Tag Archives: personal self

Our Little Self Has Been Caught in Adolescence

“He seems a sorry figure, weary, worn, in threadbare clothing, and with feet that bleed a little from the rocky road he walks. . .

“This is your chosen self, the one you made as a replacement for reality. This is the self you savagely defend against all reason, every evidence, and all the witnesses with proof to show this is not you.” (ACIM, W-166)

Do we really want to see ourselves as this quotation depicts? Certainly not, but this is our picture of ourselves when we are feeling sorry for ourselves. And we feel sorry for ourselves when we lose track, even momentarily, of the grace in which we live. When we lose track of God.

Jesus is very poetic in his descriptions. When we fret and worry, we make ourselves into a tragic figure, one that we feel sorry for, and that others may as well.

This is all so unnecessary. When we know that we are guided to the right thought and action, when we know that we are never alone, our lives smooth out and we feel safe again. Turn to guidance when you have questions. The

Answer will usually come immediately. If not, go about your day in the surety that the Answer will come.
And that Answer that you need will come. Be assured of that. There is no better way to live a life.

“To say that the personal self will not exist only as the self you present to others is to say that the personal self will now cease to be seen as your reality.” (ACOL, Treatise on the Personal Self, 1.10)
The “little” self has been the self of the ego, which, A Course of Love assures us, is not our way any longer. This little self is also known in ACOL as the personal self. We do keep this self to present to the world, but we really don’t believe in it any longer.

We know that there is a deeper Self Who rules our lives. And with this we are satisfied.

“Our discussion merely examined the reality you chose to believe in, the reality of an ego-self, a self-concept seemingly stuck in an adolescent phase of development.” (ACOL, Treatise on the Personal Self, 2.12)
We are adolescents when we choose to rebel against reality, choose to rebel against God. God had to let us go our own way at this point, eons ago. He made no attempt to rein in our free will, which was to make a reality that tried to leave Him out.

Of course, we could not really do that. God cannot be left out of the equation, for we are part of Him. But we could imagine ourselves independent of God, and the imagining became very real.
And lamentable. But we know more now. We know that we don’t have to forge ahead like a ship with no anchor. God is our anchor, and well it is that this is true.

“Your Self and God will be but memories to you while your reality remains that of the physical experience and the personal self.” (ACOL, Treatise on the Personal Self, 13.2)

Our Self and God are memories to us, because we are recollecting what we have known previously. But to become more than a memory, we must try to reach beyond the physical reality in which we are embedded. The elevated Self of form will use this physical reality, but in a new way. We will know that we are fully united with God, that He is always there for us, that we aren’t independent little entities with no mooring.

The personal self will be transformed into the elevated Self of form. And in this transformation will the character of our world change for the better.

We need this elevated Self of form to live happily in a world that perception used to rule, but that now knowledge rules. We will create again, not “make.” And we will be home in a new world, creating anew a new place to be. We will know creation of the new.

The Living of Christ-consciousness in Physical Form

“This is akin to being stranded in a foreign land with none of the ways you learned how to adapt in the past being of service to you. That is how new this is, and more. But the difference is that you are not alone and that you are not in a foreign land but returned to your home of origin. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.26)”

1 – New Era

We, here in the New, are living in a new era. It is not enough simply to think of it as the era of Christ, because all too often we think of this as an era for Jesus, as he was 2,000 years ago. He has never said anything like that in A Course of Love. He stresses that you and I are in a dialogue with him in which we are learning in new ways, but, mostly importantly of all, we know that we are learning in the best way because we are sharing with him and with our brothers and sisters.

2 – Design

“There was an overall design that ensured optimal learning and that design was known to you in the pattern of that design, a pattern that was part of the pattern of your thoughts, even after the ego came to rule your thought system. Without this pattern, the ego could have succeeded in becoming the ruler of the personal self. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.27)”

3 – God

This quotation indicates that God Himself had a pattern for us from which we did not depart in the eons that the ego ruled. This is what is meant by the term “design.” The ego, however, was never the ruler of the personal self, because the design was not compromised. We did what we did only in illusion. God was not mocked.

4 – Christ-consciousness

“What will help you to remain doubt-free and thus fear-free and continually able to sustain Christ-consciousness, is coming to know the new design, and the new patterns that reveal the design. This new design and the new patterns. . . [will] be communicated through our continuing dialogues with one another. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.30)

5 – Jesus

Jesus wants to have a continuing dialogue, and part of that dialogue becomes the final part of A Course of Love, 40 days and 40 nights on the mountain top with him. This section of ACOL is masterfully written to channel us toward Christ-consciousness on a sustained basis. Jesus says therein that he has no intention for us to go to the mountain top repeatedly; we can do so, but that is second best.

6 – No Idle Fantasy

We might believe that Jesus himself, who says that he is holding our hand (something that is “no idle fantasy,” according to A Course of Miracles), can dialogue with us in unique fashion to our individual needs. He does not spell out this scenario, but he hints at such a possibility, and well we might want him to react to us in ways that no proof on earth could explain. In this quotation he talks about our continuing dialogues, and it is hard to speculate what he means unless it is a personal dialogue with each of us. This new design and the new patterns are not fully explained in the final part of ACOL, and so it is not out of the realm of possibility that Jesus is here with us, supernaturally, making a real difference in our lives.

7 – Comfort

Even if we can’t come to believe this, we can recognize that to entertain such a possibility is comforting in the extreme.

8 – Teacher No Longer

“I do not have the answers that would continue to make of me a teacher and you a student. The answers to the elevation of the personal self and the living of Christ-consciousness in form are yet to be revealed and shared. This is the time that is before us. . . . (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the New, 12.32)”

9 – Resignation

This is the point in which Jesus makes clear that he is not going to be our teacher any longer. A little farther over in A Course of Love, and he “resigns” as our teacher. We are to see him as an equal in our future lives. Our personal self, if all goes well, will be sustained as the Self that is one with God. Our communication with God, which has been disrupted, will be reestablished, and we will commune easily and well. The Holy Spirit’s era is over; this is really what is pointed out in the passing of His era.

10 – Egocentric?

The time before us is hallowed ground. We don’t have to worry that to think such is egocentric. If we have come this far, we know that we don’t react as we once did to egocentric notions. Now we are heading into the future, with Jesus by our side (though no longer our teacher). The future looks bright. Sustaining Christ-consciousness is the goal that Jesus holds out to us. May we see glimpses more and more, and then may the sustainability be assured.

Dear Father/Mother,

I long for a sustained awareness of Your love, and I can have that sustained awareness in its fullness only when I have reached and sustained Christ-consciousness. Guide me day by day, hour by hour, even minute by minute, as I seek to give up the old ways and come into the New.

May this day go smoothly. May it be like a worthy pearl on a string of pearls that will never break, one day following another into greater and greater value to You. I long to be of use to You. Help me to do that without dipping into the old ways of egoic thought.

May I find the brothers and sisters with whom I can interact the best. May we share our love in a wholly good way, and in the sharing may we come to know You as well as ourselves better.

Thank You for Your blessings.

Amen.

The Choice to End Suffering

1 – Day Two

“Acceptance of your Self is acceptance of me. Acceptance of your Self is acceptance of your inheritance. Now is the time to come into full acceptance of the human self as well as the Self of unity. It is time for the final merging of the two into one Self, the elevated Self of form. (Dialogues, Day Two)”

2 – Elevated Self of Form

This new Self, the elevated Self of form, is a concept stressed throughout A Course of Love. Jesus’s statement herein also mitigates our difficulty with his first day’s insistence that we accept him as our companion on the mountaintop (though not our teacher). If our acceptance of our full Self, the little self or personal self as well as the Christ Self, means that we have accepted Jesus’s primary role in guiding us, then we are able to by-step the controversy of needing to accept Jesus as primary to our life’s progress.

3 – Our Inheritance

Acceptance of our inheritance is a view toward seeing the personal self (the one that we know most intimately as a persona, but minus the ego as central to that persona) and the Self as the unity that it ought to be. When we merge the personal self with the Christ Self, we have achieved the elevated Self of form. This does not mean that we have experienced Christ-consciousness, only that we have removed the blocks to receiving such a blessing. Christ-consciousness is seen to arrive during our time in these 40 days and 40 nights on the mountaintop with Jesus.

4 – Journey

He does not mean that we will make this journey repeatedly. Later on, soon, he makes that point in A Course of Love, the Dialogues. He is preparing us to make the journey once with him, and then to be done with that aspect of our growth. We will never finish growing, because there are always new plateaus, but apparently Jesus had felt that students/teachers of A Course in Miracles were caught by relinquishment of the ego with nothing spelled out as the way to go after the ego was history. This, to my mind, is his reason for channeling A Course of Love at all. He wanted to share more of what follows when the ego has been relinquished. And A Course of Love does just that.

5 – Inventor

“You are like an inventor who wasted many years, much money, and endured many hardships over many projects that did not come to fruition, and now has succeeded in inventing just what was always envisioned. This is the moment of fulfillment and desire coming together, the time in which to realize ‘it was all worth it.’ (Dialogues, Day Two)”

6 – Ego

This analogy dovetails a good bit of the rationale for A Course of Love. We have tried many things, struggled much, in finally letting go of the ego. What now? Now we find out. We are on the brink of a new day. And that new day is ushered in by A Course of Love.

7 – Moment of Fulfillment

This is the moment of fulfillment. What a glorious promise! We have waited long for this, and perhaps when we are finished with our 40 days and 40 nights, we will know how great a promise Jesus has made to us. If we have struggled with our study of A Course in Miracles for a very long time, we will read Jesus’s words with relief. We don’t have to struggle any longer to know the full fruition of our many deeds, words, thoughts. We are home free.

8 – Decisions

“I could give thousands of examples here, but the point is that we are not looking for degrees of wrong-actions, or wrong-doing. You all have moments you wish you could re-enact, decisions you wish you could change. These ‘actions’ are unchangeable. This is why simple acceptance is needed. (Dialogues, Day Two)”

9 – End of the Journey

Many students/teachers of A Course in Miracles site the passage in which Jesus says that he stands at the end of the journey, ready to remedy all mistakes that we ourselves could not remedy. This implies to my mind that there is some perfection being sought. Is this true? I think that it is not the whole truth, for the very idea of being perfect is an egoic construct. Our egos will have a field day with the idea that we need to be better than we are in every respect. This will hold off the acceptance even further.

10 – Chastisement

Jesus is saying here that there needs to be an end to the chastisement that we all give ourselves for not being perfect. He says elsewhere that if we recognize any personality trait, and don’t like it, we just turn aside from it and it will disappear. If we are satisfied to keep the anger, or the guilt, then we do just recognize their presence and accept them—but we don’t try to “change” constantly into a better version of what we are now. The ego loves the concept of trying to perfect ourselves. It keeps the game going. And there is no end in sight.

11 – Accept

But we who are relinquishing the ego will recognize that Jesus’s dictum that we just “accept” is welcome news indeed. In our acceptance, we stop the resistance that keeps the negative traits in place. This resistance has also kept the ego alive. This is to my mind why acceptance is so crucial to Jesus’s words here; not to accept would retain the ego. To accept will mean that the ego withers away.

12 – End Suffering

“Here, then, is where you need to make the choice that those in my time could not make, the choice to end suffering. This is the choice I made ‘for all.’ This is a choice you make for all as well. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 95)”

13 – Worthy?

This passage makes the point well that many of us who are on the mountain top (the setting of these 40 days and nights) feel that we are not worthy of this experience to which Jesus calls us. We think of the many things that we have done wrong, or that were done wrong to us, and we do not accept these things and put them in the past. Acceptance is the great call that Jesus makes to us on this day.

14 – Jesus

Jesus says that his example life was meant to bring the end of suffering, that he did not suffer, because he knew who he was. We will find this assertion hard to believe, but we need to trust that Jesus is leading us aright.

15 – Self

We are worthy, we have experienced Atonement, and we are ready to elevate the Self of form. The self and the Self are meant to be combined. We will not recognize that we are worthy of this great blessing until we reach acceptance of all that has gone before. Our mistakes have been forgiven; that is all that we really need to know. Then we will be ready to take our place as Awakened beings. In this 40 days and nights, this call is made by Jesus to all of us who are his readers of the Dialogues and who accept his word, as expressed therein.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I accept myself as I am. May I know that the Atonement that You have offered me is freely given to all, including myself. If there are things about myself that I want to change for the better, help me to make these changes in the midst of my acceptance.

Be with me today as I seek to commune with You throughout the day. That communion is really the best way to live. Staying close to You keeps my attitude straightened out, my calm undisturbed, and gives me a peace that is not of the world. May my day go well with You at the helm. May I remember to thank You for the blessings of this day, which are many, more than I might usually have. I wish to remain steady and calm, relaxed and serene. Knowing Your Presence goes with me can ensure that this demeanor will be mine until the end of the day. Thank You.

May I assist in ending suffering in this world, for others and myself. Until I have taken my place in this great endeavor, I will feel that something is missing. May nothing be missing today.

Amen.

Bored? Tired of the Way Things Are?

van gogh - landscape“This [your wandering attention] has been necessary so that the realization will come to you that you are ready to leave the personal self and the concerns of the personal self behind. You have needed to become bored with what has been, tired of the way things were, uninterested in matters of a personal nature. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 22.10)”

Affirmation: “I would leave the personal self behind in favor of the Self today.”

Reflections:

1 – Transition

Elsewhere we learn that the personal self does not really get left behind (the way that is described by Jesus here), but is transcended into the Self who is the Christ within. How do we make this transition?

2 – Bored with the Ways of the Personal Self

Jesus says that the way has been paved for us in A Course of Love when we recognize that we have become actually bored with the ways of the personal self. We don’t want things to be as they have always been. We don’t care so much what happens to the personal self, and by this it is likely that Jesus means the personal self as embodied by the ego (an interpretation, not stated in A Course in Miracles or ACOL).

3 – Bored with the ACOL Discussion?

We can even become bored with the discussion in ACOL that we are reading, and, believe it or not, I think that this is a good sign. We are once again examining the ego, and examining the ego, when encased in it, is praised by that same ego. This focus on ego dynamics proves to the false self (the ego) that it is important and worthy of study.

4 – Madness

Nothing could be further from the truth. The ego is dysfunctional, a persona that is mad or insane. And all of us have experienced insanity for eons, not knowing any better, and not being able to extricate ourselves from the insanity.

5 – Eckhart Tolle

We can do so now, but it takes great learning and much patience (paraphrases from the Text of ACIM). Eckhart Tolle, a spiritual teacher who experienced Awakening some 30 years previously, has said that more and more of us are reaching Awakening, that he hears of this in his mail and in encountering individuals in his work just all the time. He feels that he is at an epicenter of what is happening, not that this appeals the ego in him (which is dead), but that his own commentary and teaching make him a logical contact for those who wish to understand more of what is happening to them.

6 – Flowering

May this be true! May many of us “flower” in this way, the way of Christ-consciousness or Awakening. Eckhart feels that unless humankind makes the shift soon, we are doomed, and he cites the huge murder of countless innocent people in the Twentieth and Twentieth-First Centuries as evidence of the doom that may await us.

7 – Home

I would not be so pessimistic, but I would try to be realistic. God is at work in our world, and He will lead all those who are ready, lead us home. And we will not have long to wait.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for another good day. Thank You for this good period. It helps to have smooth days and days without major troubles of any kind. The smoothing out of my days comes when I stay close to You, and help me always to remember this.

Thank You for the inspiration that comes to me in my reading and listening to audio books. Thank You for the words of wisdom that friends say, sometimes without fully realizing how much their words will impress on my heart. Be with me, and guide my speech as well.

