Tag Archives: peace

A Way to Overcome Fatigue

“Admit now your desire to rest, a desire that could make you weep and make you wish to sleep an endless sleep. If you but understood the energy required to keep the world of your illusion in its place, you would understand the rest that will simply come of giving up your need to do so.” (ACOL, C:12.7)

All of us know fatigue in this world. Sometimes bone-weary fatigue. A nap or longer hours of sleep at night can help, but we all know that there is a psychological tiredness that extra sleep does not touch. And here we have the reason, in Jesus’s words.

Jesus is telling us that we are straining to keep the illusion in place. Actually our strain may be greater, and our fatigue greater as well, now that we know how wrong-minded we have been. If we know the truth, and we don’t seek sufficiently to live by that truth, the strain grows. And the fatigue as well.

Resolve today that we will be through with carrying illusion into our daily lives. We resolve to live by the truth, which is a wholehearted attempt to live with right thinking and with a miracle-minded frame of orientation. Given such resolve, see if our fatigue doesn’t lessen with each passing day.

The fact that the strain is greater as we turn aside, now, from living the truth of our being, should come as no surprise. Our minds were deluded previously; they are no longer completely deluded anymore. And living with an undeluded mind is not hard—just different. It will take some getting used to.

Pray today for the ease of living that is promised us. Effortless living. This effortlessness takes the strain away, and with it the overwhelming fatigue that we have been encountering. If you need, take a nap, resolving to arise with new purpose. The dreams that may come in the nap will prepare you for a new beginning.

We are on the way to being healed completely. Welcome that healing today.

Enlightenment Takes Us Home

“A door has been reached, a threshold crossed. What your mind still would deny your heart cannot. A tiny glimmering of memory has returned to you and will not leave you to the chaos you seem to prefer. It will keep calling you to acknowledge it and let it grow. It will tug at your heart in the most gentle of ways. Its whisper will be heard within your thoughts. Its melody will play within your mind. “Come back, come back,” it will say to you. “Come home, come home,” it will sing. You will know there is a place within yourself where you are missed and longed for and safe and loved. A little peace has been made room for in the house of your insanity.” (ACOL, C:10.32)

We have come far enough along in our reading of A Course of Love to know whereof Jesus speaks in this passage. We want to go home, we want to feel safe and beloved in this world of illusion. And we can have all of this.

Let the words of this passage envelop us in a peace that heretofore we have not enjoyed. We are listening to our heart. And our heart knows how to guide us.

Of course, we may still get stubborn, refusing at times to follow the intuition that would tell us what to do. We are simply, at such times, not compliant enough. And some of this comes from our own desire to have our own way in this world. We often have not listened when others have given us their best advice; we wanted to do it “our way.” And we have been very willful in the execution of our way.

This has to stop if we are to move toward enlightenment, Christ-consciousness, Awakening. We simply must school ourselves to stop when we get a nudge to do so. We simply must do this. And I am speaking to myself as well as to you.

Be assured that peace is our inheritance. Home is where we are headed, even if we choose to return again and again to this earth. We can (we are told later on) decide to live the elevated Self of form as our future. We probably don’t know yet if we truly want this. But there are millions of our brothers and sisters who will need us to make the decision to stay on earth, not in an immortal sense, but in successive bodies. And then we will help those brothers and sisters to find their way home again.

A Course in Miracles, A Course of Love, The Way of Mastery—all have just be published. And their intent is to transform us. Never has there been a better time on earth for transformation to happen. And transformation comes in several names: enlightenment, Christ-consciousness, Awakening. The way in which this change is described may help different people in varying ways. But the intent of Jesus remains the same: to take us home, where we belong. And this doesn’t mean after death, but right here on earth.

Seek to Make Peace Lasting

“The body could not help but be thus, as it was made with dual purposes in mind. It was made to make real and then glorify a separated self, and it was made to punish that separated self for the separation. Its creator had in mind what is reflected in the body: self-aggrandizement and self-effacement, pleasure and pain, violence and gentleness. A desire to know everything but only through its own effort, a desire to see everything but only through its own eyes, a desire to be known but only through what it would choose to share. Alongside these desires it is easy to see how a world such as that of the body developed.” (ACOL, C:9.7)

We made the world that we see with egoic eyes. Our physical body, an illusion (of course), falls in line with the requirements of a life that is lived apart from God. This separation, though illusory, does in fact encourage self-aggrandizement as well as self-effacement, for the highs and lows of drama are an ever-present aspect of living in the world that we have made. One moment we are buoyed by some egotistical response to praise, and then we think, no, I don’t deserve this, for I am little more than dust beneath my feet. The ego swells only to retreat in confusion.

Our desire to live separately from God meant that we wanted to do everything from our own effort, to make our way through a world that God seemingly was excluded from. But this is unnatural. Failing to communicate with our Creator is unnatural. It is also very discouraging, for we fail and fail repeatedly when we seek to go it alone. This is the real reason that we fall so hard for a significant other with whom we want to form a special relationship. Recognizing, however dimly, that we are not meant to go it alone, we seek another body to walk with us.

There is often much disappointment in such a choice. Only when the special is transformed into the holy does our harried mind and heart, egoic still, find some measure of peace. And if we are paying attention to the personal self, the little egoic self, we won’t find a very long peace even then, for the drama will seem to pursue us. Only when we open our understanding to the way that our heart leads, and we open our mind to the inner Christ Self residing at the center of our being, will we know a lasting peace. This is what A Course of Love seeks to teach; this is what A Course of Love effects in its readers.

So communicate with the inner Christ Self, a part of God Himself. Don’t be satisfied to enjoy a momentary peace that passeth understanding. Seek to make that peace lasting. The world that the heart will open us to will surprise even the most sophisticated. We will be living in a new and different world, for our perceptions will have been cleansed. Knowledge of God’s way will infiltrate our being.

Peace is Enjoyment of Both Rain & Sun

“How can I make peace attractive to you who know it not? The Bible says, “The sun shines and the rain falls on the good and evil alike.” Why then do you think that peace is endless sunshine? Peace is merely enjoyment of the rain and sun, night as well as day. Without judgment cast upon it, peace shines on all that you would look upon, as well as every situation you would face.” (ACOL, C:6.16)

A maxim of Eastern religion has it: “Be willing to have it so.” This seems to be what we are reading in A Course of Love for today. If we don’t try to make things other than they are, we have a peace that will be undisturbed.
Of course, we have a natural tendency to want to better things. But this can and often does lead to perpetual dissatisfaction with the “rain” in life. We can have peace in the midst of the rain, as this quotation for today emphasizes. We don’t need to give up our higher hopes for a better life, but just temper them somewhat. And be peaceful in the midst of whatever is going on around us—whatever.

We know that we need to give up our judgment of the world and its people, ourselves included. This giving up of judgment is not hard to do; indeed, A Course in Miracles tells us that it is the keeping of judgment that is hard. It makes more rain on our days. Much more. If we would know peace, we cannot keep judgment.

So often we fall into judgment without fully realizing what we are doing. We need something negative about someone whom, at base, we are threatened by, and then we wonder why we suddenly feel disjointed from our good day. It is the judgment that has done it. We cannot keep judgment and hope to have peace; we can now see this first hand.
There is a still center in us that is undisturbed by anything that transpires outwardly. It is to that still center that we ought to return when challenged by anything in our lives. ACIM says that there is no challenge to the advanced teacher of God. The advanced teacher has learned to go with the flow of the day. To follow guidance to that flow. And never to let the flow dissipate.

Find our still center today. And see if today doesn’t unfold in a better way. This is the “another way” that Helen (scribe of ACIM) promised Bill (co-scribe) to help him find. And people have been finding that other way ever since.

Now we have A Course of Love to guide us to establish a new identity. We can’t establish a new identity with judgment holding onto our coattails. We need to give up our evaluations of other people, any and all that are judgments.

And we will find that the sun shines far more often than the rain falls.

We Are the Light & Love of God Himself

“Into this rank confusion is brought a simple statement: Love is. Never changing, symbolizing only itself, how can it fail to be everything or to contain all meaning? No form can encompass it for it encompasses all form. Love is the light in which form disappears and all that is, is seen as it is.” (ACOL, C:3.8)

This quotation builds upon the one from yesterday, when we understood that we embody love. We don’t have to learn who or what we are (as if we could anyway), but we rest in the assurance that we are completed in Love. We are completed in God. And we are a part of God, walking on this earth, and in this form.

Love is the most exalted emotion that we can imagine. Nothing else comes close. Surely God knew that He must rest His universe on something that was so glorious that all of His creations would flock to it. And flock we do to Love. Of course, heretofore we have learned mostly of conditional love, and of dramatic love—complete with highs and lows. This was of the ego.

Now we are moving into the peace that passeth all understanding. This is what Love brings to us, when Love is in its fullness. Then our bodies and their forms seem inconsequential, and we rest in the fullness of the entity that surrounds and inhabits our bodies. This spirit does not need form, except for physical eyes to see. In our quiet times, we can feel the Love that overshadows us, independent of form. And then, when we go out again in the world, we take our forms with us, and others can see the light in our eyes that remains from our time with God.

Rest today in the assurance that the form that we occupy is illusory. It allows us to live in a physical world, and that is all. Be content today to know that what we are is ever so much more than a body. We are the light and love of God Himself.

Peace Breaks Out with Glad Rejoicing

“We will begin by working on a state of neutrality in which the war is no longer fought, the daily battles cease. Who wins and who loses is not of concern to us here. Peace has not yet come. But the white flag of surrender has been waved and dropped upon a hallowed ground where neutrality will for a short time reign before peace breaks out with glad rejoicing.” (ACOL, C:2.22)

When we seek to change from the state of insanity to something sane, we may need to take it step-by-step. A state of neutrality may need to happen first, before our movement into Christ-consciousness. We, in this state, remain open to all that would be shown to us. We are surrendered to whatever may happen. We will not have to wait long.

Our lives get better at this point of surrender. We are no longer fighting daily battles, because we are endeavoring to live the life that God would have us live. We have fought such battles in fighting life and the best that we have in us. Our ego has undermined our good intentions, and, of course, we know that good intentions are never enough. Our ego would undermine anything that we sought to do better, because surrender means that the ego dies. The ego knows this.

We are gradually walking into the sunlight. We are not fighting useless and senseless battles any longer. We are resting a bit in neutrality, waiting for peace to arrive. And arrive it will, and soon. We need this peace.

Be assured that our time of trials is almost over. When we surrender to God, following guidance of the Christ Self, we know a peace that will never leave us. We are experiencing real love for God, and He knows that all we need to Awakening is to experience this love consistently. He will not tarry long before He looks in on us—and then the blessing of Awakening will rest upon us.

Pray that none of us will have long to wait.

Seek Reality in Harmony, Peace, Joy

“As nothingness cannot be pictured, so there is no symbol for totality. Reality is ultimately known without a form, unpictured and unseen.” (ACIM, T-27.III.5)

Perhaps, for those of us who are interested, this quotation from A Course in Miracles is one answer to question of whether reality has a form, or if forms are always illusory. As I read it, this quotation would strongly suggest that reality is made up of non-forms, perhaps the intangibles of harmony, peace, joy, and the like.

I do not think that deciding whether or not reality has a form is a litmus test for adherents to A Course in Miracles. The same for our feelings are what illusion entails. ACIM is silent enough on this subject to leave room for differences of opinion. And we don’t want those differences of opinion to divide us.

Reality is here seen as totality. And we know, from other passages in A Course of Love, that totality cannot be experienced as one whole. There must be differences for us, even for God Himself, to experience Being. So reality was differentiated into parts, but each part as part of the whole, and containing the whole. This is one way of seeing reality, a way that is meaningful to me.
Reality, according to this quotation, is “unpictured” and “unseen.” But not unfelt, of this we can be sure. Let’s ask to experience true reality in our various paths through the world today.

We won’t be disappointed. The solution is always with the problem, and we have found unreality long enough. Now we are heading back home, and true reality lights our path to it.

No Better Day Can Be Had than One Spent in Peace

“Only this is certain in this shifting world that has no meaning in reality: When peace is not with you entirely, and when you suffer pain of any kind, you have beheld some sin within your brother, and have rejoiced at what you thought was there.” (ACIM, T-24.VI.5)

This quotation is a stern warning, and it sounds less than kind, on the surface. But is it, really? When peace is not with us totally and we feel pain of any kind, are we harboring anger at our brother for his perceived sins?

There are few of us who would believe that we are beyond anger. None of us actually are, though ACIM warns that anger and attack are unjustified, for our Self is innocent. A Course of Love is more forgiving, explaining that anger may stay with us until we bid it go. Negative feelings do not keep us from Christ-consciousness, because ACOL says that we do not have to be “perfect” in this world. ACIM says that Jesus stands at the end of the pathway, to correct any errors that we ourselves are powerless to change. So we are standing on good ground when we acknowledge anger and a propensity to see sin in others, though we all recognize that this is not the way we want to feel and see.

“Reality is never frightening. It is impossible that it could upset me. Reality brings only perfect peace. When I am upset, it is always because I have replaced reality with illusions I made up.” (ACIM, W-52)

If we are deeply experiencing this world, we will be experiencing illusions. And we will be upset. We need the reality that is behind these conflicted and conflicting feelings. And we can have it—today.

All we need do is ask for the reality that is behind all illusion. Ask for what is non-material; ask for love, joy, harmony, peace. You will not be left dangling. The Holy Spirit (or, in ACOL, the Christ Self) will respond to your pleas with much good will. Claim this promise. I claim it almost daily. And my world becomes smoother as a result.

Ask for perfect peace today. Turn aside from the upsets, big and small, that people your world.

The perfect peace that comes will assure us that we ought to harbor no ill will toward another. And we will join with them in a community of believers in faith, in God, in holiness.

No better day can be had than one spent in peace.

Seeing Love, Harmony, Peace, Joy Will Chase Away the Demons of Unreality/Illusion

“Different realities are meaningless, for reality must be one. It cannot change with time or mood or chance. Its changelessness is what makes it real. This cannot be undone. Undoing is for unreality. And this reality will do for you.” (ACIM, T-14.IV.2)

Do we not want to undo what has no effects, something such as fear? The effects that we feel seem real enough to us, of course, but actually these effects are nothing more than illusion that has been given a pseudo reality. And it is true reality that we want.

Seeing love, harmony, peace, joy, will chase away the demons of unreality/illusion. For love, harmony, peace, and joy are real, are evidence that we are seeing true reality. And in the real world (seen only for an instant in time, though we do not know how long as “instant” really is) love reigns. We would do well to welcome the real world all the time in our experience.

“Appearances deceive, but can be changed. Reality is changeless. It does not deceive at all, and if you fail to see beyond appearances you are deceived. For everything you see will change, and yet you thought it real before, and now you think it real again. Reality is thus reduced to form, and capable of change. Reality is changeless. It is this that makes it real, and keeps it separate from all appearances. It must transcend all form to be itself. It cannot change.” (ACIM, T-30.VIII.1)

The “appearances” that this quotation mentions are the things in our world that we see and call reality, which are in actuality physical forms that are illusion. We live in an illusory world, with positive emotions our only tie to reality—love, joy, peace, etc. These emotions (which are really a bit beyond emotion) are changeless in reality. But we don’t often recognize this, for our emotions appear labile to us. We oscillate, in and out of moods of the day, and we wonder how even the positive emotions can be changeless.

