Tag Archives: prayer and meditation

The Reason for Unhappiness

“Yet you must understand that nothing that is not part of God is worthy of joining, nor can join with you.  What you have sought to join with is the reason for your unhappiness.  For you seek to join with what cannot be joined, and you seek separation from all that could be joined with you and all that would fill your dark and lonely places with the happiness you seek.  (A Course of Love, 12.4)”

Affirmation:  “I would join, metaphorically, with all today.”

Reflections:Woman in a Boat - renoir

1 – Joining, Not Separation

The passage for today is obscure, but it is likely that Jesus is referring to our belief in a separated state, and the idea that we can join with special others when we wish, and depart from those same special ones when we wish (from the Manual of A Course in Miracles).  But nothing separated can actually be joined.  We need to, at least tentatively and temporarily, share an idea of Oneness with all.  And then the joining is easy.

2 – Spending Time with God

Jesus is not speaking here of physical joining, though he does speak of this joining elsewhere.  He indicates that this physical means was meant to remind us of our desire to one, not to be separate.  We are meant to be in relationship one to another; we are never meant to spend lives of isolation.  I do not mean for this statement to be controversial.  There are introverts who prefer solitude to the company of others, and shy people sometimes choose solitude also.  There are many religious individuals in religious orders that spend a good bit of time in prayer and meditation, and for these activities they may be alone.  But God is always with us, and He wants our companionship.  The opening pages of the Text of ACIM says that God is lonely when the minds that He created do not commune with Him.  He knows that we have fallen asleep and must be awakened.  And He seeks to do just that.

2 – Joining in Onwness

So, we learn today that joining in Oneness is the intention of God for us.  We are in unity and relationship, a recurrent theme of A Course of Love.  The unity makes us One; the relationship makes us differentiate from one another so that companionship can occur.  We are actually talking with a part of ourselves when we speak to another!  And we would not wish for ourselves a bad day, and so let us be kind and loving, sparing of anger and attack, when we are with others.  Our brothers and sisters deserve this of us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I never be guilty of choosing isolation from You.  And, except in special and particular times, I would not choose isolation from other people.  Be with me today as I seek to be sensitive to the interpersonal needs of other people, and to share my life with theirs, to the extent that we both desire.

I would thank You for leading me from too much introversion to a blend of being both introvert and extrovert.  I learned years ago that I get along better when I share my life with others, including the personal aspects that previously I kept between myself, my journal, and my God.

We do best when we join with others, not taking the idea of separation so seriously.  Separation, especially the independence that is so prized in our culture, is actually not always wise.  And separation, by itself, is never wise.  

May we seek and find You in the companionship that You would wish to have with us.  May I speak to You often today.

Amen.

Depression / Sadness

“When you are sad, know this need not be.   Depression comes from a sense of being deprived of something you want and do not have.  Remember that you are deprived of nothing except by your own decisions, and then decide otherwise.  (T63)”

Affirmation:  “I am deprived of nothing except by my own decisions”

Reflections:

1 – Change What Hurts

This passage is part of a group in which Jesus negates negative emotions.  He makes clear at this point that we make our own decisions, and we can change conditions that hurt.  In particular, in this passage he indicates that sadness can be overcome, even when it is depression.

2 – Pills

Elsewhere Jesus notes that pills are a form of magic, but that they may be necessary if we are already fearful.  They are an intermediate step that will assist us, still caught in illusions, to overcome what is wrong simply because we believe that it will work for us.  Certainly medication for depression would seem to fall in this category.

3 – Change the Circumstances

Pills are not magic potions, though some people may disagree.  We need to change the life circumstances that are causing our discomfort, but this does not necessarily mean an outward change.  It may be enough to change our inner reflections, turning to prayer and meditation, contemplation and reflection.  God will always be there for us when we seek Him.  The Holy Spirit guides us inwardly, and He will prompt us to make change in our outer circumstances if these seem warranted.  I have found, though, that most change is best made internally, by a readjustment in thinking and feeling.  And it is the thought that leads to the feeling (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).

4 – An Explanation of Why Depression Happens

Note the explanation of why depression happens:  a sense of being deprived of something you want and do not have.   The vast majority of us can relate to this, sometimes on a daily basis–and certainly over our lifetime.  It is a great relief to know that we have actually chosen these instances of deprivation.  We are trying to learn something.  The fact that we are learning through pain is not good, because elsewhere Jesus says that it is not necessary to learn through pain.  Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now) indicates much that supports A Course in Miracles, but his pathway toward Awakening was in fact through tremendous anxiety and depression.  A later book by Tolle, A New Earth, makes this point even clearer by his explanation of the “pain body.”  Jesus, though, would not have us take this route if we can follow him to the uttermost that he promises.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I leave sadness behind, by my own decision.  May I choose the gladness that can come, also by my own decision.

If I need to use pills to combat depression, may I do so knowing that they are an aid, but not a cure.  The real cure comes through changing our minds about what we want.  And what we want is joy.

Amen.