All of us need You. We need to be aware of how great that need really is so that we are never tempted to go it alone. For going it alone never works well. We are not meant to walk this world in encased bodies, separate and apart from You and others.

Amen.

A Persona

Garden_at_Sainte-Adresse - monet
“As was said at the beginning of this treatise, by the time the learning of this treatise is complete, the personal self will continue to exist only as the self you present to others. It will be a representation only. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 21.18)”

Affirmation: “May my personal self be a true representation of who I am.”

Reflections:

1 – Persona

The personal self does not leave us, because all of us need a persona to present to the world. But now, if we believe this treatise, we can present an accurate version of who we really are. We do not have to present a persona that is falsified by our own sense of inadequacy. This personal self, for us now, is a representation only. And by that, I think that Jesus means that it is not the whole of who we are. A representation means that the self presents a version of itself that is not reflective of the whole, because that would be impossible. No one can see the whole of who we are. We cannot even see it. But it is there, and it is the Christ Self, the Self living in Christ-consciousness, once this blessing has descended upon us.

2 – Christ-Consciousness

Christ-consciousness is the term used in A Course of Love to replace the word, Awakening, from A Course in Miracles. Another word, meaning the same, is enlightenment. And in the Bible, salvation is used. Christ-consciousness and Awakening, though, are the final step in a long process, a step that many of us cannot yet reach. God takes that final step for us, for we do not “achieve” enlightenment. We are merited by the grace of God. But to reach this pinnacle, we have to understand certain things. And these things cannot be learned in the usual meaning of that word. They are glimpses of a higher reality, a satori (an Eastern term). The glimpses ultimately end in the sustaining of Christ-consciousness.

3 – Eckhart Tolle

Does this happen often? No, but it is happening more frequently than ever before, for the world needs enlightened beings or we are doomed. Eckhart Tolle, who himself has experienced enlightenment (The Power of Now; A New Earth), says that individuals contact him frequently to have him explain the things that are happening to them, the things that come almost unbidden. Eckhart relinquished his self because of intense mental suffering when he was about 30 (some 30 years ago now), but A Course in Miracles indicates that we do not have to learn through pain. Learning through rewards is more lasting.

4 – Gentle Awakening

So we can hold out for a gentle Awakening, as promised in ACIM. We would avoid the scream of mortal terror (from the Text of ACIM) that would precede Awakening, unless we have been prepared. And ACIM and ACOL are preparing us. Let us listen well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would present a persona to the world that tries, as best it can, to be an accurate reflection of who I am. And I hope that that representation is worthy. Be with me to change me in ways that I need to change, to more accurately reflect the Self who is within.

May I see the satori, the two of them, that I have lived through expand into a larger concept of sustainability. Like everybody else who reads this, I too want a sustained Awakening. Help me to be patient, if patient is what I need to be. And may I not delude myself into thinking that I have awakened when in fact I have not. That would be a false representation of myself, and I would not have that.

Amen.

Our True Identity

“Now monet - water lilieshowever, you are being called to accept your true identity even while you retain the form of your personal self. As your true identity is that of a Self who exists in unity and the identity of your personal self is that of a self who exists in separation, this would seem impossible. Even while your belief system has changed and you believe that you exist in unity, all the things we have enumerated above will act to challenge these beliefs unless you are able to see them in a new light. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 21.17)”

Affirmation: “I would seek the elevated Self of form today.”

Reflections:

1 – Elevated Self of Form

This passage, above, highlights, in different words, the call that Jesus will make to us later on—the call to embody the elevated Self of form. In other words, we understand that we are One, in unity with All, including our brothers and sisters, but we retain the physical body, and that is identified so far with the personal or “little” self. To effect this change, we need to see life in a new light. We need to alter our beliefs to realize that we can embody the physical while keeping our hearts and minds on a higher plane.

2 – Christ Self

Our true identity is the Christ Self within, and we are called to accept this identity even while we embody the physical that has always been ours. We do not truly exist in separation, and we truly never have. But we have thought that we existed in separation, and so that became our “reality.” Now we are asked to relinquish this belief in favor of something far better as well as far greater. Our shift in perception (the definition of a miracle in A Course in Miracles) will truly embody the best change that we have ever known.

3 – Separate from Others?

We have always, when caught by the ego, believed that we were separate from each other as well as separate from God. This was always false, but we made it true for ourselves because we wanted it to be true. We thought that we lost something if we merged with God, following His will. We did not know that our real will is the same as His. But now we do know this. And we have, many of us, tested it out in daily experience. We know that when we follow intuition that we know to be true, guidance, that our lives turn out better. We know that our lives evolve more smoothly. And so we have the proof that heretofore we have lacked. Yet we got this proof by testing it out in daily experience. We followed guidance, as we perceived it, and when we perceived guidance rightly, we benefitted.

4 – Not Impossible

Don’t any longer think that what Jesus is asking of us is impossible. I trust him enough to believe that if he says we can do it, we can do it. We can embody the Christ Self, i.e., we can remain true to the Self within even as we continue to occupy a personal self that has become (in words described later in the Dialogues) a “spacious” self that no longer just “observes,” but who informs and is informed by the Whole of what we have found.

5 – Knowledge

This transition is not complex, though explaining it becomes a bit too complex. Just rest in the knowledge—and it is knowledge—that we can embody the elevated Self of form, and that Self is the Christ Self in physicality.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live mindfully today, letting the Self within shine forth. I would pay attention to the specific things that I do, knowing that living in the moment is the best preparation for embodying and sustaining the elevated Self of form

Help me to do this, for I know that I need Your help to effect change in the way that I go about my day. I would embody presence, which is a quiet realization that You are there with me. I would embody stillness, knowing that meditating upon what You guide me to think, say, and do will get me home more quickly than any other way—in fact, the only way to get me home.

May I do right by my brothers and sisters today. May I do right most especially by my significant others, for they are most affected by what I do. Guide all of us to do the will that is Yours, the will that we all share as what we truly want.

Amen.

The Future Can Be Different from the Past

Vincent_Willem_van_Gogh_015 - cafe terrace at night“You must now birth the idea that human beings do indeed change. While you have known instinctively that there is a core, a center to each that is unchangeable, you must now give up the idea that this core or center has been represented by the past. You must forget the idea that the future cannot be different than the past. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 15.7)”

Affirmation: “The future can be different from the past.”

Reflections:

1 – The Past

The past carries a lot of baggage. Just prior to the passage for today, Jesus gives examples of apprehensions about the future for certain people being any different from their past. He catalogs a student who has done poorly in school in the past (and hopes to change), an alcoholic who is on the wagon (and hopes to stay there), the loved ones of an alcoholic (who hope for the best), and criminals in our penal system who are not really expected to be rehabilitated. In all of these cases, the past can be changed, even though expectations are sometimes low. In today’s passage, Jesus affirms for us that the past does not have to hold us captive. We can change, and so can our circumstances.

2 – Our “Center”

The core or center of a person has not really been represented by the personal self in league with the ego. There is an unchangeable core or center, but for most people we have never seen it. But it is this core or center that is the Self/Christ toward which we are marching. And when this Self/Christ comes forth, the future will be very unlike the past. People will seem to change and to change greatly.

3 – Christ Self

Let us have hope that the individuals in this world will come more and more to rely on the Christ Self that is within. Jesus has said that we are now living in the time of Christ, that the time of the Holy Spirit (represented by A Course in Miracles) is over. By this, I understand him to be saying that those of us who read and take to heart A Course of Love are living in the time of Christ. (This is personal interpretation.) For those still depending upon the Holy Spirit, ACIM is appropriate, but there is a step beyond, in ACOL, that we are seeking. And we can know the Awakening that ACIM holds out to us, and we can know the Christ-consciousness that ACOL discusses, and these two descriptions of enlightenment are different terms for the same phenomenon. Not everybody will reach enlightenment, but many of us will see glimpses of enlightenment in our daily lives. And the extent to which we give over our egoic self-will is the extent to which God (or the Holy Spirit, in ACIM) can work with us. We can change. Let us take steps today that will look inward to that core or center that does not change. Let us realize that the egoic personal self can transform into the holy personal self (an interpretation, not stated as such in either ACIM or ACOL).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

This is a time of great change for me, and not only in external factors. I hope to change on the inside, so that my central core becomes One with You. Help me to make this transition, a transition that is in line with Your wishes for all of us.

Be with me in the days that follow. May the external changes that I face be gentle and easy. May the internal changes that I hope for come without hassle and upset.

I wish for my brothers and sisters, as well as myself, a good day. I know that if all of us stay attuned to You, the day will go well—regardless of what we face.

Amen.

Self-Actualization

Pierre-Auguste-Renoir-painting-ren05
“While the foundation of fear, like the ego, will have left you now, a pattern of behaving fearfully may still remain and as such be a deterrent to new ideas and to action. As long as these patterns of fear remain as deterrents to action, you will not experience the freedom of living from the new thought system. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 14.1)”

Affirmation: “I would be free of fear today.”

Reflections:

1 – Fear

I talk a great deal about fear in this blog, because it is the single most inhibiting characteristic of our lives when we are still dwelling with the personal self that has not been elevated to the Self of form. And that includes all of us, because Jesus says in A Course of Love that nobody has yet sustained the elevated Self of form. As time passes, perhaps a chosen few will sustain enlightenment and then the elevated Self of form will seem to be and will be a goal that all of us can visualize ourselves reaching. We do not make the decision of when, though. That is entirely out of our hands, though we can study to be ready when God calls. He makes the decision of when Awakening will come to each of us.

2 – New Life

We cannot live the new life to which we are called if we cling to vestiges of fear. The continuing pall that such vestiges will drop over our lives would make a better life for the personal self impossible. And we do not want to allow this better life to escape our hands. We need to know how to act, what to do, and what to even think.

3 – Prayer

The best way to prepare is communion with God (a personal interpretation, not stated in ACOL or A Course in Miracles). When we live with the shadow of the Almighty, we live on sacred ground indeed. We live safely, sure of our protection always, as He watches out for us. He does not always save us from pain, but He will always show us a way to prevent turning that pain into suffering. And we do not have to learn through pain (from the Text of ACIM). We can learn through rewards. And the rewards insure that the learning will be permanent. All too often what we learn through pain is temporary, and we forget as soon as the pain goes away.

4 – Christ-Consciousness

We need to live the new life that is held out to us. We catch glimpses of Christ-consciousness, and, even if this is not sustained, we return to level ground with more of ourselves realized. And we are intended to head toward the realization of our Self/Christ. We are meant to be self-actualized. The fact that we cannot snap our fingers and get God to respond should not be a deterrent to our slow and easy acquisition of His words. He will guide us surely to Christ-consciousness. And what He does will last, one day, of that we can be sure.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be self-actualized today. I realize that I may not have walked far enough along the path to reach this blessing. But I want to think, say, and do the things today that will advance my progress. Help me to do so.

Christ-consciousness is the blessing that we all seek. May I be patient as I catch glimpses, but do not sustain the epitome. I know that there is a reason for this. I am not yet ready, but I pray that I will be soon. I ask this prayer on behalf of my brothers and sisters as well.

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.

Love Does Not Demand Payment

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“How you implement this idea [refusing to believe in earning and paying] will be your choice. But the idea that you do not have to earn your way nor pay your way must be birthed and lived by. While most of you will immediately think of your survival needs, this is far from the only area in which the idea of earning or paying your way can be found. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 13.7)”

Affirmation: “Under the laws of love, I don’t have to earn or pay for my pathway.”

Reflections:

1 – Earning and Paying

Upon reading the passage for today for the first time, we are very apt to discount it as impractical. Of course we have to earn our way! Of course we have to pay for our way! But do we really? What does earning and paying for really mean?

2 – Cost

In the idea of earning and paying, everything comes at a cost. And in the laws of mankind, that is indeed true. But the laws of mankind are laws of illusion, laws of the ego in that illusion. And the laws of love say something very different.

3 – Laws of Love

We still have to make our way in the world, and so it would be very wrong to quit our jobs and expect the world to care for us. We do not willingly give up our livelihood, and that is good. But the laws of love need no payment, and it is in the love that we would live today. We need the love of ourselves toward ourselves (self-love), love for God, and love for our brothers and sisters (giving and receiving). We are not meant to be alone, to be solitary creatures in our isolation because we do not trust.

4 – Trust

We can trust the world to give love back to us that we have also given to the world. And for this blessing there is no need to think of earning that love or paying for that love. The earning and paying are all of the old world, the world before the time of Christ. Now we seek only love, though our material needs do enter in (and rightfully so). God would have all of our needs—physical and emotional—be met. And this will happen as we proceed along our pathway. God’s children lack only from their own choice, but it is a choice of the Higher Self, not the personal self. And lack is not a conscious choice, and so we are not to blame the victim.

5 – Love

Look to love for your answers. Don’t think of any necessity to pay for this love. It is a free gift, an offer from God to us that will not be obliterated.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would recognize today that love is a free offer from You. Your help is also a free offer. There is no reason to think in terms of payment or “earning my way” where You are concerned.

I would seek the love, in relationship, that is mine today. I would willingly recognize that payment taints the agreement that I have made with love. Love is mine to have and hold, as it is for everyone.

May I spend today in love. May all of us spend today in love.

Amen.

Separate and Alone? Or in Relationship?

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“The life of the physical self became a life of suffering and strife only because the physical or personal self forgot that it exists in relationship and believed itself to be separate and alone. In its fear, it made an ego-self which, because it sprang from fear, was not consistent with the laws of Love or of creation. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 12.9)”

Affirmation: “I realize that the personal self can be a Christ Self.”

Reflections:

1 – Ego and Fear

We are in relationship to each other, and that means that we are not alone, even in this world. Of course, God is always within us; He is the All. Yet we are not meant to be alone, and being alone brings on fear. We would, I believe, not have made an ego-self if we had not been so fearful. Yet fear brings on more fear, and a deeper retreat into madness.

2 – Relationship

If we remember that we are meant to be relationship, not only with ourselves, our deepest Self, but also with one another, we will eliminate fear at its deepest. We will eliminate the need to kowtow to the ego, and the ego will gradually wither away. There is no better way to live than to recognize, day-by-day, that the ego is withering away. We turn aside from the ego at very point we recognize that we are believing ourselves to be separate and alone. We turn aside from egotistical leanings, though this is not the full meaning of the “ego.” The ego is a false sense of our personal self, a part of our belief about ourselves. And it was never true. We, on some level, recognize its falsity, and this in turn also makes us fearful. A retreat into madness is always fearful. And we would not retreat into madness.

3 – No Longer Alone

Let us turn to one another today. Let us realize that when we recognize that we are in relationship to our Christ Self within, and the God within, and in relationship to our brothers and sisters, we are certainly no longer consumed by a belief that we are alone. And this sense of being alone has given us, in large measure, the fear that dogs our steps. The ego was developed to answer to that fear, but the ego actually accentuates the fear. The ego-mind is best left behind in the mists of past days with their unhappiness. Let us walk into the sunlight with God, sure in His love and sure in our relationship to All. May we love our brothers and sisters, and bask in the certainty that, just as God is there for us, our brothers and sisters are there for us as well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would undermine the ego today by recognizing that I have never been separate and alone. I have always been relationship to You, my Self/Christ, and my brothers and sisters—not to mention the physical universe as we perceive it.

Knowing that I am not separate and alone will take away the need to assert an ego-self. I think that I need to set myself apart when I am fearful of myself and others. This attitude need not be. And I would leave it behind forever, beginning today.

Thank You for letting me know that I am never alone, and I have never been. I was a long time coming to this knowledge, but now that I have assimilated, the future looks ever brighter.

