Tag Archives: relationship

Accepting God’s Decision for Mystery

“From all eternity God has wanted mystery to exist.  Accepting this is important.”  COL bk.2, 20:II

Mystery exists because we are not the fullness, omniscience, of God, but, instead, His finite creations.  God wants to experience through us, in unity and relationship.  He differentiates Himself into unique creations, but all are unified in Himself.  We are in relationship to Him, and yet united in Him.  We live with the possibility of His guidance because we are related to the Whole.  And intuition gives us the wherewithal to know some of God’s Mind.

We can rest in the knowledge that we can live well, despite not knowing “everything.”  We can welcome mystery as an example of God’s providential care.  Mystery will draw us to the numinous, and we can rest in awe of God when we commune with Him.  His mystery can give us comfort, because our little mind could not comprehend the whole even if it were offered.

We need to accept the mystery, for this quotation, attributed to Mary, says it all.  We need not to chafe against restrictions, but to know inwardly that the restrictions are there for a good reason—even when we aren’t sure what that reason is.

Mystery has always been, “[f]rom all eternity.”  Be reassured that this mystery is the best way.  We are not being kept in the dark for no reason.  We could not live the full truth with a finite mind. 

Why is our mind finite?  Because we are not God.  We are a part of Him, though, and in this knowledge, true knowledge, we can rest easy.

Mirrors of the Truth

The truth of this way is not discovered through the passing on of knowledge in form but through relationship. Those following the way of Mary become mirrors of the truth they discover, reflecting the way to their brothers and sisters. This is why this is not a place or state of non-interaction but of great interaction. It is a state that facilitates knowing through relationship. This occurs through the one Self of form. (ACOL, D:Day19.14)

In our physical bodies, we engage in relationships with each other—especially true when we are following the way of Mary. In relationship, we are being our full Self, the Christ-Self, and in interaction with others, our brothers and sisters, in our world, we come into our own.

We teach in this mode. We reflect what we have learned or discovered (depending on where we are in the process), and in this exchange our brothers and sisters are loved into acceptance. It is quite easy to love other people into acceptance. Great love does that, and Mary’s way is nothing if it is not great love.

We set an example in the way of Mary. And this gracious living changes the world into something new and different.

We are about creating a new world, of course. And the way of Mary is what we are all coming to accept. Doing is the way of Jesus, the example life. And while we may still do much when we are embracing Mary, the doing is subsisted in the being.

Being defines us.

Love All who Share This World with Us

“First let us replace your idea of “others” with the idea of “relationship” that has been so often defined and repeated within this Course. In order to believe in giving and receiving as one, you must believe in relationship rather than in others.

“Those you would view as others are separate from you. Those you would view as being in relationship with you are not separate from you. The relationship is the source of your unity.” (ACOL, T2:7.4 – 7.5)

We tend to misrepresent our brothers and sisters when we distance ourselves from them by calling them the “others.” This is a habit in speech, but it points to a deeper problem. We are in relationship to our brothers and sisters, and in this relationship we are giving and receiving as one. We occupy separate bodies, but our spirits are united. And this relationship will take us far in this world.

We are One, but this One is differentiated into separate parts, a diversity. Yet each part of the diversity is in relationship with every other part, and this makes the diversity a whole, a One. This is the “unity and relationship” that Jesus discusses at great length in A Course of Love. We are meant to be in relationship, something that our ego never understood. The ego wanted to use our brothers and sisters for its own ends, in a competitive world where everyone was trying to outdo everyone else. This is sheer insanity. We are meant to be interdependent, not independent. And the ego never could wrap its deluded thinking around the concept of interdependence. We are in a world with other people, our brothers and sisters, because we need each other. It is just the way that true reality is set up. Becoming independent and autonomous sounds like strength, but it is not true strength. It is a caustic, false reality of those who don’t love enough. We make enemies of each other, saving our love for a special few. And these special few, in special relationships, may disappoint us, and then we have estrangement. This is not true love. This is not holy relationship.

Holy relationship is a great blessing that puts our world in proper relationship with the All who live with us on its dusty ground. If we eschew special relationships, being encouraged to love all who abide here with a holy love, we will be in holy relationship with everyone. And this is the way true reality really is. Our minds and hearts will unite with all in relationship to us. We will know that we are never alone, that not only is God deep within us, but that all others who share this world with us are our brothers and sisters with whom we are meant to be in holy relationship.

Life will smooth out when these truths from A Course of Love are taken unto ourselves. Knowledge will arrive, and egoic perception will slip aside. We will know without a tedious telling. We will know intuitively.

Prayer

I can never share too much with my brothers and sisters with whom I live in holy relationship. I do best when we take my place in the world, never isolating myself in the interest of any activity, but joining with my brothers and sisters who so need me. This line of thought is true for all of us. All of us do well to join together, ever solicitous of good camaraderie and good fellowship.

Let me live this day as would best serve the world. If I am temporarily alone, let me know that this decision is not for all time, but just for the moment, maybe the day. I seek to take my place with those with whom I am in holy relationship, and this includes all I encounter, in whatever way, in whatever means.

Amen.

Relationship Is All about God

“All relationship is but relationship between Creator and Created. The new means of thinking is referred to here as the “art” of thought in order to call your wholehearted attention to the continual act of creation that is the relationship between Creator and Created. Creation is but a dialogue to which you have not responded. The art of thought will free you to respond.” (ACOL, T1:2.12)

This passage calls for careful thought, but even then the full implications will remain elusive. For there to be relationship between Creator and Created in all relationship hints at the God within each of us. This is the type of pantheism that A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love delineate. The term “art” of thought will still remain elusive, though, in large part, I think, to the fact that we are really talking of miracles when we speak of the art of thought, miracles and miracle-readiness, and the prayer that initiates these miracles.

We have not responded to Creation previously because of egoic preoccupations. But we are all leaving the ego behind, and when we do, we will be much, much freer to responding to Creation as It exists. Creation is another word for God, and at other points in A Course of Love is used interchangeably with God. So we have not responded to God, basically. We have been too busy weaving fantasies of what a false reality is all about.

“The art of thought will free you to respond.” Yes! When we are miracle-minded, we are willing and able to respond to God and others, and ourselves, in ways that have previously been impossible. We are asked to make response; this is a part of what the art of thought calls us to do. Elsewhere we are told, as an example, of looking at a sunset and responding to what it says about reality. We do not “interpret” the sunset; we take it at face value. We do respond to what it means, but this is not quite the same as an interpretation, an interpretation that might be wrong. Only truth is true, as ACOL says repeatedly. And our response to a sunset is an elementary way to see what the art of thought is really about. We are responding to the sunset as though all sunsets are miracles. Which we can believe they are.

We need to respond to Creation, or God, as we see fit. And, if we are thinking and feeling with our right mind and heart, we will respond in love. This is where the art of thought is taking us—to love. But we will finally know what this means when we have turned aside from ego-oriented mind slants.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would reach out toward You this day. I would ask that I embrace the world with the miracle-minded thinking that is the art of thought. Even as I do not fully comprehend all that means now, I know that I will when I implement this type of thinking. And I ask that this change in thought come sooner rather than later.

Be with me today, for an energetic and harmonious day. May I contribute to Your world by responding to it with full attention rather than interpretation, for my interpretation would always be wrong.

Amen.

Life Is a Matter of Relationship

“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. Life is not a matter of one living thing versus another, but of the relationship between all living things.” (ACOL, C:27.7)

God cannot even know Himself if He is all that there is. This is the fundamental reason that He differentiates Himself into parts, parts that include all of us individually. We are in relationship, then, and so is He. This is not dualism as I understand the term. This is a metaphysical true reality that is indispensable to the working of all universes that exist.

We are in this together. We have each other, and this suggests that we are not meant to be obstinately independent from each other. We are meant to be One in that relationship, though, and this is the truth of all universes as well. We are all One, and in the oneness we find our small part of reaching God. A hologram is our best way of understanding. Each part is a part of the whole, contains the whole, though each part does not comprehend what—or Who—it has in its entirety. This is a human comprehension that is actually metaphor, but it will take us a long way toward a fuller understanding of Who God is, and who we are.

We are in relationship with each other (which includes relationship with God), and, concurrently, we are in relationship with both the human and the divine. As we progress along, we will eventually embody the elevated Self of form, and this is a full blending of the human and the divine. This is what true relationship of the human and the divine means.

Let us take the hand of each of our brothers and sisters, and the “hand” of God as well, and in this joining we will know full relationship. Our oneness is a oneness of relationship. We therefore know the “unity and relationship” that A Course of Love mentions so often. And we will walk in a merger that nevertheless retains understanding of the parts of the whole. Thus we can know both God and man/woman at once.

Dear Father/Mother,

Our minds strain to imagine You, and this may not be the best use of our time. Our minds cannot comprehend the Ultimate Who You are. We will never be smart enough.

But we can know love. And in this love we catch a glimpse of Who You are all about. When we love, we are touching the Divine. And when we touch the Divine, we are at Home in You.

Thank You for being here always for us as we wander through this sometimes difficult world. With the Self, we will know more peace. May we know this Self today.

Amen.

The Embrace Is the One Heartbeat

“The holy relationship in its broadened form is eternity, the eternity of the embrace. If the embrace is the source of all, the one heartbeat, then it is eternity itself. It is the face of love, its texture, taste, and feel. It is love conceptualized. It is an abstract rather than a particular concept, even while having a seeming structure that your heart can feel.” (ACOL, C:21.3)

Another comforting passage from A Course of Love. It is not hard to conceptualize the embrace of Jesus. We feel his presence, and we return the embrace. This is something tangible to which we can cling when times seem tough. Times are never actually tough, though in our world they can certainly seem to be. There is always a way given us for our delivery from misery.

What is that way? A turning inward to the Christ Self, the one we will turn to more and more as we proceed in our reading and our study of ACOL. The Christ Self is our way now, the way we feel our guidance, we way we feel our solace. The way back home is not hard; everything and everyone in this world are in league with God’s plan to return us, of our own free will, to Him. All has been planned as a learning experience, at least this early in our reading of ACOL. (Later on, we will just observe the outer and inner worlds, and then we will be “in-formed” by that outer and inner world.)