Even those positive emotions can’t be changeless when we are trapped. But we do not have to remain trapped. Trapped in illusion! What a dreary thought!

We may think that we don’t want to live in a changeless world. But that is not exactly what is promised us. The positive emotions will continue, though the particular activities in which we engage will differ. The positive emotions, I think, are the changeless factor.

The world that we see can become a real world when we look past its changing forms. And when our emotions level out. We are not meant to be constantly up and down, in a dreary round of a felt spinning world. We are meant to look to God for our constancy and for our changeless reality. We are meant to commune with our Creator, for it is very unnatural not to do so (from ACIM). We shortchange ourselves when we don’t commune, just talk, with God, as we go through our day. He will take the changeable and turn it into the changeless, and the smoothing out of our experience will be palpable.

What Is the Peace of God?

1 – God’s Will = My Real Will

“What is the peace of God? No more than this; the simple understanding that His Will is wholly without opposite. There is no thought that contradicts His Will, yet can be true. The contrast between His Will and yours but seemed to be reality. In truth there was no conflict for His Will is yours. (M52)”

2 – Job

This passage is a sticking point for many. How can we have free will in this world? We think of Job in the Old Testament, and the ego tells us that what God wants for us not what we “will.” But it is. There is actually no conflict between our real will and the will of God. The farther we progress in our study of the Course, the more certain of this tenet we will become.

3 – Peace

When we accept that our real will and that of God’s is the same, we will have the peace that heretofore has eluded us. Take this tenet to heart, and see what a difference in our lives it does make.

4 – Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit will guide us to God’s will. His whispers are true; the feelings that we have to do or say certain things can, unless we are very confused, be trusted. The Course elsewhere says quite a bit about how to follow this guidance. The Course assures us that our own judgment is flawed, and we are encouraged, even bade, to leave our judgment behind and turn to the Holy Spirit. He alone knows all circumstances and can guide us surely. We then will truly know the peace of God. And anything else is counterfeit.

5 – Tiny Frail Imaginings

“Now is the mighty Will of God Himself His gift to you. He does not seek to keep it for Himself. Why would you seek to keep your tiny frail imaginings apart from Him? (M52)”

6 – God Too Busy? Of Not in Illusion?

We sometimes think that God is too busy to deal with us. And some students/teacher of A Course in Miracles think that God is outside of illusion, and therefore does not know about us, having turned over a link to us to the Holy Spirit.

7 – Workbook

I think that both suppositions are faulty. The Godhead would be able to tune into anything at all, anywhere. That is part of omnipresence. As well, the final Workbook lessons seem to assume a personal relationship between ourselves and God. We are praying to Him. So I think that Jesus knows that we are known by God.

8 – Insignificant

We have tiny frail imaginings. We fret so much about so much that is insignificant. God’s Will, for us, is to let us know what is right for us to entertain in our lives. We don’t need to fret, and all of us realize this when in our better moments. But most of us have long swaths of time in any given day when we are discontented, even bored, certainly anxious—unless we are in a stress-free environment.

9 – Our Heritage

“The Will of God is one and all there is. This is your heritage. (M52)”

10 – Predestination?

Yes, we are One with God’s Will. We have no reason to suspect that something else is our heritage. Does this mean predestination? Does this mean that everything is already decided about our lives?

11 – Allowing

No, I think not. The Will of God allows many things to happen that are not optimal for us. We can always switch to the optimal at any time, just by adjusting our attitudes. Our physical bodies and their situation are not significant because they are illusion. Our minds are real, and often caught by the ego. We don’t have to live like this. We can let the inner Christ emerge, and this Self will work to smooth out our living.

12 – God’s Peace

“The universe beyond the sun and stars, and all the thoughts of which you can conceive, belong to you. God’s peace is the condition for His Will. Attain His peace, and you remember Him. (M52)”

13 – Home Free

If we truly feel the peace of God, we will be home free. We will know that life is as it should be, that nothing that happens to us has to be lamented.

14 – Remember God

Would you like to remember God? Jesus says in ACIM that if we attain God’s peace, we will remember Him.

15 – Drama

We need not to allow drama to subsume of our lives. The drama is a separating factor from God. The ego loves strife, and loves drama, because it helps the ego to believe that it is really living. But real peace is a far more enjoyable state of mind. Try for even moments every day, and you will see.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I recognize the truth that Your Will is mine as well. May I be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in this matter of following Your Will. May I not doubt, but rest in surety when I am prompted to think or act in certain directions.

Thank you for delivering me from the question of Job in the Old Testament. May I rest in this knowledge and be happy.

Amen.

How Is God’s Peace Recognized?

1 – Everlasting Quiet

“First, how can the peace of God be recognized? God’s peace is recognized at first by just one thing; in every way it is totally unlike all previous experiences. It calls to mind nothing that went before. . .The past just slips away, and in its place is everlasting quiet. Only that. The contrast first perceived has merely gone. Quiet has reached to cover everything. (M51)”

2 – Personal Experience

This morning, a Sunday morning, I am experiencing some of that peace of God told us in this passage. There is no preparation that is for certain; the peace comes out of the blue; prayer doesn’t necessarily precede it.

3 – Personal Experience II

I am sitting on my screen porch while the rain pelts down. The ambiance may have created some of the mood necessary to feel God’s peace.

4 – Surreal Peace

The quiet comes unbidden, but then it stays and stays, if we are lucky. The peace is almost surreal. It truly does feel like nothing experienced before, as the passage says.

5 – Presence of God

I know that this mood of mine, this Presence of God, felt, will not last. But while it is lasting, it is blessing me. And I hope that knowing it comes to anybody else can encourage a hope in you that the peace will descend upon you just as unexpectedly.

6 – Satisfy the Conditions

“How is this quiet found? No one can fail to find it who but seeks out its conditions. God’s peace can never come where anger is, for anger must deny that peace exists. (M51)”

7 – Avoid Anger

I am not angry at all this morning. Perhaps that is one key, as this passage suggests. If we seek out the conditions of this peace, what will we seek? We will strive to stay on an even keel with our moods (though sometimes this may seem impossible). We may pray without ceasing, and this too is calming to the mind and negates the ego’s striving to “get.”

8 – War

“How is the peace of God retained, once it is found? Returning anger, in whatever form, will drop the heavy curtain once again. And the belief that peace cannot exist will certainly return. War is again accepted as the one reality. (M51)”

9 – What to Avoid

The stress in these passages is to avoid anger, but I think that this does not mean that we suppress anger. We use our minds to get us out of the anger. We know that whatever we are experiencing is coming about because we don’t recognize another’s attack as the call for love and the call for help that it truly is. When we answer a call, we are no longer bound by the negative feelings that will come up if we don’t answer, if we just try to suppress.

10 – Mindfulness

Our own mindfulness, really noticing each thing that we do, will create conditions welcoming to the relief of anger. Mindful breathing and mindful walking are two techniques recommended by the well-known Buddhist teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh. Perhaps today we all need to take a cue from his teachings.

11 – Justified Anger?

“Who sees anger as justified in any way or any circumstance proclaims that peace is meaningless, and must believe that it cannot exist. (M51)”

12 – Call for Help

Anger, it is said elsewhere in the Course, is actually a call for help. It may also be viewed as a call for love. Our task is to run to our brother or sister’s side, and to offer solace–that help or love that is really wanted. We may not do this overtly if the other person is not receptive. We may only pray for our brother or sister, or smile at them, or even just make small talk. Ask for guidance in the thought or action that is needed. We must be sensitive to the plight of our brother or sister, and overt action may not be desirable.

13 – Take Peace to Heart

So we see that anger is never justified. Peace is not meaningless. God’s way is right, and peace can exist. These are wonderful concepts to take to heart.

14 – Retaliation

As long as the ego is in charge, we will be tempted to return attack for attack, but responding in this way is always wrong. Attacks is what Jesus calls a “magic thought,” and anger is thus not justified. We need to the inner quiet and calm that ensures that we will respond to magic thoughts of others (and ourselves) with compassion.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I immediately recognize anger on my own part and that of others to be a call for help, meriting compassion rather than anger. May I offer the help and love that is needed. May I be gentle to myself, and may I be gentle to others.

Peace is what I want above all else. I do not want to do anything that renders peace meaningless. Please help me in this.

Amen.

Anger in Response to Perceived Magic Thoughts Is a Basic Cause of Fear

1 – Basic Cause of Fear

“Anger in response to perceived magic thoughts is a basic cause of fear. (M45)”

Has someone whom you always considered a very rational individual suddenly started expressing what appear to be irrational thoughts? I think this is because each strong character trait, such as rationality, has a shadow side, as Jung would tell us. The shadow side of rationality is irrationality, and irrationality is very threatening, especially when a significant other seems to be reversing trends of a lifetime.

2 – Irrationality

This irrationality, which we may hear, is what we are perceiving as a magic thought. And this is a prime reason that we fear, if we get angry about the threatening of our world view. If we become afraid, our own better thinking may fall by the wayside, and we ourselves may become irrationally fearful.

3 – Stress

Stress can bring all of this lamentable thinking about. I have come to see stress as a manifestation of the fear vs. love dichotomy in our world. And stress is the manifestation of fear.

4 – Holy Spirit

Let’s do what we can today to walk a smooth pathway. The Holy Spirit, God’s Voice to us, will help. He can keep us calm even if our significant others are not calm. Even if our significant others are caught in irrational thinking.

5 – Irrationality

If we ourselves have ever been irrational (and who of us has not been?), then irrationality in another will become more threatening to us. Let’s pray together today that all such insanity fall from us. Let’s pray today for a good day.

6 – Magic

“A magic thought, by its mere presence, acknowledges a separation from God. (M45)”

We are having magic thoughts also when we let the irrationality of another get to us. This is because when we are attached to God in prayer, we don’t feel fearful of presumed irrationality. We know that God has everything in hand. It is when we ourselves allow ourselves to become fearful (and this will happen when we are threatened by another’s fears) that we are most cognizant of our separation from God.

7 – Prayer

Pray today to mend this separation. Pray today to mend the barrier between you and your brother/sister. Barriers fall down when we get guidance from the Holy Spirit.

8 – Counterproductive

It may be counterproductive to tell someone else that he/she is being irrational, or that we are perceiving that he/she is being irrational. By the very definition of irrationality, if someone else is being irrational, that person will not recognize truth when confronted with it. He/she will see our evaluation as a kind of attack, which indeed it is. It may very well be best to keep one’s interpretations (for they ARE interpretations) to one’s self, and just smooth the troubled waters.

9 – Later On

Later on, when the coast is smoother, we can ask our significant other about those expressed opinions which have upset us. We need to share everything that we possibly can. There are no exceptions to this rule, unless sharing would hurt the other person. Sharing is normally healing.

10 – Sleeping Guilt

“But what will now be your reaction to all magic thoughts? They can but awaken sleeping guilt, which you have hidden but have not let go. Each one says clearly to your frightened mind, ‘You have usurped the place of God. Think not He has forgotten.’ Here we have the fear of God most starkly represented. (M45)”

This passage explains why we are sometimes confronted with magic, or irrational, thoughts in another. We are being shown our “sleeping guilt.” We have become frightened of God. We are fearful of God.

11 – Insanity

This is stark insanity. There is nothing in our relationship to God that, in a sane mind, is fearful. All of us are said, in A Course in Miracles, to be mad, to one extent or another—until we awaken. Let us pray to be healed of our guilt, for it is the guilt that has driven us insane, the guilt of our presumed “sinful” nature. But we have only made mistakes, correctable mistakes. And we don’t need to stay insane. The Holy Spirit will take us by the hand—indeed, Jesus will take us by the hand. And we will be led to freedom of thought, to freedom of thought without fear.

12 – God

Then the irrationality of magic thoughts won’t hurt so much. We will know that God is handling this situation for us.

13 – God’s Teachers

“Into this hopeless situation God sends His teachers. They bring the light of hope from God Himself. There is a way in which escape is possible. It can be learned and taught, but it requires patience and abundant willingness. (M46)”

Here Jesus laments the worsening situation of our world. He knows that we cannot continue to survive, nor to thrive, if those of us who have followed him do not do our part in salvation. But he is optimistic, even as he sounds a cautionary note. We can help ourselves and our brothers and sisters to escape from this impossible situation in which we find ourselves. But we need patience and abundant willingness to do so.

14 – Practicality

What does this mean for us, practically? I think that for those of us who have chosen the Course as “our Way,” then this passage means that we must study and learn ourselves all the time that we are trying to reach others. The Course is long enough and sophisticated enough that we cannot recall all its tenets unless we refresh our memories on virtually a daily basis. This does not mean just doing the workbook, but also dipping into the text and the manual for teachers.

15 – The Course

If we study the Course, our own lives will go better. We will then be in a much better situation to reach our brothers and sisters. We will be in the right frame of mind to want to share the good news. We will not be resistant. Remember that Jesus is there to help us always. He promises this. And our guidance from the Holy Spirit is a sure thing. With Helpers like these, how can we fail?

16 – Anger

“If anger comes from an interpretation and not a fact, it is never justified. Once this is even dimly grasped, the way is open. (M46)”

We are interpreting the magic thoughts of another. And if we get angry about being confronted with irrationality, we are not feeling something that is justified. We get angry when we are threatened in our world view. We don’t want our boat rocked. But sometimes, in our troubled world, this happens.

17 – Facts vs. Interpretation

But we never get angry at a fact; it is always an interpretation that gives rise to anger (ACIM tenets). And our anger at irrationality may be so subtle as not to be felt very keenly.

18 – Hidden Anger

This hidden anger is especially insidious, for it subjects us to fear, to stress manifested in ourselves. If we are not careful with our emotions, this stress will have an outlet, and that outlet will be an expression of anger.

19 – Brothers/Sisters

Our brother/sister deserves better than this from us. Let us pray to have our own magic thoughts, our own irrationality, healed around these concepts. We are safe, and when we fear another’s irrationality, we think that we are not safe. And, on some level, this makes us angry.

20 – Calm Mind

There are rules by which this will not occur, but first and foremost, we need a calm mind.

21 – Madness

“Madness but seems terrible. In truth it has no power to make anything. (M46)”

Madness can do nothing, for it is illusion. Be calm, be not overwhelmed by another’s irrationality. It is only madness, and madness has nothing that can cause fear in a mind (ours) that is steeped in comfort given us by God’s holy Presence.

22 – Fleeting

So the irrationality of another cannot ultimately hurt us. The fact that irrationality is mostly fleeting is a blessing. We don’t have to dwell on these magic thoughts. We can set them aside as insanity. And we can know that the expression of magic thoughts, the expression of madness, is “distress that rests on error” (from the ACIM Text).

23 – Walk a Green Earth

Pray today to do your part to assuage that distress. Then you, as well as your significant other, will walk a green earth again.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I have the patience and willingness to function rightly as a teacher of God. May, indeed, I be a teacher of God. May I never lead anyone astray.

