within, we will cease searching outside ourselves for solace.  And with this external searching ended, so will the experience of illness fall away.  When we are at peace in our minds and hearts, experiencing inner peace, we will be healthy children of God.

Does it really matter if others don’t love us as we think they ought?  If we have a strong enough sense of God’s peace within, we will not be shaken by the lack of love without.  And we will encounter a lack of love without, for the world does not treat kindly those who are externally seeking for love from it.  This world is not set up to give you peace; only our turning inward can do that for us.  And turning inward does, in fact, create a wellspring of health and well-being that will indeed be a miracle.  A miracle of healing.  Our conflict will be at an end.  We will be home in God.  And what more could we wish for this day, as the evening draws to a close?

We need a remedy from God when we perceive a lack of love in others, love that we think we need, because otherwise we are all alone and lonely beings in a world of chaos.  We must recognize that we cannot depend on the outside world to “be there” for us always.  More often than not, the outside world will not be there for us.  Of course, projection makes perception, and so as we walk farther along the pathway to salvation and Awakening, we will project bad things less often.  Seeing God’s peace, inwardly, is our way to salvation and Awakening.  And then whatever vestiges of unkindness we continue to project will lose their efficacy.  We will indeed live in a new and different dimension, and, miraculously, our sisters and brothers in this world will begin to treat us better.

Practice the Presence of God

“A sense of separation from God is the only lack you really need correct.  This sense of separation would never have arisen if you had not distorted your perception of truth, and had thus perceived yourself as lack.  The idea of order of needs arose because, having made this fundamental error, you had already fragmented yourself into levels with different needs.  As you integrate you become one, and your needs become one accordingly.  Unified needs lead to unified action, because this produces a lack of conflict.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-1.VI.2)

Which of us would not want a lack of conflict?  We can realize, as the Workbook says, “There is another way of looking at this.”  There is also a way of thinking of God that will immediately quell conflict.  If we place our minds on the concept of God, Himself, we will know inner peace.  This is not the only way, of course, but this thought process is the most direct.  We quiet the ego by thinking of God, and in the quietude we live above conflict.  We will overlook the conflict.

We are very conflicted beings, very moody and very antagonistic, initially, to listening to what will give us peace.  After all, we have invested a lot in the ego, and the ego says that it will protect us.  This is not true, of course, because the ego and egotistical thought processes only lead to more conflict and turmoil—exactly what we need to move from.  We are not moving away from conflict now, because we all too often think that we are really living when the drama is high.  This is the insidious thing.

We need to practice the Presence of God in our daily lives, from moment to moment (when we remember).  This Presence does not have to be a constant thing for us, and indeed, it cannot be, for our minds are made of short-term attention spans.  Yet, the more we can welcome God’s Presence in our lives, the better our lives will become.

We are living on different levels, fragmented parts of ourselves that know no better.  We do not have to have multiple personalities to recognize that we partake of this phenomenon; this fragmentation is rampant in our culture, for we have forgotten God as our unifying Force.  He will solve the problems that we think we have; He will show us how to rise above the chaos of the world. 

Peace

“You cannot stop being who you are, although you can live in a way contrary to it in your mind and heart.  Thus you cannot ever lose your holiness, because your Source goes wherever you go.  You cannot lose your peace of mind because God goes with you wherever you go.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 8:III

We have peace of mind, because God grants it to us—but we may be oblivious to that peace.  We need to follow our guidance to let peace blossom in us.  If we forge ahead when our guidance is to wait, then we need to revisit intuition.

Peace

“Once the thought pattern of concern arises, you make that concern real, which then encompasses the entire space of your mind and heart, and thereby you lose peace.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 3:I

When we focus on something, we make that something real to ourselves.  A Course in Miracles says this, though using other words.  ACIM says that if we make our anger at another person real by concentrating on it, how can we overlook this anger?  The thing to do is to fail to focus on something bad or wrong, thereby never making it “real” in our experience.

The thought pattern of concern is worry, pure and simply.  We do too often rue our days by worrying about all manner of things.

Worry/concern does not have to happen.  I find that if I journal about an issue, the solution often surfaces—and in the journaling, I am setting aside worry.  Then my mind is free and clear, and nothing is hindering my contact with God.  Prayer then follows easily, nothing separating me from Him.

We need peace.  ALL of us need peace.  Our troubled world can only turn to those who do have inner peace. 

Who else is in a position to help?

Finding Peace

“Observe how the thought pattern of worry blocks access to peace, and therefore to your true self.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 3:I

I came from a long line of worriers.  My grandmother said I came by my worry “honestly.”  Only she, my grandmother, in four generations, remained peaceful and calm.

I do know that this quotation from Choose Only Love is right on.  All is not lost, though, for I have made great strides to eliminate worry—just using thought stoppage, silently saying “Stop!,” when I start to fret.

We all want to come to know our true self.  And this quotation tells us we can’t do that if we are caught up in the fruitless process of worrying.  Peace is our birthright.  Worry is a holdover from the ego.

Ask for peace today.  Ask for peace every day.  We can change the habits of a lifetime if we put our mind and heart to it.  Help will arrive.

Living in Love

“[L]iving with fear was the reality of the contraction in which you lived.  Now we begin to live consciously without fear, joyfully recognizing that we are the resurrection and will live in love.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 2:III

I know that this assertion is true; I know from long life experience.  I used to live with the anxiety of a stressful job, and now that I am no longer in the work force, I am amazingly calm, sometimes sleepy in the mornings, something I resist.

I can make accommodations so that I am more alert, living in Love and not fear.  I have read that it takes more patience to live calmly than to live in agitation.  We have been used to dramas, dramas that kept us uptight.  Now all of us can adjust to a better way, if we have a mind to.  We can adjust to peace without highs and lows that are emblematic of an egoic existence.

Here Jesus says that we are the “resurrection.”  He is seeing us in a new era, the new time of Christ, the second coming of Christ.  Elsewhere Choose Only Love asserts that we are living in the end times.  This does not mean the annihilation of the earth, but it does mean the annihilation of the difficult ways of the ego.

Accept calm when it comes.  Accept calm in this new era.  And be grateful for it. 

Our lives will smooth out, and we will know a better way of walking through the new world that we will be creating.

Peace in Our Soul

“[S]tay for a few moments in the silence of your heart as you experience the peace of your soul as you hear these words:  You are safe and sound.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 2:III

We all need to be sure that we are “safe and sound.”  Jesus knows us at least as well as we know ourselves, and many believe that much in Choose Only Love is channeled from him.

