Tag Archives: perfection

Loving Everything that Arises within Us. . .

“[L]oving everything that arises within you is the key to bringing love to the world.”  Choose Only Love:  Let Yourself Be Loved (COL bk.2, 15:I)

We think we see so many things in ourselves that we want to reject as not being worthy.  We are very hard on ourselves.  Here, though, we read that we ought to love everything that arises in us.  How can this be so?

It is so because, regardless of how many mistakes we have made, we are still innocent in the eyes of God.  We don’t reject tiny children when we have to reprimand them; we see their innocence.  And we are tiny children, at least sometimes, in the eyes of God.  Certainly He knows that we try, and little children do not try without sometimes falling into error.  A wise parent does not turn against the child because that child is not perfect.

Being innocent is not the same as being perfect.  We fall down, and we will continue to fall down, but we ought to give ourselves some slack.  We get up, and we try again.  If we stay down, we aren’t able to live in God’s light.  Eyes on the ground, we see only darkness.

If we can love ourselves, then we can bring love to others, to the ones in our circle in the world.  If we despise ourselves, we are ignorant of what love is, and we cannot meaningfully give it to another.

Know that love saves us, from ourselves and also from the rejection of others.  We need instead to wrap the world with open arms, sure of our love, blessed by the love that God has taught us to feel.

Gather the Harvest that Is Ours

“Everything you attract in your life is perfect because, in agreement with God, it is what you have created as your experience on Earth. . . .[W]e are remembering today:  to stop spreading guilt and to start gathering the harvest that is already yours. . . .”  Choose Only Love:  Let Yourself Be Loved (COL bk.2, 8:I)

We are living a perfect life.  Oh, I know it might not seem like that, but it is the truth—for everything that happens to us has been ordained by God for our lifting up into Christ-consciousness and salvific living.  Even if we are in pain, still this is true.  Even if we are suffering, still this is true.  If we wrap our minds and hearts around this idea, we will know a peace that has eluded us until now.  We will know that all is right in our little world.

A Course in Miracles says that it is not necessary to learn through pain, that learning through rewards is more lasting.  If we can believe this, we can alter the pain and suffering that we sometimes bring to ourselves.  Often our guilt is what has attracted the negativity, and guilt is a false witness to the love of God.  If we gather our harvest, we will know that there is no good reason for us to punish ourselves anymore.  We are blessed children, creations, of God, and it is time that we started believing that and living it accordingly.

Accept this truth of being into our being today.  Live with God in our minds and hearts, and He will do all the rest.  God needs only our cooperation to bring everything good into our lives.

Being Who We Are

“You would not be other than who you are. You may know that this is true or you may dwell in fantasies, desiring what another has or some success, fame, or riches that seem impossible for you to attain. And yet, whether you know it is true or not, it is true: You would not be other than who you are. Herein lie your peace and your perfection. If you would not be other than you are, then you must be perfect. This is a conclusion both logical to the mind and believable to the heart, and its acceptance is a step toward wholeheartedness.” (ACOL, C:20.42)

We will have to take Jesus at his word: that we are perfect as we are. None of us actually believe this now, because we hold an image of a self that we hope to become, a self-image that has always beckoned us to be more and to be different.

But this self-image is born of the ego, and we are rapidly leaving the ego behind. Jesus designed the first book of A Course of Love so that we would develop a new identity, one that is not based on egoic fantasies and egoic notions.

How can we understand that we are “perfect” as we are? It doesn’t mean that we are without blemish; it simply means that we would not be other than who we are, that no imagined self-image, born of the ego, can satisfy us for long. So we rest, finally, in the truth that we like ourselves enough to accept ourselves without judgment. Judgment, after all, along with fear, are the two aspects of experience that keep Christ-consciousness from descending upon us. Knowing that judgment is forbidden us, we can know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that this judgment is not to be applied personally. So we accept Jesus’s word that he sees us as perfect just as we are. And we long for nothing else.

