Tag Archives: reading

Finding God

When you choose to surrender, to give up the game, to give up the dream of trying to resist the Truth that is true about you always, you will become a mere channel, a mere conduit. You will become no more a seeker, for you will have decided to have found. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 6, Page 72)

We do not want to remain seekers forever; we want to find. When we open ourselves to the God within, we put ourselves in a place where we can declare that we have found. And this is very sweet indeed. Much of our reading has been seeking behavior. We have wandered in and out of treatises, ancient advice, channeled writing. This has not been wrong; we had to find something that would speak to our hearts. But if we don’t want to remain seekers forever, never to find, we must start listening to our own hearts, sans the advice.

God speaks to each of us, just all the time. His way is clear, when we get out subconscious fears and judgments set aside.

Set aside fear and judgment today. Let God know that we are serious about listening to Him. Not that we will never read again, but that we will bring our own insight to the table. Then our reading can really speak to us.

Listening with the Heart

guillaumin-ivry“Often you will find a desire to read A Course of Love again–to read it aloud–to hear it spoken.  This is a natural desire to let the words of this Course enter you in yet another way–the way of voice.  Again it is not required nor even recommended that these readings be interrupted by a search for meaning.  Listen.  Respond.  Let meaning be revealed.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “I will reread A Course of Love, listening with my heart.”  

Reflections:

1 – Don’t Study

We are encouraged here not to “study” A Course of Love.  This is hard for us, for A Course in Miracles required study, and intense study indeed.  But A Course of Love is to be read with an abstract mind, letting its truths permeate the mind with a balm that dismisses the need to analyze.  In fact, we miss the point if we try to analyze.

2 – Read Aloud

Let us read at least some portions of A Course of Love aloud.  The language is beautiful.  Hearing the words as we will speak them will encourage a different part of our minds to respond.  And our heart will get in on the act.  And the heart is what has been the new element introduced by Jesus in ACOL.  Let us not forget that it is by way of the heart that we come to know much that has eluded us earlier.

3 – How the Heart Learns

It can be frustrating to read A Course of Love and to feel that we are not “getting” it fully.  This is the way that the heart learns, though–by inference more than direction.  And when we are frustrated, we need to slow down and let the words just roll over us.  We will not then be disappointed in what we find therein.

4 – Don’t Struggle

Be attentive to what ACOL says.  But do not struggle to learn.  Let its wisdom enter your ear as you read aloud, and then know that what is missed will be observed in another pass through its words.  A Course of Love is meant to be read and reread before its words are written on our heart.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would seek to expand my learning via the heart into not only a reading of A Course of Love, but in other ways in my life.  I will listen with the “ears” of the heart, ever attune to what You are trying to tell me.  Let me relax in Your pleasure.  May I not strain to understand, but be patient as I let the truth be revealed to me.

The heart knows what the mind cannot comprehend.  I would learn with my heart in all ways today, just to see where it takes me.  And I am reassured that the heart will take me to very good places indeed.

Amen.

On Rereading A Course of Love

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“In wholeheartedness then you are ready to return to a second reading of A Course of Love.  In wholeheartedness you will find difficulty falling away and understanding arising.  You are beginning to know yourself in a new way.  You are beginning to know yourself without the perceptions and the judgments of the mind.  You are beginning to know yourself as you truly are and you will begin to hear the language of this Course as the language of your own heart.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “I am beginning to know myself as I really am.”

Reflections:

1 – No Judgment

We need to let judgments fall away.  Judgments and expectations are two major barriers that we erect against intimacy with out loved ones.  And we would be rid of these barriers.  A Course in Miracles counsels that we will fall away from our salvation if we attack, make judgments, or weave plans against contingencies to come.  This is a somewhat hidden warning, but there in the Text nevertheless.  And we would today take a look at judgment.

2 – Wholeheartedness

Wholeheartedness is the natural state of our being.  In wholeheartedness, we have woven mind and heart together to form one.  And we will know ourselves better.  At this point we are bade to reread A Course of Love, and it is intimated that therein we will come to know ourselves better.  We will be without the judgments of the mind when we have moved completely into wholeheartedness.  The heart does not ask for “proof” as does the mind.  The heart just knows, with a sureness that comes from God.

3 – Know Thyself

If we only could know ourselves as we truly are!  And this is the promise of the passage for today.  We have so often thought that we did not know ourselves, and certainly, with the ego in ascendancy, we did not know our real Self.  Our real Self is the elevated Self of form, the physical being that lives in this world, but who derives sustenance from high realms.

4 – The Self

The Self is a blessing.  And when we glimpse this Self, even in fleeting moments, we will know what the future holds for us.  And it is good indeed!

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Today I would listen to the language of my own heart, not only in ACOL, but also in everyday life.  What is my heart trying to tell me?  What is my heart saying?

This turning inward to ascertain what is truly important is a giant leap toward the life that I want.  I look to the future, but always I am also satisfied in the present, trying to live in the Now as much as possible.

Help me know what my loved ones need from me today.  And may I provide what is mine to provide.  If their needs are for something that I cannot provide, may You see that they receive the prayer of their heart.