Thank You.

Amen.

Temptations of the Human Experience

renoir - boating party“Thus we begin to address the temptations of the human experience. Two are spoken of in tandem here: The temptation to judge and the temptation to accept the existence of a reality other than the truth. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 11.12)”

Affirmation: “I will seek the truth today, not judging anything or anybody.”

Reflections:

1 – Judging

This passage for today echoes part of a passage from A Course in Miracles: the prohibition not to judge, lest we lose our salvation, our walk toward Christ-consciousness or Awakening. The indication that we try to walk away from the truth is the fact that we, in bowing to the ego, all too often stay lost in illusions—the opposite of truth. Truth is, however, a slippery concept.

2 – Truth?

I once met a man who was trying to employ people in his political operation, and he put great emphasis on publishing the “truth.” But I realized that his mind was lost in illusions, and I felt that he honestly did not have a handle on a “truth.” Many zealots in our world think that they set forth the truth, but we ourselves may have misgivings about the particular brand of truth to which they ascribe.

3 – How Can We Know?

How can we know? In the bottom line, we cannot be sure, even when we have prayed long and hard. Zealots also pray long and hard, and they are certain that God is on their side. The litmus test is whether or not what we believe will hurt someone else. And if there is any chance that what we do will hurt, we can be sure that this particular pathway is not God’s.

4 – Hurt

Of course, our own proclivities in life may mean that we inadvertently hurt others when we tell our truth. This is particularly prone in romantic relationships, when another loves us (or vice-versus), and the love is not reciprocal. This is not the kind of hurt to which I refer. The kind of hurt to which I refer is the kind fraught with violence. And we all know that our wars and rumors or wars, sometimes fought for the noblest of reasons, are examples of hurting, though sometimes, perhaps, unavoidable.

5 – Attack, Judging, and Planning

And we must not judge. ACIM goes further: We are not to attack, and we are not to make plans against contingencies to come (unless prompted by guidance). Judgments hurt us, for we are not in a forgiving state of mind. And so judgments are examples of temptations best avoided.

6 – Today’s Task

So avoid temptations today: Avoid judgments and avoid trying to evade the truth as we see it. We will all make different decisions, based on our personalities and backgrounds, but the way seems clear when we walk the pathway of love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I need to realize that my greatest temptation right now is to plan for the future, even if guidance has not led me in that direction. This is a path that I would not take, though my idle mind bends in that direction. I would also avoid attacking others, and I would avoid judging others. Right now those two temptations do not hurt me so much as the planning that I am wont to do. Be with me to put a stop to this planning.

I would follow your pathway. I would live as long as you deem right for me, doing healthy things to keep my physical and emotional body is good shape. I would be there for my brothers and sisters. They have been there for me, just as You always have been. Help me to walk the straight pathway back to you today. And guide me ever-closer to Christ-consciousness at the time that You deem appropriate.

Thank You.

Amen.

This Is What You Are Now Called to Do

“This is what you are now called to do:

“Be aware that the love of God lives within you. Live within the peace of God. Live by the truth.

“This could be restated as you are love, you live in peace, you live by or in accord with truth. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 11.7 – 11.9)”

Affirmation: “I will live in love today.”

Reflections:

1 – Jesus

The instructions that Jesus gives today, in this passage from A Course of Love, are not new by any means. But he has an authority that defies explanation, except that he is our chosen leader. He speaks with the authority that he did in the New Testament, when he spoke not as the scribes and Pharisees. It does behoove us to listen to what he tells us in this new century, this time of Christ.

2 – God Is Love

We are to live by the truth that God is love, that we are to live within His peace. Such simple words, but so hard to do! We live in such complicated times, and it would be better if we simplified our lives to reject the complexity, the complexity which is often of the ego.

3 – Live in Love

What does it mean to live in love? As A Course in Miracles tells us, we live in love when we overlook anger and attack from ourselves and others, and by the overlooking, we do not make real, and we are led to forgive the errors made by ourselves and others. This also is easy to say but so hard to do. If we can just remember that we are living in illusion, at least until we have reached the real world that Christ-consciousness shows us, we will be well on our way to a better world, a better experience.

4 – Communicate with God

We find such joy in life when we communicate with God. In the early pages of the Text of ACIM, Jesus tells us that God is lonely when He recognizes that His channels to His children are closed, that we sleep, that we do not communicate with Him. We can change this. The handle to the door of our heart is on our side of the door. God is always ready to accept us; it is ourselves that get preoccupied with the things of this world that take us from Him.

5 – Prayer without Ceasing

Let us give up this spurious living. Let us return to frequent prayer, prayer without ceasing. Is this possible? It is possible to take God as a partner in daily life, to turn to Him as we would to any trusted ally, and to ask, internally, questions about our day with its many problems. We will get answers, so much so that we will wonder why we neglected Him for so long. Why did we not learn years ago that Christianity is eminently practical? Maybe we just have not yet recollected what has been within all along. We do know, and now is the time to bring forth that knowledge again.

6 – Talk to God

So seek to love today. We will fail if we don’t communicate with God throughout the day. Resolve now to talk, internally, to God as we walk through the day. He will be there. And we will know miracles that will warm our heart.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to remember You today. May I walk through this day in close consultation with You. May I do absolutely nothing without knowing, internally, that You are in agreement with what I do. May I reach out to You, metaphorically, though I know that You are really within me. Be with me today.

Amen.

Like Gravitating toward Beautiful Music

pennsylvania impressionism3“You will find that your new language will gather people to you in much the way people will gravitate toward beautiful music. Many will be eager to learn what you have remembered because they will realize that the memory of this language exists within them as well. It will come naturally to you to welcome these back to the common language of the mind and heart joined in unity. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 10.15)”

Affirmation: “I would hope today that I set a good example.”

Reflections:

1 – Our New Language

The passage for today identified the “language” that we will speak in this new world of Christ-consciousness. It will be a language of the mind and heart joined in unity. And this is the wholeheartedness of which Jesus has spoken frequently in A Course of Love.

2 – Setting an Example

We need to think a bit about the example that we are setting for others in our daily rounds. If we avoid this new language, this quiet and beautiful language, our words may be filled with anger and attack. What kind of example would that set for non-believers? How can we draw people to a new life if we, who profess to know better, are constantly falling into egoic attitudes, even though Christ-consciousness shines through in glimpses?

3 – Our Behavior

We need to be consistent in our behavior even when Christ-consciousness is not present. We need to realize that the forgiveness that A Course in Miracles proscribes is possible for us. We can overlook the baiting that others do to us, and we can overlook our own anger, if we are diligent. We can gentle ourselves by a quiet word with God at the point of being overwrought. We can ask what Jesus might do in a similar situation. Of course, he was not without anger, as witness his attitude in the temple during his last week on earth. He drove the moneychangers from the temple. I have long viewed this as a manifestation of extreme stress, for Jesus knew that he was walking toward his death, and a painful death at that, the death of crucifixion.

4 – Forgiveness

The fact that Jesus so behaved gives us an additional reason to forgive ourselves when we slip. But our temptations to slip are not normally so extreme as was his. We face much smaller temptations, though to us they may appear to be huge.

5 – Quietness

Let us vow to set a good example today. Turn aside the attacking word with quietness. Let the language of the mind and heart in unity set forth your pathway. Let us be good to each other, for the day is long and there are many times that we will be tempted to slip into stress that fuels anger. Let us vow to avoid these temptations to anger and attack today. Let us keep to the language of the mind and heart in unity.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would speak the language that will set a good example in this life. I would turn aside from anger and attack and be gentle. I know that I can never set a good example of the things that I believe if I am “venting.” There is never any good reason to raise one’s voice in anger. There will always be regret afterwards.

Be with me as I seek to find the language that will attract my brothers and sisters to me, but not an attraction that will fuel my ego. I seek to have the ego wither away, and I seek to live in peace and gentleness all the days of my life.

Will You be there for me, as I make this resolution?

Amen.

You Have Not Forgotten Thought System of the Christ-Self

“What we are doing now is much like translating the learned thought system of the ego into the thought system of the Christ-self that you but think you have forgotten. As you dwell in the house of truth, if you do not resist unlearning the ego thought system, the thought system of your true Self will quite simply return to your memory. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 10.4)”

Affirmation: “I would remember the thinking of my true Self today.”

Reflections:

1 – Don’t Resist Unlearning of Ego

The passage for today is very reassuring, in that we learn that we can just not resist unlearning the thought system of the ego, and the forgotten memory of the thought system of the Christ-self will reemerge. We have just forgotten what has been buried in us all along. We do not have to struggle to learn something new. The truth has always been present, but the part of ourselves that was the ego just overshadowed our real thinking, the real thinking of our Self.

2 – The Self

Is there a difference between our Self and the Christ-self? No, there is not. I often just say “Self” because in many cases we think we are claiming something that does not belong to us when we say “Christ.” Our ego all too quickly gets involved again, and the ego tells us that we are being arrogant, that we cannot possibly share in the Christ that Jesus himself embodied.

3 – Share

But we can share in this Christ, and we can just gently turn aside from the egoistic thinking that rejects this thought as vainglorious. If we resist the ego, it will only become stronger. So do not resist, but just gently reply, when it “speaks,” with a “no.” This no will silence the ego, and we will be let ever so gently into the communion with God that will assure us that we are on the right track.

4 – Universal Christ

We do not become Jesus, of course. All too often we think that he is the only one who can be Christ. Yet it is not egotistical to claim a universal Christ of which we are a part. The ego will never be a part of this, but we in our Self will be, and this Self is found deep within, where God is. We project the world, but the point of Christ within is the essence of God Himself. And the same is true for all of our brothers and sisters, who are not illusion. Our brothers and sisters are as real as we are, and they too share the Christ that is within us. All is One in this non-dualistic universe(s), and God is One. Ask within if this interpretation can be accepted by you.

5 – Universal Experience

But do not let theology delay you. We are after a universal experience, which is necessary (from A Course in Miracles). The universal experience for today is to recognize that the Christ within is capable of transforming ourselves as well as the world that we perceive. We are on the cusp of a transforming experience when we take to heart the passage for today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would gently turn aside from the thought system of the ego so that I would easily and peacefully unlearn that thought system. I would learn the thought system of the Christ Self, one that is gained in large part through my heart. Help me to reconcile myself to this twin resolve today.

I would share in the universal experience that is the transformation of all of us from the ego-mind to the Christ-mind. I would delay not. Help me to gently turn aside from all that was unfortunate in the past and to turn gently ahead to a glorious future.

Amen.

Recognize the Christ-Mind by How Gentle Its Thoughts Are

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“The first step in being able to forget such thoughts [of the ego] is in recognizing them as separate and distinct from the thoughts of your right mind or Christ-mind. This will be easy because the thoughts of the ego-mind were always harsh with you or with others. The Christ-mind and the thoughts that come from the voice of the Christ-mind will be gentle. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 10.9)”

Affirmation: “I would experience the gentle thoughts of the Christ-mind today.”

Reflections:

1 – Gentle Thoughts Give Happiness

Most of us may now recognize that gentleness is much preferred over the raucous shrieks of the ego-mind. And the Christ-mind gives us the gentle thoughts that give us so much happiness. Is it any wonder that happiness is a worthy goal to be sought?

2 – Avoid Harshness

We do not really want to be harsh with ourselves or with others. I have recently prayed that I would get along better with myself. This seems to be an inspired prayer, not unlike a prayer to get along better with other people. We want to be gentle. It is a mandate if we wish to live well.

3 – Flow

What other characteristics accompany gentleness? Peace of mind, tranquility, serenity, calm. And we are more loving as well. When we treat others as well as ourselves gently, we flow with the day. We don’t have to talk ourselves into a good mood; it is part of the blessing of the prayer to be gentle.

4 – Commune with God

The ego ought to be falling away now. And we will know this when we commune more with God. Communion sometimes means verbal prayers, silently or aloud, but it also is a state of mind and heart. We feel better when we communicate with our Maker. Try it and see.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would remember You today. I know from my reading that You are lonely, in an anthropomorphic way, when Your children don’t communicate with You. You recognize that we sleep and need to be awakened. I would awaken at Your command. But help me to be patient.

Help this day to flow well in gentleness. May I avoid harshness in my words and in my demeanor, and may I do You justice as I walk through my day. Others need me, and certainly I need, in an almost selfish way, to treat myself well in order to be able to serve others. There is no better way to live than to talk with You on my daily rounds. I pray that I will not forget You today.

Amen.

Salvation a Game that Happy Children Play

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“Not one situation coming to you now will be a repeat of the past. How can it be when the past was lived in the house of illusion and the present is lived in the house of truth? Being cognizant of this is the only way that the simultaneous learning and unlearning that was spoken of earlier will be able to be realized. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 10.7)”

Affirmation: “I will seek to learn new things today.”

Reflections:

1 – Badly Taught

Earlier in this chapter in A Course of Love, Jesus asks us to forget as much as possible. Apparently he thinks that we were badly taught, and the reason comes out in the passage for today: We were living in the house of illusion. Now, he encourages us ever so much again by saying that we live now in the house of truth. He, if not we, are certain that we have walked far toward Christ-consciousness.

2 – How Happy Are You?

How can we measure our progress? A very simple way is to decide how happy we are, even if life is still tough in some respects and maybe in many respects. We will have an ineffable joy if we are living right. And actually things will turn out better, though Christ-consciousness and the preparation for it do not mean that all will always go swimmingly. Certainly Jesus had things go very badly, though he believed in what he was doing, and history has borne out the wisdom of his pathway.

3 – Do You Blame?

Other ways to know if we are proceeding along a path that leads ever closer to Christ-consciousness is to determine how we feel toward other individuals. Do we still blame them when they act badly? Do we still blame them when they blame us for something? Do we forgive readily? The life that is dedicated to Jesus’s way will proceed in concert with other individuals, always away that we hold each other’s hand as we walk through life. We walk side-by-side also, especially with our significant other, our brother (from A Course in Miracles). If we take turns moving ahead and falling back in this walk, neither we nor our brother make any forward progress. But if we walk gaily along, holding hands, we know salvation to the joyous game that children play (from ACIM).

4 – Walk to the House of Truth

So we walk to the house of truth. We may not always be certain what that truth really is, but nevertheless, we know that we are not wholly caught in illusions anymore. We feel better most of the time. Life seems a blessing, not a curse. And we walk in love of ourselves (for self-love does not have to be egotistical), others, and God.

5 – First Day of the Rest of Our Lives

Take time today to forgive, to love, and to reach ever forward on our walk. Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. Let’s don’t rue the day. We can and will reach Christ-consciousness, if we remain true to what we are reading. Only remember that God Himself makes the decision of when we are really ready to accept the ultimate blessing of living in this time of Christ.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would emphasize my walk toward reality in my prayers to You today. I walk as humbly as I can, though egoic notions still impinge. I am ready to be done with the ego, and indeed Jesus says in A Course of Love that we all, who have reached this far, are done with the ego. May I recognize the truth of this statement.

I would drop my illusions today. I would drop the things that I say to myself that are injurious to myself. May my thoughts and words in in Your will, today and always. Be with me as I seek to walk into truth.

Amen.

Blame

Towpath_Bridge - hass“All you need do is catch yourself in the act of placing blame and say to yourself, ‘I was placing blame again and I choose to do so no longer.’ You need not spend any more time with blame than this and I offer you no word of sentiment to replace it. I ask you simply to take the thought of it from your mind as quickly as it enters. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 10.4)”

Affirmation: “I will avoid blame today.”