I know that not all of my brothers and sisters are ready to receive direct teaching. May I be sensitive to what they are ready for, and may I offer only this in confidence that I am making the right decision in reaching them.

Amen.

Peace Is Impossible to Those Who Look on War. Peace Is Inevitable to Those Who Offer Peace.

1 – The World We See

“The world you see cannot be the world God loves, and yet His Word assures us that He loves the world. God’s word has promised that peace is possible here, and what He promises can hardly be impossible. But it is true that the world must be looked at differently, if His promises are to be accepted. (M29)”

2 – Two Worlds

Is it possible to live in two worlds simultaneously? I think that it is, and, though this passage does not specifically counsel this living in two worlds, I think that this is implied. How to do that? Know that one’s head may be in the clouds even as one’s feet are on the ground. We can live in the spiritual realm while possessing a physical body on earth, and this physical body is the elevated Self of form (as described in A Course of Love).

3 – The Physical

The physical is not denigrated; it is exalted. And, being physical creatures, we welcome this exaltation. We look differently upon the world that God loves, and we in our physical bodies are part of that world.

4 – Happy

He will never leave us nor forsake us. He wants us happy. We cannot be happy if we regret the bodies that we occupy.

5 – Illusions

It is true that A Course in Miracles emphasizes the illusory nature of this world, and it is just because it is illusion that we can look upon it so differently. We can change the illusion, the dream, to something better, with the help of the Holy Spirit, who brings us happy dreams.

6 – What the World Is

“What the world is, is but a fact. You cannot choose what this should be. But you can choose how you would see it. Indeed, you must choose this. (M29)”

7 – Interpretation

This passage explains that what we see is an interpretation. We can choose to interpret through the eyes of the Holy Spirit, or we can look upon devastation and feel badly.

8 – Change Ourselves First

The Course consistently asks that we look at ourselves first, making changes in ourselves rather than trying to change our brothers and sisters to fit the image that we have made of them. If they have made mistakes (not “sinned”), then we forgive. That is the way of the Course. We remember that, regardless of how bad the situation looks, the wrongdoing has been perpetrated by someone who was doing the best that he could, given his view of the world.

9 – Choose

So we choose how we see the world. We do not judge its wrongs; we let the Holy Spirit do that. We choose to look upon sinlessness, and in so doing, we are in the state of grace. None of us could hope for more.

10 – Holy Spirit

“The text explains that the Holy Spirit is the Answer to all problems you have made. These problems are not real, but that is meaningless to those who believe in them. And everyone believes in what he made, for it was made by his believing it. (M29)”

11 – No Problems

Would you like to live as though you have no problems? This is indeed possible and even desirable.

12 – Personal Experience

I remember when I once had several problems, chief among them being to find a new job. But I was enthralled by what I had read in A Course in Miracles, and I calmly told my mother, “I have no problems.” This assertion helped to make it so, and a few short months later, I was happily ensconced in a new work position. The fact is that in that moment of telling her that I had no problems, I set the stage for the solving of my “problem” of no job. My faith was strong at that moment.

13 – Faith

Were my faith always so strong, my life would have been much smoother. Resolve today to have a smooth life, depending on your faith to make it so.

14 – Judgment

“Gently His [the Holy Spirit] Judgment substitutes for yours. And through this substitution is the un-understandable made understandable. (M29)”

15 – Guidance

This passage refers to the guidance that we have been studying recently in this blog. The guidance, according to A Course in Miracles, comes from the Holy Spirit or Universal Inspiration. He is “in” us in a very real sense. He is our link to God, and God is deep within us, covered over by a layer of forgetfulness.

16 – God

Let us resolve today to remove some of the layers of illusion that separate us from our God. This action is completely possible, and to make this illusion disappear we need only to believe that it is possible.

17 – The Un-Understandable

We understand the un-understandable now. We see through things that have been mysteries to us. Awakening certainly brings new insights, for the unconscious is suddenly conscious. This can be a time of great turmoil, but it does not have to be, for ACIM is preparing us for the great blessing of enlightenment. The means are being carefully explained to us. When we give up judging, we will awaken—that is the promise given us in A Course in Miracles. And in the passage above, we are encouraged to give up judgment. Let the Holy Spirit tell us what to think, say, and do. There is no better way to proceed.

18 – Peace

“Peace is impossible to those who look on war. Peace is inevitable to those who offer peace. (M29)”

19 – Personal Experience

I was once in a very difficult work environment. And I posted these two sentences on the bulletin board in back of my desk at work. They had a good effect. They gave me peace, just to read the words.

I was faced with a human “enemy” who wanted to see me undone. Her attacks had come out of the blue, for I had thought, for a year, that we were friends. That betrayal was the worst part, and I often asked myself, “How could I have seen her so differently?”

She needed a scapegoat to bolster her own shaky ego. A colleague once described my “enemy” as being encased in armor to protect herself. Indeed she needed to feel that she was protected from receiving the same barbs that she was giving out. Of course, this was impossible. The armor, borne of the ego, only made things worse.

I remained on good terms with her, despite a certain wariness in me. And within two years of her vicious attack, my life changed and I moved from that difficult job.

She went on to find another scapegoat, for I heard what happened after I left that job.

Do we really want to live this way? Certainly not! She was a mirror for my own ego, and as I escaped from the world that I saw, giving up attack thoughts, I did indeed escape, at least partially, from the ego. My new colleagues at my new work were much more congenial people. I had moved into a place of good karma.

My “enemy” had her own demons, pursuing her relentlessly. It was not, as I found, up to me to enlighten her of the best way to live. But it is certain that her ego constantly was being undermined. That is what happens to an egoic attitude toward life.

20 – Offer Peace

So let us offer peace to all we encounter. We will know a joy that is unbounded. Our days will flow in new peace. And we will encounter far fewer “enemies” among our fellow men and women.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to leave the past behind, especially the bad memories. I do not have to relive that past. With Your help, I have escaped, and I thank You for that.

Thank You for the many years of work in a congenial environment. I knew how to appreciate congeniality when I found it. Most of the time I didn’t look back. May I look forward today.

Amen.

Relinquishing Judgment Will Bring You Peace. Can It Be Difficult to Want but This?

1 – Judgment

“It is not difficult to relinquish judgment. But it is difficult indeed to try to keep it. . . .Teacher of God, this step will bring you peace. Can it be difficult to want but this? (M28)”

2 – Pressure

Judging puts an enormous pressure on us. We feel bad, we hurt others, and we don’t see life realistically and accurately. It is also one of the ways that we stray from our pathway to Awakening (a Course concept).

3 – Guidance

We can make the choice to stop being the arbitrator of good and evil. We can turn to guidance for advice on how to live our lives. We may not always interpret guidance accurately, because we are human, but we will normally see life much better when we are trying to relinquish judgment.

4 – Peace

We want peace. So what more advice do we need than that which is given in the Course? Relinquish judgment, and peace is ours for the taking. After we have asked, we receive–a biblical concept as well as one of the Course.

5 – Flow

If we wish to have a good flow to our days, we must relinquish judgment. This includes our “evaluation” of people and events. We don’t need to engage in such analysis, for analysis is virtually always of the ego.

6 – Live the Day with the Holy Spirit

I can attest easily to the good that I have when I resolve to make no decisions “on my own.” If I choose to live the day with the Holy Spirit influencing my decisions, I am assured of a good day, regardless of the verbal attack and anger that I see. The attack and anger simply don’t get to me. They don’t have any effect, for I recognize that it is my dream. The dream can be changed, once the dreamer (myself) is recognized.

7 – First in the Morning

Let us resolve today to ask for flow early in the morning. If it is already late, let us metaphorically start the day over. Jesus tells us that this is indeed possible. If you stump your toe getting out of bed, you need a quick restorative, or the day will go downhill from there.

8 – Go Internally

Don’t let this happen to you. Go within quickly and talk internally to the Holy Spirit. See if the beginning of difficulties don’t dissolve instantaneously.

9 – Make No Mistakes

“He gave himself to Him Whose judgment he has chosen now to trust, instead of his own. Now he makes no mistakes. His Guide is sure. And where he came to judge, he comes to bless. Where now he laughs, he used to come to weep. (M28)”

10 – Holy Spirit

This passage is an amplification of the surrounding passages, which have bade us to turn our decisions over to the Holy Spirit. His is the true guidance, the times when we will not make mistakes.

11 – Interference

Sometimes we don’t know for sure if what we are hearing is guidance of the Holy Spirit. We may wonder, accurately, if our own little minds are interfering with the divine. And our little minds may be. It is important, therefore, (though this is not spelled out in the Course) that we test out our guidance to see if it is true. As we become more proficient in recognizing true guidance for what it is, we will make surer decisions. Whatever we are doing, if we are judging ourselves, it is sure that we are not following the Holy Spirit.

12 – Laugh

It is important to see that we can laugh instead of weep. Guidance is not an all-serious matter. The Course indicates that lightness is one of the attributes to which we can become accustomed. The farther along the path we travel, the more lighthearted we will become.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Be with me throughout the rest of this day. May I make no decisions, at least no major decisions, without consulting the Holy Spirit or my inner Self.

May judgment fall from me. May I know that to judge is to make mistakes, for I cannot judge accurately. May I turn all judgment over to Your Universal Inspiration, the Holy Spirit, and may in so doing the best that You have for me will be manifested.

Thank You for being there for me, today and always.

Amen.

When Not at Peace. . .

“I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at peace. (T90)”

This passage starts a sequence of helps to return us to a peaceful state of mind. A Course in Miracles says elsewhere that the first obstacle that peace must flow across is our desire to get rid of it. How true, if we stop to think! We are so used to drama and turmoil that we think that we are depressed when we get calm for a change. Yet calm and quiet are where we are headed (ACIM tenets).

I have a friend who questioned this “perfectly calm and quiet all the time.” I know from our long friendship that she is especially prone to drama, and she was letting me know that she liked it like that! Yes, but a little farther along her pathway, and she may change her mind. I certainly hope so.

This passage bears repeating as a lovely blank verse poem. If we are not at peace, we have made one or more errors. We are in charge in making the decisions that will bring us to peace. We can decide otherwise, and thus choose peace, moment by moment.

We do not have to feel guilty, because of the power and glory of the Holy Spirit. He can undo the consequences of our wrong action or thought–the error that made us lose our peace in the beginning.

Peace is a great blessing. All of us would choose it, rather than drama, if we would give it more thought. “Perfectly calm and quiet” is said elsewhere in ACIM as the direction in which we are heading. We may, actually, not welcome this now, because we are tied to our dramas, but as we choose more and more the peace that God grants, we will know the genius of this proscription.

“I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise. (T90”

This puts us back in the hot seat as the decision maker, which we always are. We make the decisions about what reality we will encounter, though not in a simplistic fashion, for the dictum, “We create our own reality” has been much misunderstood. Taken in its worst light, this means that we see ourselves as victims, and we blame ourselves for the wrongs in our life that happen. It is not quite like that.

Our Higher Self makes many of the decisions about what we will experience, and the Higher Self sees a much broader view.

It is also cautionary not to blame another as a victim. We can’t see what their Higher Selves have in mind. What others are going through is not a conscious choice of the lower mind.

“I want to decide otherwise, because I want to be at peace. (T90)”

This moves us into deciding that we want to change our minds, because we want peace. We are being gently led down a pathway to greater peace. Jesus recognizes that our ego will offer some resistance.

“I do not feel guilty, because the Holy Spirit will undo all the consequences of my wrong decision if I will let Him. (T90)”

Do not feel guilty! You will be OK. Guilt is not the same as remorse. If we have erred, it is natural to feel some remorse. But we do not wallow in it, and all too often we wallow in guilt. This is insanity.

The Holy Spirit will undo the wrong. Don’t interfere. Let Him.

“I choose to let Him, by allowing Him to decide for God for me. (T90)”

We always choose God when we choose aright. We always feel better after we have chosen for God. And the way home is several steps closer by our so choosing.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to decide for peace, not drama. I am in charge of this decision, with the help of the Holy Spirit. If I am not at peace, I have decided wrongly. I choose now to change this decision to one of peace.

Help me to know the value of being perfectly calm and quiet all the time. May the Holy Spirit, day by day, lead me in this direction.

Amen.

Peace Is the Ego’s Greatest Enemy, for War Seems to Be the Guarantee of Its Survival

“You cannot understand yourself alone. This is because you have no meaning apart from your rightful place in the Sonship, and the rightful place of the Sonship is God. (T79)”

1 – Relationship

We are meant to be in relationship to each other, to be in a relationship of sharing—not only with each other but also with God, in our communion (prayer) with Him. All too often we try, in vain, to be independent, needing nobody. The ego supports this in us, but it is a support that is shaky and withdrawn at any point. The ego cannot sustain us, for it is a false persona, a false sense of who we are. We are meant to be in union with one another (for All is One), and in relationship to one another. This latter understanding is a primary tenet of A Course of Love.

2 – Sonship

We have a rightful place in the Sonship, and by this we mean women as well as men, of course. The Sonship encompasses all of us, though we cannot and do not take our rightly place in it until we have moved beyond our little, personal selves. We need to recognize the Christ Self within (from ACOL). Only then we will have walked far enough along the pathway to know who we really are and what we really want. That end is always God, but not, perhaps, in the traditional sense of Christianity. The traditional sense does not usually see us as part of God, but A Course in Miracles makes this point very clearly. We are a part of God, and so it is impossible that we ever separated from Him except in illusions.

3 – Alone?

We do not understand ourselves alone, try as we may. We are not, in our essence, all alone and lonely. We do not have to strive to be independent, needing no one. This is a false idea planted in us by the part of our belief about ourselves, the ego. And the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (from Shakespeare) will see to it that this false idea, this persona, will not stand. It cannot give us what we need. It cannot sustain us.

4 – Calm Vision

“This vision frightens the ego because it is so calm. (T79)”

We are calm when we see ourselves in relationship to one another. We know, when we think this way, that there will always be someone there for us. And by this someone, I do not here emphasize God. Of course, God is always there for us. But when we cease our senseless attempts to remove ourselves from partnership with other people, we will know that we are never alone, that we will never be alone. We are put in this world with other people for a reason. The ego would teach us otherwise, but the ego is insane. And who would follow an insane guide if he/she knew better?

5 – Isolation

We do know better now. We are calm in certainty that we are never alone. If we have physical needs, if we have emotional needs, there are people in the world who will help us. It is wrong to try to walk the path of isolation. We are going against our very nature.

6 – Enjoyment

So enjoy the calm. And do not fear the anxiety that the ego would arouse in us. We are not on the edge of a cliff, ready to fall off. We are on the way home. The calm will sustain us in the midst of the worst nightmare that still remains for us in this troubled world. We are not so insane that we will not find the help that we need when confronting the demons of the ego that still pursue us.

7 – Peace

“Peace is the ego’s greatest enemy because, according to its interpretation of reality, war is the guarantee of its survival. (T79-80)”

When we are tempted to attack our brother, may we realize that it is the ego up to its old tricks. The more we attack, the stronger the ego in us becomes. Do we really want this?

8 – Alive?

When we are peaceful, we may at first feel that we are not as “alive” as we would like to be. This is the longing for drama in our relationships, and it is a sick longing. Peace is actually the best thing that can happen to us. Elsewhere ACIM says that we are meant to be perfectly calm and quiet all the time. This may sound extreme, but the things of heaven are obscure to us.