This does not mean that we won’t change and grow, just that we won’t denounce ourselves in the meantime. We will accept the peace that is ours from accepting ourselves just as we are.

This is a sea change for most of us. We are so used to feeling unworthy, as abject, miserable beings, that being told that we are perfect just as we are seems too good to be true. It can even sound like heresy. But A Course of Love is new revelation, and no longer do we have to see ourselves as miserable creatures mired in sin. A Course in Miracles removed the stigma of sin by calling our missteps just “mistakes.” And ACOL now continues the same logic.

ACIM did not tell us that we were perfect as we are. So what is Jesus getting at now? He is getting us to accept ourselves as children of God who have separated from Him, in illusion, but who now want to find our way back. This is laudable, though not in an egoic sense. This is the path that we are on—a return to God and the Self through wholeheartedness and union with the truth.

Imagine that we didn’t accept ourselves just as we are. What would that get us but self-loathing? And is not this an affront to God, child of Him who we are? What God created may have made mistakes, indeed, has made mistakes, but this can be rectified. And in the remembrance that will come upon us, we will also know that only in fantasies would we be other than we are.

So perfection is not beyond us, though any attempt to apply this idea while still caught in the ego will do us no good. We need to apply the art of thought to this new idea: we need to experience the possibility that Jesus is right; and we need to respond to God and Creation in a way that is worthy of both God and us. This response will affirm our willingness to believe in the truth that Jesus is proffering, and this response to this truth will free us to consider that, just maybe, we are already the being whom we want to be.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

I don’t feel perfect when I consider Jesus’s words. But I do recognize that I wouldn’t choose to be other than who I am. And so I need to take these two thoughts and meld them into one. My response to You is needed. This response will free me to consider that Jesus just may be right: With separation gone and reunion with the Self on the horizon, I can see that my personal self is going to be someone whom I can accept.

This is a blessed revelation! Thank You for guiding me, ever so gently, away from the ego, as I consider these words from Jesus. He knows that I don’t want to dwell in fantasies of an exalted self; just being myself is what he is calling for. And I ask that you will improve my attitude as I seek to make his words and his beliefs my own. Negativity about what Jesus has said gets me nowhere.

Amen.

We Were Created Perfect

“God in His devotion to you created you devoted to everything, and gave you what you are devoted to. Otherwise you would not have been created perfect. Reality is everything, and you have everything because you are real. You cannot make the unreal because the absence of reality is fearful, and fear cannot be created. As long as you believe that fear is possible, you will not create.
Opposing orders of reality make reality meaningless, and reality is meaning.” (ACIM, T-9.I.13)

We have been given everything, each of us. And so there is never any reason for envy. Of course, we do not all have everything at any given point in time, but we do have everything in eternity. We cannot really make the unreal, which are illusions. We cannot make nothing out of nothing. We can see illusions, but we can never make them real. And in that sense we are desirous of returning to true reality, for in our heart we recognize that this is all there is. It is the true meaning of anything and everything that is actually real. Illusions, being unreal, are inferior props for experiencing an untrue reality. And this is all that we can experience until we open to God and His way to salvation.

We were created perfect, and it is only in illusion that we fell from grace. We are still perfect in our innocence—not in the illusion, but in reality. So there has really been no separation from God, for we are part of Him, and to separate in reality would be impossible. But we can not “know” God in His entirety, in a mystical sense, when we are lost in attack and anger, and all other negative emotions that spring from fear. Fear is unreal, but we don’t recognize this, and so we think that we experience it. The truth of reality is far bigger and far better than anything fear would introduce into our world. Love has a way of creating the happiness that we all crave. And in the love do we find true reality.

Tomorrow’s blog posting will take up the term, “love.”

What About Love, Sinlessness, Perfection, Knowledge, and Eternal Truth? These Are the Son/Daughter of God’s Inheritance.