Our heart is our guide, the center of our being. And it needs no proof of God’s love for us; it knows this with an ever-present knowledge. And it is knowledge, not perception with an egoic mind, that leads us to this truth. This true reality.

We are in holy relationship with our Self, first, and then everyone else in our world. And Jesus is in our world, though we do not see him. He is right here, for us, all the time. Believe him when he says that he takes us by the hand and will led us backward in time to where we took a misstep. And then we will be Home in God.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

May this day go well. May I love well, work well, and, tonight, may I sleep well. This is Your will for me, of this I am sure.

The anxieties of this day need not concern me. They are negligible. The real blessing is the fact that I know that You are always here, deep within me, while I project a world from my Self. All of us are caught in a mass hallucination, but the real world can arise in our sights when we have a heart that is in the right place. This true reality is ours.

Thank You.

Amen.

Finding the Relationship that Heals

“Use, in any form, leads to bondage, and so to perceive a world based on use is to see a world where freedom is impossible.” (ACOL, C:9.43)

When we use another for our own ends, we do ourselves and them a great disservice. We, this passage would tell us, are in bondage as well as they. And freedom is impossible.

We need to be of service to each other, of course, but this is different from “using” another. We have often, in egoic terms, looked out on our world and tried to imagine what we might gain from another. Our special relationships are virtually always based on this fallacious way of thinking.

In special relationships, we look around for people who have exceptional traits, traits that will complement our own. Often these traits are superficial attractions, often physical appearance. As the special relationship proceeds, we are caught in more and more ways by our ego. We seek to have what our special other has, to consume rather than to give. And this never works very well.

The fact that special relationships are meant for “use” rather than “service” is often not noticed by the individuals involved. But we notice the great drama that occurs in the context of these relationships, the highs and the lows. The highs entrap us, so that we don’t want to let go, and, importantly, we often do not want either to transform the relationship into something better. That something better is a holy relationship with service at is center. Service to the other, which also gives to ourselves, for giving and receiving, as I have noted, is described in A Course of Love as being equal.

We want to fall into expressions of love, and this in itself will transform the special in our relationships into holy. This is not simply saying “I love you” at the right times. This is a fundamental change of outlook. A choice of the selfless in which the Self is truly found. And the Self is the Christ in us.

So don’t look for the ways that we can use each other. This will never work well, and it won’t work at all for very long. The way to a lasting and transformed relationship is to love without any thought of what we can get in return. And this takes “use” out of the equation.

Ask today, in prayer, what we might do to transform all of our special relationships into holy ones. That is the aim for all, ALL, of our relationships.

And it will be no surprise that we are healed.

The Truly Real Is Relationship

“Joining rests on forgiveness. This you have heard before without understanding what it is you would forgive. You must forgive reality for being what it is. Reality, the truly real, is relationship. You must forgive God for creating a world in which you cannot be alone. You must forgive God for creating a shared reality before you can understand it is the only one you would want to have.” (ACOL, C:6.1)

Many of us find the message of this passage to be hard to take, because like many passages in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, it goes against our education and training in this world. Having to “forgive” the world for being what it is sounds like a foreign concept. But we often think that we are supposed to be autonomous. We are not. And what a relief this can be!

We are trained to depend on become more independent as we grow older, as we first grow beyond adolescence. Indeed, much of the rebellion of adolescence is because young people are trying to become independent of their parents. This is a natural “moving away,” and most young people reconcile with their parents as they move out of the teen years.

But something more is being told us here. We are meant to share this world with other people; we are never meant to go it alone. We have found that we gravitated to special relationships, which have been a way to balance our desire for independence and our need for joining with others. And this joining is natural, the way we are built, the way God created us. We are actually going against what is natural to our natures when we seek to lead solitary lives. When we seek to be too independent.

Joining works. It assuages loneliness, surely a bad thing for us to experience (and many do experience loneliness).

We also learn that we aren’t meant to make decisions independently, but to depend on our guidance. ACIM calls this Source the Holy Spirit; ACOL calls this Source our Christ Self. We will not be able to tell the difference. But we will know that our decisions turn out right when we follow the inner nudges, the intuition—and the myriad other ways that God can get through to us.

Decide today to be a part of the world of people. Enjoy a camaraderie of care and love with those we meet. We will not be disappointed in our better day.

Surprised by Joy

“The heart is needed to guide the mind in a way that it does not desire to be guided, a way that is one of joining, a way that does not allow the mind’s separate stance, its rules, or its right answers. The heart is needed because it is who and where you are and responds in love to what is one with it. We are one heart.” (ACOL, C:I.6)

This assertion places love at the center of this new Course, A Course of Love. We are using the heart to join with others in love. Not meant to be living in splendid isolation, we are in a world with other people for a reason: relationship. And we are united as One with our brothers and sisters in this relationship.

Jesus emphasizes this unity by saying that we are “one heart.” Later on he will also emphasize that all of us are joined in an embrace, with him, and all the world. This is union or unity. This replicates the unity that we share with God, of Whom we are a part. We extend that unity to our brothers and sisters, and we live a happier life as a result. No longer seeking, as the mind is wont to do, to be independent, we join with others to create a new world.

We don’t listen to the rules that the mind has set up to structure this new world. Especially not when the ego hold sway. We listen to what the heart wants. And we will be surprised by joy in the undertaking that we are about. Listen to the heart today, and see if we don’t all find a new beginning in the works.

Share and Share Alike

“In the mad world outside you nothing can be shared but only substituted, and sharing and substituting have nothing in common in reality.” (ACIM, T-18.I.9)

We need to share with each other. Both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love emphasize this. No longer isolated, we share and share alike. We give up the notion of independent living, and we join with others in our lives to whom we offer love, and from whom we receive love.

Substitution is an attempt to make one body fulfill a role that another might also fill. If we can’t get one body to do what we want, we substitute by finding another who will fulfill our desires.

This is madness. It is also unfair to our brothers and sisters. We don’t want to love them in substitution for some other special relationship; we want to love them in holy relations that are in no way substitutes for an unholy alliance based on specialness.

Reality does not substitute one for another. Reality accepts the people in our world as given us by God for a higher purpose. And when all of our special relationships have been transformed into holy ones, we will recognize that previously we never knew reality at all.

The Star Shines Still

“You have not two realities, but one. Nor can you be aware of more than one. An idol or the Thought God holds of you is your reality. Forget not, then, that idols must keep hidden what you are, not from the Mind of God, but from your own. The star shines still; the sky has never changed. But you, the holy son of God Himself, are unaware of your reality.” (ACIM, T-30.III.11)

There is a way in which these special relationships become holy, for at the beginning of the specialness, we have actually glimpsed what the holy will be, later on. We want to get past the grievances when love seems to fade. We want to touch the holy in our relationships.

If the Thought God holds of me is true reality, how can I come to know what that Thought is? A Course in Miracles answers this question. The Thought is one of pure essence, of a being of love with no dark fear intruding; a thought of love, with no egoic notions compounding our sorrows into suffering. We do not really want for idols, but we have found many in our walk in this world. Those idols keep us from the true God.

Often our special relationships start out as a search for idolatry. We make of our beloved an idol, and in the making does the ego loom large. Only this ecstasy does not last, for we find that our special love has very human characteristics. And then we are off again, searching once again for a perfect love that is in actuality an idol.

Special relationships turned holy are the special means that A Course in Miracles is taking us back home to God. When we realize that the negative aspects of our beloved, newly seen by us, are actually the insanity of the ego, then we are led to love on a deeper level. It is sometimes helpful when anger emerges, or attack looms, to say to ourselves, “This is just insanity.” For it is. And insanity is the madness is which we have been lost to God and to ourselves.

Until we change those special relationships into holy, we do not know our true reality. The true reality has not changed, but we have been oblivious to it.

Decide today to seek what is good and pure, true and honest. The blessings that we will know will surface our highest imaginings.

The Holy Spirit Gives Life and Beauty to Relationships

“In these loving thoughts is the spark of beauty hidden in the ugliness of the unholy relationship where hatred is remembered; yet there to come alive as the relationship is given to Him [Holy Spirit} Who gives it life and beauty. That is why Atonement centers on the past, which is the source of separation, and where it must be undone. For separation must be corrected where it was made. (T-17.III.5)”

We see here A Course in Miracle’s emphasis on changing our special relationships into holy. Here Jesus calls our special relationships “unholy,” and this is a stunning indictment. He would not have us be lost in ruminations and recriminations of the past. But Atonement centers on the past, because that is where the problems are. Now, in the present, we can always change—and Jesus would have us do so.

The presumed separation was in the past, eons in the past—but we have not yet gotten over this illusion. We did not, could not actually separate from God, though we thought that we could. As has been said many times, we are part of God, and so separation is factually impossible.

But in illusion anything can seem possible.

We give our unholy relationships, the ugliness of it all, to the Holy Spirit to correct for us. And He does so, not long off in the distant future, but here, now, when we ask—if we are sincere.

We aim to be sincere.

The Way Back from Separation from God

1 – Individuation / Differentiation

“Your attempt at individuation and extension, an attempt consistent with the nature of your being, failed only because you experienced separation rather than differentiation, and fear rather than love. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 40)”

2 – Detour into Fear

Jesus is here telling us what happened in our detour into separation, our attempt to be free of God and to make a reality that did not contain Him, that was somehow meant to be better than the reality that God created. In A Course in Miracles, we are told that we made the world, and this world, though a miscreation, was not allowed to separate us forever from God—which would have been impossible, for we are part of Him. God let us go, as a parent lets rebellious adolescents go, when it was apparent to Him that we wanted our own way. But He sets the limits on our ability to miscreate, and eventually pain becomes so intense that we realize that there must be “another way,” a better. This is exactly what Helen and Bill decided between themselves, just before Jesus started channeling A Course in Miracles through Helen, with Bill transcribing into the typewriter each day.