9 – Ego

When we allow peace to be, we reduce the size and complexity of the ego. We reduce its influence on us. Elsewhere we learn in the Course that the first obstacle that peace must flow across is the desire to get rid of it. This sounds like a paradox, but if we reflect, we will see that the statement is true. We too often want drama to make ourselves feel alive.

10 – A Better Way

A Course in Miracles holds out a better way for us. Invite peace in our daily lives, and we will soon know a joy that is boundless–even if everything is not perfect in this world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I long for peace in my life far more than I long for drama. May I realize that drama only strengthens the ego, and this I do not want.

May I have Your inner calm and quiet. This is the best way that I can come to know You, and it is this that I want.

Amen.

The First Obstacle that Peace Must Flow Across Is Your Desire to Get Rid of It

1 – Masochism

I think all of us have some masochism in us that we need to overcome. Certainly if we take this passage to heart, we will realize that we do have symptoms of masochism, though we don’t often call it that, and this passage certainly does not use the term. But here it is:

“The first obstacle that peace must flow across is your desire to get rid of it. For it cannot extend unless you keep it. You are the center from which it radiates outward, to call the others in. (T-19. IV.A.1)”

2 – Why?

Why would we try to get rid of peace? Why indeed? Is it not what Marianne Williamson, lecturer/teacher of A Course in Miracles, has said in her books: We are addicted to the adrenaline rush. Certainly we must push ourselves often in this world of which we are a part. We have jobs, we have families, we have obligations. And so time is short and stress is severe. We do produce adrenaline in our bodies, and we get addicted to the high that it gives. But is this wise?

3 – Adrenaline

Most assuredly to become addicted to adrenaline is not wise. We need the peace of God. We need the felt oneness of Being that Eckhart Tolle recommends. We need to feel the presence of God in our inner body (also a recommendation of Eckhart).

4 – Peace

Peace needs extension, an extension which is the way of creation. And as much as we need peace, so do others with whom we come in contact. There is no limit to what we can do when we extend the love that we feel within. Love knows no bounds even in this world of ours, our flawed egoic world. Others need the peace that we can extend, but to be willing to extend it, we first must experience that peace ourselves. And to experience that peace, we need to “keep” it. Let us vow to do so today.

5 – Feather of a Wish

“This feather of a wish, this tiny illusion, this microscopic remnant of the belief in sin, is all that remains of what once seemed to be the world. (T-19.IV.A.8)”

This “feather” can light on anything, marring the beauty of anything. But it is only a feather, a wisp of unreality. And with our wish, it is gone. The love that we share with our brother or sister is the best example of when this feather can interfere. If we feel conflict arising in our relationship, we can know that the belief in sin has reared its ugly head once again. And we will be disquieted.

6 – Distress that Rests on Error

Know that this unreality is “distress that rests on error” (from ACIM). Seldom have I found any quotation from ACIM so useful as this one, this distress based on error. It immediately counsels forgiveness, for mistakes are being made, mistakes that can be corrected.

7 – Home

“His home is in your holy relationship. (T-19.IV.A.6)”

The “His” is the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit is our way of guidance, as recommended in ACIM. (A Course in Miracles uses the inner Christ Self as our guidance.) And it is through our holy relationship that we see God, that we experience Him. And that we awaken. A Course in Miracles sees our holy relationship as a means of saving time, a means to further salvation by collapsing time. Let us ask for this blessing today, for the world, as ACIM says, is worn and very weary.

8 – Accept Peace

Let us accept the peace that is ours today. We cannot know what blessings are ours until we walk in peace throughout the day—not in an adrenaline rush that has become addictive.

Affirmation: “I would accept and extend peace today.”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

So many times when I awaken too early in the morning, and I get up to listen to music, I eventually find myself agitated. After all, before 5 in the morning is not what I would wish to be awakened. But You have plans for me. I think that there are times when You want me all to Yourself, and early in the morning, with the black sky dotted with stars, You have me. All of me.

The next time that I awaken early, help me to remain calm, to let Your peace overwhelm me. That is what You would wish, of that I am sure.

Be with me today as I seek to walk through another day with peace and comfort and joy. I wish to be contented, and, so far, this has been a good day for that. Thank You. May I carry out Your wishes, which are also my own, in a tranquil and serene spirit.

Amen.

You Have No Idea of the Tremendous Release and Deep Peace that Comes from Meeting Yourself and Your Brothers Totally without Judgment

“You have no idea of the tremendous release and deep peace that comes from meeting yourself and your brothers totally without judgment. (T47)”

Affirmation: “meeting. . .totally without judgment”

Reflections:

1 – Just Love

How true! We cannot even comprehend the full blessing of this passage, but we do see glimpses when we try to withhold judgment and just love. The irony is that so long as we judge, we will perceive others as judging us. This is the tenet of A Course in Miracles that projection makes perception. Nowhere will we find this more evident than in both judgment and attack thoughts. Why do we say harsh things, meeting kindness with anger and attack? We are stressed. Or we just got up on the wrong side of the bed. We know better, but we are not able to put into practice our good intentions. We must put into practice our good intentions. The best to do this is through prayer, though ACIM and A Course of Love do not specify this, per se. We need to give our brothers and sisters the love that they deserve, and they do deserve our love, for they are innocent, in illusions, of wrongdoing.

2 – Transformation

The words, “tremendous release” and “deep peace” are comforting in the extreme. Do we not all wish for this? Here we find out how to effect this transformation. The peaceful nature of these words will carry us a long way toward avoiding anger and attack. We do not need to judge the holy one that God has given us to love. We do not need to feel stressed for any reason, and once we have met Awakening, we will know that no situation is there to cause us fear. We will not fear any longer. This is motivation indeed to find within ourselves the wherewithal to follow the teaching of ACIM and thereby learn what we need to understand before Awakening can descend upon us.

3 – Do Not Judge Ourselves

We must remember not to leave ourselves out of the equation. We must not judge ourselves, just as we must not judge our brothers. Frequently, we seem to have an internal judge that chastises us for misdeeds, real and imagined. These we are bade to leave behind, and we will know release and peace.

4 – What to Do when We Are Bad

Good intentions are not enough; we all know that. And we need to know that the Holy Spirit, in prayer, will give us the self-control that we need (a personal interpretation, not given in ACIM and ACOL). We need to recognize that we are good people, though we still make mistakes. Then our propensity for making mistakes will gradually fall away.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I leave judgment behind forever. May I know the release and the joy that come from tolerance for my brothers and sisters.

May my day go well today. This will happen if I just remember to be tolerant of my brother’s perceived failings, and I open my heart to love.

Amen.

Content and Happy, Peaceful and Free of Fear

monet -Beach_at_Pourville“Although you may still feel confused and lacking in ability to do what I am asking of you, I feel confident in also saying that you are more content and happy, more peaceful and free of fear than you have ever been. While your life may not have changed in ways that you would like and while its limitations may seem even more frustrating than before, I am also confident in saying that a hope has been instilled within you, a hope for the very changes that you feel you need in order to reflect, within your daily life, the new Self you have become. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 16.4)”

Affirmation: “I thank You for the peace that I feel today.”

Reflections:

1 – Personal Experience

I do personally feel the essential tone of the passage for today, sensing a peace and happiness that was heretofore unknown. Perhaps the work of A Course in Love is emerging. I hope for this for all others who read ACOL as well.

2 – God’s Presence

How can it be that we feel more contented now than ever before? Is it because we sense God’s Presence in a more vital way than ever before? Is it because our yearning to “know” has been increasingly satisfied, in that we have a cosmology now that is satisfying and whole, leading us to drop contentions against God that He must be unloving because there is pain in this world? We know, from A Course in Miracles, that this world is illusory, but perhaps the world that we project becomes real when we have reach the next level of Christ-consciousness (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or ACOL). The real world, according to ACIM, is given to us just prior to the Awakening, which God Himself initiates when we are ready, a decision that belongs rightly to Him alone. Certainly the real world is a blessing that we would all long to see, and many of us have seen it in glimpses. These glimpses give us the peace and contentment, happiness and freedom from fear, that encourage us in the path that we have embarked upon.

3 – Contentment

Certainly we commune with God when we feel contentment. We intuitively thank Him for this state of mind and heart. The fact that in this world the feeling is fleeting, sometimes present and sometimes absent, does not mitigate against its very real nature when it is present. Medieval mystics often talked of God’s coming and going, including the dark night of the soul, which is a stop on the pathway to the mystical culmination.

4 – Gratefulness

Let us be grateful today for what we have, for it is indeed a good bit. The blessing of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are beyond description for those who have chosen this way of learning. There are, of course, many other pathways to salvation. Each must choose as he or she feels drawn to the message.

5 – God

Let us thank God that He has provided so well for us in an illusory world that we made as an attack on Him (from the Workbook of A Course in Miracles).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank you for the peace that I feel today. I sense Your Presence, and this sensing is a blessing in itself. Thank You for being there.

May we all know contentment in this world, even before we walk into the real world while on earth. We do not have all the answers, but we have been guided by Jesus’s words. Thank You for the knowledge that has been granted to us.

Amen.

When I Have Let Grievances Go, I Will Know that I Am Perfectly Safe

camille-monet-and-her-son-jean-in-the-garden-at-argenteuil-renoir-large“I am safe and nothing that I do or do not do will threaten my safety. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 13.8)”

Affirmation: “I cannot threaten my safety today.”

Reflections:

1 – Grievances and Safety

This passage for today is an echo of a significant passage from the Workbook of A Course in Miracles. ACIM say that when we have let all grievances go, we will know that we are perfectly safe. But here in A Course of Love, we are not even warned about grievances (but maybe because we are presumed already to have let grievances go). Nothing that we do or do not do can threaten our safety. We will in a safe universe.

2 – Peace and Quiet

Of course, that does not mean that the body will never feel pain. But our Self will never be hurt. Our core Self is always calm and at peace, quiet. The inner assurance that we can derive from believing this blessing is overwhelming. We can likewise allow pain, if it comes, but we ourselves have the wherewithal not to turn that pain into suffering. We are safe.

3 – Safety and Security

Safety and security are never unsought in this world. But when we are caught by the ego, we cannot know safety and security on a constant basis, because the ego is constantly being undone. Our flights of joy turn to chaos and tears.

4 – Our Only Security = God

In this world, we will live in a much more stable environment when we give up seeking security. Our only security is God, and He has always been there for us, though we have not always known this. If we seek to prepare for our material needs, we may find ourselves shaken, for sometimes we seem to have needs that go unmet. This is the illusory “reality” of this world. Yet God knows our needs, and our real needs are met. Our wants are not always met, and perhaps our Christ inner Self knows that it would not be good for us to have all of our wants met. We get in our heads some very strange wants.

5 – Needs and Wants

Be willing to wait on God’s timing for the satisfaction of wants. First may be a desire for safety, and this is a need that is met, even when we don’t see it that way. The needs are often inscrutable, for we so often confuse needs and wants. What God gives to us may be superior to what we earlier wanted. Let us trust Him enough to know what is best for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I have clung to Your promise that when I let all grievances go, I will know that I am perfectly safe. I feel the truth of that promise just this moment. Thank You.

You know that we need safety and security in this world, and the only real security is found in You. Even when bad things happen (and they do in this world), I can know that my Self is not hurt. The inner Christ Self is never harmed, and that is truly the only self that we are. Our egoic personal self often knows flights of joy followed by the depths of despair, because the ego is a false part of belief about ourselves that is constantly being undone. I would let the ego go today. I would make that a priority, though I realize that I may pray this prayer tomorrow also. The ego dies hard. But it does die, and my glimpses of Awakening have shown me that.

Thank You.

Amen.

Starve the Ego-Mind Out of Existence

pissarro - landscape“What is food for the ego-mind is fear and the removal of these final fears will quite literally starve the ego-mind out of existence. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 9.15)”

Affirmation: “I would remove fear from my mind today.”

Reflections:

1 – Identical Questions

How do we rid ourselves of fear? How do we put the ego-mind out of existence? These two questions are actually identical, for with the one comes the other.

2 – Quiet Inner State

I have found that a quiet inner state steals the thunder from fear. I get fearful, angry, and anxious, only when I am stressed. And when this overwrought state is removed by contemplation, quietness, and sometimes meditation, then I see that the conflict-ridden ego just drops away.

3 – Timeout

But when I am overwrought, God cannot get through to me immediately, when I ask for His presence. My ego-mind has risen, and I must turn aside from this ego-mind if I am to have peace. Mostly I need to stop and take a timeout. While this is not always possible, it is possible to turn inwardly, through affirmations, to still the mind. Stilling the mind reduces the anger and the desire for attack, and soon all is well.

4 – Marianne Williamson

We tend to want to keep an aroused state going. We run on adrenaline. And this is not way to run a life. Marianne Williamson says that we are addicted to adrenaline. And she is right. We think that we would lose our edge in this sometimes competitive world if we became too laid back. But a Type B personality would do just that–take it easy and stop the frantic chase after success. For what is success anyway but a question of the ego?

5 – Keep a List

We need to starve the ego out of existence. And to do so we need to keep lists of things to do when we are fearful. Turning to our personal list will calm the mind. Sometimes we need to write out this list, for when we are too overwrought to think clearly. Other times we don’t have to resort to paper and pencil, but will call to mind what we need when we need it. And all will be well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be calm and peaceful today, easy to live with, easy to live with for others as well as myself. I would thereby quite literally starve the ego-mind out of existence. I would feel fear no more, and it is fear that feeds the ego. I would cease any and all competition, choosing cooperation as the better means to get things done. And my goals should be met just as well from cooperation as from competition–in fact, the meeting of goals from cooperation with others actualy works far better.

Help me to have a good day. Help my brothers and sisters to have a good day. We need You, and when Your are present, so that we sense You, then the day smooths out and all is well. Thank You.

Amen

Peaceful Resting Place

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“You may well be feeling a sense of relief in having learned that who you are right now is a being of perfection, and you may find in this a somewhat peaceful resting place to dwell in for a time. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 1.4)”

Affirmation: “I would rest in peace today.”

Reflections:

1 – Reassuring

Jesus is very, very reassuring to us who are reading this Treatise today. He says that we, regardless of our mistakes and regardless of how much we still would like to right about ourselves, are in actuality “beings of perfection.” This phrase refers to the Self/Christ who is within, a truth that he makes clear in other places in A Course of Love trilogy. Our personal (or “little”) selves partake of the ego, and know not of perfection, but their time is limited. The personal self will be lifted up into Christ-consciousness, and we will then make choices about which personality traits we want to retain. If, for example, we want to be free of anger, we will simply resolve so to be, and this will come to pass.

2 – Choose How to Be

The last assertion above may sound farfetched, but Jesus makes this point clearly elsewhere in ACOL. We choose how we want to be, and the lesser parts of ourselves just drop away. We are perfect at our deepest, inward state. We drop off the chaff that clings to our outer selves when we move into Christ-consciousness. We may drop off the chaff gradually, or there may be a sudden transformation, with a great sudden lessening of suffering. Either way, we will move into a better world.