1 – Our Inheritance

“You may have noticed that the list of attributes of God’s teachers does not include things that are the Son of God’s inheritance. Terms like love, sinlessness, perfection, knowledge and eternal truth do not appear in this context. They would be most inappropriate here. (M16)”

Affirmation: “My inheritance as a Son (or Daughter) of God includes love, sinlessness, perfection, and like concepts.”

This appears to be a somewhat mysterious passage. Perhaps the best explanation is that these terms listed–sinlessness, perfection, etc.–are assumed rather than given to the teacher of God as a new attribute to signify his or her more lofty status. Even this description is misleading, though, because “lofty status” is an egoic concept, not one that we associate with the A Course in Miracles. Perhaps it is enough to say that everyone–student or teacher of God–has the attributes listed by birthright. This is the reason that the word “inheritance” is used in this context.

2 – Trust

This passage is part of a lengthy explanation of attributes of God’s teachers, of which “trust” is the most important. It is elsewhere explained that all of these attributes are achieved as time goes by and learning proceeds. Learning within the context of ACIM, it is believed that the teacher will acquire all of these attributes over time.

3 – Egotistical?

To acquire all of these attributes sounds daunting, and perhaps even egotistical. Yet it is anything but. No egotistical attribute is meant by any of the terms given in the passages in the surrounding pages to M16. God’s teachers learn what they need to learn to acquire these attributes, and, once learned, they will have left the ego far behind.

4 – Unlearning

“It is the function of God’s teachers to bring true learning to the world. Properly speaking it is unlearning that they bring, for that is ‘true learning’ in the world. (M16)”

5 – Questions

What does this mean? Why do we bring “unlearning” to the world, if we are following our mission?

6 – Self-Reliance

The world trains for self-reliance, believing that as we grow older, maturing, we will almost stand alone, certain in the truth of our judgments. A Course in Miracles indicates that we are not ever intended to be solitary creatures, that our relationship to our brother (and sister) is our way home, to salvation, to Awakening. This holy relationship to our brother/sister is the means that ACIM uses to save us time. We don’t have to spend long hours in contemplation, which can be tedious. We simply need to forgive our brother for what he has not done in truth, because we live in an illusion and in his/her heart of hearts, he/she is innocent of wrongdoing. (All of the ideas in this paragraph of ACIM tenets paraphrased.)

7 – Judgment

We don’t easily give up judgment. We think that it is personally insulting to give over our judgments to the one Answer, the guidance of the Holy Spirit. But do so we must, if we are to have a free will. It is only in bowing to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who chooses for us, for what we really want, that we finally lose our imprisoned will and become free. God set the limits on our miscreation, for otherwise his creation would be flawed and fail to work. So all will return ultimately, sure finally that God’s Way is the only correct, right Way.

8 – The Secular

We may state this truth in more secular terms. That does not matter. God is God of the secular as well as the religious.

9 – Guidance

So we are bringing unlearning to this world, for the world and the ego teach amiss. Rather than self-reliance, we depend on guidance from either the Holy Spirit (as in ACIM) or the inner Christ Self (from A Course of Love). Once we taste the difference, we will not want to turn back (though we may, if we fall away from ACIM teachings). Our days will develop a flow, a smoothness, that will have us only wanting more of that smoothness.

10 – Happiness

We will finally be happy, a sustained happiness/joy that is unlike the cheap thrills that the ego offers.

11 – Forgiveness

“It is given to the teachers of God to bring the glad tidings of complete forgiveness to the world. Blessed indeed are they, for they are the bringers of salvation. (M16)”

All of us are teachers as well as students. The teacher of God teaches to himself/herself as much as to others—often more, for in teaching we truly learn.

12 – Time

Only time separates the teacher from the learner, the student. And time does not really exist, a tenet of modern physics and Einstein, and his followers, as well as A Course in Miracles.

13 – Salvation

We are to bring salvation to the world. That is one of the functions to which A Course in Miracles calls us. (The others are happiness and forgiveness.) We do not become overbearing, for not all are ready for our message. In a favorite passage of mine, we learn from the Manual that some of our brothers and sisters are ready only for a smile. We do not press, unless others express interest in knowing how and why we have changed. So to my mind a good example is one of the best things that we can present to the world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to realize that my inheritance as a Son or Daughter of God includes love, perhaps most importantly. I receive this and many other things as a birthright.