Reflections:

1 – Blame and Guilt

It is easy for the ego to get one tripped up by encouraging the placing of blame on others and on ourselves. We need to do neither. We are all innocent, as A Course in Miracles so eloquently states. Blame is to my mind a first cousin to guilt, and it is guilt that has driven us mad (from ACIM). We need to keep our relationships with others as cordial as possible, and holding grievances would mean that this is impossible. We are not safe when we hold grievances, because we point a finger at another, but three fingers are pointing back at us. And grievances and blame are akin.

2 – Benign Emotions

Why would we harbor ill will if we could harbor more benign emotions? And we can harbor more benign emotions. We get ourselves all tangled up, criticizing (even in our minds) the words or actions of another. We don’t make friends that way; we alienate people. There is no way that we can blame without suffering repercussions that are bad.

3 – Blaming Ourselves

We often blame ourselves when we think that we have fallen short of our ideal behavior. And this is just as bad as blaming others for their shortcomings. We are innocent! And that is enough to know. We don’t have to chastise ourselves that we are falling short. We are enough.

4 – Let Grievances Go and Be Safe

The ego trap of blame need trouble us no further when we remember from the Workbook of ACIM that when we have let all grievances go, we will know that we are perfectly safe. Without that knowledge, we invite anxiety, and blaming ourselves and others is a prime way that anxiety (and fear) can enter our lives.

5 – Being Good

We are good people, even when we don’t act in a good way. Our inner Christ Self knows no sin, and even our personal self knows only mistakes—not sins. And we would correct mistakes as soon as possible. Then there is no reason to blame ourselves for falling short of what we want to be. We can pick ourselves up and simply try again—no harm done, for we live in an illusory world in which God knows that his children are innocent. If the blame seems to invite it, we can ask for forgiveness of others and ourselves. God does not forgive, because He has never condemned (from ACIM). God just loves, and it would behoove us to follow the Almighty in this laudable task for loving only.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I will not allow myself to fall into the temptation of blaming either myself or another for perceived shortcomings. I know that this is an egoic trap, and that blaming will only bring on the more sinister guilt.

Help me to keep to this vow. Help me to avoid blaming if things don’t go to suit me. The day is long and there is time for much to go wrong. But I can start the day over again at any time, and I would do so if I step amiss.

Be with me for a good day. Always be with me.

Amen.

Heaven on Earth

pennsylvania impressionists
“You who have followed me beyond the walls of the house of illusion are now called to begin the act of revealing and creating anew the life of heaven on earth. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 9.6)”

Affirmation: “I would seek to help create heaven on earth.”

Reflections:

1 – The Future

What a delightful future! Jesus says in this passage that we are beyond the walls of the house of illusion, and so now is the time to work together to create heaven on earth. Could we ask for anything more in this world? I think not. This is the ultimate promise.

2 – Inner Guide Reveals Our Part

What would we do to reveal and to create heaven on earth? Only our inner Guide, our inner Christ Self, can answer this question, because I think that the answer is different for each of us. We have a common goal, but the means to reach that common goal—heaven on earth—are different for each of us, because our talents differ, our personalities differ, our gifts differ. We are unique, each of us, and that uniqueness means that there is no single answer available.

3 – Contributions to This World

If we had to predict our course in this lifetime, our way to contribute to this world, what would it be? I think that we ought to spend some time contemplating this important question. Of course, our answer will differ as we move through life, because we grow and develop, we change, and we move into different probabilities (from the writings of Jane Roberts, who channeled an entity known as Seth). As times change, we must change with them. And so if the way that we first seek to walk becomes closed to us, if a door is closed, we walk onward, and find an open window. God never leaves us with a closed pathway. Many have so said.

4 – Missions

We are called to a mission, and it is up to each of us to find that mission, though it differs from person to person. Certainly we do not proselytize others to the way of A Course of Love, or of A Course in Miracles, if those others are not ready. Those channeled books are our way, but there are many courses in this world (from ACIM), and each individual interprets from his/her own perspective. Even our teaching of ACOL and ACIM will differ, because the words give different insights to people with varying experiences. This is why no universal theology is possible (from ACIM).

5 – Universal Experience

But a universal experience is not only possible, but necessary (from ACIM). And the universal experience now includes a call to reveal and to create heaven on earth.

6 – Now

May we begin now.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would try to create heaven on earth. I would try to do my small part, guided by You. I will surely try to make amiss if I barge ahead without consulting You. You know the way; I do not. Help me to walk the right pathway, making turns as You indicate, today.

I need to be able to turn on a dime. I need to change my course whenever You indicate that I am traveling along a road that is a dead end. May I walk only sure pathways today.

I would live in this heaven on earth that I wish to help create. And so would my brothers and sisters. Let us go forward today, together, seeking Your way to create heaven on earth always.

May today be truly recognized as the first day of the rest of our lives.

Amen.

Being Tempted to Reenter the House of Illusion

early 20th century Pennsylvania impressionism“You will be tempted, nonetheless, to reenter the house of illusion, if only to grasp the hands of those you love and gently tug them through its doors. You will be able to take note of the explosions happening within and will want to return to add your own to those going on inside, thinking that with the force of one more, maybe the walls will finally come tumbling down and those inside be held within illusion no more. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 9.5)”

Affirmation: “I cannot help others by reentering the house of illusion myself.”

Reflections:

1 – Other People Caught in Illusion

We mean others well, most especially our significant others who are still caught in illusion. We have moved outside the house of illusion, but there are explosions within that rock the world. And we would rescue our brothers and sisters who still reside in the house of illusion. Can we do this meaningfully?

2 – Do Not Lose Your Insight

Jesus says not. We do not help by reentering the house of illusion, for we will lose our insight. We do best by living in reality, in the real world, once that has been granted us. And then, by our example, those caught in the house of illusion are coached outward. There is no better way.

3 – A House of Cards

The “explosions” are evidence that the house of cards that is the house of illusion is beginning to fall. This world is transforming, though the transformation, entirely, may take millions of years (a tenet from A Course in Miracles). Just as it took millions of years for the separation to occur. But the way back has been set now. And those of us who live in this new world of Christ are ready, even when, in our weakest moments, the ego informs us that we are mistaken, that we are poor and miserable and guilty of arrogance.

4 – Not Arrogance

It is not arrogance to listen to Jesus in A Course of Love, and to realize that finally we have moved beyond believing in the part of ourselves that we defined as the ego. We are no longer living that illusion. It is true that we may slip (a personal interpretation, not stated in A Course in Miracles or ACOL). But we get ourselves up from the ground, dust ourselves off, and start all over again (as a popular song notes).

5 – House of Illusion on Borrowed Time

The house of cards that is the house of illusion is living on borrowed time. May we listen to the explosions within, from our vantage point from without. And as others emerge from the chaos within the house of illusion, may we be there, in reality (the real world), to help everyone adjust to the light in which we now live.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know that I cannot help my loved ones by reentering illusion with them. I can best help them by staying in the real world, the world of truth, the House of Truth, that is outside the House of Illusion. Within there are those who are beginning to see differently, to see a better way. And it is they who are causing the explosions that will ultimately bring down the House of Illusion.

Thank You for these concepts, and I pray that they are a correct interpretation. Help me to be contented and reassured that Your way is best, that You will do what I cannot do. But if You give me a way to help, I will try to carry it out—when you lead me, how you lead me.

Thank You for being with me today in this sometimes conflicted world made up of both illusions and truth, for both I sometimes recognize. I would live in truth always. Help me to do so.

Amen.

Bitterness Is to the Heart What the Ego Is to the Mind

pennsylvania-impressionist-impressionism-painting-by-roy-c-nuse-along-the-river-1930-original-size-20-x-16“You may believe that bitterness is just another word, another label for the evil you have always been convinced existed in the hearts of some, but even being that it is just another word, it is one chosen to introduce an idea of such fallacy that it rivals only the ego in its destructive potential. Bitterness is to your heart what the ego has been to your mind. It is the one false idea that has entered this holiest of places, this abode of Christ, this bridge between the human and the divine. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 6.5)”

Affirmation: “I would drop any bitterness from my heart today.”

Reflections:

1 – Drop Bitterness

Bitterness is not stressed in A Course in Miracles, but it rivals the ego in A Course of Love. Here we learn that bitterness is to the heart what the ego is to the mind. And to learn such a lesson means that we ought to drop bitterness entirely. We ought not to hold anything against anybody. We ought to forgive entirely.

2 – A Raw Deal

Why are we sometimes bitter? I think that it is largely a matter of self-pity. We think that life has given us a raw deal, not a fair shake. We think that we ought to have had it better. But is this reasoning sound?

3 – Hard Knocks

Not at all. We may believe that we planned our lives before we were born (though this is not a concept in ACIM or ACOL). Certainly we know now that we have a loving Father who wishes us only well-being. And so the hard knocks of life are there to teach us something. And certainly the hard knocks would not be so hard if we were less stubborn. Our biggest enemy, as many have said, is our own self. We made our own difficulties, and then we project outward on others who surround us.

4 – Insanity

This is insanity. We would not blame another for our own difficult times. We would recognize perhaps that there is something that we cannot understand on this earth, and we would realize that there is a better way to live. This better way is what ACIM and ACOL are trying to teach us.

5 – Madness of This World

May we adopt a smooth walk through this world today. And may we know that the hard knocks are there for a reason, however obscure we may find the way to be. It may just be the madness of this world, and we ought never to underestimate how far into madness we have gone (from ACIM). We will be happier, and life will smooth out very well, when we have come to understand more. Ask God for the answers, and see if those answers don’t begin to come ever more frequently.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would seek some answers today. Why is life sometimes so tough? Is it all just madness borne of the ego and of bitterness? Is there a larger reason that I sometimes struggle? I choose not to go from one crisis to another. I choose to live, with You, in harmony, peace, serenity, calm, tranquility. Help me to live this better way today and every day.

May I do for others what I would like for them to do for me. May I realize that giving and receiving happen in concert, that one leads inexorably to the other. And may I rejoice, with You, at my happiness over the many blessings that You give to me. You want Your children happy. Being happy is a worthy goal. May I remember this always.

Be with me today as I walk through this sometimes insane world. But I would not have it insane today. I would choose only happy dreams, and I would ask for glimpses of a reality beyond what I normally see.

Thank You.

Amen.

The Question of Atonement

edward-willis-redfield-solebury-home-pennsylvania-impressionism-1920
“The point of the story [crucifixion and resurrection], however, was not one of sacrifice but one of gift giving. The greatest gift of all was given, the gift of redemption. The gift of redemption was the gift of an end to pain and suffering and a beginning of resurrection and new life. It was a gift meant to empty the world of the ego-self and to allow the personal self to live on as the one true self, the one true son of God. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 5.7)”

Affirmation: “I would focus on Jesus’s gift today.”

Reflections:

1 – Resurrection

We often misunderstand the benign lesson of the Atonement, Jesus’s death on the cross, followed by his resurrection. Nowhere in either A Course in Miracles nor A Course of Love is the resurrection doubted as an historical event. But there are various ways of interpreting, including the possibility that Jesus occupied his ethereal body when he was seen after the resurrection.

2 – The Cross

Jesus said in A Course in Miracles that we miss the point when we look to the cross, that he was showing that love is present when he did not defend himself, but said nothing. He says, also in ACIM, that we are to look to the resurrection for our understanding of the Atonement.

3 – Sacrifice

Certainly sacrifice was embedded into the Jewish world. Sacrifices of animals were routinely required at the temple. And so when Jesus came as the Son of God and made the supreme sacrifice, we saw a punishing God who could only be appeased by the death of his only Son. Traditional religious services today stress this idea. But is there another way to interpret what happened?

4 – Circumstances of Jesus’s Day

Jesus says that there is, for he does not see his Father as punishing in any way. He sees God as wholly benign and loving. The choice to go to the cross is Jesus’s own, in my opinion, born of the circumstances of his day. That it may have been divinely ordained, though, I do not doubt. And the fact that for generations there has been a story in the sacrificial lamb means that Jesus read us well. He knew what we thought that we needed to be reconciled to God.

5 – “I Was Not Punished because You Were Bad”

Now he is giving us a new story, a new Atonement story. We are not to see God as punishing him in any way. “I was not punished because you were bad,” Jesus says in the opening pages of the Text of A Course in Miracles. And so we don’t have to feel guilty, and guilt is what has made us mad.

6 – A New Life

So let us see another way of viewing the Atonement. It was the lesson that we are reconciled to God through the example that Jesus gave of not resisting evil. He rose to a new life, as can we all.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for what I read years ago about Jesus’s observation, in all likelihood, of the sacrifices of his day in the temple. All of this shaped his mission. But God did not require his death, of this I am sure. It was a plan that worked, though. And I thank You for that.

Help me to look beyond the crucifixion to the resurrection, and may my intellectual doubts not becloud the issue. May I contemplate the likelihood that it is Jesus’s ethereal body that was seen after his resurrection.

Amen.

What Would Mary Do?

van gogh - wheatfield with crows
“I repeat, and will do so again and again, that the ego self is gone from you. Whether you fully realize this or not matters not. This A Course of Love has accomplished. Now the choice is before you to do one of two things. . .to proceed toward love or fear. If you proceed with fear you will assemble a new ego-self, an ego-self that perhaps will seem superior to the old, but which will nonetheless still be an ego-self. If you proceed with love, you will come to know your Christ-self. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 4.8)”

Affirmation: “I would leave fear behind today.”

Reflections:

1 – Fear

Fear is our great enemy, but if we dwell on this fact too long and deeply, we will scare ourselves, making the ego strong. And the ego is strong when one is fearful. Let us leave behind this state of affairs today.

2 – When Baited

Let us proceed toward love. This means that we need to make a decision about how we will react when we are baited by those closest to us. We must determine what we will say and do, ahead of time, or we are likely to attack or otherwise react with anger.

3 – Personal Experience

I have found that the easiest way to handle a difficult conversation is to say a reminder, just the word “gentle,” followed by the question, “What would Mary do?” By “Mary,” I mean the mother of Jesus, a woman given great importance in A Course of Love (though not in A Course in Miracles). This immediately puts me in a conciliatory state of mind. I tried the phrase, “quiet control,” but I found that it tended to put me in an uptight attitude, just the reverse of what I wanted.

4 – Communion with God

You will find other words, or perhaps none, just a communion with God. Many of us do need words that help us in times of difficulty.

5 – Proceed toward Love

I would proceed toward love always with those closest to me. And this movement will take me into the Christ/Self, sooner rather than later. We need to move toward the Christ Self, because if the ego is gone, which Jesus says it is, we need to have a replacement in mind to whom we can turn.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for giving me the words, “What would Mary do?,” when I am stressed, in a difficult conversation, when I am being baited. There is no reason that I can’t keep my cool, except a lack of discipline. And You would have me be gentle with all those with whom I come in contact.

I would proceed toward love today, away from fear. I have tried this many times, but perhaps not strongly enough, because anxiety dogs my steps from time to time. I would make a determination today to slow down and relax, to meditate when I can.

I never get angry unless I am stressed. May I remember this today.

Amen.

Definition of the Ego

caillebotte - paris street
“The Self that I recognize as You, is not other than who you are, but who you are. All that was ever other than who you are was the ego. The ego is gone. The ego was simply your idea of who you were. This idea was a complex set of judgments, of good and bad, right and wrong, worthy and unworthy, a list was endless as it was worthless. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 3.10)”

Affirmation: “My ego is gone.”

Reflections:

1 – Ego

If only it could be so—that the ego is truly gone from me! I see glimpses of time in which I do feel the truth of this statement, but I also know that my ego rears its despicable head far more often than I would wish, making me tend toward egotism. I would not have it thus. I would be the Self that Jesus recognizes, and that Self only. I need help when I make assertions such as this, though.