Jesus appeals to our heart, letting us know that when we turn there, we experience peace in our very soul.  Most of us fret too much when faced with the difficulties of our world and of our daily lives.  We need to turn somewhere, and this passage suggests that our soul needs us to turn to our heart.  This is a primary emphasis in A Course of Love as well.  We have lived in our deluded minds too long, entertaining an ego that did not mean us well.  But many of us are leaving madness behind as we choose to relinquish the ego at every point that it seeks to ensnare us.  And ALL of its points seek to ensnare us.

Link our soul to our heart today.  Our feelings will indicate to us when we have succeeded in this exercise.

God speaks in silence, and He often speaks to our heart because it is not caught up in remaining patterns of the ego.  See what our heart is trying to say to us today.  See what we need to discover.

True Peace

“Realize that I am love.  Remembering this is enough to bring true peace to your heart and mind.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 2:I

This is a message from Jesus.  I think this assertion will work for us when we do follow him as our leader.  Following Jesus as our leader and savior is the message of traditional Christianity as well as the recently channeled works which many believe are from Jesus, including this one—Choose Only Love—and A Course in Miracles, A Course of Love, and The Way of Mastery.

We need someone who has walked the whole pathway back to God as our guide.  When we trust that one, we know that we can have the peace that we feel when we think of him.  He paved the way.  Now he is inviting us to join him as an equal, not subordinate to him in any way.  He got there first, but he wants nothing more than for us to share the love that that journey showed to him.  And he takes us by the hand as we walk along.

If we trust Jesus as our leader and guide, oftentimes our savior, we will—he says—experience true peace.  And who among us does not want that?  Let go of doubts that Jesus is actually speaking to us in this quotation and open the mind and heart to the belief that he is.

When we feel true peace in this belief, we will know all we need to know.  We will walk a smooth road back to God, with Jesus’ hand clasped in ours.

Imagination

“For remember an ancient truth we once gave you:  You cannot imagine that which you have not experienced, for imagination is the picturing in the conscious mind.  That picturing must come forth from something.”  (“The Way of Transformation,” The Way of Mastery, Chapter 17, Page 202)

A difficult concept, but I have read things that will elucidate this quotation. A Course in Miracles says that we the past will roll up like a carpet when we are through with the world as we know it, that we are revisiting the past. Neale Donald Walsch’s Conversations with God says that all reality is like a CD from which we choose experiences; if the experience is not already in the Mind of God, on that CD, we cannot experience it.

Do we see, then, how imagination must have something to cling to? We cannot go outside the Mind of God, of Whom we are a part. And if God did not first “think” it, we could not have it in our experience.

Give our imagination free rein today. See what comes out that we would like to experience, for we can have it–if not immediately, then somewhere in the eons ahead of us, for we live in an eternity.

The imagination works best when we are in revelry, sitting quietly and feeling peaceful.

See quietly today and see what comes up into the conscious mind and heart.

Nothing to Fear

“You have a phrase in your world: ‘There is nothing to fear but fear itself.’  That is ninety-eight percent accurate. . . . The final two-percent would be to say there is nothing to fear, since fear is only a temporary insanity, and your right-mindedness is but a choice away.”  (“The Way of Transformation,” WOM, Chapter 15, Page 182)

Jesus is saying here that we can choose to eliminate fear from our experience, by making a new choice.

We may need some help, though, and the greatest help comes from God.  He will calm us down immeasurably.  When we settle down, do our best to relax, and clear our mind by turning to our heart, we are doing all that we can do.  The rest comes from God.

What we give we receive.  And when we give peace in our talks with God, He returns that peace to us in a palpable way that we sense, if not right away, in the moments as they pass by and we just think of Him.

This works.  Put aside any skepticism, and let God have His way with us.

Love Is What We Are

“Love is not an idea.  Love is not an abstraction.  Love is you.  Love is what you are.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 4:II

We need to understand much more about love than we do.  We often think of it as simply a feeling or an emotion.  But it is a Force, the Force that is God.

When we give ourselves up to love, we know peace.  And we don’t know genuine and lasting peace any other way.

Here we learn that love is what we are.  This is actually saying that we partake of the essence of God.  He does not stand apart from His creation, but is in it, through and through.  So He overshadows us with the love that is the essence of Himself.

Ask to understand love better today.  Ask to see how love could be the essence of the universes, of us, of God Himself.  We are created of the essence of Him. 

We can thrive in no other way than to let love embrace us.

Inner Peace

“Once the thought pattern of concern arises, you make that concern real, which then encompasses the entire space of your mind and heart, and thereby you lose peace.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 3:I

When we dwell on a feeling, we make it real to us.  If we dwell on antagonism to our brother or sister, we make it real, and thus harder to overlook.  This is an idea from A Course in Miracles.  Likewise, with concerns or worries.  When we focus upon them, they grow in our mind and even our heart.  The concern overturns more positive thoughts, and then we really are in trouble.

When the bad feeling mushrooms, it encompasses, as this quotation says, the “entire space of. . .mind and heart.”  This takes away our peace, and inner peace is one of the greatest attributes we might aspire to have.  Inner peace goes hand-in-hand with a loving heart.  Inner peace gives us a world that is all-encompassing in its goodness.

We see what we want to see, because we invent our world (as ACIM says).  If we want trouble, we will see it, though we may not be aware that we “want” it.  Focus is everything, for the law of attraction is in operation.  What we focus upon becomes true for us, even if it is not objectively “true.”

Let the mind and heart swell with inner peace today. 

Do not dwell on worries or concerns, making them an obsession.  If we give up worries/concerns, we will walk throughout this world with a serenity that has eluded us until now.

Open the Way to Peace

“Observe how the thought pattern of worry blocks access to peace, and therefore to your true self.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 3:I

Our “true self” does not worry.  This is the Christ-Self described so well in A Course of Love.  If we are prone to worry, let’s decide today to give up negative obsessions.  Our lives will be so much better.  We do have the power to effect this.

All of us long for peace in this world, even when we are not aware of what we are longing for.  A Course in Miracles says that our future is to be “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time.  This may seem a bit extreme, but it is a good metaphor for the meek who will inherit the earth.  Meekness is not passivity, though, something we would all be wise to come to understand.