3 – Too Long Fear-Ridden

We need this “somewhat peaceful resting place.” We have lived too long in a fear-ridden world, believing ourselves to be inferior beings before God. We have thought too little of ourselves. We are, even as our personal selves, children of God. And He loves us in all of personal imperfections. The inner core is still as He created us, perfect before Himself. And it is this truth that Jesus wishes us to dwell upon, in peace, today.

4 – Beings of Perfection

We have not had a sense of relief about ourselves. We have both thought too highly of ourselves (as the ego thinks), and too little (as the Christ/Self thinks). We have felt ourselves to be lesser beings, and here Jesus is telling us that we are beings of perfection. Quite a difference! And if the ego is still viable in us, the ego will, temporarily, have a field day. But we will be dashed downward, for the ego takes away as soon as it gives.

5 – Respite

Let us enjoy this respite. We have not come as far as we think. Jesus will guide us by the hand to a better and a new life.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for this peaceful resting place, before we go on farther along the pathway. I am not perfect, and it is reassuring to know that I don’t have to be. I can make up my mind to change the personality traits that I don’t like, and in a miraculous way those traits will be changed.

Thank You for the blessings of this day, and there are many. Thank You for holding my hand when the going has been tough, and I ask that the going be smooth now. I depend on Your presence for my better feelings.

Amen.

Peace

“Peace, in whatever way you find it, in whatever expression it takes, no matter what words you use to describe it, is your answer to God and God’s answer to you. Peace is the inheritance I left you. Peace of body, mind and heart. Peace is the realm of miracles, the condition of the wholehearted, the prerequisite to the art of thought, the description of heaven, the abode of Christ. Peace has come to you and you to Peace. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Art of Thought, 10.14)”

Affirmation: “Peace today.”

Reflections:

1 – Rest

Jesus leaves us in a Treatise on the Art of Thought with a lovely expression of what peace really means. We need to read through the passage again and yet again, and then rest in the peace that the very words instill in us.

2 – Silence

There is little to say. Let us contemplate these beautiful words, and with these words in our minds, let us just be silent.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the Treatise on the Art of Thought. I do believe that Jesus channeled the A Course of Love, and I hope that I am not wrong about that. I do not want to mislead anyone. Thank You for my readership on this blog.

Be with me today as I live Your peace. And may my brothers and sisters also live in peace.

Amen.

Soothe Your Worries Away

170px-Girl_with_a_Hoop

“If you do not think you are yet prepared, if you think you are not yet ready, cease to think.  Read again these words of love and let the sound of love soothe your worries away. Give to me the thoughts that remain to trouble you and I will return them to you transformed by Love.  (A Course of Love, 32.5)”

Affirmation:  “May I give my inferior thoughts to Jesus to transform.”

Reflections:

1 – Comfort from ACOL

This passage for today is very comforting.  Let us read again from A Course of Love when we are upset, for these are the words of Love.  These are words that can lead us back to God.  The very sound of words of love will ease troubles away, and in this we have help.  We are never alone, though we may imagine ourselves to be.

2 – Jesus as Primary

Jesus takes his place as a primary factor in our lives with this passage for today.  “Give to me the thoughts that remain to trouble you. . . .”  What comfort!  We cannot understand how he will transform these troubled thoughts, but we can give Jesus a chance.  And he will not fail us; that is my conviction.

3 – Troubled Words Transformed

For troubled words to be transformed by Love is to let those troubled words be transformed by God, Who is Love (with a capital “L”).

4 – A Heartfelt Appeal

We are bade to cease to think, if we think that we are not yet ready for all that Jesus holds out to us.  He is appealing to the heart, which does not need to think.  And that heartfelt appeal will draw us in.

5 – A Conclusion

This is the final passage from the main part of the original volume of A Course of Love.  It is indeed enough, for we know that Jesus walks with us, to soothe and comfort us, to lead us Home.  And that is surely what we have wished all along.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be soothed today.  I would join with Jesus as my companion, my friend, and I would listen to the internal promptings that may come from him.  He promises to be with us upon one unequivocal call.  I make that call today.  I leave with him the things that trouble me, for he is able to transform them so that they trouble not me nor anybody else.  What a blessing this is!

May I know the soothing presence of Jesus.  May I recognize that there are other teachers, but, for me, Jesus is the most important one.  I have chosen to follow the way that he has pointed out, and though I read from other individuals, my heart belongs to him.

Amen.

The Embrace II

degas - dancing class2

“The embrace can now be likened to the starting point of a shared language, a language shared by mind and heart and by all people.  It is a language of images and concepts that touch the one heart and serve the one mind.  (A Course of Love, 21.6)”

Affirmation:  “May I sense the embrace of Jesus today.”

Reflections:

1 – Beautiful Passage

The passage about the embrace of Jesus with us is in my opinion the most beautiful portion of all three volumes of A Course of Love.  We are bade to lay our head on Jesus’s shoulder, and we are comforted completely.  We know no fear in the embrace, and we are at peace and perfectly tranquil.  Jesus is not exclusive to any of us, but embraces us all.  And there is nothing untoward in this embrace.  It is a chaste embrace, something that is perhaps not entirely clear upon first reading in ACOL.

2 – Jesus, Our Companion

Jesus is not our lover, but he is our companion.  And ultimately in ACOL he will cease to be our teacher, but become our equal.  This may be a welcome change for him, so long praised by the world and so long set apart.  Here he rejoins us, and we are, like him, both human and divine.  Our elevated Self of form has reached beyond the ego in the mind to the place of the heart in our exalted body.  We trust in him, and we walk a new and infinitely better path.

3 – No Fear of Jesus

Be with me as we seek to comprehend the ramifications of the embrace of Jesus.  May we not fear him at all.  And fear has been an accompaniment of the long years of egoic rule.  We were afraid of Jesus.  And now we know that we need not to have this uncertainty about him ever again.  He is our friend extraordinaire.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I rest in the embrace of Jesus, my companion, as he is the companion of all who so choose.  May I know no fear, because Jesus is with me.  May I be comforted, as Jesus intends.  The joy of the moment may surround me with a certainty that all will be well, all manner of things will be well.

Thank You.

Amen.

Admit Your Desire to Rest

“Admit now your desire to rest, a desire that could make you weep and make you wish to sleep an endless sleep.  If you but understood the energy required to keep the world of your illusion in its place, you would understand the rest that will simply come of giving up your need to do so.  (A Course of Love, 12.7)”

Affirmation:  “Rest today.”Renoir-La-Lecture

Reflections:

1 – Exerting Energy

I find the idea interesting that we are exerting energy to keep illusions in place, and that we will feel more rested when we have given up this essentially heartless task.  The world is here, once again, defined as illusion (A Course in Miracles said “dreams”).  We do project our interior to the outside of our seeing eyes.  We make what we view first within.  If hate finds a place in our hearts, we will see a hateful world.  On the contrary, if love finds a place in our hearts, we will view a loving world.  Cannot we see the wisdom in this interpretation?  Cannot we realize that when we see others who are conflicted, we ourselves are at that moment conflicted, and we are conflicted first?

2 – Hugh Prather

Hugh Prather makes the latter point very precisely.  He notes that when he and his wife Gayle see couples in public who need to have something “fixed,” then at that moment the two of them seem to need to have something “fixed” in their normally loving relationship.  How could it be otherwise?  And is not this dynamic something that can be noticed, easily, in daily life?

3 – Fixing the Outer / Inner

When we have drunk too much coffee, are we not prone to pick a fight with our nearest and dearest?  We are too stressed from the caffeine, and we therefore react.  We do not act for no good reason, but we try to fix the outer when the inner has been compromised.

4 – Rest Today

Today would be a good day to decide that we will rest rather than try to prop up the world of illusion by wishing for that which we don’t have.  Just turn inward when stressed, and know that this too shall pass.

5 – Invite Rest

The only way to get rest is to invite it.  And this we do when we stop trying to make this world into something that it is not.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would rest today from my weariness.  I know that I am not nearly as weary as some of my brothers and sisters, but the ego has not yet died in me, and keeping the illusions going has sapped my strength.  I would end this foolishness today.

Thank You for the joy that You have given me today.  I know that the joy comes from You, even as I struggle against egoic impulses.  Be with me as I leave the struggle behind and simply rest.

Amen.

What Do We Really Seek?

“This Course may seem to have come far astray from what you would have it do, for you are looking for something specific from it, though you know it not.  You are looking for the rest and quiet joy that only comes from love.  You are looking for the safety and security of a loving home, even if it is one only of philosophy  You look for the soft assurance of certainty, not of your mind, but of your heart.  (A Course of Love, 12.5)”

Affirmation:  “peace, serenity, calm, tranquility”

Reflections:vangogh - blossoming almond tree2

1 – Blessings

All of us want the blessings so beautifully mentioned in the passage for today.  Some of us choose to turn aside from the quiet that could come from a genuinely spiritual attitude in life.  And perhaps that is not all wrong.  God is God of the secular, and He does not need our worship (though He does want our communion with Him, according to A Course in Miracles, the Text).  God does not have an ego with which to accept the praise that traditional religion has asked us to give to Him.  But we ourselves do need to be thankful for His generous blessings, and the fact that He is always here for us, even (especially) when we fail to recognize His Presence.

2 – What Do We Want in Life?

Today let us get very quiet within ourselves, and ask in genuine calm if Jesus doesn’t have it right here.  What do we really want in this life?  Jesus mentions rest, quiet joy, love, safety and security, and soft assurance of certainty in our hearts.  Jesus does not mention “success” as the world views success.  Is it not therefore likely that we are amiss when we seek for the successes that this world recognizes?  All blessings in the list are intangibles, even the reference made to “home” is considered to be metaphorical.  If we pray for the blessings in this list, are we not praying in God’s Will?  And will He not grant what is in His Will?

3 – Our Real Will and God’s Are Identical

Remember that our real will and God’s are identical.  He chooses for us what we really want.  But he does give us the free will to reject what He has offered, though He does set limits on our miscreation.  If He did not set limits on our miscreation, we would be lost indeed.  So let us be thankful that we can stray from Him just so far.

4 – Living in a Dream

Pain is the way that, more often than not, we know that we have strayed.  This does not mean that every illness is an indictment from God.  Certainly not.  We live in a world of dreams, and our Selves can choose illness for a myriad of reasons, most often being a way to learn.  Yet we can learn through rewards (an ACIM tenet), and we might spend some time today asking that our pains be reduced and our rewards be increased.  Learning through rewards is lasting, and learning through pain is not.  Sometime, somehow, we realize that there is another way.  And then we are ready to find it.  A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are two courses that seek to set us on the pathway back to God and all holiness that, in our dreams, we have forgotten.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the intangibles of rest, peace, certainty of the heart, and the like–intangibles that you have offered to me so freely.  When I seek for success as measured by this world, I often seek amiss.  But Your will is that I have these intangibles that are Your blessings.  When I ask for them, Your giving them to me is assured.  Thank You for the gentleness of Your response.

I would learn through rewards, not pain.  I would choose the way of Jesus, a way which is sure to be lasting.  Pain teaches, but only for a season.  We have to come to know, eventually, that there is another way to live, another way other than encountering pain wherever we look.  I would find that other way today.  And when I do so, I will  not cease to thank You for the joy that You are so desirous to give me.

Amen.

On the Wings of Angels

“It is a call whose answer will come to you quickly on the wings of angels, a fluttering your heart will feel, for angels too are one with you. . . .

This is a call that requires you to do nothing but to remain faithful to it.  You do not need to think about it, but only let it be.  (A Course of Love, 11.16 – 11.17)”

Affirmation:  “May I remain faithful to the call today.”

Reflections:vangog - still  life of flowers

1 – Serenity and Peace

We need to live a serene and peaceful life, for it is this effortless ease with which we truly live or “be.”  We do not have to scurry around trying to accomplish all manner of things, many of which would be misguided.  God guides us every step of the way, for we are in  union with Him.  And angels accompany us, as this passage suggests.

2 – We are One

We are all one together.  Knowing that we are not meant to be separate from God and from others is a great blessing–just the knowingness of this concept.  We do not have to experience dark nights of the soul, though they may come.  Even in the blackest night, though, we can realize that the light dawns at the end of the path, that things will get better.  We can rest in assurance that this is the case.  And we can know that the old adage, “It is darkest just before the dawn,” is true–oh, so true.

3 – The Call

We can answer this call, and we can do so each new day.  This is what being faithful to a call really means (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or ACOL).  Every new day that we reaffirm our commitment to God and His purposes is a new beginning for us.  And we will know it as the day unfolds.  A good beginning always presages a better chance a a good day all along.

4 – Angels

May the angels that accompany us know that we need their presence in our lives.  It is an ACOL tenet that angels are one with us, and this tenet is comforting indeed.  May we realize that the oneness extends to all.  We are one with everyone whom we have ever known, perhaps especially those who are no longer in our pathway.  We do not know what lies in the future, and of course that is best.  But we can be certain that when we are contented simply to “be,” at least most of the time, the many busy doings of our day will flow smoothly more often than not.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May my guardian angels see me through the day.  May I always remember, at least once a day (if not more), to acknowledge their presence in my life.  Though it is difficult to acknowledge someone whom I can’t see, it is the best way to live serenely and peacefully.  May I be serene and at peace today.

We are all One.  May all of us remember this as we seek to head into the next year.

Amen.

Where Is Heaven?

“Think about this now–for how could heaven be a separate place?  A piece of geography distinct from all the rest?  How could it not encompass everything and still be what it is:  home to God’s beloved son and dwelling place of God Himself?  It is because God is not separate from anything that you cannot be.  It is because God is not separate from anything that heaven is where you are.  It is because God is love that all your relationships are holy, and from them you can find the way to Him and to your holy Self.  (A Course of Love, 6.19)”

Affirmation:  “Heaven is here, when I choose for it to be.”

Reflections:

1 – Heaven = Here / Now = Choose God’s Peace

Heaven is not a piece of real estate off somewhere in the skies.  Heaven is here and now, when we choose God’s peace.  A Course in Miracles says that here in this world we will not be without limitations, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will rise above misfortune and know heaven on earth.  A Course of Love makes the same point here, except that in back of the statement is the idea that Christ-consciousness will grant us knowledge of the right way to go to create heaven.  God is here with us, and we would do well to remember this throughout the day.  How can one fume and fret, when he/she knows that God is within, righting all the wrong that we look upon?  And we know also that that wrong will be created anew when we seek Christ in the faces of all of our brothers and sisters.  This Christ is the unifying Self, the one that can see both human and divine (an ACOL tenet).

2 – Relationships

As with ACIM, A Course of Love indicates, declares, that our relationships are meant to be holy, and it is through our relationships that we will find our way home.  Pray today for the grace to belief this reassurance.

3 – Holy Day

And see if the day does not turn holy indeed.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I do what You would have me do to create heaven on earth today.  May I love my brothers and sisters with an ever-deeper love, and may I not forget that I too must love myself, to have anything to give to others.  May my sense of self-esteem partake not of the ego, but of the spirit.  And when self-esteem is of the spirit, all is well.

Be with me today as I walk through this day in peace and joy.  If there are challenges to my day, let me realize that there are no challenges when we are trying to be teachers of God.  And all of us are teachers as well as students of God.

