Don’t Live in the Past

“Let me ask you now, are these feelings—feelings that are attached to your belief that you have harmed others—not feelings of sorrow? Are you not sorry for these actions? Have you not expressed your wish that you had acted differently? Can you see a way to change the past or to “make up for” what occurred in the past?

“Now is the time for acceptance, even of these actions that you would rather not accept. (ACOL, D:Day2.10 – Day 2.11)

Just prior to this quotation, Jesus is expressing his understanding that we all have things that we regret, and regret deeply. We think, therefore, that we are not good enough for this blessing that Jesus is holding out for us, the blessing of Christ-consciousness.

But here he goes on to say that our deep regret is enough, that we don’t have to “merit” his blessing. Here we have to simply move on, and the way to do that is through acceptance, radical acceptance, of ourselves.

He specifically mentions divorce as a point of great regret for many people. He knows, and we know, that we must move on from this. Our future lives depend on putting this action in the past. And until we accept the circumstances, we will have trouble putting divorce in the past.

But it can be done. Thus so for all, and that means all, things that we are sorry to have perpetrated in our lives. We regret, we ask forgiveness, and then we move on. There is no other way.

So: Accept today that those things in the past that hold regret are just that—in the past. And we don’t live in the past. We live today. Forgive, including forgive ourselves, and then move on—to acceptance. Then we are ready for God’s great blessing of Awakening, Christ-consciousness, enlightenment.

Dear God,

When I look over my life, I see some things to regret. But, as Jesus recommends, I place those things I in the distant past now. I see the world anew and afresh. I see with clear eyes, no more old nonsense. I would live well and peacefully, in Your good grace, from now on.

Thank You.

Amen.

Atonement Is for You. But Learn This Course and It Is Yours.

1 – No Regret

“God’s teachers can have no regret on giving up the pleasures of the world. Is it a sacrifice to give up pain? Does an adult resent the giving up of children’s toys? Does one whose vision has already glimpsed the face of Christ look back with longing on a slaughter house? (M33)”

2 – No Lasting Pleasures

There are no lasting pleasures in this world. The pleasures that are lasting are intangible, and by definition not of this world. That is why using the law of attraction to get physical things will not be satisfying over the long haul. But using the law of attraction to get love, joy, peace, harmony—these will be lasting.

3 – Pain

We all too often do know pain when we are caught in the ego’s throes. We think that we are happy, and we are—for a time. But the ego is constantly being undone, because it is a part of belief about ourselves, a false part. And so God leads us ever so gently to a better way. A Course in Miracles points out that other way.

4 – Seek

“’Seek but do not find’ remains this world’s stern decree, and no one who pursues the world’s goals can do otherwise. (M34)”

5 – Ego

The ego will always seek but not find. Any pleasure will almost immediately be balanced by a sense of pain, however minor it may be.

6 – The Physical Toys

Do you want to seek and find? Then we must turn aside from the physical toys of this world, though in themselves they are not wrong. Just not lasting in pleasure. We will always want something more. Always something more. For the ego is insatiable.

7 – What Do You Want?

“And what, O teacher of God, is it that you want? You have been called by God, and you have answered. Would you now sacrifice that Call? Few have heard it as yet, and they can but turn to you. There is no other hope in all the world that they can trust. (M34)”

8 – Teachers of God

We are talked to here as teachers of God, and only time separates the teacher from the student, and time does not really exist. We need to answer the plaintive call of others who are lost in ignorance, pain, and suffering—but not in an overt way of proselytizing. Some are ready, as the Manual says, only for a smile.

9 – Proselytizing

The quickest way to turn someone off from God and the Holy Spirit is to lean on them, to proselytize. We will know when someone is ready to hear us. We will know. Then we speak. But only then.

10 – Holiness

“It is its [the Word of God] holiness that makes you safe. It is denied if you attack any brother for anything. For it is here the split with God occurs. A split that is impossible. A split that cannot happen. Yet a split in which you surely will believe, because you have set up a situation that is impossible. (M34)”

11 – Attack

We need to give up attack, even attack that occurs only in our minds. Even if we don’t say anything, the attack has hurt us. And there is a Oneness to the Mind so that others will sense what we are thinking (not an ACIM tenet).