If we want peace, we are learning that we must drop worry from our habitual frame of mind.  Let the heart speak to us, for the heart knows how to love, and when we love rightly, we depend on our faith in God to evict worry from our mind.  Doing this can be as easy as dismissing worry thoughts, one right after the other, when they occur to us.  Substitute thoughts of love, loving thoughts, and the worry will have no place to occupy.  It is always best to substitute another thought, lest our attempt to dismiss thoughts is akin to ignoring an elephant in the room.  Not possible.

We want access to our true self.  It behooves us to take steps in that direction, especially when we are tempted to turn aside from our true self.  Worry is a form of fear, and we know that love cancels fear.

Let’s let love do its work today.

Mission for God

“Go into the world announcing the good news.  You have a means to do it.  Enjoy the joy of sharing.  Be messengers of peace.  Take love to the world.”  Choose Only Love bk.2, 21:II

What better way could we spend a life than to follow the directions given in this quotation?  What is the good news?  Simply that we are beloved of God, the beloved of God.  He stands with us in every earthly dilemma, every quandary, every mystery.  He may not take away every mystery, but if we bear with him patiently, the dilemmas and quandaries lift.

How might we announce the good news?  We won’t seek to recruit others to our way of life, unless they express obvious interest in knowing how we live.  We will turn off others if they are not ready for a change, even a change for the better.  So announcing the good news, when and where, needs deep prayer.  We need to discern when and where to offer the message.  Our own way may not, ultimately, answer the needs of our brothers and sisters if they are in a different place from ourselves, mentally and emotionally.

So depend on guidance in this delicate matter of influencing others.  But when the time is right, and the person before us is right, we can enjoy the joy of sharing.  And they too will be enlivened.

Offering peace and love to the world is a less delicate matter than sharing the good news of what we have found in God.  Peace and love are always welcome.

Calm Center of Our Being

“Being always what you are means not to disconnect from anything that happens within yourself.”  COL bk.2, 19:I

We don’t need to judge ourselves harshly when thoughts arise from the depths, where all is peace.  This is what is actually happening “within” ourselves.  We do need to turn aside from negativity, analyzing our conflicts, getting ourselves overwrought by frightening ourselves with our own thoughts.  Much of these last attitudes are either the ego or egoic patterns that have not yet left us.

But the ego will leave when we invite his demise, and the egoic patterns will also, eventually, cease.  We must have patience with ourselves.  We didn’t get all tangled up in an instant, and it will take more than an instant to start out on a better pathway.

When we look within, we see an equanimity that stands us in good stead regardless of what is happening external to ourselves.  Or what we perceive as happening outside ourselves.  Actually, A Course in Miracles says that projection makes perception, and so we are still projecting our outside world, what we are experiencing.  When we don’t like what we see, we need simply to delve more deeply within our mind and heart, to the calm center of our being.  This allows us to be who we really are.

Turn inward for a while today, connecting with our inner being.  We may not yet be able to sustain this stable look at our real Self, but we can form new habits that will allow us to live as this real Self.

And then we are home free.  Safe in the arms of God.

Serenity Will Heal

“The impulse to struggle and defend is the impulse that moves the egoic world because the ego is only concerned with its survival.”  COL bk.2, 18:II

Perhaps we can read in this quotation from Choose Only Love the implication that to struggle and defend are false issues for us.  Certainly struggle is not God’s way with us.  His way of speaking to us is all peace.  And defending our little territory of mind and heart in this world is not the way, either.  Yes, struggling in vain and defending our way as the only way are both signs of an egoic leaning.

The ego would like to continue to lead us around.  But its days are numbered.  In A Course of Love, as we read through it meditatively, we discover that the ego has left us.  If we latch onto a new way of living, we will not build a new ego on the ashes of the first one.  And we would not choose to do that, for such a futile choice would take away all our gains.

When tempted to struggle with an issue, go within and get quiet.  In the silence, God will speak to us.  He knows that serenity is one of our greatest blessings.  And He will bring serenity to our personal issues in life.  Serenity irons out the difficulties, and we will walk a smooth pathway as we go along.

Defenses do what they would defend, as A Course in Miracles tells us.  So a defensive attitude in life is not the way either.  Drop our defenses today.  We will be the better for it.

Give up the ego and egotistical leanings as bad choices.  Let the subconscious mind be cleansed as we pray for help. 

This in itself will go a long way toward saying good-bye to the ego.

Cling to Love, Harmony, Peace in This World

“Clinging to the transient as if it were eternal is painful. . . .If you cling to what sooner or later will no longer be. . .you will fear its loss.”  Choose Only Love:  Let Yourself Be Loved (COL bk.2, 12:II)

Love is eternal, and even though we know that the lives of those we love do end on earth, they continue in another plane.  So here we are not talking about love, for love is not transient.

There are many things that are, though, and we adore them to our peril.  This truth helps us to see why we have such fears, fears that keep us from enjoying life to the full.  We fear the loss of what we have valued, when what we have valued is not going to last.  The material blessings of our lives fall into this category, a place where loss might certainly happen.

We have to put our faith in what does last, and these are all intangibles.  The intangibles are love (as we have said), harmony, peace, joy, contentment, happiness.  It is true that some of these things wane from time to time, but we are much better off putting our trust in their continuance, lest we create a self-fulfilling prophecy of loss.

Avoid the pain of clinging to the transient.  Ask to put our faith in the intangible, and our lives will blossom evermore into something beautiful.

Be Calm

“Beloved friends, The Way of Transformation rests on exactly the same thing that all of your dreams rest upon—the decision concerning what you would be committed to.  For you cannot dream a dream, that is, you cannot create an experience in the field of consciousness, without being one hundred percent committed to it.  It may appear that this is not the case, but I assure you that it is.”  (“The Way of Transformation,” WOM, Chapter 13, Page 154)

Today I am beginning consideration of the second part of The Way of Mastery, about the transformation which we all seek, some without knowing it.  We are dreaming a dream, and right now in our world it very much seems that we are dreaming a worldwide nightmare.  We can, though, often make our experience better by what we choose to focus upon.  We create experiences for ourselves that we are committed to—that is what this quotation says.

Let us choose to commit to the good reaction of many good people in our world at this sad time.  If we choose to focus on this, the good reaction that does sometimes make the news, our dream will soften.  Our fears will recede, and with a clear mind we will begin to see solutions.  The solution is always with the problem, though right now that doesn’t seem true.  In our daily life, though, solutions do appear when our mind is calm.

May we do what we can in our little world, our circle of intimates.  May we stay peaceful, as much as possible, so that we can be of help to ourselves and the others we see and touch.