May today be good.  May I do for others what they need, especially those who are my significant others.  And may Your peace fill my heart with joy.

Amen.

In Peace Create the World Anew

“Creation becomes the new frontier, the occupation of those too young to rest, too interested in living still to welcome the peace of dying.  Those who could not change the world one iota through their constant effort, in peace create the world anew.  (A Course of Love, 6.17)”

Affirmation:  “I would create the world anew in peace today.”

Reflections:

1 – Our Vocation

What a glorious vocation this passage elucidates!  We are to create the world anew, in peace but not effort.  What we will change permanently will indeed come effortlessly.  And in peace.  Our effort could not make this change, but our peace will do so–not in the future, but here, now.

2 – Edgar Cayce

I welcome the continued chance to make a difference.  I am personally not ready for death.  According to Edgar Cayce, many of us came to earth to make a difference in the lives of those who were trapped, without hope, in physicality.  We do not, with ACIM, take a stand on reincarnation, but since all time is an illusion, we do not need to feel that reincarnation is an issue.  We certainly do have this one life to live, and we can spend all of our days, in peace, with the hope and desire that others will live better lives because we have been here with them.  This indeed is our function of salvation, and we do live this function in conjunction with happiness.  God takes care of us, in unity with Him and in relationship to others.

3 – Effortless Work

When we desire peace, we sometimes think that death would be a welcome option.  But we still have effortless work to do here on this earth.  And death is nothing; it is like walking through an open door (from Ruth Montgomery’s Guides).  So do not long for death when the world turns difficult.  Put one foot in front of the other, and walk.  We will walk through the difficulty, so long as our thought and feeling processes remain good.  For this is the world that we make.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would have a good day today, an effortless day of work that will improve the world–indeed, that will create it anew.  What a glorious promise You have made to us!  It gives a motivation for living, a goal toward which we can all look–but without the ego making of anything a challenge.  Just effortless work.  Thank You!

Be with me as I seek to smooth the way for others today, and in so doing may I also smooth the way for myself.  As I treat others, I will be treated.  To give and to receive are one.  Be with  me as I seek to live this truth today.

Amen.

Peace = Enjoyment of Rain and Sun Alike

“How can I make peace attractive to you who know it not?  The Bible says, ‘The sun shines and the rain falls on the good and evil alike.’  Why then do you think that peace is endless sunshine?  Peace is merely enjoyment of the rain and sun, night as well as day.  Without judgment cast upon it, peace shines on all that you would look upon, as well as every situation you would face.  (A Course of Love, 6.16)”

Affirmation:  “I would find peace today, regardless of circumstances.”

Reflections:

1 – Tranquility in Tough Times

This passage may be a new idea for us.  Peace can be found even when there is rain in the forecast.  And rain is a metaphor.  Any difficult situation can be the impetus to pray for the tranquility that we seek, and we can rest assured that the tranquility will come.

2 – “Perfectly Calm and Quiet” Good?

Many of us live in parts of the world that have seasons around the year.  We enjoy the variations in climate, the heat, the cold, and the in between.  So it is not surprising that we turn aside from the injunction in A Course in Miracles that says that being “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time is what we are headed into, when we accept ACIM‘s teachings.  We are not used to calm and quiet all the time.

3 – Judge Not the Negative

We do not have to fear peace in whatever form it comes to us in this world.  So long as we do not judge the negative, we will be alright..  We may wish mightily to change the negative into something better, but we do not have to judge it to make a change.  The peace that we will find, the calm and quiet, will have variations in affect.  We do not have to make drama, but we will sometimes find it.  But it is for ourselves to seek the peace without the drama, being ever mindful that we can live peaceably amid the chaos.

4 – Being with Our Brothers/Sisters

May we be with our brothers and sisters today when we see that difficulties of “rain” are occurring.  Others need us, and it is up to us to rush to their side with aid, but only to the extent that the aid is welcomed.  We ought to avoid “helping” when our help is not desired or wanted.  We then withdraw, and wait for a more propitious time.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Today let me know when to feel peace.  The optimal is always, but of course we are all human, and this likelihood is slim prior to Awakening.  May we enjoy both the rain and the sun, the things that cry for improvement, as well as the joys.  And may we thank You for the variation in our lives that lead us farther along the way to You.

May I help my brothers and sisters who need help.  May I be a comfort to them.  And may I too feel Your comfort when I am anxious or depressed.  We all then need You more than anything else.  And the blessing is that You are her for us, even when we are too agitated to take notice.  Let us take notice today, even in our agitations.

Amen.

Tranquil Mind

“A tranquil mind is not a little gift.  Would you not rather live than choose to die?  (M-20.4)”

Affirmation:  “I would choose to live.”

Reflections:

1 – To Live in This World

To be in this world without a tranquil mind is existing rather than living (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  Would we not rather choose to live?  And a tranquil mind can allow us to live in all the fullness that this world affords.  This world, as such, may not afford much, as Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that this world has nothing to offer (a truth that takes much consideration).  But even in this world we can be happy if we have a tranquil mind.

2 – Conditions of a Tranquil Mind

How do we seek out the conditions of a tranquil mind?  Surely we already know this answer.  We turn inward to God or His Communicator, the Holy Spirit.  (The Holy Spirit is also called the Universal Inspiration–from the opening pages of the Text.)  We slow down our frenetic pace, and we seek the quiet that only God can give.  We come to know peace, even in the midst of a busy life.  And we commune with God every chance that we get (and there are many chances, most of which, unfortunately, we ignore).

3 – Tranquility in a Quiet Mind

We would all know the tranquility that comes from a quiet mind.  Jesus says in ACIM that our goal is to become “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time.  Not everybody is ready to hear this, as some of us still long for drama in our lives.  But the more often we experience calm and quiet, the more desirous it becomes for us.  And calm and quiet can become very desirous indeed.

4 – Plea to God

We would choose a tranquil mind today.  Lead us along that pathway, dear God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I will never be truly happy, on a consistent basis, until I have settled down to serenity, to a tranquil mind.  I would do so today.  Be with me as I seek You in an ever more loving way.  You are found through love, and I pray that I always remember this.  You do not countenance drama in our daily life, and drama is a distraction supported by the ego and meant to keep us tied to the ego’s apron sttrings.

You want better for me.  You want better for all of us.

Help me to find that better today.  And tomorrow.

Amen

How Is Quiet Found?

“How is this quiet found?  No one can fail to find it who but seeks out its conditions.  God’s peace can never come where anger is, for anger must deny that peace exists.  (M-20.3)”

Affirmation:  “peace only today”

Reflections:

1 – Quiet

We will not fail in our endeavors when we are seeking out the conditions that lead to quiet.  When we have forsaken anger, we are making progress.  But doing so, forsaking anger, may be hard for us, as human beings, to accomplish.  That is why we need help.  And the Holy Spirit is always there to help.  Jesus is there to help if we ask him (“one unequivocal call,” a quotation from A Course in Miracles).

2 – Eliminate Anger

May we find this quiet today.  And when anger threatens to engulf us, let us seek out the conditions that will eliminate the anger.  How might we do this?  We must remember that anger is always of the ego, and we have willed the ego to leave us.  Anger is also brought on, in my experience, by stress (though not stated in ACIM).  Anger and attack have no justification, according to the Text.  We live in an insane world, and anger and attack are part of this insanity.  We would leave behind the insanity by choosing quiet over anger.

3 – God’s Peace

We will not have God’s peace as long as anger is a part of our experience.  It is certainly true that we don’t make this transition all at once.  Anger may rear its ugly head repeatedly (and A Course of Love makes this clear).  But as we experience the peace that passeth understanding (from the Bible), we realize that anger is not what we want.  We want the peace of God.

4 – Invite Peace

May we find peace today.  May we do the things that invite peace, and we have not come this far in A Course in Miracles without making some decisions about what to do and how to act.  We will continue to fall down from time to time, but we need to just pick ourselves up and try again.  And the Holy Spirit will always help.  It is His role.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would fall in line with the Holy Spirit’s guidance today, and in His guidance is found peace.  I will seek out the conditions of peace, which involve finding time for quiet reflection.  I know that You are found in quiet and in silence  You speak to us in silence through the Holy Spirit, our Universal Inspiration.  May I find some of His Inspiration today.

I would not be anger over anything, for I know that anger is an interpretation.  Nobody gets angry at facts; it is always an interpretation that gives us the emotion of anger.  Jesus tells me this in A Course in Miracles, and I believe his words.  May all whom I see today gain something from the peaceful countenance that I mean to present to the world.  Especially I ask for help in bringing peace to my significant others, especially my most significant brother.

Be with all of us today, on this, the first day of the rest of the eternity that we will live.

Amen

Joy = Avoid Attack

“Attack can enter only if perception of separate goals has entered.  And this must indeed have been the case if the result is anything but joy.  (M-17.3)”

Affirmation:  “I would know joy today.”

Reflections:

1 – We All Want Love

Our brothers and sisters, and you and I, truly have no separate goals.  We may want different things, but we really, at the base, want only love in all its manifestations.  If we think that we want something else, we are deluding ourselves.  And this is always a form of insanity.

2 – Insanity in ACIM

A Course in Miracles says that virtually all of us are insane to one degree or another.  Only when we have experienced Awakening can we feel surely that we are at least partially sane.  And the experience of Awakening can come and go, not being sustained because our ego has not yet withered away.  We are very human in this world, and we make many mistakes.  The Holy Spirit can eliminate these repeated mistakes, if we will only give him a “little willingness” (quotations from ACIM).

3 – No Attack / Only Joy

I would not entertain attack in any form today, because I would know joy.  This is ample motivation!  If I am tempted to want to attack, then I will take a timeout, exit the room, and quiet myself down.  Sometimes the only thing that works in anger is a sudden removal from the temptation to attack.  Counting to ten in the same room as the one with whom we are angry will not always work.  Walking to another room, and stilling the emotions, is far more effective.  Many of us only get angry when we are stressed.  We need to get quiet, and the stress will dissipate.  (These ideas are not discussed in ACIM.)

4 – Joy = Our Inheritance

Joy is our inheritance.  We would do well to accommodate ourselves to this lofty blessing, and to do so we must relinquish anger and attack in all its forms.  Anger and attack have no foundation in truth (a paraphrase from the Text).  We are always angry at nothing, at an illusion.  If we recognize that our brother or sister is actually part of our illusion, we will not get angry regardless of what happens in the dream (i.e., the illusion).  We would not get angry at someone who was certifiably insane.  We might regret their behavior, but we would know that these individuals have reduced accountability.  And when they are once again in a sane mind, they will act more responsibly.  It is the same for all of us, because we all have insanity (an ACIM tenet).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May all of us leave insanity behind today.  When our egos are in charge, we insane to one degree or another.  We would not let our egos drive us around today.

May we know the joy of find You in all our dealings.  May we stay calm and serene, at peace with whatever happens.  May we just let the ego disappear, wither away faster rather than slower, embrace the love that is our inheritance.

If we fall on our faces today in any way, may this anger/attack leave us as suddenly as it arrived.  We do want to stay peaceful, in the extreme.  No other way is Your way, and we would follow Your way always.  Help us to stay true to this determination.

Thank You.

Amen.

Quiet Listening

“Learn to be quiet, for His Voice is heard in stillness.  And His Judgment comes to all who stand aside in quiet listening, and wait for Him.  (M-15.2)”

Affirmation:  “Let me be quiet awhile today.”

Reflections:

1 – Benign Judgment

“His Judgment” is not bad; we only make mistakes, and these can be corrected.  If we cannot make amends with the person whom we have wronged, we can still ask forgiveness in quietness, and on some level we will be heard.  The Judgment of which this passage speaks is coming from the Holy Spirit, God’s Communicator with us.  It is always a benign judgment.

2 – Quiet

We cannot live well unless we live, at least from time to time, in quiet.  My quiet time used to be three times a day, which I spent in meditation.  This went on for ten years, and then six years ago I began to pray more, and I was quiet in that way.  Prayer works for me when I pray aloud, and frequently I do so when driving the car.  I do concentrate on the road, of course, but I am carrying on, also, a conversation with God.  Despite the noise of the car and the road,  I know this time as a particularly effective quiet time.

3 – Listening

We must try to follow God’s Way for us.  And we learn this Way in quiet listening.  Sometimes the Answer will come in a quiet “knowing,” and sometimes in just the next quiet words that come into our minds.  Sometimes we experience a feeling that we attribute to intuition.  There is no limit to the ways that the Holy Spirit can and does speak with us.

4 – Personal Experience

My favorite quiet time is early in the morning, before my husband awakes.  I slip out of the bedroom, and find an easy chair in our study.  There I sit quietly, thinking, sometimes, of the day ahead.  This time alone, before the day begins, is a very effective way to get close to God in my thinking.  If I miss this time, I know it.  So I try not to miss being alone first thing in the morning.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be still and quiet a bit today, to hear Your Voice.  I would relax, so that my body accommodates to my wish to hear You.  I would listen with a warm and soft heart.  Help me to do all of these things, for without Your help I am lost.

Be with me today.  I have already done a good bit of work this morning, and I am already tired.  If I could relax during my work, I could get along better and for longer periods of time.  Help me to do this tomorrow morning.  And today:  Help me to relax today even as I continue to work.

Be with all my loved ones.  I cannot control their destinies, but I do turn them over to You.  And I turn myself over to You also.  As always.

Amen

We Are Holy

“Holy are you, eternal, free and whole, at peace forever in the Heart of God.  Where is the world, and where is sorrow now?  (M-15.1)”

Affirmation:  “We are all holy.”

Reflections:

1 – Comfort

This passage is comforting, even when we do not find it (at first reading) to be believable.  We do want to be whole people, able to give and receive love.  And we do want to be free and at peace.

2 – Being Free

Before we follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we have an “imprisoned will” (from the Text).  Once we begin, ever so tentatively, to follow Him as our Guide, we learn, slowly at first (usually) what being free actually entails.   The Holy Spirit guides us to our real will, which is totally at One with God’s Will.  The Holy Spirit choose for us (from ACIM); he leads us to our heart’s desire.  But this is our real desire, not the frivolous and useless “pleasures” of the world that soon turn to ashes and dust in our hands.

3 – Heart of God

When we live in the Heart of God, we do not fret or worry.  Of course, and certainly in the beginning, we do not consistently feel God’s mercy.  The transition normally takes some time (though it can happen instantaneously).  We have glimpses of the real world, the world we see just before Awakening.  But we have to realize that these perceptual differences, while miracles, will not last, because miracles are perceptual and nothing perceptual is lasting.  (These are paraphrases from ACIM.)  So let us take one tiny step after another in the direction of God today.  Let us ask for His “felt presence” (a quotation from Eckhart Tolle).

4 – God’s Felt Presence

Sorrow is no more when we are experiencing God’s felt presence.  We know that we are beloved, and we do not agonize about the future (or even the present, and certainly not the past).  We are living in the present, as God would have us do.

5 – Peace

And we are at peace.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Most of us do not really believe that we are holy, and when we are consumed by the ego, being called “holy” seems to be not credible.  But we have not changed from our creation; we are as You created us, and we only made a detour into fear–an egoic mistake because of a “tiny, mad idea.”