12 – Holy Spirit

How do we give up attack? The quickest way is to immediately commune with God when tempted to think less of another. Sometimes we need to distance ourselves from the scene of the “crime.” Sometime we are not strong enough to avoid attack thoughts. And it is then that we need help. We need to ask help of the Holy Spirit, and that help is always forthcoming.

13 – Atonement

“Atonement is for you. Your learning claims it and your learning gives it. The world contains it not. But learn this course and it is yours. (M35)”

14 – At – One – Ment

Atonement is illustrated by some teachers of the Course as “at-one-ment.” This is not the full meaning, but it does lead in the direction that we want to go. Jesus is in charge of the Atonement, and he fulfilled his part in it in his life and resurrection on earth. Now he would help us to fulfill ours. Our way is not the way that he walked, and it can be decidedly pain-free.

15 – Motivation

This passage gives a strong motivation to learn the Course. Surely we want Atonement, the salvation that we all so desperately need. The Course does not have to be seen as difficult if we keep to the basics that Jesus explains, often repeatedly. Everything is either love or a call for love (or help); anything else if a misrepresentation of what is actually going on. We need not attack or feel anger when we recognize that our brothers and sisters are innocent of wrongdoing. Their real Self has not sinned. Their little self has made mistakes. These concepts embrace the fundamentals that the Course would have us to understand.

16 – For Us?

Do we believe Atonement is for us? If not, then we are acting against Jesus’s word to us. He has promised us that Atonement is for us, and nothing else that we might add to that fundamental is true.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I recognize the truth that Jesus speaks in the Course. May I have the Atonement that is promised in the Course, and may I have it soon.

You know that I long for many things, but Atonement is at the top of the list. Be with me now as I seek for Your blessing and ask for the gift of Atonement.

Amen.

A Prayer to Relinquish Attack

“You could not recognize your ‘evil’ thoughts as long as you see value in attack.  You will perceive them sometimes, but will not see them as meaningless.  And so they come in fearful form, with content still concealed, to shake your sorry concept of yourself and blacken it with still another ‘crime.’ (T622)”

Affirmation:  “‘Evil’ thoughts are meaningless.”

Reflections:

1 – Leave Attack Behind

A Course in Miracles would have us leave attack behind forever.  If we do attack, we may feel better momentarily, thinking that we have gotten the guilt out (an interpretation by Ken Wapnick), the anger vented, but we will accuse ourselves of “sin,” or, as the Course says, yet another mistake.  We will feel worse about ourselves, a “sorry concept,” that has been blackened by yet another crime.  This will not do.  We cannot live a rewarding life this way.  So what do we do?

2 – Turn Anger over to the Holy Spirit

The words of the passage are deep.  They suggest that the only way out of our illusions of sin are to leave attack alone.  Turn over our anger to the Holy Spirit.  Let him judge the severity of the deed against ourselves, done by another.  It is not for us to judge; let Him.  We are told in ACIM that attack and anger are never justified.  But this does not mean that we repress (or try to suppress) our anger.  Today’s psychology knows better, even as does ACIM.  Today’s psychology would have us vent this anger, but is this really the best way?  Don’t we likely hurt others in the process of venting?  And do we not feel guilty that we have hurt ourselves as well as others?  If we follow the way of A Course in Miracles, and turn our anger over to the Holy Spirit, He will relax us and stress will resolve (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  When we have given our hurt over to the inner Guide, we know that we are not alone.  And we will live, daily, on a much better footing.

3 – Attack Never Works

We think that attack gives us something that we want.  We are wrong.  The way of attack can never work.  ACIM embodies that premise.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

One of my greatest regrets is the verbal attack that I made to someone who was actually one of my greatest friends, though we have never seen each other much at all.  When someone is out of our life, it is too late to make amends.  We can only try to forgive ourselves for this lamentable behavior.  You have not ever condemned me for my foolishness, and so You do not need, actually, to “forgive.”  But I need to feel forgiveness in my own mind and spirit, and that is what I pray for specifically today.

Be with me as I seek to walk a fresh pathway, clear of the false ways of acting that impeded my life when I was much younger.  Thank You for A Course in Miracles, for the blessing of ACIM.  We live in an eternity, and in eternity we are innocent.  May I take this promise unto myself today.

Be with my brothers and sisters who read this blog posting.  May they know forgiveness for any regrets that they still harbor for deeds that cannot be undone from the past.

Amen.