Without Love, Peace Cannot Be

Certainly most of us have believed a lie sometime, somewhere in our lives. We have been susceptible to deception because we wished it so. If we doubt this, look back to see how our wish made it true for us, even though the basis may have been pure fantasy. Hidden in that wish, if we trace to its sources, is a desire for specialness, a desire to be a creature specially favored by God, singled out for merit that does not also belong to our brother.

Yet there is no peace in these dreams. When we put ourselves on a pedestal, we do not readily forgive lesser mortals. Without forgiveness, love cannot begin, grow, or thrive; and without love, peace cannot be. When we look with Christ’s eyes, we understand that no brother has sinned against us; we see only love where earlier condemnation had reigned. Condemnation need not be very blatant; just a hint of grievance against our brother, and the spell of love is broken. Guilt reigns supreme, because in our deepest heart we know intuitively that nothing in Reality has ever happened that is damaging to us. In contrast, when the earth sparkles and glows, seems alive in love, and is literally full of bright color, we know in our depths that we have truly forgiven our brother for formerly perceived “sins” against us. Our heart is so overflowing with love, seeking our brother to be One with him, that nothing is held back from us. We know no guilt in this epiphany, and the inner calm at being finally reconciled to God is overwhelming. We have forgiven ourselves for our failure to love God more, for in loving our brother with open hands and a clear conscience we have at last forgiven ourselves for what we believe that we did to God. We feel cleansed of evil intent and in that purification comes the knowledge that we truly were never sinners, only guilty of mistakes now left behind. And all because at last we have laid down our arms against our brother.

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

Still, Small Voice

“Rest with me, and acknowledge that our minds are joined. As you rest, again, you might notice that thoughts seem to arise and pass away. But do you not sense them, now as though they were coming from a place where you are not, as though you had sunk more deeply to a place of quiet beneath the surface upon which thoughts flow back and forth without ceasing?” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 11, Page 135)

Being quiet, staying in our quiet corner, is a most powerful way to connect with the God within. If we let the hubbub of the world get into our mind and heart, we will find it very difficult to listen to the still, small Voice. And listening to the still, small Voice is exactly what we need to do.

What will that Voice tell us? Some of what we hear will be unique to each of us, for we are unique creations of God, with nobody else the exact duplicate of ourselves. But some of what we hear will be shareable with others, for they too will need the same message. Shareable when they are open to hear, for we do not want to force ourselves on anybody who is not ready to hear God’s message.

If we “rest” with Jesus, we will be well on our way to a new day in living. He would not have us anxious and tied in knots over anything. His Father is not reached that way. We make our own hell on earth when we let nervousness take over. So contemplate silently, or meditate. Still the mind and heart.

When the mind and heart are stilled, then flow happens. And flow is as close to following the Holy Spirit’s every nudge as we can come. We don’t get stubborn and seek to have everything “our” way. We listen to our inner guidance, and then we act. This best way to live is open to all of us, though not all of us are equally listening. For those who are, the message is clear and unmistakable.

Be still and listen for God’s prompting in our very soul.

We WILL hear, and we will not be disappointed in what we hear.

Ask Only

“Ask only:

“How can I extend my treasure this day?

“And lay up treasures where moth and dust cannot corrupt, that is, where time, materiality, the body and the world cannot ‘hook you.’ Rather lay up treasures that are in Heaven: forgiveness, peace, unlimitedness, recognition of your unlimited power, that which brings you joy and puts a smile upon your countenance. Lay up for yourself these treasures and all things shall be added unto you.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 10, Page 129)

When we lay up these treasures—forgiveness, peace, etc.—we are seeking the Kingdom of God, called in A Course of Love, the House of Truth. And, as the Bible says, “all things shall be added unto you.” The biblical tenet is to seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. And “righteousness” means “right-mindedness.” We need a healed mind.

We know what positivity means, and these gifts from God are all positive. Our own deluded minds have been lost in negativism for long years. It is this negative slant of the ego that has done us in. We wanted treasures that moth and dust corrupt, and we got them—to our detriment.

Now all that is changing for us. We have sifted the good from the bad, and we know that corruptible gifts do not satisfy for long. We want the intangible blessings from God that give us much joy—the Love, harmony, peace, joy, sense of unlimitedness. And we can have them, for they are our birthright. We have previously just been asking for the wrong things.

Let the law of attraction work for the best in life, the intangibles. Then and only then will we know the peace that passeth understanding. Then and only then will we know happiness that lasts.

Our way is being pointed out to us. We are not so dense that we don’t see it. We need simply to abide in God’s embrace, and all good things will be added unto us.

“I and My Father Are One”

“I and my Father are one. It has been that way forever. It was accomplished in the being of Jeshua ben Joseph, who revealed to me the truth of myself, because he loved me. And if he can do it, I can do it. Even in this moment, I accept my destiny to walk this Earth awake and at peace, in mastery, and not in fear. And I begin my ministry now.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 10, Page 123 – 124)

These comforting words from Jesus (Jeshua ben Joseph), a mantra for us, are manna for our parched souls. We get ourselves so tangled up when we try to go it alone. If we let God live through us, and we are aware of this fact, everything goes so very much better.

Sure, we will still have some emotional upheavals. But they will be quickly overturned when we turn back to God. Our insanity is now short-lived, and that is what our anger and attack really have been—just insanity. Sometimes we need to get very quiet and ask for help in navigating this difficult world. When we ask for help, the help immediately arrives; we need only open to it.

We don’t have to gear ourselves us for warfare in this world. We simply turn aside from the hostility that we see, knowing that when our eyes are accustomed to the Light, we will see no antagonism at all. We will be at peace.

Journey within the Kingdom Begins Anew

“Rest assured, when the journey to the Kingdom is completed, the journey within it begins anew. The bliss, the wisdom, the creativity, the laughter, the friendships, the family, the joy, the serenity, and the peace—that have been, for the most part, seen as an impossible dream—will become your most ordinary state of being.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 91)

If we can only believe what Jesus is saying here, we will have hope for an ever-better life. Would we not all want that, even if the life we have now seems pretty OK?

A Course of Love says that ordinary people will begin living extraordinary lives, and in that transition, our friends will wonder what has happened to us, why are we different? Let’s hope for an extraordinary life today. If we follow the wisdom that Jesus offers in his newly channeled works—A Course in Miracles, A Course of Love, The Way of Mastery—we will have a new life in our grasp.