This is not egotism. I appreciate very much the gifts that are mine as one of Yours.

Amen.

The Self-Deceiving Must Deceive, for They Must Teach Deception. And What Else Is Hell?

1 – Manual for Teachers (A Course in Miracles)

“This is a manual for the teachers of God. They are not perfect, or they would not be here. Yet it is their mission to become perfect here, and so they teach perfection over and over, in many, many ways, until they have learned it. (M2)”

2 – Perfection

This passage continues the theme of the previous passages in this blog. As we teach perfection, we gradually (almost without knowing it) become more perfect ourselves. We are not now perfect, because we are a part of this world. We would not choose to be here if we were already perfect. But there is a way that we can become more perfect, and this passage spells it out.

3 – Elusive Goal

We must not be too hard on ourselves. Perfection will probably always remain an elusive goal, and it is even neurotic to ask the impossible of ourselves. But Jesus holds out to us the promise that eventually we will know perfection. We truly cannot understand how, as we think over our shortcomings. But we need to take Jesus at his word.

4 – Description of the Manual

The manual is the shortest of the three parts to the Course. Some of us will want to start there, maybe simply because it is short. If this seems right, we should do it. Otherwise, we need to dip into both the text and the workbook, to see what seems right (guided by the Holy Spirit) for us.

5 – Salvation

“Except for God’s teachers there would be little hope of salvation, for the world of sin would seem forever real. The self-deceiving must deceive, for they must teach deception. And what else is hell? (M2)”

6 – Cooperation

This passage explains why it so important that we learn A Course in Miracles and become teachers of God. This world depends upon our cooperation in this great endeavor. If we do not take our place in salvation, the world itself is at stake. Of course, there are many courses in this world, and even ACIM students/teachers teach different versions of ACIM, each of them. So we are not to judge those who choose another pathway. The important thing is for there to be a choice to walk the high road in this sometimes troubled world.

7 – Hell

The definition of hell given herein suggests that hell is the worst that we know on earth. Nowhere is there any indication in the Course of a hell beyond death. In fact, the reverse itself is true. We are not to live in fear that we may end up, being judged of wrongdoing and cast into hell after death. The Course is very clear on its denial of this.

8 – This World – Real?

If we deceive ourselves in believing that this world is real, then we will teach this concept. It is a tenet of the Course that this world is not real; the real world awaits us as we have walked further along on the pathway to Awakening. Surely we are willing to take out places in bringing salvation to this world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I lose my fear of hell, because it is self-deception. The real world awaits my coming to it. This real world is the one of love and peace that Jesus promises to us.

I know that you need me to help save the world. This is not arrogance, but the sanest sense. May I join your great Awakening in this real world, ready to do my part in salvation.

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.

Perfection

“To believe in your perfection and the equality of your gifts is peaceful, because it releases you from trying to acquire that which you previously believed you were lacking.  If releases you from judgment because you know that your brothers and sisters are also beings of perfection.  (A Course of Love, 20.43)”

Affirmation:  “Help me to understand perfection.”

Reflections:

1 – Perception = Innocence

“Perfection” here is closely aligned to our understanding of “innocence.”  In this concept, we have only made mistakes in perfect innocence; we are not guilty of sins that cannot be forgiven.  God has never condemned us for our misdeeds.  He just loves us.

2 – Christ-Consciousness

But perfection also seems to go a step forward in A Course of Love.  Jesus indicates that we do not have to correct all mistakes before we are considered ready for Christ-consciousness.  In A Course in Miracles, he said that he stood at the end of the path to correct all mistakes that we could not correct.  I think that this same understanding holds now with ACOL.

3 – As God Created Us

How does it mean that we can see our imperfections and yet read in ACOL that we can know perfection?  It is similar to the difficulty that many of us had in ACIM with our innocence.  Perfection and innocence both mean that we are as God created us (an ACIM tenet).