Amen.

Give Up Effort in Reading ACOL

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Note:  A year or so after the Course of Love series was complete, Jesus provided “learning in the Time of Christ” as an aid to those questioning how to work with the material of this Course.  It has been edited here to serve as an introduction for taking, and living A Course of Love.  The full text is available from http://www.acourseoflove.com.

“Yet it is your difficulty in giving up your attachment to learning through the application of thought and effort that creates the perception of this Course’s difficulty.  Thus it is said to you to take this Course with as little attachment to your old means of learning as is possible for you.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “Do not retain old ways of learning.”

Reflections:

1 – The Unconscious

It is not possible to read any of the volumes of A Course of Love with the “old” way of learning, or at least that has been my experience.  The material must be absorbed differently, with a bit more of an abstract approach.  The material does not lend itself to traditional means of studying, and I have done much studying in my life.  The material, instead, asks that we contemplate, as we read, with an almost detached mind.  Then the material becomes absorbed through the unconscious, where the material can do the most good.  If we try to “study” in the old way, we will just frustrate ourselves, because we will find that we cannot easily retain what we have read.

2 – Ignore “Old” Way of Learning

So give up old ways of learning, and let the heart speak to you as you read, gently, all three volumes of A Course of Love.  Abstraction, we are told in the A Course in Miracles, is the most natural way of the mind.  We have made specifics our god, and that concrete thinking does not work for the heartfelt A Course of Love.  (It does work better for A Course in Miracles, though.)

3- Let Your Heart Speak

We do not need to make a tremendous effort to “learn” A Course of Love.  This will not lead to mastery.  Let your heart speak to you as you read, and you will be sure to have placed your allegiance where best it can be placed.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would give up my frustration that studying A Course of Love gives me.  I will read as though I were reading a story, and I will let my unconscious mind absorb the tenets.  This is the preferred way to read, and I would do so today.

Be with me during this day of turning aside from the ego.  I did turn aside from the ego yesterday, for a long time, and so today my ego is likely to try to have a field day.  No longer.  I will listen to You, listen in no fear, and know that I do not need the ego to “protect” me.  Indeed, the ego has never protected anybody.

May I get along well with my brothers and sisters today.  And may friends, known and unknown, have a good day.

Amen.

Dark Night of the Soul

“Child of God, you are alien here but need not be alien to your Self.  In your knowledge of your Self, all threat of time and space and place dissolves.  You may still walk an alien land, but not in a fog of amnesia that obscures what would be a brief adventure and replaces it with dreams of terror and confusion so rampant that no toehold of security is possible, and day turns endlessly into night in a long march toward death.  (A Course of Love, 4.6)”

Affirmation:  “May I know my Self today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Self

The Self (capitalized) is meant in A Course of Love to be the Christ who is in each of us.  Christ, as we know, is not limited to Jesus.  He paved the way, and is still leading the way, but he does not believe that he has anything that we cannot attain.  Even this sentiment is expressed in the New Testament, and certainly this sentiment finds a welcome home in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

2 – Terror and Confusion Begone

The passage for today is particularly vivid in its metaphors.  We are told that we can see our lives here as a brief adventure, and we do not need to have dreams of terror and confusion.  But most of us do, and most of us still do–despite study of ACIM and ACOL.  We are all equals in the journey that we take, the “journey without distance” (quotation from ACIM).

3 – Clear Our Minds

When we are lost in the emotions of fear–terror and confusion, as herein described–we are not in a good frame of mind even to study ACIM and ACOL.  We need, perhaps, to clear our minds in whatever ways we have determined work for us.  Possible avenues are prayer (communion with God), meditation (if we are led to do so, but long hours of “contemplation” are specified citing by Jesus in ACIM as being “tedious”), conversation with significant others in our lives, counseling, even listening to music.  (These are personal recommendations, most not cited in ACIM nor ACOL.)  When we are lost in terror and confusion, it is hard for the Holy Spirit and Christ-consciousness to reach us.  We have temporarily lost our way, lost it to the ego that has not died within us.

4 – Dark Nights of the Soul

Seek calm and quiet and stillness in whatever ways work for you.  Stay relaxed, sure of your eventual emergence from this dark night of the soul.  Dark nights of the soul come to all of us on the way back to God, and they do not mean that we are the less for having them.  It is part of the journey, and it is also a time not to give up on our religion.  We will know comfort again.  In the meantime, we stay the course.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would have a good day today and every day.  Even when hard times come, I do not have to feel abandoned.  I know intellectually that You are here, even when I don’t feel anything.  And I pray to sense Your Presence in my daily walk about this world.

May the fearful emotions, the terror and confusion, not veil my eyes from the light of the sun.  May I know that anytime I experience fear, there is a dawn coming that will be better.  May I choose to be tolerant of myself when I am torn by conflicting emotions.  They are evidence of the human condition, not that I have lost my way–though it may feel that way.

Be with me today and always.  Help me to turn aside from terror and confusion without adding to the fear by my own thinking.  Let my heart, which knows of comfort, speak to me today and every day.  Be with me, be with us, as we seek Your pathway through this sometimes tragic world.

Amen.