In many cases, we already know what we do. Yet we often don’t put that knowing into everyday practice, because our old habits of living poorly do drag us down.

Ask today to put our knowing into practice. Jesus has taught us wisely, and eventually we come to see that even he is a companion rather than a teacher. Walk with him today. Be assured that he holds our hand as we walk along. He has promised this (from A Course in Miracles), and he says that imagining that he holds our hand is no “idle fantasy.”

Be sure to say “thank you” to the one who thinks of us always. Our leader, our savior from the snares of what we would avoid, Jesus himself. Instead, we can have bliss, wisdom, creativity, laughter, friendships, family, joy, serenity, peace—all!

With blessings like this, we will never look back.

Sea of Peace

“Each sane moment that you have experienced. . . each moment of grace-filled joy that you have ever known. . .has come because you have allowed your mind to slip into the sea of peace. There you have merely abided, empty, wanting nothing, seeking nothing, being merely the presence of what you are.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 86)

When we are living sane moments, we are fully and completely in a state of peace. It is the “peace of God that passeth understanding.” And we live in an unlimited fashion, with true intimacy with our significant others, in joy. There is no better way to live.

Make no mistake about it: We have been in madness for a very long time. Of course, our secular world would not call us mad and we wouldn’t be certifiably insane. But still when the ego is dominant in our minds, we are living an insane life. It is only when we make repeated gestures to turn aside from the ego, that glimpses of Awakening start to dawn on our previously deluded minds, and sanity also begins to dawn.

We have stopped seeking at such times. Seeking, too, can be an obsessive compulsion, and this too is insane. We need to simply be who we are, no persona, no “ideal” state of mind as we try to be what we are not. We are “good enough” as we are. Sure, we still make mistakes, but God loves His children even as they falter and fall.

We may not believe that we are good enough as we are. And we can improve our persona, but the truth is that we are still innocent creatures of God. Mistakes only, not uncorrectable “sins.” And as we move to correct our mistakes, we accept ourselves better. We come to believe that maybe we truly are “alright.”

And we are. Just as we are.

Take Today the Journey that Will Lead to God

Note: Today I am returning to The Way of Mastery (also known as The Christ Mind Trilogy). The Way of Mastery has proved to be very popular on this blog. – Celia

“How many journeys have there been? . . .How many lifetimes, how many worlds, before a light began to dawn, so imperceptibly at first that it was not recognized? And a tiny voice whispered from a place that seemed so far removed from where you dwelt:

“Beloved son, you are with me now.
“You remain as I have created you to be.
“Therefore, be at peace. You are loved.

“The voice seemed so far way, so faint, that surely, it could not be your own. Surely, it was just a moment’s fantasy.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 83 – 84)

This “tiny voice” is hearing from the Holy Spirit. His voice seems tiny, because we have not tuned in to listen to Him. We seemed to be far removed from Him.

But He is speaking to us now. Finally He has our attention. We can imagine that He is glad. We have spent lifetimes running from God, and He would not have it so.

Cease going around and around like that. It is like a broken record on a stereo. We don’t need to run away anymore. God will not hurt us! It is delighted that we are turning to Him!

Let the light dawn ever brighter in our experience. We need to open the aperture ever so slightly. When the light is brighter, we will know the truth: that it is of God. Then we will be in a better position to create our lives in better and better ways.

In all those lifetimes, we have changed things only in illusion. And now is the time to approach true reality. Let that tiny voice be magnified in our ears.

Let the Holy Spirit speak to us today.

Now Is the Time to End Empty Seeking

How much time will be saved by an end to empty seeking? You have already arrived and need no time to journey any longer. (ACOL, T1:8.7)

Most of us have been seekers for a long time, maybe a long, long time. Maybe all our lives, more or less.

This search can end now, when we are on the cusp of developing our special relationships into holy ones. We won’t have to work so hard to maintain our holy relationships. Our loved ones will just know that they are loved unconditionally. And, especially, what we have been seeking in special relationships will fall away.
Our seeking has worn us out. We went from our early religious training, probably to unbelief, and then returned to the fold of spirituality. But still we sought for yet another piece of information that would be the end that would make us happy. But nothing can make us happy, can create happiness for us, except ourselves. We won’t find it in a book.

I sought happiness in special relationships as well as in books. The special relationships were my dates when I was single; the books ranged from Catherine Marshall to Norman Vincent Peale to the Seth material (Jane Roberts) to Richard Carlson to Deepak Chopra to A Course in Miracles to Julia Cameron to Rhonda Byrne. Quite a list we all have! So my seeking in relationships and books was twofold, as is true for most of us. It is very reassuring that we have done enough now. We know enough. A Course of Love has finished it off for us. It is simply up to our Christ-Self, from deep within our being, to teach us more.

So now we are hearing that there needs to be an end to seeking. Jesus, in channeling A Course of Love, declares its information to be an end point. We have arrived! He even says that we are The Accomplished. While we have trouble believing that, we know that we have a peace inside that has eluded us up to this point. This peace will elude us no more. We will linger in contentment, sure that we are in the right place, and, now, in the right time.

Our holy relationships will save us; that is why we need seek no more. Relationship was primary in A Course in Miracles also. Our relationship to our brother (and sister) would take us home. Now Jesus is emphasizing this truth yet again in ACOL. If we love others enough, we will have won the prize, the Holy Grail, of salvation.

And we will know not only peace, but happiness, as well.

Bliss

When you have experienced in relationship with anyone or anything a moment of bliss, a moment of a peace that forever passes all understanding, a moment of fulfillment so sweet and so sublime that no word could touch it, much less express it, what you have experienced is on the flow of the Love of God through you. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 6, Page 75)

God is living through us, and so when we experience this bliss, of the Love of God flowing through us, He is actually acting, in Love. This is the way that we are meant to live, conscious of Love, conscious of God. The external has not caused this bliss; it is all internal. So we don’t have to think that we “need” the person who seems to be the instigator of our sense of Love. God is our sense of Love. The external person has just been the catalyst.

This sense of Love streaming through us will not only be bliss, it will be an example of the peace that passeth understanding. And we will feel fulfilled in that moment of bliss and peace. Our dissatisfactions with life will seem far away and very insignificant. We are at home in God in such moments.

These moments won’t last, at least not at the same sublime feeling. We have momentarily stepped out of our illusion and out of our dramas. But when we return to what we think of as everyday life, we will remember what we experienced. We will want this experience again. And we can have it. This has been a glimpse of Christ-consciousness, of enlightenment, of Awakening, and our road ahead will be easier—for we know what is possible.