2 – Help

How might I get help? We know that Jesus asserts in A Course in Miracles that he will hold our hand as we walk along, no “idle fantasy.” Traditional Christianity, especially the inspirational writing based on traditional Christianity by Norman Vincent Peale, asserts the same.

3 – Jesus by My Side

I often have some trouble imagining Jesus by my side, for I do have a mind that would have doubts about how he might be anyplace, anytime. But it is enormously comforting at night, when I have a bout with insomnia, to think of him standing by the bed, comforting me. If it is all imagination, my thinking nevertheless slows down. I feel comforted, and is that not what all of us would wish in the middle of the night when we are discomforted?

4 – The Christ Self

What sort of Self is this whom Jesus recognizes? It is the universal Christ Self, the one that he shares with us. We do not have to let the ego interfere with this concept. The ego would tell us that we are off center, that this cannot be. But I do have enough belief in what Jesus has said in these channeled writings (ACIM and A Course of Love) to believe that he means business. He affirms that our ego is dead, and that the Self is very much alive. And so I choose to believe that this will be the case as soon as I am ready. He affirms that all of us reading A Course of Love are ready, and so perhaps it is my own failing that I quibble a bit about this. There is no way to know for sure until Awakening has come to us. We know then, though Awakening can be periodic rather than sustained. Jesus would have us to sustain this Self, the elevated Self of form.

5 – The Physical

And we will know for sure that a physical being in this world can live in God’s grace, that we do not have to lament the physical. The physical is a blessing, a chance to enjoy adventures that could be ours in no other way.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I can see my ego gone when I realize that it has simply been my view of what I have been, my egoic persona. My view of who I am has changed, and for that I am grateful. But I still make missteps, and I still fall prey to the ego. I would be gone with all of this foolishness, sooner rather than later.

Help me to truly know that the ego was a bad delusion. I would walk Your way always. And I need help to do so. Please send that help to me today.

Amen.

The Road to Hell Is Paved with Good Intentions

van gogh - wheatfield with crows“While you continue to see the call of this course as a call to goodness, you will surely fail. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 3.10)”

Affirmation: “Being good is not my ‘goal’ today.”

Reflections:

1 – Good Intentions

Jesus makes it easy on us. We don’t have to make extravagant attempts to be “good” to fulfill his requirements in this course. Why? We would surely fail. Good intentions, we have always been told, are not enough. And it is good intentions that prompt us to be “good” (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or ACOL).

2 – Failure

Jesus makes the comparison between a failure to stick to a diet and the failure to be consistently good. We always fail to live up to our ideal.

3 – Change

Later on, Jesus says in the Dialogues that we will simply make a decision to change some trait about ourselves, because it is a mistake, and then we will simply see that trait disappear. Thus he does not feel a call to have us seek goodness in and of itself. He is not even calling us to be perfect, which seemed to be a biblical injunction. In ACIM, Jesus points out that he stands at the end of the pathway to correct all mistakes that we could not correct. Let this be enough for us. Jesus will stand by us. He will do for goodness what we cannot do.

4 – No Lament

The certainty of failure as we seek to be “good” is not a cause for lament. It is a statement of fact. And hidden in the assertion is the truth that we do not have to try to be good. This goodness will come about naturally as we walk further along the pathway. Of course, if the ego gets involved, we will fall away from the correct walk. But Jesus also says, further along in this chapter, that the ego is gone now. What a delightful thing to hear!

5 – Reread ACOL

If the ego is indeed gone, we are following Jesus’s way in A Course of Love. Don’t be sure, though. The ego is wily, and sometimes we have to read and reread ACOL to get its message. But get its message we will, and then we are assured a happier walk through the earth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I was not so good yesterday, and so the message for today speaks to me as well as to my readers. Thank You for the timing of this message. It is true, so true, that my good intentions are not enough, for surely that is of the ego, and I will surely fail. May I start each day over when I get on the wrong path. Help the events of my day to stay on an even keel, with nothing going awry.

Thank You for Jesus’s help, even though I struggle with the assertion that he can be anywhere, anytime—just by my call, my unequivocal call.

Be with me so that this day goes better than the one yesterday. And may I learn from my mistakes, never to repeat the same ones. I appreciate that you call my misdeeds just “mistakes,” and not “sins.” I would see nothing attracting in a mistake, and I might be tempted to repeat a sin.

Thank You for the insights that A Course of Love gives to me.

Amen.

Tiny, Mad Idea

cezanne - bowls of fruit
“It is impossible for you to imagine this holiness [of the Self] with the concepts of the thought system you heretofore have relied upon. This thought system has allowed only the acceptance of a reality within certain parameters, for it has not allowed you to imagine being able to take steps ‘back’ to the God you believe you left in defiance, or the self you believe you abandoned there. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 2.11)”

Affirmation: “I can believe that to separate from God was a ‘tiny, mad’ idea.”

Reflections:

1 – Madness

Earlier I suggested some “reasons” for a presumed separation from God, “reasons” set forth by individuals other than Jesus. Elsewhere, near this passage, Jesus indicates that we don’t have to look for a reason, though we have done so for eons. And maybe there was no reason other than madness. The “tiny, mad” idea is set forth early in the Text of A Course in Miracles, and this ACIM passage goes on to say that we “forgot to laugh.” And so the mad idea became possible of effects, without a cause. If this reasoning is sound, then we need look no further for reasons for a fall of humankind. There is no reason except madness.

2 – Guilty?

In today’s passage, we are almost seen as feeling guilty for this lapse, this separation. So we don’t look further for its cure. But there is a reason to look for the cure. And in that reason we move from the ego-self, to the personal self (also a persona) that is informed by the Self/Christ from within.

3 – God Is Not Angry with Us

If we can believe that we did not leave God in defiance, and especially if we can believe all that ACIM and ACOL have told us about God, we know that He is not “angry” with us. He has never condemned us, and so He also has no need to forgive us. What a glorious promise this is! We are redeemed, when we have walked the pathway back. The “journey without distance” (from ACIM) is as though we stand at the end of the pathway, looking back, and the carpet rolls up in retrospect.

4 – We Relive the Past

Jesus indicates that we do indeed stand at the end of the journey, that all that we experience now is in the past. We simply look back, reliving, a journey in which we are retracing our steps. The “tiny, mad” idea met with a Solution (the Holy Spirit) at the very point of the inception of the mad idea.

5 – Leave the Ego Behind

So let us decide today that we are through with all this egoic madness. We are, in fact, through with it, if we believe Jesus’s assertion that we are reliving the past. And so today is just as good as any day to take ourselves lightly as we retrace our steps.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would leave behind this tiny, mad idea of separation today. I did not leave God out of defiance, though I may have believed this for a very long time. And now is the time to return. I am ready, from a personal standpoint. But good intentions are not enough. I need You. Be with me as I make this transition into sanity.

Thank You.

Amen.

You Have a Persona

Le-Repos-2 - manet“While the personal self is the subject of the next treatise, this is my invitation to you, specifically, to enter into a holy and personal relationship with me, specifically. While you are here, you have a persona. While this persona is no longer an ego self but a Christ self, it is still a persona. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 13.3)”

Affirmation: “May my persona mean only good today.”

Reflections:

1 – Relationship with Jesus

Just before the passage for today, Jesus calls upon us to form a personal relationship to him. He is more exacting in A Course of Love than he had been in A Course in Miracles. He indicates further on in ACOL that he IS the way, and we need to realize this. It is indeed true that if we have come this far, he is the way that we ourselves have chosen. In A Course in Miracles, though, he indicated only that we could gain much more if we took him as a personal friend, but he could still help us even if we did not choose to develop a personal relationship.

2 – Jesus as Our Guide

We don’t have to discount the many people of this world who choose another pathway. We do know that there are many teachers (an assertion from the Manual of ACIM), and that each teach a different form of the universal curriculum. But at this point in A Course of Love, Jesus would have us make a deliberate choice for him as our guide. Much later on in the Dialogues, he resigns as our teacher and sees himself as an equal to ourselves.

3 – Bad Example

We do have a persona here, and it behooves us to make that persona attractive to this world. What can we do as individuals on a spiritual pathway if we are constantly having run-ins with the people we encounter? We present a bad example of what our spiritual readings are teaching us. And none of us would have it so.

4 – No Idle Fantasy

So let us choose that personal relationship with Jesus today. We do not have to maintain that close a tie, if we do not gain anything from such a choice. But give him a chance. And see if you are not surprised, when you imagine walking along in this world, holding the hand of Jesus. He said in ACIM that this would be no idle fantasy.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose Jesus as my guide today, once and for all. He does not want to dictate to me what to do, but he does want me in close touch with God. He will help bring about a better day for me. And for other people. We all benefit from listening to his guidance.

I would set a good example today. This may be easier said than done. Help me to walk the fine line between being coerced in my daily activities and choosing a compliant attitude that allows me to get along well with others. None of us needs to have interpersonal difficulties in daily life when we stay close to You.

Amen

Tending Your Garden

la-prominade-75 - monet“This holy relationship is what you are called to cultivate as a gardener cultivates her garden. The gardener knows that although the plant exists fully realized within its seed, it also needs the relationship of earth and water, light and air. The gardener knows that tending the garden will help it to flourish and show its abundance. The gardener knows she is part of the relationship that is the garden. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 12.10)”

Affirmation: “I will spend time tending my garden today.”

Reflections:

1 – Holy Relationship

The holy relationship is a relationship not only with others, but also with the Self. We reach inwardly and outwardly. And we tend what we find there. What exactly do we do?

2 – Meditative Work

There are ways that we can enhance our relationship to our Self as well as with our brothers and sisters. Earlier, Jesus mentioned meditation, yoga, affirmations as ways to grow in grace (though he did not use that term “grace”). Tending the garden is an ongoing process that in itself is meditative. Think of the gardener who loves the work of a physical garden. Do he/she not feel rejuvenated by the work that is done in the garden? It is the same here in the realm of the mind and heart, the wholeheartedness that Jesus has set forth. We do not struggle to tend. We just relax in the meditative expanse of our days.

3 – Ego

The ego would try to tend the plants without relationship (from ACOL). The ego would believe that relationship is not primary, and that the personal self is all that is important. When we are selfishly hung up on the ego, we are not mindful of our Self or of others. Sometimes someone will wonder if we actually “like” people, perhaps including ourselves. We may be so hung up on personal problems that we think that the only one we can care about is ourselves: It is enough just to keep ourselves going, and we can’t mind other people as well. They are seen as a distraction.

4 – Special Relationships

This set of mind, that relationship is unneeded and even impossible, given our state of mind, is just where the ego would have us be. The ego thinks that holy relationships, especially, are beside the point. The only relationship which the ego thinks of any benefit to the personal self is the special relationship. And we know where this leads. To pain and sometimes suffering.

5 – Special into Holy Relationships

But when we turn our special relationships into holy ones, we tend our garden in the process. This metaphor of the garden is particularly dear to the heart of Jesus, we must intuit. Later on, in the Dialogues of A Course of Love, he devotes a whole chapter to the concept. Here he is just getting started with the topic.

6 – Neurosis

Try to think today of ways that you can leave neurosis behind, and with neurosis, the ego. Try to become acquainted with the Self today. Leave time for others, for the holy relationships that we are developing with our brothers and sisters. The time of today will be well spent, and we will have followed Jesus’s advice to tend our garden.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would tend my garden today, especially my relationship to my Self and my significant others. If others are stressed, I would remain calm, secure in the Self, leaving the ego behind. Help me especially to be patient today.

This day can go smoothly if I remember You. You are my Rock, my assurance that what I do with Your blessing will turn out alright.

Help me to think and to do with Your blessing today.

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.

Miracles

cezanne - jas de bouffan - pool
“Ask me which miracles you should perform. This spares you needless effort, because you will be acting under direct communication. The impersonal nature of the miracles is an essential ingredient, because it enables me to direct its application, and under my guidance miracles lead to the highly personal experience of revelation. A guide does not control but he does direct, leaving it up to you to follow. (T-1.III.4)”

Affirmation: “I will ask what miracles to perform today.”

Reflections:

1 – Selecting Miracles to Perform

This passage for today is a return to A Course in Miracles, and we will focus on ACIM for the next several days. In this early passage in the Text, Jesus is asserting his authority as our guide. He tells us that we ought simply to ask (internally) what miracles we ought to perform, and we will be told. Elsewhere we are told that consciously selected miracles are apt to be misguided, and so it is necessary to follow his guidance. Then, we are also told, we will be led into experiences of revelation.

2 – Revelation

Others will not understand our experiences of revelation, should we try to describe these experiences. They are very personal to us, in the same way that dream symbols are frequently unique to ourselves (at least according to Jung). But this is not solely an illusion, as dreams as seen to be in ACIM. The miracle still is of perception, and thus of the personal self, and because it is of perception, the miracle will not last (an ACIM tenet).

3 – Perception vs. Knowledge

But revelation is never defined as being of perception, though whether or not it is might be open to question (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM). Revelation reveals the end to us, the end that I believe A Course of Love spells out. We are heading beyond the personal or “little” self (ruled by the ego), and toward the Self/Christ, within, who will guide us once we are awakened (living in Christ-consciousness). Revelation, being intensely personal, could not be described adequately, even if we tried. Visions or hallucinations may be seen as miracles, and they too do not last, for they are perceptual.

4 – Unrecognized Miracles

Most miracles will, at first, not be recognized as such (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM). Others may benefit from miracles that we do about which we have been totally unaware. We will just sense that there is a right action that we ought to take, we will take it, and others will benefit. We ourselves will benefit as well. And, later on, we will look back and proclaim, “That was a miracle!”

5 – Salvation

The way of salvation is indeed miraculous.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask You and Jesus what miracles to perform today. May I follow guidance always, never trying to do my personal will alone–for this would be misguided all too often. I would love the ones whom I see, with whom I make contact.

Thank You for this interlude of peace. May the peace extend to other times, other places. I am aware of feeling intensely grateful for my many blessings. You have been extraordinarily gentle with me as I have walked through this lifetime. May my future smooth out even more. I have need for harmony and joy as I walk ahead. May these blessings come to me, as well as to others whom I encounter.

Thank You for leading me to understand more fully about miracles. I would work miracles today, those that You and Jesus indicate, and I would do so in a joyous spirit. I have the intuition that indeed this prayer will be answered, and answered today.

Amen.

Revelation

impressionism - flowers and water

“Revelation is a proper description of the mode by which the art of thought teaches and helps you learn.  It is not through study, effort, or re-interpretation but through revelation.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 4.23)”

Affirmation:  “Revelation is now how I will learn.”

Reflections:

1 – Now Ready

This passage for today is a sea change from previous passages cited from A Course of Love, because the passage indicates that we are now ready for revelation.  And the implication is that this revelation will be constant and ongoing.  What a blessing!

2 – Do We Recognize Revelation?

Perhaps we will not be aware of all the times that revelation comes to us.  Perhaps revelation has already come many times and often in recent weeks and months, as we study A Course of Love, and we did not recognize revelation for what it was.  This is my interpretation, that we just didn’t recognize the times that God has spoken to us, has revealed to us that which we needed to learn.

3 – Observation

We do know that no longer do we learn through intense study, but through observation–an observation that is more of the abstract mind than the concrete (an interpretation, not stated in ACOL).  Now we find that it is not just our personal self that observes, but the Self/Christ within that senses revelation and therefore is guided about what to say or do next.  Our minds and hearts are guided.  We know beyond doubt that we are not alone.  And it is our Self/Christ that has risen to the forefront in our very being.