3 – Acceptance of Christ in Us

“With the acceptance of the Christ in you, you are returned to relationship and need no longer strive against the ‘opposing’ force of separation, for you no longer know it. The creative tension that now remains in our relationship is the tension of individuation or the individuation and the differentiation process. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 40)”

4 – Creative Tension

Jesus believes that the “creative tension” between us and him is good, that this creative tension will remain with us as we continue to walk together following the arrival in our psyches of Christ-consciousness. We remain “separate,” but not alone, in that we are differentiated, minute parts of God-stuff. We stand up to the challenge that individuation gives us, in that we seek to go forward in sharing with our brothers and sisters—in that oft-stated two-part reality of union and relationship.

5 – Extension

“[T]he nature of a being of love is to extend. The nature of a being of love is to bring form to the formless—to bring love into form. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 40)”

6 – Physical Form

This explains why physical form is not to be lamented. We are bringing into this world a creativity that has its base in our form, in that we will be the elevated Self of form. We will be “elevated,” but we will still keep our feet on the ground, even if our heads are in the clouds of Higher Reality.

7 – ACIM

A Course in Miracles, with its heavily Gnostic influence, seemed to be regretting the physical form. If we have that idea, Jesus corrects it in A Course of Love. Physical form can be glorious, as long as we exit from the ego. Physical form is simply another type of experience for God in His individuated forms.

8 – Christ-consciousness

“Recall what was said earlier: Christ-consciousness is the awareness of existence through relationship. It is not God. It is not man. It is the relationship that allows the awareness that God is everything. It has been called wisdom, Sophia, spirit. It is that without which God would not know God. It is that which differentiates All from nothing. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 40)”

9 – Definition

Here is a full definition for Christ-consciousness. It is our inheritance, what we are meant to become. And we are fully aware.

10 – Separation

“As a separate being, you have been in a relationship with fear. This relationship with fear is all that has provided the ‘I’ of the separated self. But because you exist as an extension of love, you have always held within you the Christ, who is the relationship with love. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 40)”

11 – Fear

We need to get beyond the fear, and in Christ-consciousness, indeed we do. We are an extension of love, and, as such, we live and walk in perfect security, invulnerable.

12 – What Next?

“When you turn the last page, will you cry tears of sadness that our dialogue is complete, that you will hear my voice no more. Or will you brave your own relationship with me? Will you turn to your brother and hear my voice in him? Will you be my voice as you turn to your sister? Will you carry the fullness of our relationship within you? Will you be one with me, and in being one with me never feel alone again? Will you let the emptiness of separation leave you once and for all? (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 247)”

13 – “I Am”

We are an extension of I Am in form. Through that extension, we become who we are to Jesus, instead of who he has been to us. There is creative tension in this relationship, and that is good. This will allow the power that is needed as we return to level ground.

14 – Fear

As separate beings, our existence was circumscribed by fear. As beings living in unity and relationship, love is our hallmark, our extension. Christ-consciousness is the awareness of existence in relationship.

15 – Self

We are one Self, love’s extension, one to another in unity and relationship. This one Self the Christ Self. We must let the emptiness of separation leave us, and we must join with Jesus in all his fullness. We must not cry tears of sadness that we are no longer on the mountain top with him. He will go with us to level ground. We carry the fullness of our relationship to him with us. And we must share this relationship with all in our world. We join together with our brothers and sisters, and Jesus is our companion. We are never alone.

16 – Love

“Will you be the relationship that returns love to all who share this world with you? (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 40)”

17 – Challenge?

This quotation is our challenge, if indeed we have a challenge. A Course in Miracles says that we have no challenges when we are advanced teachers of God, for we recognize that we choose for all humankind, sure of our choice. We have a determination now that love will be on essence; it will be what we share with all of our brothers and sisters.

18 – Linkage

We are linked to all others by our relationship with them, and we are one with them by our common grounding in God. There is no better way to see our future than to note this. We are no longer alone and lonely, on a forlorn planet. We are sharing, experiencing, together—walking into the sunset no longer alone, no longer separated in fear, but together in love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May love be my hallmark in the new reality in which I find myself as I descend to level ground. May I recognize that, with my brothers and sisters, I am one Self. I am also one Self with God. Help me to understand this blessing, this knowledge that has never before been made so clear to me.

Help me in my daily walk on level ground. Thank you for the blessing of the Forty Days and Forty Nights. Thank You, Jesus, for your channeling to us in A Course of Love.

May this day continue well. May all of us share in the love that is our heritage. May the lessons of the 40 days and 40 nights on the mountain top be made a permanent part of our mind and spirit. May we go forward in confidence that we will walk in the way that Jesus has pointed out. May we lose our fears and be only sustained in love from this day forward.

Amen.

The Christ in Us Is the Accomplished

1 – Day 38

“But breathe a sigh of relief, my beloved, for you do not have to learn all that the Christ in you learned. This is why we have had to enter the time of non-learning–so that you accept that you do not have to try to learn the unlearnable. This is why we have left the time of becoming behind, why you stand ready to enter the time of being in union and relationship. The Christ in you is the accomplished. The Christ in you is that which, upon this final acceptance, returns your wholeness to you. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 240)”

2 – Individuation / Differentiation

“Individuation” and “differentiation” are used interchangeably in A Course of Love. We are individuated beings in relationship to each other. But God is there all the time. We are not separate beings, sent into an alien world to try to live by ourselves. We have often thought of ourselves this way, but this way is a fallacy. We are meant to establish a relationship with Jesus that is not difficult at all, but simple in the extreme. We are individuated beings that live in relationship to each other and Jesus, and in unity with God. This relationship, in truth, is just as simple as any relationship that we have ever encountered in our daily life, at any stage upon the journey.

3 – Projection / Extension

We do not project any longer; we extend. In extension, we are living in the relationship that is truly real. Our projections have been of the ego, and we would leave these behind. When we project, we project illusions, a dream world. But when we extend, we are gearing ourselves to project a real world, reality itself. This comes about only when we have assumed the mantle of Christ-consciousness, but this is what Jesus is trying to do with us in this mountain top journey. He wants us to assume Christ-consciousness; he is trying to remove the blocks to love’s awareness that we have all had when the ego was running the show. When he has succeeded in removing those blocks, then we will be natural selves, and God will lift us up to Christ-consciousness, which is another name for the Awakening.
4 – Paradox
Who is Jesus to us? Only who we are to ourselves. This is a paradox, but a true idea. We will not leave this mountain top with our illusions about ourselves still in place. We do not have to achieve sainthood or perfection to live in relationship to the All. We will find heaven when we realize that what is asked of us is not hard at all. We will find God. Previously, we have judged ourselves as not being worthy. Realize now that we have walked the whole pathway to Christ-consciousness. We are ready in one more day to return to level ground, to descend from the mountain top and to take our place among our brothers and sisters–changed but completely whole, differentiated beings who are joined in unity and relationship.
5 – Repeated Journeys?
Jesus does not intend for us to take this mountain top journey repeatedly. Realistically, many of us will—for who can attain Awakening on one trip? Some do, many do not. There is little way to judge for ourselves how far we have actually come. This is only for God to say. And the action of raising us up is His gift to us, His blessing.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,
I am ready, almost, to return to level ground. I am a different person than I was before I went to the mountain top with Jesus. May this trek be a permanent change in me. May I realize that I am justified by the faith that his words have given to me.

May Jesus be the companion that I have always longed to have. He said in A Course in Miracles that we might imagine him holding our hand as we walk along. And he said that this would be no idle fantasy. In A Course of Love he has been similarly reassuring, and he now welcomes us as equals in his love. I do not fully understand all that this promise holds out to me, but as time passes, may I come to understand ever more fully.

If the way still seems long, and if we think that we have not reached the goal of Awakening that we seek, there is only one thing left to do. Ask sincerely, and then wait in patience for You to answer. There is no other way. Studying will not achieve Awakening as a goal, for we are beyond the time of learning. Observation will show us much, but it will not show us this great blessing, Awakening. We need to lean into You, trusting that when we are our natural Self, then the blocks to love’s awareness will be gone. And then You will move swiftly to lift us up.

Thank You.

Amen.

Enjoying Union with God

1 – Day 37

“You keep striving for differentiation in a way that simply will not work—through separation! And what’s more, you keep striving for differentiation while wanting to continue a certain reliance. Your differentiation from the being of God can only come through the relationship and unity that you would deny in your quest for separation! This would be like demanding to be a body and not a mind! (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 37)”

2 – Jesus

Jesus is chiding us here. We want to remain separate from God, though we know that this separation is simply an illusion. He is our very Being, and so in reality it is impossible to separate. But we can imagine that we have, and we can imagine praying to a Being Who is external to ourselves. This is what we have done for most of our lives, and thus it is both comfortable and reassuring. It is not the truth, but it is familiar.

3 – God’s Being

Jesus would have us lean back into the truth of God’s Being, as well as into the truth of our own Being—in One with God (unity) and One with our brothers and sisters, as well as with God (relationship with differentiated beings). This is the theologically correct interpretation of what is our very Being. A new idea takes a little time to assimilate. And that is what is happening for us now; we are taking that time, and Jesus is frustrated with us. He even sounds frustrated, with his exclamation points in this quotation.

4 – Explanations

Give Jesus a break. Listen to his explanations, and try to appropriate them unto yourself. We all have a vested interest in seeing reality as it really is. And Jesus would have us see reality as a means to move toward Christ-consciousness, which is the purpose and goal of what he has been sharing with us on the mountain top. Let’s not go back down to level ground without giving what he says a try. Try to suspend judgment for ever so slightly a moment, and suspend fear, and see if listening to Jesus becomes easier. See if unity and relationship really speak to us.

5 – Help from God

“One of the reasons you have been as intent as you have been on your idea of a separate and particular God is that you want to believe that there is a compassionate being in charge of everything, looking out for you, there to help when you are in need. God is all compassionate being everywhere—not one being of compassion! In unity and relationship you realize this. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 37)”

6 – The Whole

God is the Whole. He is compassionate toward us, and we may here also realize that our brothers and sisters are compassionate toward us as well—at least some of the time. We do not have to give up solace from God when we start viewing Him differently. He still listens to our prayers, is there with us for communion. It is just that He is equally there in our brothers and sisters, though they lack the omniscience that the Being of God—everywhere, all the time—is.