We may not always live at such heights of bliss, but knowing what is possible will act as hope for us.

A Quiet Heart

Fear is the act of disconnecting your cord from the only socket that can truly satisfy you, and running about trying to plug it in to somebody else’s or something else’s. I would ask you to consider this one question, as you look upon the whole of your experience: Has it ever worked? Can it ever work? (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 6, Page 74)

The only “socket” that can ever satisfy is our attachment, in the center of our being, our heart, to God Himself. We have long known this, but we “forget,” and have to be told again. We must quiet our minds and hearts in order to sense God’s presence, in order to feel His warmth. If we are trapped in a drama of fear and judgment, we are cutting ourselves off from the power that is in that “socket.”

Because God is within, as well as without—in just everything and everybody—He is unable to get through to us when we are in dire conflict. This is why the peace that passeth understanding is so important. A quiet heart opens the way to get God’s knowledge flowing into our personal, or “little,” mind.

If we look outside ourselves for peace, we will never find it dependably. Sure, we may be able to distract ourselves for a time, but the problem will recur, and maybe it will recur with greater force than previously. We are free of fear and judgment when we declare them to be in our past.

God helps us make that determination. And to make that determination, we must look within. Trying to find an answer in the outer world is an incomplete answer. The truest Answer wells up from deep within our soul, and it takes us Home to God right away, seeing a little bit of Heaven here on earth.

Heaven Blesses Us with Peace

Having free will does not mean that you can elect to take the only curriculum that life is offering you in every moment. It means only that you do have the right to put it off yet another day. And each time you put it off, you slumber in your suffering. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 6, Page 73)

We would “slumber” in our suffering if we put off confronting God with every fiber of our being. We need to be fearless as we approach living in this world. How might we effect this?

We look to living in the present, not putting off the eternal questions of Love, peace, joy, harmony. When we are rooted in the moment of the present, there is no fear. And fearlessness is the primary characteristic of mastery. When we make the decision to stop entertaining our own dark places, when we ask Heaven to bless us with peace, we are making a decision that will change the content of our days. We are coming Home to God. We will eventually be approaching mastery.

When the day goes badly, and our heart is pounding, our bodies jittery, what then?

This is fear personified. The best that we can do is to turn within, to the peace that is always present inside. Know that this peace is not far away, because God would comfort His children when we ask. We need simply to rest in the knowledge—
and it is knowledge, not perception—that outside of our jittery bodies is a truth that is currently eluding us. We allow God to act upon our confusion. We allow Him to grant us peace.

Enough times of simply turning away from fear will do the trick. Enough times of allowing God to touch us with His healing balm will promote the fearlessness that we all want.

If we are distraught today, know that there is a better way. Know that God is trying to get through our tangled emotions. Quieten down, in any of the ways that we have used previously—meditation, prayer, quiet reading, even distraction.

We will know God’s peace, because He wishes it for us. He wishes it for us just all the time.

Quiet Answer

Note that while a request to remove anger may be granted immediately, it is more likely to be a slow process. Giving up all our angers requires a complete relinquishment of self-will (in the egoistic sense) to the better way of the Spirit within. And it requires attunement to the Divine at the moment in the heat of anger. Do not fight the sin (error)! That will only make it stronger. Instead, withdraw into one’s heart and mind and seek the solace of God’s solution to the situation that so troubles. Avoid the quick retort; know that this impulse is fueled by fear (stress) and is unworthy of a child of God. If we fall down on the pathway, know that God is ever ready to pick us up and set us aright again. Forgive self for the lapse! It does no good and much harm to chastise one’s self harshly and in the throes of guilt. Ask for divine assistance and it will be forthcoming. Above all, be grateful for the surfacing of anger. It is the only way for the boil to be lanced, the false self to be undone, and the better way available to all of us once again.

If problems assail us one by one, two by two, or more, please know that we are living in error. This is the human condition. Jesus says, though, that we will have freedom when we give over all problems to the one solution—the Holy Spirit. He will impress upon our minds the solution in a quiet answer without fanfare, a quiet answer that leaves no one the loser. Until every problem is given over in this way to a Higher Power, the essentially same “problem” will arise repeatedly in different forms. To keep a problem, moreover, is to make it great, past the hope of accomplishing a solution. God would not have this so for His children. In the Holy Spirit’s sight, though, problems are little and “. . .worth no more than just a tiny sigh before they disappear. . . .” (T-26.II.7:4)

If God’s Son in truth is innocent, then God’s justice would hold nothing against him. When we fail to offer the same justice to our brother by seeing instead that he is not due true justice, that he has done something not worthy of forgiveness, we judge against ourselves as well. Madness, as Jesus says, only seems terrible; in truth it has no power to make anything. (M-17.9:1-2) Justice would say to our brothers, “Choose again. This thing you decry is false and not reality at all.” Then our brother is granted complete justice as an innocent, though mistaken, son or daughter of God. We forgive, though we, strictly speaking, do not need to do so at all because there is nothing to forgive. Illusions need to be simply dispelled, and all will be as if they had never been.

JOY, PEACE, RELEASE

Note: Published in the May – June issue of Miracles magazine (Jon Mundy, publisher).

by Celia Hales

There is one thought in particular that should be remembered throughout the day. It is a thought of pure joy, a thought of peace, a thought of limitless release—limitless because all things are freed within it. (ACIM, COA ed., M-16.6:1-2)

Drape your persona in a mantle of peace and joy. Let who you are shine through the personal self who continues to walk this world a while longer. (ACOL, T2:13.6)

Hold in the mind’s eye all of your domain—your relationships, your careers, your physical objects—and say, “Behold, it’s been a lot of fun!” (WOM, “The Way of Knowing,” Chap. 35)

I have used the words, “pure joy” and “limitless release,” here quoted from A Course in Miracles, almost as a mantra over the years. There is such hope in the promise of joy and release. Previously, we have been so doubled up in agony over the machinations of the ego. And it is such a blessing to know that we need not live this way. We can live in the hope of continual joy and release, and this is just what Jesus is asking us to do in this passage.

A Course of Love continues the theme. We are still here, on earth, walking this world a while longer. And peace and joy are the hallmarks of a well-lived life. It is true that we often think that we have to achieve to merit grace. Yet this is a false concept. We are accepted just as we are, even with all of our mistakes and false notions of an ego-oriented self.