Help me to leave all such foolishness behind today.  You know that we all try the best that we can at even given moment.  We make mistakes, but You and we together can correct those mistakes.  I would correct my mistakes today.

Help me to feel the gratitude for You that keeps me safe from all harm.

Amen

World Ends in Joy, Peace, Laughter

“The world will end  in joy, because it is a place of sorrow.  When joy has come, the purpose of the world has gone.  The world will end in peace, because it is a place of war.  When peace has come, what is the purpose of the world?  The world will end in laughter, because it is a place of tears.  where there is laughter, who can longer weep?  And only complete forgiveness brings all this to bless the world.  In blessing it departs, for it will not end as it began.  (M-14.5)”

Affirmation:  “The world will end in joy.”

Reflections:

1 – Belief in a Fiery End

A very reassuring passage, this assertion by Jesus will be well-received by those who are ready to relinquish the ego, and no longer believe in a fiery hell.  So much of our preoccupation has been with a world that would end in fiery destruction.  And we can now realize that all of this was projection of the ego.  We made a world of opposites, and we thought that the worst thing that we could comprehend, hell, was there waiting for us if we did not measure up.  What a joy to know that this dualism has never been accurate!  We live in a non-dualistic world, where when we have dropped illusions, we can be happy in a Heaven on earth.

2 – Ask for a Happy Dream

Of course, we still see much misery before us.  And we are not encouraged to deny our eyesight.  But we are encouraged to realize that what we are seeing is maya (an Eastern term), illusion, a dream.  And much that we see is not a happy dream.  But we can ask for a happy dream, and the more we focus on following the guidance that we receive, the happier our daily life will become.  We will not longer sit down in the dust and bemoan our fate of a joyless life, full of struggle and woe.

3 – Be with God

Be with God today, as much of the time as possible.  The world will ultimately end in joy, but this ending may be a long time off.  Jesus says elsewhere that it may take millions of years for the separation to be healed, as it took millions of years to happen.  Of course, the separation from God is not real, could never be real, for we live as though in a hologram, and what is within (God) is projected without.  Not all that is within is God, though, and so sometimes we project hideous images.  But God would not have it so.  He asks only for a “little willingness” (quotation from ACIM) to follow His Way.  And his medium of communication is our Guide, the Holy Spirit.  Ask for His help today.

4 – Presence

He will not be long in making His presence felt.  The day will brighten.  And with this comes hope for a better tomorrow.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the reassurance in A Course in Miracles that the world will end in peace.  Our ego has said so much about ending in a fiery destruction, and we have been (most of us) very influenced by this.  Help us all to realize that there is nothing to fear.

Be with me as I seek to know Your Presence today.  Give me free-flowing thought, that I don’t dam up my thoughts and have thought attacks.  Obsessions are fearful things, and I would acknowledge Your rule in this world, even though we all have free will and can walk astray.

Amen

How the World Will End

“The world will end with the benediction of holiness upon it.  When not one thought of sin remains, the world is over.  It will not be destroyed nor attacked nor even touched.  It will merely cease to seem to be.  (M-14.2)”

Affirmation:  “The world will not be destroyed.”

Reflections:

1 – Cease to Be

Many of the prophecies of our world has attempted to predict the end of the world.  But here Jesus discusses a very benign way for the world to end:  It will just cease to be.

2 – Illusions

Certainly very few individuals in our world can understand this pronouncement.  It is part of the theology of A Course in Miracles.  In my interpretation (not stated in ACIM), the world, as an illusion, will cease to be when the time for illusions is past.  And this miracles will happen when all of us have returned home to God–not necessarily through death, but through a return to the real world, and then an Awakening in God.  We will not be dreaming when this miracles occurs; we will be awake for the first time ever.

3 – Millions of Years

When will this miracle take place?  The Text says that the return of the “separated” ones (those who think that they have separated from God) may take millions of years, just as the separation itself took place over millions of years.

4 – Regret?

Is this cause for regret?  Do we see the length of time as a reason for despondency?

5 – The World Will Get Better

I think not.  For as time goes by, and more and more of ourselves and our brothers and sisters awaken, we will see a world resplendent with beauty and joy.  We will have no reason to be despondent then.  Our mission is simply to bring that time closer, and Jesus is our leader in this, for time and space are under his control.  Can we believe this?  He would deal gently with us if we have an intellectual problem with such affirmations (from ACIM).  But we may find ourselves and home and in God much quickly if we can suspend judgment of that which we cannot, now, understand.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Be with us today, as we live in a world that is far from perfect.  Guide our physical eyesight, as well as our vision (non-physical eyesight) to experience a benign world.  May we have a good day, living in this world.

Help me to contain myself today when the world is too much with me.  We cannot know joy, true joy, unless we have the peace of God.  I ask You to grant me Your peace today.

Be with me, I pray.  And thank You.

Amen.

Illusory Split from God Experienced in Attack

“[The Word of God] is denied if you attack any brother for anything.  For it is here the split with God occurs.  A split that is impossible.  A split that cannot happen.  Yet a split in which you surely will believe, because you have set up a situation that is impossible.  And in this situation the impossible can seem to happen.  It seems to happen at the ‘sacrifice’ of truth.  (M-13.7)”

Affirmation:  “I will not attack under any circumstances.”

Reflections:

1 – Sword over our Heads

We are told elsewhere in A Course in Miracles that when we are tempted to be angry (and to attack), it is as though we hold a sword over our heads.  And it will fall or be averted as we choose to ask for peace and turn aside from the reverse, the anger and attack.

2 – We Are Human

We are human, and we have human frailties.  We will still, sometimes, get angry.

3 – Insanity

If we can, when tempted by anger, to assert that what we are being baited with is just insanity, we will easily (sometimes easily) turn aside.   And what we are viewing is insanity, but it is also a call for help and for love.  The Holy Spirit will teach us this, if we will let Him.  And nobody responds to a call for help with anger.  A call for help is a piteous call, and deserves our sympathy.

4 – Our World Will Smooth Out

If we do well with these ideas, our world will smooth out.  It is when we attack in response that the trouble starts, for we have set up a situation in which baiting happens between ourselves, and our brothers and sisters.

5 – Do Not Respond to a Bait

We would respond to no bait today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

If we believe in the split or separation from God only when we are in attack mode, then it does behoove us to get out of that mode.  Forgive me if irritation arises today, or if a significant other tempts me to attack, or if I am just in a bad mood and feel like venting.  None of this is in Your Will, and I would live Your Will, though I am human and will always make mistakes that You can lead me to correct.

Be with me to stay in harmony and calm–and joy!–today.  If the individuals I see are having a bad day, help me to stay serene and to do what I can to make that day better.  My own attack, added to theirs, would lead us all down the thorns of the egoistic pathway.  Nobody needs that.

Be with me as this day plays out.  Help me to get enough rest so that I am not as likely to fall into poor ways of behaving.  Keep me in Your care, and lead me to the sure pathway that is happiness in You.

Amen.

Power, Fame, Money, Physical Pleasure = Meaningful to Body

“It takes great learning both to realize and to accept the fact that the world has nothing to give.  What can the sacrifice of nothing mean?  It cannot mean that you have less because of it.  There is no sacrifice in the world’s terms that does not involve the body.  Think a while about what the world calls sacrifice.  Power, fame, money, physical pleasure; who is the ‘hero’ to whom all these things belong?  Could they mean anything except to a body?  (M-13.2)”

 

Affirmation:  “I need sacrifice nothing.”

Reflections:

1 – The World Has Nothing to Offer

Most of us do not really yet believe that the world has nothing to offer.  We are still that much caught up in the ego.  As long as we are egocentric, we will seek for power, fame, physical pleasure.  But when the ego has withered, at least a little, we will instead seek the intangibles of God–the love, joy, peace, tranquility, calm, quiet.  And we can be happy in this world, so long as we are not chasing rainbows of materialism.  God wants our material needs satisfied also, but if we devote ourselves only to the material, we lose out on so much more.

2 – Happy Dreams the Holy Spirit Brings

And we do find in this world the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (from the Workbook).  The reason for the happy dreams is that we would be too terrified by the sudden appearance of Awakening.  A gentler dream needs to precede Awakening.  And so we are prepared carefully for the great blessing of Awakening.

3 – Patience

It does take great learning to accept these ideas.  And it takes patience to assimilate them.  Teachers must repeat their lessons until they are learned, and Jesus himself has set the precedent for this in the Text, when he said that nothing that we do or make, etc., creates our worth.  Our worth is given us by God.

4 – Heaven on Earth

So do we write off the world and escape into some otherworldly heaven?  I think not.  We can experience heaven on earth, but we have to meet the conditions, which involve an egoless experience.  So long as we are fueled by the ego, we will know vicissitudes of joy and sorrow in an alternating fashion.  And the guilt that the ego would drive us to would be hell indeed.  (Elsewhere the Text affirms that guilt is hell.)

5 – Values Will Change

We seek to enjoy God’s intangibles and to love our brothers and sisters (as well as ourselves, which is necessary for all love to proceed from us).  We do not need to sacrifice anything that is truly good.  Our values will change as we walk farther along the pathway to God.  And we will not seek the inferior values that all too often are present in this world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am extremely grateful that, after studying A Course in Miracles for a long time, I can honestly say to You that the pleasures of this world do not mean as much to me as they once did.  I am not above wanting pleasures of this world, but it is more important to me to know Your peace, joy, harmony, and calm.  Thank You for walking with me far enough along the pathway to You that I have made this shift in my values.

May I be understanding if others do not share this concept.  It takes a long while to understand that this world does not really offer anything that is lasting, and only the lasting is the eternity that we all seek, whether we know it or not.  May my walk into eternity today include my brothers and sisters, and may I not make demands upon them that they are not yet ready to accommodate.

Amen.

Rest Untroubled / Gently Reassured

ACIM Workbook Lesson 194 – for Friday, July 13, 2012

Affirmation:  “I place the future in the Hands of God.”
“Now are we saved indeed.  For in God’s Hands we rest untroubled, sure that only good can come to us.  If we forget, we will be gently reassured.  If we accept an unforgiving thought, it will be soon replaced by love’s reflection.  And if we are tempted to attack, we will appeal to Him Who guards our rest to make the choice for us that leaves temptation far behind.  No longer is the world our enemy, for we have chosen that we be its Friend.  (WB371)”

Reflections:

1 – Euphoria vs. Dejection

I do not think that we often think of the world as our “enemy.”  But it is quite possible that, as Jesus says, this is a legitimate way to think of the what we have made the world to be for ourselves.  Driven by the ego, and with an imprisoned will (ACIM tenet), we find ourselves alternating euphoria (when the ego has “won”) and dejection (when the ego has been deflated).  If the ego were sane, we would never be in this predicament.  But living with our ego has driven our own minds to madness.  And this Jesus would not have for us.

2 – How Do We Get the Madness Out?

How do we get the madness out?  A frontal assault on the ego will not work, as the ego would just go underground, where its machinations would continue–disturbing our peace of mind and giving us bad dreams in a reality that is not truly “real.”  We simply are bidden to turn aside from the ego’s promptings, and often this may be seen by us as those things to which egotistical desire is a motivation.  We turn aside the ego’s promptings gently, because the ego is strong in strife (an ACIM tenet).

3 – A Different Way to Live

Does this turning aside from the ego seem a hopelessly impossible task?  If so, try to learn a different way to live, the way outlined in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.  Try to give over attack, judgment, and planning that is not inspired by the Holy Spirit to a Higher Power.  This Higher Power is, in fact, the Holy Spirit, and He will come to our call.  Jesus promises the same, i.e., to come in respond to “one unequivocal call” (ACIM quotation).

4 – We Need Help

We need help.  It is the ego that thinks this makes us less, to admit our defeat in trying to live by the ego’s dictates.  But it is the wisest reasoning, and it is a reasoning that is inspired by intuition, one of the primary ways that our Guide (the Holy Spirit) speaks to us.  We will find, as time goes by, that turning on a dime, when we receive prompting is a very freeing way to live.  We may not know what will come afterward, but we do learn, through this method, the next right step.

5 – The Next Right Step

And knowing that next right step makes all the difference.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for the fact that currently my life is going smoothly.  Everyone has difficulties from time to time, and I would stay in touch with You during the easy times as well as the problems.  Thank You that all in my immediate circle are emotionally and physically well.  Thank You that I am emotionally and physically well.  May my brothers and sisters whom I do not know move into this certain realm, where You are there and all is well.

Be with us throughout the day.  Thank You specifically for this Workbook lesson, one that is so reassuring and compels peace to enter our minds and hearts.  Be with us today to keep serene in the midst of the ordinary path that we walk.

Thank You.

Amen.

Finding Our Way to Peace

“Peace is impossible to those who look on war.  Peace is inevitable to those who offer peace.  (M-11.4)”

Affirmation:  “I choose peace today.”

Reflections:

1 – A Long Time Ago

Early on in my study of A Course in Miracles I selected this passage as an affirmation.  I typed it out and posted it at my office desk, just in front of my eyes on my bulletin board.  And such peace the passage gave me.  I was in a work environment that was not well-suited to me because there were political battles raging daily.  Perhaps you too have found yourself in such a place.  I determined that I would seek to carry out the advice in this passage at work, to my very best ability.  And, while the environment did not appreciably change, I found a way to find a more congenial environment.  The higher administration wrote to me, when I resigned, that I had been a “positive force” in the workplace.  This in itself seemed to be evidence that these two statements in the passage for the day really do work when worked.  We can effect change, even when we are not aware that anybody is noticing.

2 – A Summary

So the passage becomes as follows:

Look on war = peace impossible
Offer peace = peace inevitable

3 – Serene and Untroubled Mind

So this passage becomes motivation to live out our days with a serene and untroubled mind.  We are not so perfect, though, that we will never get upset.  But we will not entertain anger and attack.  We will entertain peace.  And the difference that this change of attitude will bring to our lives is incalculable.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the ease with which this day has gone.  I do know that I want to offer peace to those I encounter.  And so conflict and “war” do not have to be my fate.  Help me to remain true to this determination, this will to follow Your dictates.

Thank You for being with me today.  The stress that all of us encounter has ended, for me, today, and for that I am especially grateful.

Amen.

When Not at Peace

“I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at peace.
I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise.
I want to decide otherwise, because I want to be at peace.
I do not feel guilty, because the Holy Spirit will undo all the
   consequences of my wrong decision if I will let Him.
I choose to let Him, by allowing Him to decide for God for me.  (T90)”

Affirmation:  “I can decide for peace.”

Reflections:

1 – Choose Peace Moment by Moment

This passage is a lovely blank verse poem.  If we are not at peace, we have made one or more errors.  We are in charge in making the decisions that will bring us to peace.  We can decide otherwise, and thus choose peace, moment by moment.