7 – Compassionate Being

We do still need a compassionate Being to be there for us when we are in need. And we do not have to give up this concept. The ineffable nature of God assures that our finite minds cannot comprehend the All Who He is. We do sense a Presence with us when we pray in depth. And this Presence is God Himself, coming close. We are never alone. We can bring our conflicts and antagonisms, our neuroses and psychoses, our anger and our attack, to God and be eased in our thoughts. One thing that A Course of Love has taught us is that we understand more about God in our hearts than we can ever understand in our minds. We sense through our hearts, also. And we aren’t so intent on having a proof of God’s existence in an intellectual sense. When we see through our hearts, we truly experience God.

8 – Home

And then we have no questions. We are at home in Him.

9 – Knowing

“You can imagine what it means to ‘know’ another person, to be a tree blowing in the wind, what it would be like to know God, but you cannot know, and your separate being ‘knows’ of this impossibility. This is why this course has had, as its main objective, returning you to true knowing of yourself. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 37)”

10 – Puzzling

This is a puzzling quotation if taken at face value. But the real truth lies in the fact that the real knowing is a matter of the heart, of wholeheartedness of mind and heart combined. We don’t need proof anymore. We are content, for we sense a Being Who is not separate from ourselves. We therefore “know” God. We know Him when we are enthralled in a mystical moment, and these moments come to all of us.

11 – Separation

When we saw ourselves as separate from the Entity Who is God, we could not sense what He was really like. But when we sense, in the unity of One, the multiplicity of many in relationship, that we are there with Him in reality—then we drop our reservations and just fall into His arms. This is the real communion and the real communication that God so wants from us. Our finite minds can reach an intimation of immortality, but we can know only when we sense that we are not separated from our Source.

12 – Know Thyself

This course, A Course of Love, wants us to know ourselves. And in the knowing our ourselves, really knowing, will we also come to recognize Who God is.

13 – One

“God is one with every creation. God is all knowing. God is, in short, the collective consciousness and the collective consciousness is that which links every being with every other being in unity and relationship. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 37)”

14 – Definition

This comes close to a full definition of God. Jung had it right so many years ago, for he talked of the collective unconscious, linking that idea to the idea of God. Here, Jesus says “consciousness,” not “unconsciousness,” and this would seem to me to indicate that we do know in our available minds what he is talking about. We are joined with God in our minds; we do apprehend Him.

15 – Unity and Relationship

The oft-repeated phrase, “unity and relationship,” shows up here again. Just think of a One and a Many—and the phrase will cease to be a trite repetition that might lose all meaning.

16 – All and Differentiated

“God is all and God is differentiated. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 37)”

17 – An Explanation

This quotation exemplifies the unity Who is God (the all), and the relationship Who is God (the differentiated). Jesus also uses the term “individuated” to describe how God could fracture Himself to create different beings, to create us and all that exists.

18 – Theology

This is more theology. But it is helpful if we don’t get hung up on theology. Just accept as much as you can, understanding as much as a finite mind can.

19 – Heart

And then let your heart take over from there. Your heart will encompass the Being Who is God, even as your heart will reach out to your brothers and sisters Who also are God incarnate.

20 – Jesus

“You realize that the man, the God, the historical figure who has been called Jesus Christ was not only Jesus but Christ. Not only Christ but Jesus. Not separated but individuated. You realize that the call for the second coming of Christ has sounded and that it is a call to the difference you have always desired while not requiring you to remain separate! (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 230)”

21 – God

The previous day, Day Thirty Six, replaced an old idea of God with a new: a God in which we all share. Day Thirty Seven elaborates upon this conception. We have previously seen ourselves as different from each other, and different from God. But, in unity, we are all the same, the same in relationship to each other. We are differentiations of God, creators even as He is. Our previous work has often been “made,” rather than created (a tenet of A Course in Miracles), but now we would accept how to be creators of reality, not illusion.

22 – Ego

We have seen ourselves as separate beings, encased in a human body that was made (rather than created) by the ego. Now we recognize the falsity of this conception, and we move to see ourselves as one with God. We accept this reality when we move into Christ-consciousness. We then know, as opposed to perceiving.

23 – Relationship

We are told that the divineness of our being is most revealed in relationship. This is because we are one with our brothers and sisters. When we separate ourselves from them, we separate ourselves from God. He would have us all join together. We have seen glimpses of this new state, but soon this new state will become permanent within ourselves. Then we will truly live in a new reality.

24 – Being

“The ‘part’ of God you have been being is being. You have been a feeling, thinking, creating, perceiving being. The ‘part’ of God you have not been being is union. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 37)”

25 – Accomplishments

This explains what we have accomplished as separated beings in illusion. We have felt, thought, created (made), perceived—but we have not been in union with God, for we willed ourselves not to experience this truth. We thought that being separate, even in illusion (for we did not believe it an illusion), would give us more than God Himself could and did give. How foolish the thinking that we all had! We thought that we could not be free beings unless we chose differently from God in our gift of free will. We were in rebellion, much as adolescents are in rebellion from their parents. The analogy here is exact, for many of us see God as our Heavenly Parent, our Heavenly Father.

26 – God’s Will

Now we would recognize that in choosing God’s will for us, we are really choosing what would make us happiest. He chooses for us, paving the way to our heart’s desires. And we are united as One with Him, once we have experienced Christ-consciousness. This is not for everyone—yet. For there are prerequisites, and they seem hard: no judgment, and no fears. How many of us can say that we have experienced such freedom from judging and anxiety on a sustained basis?

27 – Imagination

So we can see what we are up against. Our own feeble imaginations! We need to expand what we can imagine; we need to expand our minds and hearts into a concept of freedom from judging and freedom from fear! This will pave the way for God to take the natural step: the step to unite Himself with us once again, no separation in illusion being possible again. If God can take this natural step, we will embody the elevated Self of Form. And if we can follow Jesus’s way, we will sustain this new Self in form, something that hasn’t happened yet in our world (according to Jesus in A Course of Love).

28 – Union

“But because you have so clung to separation, you have rarely, until recently, glimpsed union. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 37)”

29 – Separation

This is the missing piece, now said by Jesus. When we get over our desire to cling to
separation, we will be open to the union with God that we all actually crave.

30 – Glimpses

“Glimpses of the being you are being when you are in unity and relationship have been offered to everyone. They have been afforded by willingness. They come from observation of self and they come from observation of others. They come from what you are willing to observe. They become more than glimpses only when they become what you are willing to be. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 37)”

31 – Sustainability of Awakening

Yes, glimpses of Awakening come to all of us, sometimes sustained in a moment, and sometimes sustained for months at a time. But they go away, these glimpses, when we lapse into judging and when we lapse into anxieties. The sustainability of the awakened state is what Jesus is sharing with us now. This sustainability alone will save our world.

32 – Ask

Ask for glimpses; ask for sustainability of Awakening, Christ-consciousness. See if you are ready. And if you sense that you are not, then redouble your prayers to be made ready, for it is God Himself Who readies us for this new state of being.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I do not want separation anymore; I want union. Help me to incorporate this new reality in my understanding of the human being that I am. May I also recognize the fact that the divine is part of my nature. I have not always understood this, but I ask to understand divinity today.

Thank You for this new and exciting truths. May I understand honestly and in depth. May I recognize that Your truth is something that, with grace, I can come to understand.

May I ask You today for a better future than I have had a past. I am tired of separation, for I have long known that it is an illusion. And I would know reality; I would know You. Be with me in my prayers; indeed, direct me in my prayers. Take my lips and form the words that you would have me say.

And may I soon be home in You, home with You but still in this world. A new world, a new reality on earth.

Amen.

God Is the Relationship of Everything to Everything

1 – Day 35

“You have known yourself in relationship to yourself and others, without realizing that your being is God, that others are one with you, that God is the relationship of everything to everything, or that you are the relationship of everything to God. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 35)”

2 – Wholeness

This quotation exemplifies wholeness. It takes the various parts of our experience in sensing God to a new level—that we are one with God and one with each other, for all is God. This assertion actually occurs early in our study of the Workbook of A Course in Miracles, in which the Workbook says , “God is in everything that I see.” We do not have to feel that to understand that God is everything and everywhere, even our very Selves, that we are being arrogant. We are, instead, seeing accurately for the first time. God will not take long to supply the rest to us, once we have seen this truth. We will know His peace, and we will know His peace immediately.

3 – Everything and Everywhere

What does it mean that God is everything and everywhere? It means not that God stands outside His creation, but that His creation, in a manner of speaking, is His Body. We may have learned that God stands outside His creation, that creation is His handiwork, but A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love says differently. Think a minute. Out of what would God create, if not from His very Being? He is the All, in other words. We do not speak here of a Prime Mover, who set the universe(s) on their course, and then stood back and watched what would happen. Instead, we see a loving God (first revealed to us by Jesus 2,000 years ago) who is experiencing Himself by living through us. He IS us.

4 – Illusions

It is true that we have fallen into illusions, because we thought that we wanted a different reality, a reality that would give us more than the everything that God gives. So we fell into a deep sleep (as, in the Bible, Adam did), and dreamed a dream that is not true. Yet there are means by which we can awaken. And Jesus is giving us those means very precisely in the 40 days and 40 nights on the mountain top with him. A mountain that came to us, even while we were living very firmly on level ground, in our mundane daily lives.

5 – The Mountain

“As was said before, the mountain came to you. You will thus always have the power to call upon the mountain top experience and the view of wholeness we have achieved here. You will carry it within you, and when you feel not its power, you will be able to call it forth simply by asking for it to be so. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 35)”

6 – Jesus

Jesus brought that mountain to us. Never forget that. He has prepared the means for our salvation, very clearly and very concisely. If we do not heed, it is because we are not ready. And Jesus tells us in A Course in Miracles not to “fight yourselves.” If we have resistance, we are not ready.