4 – Eliminate Judgment

The benefit to believing that we are as God created us is enormous.  We do eliminate judgmental thoughts about others from our minds.  We do not have to put down another in order to feel ourselves more justified, a better person.  This sort of nonsense is gone forever.

5 – Rid of Illusions

May we accept Jesus’s word today that we are both perfect and innocent.  Any illusory self is not perfect or innocent, but we are trying to be rid of illusions forever.  And this includes a desire to see the real world in place of the difficulty one in which we live as in a bad dream.  Ask today to see the real world, reality as it is.

6 – Improvement in Life

And see if life does not improve immediately.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

We are not perfect in that we never do anything wrong, or we never make mistakes.  But our innocence is strong nevertheless, because we are as You created us.  Help me not to forget this today.

May I drop any and all judgmental thoughts from my repertoire of attitudes and emotions.  Judgment only hinders my return to You.  And I would not have it so.

Be with me as I walk through this day in happiness.  I know that it is possible, and I ask for Your help in making it so.

Amen.

Do We Have to Be Perfect to Achieve Christ-Consciousness?

Self-Portrait_in_Front_of_the_Easel17 - van gogh“You are not flawed.  You are not wanting.  You would not be other than you are except when you give in to making judgments.  Look deeply and you will see that what you would call your imperfections are as chosen and as dear to you as all the rest.  (A Course of Love, 20.41)”

Affirmation:  “I am not flawed.”

Reflections:

1 – Puzzling Passage

The passage for today is puzzling upon first reading.  Would we really hang onto our imperfections, considering them not to be flaws?

2 – Give Up the Negative

The answer is in Jesus’s statements in A Course of Love which indicate that the negative things about ourselves can be given up when and if we decide that we do not want to have these qualities.  Even as negative a quality as anger can be so considered.  We decide that we don’t want to be angry anymore, and then (the time frame is not specified) we find that our anger has left us.  If, on the other hand, we do not denounce our anger, then it will stay with us.  And this latter point is what Jesus in all likelihood means when he talks of “imperfections” as “chosen and dear to us.”

3- Not Perfect

We do not have to be perfect to achieve Christ-consciousness.  This is a tenet of A Course of Love which is not emphasized in A Course in Miracles, in regard to Awakening.  We are told in ACIM that Jesus stands at the end of the pathway to correct the errors that we ourselves could not correct (an ACIM tenet).  And so, on first reading, it sounds as though the biblical injunction to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect applies to Awakening (i.e., Christ-consciousness).

4 – Human as Well as Divine

Keep in mind, though, that we are human as well as divine.  And human beings will always make mistakes; it is the natural course of things.  Anyone thinking that he/she is perfect is very badly misled.  But would that mean that we cannot attain Christ-consciousness?  This passage would suggest that we can indeed reach Christ-consciousness, even when we are not yet perfect.  What a blessing this is!

5 – Christ-consciousness

Remember that the moment of reaching Christ-consciousness is at first seen in snatches, in glimpses, and then, ultimately, becomes a sustained experience.  Very, very few individuals have sustained the elevated Self of form (as A Course of Love calls it), but it is the mission of ACOL to lead more and more of us to that glorious culmination.  God makes this decision, though, about when we are ready.  And in the meantime, we must not try to hurry this blessing.  He knows when the time is right.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would claim the promise today that we do not have to be “perfect” to experience Christ-consciousness.  Jesus will handle anything that we are too weak to transmute into perfection.  Let us rest in that assurance, given us in A Course in Miracles.  And in A Course of Love, we learn that the idea of perfection needs more thinking.  Nobody would ever even see glimpses of Awakening if we had to be perfect.  And many of us have seen these glimpses.

Thank You for Your help today.  Don’t let me get mixed up with the theology of ACIM and ACOL.  Help me to follow Your way to the happiness that is a worthy function in my life.

Amen.