The Way of Mastery introduces a new concept, perhaps a startling concept to us who are still so very serious about life (“serious” itself a plague of the ego). “Have fun!,” these words of Jesus say. It is in the limitless release from ACIM that we discover how to truly enjoy our fun. We relax into our days, knowing that the God Who created us and loves us knows that our lightheartedness is the very way that we need to walk. We only thought that God didn’t want us to have a good time.

Limitless release will lead to a peace and joy that knows no bounds. Say a mantra today that will attract the Love that enfolds us, never to let the seriousness of the ego intrude again.

Peace

Knowing reality as it is really meant to be is possible only in snatches in this world. From time to time we experience a real meeting with another, a real relationship between equals, and we know that this experience of joy and love is as life is designed to be. The Course says that we would weep if we truly realized how different what we know now is from what we knew in Heaven (T-21.I.7:2) before we drifted into insanity and therefore into illusion.

I believe that God created karma in order to allow us to realize that our way could not work, that only a relationship of oneness with our true Mind, which is at home in God alone, could be reality. Jesus indicates that after much pain we must come to see that there is a better way, and make amends accordingly. If this seems like a dirty trick, that pain is what God visits on us to throw us back on Him alone, then we are misperceiving the truth of reality. Only God’s way can work; anything else proceeds from an illusory cause and brings effects that we would not want. Only in harmony can we live together in this universe. Only in Oneness could the universe survive. The “cause,” the ego, is a false notion of self, and it believes many things that are quite chaotic. This chaos brings on conflict and agony, for what else could transpire?

With karma, we see the boom-a-rang of what we have done to others coming back to ourselves; this is one way of learning. But it is not the only way. With the appearance of Jesus 2,000 years ago, he brought in the Age of Grace–the time in which we can, through meditation, prayer, and reflection, see the error of our ways, and make restitution that does not mean an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Certainly the Course carries this doctrine a step farther along to real Peace.

At Peace

What keeps us from seeing the face of Christ and feeling the presence of God? It is indeed that word attack, whether “merely” thought, verbalized, or acted out. As mentioned above, many of us, myself included, may have believed that our own attack is justified if we have been treated unfairly by the attacker first. But this is a fallacy. Attack is never justified, because we project the world that we see in a kind of mass hallucination shared with fellow sufferers, those who have not exchanged the everyday world for the real world of forgiveness and peace. Do hallucinations correctly prompt retaliation? No! And that is the crux of the matter.

There is an almost hidden aspect of reasoning that hints that attack is justified under certain conditions. And those conditions are present if one believes that she has been justly attacked for perceived weaknesses or “sins.”

Yet if attack is never justified, we are saved from this dilemma. And what a rescue it is! We are at peace rather than made to feel guilty by our imagined failings. To see this reasoning as justified, though, one must be completely willing to relinquish blame in any form toward one’s self or towards others. And then we will know the blessing of God’s peace as we go about our daily lives.

In Peace with the Divine

“Imagine then, being able to experience whatever arises without losing the sense of spaciousness, innocence and ease that you now experience in fleeting moments. For instance, know you the experience when things are going well, you are singing a happy tune, and life seems to be moving ahead? Imagine that same quality of trust, faith, and certainty of purpose, even when the buildings are crumbling around you and the bank account has gone dry. Imagine being able to look at those events with the same sense of innocence and wonder with which you would look into the eyes of your beloved.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 2, Page 17)

Surely this time of no time, when we are just flowing along, has been glimpsed by all of us in moments of enlightenment. The problem is that these moments, for most of us, do not last. Yet they promise a future that will be unlike the past, they promise one long stretch of time spent awakened. The glimpses that we have all seen just prepare us for a taste of the time divine.

We need to empty ourselves of our preoccupations to invite a glimpse of something better. This creates the spaciousness that Jesus refers to; this creates the joy and the happy tune that we would sing always. When we open ourselves, in emptiness, we are inviting the Holy Spirit or the Christ-Mind, to fill us up to overflowing.

We will have our wish, sooner or later. When we meet the conditions set by God, He will act. He will reach down (metaphorically) for us, raising us up to a high level that we have not been able to appreciate earlier. We didn’t think we deserved this high level. But as beloved children of God, this is our birthright. This is what has been waiting for us since the “separation” took hold, the illusory separation in which all of us have found a home.

Look for our real home today. Invite Jesus to bend low to us, and lift us up. God will do the rest.

We have nothing to fear.

Highest Joy, Peace, Bliss

“For although you are given complete free will to create as you choose, the soul begins to learn that what brings it the highest joy, the highest peace, and the highest bliss imaginable is that which flows from the Mind of God through the mind of the channel, the soul, and expresses itself in the field of experience. It is for this reason that the Father’s will is that you be happy. And your happiness is found in choosing to restore your perfect alignment with only the voice for God.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 2, Page 14)

Do we not want the “highest joy, the highest peace, and the highest bliss”? Of course we do.

But we are not smart enough to know how to bring these blessings to ourselves. That is why the Holy Spirit’s promptings are so important. He knows how to bring these blessings to us. A short while honestly invoking His guidance will prove to our satisfaction that God’s will for us, and our own, are actually identical. The Holy Spirit is, of course, the Voice for God.

Sometimes we wonder if happiness is the best purpose in our living. We wonder if we ought to be about good works, that somehow God will like that better.
We naturally do good works (or what we hope are good works) when we are happy. A person who is caught up in conflict is not well-suited to reach out to others. All of our conflicted thinking is just tying us up in knots, and we don’t have enough love to give to others, enough sanity to try to assist them. All of our energy is caught up in our own selves.

This is why happiness is a lofty goal. We can be there for others as well as ourselves when we are in joy. But this is not the whole truth. God wants us happy because He loves us. Do we not want happiness for our own children?

He is no different, in this sense. He reaches out with the intermediary, the Holy Spirit, His own Voice, and He tells us how to proceed to the life we were meant to have while on this plane of earth, this world.

We are right where we want to be. Are we satisfied with this place? If not, ask some serious questions of the Voice for God, and see if the Answer satisfies.

It will.

A Choice Bringing Peace and Joy

“You have very little trust in me as yet, but it will increase as you turn more and more often to me instead of to your ego for guidance. The results will convince you increasingly that your choice in turning to me is the only sane one you can make. No one who has learned from experience that one choice brings peace and joy while another brings chaos and disaster needs much conditioning.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.VIII.10:1-3)

In the beginning chapters of A Course in Miracles, where we are now, Jesus counsels turning to him; he has not yet focused on turning to the Holy Spirit in ACIM, and it is not until much later, in A Course of Love, that he will counsel that the time of the Holy Spirit is past, and that in this time of Christ, we ought to turn to our inner Christ-Self, the mind that is one with God, found deep within us.