7 – Eager

Most of us at this juncture, though, are ready, even very, very eager. We want Christ-consciousness with a zeal that can be misplaced. We need to realize that God will act as soon as we have removed the blocks to love’s awareness, that He will act to reach down and lift us up to Awakening when we are living naturally. This “natural” living means that we have laid aside all attack, all judging, and we don’t make plans against what is to come. These are the criteria laid out in A Course in Miracles. A Course of Love, in contrast, simplifies the instruction by saying that we simply cease to fear and cease to judge. Even this may seem too much to hold in mind on a constant basis. We may recall the instructions that Jesus gave as quoted in the New Testament: love God, and love your brother. Any of these instructions entails the certainty that all of them will be fulfilled. And we will not have to wait long.

8 – Level Ground

“What we speak of when speaking of your return to level ground is returning in a calm, even, an equal manner to the most elemental and fundamental aspects of being human, while carrying within you a very elementary and fundamental idea—the idea that you are one in being and different in relationship. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 35)”

9 – Not Omniscient

This is how God and we are identical, though we know not the union that He knows, and so we are not omniscient. Like God, we are all one, and, like God, we know each other in relationship. This is why the refrain occurs in A Course of Love, “unity and relationship.” We may actually read these words so often in ACOL that we cease to sit up and take notice. We may not fully thinking of the meaning the words when we read them each time.

10 – Unity and Relationship

This refusal to consider the meaning of “unity and relationship” is a mistake. When we have understood this concept, we have come a very long way toward understanding the whole of A Course of Love. Reminding us of what it means will be beneficial to our state of mind and heart, leading us toward wholeheartedness—the primary message of the first and original book of A Course of Love.

11 – Oneness

“Unity is oneness in being. Relationship is different expressions of oneness of being. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 35)”

12 – Definitions

Here are the definitions of unity and relationship. Our brothers and sisters are these different expressions of oneness of being. God is in the oneness that we experience with all with whom we have relationships.

13 – Creation

“Creation itself, which stands apart from particulars but united with wholeness, has led to this time of opposites becoming one and wholeness becoming actual rather than probable. Wholeness is actual. All that is left to be created is awareness that this is so. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 222)”

14 – Difficult to Understand

Day Thirty Five is a bit obtuse. Perhaps we have often thought this of both A Course of Love and A Course in Miracles, but did not say it. But perhaps we will appreciate more when we are frank. The problem is the complexity of ideas, and the fact that most ideas on Day Thirty Five are meant to be a union of opposites. This union of opposites is a part of the “union and relationship” that is oft counseled in A Course of Love.

15 – Relationship to All

We are told that in relationship to God, we are actually in relationship to All, as well as all in this world. And in this experience we know only love. When we return to level ground, as we are preparing to do, we will retain the mountain top experience. We will have an idea of oneness, an idea of sameness. We will also share in accomplishment and union here, and we will not so much look beyond this world to a world beyond death for our fulfillment.

16 – Creatorship

We will assume the nature of creatorship; we will re-create ourselves and a new world at the same time. Both will emanate from the unity and relationships that we have often read in A Course of Love. Previously, we “made” a reality; now we will “create” one. There is a world of difference, because now we know that we do not choose ourselves, but let God in us make the decisions. We are within the embrace of All in All. We are in a state of being more than a state of doing. Thus we embody our Christ-consciousness.

17 – Made Rather than Created

“What is not created in unity could be said to have been made rather than created. The world as you know it is what you have made. Your life as you know it is what you have made. You will only fully realize the difference between what you have made and what you can create when you have accepted your power and begin to create in unity and relationship. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 35)”

18 – “Made”

This quotation explains the same concept to which we were introduced in A Course in Miracles: that we “made” the world, that the illusions (the dream) in which we are lost is not real, but is just a mirage. And in this quotation also is the implication that once we have seen aright, we will truly create a real world. We will see with vision, as the Workbook of A Course in Miracles points out. When we have accepted unity and relationship, we will know the power that is rightfully ours, because our will will no longer be imprisoned. And we will begin creating, not making.

19 – New Heaven and New Earth

“You are called to nothing short of creating a new heaven and a new earth. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 35)”

20 – Our Father

Yes! Let’s be about our Father’s business. This new heaven and new earth is the business that God would have us attend to.

21 – This World

We are living in a very sad world. Suffering and illness are everywhere. Violence is everywhere. And thoughtful people have long asked, “How could God create such disaster?” The answer from ACIM and ACOL, of course, is that God did not create the disaster, but we ourselves “made” it. And we can unmake it by changing our minds. That is where the cause is, and the effect will change automatically.

22 – Happy World

Would you like to live in a happy world, a world without grievances and suffering and disaster? Then learn this course, and you will have done your part. There is no higher value than to be about God’s work in this world. And He asks us to change our minds first and foremost.

23 – Madness

Then and only then can we effectively counter the negative aspects of a mad world. The madness is overcome, one person by one person.

24 – Free of Choice

“While it has just been said that you will create in unity and relationship much as you ‘created’ during the separation, your creation in unity and relationship will be free of choice. Creation in unity and relationship is creation within the embrace of the All of All. How can you choose when what you create is everything? (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 35)”

25 – God

This passage troubled me a bit until I realized that God is in charge here, that it is He who makes the choices. We just follow in the flow that loving Him creates in us. We will know surely and well what to do next, when we turn inward for guidance. We don’t need to reach outward and make choices that may be ahead of what God would choose for us. He knows; we don’t, even when we have reached enlightenment. He knows all factors, past, present, and future, and we do not have the knowledge that would show us all factors. So any choices that we might make would be amiss.

26 – Wrong Choices

We do not want to make wrong choices. We want to follow effortlessly in the way that God points out. And then the choices are right ones. The ones that will create a new heaven and a new earth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank you for the many ideas of this day. May we know that we have reached far enough that, with God in us, we can “create” rather than simply “make” (as our egos did previously). I do not know all that creatorship will hold out to me, but I long to know. Please help me today.

It is good to know that I will retain much of this knowledge when I have left the mountain top. Help me to remember, now and always.

May I cease my impatience to know and understand everything about You. I want to know Your mind, in a limited way to what Einstein said, that he wanted to know You, with all the rest being details. I seek Your consciousness in my own finite consciousness today. I choose not to make choices about what to do and say. I choose to let You make those choices for me. And I know that I will walk a green earth today when I have turned responsibility over to You. I don’t shirk responsibility. I still note what I have done that might be amiss, and I seek to undo those wrong thoughts, words, and deeds. But I give over to You my choices in this world. That is undoing the cause of a fallen world, returning the world to You. And with this change, the world will be changed as well, for projection makes perception. And my thoughts have made a false image in my mind, an illusory world full of ego and strife. I would be out of such nonsense today.

Amen.

Following Jesus and Mary

1 – Fulfillment

“You have been preparing for this final stage of the fulfillment of the way of Jesus. You have also been preparing for the beginning of the fulfillment of the way of Mary. . . .Each way is as needed now as it was two thousand years ago. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 18)”

2 – Attention to Both Jesus and Mary

So we need to give attention to both Jesus and Mary. Mary was left out of A Course in Miracles, but she is very much in evidence in A Course of Love. She is said to have reached Christ-consciousness also, as, of course, did Jesus. We are ending the “time of Jesus” in that example lives and “doing” are not to be the way of the future. We are heading into a time to fulfilling relationships and simply “being.” But right now we are caught on the cusp of each. We are not finished with Jesus’s way, and Mary’s way is not fulfilled for many. So we learn from both at this juncture.

3 – Preparing

We have been “preparing.” While we have moved beyond learning in the old sense, the sense in which we learned with the aid (nefarious aid) of the ego, we are learning through observation of this glorious world. Even amid pain, we can see glory. And with the words of Jesus to sustain us, we can heal at least a portion of that pain.

4 – Mary’s Way

Mary is not the exalted bringer of salvation. Her way is quieter, but that does not mean that everyone who follows in her way will be obscure, unknown by the world. Those following her may achieve a great deal, but their primary consideration is for relationship and being contented in “being” rather than “doing.”

5 – Active / Receptive

“One way is active. One way is receptive. Yet the ways are not separate any more than Jesus was separate from Mary—or any mother separate from her child. The ways are rather complimentary and symbiotic. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 18)”

6 – Legitimate Ways

We see that both the ways are legitimate. Even as Mary was not separate from the child of her womb, Jesus. Jesus’s way is active, and Mary’s is receptive. In this we can see an echo of stereotypical attitudes toward men and women, and their places in this world. But we do not have to turn aside from the characterizations herein because we are liberated. We can see value in seeing the male as active, the female as receptive. Certainly we know that even in the workplace, the way of women is different from their male counterparts. There is often more cooperation and less competition when women hold the sway.

7 – Jesus’s Way

“As has been said, the time of teaching and learning is over. If the way of Jesus was a way of acceptance, teaching, learning, and leading an example life, then the remaining ways of Jesus that are still applicable and appropriate in this final period are those of acceptance and of being an example life. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 18)”

8 – Teaching and Learning

In this quotation from the Dialogues of A Course of Love, we see that Jesus is dropping out both teaching and learning in our present day. Even though we are still on the cusp of Mary, we still find reasons for acceptance and being an example life. We are not so sure that teaching and learning are our way, though some of us might still be caught up in it. Our hearers will see something different, though, in our acceptance and our example life. They will observe, rather than take unto themselves, as though external to themselves, the teaching that they hear. They will not learn in the old way. They will take unto themselves only what resonates internally, and they will turn aside from an external source of presumably higher wisdom. There is no wisdom higher than the internal.

9 – Separated State

“”Your separated state was a sickness, an unwanted state, and thus a temporary manifestation. The joining of mind and heart provided reunion of the human and divine and thus accomplished the resurrection of the eternal in form. Your virgin state, the state unaltered by the separation, has been returned. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 18)”

10 – Elevated Self of Form

This describes the elevated Self of form, no longer in separation. The quotation also harkens back to joining of mind and heart (into wholeheartedness), a tenet of the original volume of A Course of Love. We are merging the human (the little or personal self, so soon having relinquished the ego) and the divine (the inner Christ Self). We are growing closer to God, our very Being inside.