4 – Do Not Analyze

This passage also says a great deal about what Jesus means by the “art” of thought, the title of this treatise.  We are no longer to analyze, but to receive, and then, in turn, to give.  We receive from the Self/Christ within, a Self that is in intimate contact with our God within, and then we know how to respond.  And our response is very, very important.  We don’t take responsibility for our brothers and sisters, for that is their role for themselves, but we do respond to their needs whenever appropriate.

5 – ACIM

In A Course in Miracles, we learned that revelation would occasionally show us the end, but to get there the means were needed.  And the means were being explaining in ACIM.  (Paraphrases from ACIM, the Text.)  Now we are encouraged to accept that revelation will be much more of a constant in our lives.  The passage does not say, and does not even imply, that we need to be enlightened before we can receive from revelation.  The books in the trilogy of A Course in Love are to be read in sequence, and it is not until the last half of the third book that we go to the mountaintop (metaphorically) with Jesus, and there become the elevated Self of form (assumingly reaching Christ-consciousness).  The Treatise of the Art of Thought is the first of four treatises in the second book in the sequence.  So we are not at Christ-consciousness when revelation begins to speak to us in an ever-more constant way.

6 – Revelation Now More Constant

We learn that revelation is more constant today, from this passage.  May we learn in this new way, and may we thank God for the new means of learning.  We will make great strides, if our heart is right, from  now on.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I learn how to distinguish revelation from something else.  It seems akin to intuition, but perhaps You need to teach me further.

May I be open to revelation today.  May I learn this new way of knowing, in the depths of my being, in my Self.

Amen.

Your Uniqueness

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“It is in the different relationship of one aspect of creation with all the rest that the difference you so prize as your uniqueness exists.  And only there.  Only in relationship are you uniquely you.  Only relationship exists.  For Love is relationship.  (A Course of Love, 32.1)”

Affirmation:  “Only in relationship do I come into my own.”

Reflections:

1 – Relationships

We exist and live in a world of relationship, not only with our deepest Self but with all others.  And “others” includes nature as well.  We are not alone in any sense of the word.

2 – Why Isolate?

Why do we so often want to isolate ourselves?  This is actually the sheerest folly, even for introverts.  All of us need to reach o ut in some fashion, and when we do reach out, we come into the full expanse of our powers.  We give and we receive.  We are part of the whole, the All, part of God.

3 – Ego

We prize our uniqueness, but if this uniqueness is an ego-mind aspect, we are led astray.  The persona that we show is an ego-oriented self, and it remains the personal self, not the Self.

4 – Abide in Love

We are meant to abide in Love, and Love is of God.  Only this much will satisfy us.  We deserve better than what an egoic notion of our self could provide.  God would wish more for us.

5 – More

Let us find that more today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would focus only on my uniqueness as a function of what God has given me.  I would not seek a self-image, a persona, that is informed by the ego.  And this will mean that I cast aside egotistical ideas about my physical appearance.

So many of us focus on the external.  Help us today to focus on the internal, the uniqueness that only God can give.

Amen.

Avoid Over-Dependence on Others

“Knowing is alien to you, and that is why you seek validation.  Each validation is seen and felt as a reward, a prize, a confirmation that you believe allows your conviction to grow.  Because you believe it, this is, at first, quite true.  But now it is no longer the time to rely on conviction that comes from the witnesses you find along your way.  (A Course of Love, 28.10)”

Affirmation:  “May I depend on my own knowledge.”

Reflections:

1 – Warning

All of us on the pathway back to God have turned to other people and their words to help us make the journey.  But here there is a strong warning from Jesus.  We are not to become too dependent upon others.  We are, instead, to rely on the inner Self/Christ.  We turn inward for correction, as well as an indication of the next step to take.  And we will not be disappointed.

2 – Commune with God

This passage does not say this, but it seems to me that the gist of it is a powerful incentive to commune with God far more of our waking hours than we normally have.  If we turn inward, we are, in fact, turning to God, so long as we are assured that the Self/Christ inside is operative.  If we turn to the egoic part of our mind, and we encourage the personal self to emerge, we will often be misled.  Let us have none of that.

3 – Validation

Validation does not have to come from other people.  We can live quite sanely through following our own lights.  The problem is not that we don’t know enough, but that we don’t put into practice what we do already know.  Let’s change this today.  Practice what we know.  Yes, that is the way home to God.  If we depend on others, we will get very confused.  Politicians learn this truth the hard way.  There are so many advisors, and they differ so much in what advice they give.  The wise politician looks to his/her own lights in making decisions, once all the facts are in.  We ought to do no less.  And our own lights include God and His advice.

4 – Bible Verse

The Bible has a telling verse:  “If ye know these things, happy ye are if ye do them” (from John).  This verse seems particularly apt to our passage from A Course of Love today.  We choose amiss when we don’t listen to the God within, to the Christ/Self within, but instead look overly to our brothers and sisters for validation of what we feel unsure about.  We can easily be misled by others who do not see the whole picture.  When we ourselves feel unsure, because we know that we can’t see the whole picture, how can we depend on others in any sure way?  So we look within.  And there we find God’s guidance reaching out to us.  He knows.  Listen today to Him.

5 – Egoic Mind

We are so used, in our egoic minds, to looking to others to make us feel good.  We certainly do not need to make this mistake again, or, indeed, anymore at all.  Look within.  Pray,  Commune with God.  And much more will go wel for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would look to You today.  I would not depend on others to tell me what to do.  They do not know.  You do.  Thank You for your good advice.

Validation is important, but the source must be credible.  And this Source is God.  The most credible Source of All–indeed, the only One.

Be with us today as we seek to have positive experiences.  Help me to live peaceably with my brothers and sisters.  May the actions that they take toward us be well-considered, and may we also treat them well.

Amen.

Relationships of the Self/Christ

“Is it such a huge leap to go from saying you only exist in relationship to you only exist as Avenue-de-lOpera-Rain-Effect-artist-Camille-Pissarrorelationship?  You think it is, and feel your self further diminished and lacking in identity just by contemplating such an idea.  And so you must be reassured of the Self you are.  (A Course of Love, 27.10)”

Affirmation:  “Help me to understand that I exist as relationship.”

Reflections:

1 – Definitions

What is the difference between existing “in” relationship and existing “as” relationship?  “In” relationships we are still two entities (extended to many) that are in concert one to the other.  “As” relationship means that we are not unique in any way, but that the one Self that we are is simultaneously everywhere.

2 – Hard Point

This may be a hard point to grasp.  The subtleties are great.

3 – Selves/Christ in Union

To accept that we are “as” relationship, we must recognize the One that is everywhere and everything.  This is another way of speaking of God.  And we have already grasped that our one personal self is a part of Him.  Is it such a giant leap to see that our Self is actually Selves–Christ in union with all?

4 – Theology

This is part of the theology of A Course of Love.  It is not necessary to take this understanding unto yourself if it seems obtuse.  Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that theology may only delay us, for a universal theology is impossible; a universal experience, though, is indeed possible and is to be sought out.

5 – Be Patient

Let the concept in today’s passage rest lightly on your mind.  As time passes, think of “in” and “as” again, and see if this distinction is beginning to be more acceptable to you.  But do not fret if it is one of the last concepts in ACOL to find your nod.  We are learning much by observation, and as we progress, in the future, through the other two volumes of ACOL, we will find much that will support the distinction of “in” and “as.”  Then the difference, though great, will not seem so forbidding.  (Note:  Two earlier portions of this blog covered parts of the Volumes 2 and 3.  These were the “Forty Days and Forty Nights,” covered from April 1 – May 14, 2010, and “Treatise on the New,” covered from May 22 – December 31, 2010.)

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would seek to understand today that my Self is part of the One, the Whole, and that all Selves are One.  Thus to say that we all exist “as” relationship makes sense.  Help me to comprehend today.

May this day good well.  Thank You for the good beginning.  May all of us answer each other’s needs, and may our wants that truly are needs be answered as well.  The solution is with the problem.  And may obsessions drift away.

Amen.

The Mystery of the Human and the Divine

cezanne - fruit“When you fully realize that the only way to know the Self is through relationship, your concerns about concentration on the self will end.  Life is not a matter of self versus other.  Life is a matter of relationship.  Life is not a matter of human versus divine, but a matter of relationship between the human and the divine.  (A Course of Love, 27.7)”

Affirmation:  “Life is solely a matter of relationship.”

Reflections:

1 – From ACIM

In A Course in Miracles, the emphasis with relationship was upon our brother.  We were led to understand that in our relationship to our brother was our way home.  We did not need long periods of contemplation, because we learned to love our brother.

2 – From ACOL

In A Course of Love,  we are led to see an internal relationship, unique to ourselves, in the relationship of the human and the divine.  We are led to realize that the Self has come of age now, and that the personal self is declining in importance to ourselves.  This Self is the inner Christ.  This is the way in which we are like Jesus.  And this is, according to ACOL, our way home.

3 – Human and Divine

The relationships between the human and divine is often, perhaps, a mystery to us.  It will remain a mystery until we have accomplished Christ-consciousness through God’s action toward us.  He makes the decision regarding the time.  This is a point that I have made repeatedly in this blog, and it is a tenet of both ACIM and ACOL.  He makes the decision of when to reach down (a metaphor) and raise us up.  In a sense, Christ-consciousness is our own resurrection.

4 – Elevated Self of Form

May we mold the human and the divine into the elevated Self of form.  And, if we have not yet started toward this, let us start today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would unravel a bit today the mystery of the human and the divine.  I would reach glimpses today of Christ-consciousness by relaxing into Your will and asking for a miracle.  May the peace that You give encompass me and thus make this miracle possible.

Be with all of us today, all of my brothers and sisters.  May I fulfill for others the needs that are mine to fulfill.  May I look to You to fulfill what I cannot fulfill.  Needs are always answered, of that I am sure.  And I thank You for fulfilling needs.

Amen.

Definition of Creations

“If the urge to create is strong, certainly let it serve you.  But do not seek for praise or monet - sailboats2acknowledgement of your creations at this time.  You will soon realize that creation is not of, or for, the personal self.  (A Course of Love, 25.20)”

Affirmation:  “May what we create be without praise-seeking.”

Reflections:

1 – Creating Is What We Are Doing Now

Creating is what we are now doing all the time, if we have taken the precepts of A Course of Love to heart.  We are no longer just “making” a world.

2 – Creation of the Self/Christ

But creation is of the Self/Christ, not of the little self, the personal self.  This personal self was too ego-inspired.  For that reason, we may be asked of God to keep our creations private, lest we be led astray, by the ego, because we get praise for those creations.

3 – Personal Experience

Nobody is my hometown knows of my blog, for I have not told them, for a very personal reason.  Now I know that the real reason is that I might receive some sense of praise that would mislead me by activating my ego, still not dead in me.

4 – Definition of Creations

The same motive might attend your creations of whatever nature.  A Course in Miracles spoke of our “creations,” but did not define them.  Now here in A Course of Love Jesus does define creations, and it is a very simple definition of what we create of whatever nature.

5 – Diminish the Ego

We must do what we can to diminish the ego, and if keeping our creations a secret, then that is what we ought to do.  We need to recognize that we are weak until God has made us strong, and our weakness needs protection against temptations that may overcome us.  We ought not to step out seeking praise from anyone about anything, for surely this craving for adulation is egoic.  And we would leave the egotistical behind.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I create in Your will today, a will that is also my own (for that is the way things are)..  When I follow Your will, I find that it is what I want as well.  The plan is perfect.

Be with me as I see the ego diminish, or as I hope that I see the ego diminish.  Let me not get cocky, or for surely this is of the ego.  May I turn to the Self that is within me, and may I listen to You, also within me.  

Be with me for a good day.

Amen.

Glimpses of Awakening

pissarro- street scene - city“Living in love in every instance is what occurs when the whole Self is involved in the love of life.  There are no ‘parts’ of the Self fractioned off and holding resentments.  There are no ‘parts’ of Self living in the past or the future.  (A Course of Love, 25.17)”

Affirmation:  “I would live my Self today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Present

How can we fail to live, somewhat, in the past and the future?  It is always so hard to keep constantly focused in the present, though this is perennial advice which so many of us fail to follow.

2 – Live in Love and Be in the Present

When we live in love, living in the present becomes easy.  We love life.  We love our brothers and sisters.  And we, appropriately, love ourselves.  But most of all, we love God.

3 – Plans

We will be guided to know when to make plans for the future.  This guidance will occur at the time that thought or action is needed.  (These are paraphrases from A Course in Miracles.)  Otherwise, we are bade not to make plans against contingencies to come.  So simple, and yet so hard to live consistently.

4 – Forget Personal Self

If we love life, we will be so immersed in it that we will forget the personal self in favor of the Self/Christ.  This Self is the one that we really want to live within.  And we can do so, when God knows that we are ready for Christ-consciousness.  He will reach down and lift us up, and the change in us will be magnificent.

5 – Personal Experience

Twice I have had glimpses of this revelation; one lasted three months, the other, six months.  I was living in love both times, and so I do know that this admonition of Jesus’s is true.  Living in love makes such a difference.  I would live in love all the time, and this will, I think, hasten God’s action toward to lift me up to Christ-consciousness (i.e., Awakening).  I will eagerly seek, but I will not dictate to God what I want Him to do.  He knows already.

6 – Living in Love

This way of living in love is magical, but not in the sense that Jesus uses the term “magic” in A Course in Miracles.  It is an unbelievable immersion in joy and harmony.  All seems right with the world, and that is because we are, however, briefly, right with ourselves.

7 – Revelation

May we so live today that this revelation will come to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

The fact that twice a long time ago I lived in love enough to experience glimpses of Awakening is motivating to me, hopeful that Awakening will come again.  But I try not to pester God with my request; He knows best.  It is enough to know that Awakening awaits all of us, when we are fully ready.

Be with me today for another good day.  If I stay active, I do have good days.  And when You make my agenda for the day, I have good days.  Open me to guidance today in all respects.  That is the only way that I want to live.

Help me to reach out to my brothers and sisters in need.  We all are in need at various times, and we are meant to help each other out.  When one is strong, the other is weak.  We take turns.  And this is as You intended us to live–in unity and relationship with ourselves, with You, and with others.

Amen.

Living from Love

renoir - girls putting flowers in their hair“You begin to live from love when the personal self gets out of the way.  And when the personal self gets out of the way in any instance, it is the turning point.  It is the signal that you are ready to live from love.  This is what the Course is about.  Living from love.  Living from love is what will reverse the lessons of the past.  Reversing the lessons of the past is what will allow one to live in love in every instance.  (A Course of Love, 25.16)”

Affirmation:  “I would live from love all day today.”

Reflections:

1 – Definition of Personal Self

The personal self has historically been the egoic self, and we are fast moving away from that egoic self.  When we are loving, we are welcoming the Self/Christ that is the real Self that is within.  This Self will begin showing itself the more that we live from love.  And in living from love, we leave fear behind–strong motivation indeed.

2 – The Ego

Our lessons of the past have partaken of the ego, and, as a result, the lessons learned have not always been true.  We have misled ourselves.  We need never make the mistake that it is God who is to blame, for this is insanity.  He gave us free will, and He would not, under any circumstances, renege on that great gift.  But, because of free will, we often see horrific happenings in our world.  And we wonder why God does not intervene.  And that is only one step away from blaming God for the tragedies in which we become embroiled.

3 – Free Will

God would grant free will to all, and there are many who misuse this great gift.  To deny to those who misuse this gift, the gift itself, is to turn aside from the evolution of the universe.  God waits patiently.  He has waited patiently, knowing the ultimate outcome will be good.  That does not justify the means that some of us have used in a nefarious way.  But it does help to explain why evil exists in our world.