If we turn to Jesus, we will turn away from the ego, the ego as defined as a false persona (not in the Freudian sense of a persona that we need to develop to live well). And turning to Jesus will give both peace and joy, two aspects of what we want with all our heart. Turning to the ego is the choice for insanity, and insane thinking, because it is so convoluted, is the choice for chaos and disaster. We know this way well; we have lived it for eons. Now is the time for something better; now we are ready to leave all this chaos behind.
When Jesus senses that we are becoming too dependent upon him, he will withdraw, letting us make our own decisions, but decisions made without the ego in ascendancy. When we make our own decisions, we will look inward, where both the Holy Spirit and the Christ-Self dwell.

We can still have the peace and joy, for guidance from within does guide us truly. Our days of being insane, mad, are drawing to a close. We know better now; we know to let inner guidance wipe our minds clean of conflict.

Gently we come to know what to do. When we have faith that this is so, we certainly do discover that it IS so.

Joy & Emotional Peace

“When your mood tells you that you have willed wrongly, and this is so whenever you are not joyous, then know this need not be. In every case, you have thought wrongly about some brother that God create and are perceiving images your ego makes in a darkened glass. Think honestly what you have thought that God would not have thought, and what you have not thought that God would have you think. Search sincerely for what you have done and left undone accordingly. And then change your mind to think with God’s.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.VI.3:1-5)

When we are not joyous, we have let something go wrong. This is true because our natural state of mind, when we are One with God, is joy. If we simply look at nature, we will know that God’s primary emotion is joy, though storms, earthquakes, and the like, can let us doubt this. The fierceness of nature is part of its charm, though when people die in natural “acts of God,” we wonder what kind of God we really have.

God does not mean us ill. I am absolutely certain of that. Our suffering cannot be understood on this plane of this world; our finite mind cannot see the whole. But God doesn’t make the decision to rain pestilence down upon our heads. His gestures are all loving.

And when we know that God is loving, we can rest in joy, for we are well-protected. If any harm comes to us, we can rail against fate (though this is a futile gesture). God wraps us up in His arms, and all is well.

Emotional peace is more important than physical ailments. If our minds and hearts are at peace, we are right where we need to be, resting in God.

Peace & Understanding through Living Union with God

“By simply being, you have been “part” of God but you have not seen this as what it really means either. You have seen this as being separate, or at most as being “a” part of God—as if you are a drop of water in the ocean—and in this example reemphasized the mightiness of God and the lowliness of man. The “part” of God you have been being is being. You have been a feeling, thinking, creating, perceiving being. The “part” of God you have not been being is union. Remember, God is being in union and relationship. This is what God is. God is being. God is relationship. God is union.” (ACOL, D:Day37.27)

The quotation for today emphasizes our merger with God, for we are no longer in illusory separation. We have previously not been in union with Him, for we believed ourselves not to be in union, and the believing had made it seem so. Now we are being in union with God—and in relationship with Him and everyone else as well. Our unity and relationship will mean that we are one with the All, and yet a discrete, distinct part who can interact, well, with everything and everybody.

Because the union is primary, we know a peace and understanding that used to elude us. Relationship brings this truth available to us, for if it were not for relationship, as distinct we are one to the other, we could not experience anything.

God is in a similar situation. He differentiated Himself (also Herself) into diverse entities so that He too could experience the All. The relationship makes this possible, as we have said. The union and the relationship give us a mystical comprehension of God, the Whole.

So: God is being, God is relationship, God is union.

This is our new understanding, brought to us by A Course of Love.

When we dwell on these truths—being, relationship, union—we will know a certainty about living that we have never known before.

Dear God,

I long for mystical insight into You. Jesus, in the Way of Mastery, said this, but in different words. He has longed to know You intimately, and in saying this, he echoes the sense that we all have that something has been missing from our reality. We have the facts in hand now that can make tomorrow different. Now we can understand, even with our finite minds and hearts.

Help us to be grateful for the insights that Jesus has given in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, and also the Way of Mastery. His insights offer us a new and different reality for our future. His insights are teaching us how to experience God and live in that knowledge.

Amen.

Cool, Calm, and Collected

“Love replaces fear and is life-generating rather than life-degenerating. Your bodies will thus regenerate rather than degenerate. Love is, of course, not a condition, as it is not an attribute, but the effect of living from love rather than from fear will have a major transformative effect on form in this time of acceptance. Regeneration is a condition of the time of acceptance.” (ACOL, D:Day7.6)

There is a great hope for improved bodies in this quotation for today. And who would not want that? While bodies may be illusion, they certainly appear very real to us. And a regeneration, based on living from love, thus becomes a very great promise.

When we live from fear, we are stressed and anxious, and medical personnel do know that stress and anxiety exacerbate virtually any illness. And these two bad emotions can, of course, cause illness. I have read that up to 70 percent of visits to doctors are psychosomatic, which is another way of saying that our emotions are engaged.

To live from love has tremendous advantages. We calm down, because we are living close to a Higher Power, and this shifting of our burdens is a real advantage in difficult times. And who among us does not have difficult times, even after we have given up the ego, and are attempting to establish a new identity, which A Course of Love bids us to do.

The two emotions, love and fear, have diametrically opposed results. When love embraces us, we are mellow and peaceful, inviting glimpses of Awakening, even inviting Awakening to come and stay with us forever. This last result is what Jesus hopes for from our reading of ACOL. He is very eager to see us cool, calm, and collected—and to that end, he takes up to a metaphorical mountaintop for 40 days and 40 nights. When we listen, really listen, to his words, we are relieved of the responsibility of keeping everything in order ourselves—a task we could never do very well, but which the ego tried to do incessantly.

Leave such foolishness behind. Ask for the simple pleasure of living from love, and see if our bodies, our illusory bodies, don’t fall in line with our new pleasing emotion of love.

Dear God,

I ask for a new body, though I know that it is illusory. In this world it seems to have real effects, and it is these that I would ask to see regenerated. This is Jesus’s promise—when we live from love. This is my hope today.

Show me how to live from love in each and every moment. The advantages are many, and I AM asking in your will. So I claim this promise of Jesus, to give me a regenerated form, and I thank You for bringing about abundant health.

Amen.