11 – Interaction / Relationship

“The new visual pattern is that of spirit resurrected in form. It is the ascension of the body, or elevation of the self of form. You are called to demonstrate this pattern. The choice is to demonstrate this pattern through interaction with the world, or through incarnation through relationship. Neither is exclusive. Both are contained within the other. (A Course of Love: Dialogues, p. 177)”

12 – Essence

This passage encapsulates the essence of Day Eighteen. Some will follow the way of Jesus through interaction (the active way) with the world, some will follow the way of Mary through relationships (the receptive way), and some will combine both ways in their time in this world. All ways are needed in this time of transition.

13 – Feelings

Feelings are now our way of coming to know. This idea has been expressed previously, but now is reiterated. We lay aside all sickness as a temporary manifestation of external searching, and we turn within to find our knowing. The way that we exemplify this knowing, though, differs–whether the way of Jesus, the way of Mary, or a symbiotic relationship of the two.

14 – The Self

This passage also encapsulates the entire Forty Days and Forty Nights quite well. We are to become the resurrected self of form, elevated to the Self that has always been innate in us. This Self has never left God, and when we welcome this Self into our little self, we will know love and peace and joy as we have not known them for many eons.

15 – Self and Relationship to Self

“Both the self and the relationship of self to all must become known in order for the paradise that has been re-found to be re-created for everyone. What else would life be for but to make the invisible paradies of love visible and livable for all? (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 18)”

16 – Read Carefully

This quotation takes some explanation, although the meaning is clear when read carefully. The self is union with God and everybody and everything else; the relationship of self to all is the second half of what we need to do. Consequently, this quotation begins as a reassertion of unity and relationship.

17 – Paradise

We want paradise here on earth. We can have it. We do have it when we experience the union of God and man internally, coupled with the relationship that we have with God and man externally. Union and relationship; unity and relationship. The terms are used over and over in A Course of Love, and so Jesus must mean something very important by them. It is hoped that we won’t become jaded in our reading of these two terms, for in their fullness of meaning they are crucial to our establishment, with God, of a Heaven on earth, of Paradise in this world.

18 – Re-create

We need to re-create, because we have been lost in the illusion of separation. We are not really separate, indeed we could not be and still live. But we were unaware of our union with God as long as the ego was in the ascendancy. Now that the ego has fallen away (or is in the process of falling away), we know God in a way that was veiled for us by our egoic notions. We wanted the material above all else, but it ever failed to satisfy for longer than a moment. We wanted love, but found ourselves unable to give—and we know now that what we give is what we receive.

19 – Virgin State

So now we seek to recreate Heaven on earth, the return to the Garden of Eden, to return to our virgin state.

20 – Blessings

Let’s not delay any longer. These great blessings can be ours today. Only believe. And if you can’t believe, it isn’t to be yet for yourself.

21 – Patience

Be patient. The way will be shown to you in the privacy of your inner Self.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I earnestly want to fulfill your plan for me: that my little self elevate into the Self that I truly am. This means that earthly being is not less than heavenly. What a joy this means that life in this world can become! Thank You.

I do not yet know whether my way is the way of Jesus, the way of Mary, or a combination of the two. Guide me in this dilemma. I will listen to Your Voice today.

Help me to get through this one day with grace. I am very much wanting to feel Your Presence. This is a great blessing to me as I live the way of Jesus, leaning toward the way of Mary. I am very much a homebody, though I have been out in the world. Guide me to no longer try to “teach,” as this is not the way that people will come to You now. Guide me to remind others of what they already know internally. Just to observe what is true, and to say it. I ask this of You today. Thank You.

Amen.

All Is One / All Are One Self

1 – No Loss / Only Gain

“We are one self. How else could we be capable of receiving what we give? How else could our lives be capable of experiencing no loss but only gain? Why else would we have to share ourselves to know ourselves? (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 11)”

2 – Mystical

This is the truth, though it is a mystical concept and therefore difficult to understand, difficult to wrap our minds around. How can we be one self with others? How can the many be one?

3 – God-Stuff

We are all “God-stuff.” We are all differentiated from the Godhead. And the universe(s) is constantly expanding, and so there is always growth (though no real change). When we recognize that we are all one, that there is no loss but only gain, we know that what we “lose” goes to our brother or sister, who is actually one with us. So we only expand into a spacious self, as A Course of Love says. This spacious self recognizes that all are One, that we lose nothing when we spread abroad the intangibles.

4 – Sharing

When we share ourselves in conversation, we actually become more of what we truly are. We are sharing and in that process, actually gaining a sense of ourselves as One. We do not have to be extroverts to experience the release that we get through sharing. It is an experience that all can relate to and enjoy.

5 – Relationship

“To be separate in truth would be to not exist. To be the All of Everything would be to not know existence. Only what exists in relationship knows that it exists. Thus relationship is everything. Relationship is the truth. Relationship is consciousness. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 11)”

6 – God

This quotation points to a reason that God would have differentiated Himself in the beginning, and continues to do so. He cannot actually experience the Whole, if He is All that there is. It is only in relationship of the one to the other that such experience of reality is possible. Neale Donald Walsch, in the trilogy of Conversations with God, makes this identical point. But it is a theological point, and we do not want theology that we cannot accept to divide or separate us.

7 – One and the All

We are both one and the All. Unity and relationship, as A Course of Love says repeatedly. It is in reaching out to others, and in reaching down deep within, that we come to know reality. The deep within is God; the others are God as well, but as differentiated aspects of God. Parts of God that are yet part of the Whole.

8 – Hologram

It is like a hologram. Each part contains the whole. This is ultimately why everything has been given to each of us (tenet from A Course in Miracles).

9 – Christ-consciousness

“Christ-consciousness is the awareness of existence through relationship. It is not God. It is not man. It is the relationship that allows the awareness of God in everything. It has been called wisdom, Sophia, spirit. It is that without which God would not know God. (Dialogues of A Course of Love, Day 11)”

10 – Awakening

We want and we need Christ-consciousness, a concept that is called Awakening in A Course in Miracles. We don’t know when God will bestow this blessing on any of us, but we can be sure that He will bestow Christ-consciousness at the exact moment that we are ready. If this seems long off, we need not fret. The time will be as right as the Answer. (These are paraphrases of A Course in Miracles.)

11 – In Relationship

We are in relationship when we are enjoying Christ-consciousness. We no longer feel envious that others have what we do not; we know that we all potentially have everything. If that thing we want is not in our life now, we will know that it will be added at a future date (though maybe not in this lifetime).

12 – Sophia

“Christ-consciousness is the awareness of existence through relationship. It is not God. It is not man. It is the relationship that allows the awareness that God is everything. It has been called wisdom, Sophia, spirit. It is that without which God would not know God. It is that which differentiates all from nothing. (ACOL Dialogues, p. 154)”

13 – Separation

This one passage helps to explain why separation from God, and our return to Him, was necessary in the first place. If God is within (as well as without), then He could know Himself only in separation from the Whole. But it is in the rejoining in unity and relationship that makes Christ-consciousness what it is.

14 – Unity and Relationship

The words, “unity and relationship,” are used repeatedly in A Course of Love. They are so repeated that their meaning may be lost, unless we take care to understand fully at the outset. We are one in unity with our brothers and sisters, and we are one in relationship to them–being that two or more are held together in relationship. Thus the phrase, “unity and relationship,” is the central point without which Christ-consciousness could not function.

We are one heart, one mind, one Self–but seemingly fragmented into parts. This is an illusion, but this fragmentation is the only way that God can experience Himself. The All must separate and then see Itself in those separate, but united parts. While this may be hard for us to wrap our finite minds around, here is one of the secrets of salvation, one of the philosophical tenets around which A Course of Love is built. We know Christ-consciousness when we have rejoined our brothers and sisters in unity, but kept them close to use in our relationship to them. This knowing is a celestial event of the highest magnitude.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I offer myself in service to the All that is You. I am in relationship to that All, and I will know Christ-consciousness only as I accept this relationship. I would accept this relationship now.

Thank You for this course, this Course of Love, a sequel to A Course in Miracles. Thank You for granting me the intuitive insight that seems to say, over and over as I read, “yes, yes!” May I come to know the insights of A Course of Love intimately, ever more so over the times that I study.

May I realize that study is necessary, that you can’t just read this sequel like you read a story, something I used to think. The study is ever-reinforcing, as I realize that here is truth that I really, really want to understand. Thank You for Jesus’s dedication in channeling, once again and for us, a work of this magnitude. Thank You for supporting Mari as she scribed.

Thank You for guiding me in this shift in perception, this miracle. I would know the elevated Self of form, and I will endeavor to turn to You often today, so that I may remain close to this new reality.

Amen.

Yet All Who Meet Will Someday Meet Again

1 – Second Level of Relationship

Jesus embarks on describing different levels of relationship, from the most casual to the most sustained. In this passage, he is describing a second level:

“. . .[T]he second level of teaching is a more sustained relationship, in which, for a time, two people enter into a fairly intense teaching-learning situation and then appear to separate. (M8)”

I have known a good number of these relationships of a second level. I particularly think of relationships with male friends before I married. Many of us have experienced this type of relatively fleeting, but intense, relationship. This passage encourages us not to lament the fleeting nature:

“As with the first level, these meetings are not accidental, nor is what appears to be the end of the relationship a real end. Again, each has learned the most he can at the time. (M8)”

We are encouraged to believe that we encounter those whom we do for a purpose, that these meetings are not accidental, and that we will meet again. Indeed, sometimes these individuals contact us again,
and we have to decide if that contact is something that we can handle in the present, given our other relationships. Facebook has prompted many to reassess past relationships, and this is probably
on the whole a good thing. But we must not sacrifice anything in our present relationships to past ones. Perhaps our current significant others are not open to a friend from the past. Only we can decide.

2 – Do Not Lament the Past

We need not lament the past. There is an oft-quoted statement to the effect that if we knew the whole circumstance, we would praise God for removing from us the relationships that we thought we wanted.
This is a stern warning not to live in the past. It is also a call to be grateful for what we have now.