4 – Bad Things Lessened

When we live from love, even the bad things seem somehow to be lessened.  Sure of the final outcome, we offer solace where needed, but we do not add our own uncertainties to that solace.  We do not intone, “Perhaps it was God’s will.”  Bad things are never the will of God.  If we can open the door ever so slightly to this interpretation, we will be ever more ready to live a tolerant life.

5 – Reverse the Incorrect

Let us spend some time today in communion with God, asking Him how we might reverse the incorrect lessons that have marred our past.  He will respond, for reversing that false learning is what A Course of Love is all about.  Be grateful that we do indeed have an answer to “Seek and ye shall find” (from the Bible).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live from a loving heart today.  Thank You for the specific answer to one of my prayers yesterday, with understanding of what to do coming immediately after the prayer.  The solution really is with the problem.  Thank You.  

Today has started well, in large part because I have sought to carry out what I received from You immediately after prayer yesterday.  What a blessing You have given me.  I sensed at the conclusion of my prayer, which I had typed out, that there would be a quick answer.  And indeed there was.  Thank You for these glimpses of the psychic.

Be with me as I seek to show love today to my significant others, most especially, but to all others that I might touch in some way.  You know best how that might come about.  Thank You for Your guidance, and may I be strong enough and courageous enough to follow Your guidance consistently, to turn on a dime if necessary.

Amen.

Intimacy

pissarro - village“This intimacy itself will allow you to see your ‘self’ as an integral part of all that exists within your world rather than as the small and insignificant personal self you generally accept as your ‘self.’  By eliminating the personal, the universal becomes available.  As the universal becomes available, you will have no desire for the personal.  Even so, you will find that what you consider your individuality or uniqueness is very much intact, but that it is different than you have always imagined it to be.  (A Course of Love, 22.23)”

Affirmation:  “I would encourage intimacy today.”

Reflections:

1 – Moving Away from the “Little” Self

This passage is an excellent statement of what we will gain when we give up focusing so much on the personal, or “little” self.  We will still retain individuality and uniqueness, but we will also be part of the unity of our world, and we will be in relationship to others, always.  We have been so self-centered that we have forgotten our brothers and sisters.  And we would not do that.

2 – Transcend the Personal Self

The universal will be joined in unity and relationship, two words that are used repeatedly in A Course of Love.  The personal self will be deemphasized, as we reach outward to other people.  We will not denigrate the personal self, but we will transcend it.  And then we will know the universality in our experiences.

3 – A New Uniqueness

We will come to know a new individuality or uniqueness in ourselves.  This change will help us to both honor ourselves and others.  We will not lose anything thereby.  On the contrary, we will know the best of all possible worlds, for our perception will have been cleansed, and we will have moved into knowledge granted us by God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know this new “uniqueness” today.  I would move away from, just turn away from, without resistance, the personal self that has been too much turned inward to a self-centeredness.  When I reach out to my brothers and sisters, I reach out in Your will.  But that does not mean that I neglect myself.  All in good time.  To give and receive are one.

Be with me as I explore this new uniqueness of self.  It is something that I don’t know enough about, yet, and I implore You to show me.  May I still recognize myself in the true sanity of the real world, and may I not be jolted out of my accustomed world into a new and strange place.  I ask for a gentle Awakening.  Thank You for those glimpses of the Awakening that come to me from time to time.  I ask that all of my brothers and sisters experience the same, in gentleness and in love.

Amen.

Deemphasize the “I”

“Begin to imagine life passing through you rather than getting stopped for examination at its pissarro - flowers in vaseintersection with you.  Begin to imagine seeing the world without the emphasis on your personal self.  Begin to form sentences and eventually to tell stories without the use of the ‘I’ pronoun.  (A Course of Love, 22.20)”

Affirmation:  “I will deemphasize my personal self today.”

Reflections:

1 – An Onion

The affirmation summarizes what our passage for today is saying, but the passage usually particularly vivid illustration.  Jesus has used the image of an onion to explain what his passing through is all about.  There are various layers, all of which represent parts of ourselves and our world.

2 – Don’t Get Stuck in a “Layer”

But we are not to get stuck in any given “layer.”  We are to let all of reality, true reality, just pass through us onto something else, one adventure after another.  And life can be an adventure.

3 – Avoid “I”

We are encouraged to stop saying “I” so much.  We are encouraged, in sentences nearby, not to refer to other individuals as “mine.”  We are to free others as we wish to be freed.  This does not mean that we love any less, only that we recognize the ultimate right of all to be free.  And when we grant freedom to others, we automatically receive it for ourselves, for giving and receiving are one.

4 – Analysis

We often have analyzed too much.  This is the mind at work, and A Course of Love encourages us to look to our hearts (and, then, our mind and heart in conjunction, which make for “wholeheartedness”).  When we have analyzed too much, we have not let life pass through us.  We have stopped at various points in the layers of the onion to consider what everything means.  And we will be wrong, for it is only in the passing through, the letting go, that we truly experience the real world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would deemphasize the personal self today.  I will not say “I’ so much.  That should encourage others to likewise deemphasize the “I.”

May I have a good day.  May I just let events flow through me.

This day You have given me to enjoy.  And to observe, coming closer to You and others, as well as my Self, all the time.  When we seek to serve You and others, we are also serving ourselves.  Let nothing hinder this threefold way of service today.

Amen.

We Cry Out for Healing Today

“Your choice to separate from God is but a separation from your own Self, and this is truly the separation that needs to be healed to return you to God.  (A Course of Love, 17.2)”

Affirmation:  “May I join with my Self today.”vincent-van-gogh-portrait-of-peasant-detail-resized-600.jpeg

Reflections:

1 – Personal Self

We are often moody.  Why?  We are living in the personal self, the little self that is still occupied with and identified with the ego.  The ego does not wish us well.  It welcomes conflict, because conflict keeps the ego alive and thriving.

2 – Relax into Our Hearts

There is a better way to live.  We can relax into our hearts, when we are down, and still the mind.  The final pages of the Workbook of A Course in Miracles are filled with reflections that some view as meditation.  These reflections, as well as the trilogy of A Course of Love, are particularly appropriate to consider our Self, the real inner being that is the Christ.  And when we turn to the inner being, we are reconciled to ourselves and to God at once.

3 – Glimpses of Revelation

We will sometimes fail to make this transition, for the glimpses of revelation are brief in the beginning.  But gradually, as we continue our pathway, the glimpses lengthen, and our time with the Self expands.  Then we are truly being returned to God, and posthaste.  We are not alone with the ego any longer.

4 – Ineffable Peace

When we have returned to our Self, we will know peace, an ineffable peace, far more often than we will experience any other emotion.  Indeed, Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that we will be “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time.  Drama of the ego will have faded away, and we will be glad of the fading.

5 – Listen Quietly

May we return to the Self today.  We cannot do this alone.  But we can ask for help, and, if we listen quietly, we will hear.  Invite God’s peace into your heart today.  He will not disappoint.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would do whatever I can today to return to my Self, the Christ in me.  I cannot do this without help, and I ask for Your help.  May the glimpses of revelation that I have known come again today, and may those glimpses lengthen in time.  I can eventually look forward to living in the Self all the time.  I welcome that day, though I know that the decision is Yours, and I respect this from the bottom of my heart.

Be with me today.  Keep me from anxiety.  If I am truly living as separated from You, I will have anxiety.  I will not have anxiety when I choose to heal the separation, the separation that has never been real anyway.  You have always been there for me, deep within me–as well as outwardly.  May my perceptions be cleansed into knowledge, Your true knowledge.  May I project outwardly only the harmony and peace that You encompass within me.

Be with me today as I sort out these complexities.  Salvation is simple, and when I get too much into complexities, I am speaking from my ego.  Correct this in me today.  Thank You.

Amen.

The Christ in Us

“It is easy to imagine how the Christ in you differs from your ego but not as easy to recognize how the Christ in you differs from spirit.  The Christ in you is that which is capable of learning in human form what it means to be a child of God.  The Christ in you is that which is capable of bridging the two worlds.  (A Course of Love, P.7)”

Affirmation:  “Help me to recognize the Christ in me.”

Reflections:

1 – Christ = the Self

This passage is part of the theology of A Course of Love.  The Christ in us is the Self in us that A Course in Miracles mentions.  And the Christ mitigates between the mind in this world, the mind of the personal self, and the spirit, which is akin to the soul and has never been born.

2 – Beautiful Words in ACOL

While I have given you this quotation to give some context for A Course of Love, we do not need to let theology delay us, if we find the words difficult to understand and, especially, difficult to accept.  Jesus is ever-practical, and in this blog we will assume that it is indeed Jesus who is talking in A Course of Love.  But even if this belief is too much for you to accept, just pay attention to the words, which are lovely indeed.  See if there is not something that will captivate you, as the words did for me.  Give A Course of Love a chance.

3 – Christ-Consciousness

The Christ in us will lead us eventually to Christ-consciousness, or the Awakening, or the Enlightenment.  The words all mean the same.  But in A Course of Love, Jesus says that nobody, just nobody, has sustained Christ-consciousness yet (the trilogy was written ten years ago or so).  He doesn’t even make an exception for himself, and this seems difficult for me to accept, something that I can’t quite know he meant to say.

4 – Glimpses Come First

I do know that many of us have had glimpses of Christ-consciousness, either over a few days, months, or, perhaps, even years.  So we may know what to expect more than we realize.

5 – Christ-Consciousness Ever More Constant

Pray today that Christ-consciousness might come upon more and more of us, sooner and sooner.  Then this world would indeed morph into something much grander than we know today as a troubled and difficult place, with light coming only from our spirituality.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would ask You, today, to lead me by the hand and show me another glimpse of Christ-consciousness.  I know that You have done this before for me, at first a long, long time ago–long before I found A Course in Miracles.  Help all whom I encounter today to be happy and at peace.  Help me to increase their happiness and peace.  Joy is the best form of reward for those of us who find Jesus’s message compelling.

Thank You for being there for me when I needed guidance.  I ask for guidance, and the guidance came to me.  At first I rejected it as just my notion, but a day later, I know that what I experienced was really meant to be followed.  A day later, I followed your guidance.  And tomorrow will be the better for an obedient turn of my mind and spirit.

Thank You for even the shocks of this day.  In the past day, I have learned of one death, and there is someone clinging to life, now without life support.  Be with us in these matters of life and death.  And help us to know, as Ruth Montgomery’s Guides said, that death is like walking through an open door.

Amen.

To Us Jesus Looks for Hope

“You do not love yourself.  But in his [Jesus’s] eyes your loveliness is so complete and flawless that he sees in it an image of his Father.  You become the symbol of his Father here on earth.  To you he looks for hope, because in you he sees no limit and no stain to mar your beautiful perfection.  (M-23.5)”

Affirmation:  “hope and perfection”

Reflections:

1 – We Are Lovable

This passage sounds almost too good to be true, but A Course in Miracles says many things that are contrary to what our ego would say about ourselves.  Here Jesus is talking about our real Self, the Christ within (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  Here Jesus is assuring us that we are lovable.  We do not have to have gigantic inferiority complexes that defy our good sense.  It is our ego that has led us astray, but the ego is not our real personal self, or the Self–neither of these.

2 – Created in Our Father’s Image

Jesus sees that we are created in our Father’s image.  Biblical teaching says the same.  Would we continue to doubt this?

3 – To Love Properly

We do not love ourselves properly, though the ego may entertain many egotistical thoughts about how wonderful we really are.  We know in our heart of hearts that something is amiss.  But Jesus says that it is not our Self that is amiss.  We can be full of hope as we walk into a new day.

4 – Not Flawed

Jesus does not see us as flawed, however much we may believe that we are flawed.  We have the strength of God in us, because He is in us–and we can come to see that this is true by inner communion.  May we offer prayers of gratitude that this is so, that we really are strong and have no limit.  Elsewhere Jesus says that we are not without limits in this world, but here he is saying that there is a way around those limits.  Let us believe him.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May we sense, even ever so slightly, that we are not terrible people.  Jesus sees the best in us, and that best is quite good.  We do not believe this, because our ego has so twisted our minds that we think that to believe we are good is egotistical thinking.  It is not.  

But we are good only in our Self.  The egoistic self, the personal self, does say and do things that are regretful indeed.  But we, our Self, can ask for forgiveness of ourselves and others for these misdeeds, knowing that God has never condemned us.  Jesus shares the laudable attitude that God holds toward us.

Thank You for these reassurances.  We often feel little, poor, and miserable, but You would lift us up and assure us that we are holy in Your sight, for we are created in Your image.

Amen.

Placing Reliance on Self Alone = Always Faulty

“He must be sure success is not of him, but will be given him at any time, in any place and circumstance he calls for it.  There are times his certainty will waver, and the instant this occurs he will return to earlier attempts to place reliance on himself alone.  Forget not this is magic, and magic is a sorry substitute for true assistance.  It is not good enough for God’s teacher, because it is not enough for God’s Son.  (M-16.8)”

Affirmation:  “reliance on self alone is magic”

Reflections:

1 – Relying on the Ego

Reliance on self alone is reliance on the ego that is a part of the personal self.  The teacher/student of God does not make this mistake if he wishes to have a good life, the kind of good life that God wishes for him/her.  We are used to placing reliance on ourselves alone.  The world teaches toward this, believing that good judgment is an asset to be favored and developed.

2 – Judgment Faulty

Yet we cannot have good judgment, because we cannot know all the facts surrounding any issue.  Our judgment, our personal judgment, of the same issue may seem right at one point, wrong at another.  We do not know.  Only the Holy Spirit knows all facts surrounding every issue, along with how our thoughts and actions will affect others beyond ourselves (in addition to ourselves).  So we give up judgment, and in so doing, we are blessed.  The burden is gone.  And it was all a fantasy, a false idea that we ought to develop our judgment to its heights.  (These ideas are paraphrases from the Manual.)

3 – This Definition of “Magic”

The word “magic” in this context is not a good thing.  It is akin to the secular psychological idea of “magical thoughts,” which suggest mental illness.  We do not always use the term “magic” as a negative, but Jesus here uses it in this way.  There are many different definitions of the same word in the English language, and this is one of them.

4 – Students/Teachers of God

Remember that only time (which does not really exist) separates the teacher of God from the student of God.  We are actually all both teacher and student (paraphrase from the Manual).  We do not always realize when we are teaching, but when we are teaching (which goes on all the time), we are drilling in to our own psyche the very things that we are trying to convey to our brothers and sisters.  We have often recognized that the teacher in a secular classroom learns best the lesson that he/she is teaching, and learns it better than the students who sit in the classroom.  This is akin to the passage selected for today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would recognize guidance and follow it as much as I can possibly bring myself to do.  If I hesitate, I will stop a moment and ask, “Why?”  I will not barrel ahead to a dubious conclusion.  My ego’s judgment is always faulty, and the personal self frequently is trapped in egoic thinking.

May I know that relying on the personal self is not the best that I can do.  I need Your help, and I know that there is no shame in acknowledging this need for You.  You are always there for me, and I would thank You for this commitment from You.  I am a part of You, but I do not see the whole picture that You see.  Help me to see more and more of the picture, though, as I turn to You ever more frequently.

Be with all of us as we seek You today.  And may today be a glorious day, even as the rainy weather cures the parched soil that I see outside my window.

Amen.

Awakening / Christ-Consciousness

“Yet there will be temptations along the way the teacher of God has yet to travel, and he has need of reminding himself throughout the day of his protection.  (M-16.8)”

Affirmation:  “I have God’s protection.”