2 – Do Not “Study” the Ego

If we have already chosen wrongly, we may feel an ennui that is hard to describe.  This appears to be a time that we need to be especially protective of ourselves, but actually it is a prime time that we need to turn to the Holy Spirit for guidance.  We have seen or done something that has made for increased fatigue, either mental or physical, and until we get to the root of the problem, we will suffer.  We are not to study the ego, though!  Jesus specifically says in A Course in Miracles that the ego (this part of ourselves that has led us astray) approves our study of it, that this study seems to increase its importance to us (from the Text).  But if we find fatigue, an unnatural fatigue, steeling over us, perhaps we need to stop what we are doing and commune with the Holy Spirit.  He will respond with some quiet thoughts that will come automatically into the mind, when we have calmed down the agitation enough to listen.  (These are interpretations of ACIM, not stated therein.)

3 – Undoing Eliminates Guilt

We do not have to feel guilty, because of the power and glory of the Holy Spirit.  He can undo the consequences of our wrong action or thought–the error that made us lose our peace in the beginning.

4 – “Perfectly Calm and Quiet

Peace is a great blessing.  All of us would choose it, rather than drama, if we would give it more thought.  “Perfectly calm and quiet” is said elsewhere in the Course as the direction in which we are heading.  We may, actually, not welcome this now, because we are tied to our dramas, but as we choose more and more the peace that God grants, we will know the genius of this proscription.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to decide for peace, not drama.  I am in charge of this decision, with the help of the Holy Spirit.  If I am not at peace, I have decided wrongly.  I choose now to change this decision to one of peace.

Help me to know the value of being perfectly calm and quiet all the time.  May the Holy Spirit, day by day, lead me in this direction.

Amen.

Tremendous Release / Deep Peace

“You have no idea of the tremendous release and deep peace that comes from meeting yourself and your brothers totally without judgment.  (T47)”

Affirmation:  “meeting. . .totally without judgment”

Reflections:

1 – How True!

How true!  We cannot even comprehend the full blessing of this passage, but we do see glimpses when we try to withhold judgment and just love.  The irony is that so long as we judge, we will perceive others as judging us.  This is the tenet of the Course that projection makes perception.  Nowhere will we find this more evident than in both judgment and attack thoughts.

2 – Comforting Words

The words, “tremendous release” and “deep peace” are comforting in the extreme.  Do we not all wish for this?  Here we find out how to effect this transformation.

3 – Do Not Judge–Ever!

We must remember not to leave ourselves out of the equation.  We must not judge ourselves, just as we must not judge our brothers.  Frequently, we seem to have an internal judge that chastises us for misdeeds, real and imagined.  These we are bade to leave behind, and we will know release and peace.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I leave judgment behind forever.  May I know the release and the joy that come from tolerance for my brothers and sisters.

May my day go well today.  This will happen if I just remember to be tolerant of my brother’s perceived failings, and I open my heart to love.

Amen.

Retain the Love = Lose the Fear

“When everything you retain is lovable, there is no reason for fear to remain with you.  This is your part in the Atonement.  (T35)”

Affirmation:  “retain the lovable”

Reflections:

1 – Love without Fear

Here is the idea that we keep finding again and again in the Course.  When love is complete, fear is abandoned.  We ourselves do this abandoning when we realize that the only reality is that of love.

2 – Eliminate the Wrong

We must discern what is wrong in our lives and seek to eliminate it.  This does not mean that we leave relationships that are difficult, unless our guidance recommends doing so.  But there are numerous bad habits that we would do well to eliminate, and these can be eliminated without reference at all to any other individual.  This does not mean that we embark on a “self-improvement” campaign, for such attempts would almost surely be of the ego.  But it does mean that we prune our waking thoughts, eliminating much of the anxiety by praying it away–or distracting ourselves, or loving another more deeply.   (These suggestions are personal and do not come from ACIM.)  We can become better people, and in no way is this more possible than by following guidance on a moment-by-moment foundation.

3 – Love Leads to Atonement

Love then becomes our way into the Atonement.  Atonement is the shifting of our perception to that of a love-centered world.  The Awakening then follows.

4 – Seek the Guidance of the Holy Spirit

We must ask for the help of the Holy Spirit to retain only what is lovable in our world.  We cannot do this by an ego-centered self, and only the real Self, informed by guidance, can effect this change.  Help me to just allow the ego to wither away.  I do not need it, and nobody in my circle needs it.  May all of us look to You for the fulfillment in living that only You can give.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to retain only what is lovable in this world and worlds beyond.  When I retain only what is lovable, I leave fear behind.  Surely this is motivation.

Help me not to become depressed when my best efforts to follow Your way don’t seem to be enough to rid me of fear.  At these times, help me to turn to You in prayer.  You always calm me right down.  May I realize, anew, that Your eternity and my time are not identical.  And it is only Your eternity that is real.  So there may seem to be a delay in time before love is in the ascendancy, and all is well with my little world.  Help me to be patient, but not to give up hope that love will prevail.  I do know, from my heart, that Your Love will prevail.

May we accept the Atonement for ourselves.  Jesus has said that this is our only real purpose in this world.  So much follows from this acceptance, and we welcome our brothers and sisters with a new, abiding love.

Amen.

No Strain in Doing God’s Will

“There is no strain in doing God’s Will as soon as you recognize that it is also your own.  (T30)”

Affirmation:  “no strain in doing God’s will”

Reflections:

1 – What We Think about God’s Will

This sentence is a primary theoretical foundation for the Course.  Much of our rebellion has been predicated upon the idea that we would not believe that God’s will would be desirable; we think that we can choose better.  We even think that His will is punitive.

2 – Personal Experience

I questioned the will of God for all of my twenties and half of my thirties.  I wanted to follow what I understood to be God’s will, but too often I did not fully understand that God is within, and that surely I would be doing my will when I followed what I understood to be His.  So I followed His will, not having met A Course in Miracles, and not knowing if I were deluding myself.  When I was 34, I found ACIM, and another whole new chapter opened for me.  It was indeed welcome news to know that in following what I perceived to be God’s will for–in all–14 years, I was actually following what I wanted as well.  But it didn’t quite feel like that.  It had felt as though I were following a dream.  But doesn’t God speak to us through the everyday “reality” that is a dream, an illusion (from ACIM)?  And so isn’t what we really want in our hearts often what He would have for us?  His pathway is not as remote as we might, on first glance, see it to be.

3 – God’s Will = Our Real Will

How wrong we are!  God’s will and our own “real” will are the same!  What a relief this can be.  Our thoughts of Jonah and the whale may be relegated to an Old Testament story, not meaningful in the world in which we live today.  With Jonah, the idea that God would pursue us and demand that we do His will, is the main crux of the matter.  In the Course, we are gently led to do God’s will, once we have understood that we are actually doing our own will at the same time.  The God of A Course in Miracles is in no way a punitive God.

4 – No Conflict in Following God’s Pathway

So, we experience “no strain” in doing God’s will.  We see no conflict in following God’s pathway.  It is the pathway that we would choose if we could see the whole picture.  Our judgment is not that wondrous; we see imperfectly and only in part.  But when we acquiesce to the Holy Spirit, we truly know the peace of following God’s will as our own.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

What a relief to learn that God’s will is really our real will!  Thank you, dear Father, for this insight.  This is one of the greatest of Your blessings!  Not to know that we are in Your Will is difficult indeed.

When we know that doing God’s will, as we perceive it, is really our own real will, we do not feel coerced.  Thank you for this insight, this great blessing.

I would walk the pathway today that You and Our Guide point out.  I would ask for direction at every point, knowing that this is what You want me to do.  Help me to relax in Your care, sure of Your love and protection.  Be with me so that the day turns out well.  I know that the day will turn out well when I am following Your Will, which ever is also my own.

Amen.

Finding Happiness and Peace

ACIM Workbook Lesson 92 – for Monday, April 2, 2012

Affirmation:  “Miracles are seen in light, and light and strength are one.”

Selected Passage:

“Truth is a savior and can only will for happiness and peace for everyone.  It gives its strength to everyone who asks, in limitless supply.  It sees that lack in anyone would be a lack in all.  And so it gives its light that all may see and benefit as one.  It strength is shared, that it may bring to all the miracle in which they will unite in purpose and forgiveness and in love.  (WB159-160)”

Reflections:

1 – Truth

We sometimes have trouble with the concept of truth, for we know that our own interpretations intervene, sometimes leading us to false assumptions.  Truth frequently seems to be all interpretation, and actually, when we have guidance, it is not all interpretation.  Truth, rightfully understood, leads to happiness and peace, and which of us does not want this boon?

2 – Share with Others

We are here encouraged to share in unity with our brothers and sisters, a tenet that is shared by the later A Course of Love (Note:  See “About” section of this blog).  When we share in unity, a miracle comes easily.  We no longer seem to be alone and abandoned by God; He is with us, because we are with Him.

3 – We Must Be United

We who are to save the world must be united, if we are to succeed.  There are many different curricula, but ours is A Course in Miracles (and perhaps the volumes seen by some as a sequel by Jesus, A Course of Love).  It would not do for us to try out many different pathways, though many of us have done just that over the years.  Why choose, again and again, when ours has been given to us (a Text tenet)?  We will have the strength to succeed in our endeavors when we turn to guidance of the Holy Spirit, following Jesus, who holds our hand as we walk along (a Text tenet).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know happiness and peace today.  I would stand united with my brothers and sisters in the endeavor which we are undertaking to bring salvation to a troubled world.  I would not proselytize, though, for I do not wish to turn off others when they are not ready.  Help me to make the correct discernment about the readiness of others, before I share anything about God with them.

Be with all of us today to lead us to a good day.  May our blessings reassure us that You have always been there for us.  I know that You are within, and that nothing is without.  May the knowledge that You bring to me cleanse my perceptions, so that the projections that lead to my perceptions do not lead me astray.

Thank You.

Amen.

Peace = Forgiveness

“You who want peace can find it only by complete forgiveness.  (T13)”

 Affirmation:  “complete forgiveness”

Reflections

1 – Complete Forgiveness

This is a solemn statement, even a warning.  We do find forgiveness too hard to offer in this ego-centered world!

2 – Deserve Forgiveness?

Perhaps we don’t know how to forgive.  We may believe that the word or deed that someone did to us does not deserve forgiveness.  Certainly a belief like this is a bitter problem for us when we try to come to understand forgiveness.  We are actually denying ourselves forgiveness, of ourselves, and from others.  Forgiveness is always deserved.  The individual who perpetuated the word or deed against us has said to himself or herself that he/she was justified in what he/she did.  We all justify our ways of treating others.  Even the worst individual in our world would see himself/herself as a victim, free of blame.  We have seen this in some world figures.  Would there be any less among those of us who are unknown in the world?

3 – Peace

Complete forgiveness will offer peace.  Forgiveness is not hard to give when we realize that the bad effects have not really happened at all in reality.  And the perpetrator acted only in madness, in insanity, out of a mind controlled by ego.  These two truths, taken together, will lead us easily to pardon our brother.

4 – We Receive Peace

And we receive peace for this!  Can anyone choose another way when so much is held out to us?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When we are tempted today to hold something against our brother, help us to see, once again, that only in complete forgiveness is our salvation found.

May our brother know that we have forgiven him (or her).

Amen.

Calm and Quiet

“Can you imagine what it means to have no cares, no worries, no anxieties, but merely to be perfectly calm and quiet all the time?  Yet that is what time is for; to learn just that and nothing more. (T301)”

Affirmation:  “perfectly calm and quiet all the time”

 

Reflections:

1 – Calm and Quiet Is Ahead for Us

How different we will be when we have awakened!  “Perfectly calm and quiet all the time.”  This description is hardly what we feel now.

2 – Drama Turns Negative

Perhaps all of us would not wish “calm and quiet” as a universal experience.  We are so used to busyness, with its attendant drama.  Yet drama turns negative all too often, and peace, the peace of God, is found in calm and quiet.

3 – Are Calm and Quiet Desirable?

Perhaps we do not now think that to live in calm and quiet all the time would be desirable.  Perhaps we still think that drama will make us feel more “alive.”  If so, we would do well to test out this recommended calm and quiet.  Spend moments with God that are calm and quiet, and see if these new emotions don’t create a desire for a more frequent calm and quiet in daily life.  We will live better when we are not scurrying about, filled with adrenalin rushes.  We will accomplish more and accomplish better.

4 – Blessings of God

We must try to see for ourselves what the blessings of God would bring to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for guiding me for a long time, long enough for me to know that being perfectly calm and quiet is desirable.  I do not always seek Your peace, but I do know that Your peace is a better choice than any other I have ever found.  

Help me not to escalate the difficulties that come with living in this world.  May I turn aside from self-created drama, and may I turn aside from the drama that my brothers and sisters try to engage me in.  I would not seek drama for any reason, knowing that to do so is to give up the peace that only You can give.

Be with me in the upcoming 24 hours.  Help me to be guided to the decisions that will bring calm and quiet to my significant others, all those who read this blog, any other people whom I encounter today, as well as myself.  Thank You for the love that You show to all of us irrespective of our own choice to seek You.  You seek us, whether or not we recognize Your seeking.

Thank You for being there for all of us.

Amen.

The First Obstacle that Peace Must Flow Across

“The first obstacle that peace must flow across is your desire to get ride of it.  For it cannot extend unless you keep it. (T407)”

Affirmation:  “I would seek peace today.”

Reflections:

1 – Our Stressful Days

How often we multitask in our days!  How can we ever hope to have peace in such an environment of stress and frenzy?

2 – We Are Busy

Of course, we are busy.  Our days are filled with a myriad of activities, some chosen, some not.  Many have families as well as jobs outside the home.  Our obligations are many:  parents, children, friends.  There seems to be no end to the aspects of life that are tearing at us.

3 – Spend Time with God

In the midst of life such as this, we may have to recall that God wants part of our lives.  A Course in Miracles, in the Manual, recommends a few minutes of time spent with God at the beginning and ending of the day.  If these times need adjustment, we can make the choice as soon as our busy lives clear.  But we need to recall that moments with God do not have to take long.  The Manual makes this point precisely.  We do not have to spend an hour, with eyes closed, and maybe accomplish nothing.  We can spend only an instant and join with God completely.  (These are Manual paraphrases.)

4 – We Can Choose Peace

A Course in Miracles seems to say in this passage that we have some choice in how much peace we will enjoy.  As one ACIM teacher (Marianne Williamson) has said, we are addicted to our frantic lives, the adrenalin rush.  But if we are very certain that we want more peace of God in our lives, we can have it for the taking.  We just must be consistent in seeking it.  Even a few moments a day will make a difference.  Read A Course in Miracles, or other writing that calls you, every day.  Pray.  Life will get better, even if no outer changes occur.  The inner change will make the difference.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When I stare at my “to do” list at the beginning of the day, I am sometimes overwhelmed with all that I intend to get done.  This is probably a bad habit, for the “to do” list crowds out in my mind the few moments I have given to You, and I become stressed just thinking about that list.

May I start anew tomorrow morning.  Regardless of how much I think I need to do, probably some of it unnecessary and self-generated.  I would get my priorities in order.  Not only would I put You first at the beginning of my day, but I would wish to keep You the center of my life at all times during the day.  I know that this practice will not make me less able to be productive, but instead, more able to be productive.  You will teach me how to work the peaceful, easy, and relaxed way.

May I spend time as You intended it today.  Surely this frantic world has gone far adrift from Your intentions for us.  May we drop our busyness and turn to You today to grant us the serene peace that will make of this a joyous day in Your love.

Amen.