If we still long for the long-forgotten past, here is a passage of great comfort:

Yet all who meet will someday meet again, for it is the destiny of all relationships to become holy. God is not mistaken in His Son. (M8)”

3 – We Will Meet Again

Yes, we will meet again. This is quite in line with traditional Christianity. And it does, to my mind, seem to mean that we will meet on the Other Side, where, if we are to believe Jesus in the New Testament, there is no marriage or giving in marriage. We are free to love all, though undoubtedly there will still be restrictions when some are more ready to commit to a relationship than others. We must respect boundaries, here and in the other world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Grant me a day to rejoice over all the relationships which I have known. May I not rue the ones that ended, for the ending is not a real ending. If I can believe Jesus, and I do, we will meet again all who have been important to us in this lifetime.

May this day go well. For me, it will be a busy late afternoon, but the relative leisure of the early part of the day will prepare me for the whirlwind of later on. All of us need such respite. May we have the “down” time that we all need.

Thank You for your presence in my life.

Amen.

Peace Is the Ego’s Greatest Enemy, for War Seems to Be the Guarantee of Its Survival

“You cannot understand yourself alone. This is because you have no meaning apart from your rightful place in the Sonship, and the rightful place of the Sonship is God. (T79)”

1 – Relationship

We are meant to be in relationship to each other, to be in a relationship of sharing—not only with each other but also with God, in our communion (prayer) with Him. All too often we try, in vain, to be independent, needing nobody. The ego supports this in us, but it is a support that is shaky and withdrawn at any point. The ego cannot sustain us, for it is a false persona, a false sense of who we are. We are meant to be in union with one another (for All is One), and in relationship to one another. This latter understanding is a primary tenet of A Course of Love.

2 – Sonship

We have a rightful place in the Sonship, and by this we mean women as well as men, of course. The Sonship encompasses all of us, though we cannot and do not take our rightly place in it until we have moved beyond our little, personal selves. We need to recognize the Christ Self within (from ACOL). Only then we will have walked far enough along the pathway to know who we really are and what we really want. That end is always God, but not, perhaps, in the traditional sense of Christianity. The traditional sense does not usually see us as part of God, but A Course in Miracles makes this point very clearly. We are a part of God, and so it is impossible that we ever separated from Him except in illusions.

3 – Alone?

We do not understand ourselves alone, try as we may. We are not, in our essence, all alone and lonely. We do not have to strive to be independent, needing no one. This is a false idea planted in us by the part of our belief about ourselves, the ego. And the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (from Shakespeare) will see to it that this false idea, this persona, will not stand. It cannot give us what we need. It cannot sustain us.

4 – Calm Vision

“This vision frightens the ego because it is so calm. (T79)”

We are calm when we see ourselves in relationship to one another. We know, when we think this way, that there will always be someone there for us. And by this someone, I do not here emphasize God. Of course, God is always there for us. But when we cease our senseless attempts to remove ourselves from partnership with other people, we will know that we are never alone, that we will never be alone. We are put in this world with other people for a reason. The ego would teach us otherwise, but the ego is insane. And who would follow an insane guide if he/she knew better?

5 – Isolation

We do know better now. We are calm in certainty that we are never alone. If we have physical needs, if we have emotional needs, there are people in the world who will help us. It is wrong to try to walk the path of isolation. We are going against our very nature.

6 – Enjoyment

So enjoy the calm. And do not fear the anxiety that the ego would arouse in us. We are not on the edge of a cliff, ready to fall off. We are on the way home. The calm will sustain us in the midst of the worst nightmare that still remains for us in this troubled world. We are not so insane that we will not find the help that we need when confronting the demons of the ego that still pursue us.

7 – Peace

“Peace is the ego’s greatest enemy because, according to its interpretation of reality, war is the guarantee of its survival. (T79-80)”

When we are tempted to attack our brother, may we realize that it is the ego up to its old tricks. The more we attack, the stronger the ego in us becomes. Do we really want this?

8 – Alive?

When we are peaceful, we may at first feel that we are not as “alive” as we would like to be. This is the longing for drama in our relationships, and it is a sick longing. Peace is actually the best thing that can happen to us. Elsewhere ACIM says that we are meant to be perfectly calm and quiet all the time. This may sound extreme, but the things of heaven are obscure to us.

9 – Ego

When we allow peace to be, we reduce the size and complexity of the ego. We reduce its influence on us. Elsewhere we learn in the Course that the first obstacle that peace must flow across is the desire to get rid of it. This sounds like a paradox, but if we reflect, we will see that the statement is true. We too often want drama to make ourselves feel alive.

10 – A Better Way

A Course in Miracles holds out a better way for us. Invite peace in our daily lives, and we will soon know a joy that is boundless–even if everything is not perfect in this world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I long for peace in my life far more than I long for drama. May I realize that drama only strengthens the ego, and this I do not want.

May I have Your inner calm and quiet. This is the best way that I can come to know You, and it is this that I want.

Amen.

Dissatisfied?

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“By saying that giving and receiving are one in truth it is being said that you are lacking only in what you do not give. The belief in lack is a temptation of the human experience. This will relate to all situations in which you feel you have something to gain from some ‘other.’ Again, this will be related to old patterns of dissatisfaction with the self. It has to do with any ideas you may still hold concerning others having more than you have, or to desires that you may feel have gone unfulfilled. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 16.10)”

Affirmation: “I will give today to my brothers and sisters.”

Reflections:

1 – Giving and Receiving

Earlier I mentioned that the idea of giving and receiving being one is so often mentioned that we overlook what it means. We do not lack, because we are constantly in reciprocal relationship with others. We both give and receive, but we do not give because we think that if we don’t, we won’t receive. This statement is an egoic notion, and it behooves us to be better than that. We do not wish to manipulative, and if we still give in order to receive, we give amiss.

2 – Relationship

Giving and receiving happen all the time. It is the condition of relationship.

3 – Union and Relationship

In A Course of Love, union and relationship are twin themes mentioned frequently. We are in union with the All—God—but we are in relationship with all others as individuals (as well as One). And when we give and receive, we are giving and receiving, frequently, one on one. Not exclusively, but frequently.

4 – Of the Ego

We have often been dissatisfied with ourselves, and this dissatisfaction takes many forms, but all are of the ego. When the Christ Self emerges, we are at peace. We give and receive freely, knowing no lack. And we don’t envy others for what they have, of course. We know that in eternity we too can have those things, if we so desire.

5 – We All Have Everything

The fact that we all have everything is a statement from A Course in Miracles. Everything is ours, and so we don’t have to imagine that we are lacking the beauty, or attractiveness, or prowess, or any other thing that a brother or sister seems to have. All gifts are ultimately ours to have in eternity. Only time separates us from other people, and time does not really exist (also from ACIM).

6 – The Good that Is Ours

Be satisfied today with what you have. Don’t be jealous, don’t be envious. The good that is ours is uniquely suited to our needs. And when we fully realize this good, we will be satisfied.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be satisfied with myself today, but not in the sense of complacency. You would not have me be satisfied from an ego standpoint, of course. But a certain settled contentment is completely in line with this course we are taking, and this contentment goes a long way toward granting us consistent peace.

May I drop neurotic ideas today. May I let stress fall away from me, and with stress, also anger and attack. Neurosis is of the ego, and all of us are leaving our egos behind. May I do so today. I ask this frequently, and yet I still slip up. I fall on my face when stress encourages me to express anger at some totally irrelevant circumstance or remark made by another. Let all of us cease this type of thought, word, and deed today. May we truly know that contentment is akin to the peace that passeth understanding, and may we experience both this contentment and this peace today.

Thank You.

Amen.

Marriage

flower in forest“Often, those within the relationship of marriage have had occasion to choose to forgive the past and begin again to build a new relationship. Others, in a similar relationship, might have chosen to let the past go and enter into new relationships. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 15.1)”

Affirmation: “I will contemplate forgiveness in marriage today.”

Reflections:

1 – New Beginning

We are after a new beginning now as we proceed with A Course of Love and its Treatise on the Personal Self. Jesus exemplifies what he is saying by appealing to marriage as an example of a state in which we may constantly seek new beginnings. Or we may end a marriage, and seek a new beginning with someone else. But we cannot have a true new beginning of either kind in a special relationship, for special relationships partake of the past.

2 – Truly New

We often think that the future cannot be different from the past, and this hinders new beginnings. Jesus is leading up to saying that now we can expect a true new beginning in our lives in the matter of salvation. We can expect the elevation of the Self of form.

3 – Glorious Promise

What a glorious promise indeed this is! If those of us in marital relationships would contemplate all that is promised us by new beginnings, our relationship would flourish. And this is just the idea that Jesus wishes to get across.

4 – Special to Holy Relationships

We can know new beginnings, with the intent to leave the past behind. If we cling to the past too tenaciously, our current relationships will be hindered. We are not asked to give up the past, but only to leave it in its place as a cherished part of ourselves. And anytime that special, as opposed to holy, relationships have disturbed us, we ought to mentally transform the special into the holy (an interpretation, not stated in A Course in Miracles or ACOL).

5 – Today We Look Forward

So let us look to new beginnings in marriage today. We owe a lot to these words of Jesus, words that promise us a new beginning in marriage as in salvation leading to Christ-consciousness and the elevation of the Self of form.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

You know, dear God, that I said to my husband a couple of days ago that now that my mother has just died, I would have to transfer all of my caregiving to him. Of course, he does not need all the caregiving that my mother did. But he will get more and more attention as the days pass.

Thank You for being with me in the most recent days. It is not a tragedy when a 93-year-old individual goes home to You. And without pain. May You shine Your blessings on all my departed family, who are greeting her into the fold again.

And thank You for the support that I have enjoyed in my marriage. This is indeed a time of especial closeness to You.

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.

Relationship

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“The second rule of the art of thought is to acknowledge relationship, the call for a response, and the nature of all gifts as being given to all.  This is thus a call to realize that you exist in relationship, that your relationship calls for a response, and that you are given to all as all are given to you.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 4.6)”

Affirmation:  “I am part of all.”