Reflections:

1 – Awakening / Christ-Consciousness

We must remember that temptations are simply attempts to place another will above God’s–choosing this other will as our lodestone or our (inaccurate) guidance.  We are not perfect.  In fact, A Course of Love questions whether perfection is necessary for Awakening.  I have experienced a few spans of time that seemed to be Awakening, but these were not sustained.  And I can certainly attest to the truth that I am far from perfect.  So perhaps we can hope for a sustainable Awakening without “perfection” (whatever that might be).  Jesus, in A Course of Love, asserts that nobody has sustained Christ-consciousness–nobody at all.  And Christ-consciousness is very close to Awakening, though the two are not compared in either A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love.

2 – Temptations

A temptation may be as simple as an inclination not to follow the intuitive guidance that one is getting.  We may be heading in a given direction, get a “stop,” and just not feel very much like stopping–so we forge ahead, and often, later on and sometimes immediately, find out why we should have stopped.  A temptation can be just this benign.

3 – Struggle = of the Ego

And we are human.  We are used, over the years of the ego’s rule, of struggling, but still of following what we perceived to be our own will, whether or not that will seems in accord with the divine.  But now is the time that we ought to listen more carefully to guidance, and to see every instinct not to follow that guidance as a likely intrusion of the ego.  The ego does not wish us well.  This ego is defined as a part of ourselves that we have made, a part that does not follow divine guidance.  And so we suffer as a result.

4 – No Fretting / No Worry

We are protected by God, and His Communicator, the Holy Spirit.  The passage for today says this.  And surely this affirmation warms our hearts.  We need not fret; we need not worry.  We are under God’s protection, but He does need our cooperation to carry out the best and right things that we deserve to have.  He will not violate our “free” will, which is actually the part that the ego controls (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  Our real will and God’s Will are actually identical.  So, when we get that nudge, it is best to follow it, unless we have reason to suspect that emotion has carried away our reason, and, with it, our accurate assessment of intuition.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When I sense an intuition that seems to come beyond my personal self, help me to realize that this intuition may be genuine guidance of my higher Self–the Christ in me.  I do not, in saying this, make any egoistic claim, because all of us are the same:  the Christ, the higher Self, is in all of us.  Help me to make this point clear in what I write today.

May we ask for and receive Awakening/Christ-consciousness.  Jesus has used both words in different channeled writings, and to my limited mind, the two words appear to be synonymous.  May today be an especially good day, with glimpses of Awakening/Christ-consciousness.  May I do my part to be ready, though my part is very limited indeed.  This visitation, this glimpse of a higher Reality, is Your decision alone.  And may I not seem to pressure You before I am ready.  I do not want my ego to appropriate good things, good experiences to itself, and thus make of me a more limited being that I am already.

Be with all of us as we walk the pathway to Awakening/Christ-consciousness.  May we know that the time will be as right as the Answer.  And that You are observing us, knowing when we are ready for this blessing.  You will not act precipitously, and I ask that You keep me from acting precipitously in my desire for this blessing.  May I remain humble, yet assured in Your love.  I do not want arrogance, but arrogance is often of the ego (Jesus says), and so obviously I need Your help in sorting all of these concepts out.

Thank You for being there for me.  Thank You for granting me glimpses of what will one day be my norm.

Amen

Forsake Attack / Find Gratitude

ACIM Workbook Lesson 197 – for Monday, July 16, 2012

 

Affirmation:  “It can be but my gratitude I earn.”

“God blesses every gift you give to Him, and every gift is given Him, because it can be given only to yourself.  And what belongs to God must be His Own.  Yet you will never realize His gifts are sure, eternal, changeless, limitless, forever giving out, extending love and adding to your never-ending joy while you forgive but to attack again.  (WB377)”

Reflections:

1 – Attack / Forgiveness

As long as attack is attractive to us, we will need to turn again and again to forgiveness so that we get back on the right track.  And who among us can say that we never have the urge to attack (usually verbally), or that we never feel anger?  These are very human characteristics.  After all, think of Jesus in the temple with the moneychangers, as depicted in the New Testament.

2 – God Does Not Condemn

When we have made progress toward leaving attack behind, we will know the love that is described in today’s Workbook lesson.  We will know that God does not condemn, and we will know that our best action is also not to condemn–even when we don’t recognize that there has just been a mistake that can be rectified by forgiveness.  Remember the illusion in which we live.  The Self is never hurt–only the “little,” personal self.  And we would not take offense at a brother or sister who is having a hard time and takes it out on us.  We need to be bigger than that.

3 – Very Human Traits

All of this is not easy.  We carry these human traits, many from childhood and brought on by the insane ego.  Most of us have not completely relinquished the ego, and so we are more prone to take offense easily.

4 – Harmony

We need to do what we can to bring more love into our lives.  Do we not sense the harmony that can be ours when we choose the word or deed that comes from love rather than attack?

5 – God = Love

Let us today ask for the grace to live our lives in love, or in Love.  For God is Love, as the Scriptures tell us, and now as borne out by A Course in Miracles.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for reminding me that attack has no place in the group of reactions that we would have in this world.  Attack always blinds us to the Holy Spirit’s prompting, and attack also hurts our brothers and sisters.  We need the harmony that Love (God) and love (Awakening or Christ-consciousness) can effect in our lives.  May I ask for that harmony to be mine today.  I realize that this may be a daily prayer, for I do not know when I will be ready for You to reach down and awaken me.

Thank You for being here for me.  The day has been good so far, and always a day goes better when the morning is good.  You know that I am not a morning person, though I get up and start the day at a relatively early hour.  You know that I need structure to my day, to make that day be devoted to the pathway that You point out to me.  Thank You for guiding my decisions, so that the little decisions that the Holy Spirit gives me, moment-by-moment, are heeded.

I am grateful for the blessing of Your Love.  May I never forget my indebtedness to You.  And may I never forget how much You love me.

Amen.

Can You Be a Channel for Healing?

“For a teacher of God to remain concerned about the result of healing is to limit the healing.

“Whenever a teacher of God has tried to be a channel for healing he has succeeded.  (M-7.1-2).”

Affirmation:  “I wish to be a channel for healing.”

Reflections:

1 – Don’t Doubt the Outcome

When we remain concerned about the results of our petition for healing, we are doubting the outcome.  And Jesus assures us that healing has happened, even when our eyes show us that the situation is unchanged.  We cannot doubt.  The Self has gotten involved, and the personal self will know wellness when completely ready for it.

2 – Don’t Offer Continuing Concern

Continuing concern about healing, or recovery from illness or sickness, in our world appears to be compassionate.  But Jesus in the Manual indicates otherwise.  Continuing concern that the healing has actually happened does limit the healing in ways that surely none of us fully understand.  This is one time that we just have to take Jesus at his word.

3 – Channels for Healing

To know that we can be channels for healing, and that we can succeed, is enormously liberating.  We do not have to appeal to faith on the ground that the healing has not occurred.  If we take Jesus at his word, the healing, at least on some level, has occurred when we have asked for it.  We cannot doubt without limiting our asking.

4 – To Be Received Openheartedly

May we seek to heal ourselves and others with a joyous spirit, confident that the healing will happen when it will be received openheartedly.  We do not have to doubt; indeed, we cannot doubt if we wish the healing to be received in any way other than a limited way.  Full release comes from full confidence in Jesus.  We are not healers, but through us the Holy Spirit can handle the situation with grace and ease.

5 – Living an Illusion

If the ideal of healing does not appear ever to be received, we fall back on the surety that we are living an illusion.  The inner Self always knows healing, and it is the personal self that lives in this world that knows illness, suffering, and death.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would experience today what the Self experiences, which is peace and healing.  If my personal (little) self wants to see something else, may I be let to know that this is a request for illusion.

Be with me today as I seek to follow Your way.  Healing will always come, when it is asked for.  Help me to rest on this assurance.

Thank You.

Amen.

We Are Living a Dream

“They [teachers of God] seek for God’s Voice in this brother who would so deceive himself as to believe God’s Son can suffer.  And they remind him that he did not make himself, and must remain as God created him.  They recognize illusions can have no effect.  (M-5.III.3)”

Affirmation:  “I remain as God created me.”

Reflections:

1 – Salvation

When we are trying to bring salvation to another, we must seek for the Voice for God in that other.  This Voice is another name for the Holy Spirit.  The Manual makes it clear that we are only separated from our brothers and sisters by time, and time does not really exist.  We can quickly fall from teacher to student by missteps, and often these missteps come because we have failed to listen to the Holy Spirit or Christ-consciousness (the latter is described in A Course of Love).

2 – When We Suffer

We are deceived when we are suffering, and similarly deceived are our brothers and sisters who are suffering.  This does not mean that we deny the sight of our physical eyes, but just that we recognize that what we are viewing is illusion, and therefore, ultimately, unreal (ACIM tenets).

3 – The Personal Self and the (Larger) Self

We are still as God created us.  We may have trouble understanding how this can be, when we see our failings and even our travails as evidence that we have fallen from greater heights.  But the real Self has not changed, and it is the essence of the personal self that is the Self (sometimes called the Christ).

4 – Illusions

We do not always recognize that illusions are, in fact, illusions.  We look with our physical eyes, and we empathize and sympathize with those whom we see as poor, suffering individuals.  This may in fact not be a hindrance to us, as long we ask for healing as soon as we recognize the need for it.  We may not see a physical change, and maybe not even an emotional one.  But the request for healing is always granted, and the healing will be received when the individual is ready for it (ACIM tenets).

5 – Not to Choose Healing

I should note that the view of A Course in Miracles is an ideal, and not all will experience healing.  Most of us choose an illness to cause our death at the end of our lifespan.  And then healing does not appear to have been received.  But who knows what remains beyond the veil of death?  We do not know, and we normally believe that life on the Other Side is free of illness, suffering, and pain.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Be with me as I continue my study of Jesus’s statements on sickness in A Course in Miracles.  I do not expect to understand fully; some things are veiled on this earth.  Be with me, though, as I try to understand.

I would choose physical and emotional healing today.  I would not knowingly choose illness.  Be with me in this choice.

I know that learning through rewards lasts, whereas learning through pain is only temporary.  ACIM tells me this.  May I learn through rewards today and every day.

Thank You.

Amen.

Does ACIM Blame the Victim?

“He [the teacher of God] has. . .a more specific function for those who do not understand what healing is.  These patients do not realize they have chosen sickness.  On the contrary, they believe that sickness has chosen them.  (M-5.III.1)”

Affirmation:  “I alone choose sickness, and I would not do so.”

Reflections:

1 – Sickness = Learn through Pain

We need to open our minds a bit today.  We need to entertain the concept that we have invited any sickness that has invaded our world.  This does not mean that we “blame the victim.”  This is a paradoxical truth that many do not understand.  We do not consciously choose sickness, in most cases.  We may put ourselves in a position wherein sickness becomes inevitable, but even cases of this scenario are limited.  Sickness is chosen when we believe that it will teach us something.  And that we will learn through pain.

2 – Learning through Pain = Temporary

Jesus says that there is only a temporary learning component to pain.  In ACIM, he states conclusively that we do not have to learn through pain, that learning through rewards is the only lasting learning.

3 – Physical Illness

Once into sickness, though, sickness can become a way of life.  We may not know how to rid ourselves of apparently incurable illnesses.  And we may even die from them.  After all, everyone passes from this world in some way, and it is usually through physical illness–some organic illness, either quick or slow.

4 – Healing Accepted

May we pray today to be healed of our afflictions.  May we know that we will accept the healing when we are ready, and that the healing may be emotional rather than physical.  It may be an example of our choice to leave this world now.  It may be a lesson that we wanted to learn, and that this too shall pass.

5 – The Role of the (Larger) Self

When we know that we are in the driver’s seat, that our Self has chosen the sickness that afflicts us, then we are in a better position to choose again, to choose anew.  There is great celebration, we may believe, in Heaven, when a child of God chooses to give up his/her belief in the value of sickness.  There are other ways to learn.  Let us explore some of them, through our study of ACIM, today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I doubt that I will understand the role of the Self in my life while I am alive on earth.  But I trust what has been said, and I believe that this Self, of which my “little” or personal self is a part, does much to decide what transpire for me in my life.  Thank You for guiding the Self.  I would not allow inferior decisions by the personal self to influence my walk through this world.  May I choose guidance that allows me to learn through rewards rather than through pain.

Be with me as I walk through this day.  Be with me when I am having a bad day.  Help me to keep my thoughts on the positive side so that I do not attract the things in my life that I do not want.

Thank You for always being here for me.

Amen.

Who Is Your Physician?

“Who is the physician?  Only the mind of the patient himself.  The outcome is what he decides that it is.  Special agents seem to be ministering to him, yet they but give form to his own choice.  (M-5.II.2)”

Affirmation:  “My mind is the physician.”

Reflections:

1 – Personal Experience

This is the passage in the Manual of A Course in Miracles that I sought out when my father was gravely ill and in intensive care in 1992–fully 20 years ago.  Believing as I did in the truths of ACIM, I also believed that my father had chosen the particular circumstances of his grave illness for a purpose.  The words of this passage were very comforting to me during this terrible time.  And my father died.  I believe that he chose the manner and timing of his death (interpretations based on ACIM, but not stated directly).  If we can reach this point in understanding A Course in Miracles, there is a great blessing bestowed on us.

2 – When Illness Visits Us

We do not have to seek out this passage only when others are involved.  We can adopt its philosophy as our own when illness visits, for it will sometimes come and seem unsought.

3 – The Self Has Chosen

The answer is that it is the Self that has chosen, the Christ within, not the personal self, not the little self comprised, in part, of an ego.  Knowing this, we can have both sympathy and empathy for ourselves and others when sickness comes into this world.  We do not have to believe in its true reality, for we are, as always, in the illusion.  We particularly do not want to blame ourselves in personal illness, or the evolution of others on the spiritual path (if others are considered at this time).  This is a “blame the victim” mentality, and is one of the pitfalls of those who believe in many of the tenets of New Age thought.  We do not blame the victim in any case; we realize that on a higher level the Self has made a choice, but we can never know the circumstances of that choice.  Only the Holy Spirit can know this, and He does not always tell us enough that we are led to understand.

4 – “Special Agents”

Physicians and other medical staff are the “special agents” that minister to ourselves and others during sickness.  We can ask for guidance about which medical staff, specifically, to seek out.  If we choose to become well again, with the aid of these special agents, we can know that we saw the valuelessness of sickness–at least this time.  There are no guarantees in this world.  We may fall down again, and find ourselves sick–through no fault of our own.  When more sickness comes, it is evidence that we are learning through pain.  Jesus would not counsel this, but ACIM recognizes the almost inevitable nature of this type of thinking for human beings.

5 – When Sickness Strikes

So, when sickness strikes (and, for most of us, it will, sooner or later), ask for the guidance to know how to choose aright, how to choose healing.  And then go about to follow that guidance.  The Holy Spirit will be with us every step of the way, and we can also believe that Jesus holds our hand, for he has promised to come at a single unequivocal call (from ACIM).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know, if sickness visits me, that my Self has chosen this form of intervention for a purpose.  May I listen quietly and try to discern what that purpose is.

Be with me today so that no illness, physical or emotional, visits me.  I know that You are “for health” all the way, and that learning is better effected through rewards rather than pain.

Many of us choose sickness, but I would not go this way.  I would be healthy and vibrant, and this can happen only if I follow You.  Your Way is the best way, the practical way, to a life in this world that is peaceful, calm, tranquil, and joyous.  I would learn Your way, not through pain.

May I learn through rewards today.

Amen.