Reflections:

1 – Respond

The Treatise on the Art of Thought emphasizes that in relationship, one is required to respond, but not to take responsibility for another.  We are all equal.  We can help one another, but each is responsible for himself/herself.

2 – Responsibility

What about the sick, the infirm, or those who are too old to care for themselves well?  I would say that this is still a time when one responds to need, but does not take “responsibility” for another.  This is a fine point, a fine distinction.  One does respond to another’s needs, but the actual choice of when to live and die belongs to the other individual’s Self.  We are not to interfere with all decisions that another is making on behalf of his/her Self/Christ.  That is not our business, not our responsibility.

3 – Given to All

But we are given to all, all others.  We are a part of God and all others.  We are One.  And this response that we are called upon to make may be a tremendous giving on our part.  The response may be gigantic, though only, perhaps, rarely.  We are not to turn aside from need, though.  We are to give to others by way of responding to their needs.  We just don’t take their integrity from them.

4 – An Example

I think of this mostly in regard to a parent who has dementia.  We take care of that individual, but we do not steal their choices from them until the very last, when they can no longer express preference.  We let parents with dementia retain their integrity and their dignity.  To do less would not be kind.

5 – Puzzling Reactions

We often need to respond to individuals who puzzle us in their reactions.  If we know the person well, we can often fall back on that knowledge and react in ways that have worked previously.  But this is not always a viable solution.  We are not to look to the past, when guidance will come to us in the present.  We are, after all, meant to live in the present as much of the time as possible.  If unsure of what response to offer another, go inward for an answer.  And we can be certain that the answer will come, usually immediately.  Only if there is strong emotion (which may mislead us), need we wait at all for a solution to the problem.  As I have said many times in this blog, quoting A Course in Miracles, the solution is with the problem.  And we will respond accordingly, if we are thinking and acting wisely.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May we respond with love, realizing that taking responsibility for another is  not what is needed or asked.  And this is true even for children and the infirm.  May I respond fully to need as it is presented to me.  May in no way I turn aside from one who asks for help.

May the challenges I face be known as an incident only, for there is no challenge when one has studied long and hard.  I try to be attuned to guidance, and I ask, especially today, to be so attuned.

Help me to reach out to others who need my care.  I will respond, and I will do so lovingly, given Your help to do so.

Amen.

Law of Karma

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“The laws of God or the laws of love can be summarized by the simple statement of giving and receiving being one in truth.  The implications of this statement are far broader than at first might seem indicated. . . .The most essential of these implications is that of relationship for giving and receiving cannot occur without relationship.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  Treatise on the Art of Thought, 2.11)”

Affirmation:  “Giving and receiving are one.”

Reflections:

1 – Giving and Receiving

We are very, very familiar with the truth that giving and receiving are one.  We are so familiar with this concept that we may have trouble understanding it anew.  But to give is to know that what we give will be returned to us in like manner.  We will receive that which we gave.  This is the old law of cause and effect, or of karma.  An Eastern concept, it is not often identified as such by Christianity, but it is indeed a principle of karma.

2 – Relationship

The emphasis in this passage is the fact of relationship.  Union and relationship are hallmarks of A Course of Love.  We are in relationship to All.  And in the All is the giving and the receiving.

3 – Special Transformed to Holy

We understand the most about this law of cause and effect, receiving and giving, in our most significant relationships.  If we have diligently followed A Course in Miracles, we will have morphed our special relationships into holy ones.  We know from our intimate relationships that when we treat our holy other with love, he/she returns in kind.  When we are attentive, we turn the relationship ever more into love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask to create for myself today only good karma, only good cause and effect, only good giving and receiving.  May my relationships transform, every one, into the holy.  May the specialness that we have all known in relationships be seen anew as a holiness that knows no bounds.

Thank You for leading me to understand that karma is at work in our lives, but in a more benign way than is usually believed.  You do not ever “punish” us.  We do that to ourselves.  May I make certain, within the bounds of my limited human mind, that I create only the good as I walk throughout this day.  Thank You for being with me, night and day, and thank You for Your perceived Presence.

Amen.

Inevitably Receive the Answer

Impressionist-Paintings-020“In unity and relationship, each is not only capable but will inevitably receive the answer and come to the understanding or interpretation that is right for her or his heart.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “May I interpret life well today.”

Reflections:

1 – We Are One

We are One, in unity as One and in relationship to the All.  These two words, “unity and relationship,” are used repeatedly in A Course of Love.  And well they are, for they emphasize a major theme that complements the idea that mind and heart need to work together in wholeheartedness.  If we are wholehearted, we will rejoice in the camaraderie that we know with others, as well as with ourselves and God Himself.  There is no end to the joy that we will know.

2 – Interpret Life Well

We will come to interpret life well.  We will no longer be lost in a maze of confusion.  The things that we need to do will occur to us at the point that knowing what to do becomes important.  We are led, and led gently and well by God, Who knows us better, of course, than we know ourselves.

3 – Life Improves

Be with us today as we seek to interpret well.  May our analysis of the day be benign, slighting no one.  May we know that life gets better as we seek God more often.  When He becomes our constant companion, the one to whom we refer all perplexities, we will be well on our way Home.  And Home is not the Other Side, but the real world that A Course in Miracles tells us about.  This is the world that we will see when enlightenment is sustained in our elevated physical Self.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I come to know, to interpret, my life as it is meant to be interpreted, in an accurate way.  May I know what to do and when.  And may I remain calm and joyous, letting confusion drop away.  When anxious moments arise, may I just let them go.  And let them go in the moment, the Now.

Be with me as I travel through this day.  May I no longer pay my “pound of flesh,” as a Shakespearian character did, but know that being anxious is not a talisman to keep bad things from happening.  I would live in trusting You.  May that strong degree of trust engulf me today.

If my mind strays to worry, may I know that I am failing to have enough faith to get through the day.  You don’t send bad things, but in our world bad things do happen.  And there is always a good lesson in these things that will eventually, and sooner rather than later–in faith–take us home to You.  A home in this world that is heaven on earth.

Thank You.

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.

Knowing through Relationship Is How Life Is

pissarro - street scene2“The relationship becomes the known.  While it is your nature to seek for more, it is also the nature of life to exist in relationship and to become known through relationship.  This is how knowing comes to be.  Knowing through relationship is not a ‘second best’ situation.  It is how life is.  It is how love is.  (A Course of Love, 23.2)”

Affirmation:  “I focus on relationship today.”

Reflections:

1 – What Relationship Means

This passage does not only mean relationship with other human beings.  This passage means relationship with all that we know, our inner Self and the world as we see it.  We stand in relationship to all, and that is how we learn, and that is what we love.

2 – Not Solitary Creatures

What does it mean to be “in relationship” to all?  We can take these words literally.  They mean what they say.  We are not solitary creatures; we were not created that way.  We are meant to be in relationship to all that surrounds us.

3 – With Significant Others

Of course, we focus most of all on our relationship to our significant others.  This is the way that A Course in Miracles defined salvation to be found.  And here A Course of Love picks up where ACIM left off, and also amplifies the concept.  It is a progression, because we were not ready for the full truth when we were dislodging the ego, as in ACIM.

4 – Reciprocity

We need to give our significant others the love that they need.  They in turn need to reciprocate, but this is not mandatory for the blessing to happen to us.  We will learn from love even when it is unrequited.  And we will learn from love when it ebbs and when it flows.  There is nothing that we learn outside of love, for Love is all that there is.  Everything else is illusion.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would recognize today that the world that I see is illusion, though it seems real enough to me.  I would recognize that the love that I feel in relationship and unity is the only true reality.  Help me to live peacefully with this knowledge, for it is knowledge, not perception.

Be with me throughout this day, to make of it a good day.  You will make of it a good day, and it is only I who would rue it.  I would not rue today.

Amen.

Relationship = the Truly Real

“You must forgive reality for being what it is.  Reality, the truly real, is relationship.  You must forgive God for creating a world in which you cannot be alone.  You must forgive God for creating a shared reality before you can understand it is the only one you would want to have.  (A Course of Love, 6.1)”

Affirmation:  “I would share my reality today.”

Reflections:

1 – Withdrawal

Sometimes, when life turns bad for us, we seek to withdraw.  We want to be alone, sometimes because we blame others for what seem to be our troubles.

2 – We Made Our Own Reality

This is a false reaction.  Others did not make the reality in which we live.  We did.  We drew what we see to ourselves, and thus we are in relationship to it.  We cannot improve this false reality as long as we see ourselves separate from it, sitting in judgment.

3 – Unity and Relationship

We do want to be with others, in unity as One and in relationship one to the other.  This is the only way that we can understand our world.  We are meant to be a part of this shared reality, a part of the love that we can offer to ourselves (first), and then to our brothers and sisters.

4 – Not Meant to Be Alone

We are not meant to be alone.  And when we withdraw into isolation and solitude, in the long term, we react amiss.

5 – Cooperation Necessary

We truly cannot be alone in this world.  Sometimes others seem to get into our “business, and we just want to withdraw.  But a new world requires cooperation with others.  And it is a new world that we would see.

6 – The Real World

Here we get a greater understanding, in this passage, of what Jesus did not fully elucidate in A Course in Miracles.  What is the real world?  It is the world of relationship, of joining with all that is (an ACOL tenet).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You that today I do not want to withdrawn, for I am truly grateful for a world filled with other people.  We are in this together.  We all need each other.

May I do my part to see that our relationships in this world are good and joyous.  May today go well, always following Your guidance.  And knowing that You would not have us to be alone.

Amen.

Dedicate Your Thought to Union

“Dedicate your thought to union.  When senseless thoughts fill your mind, when resentments arise, when worry comes, repeat the thought that comes to open your heart and clear your mind:  ‘I dedicate all thought to union.’  (A Course of Love, 5.20)”

Affirmation:  “I dedicate all thought to union.”

Reflections:

1 – One

We are all One.  Everything is One.  For God is one, and the All is He.

2 – Differences

We think of union, most of all, in regard to other people with whom we are particularly close.  But we don’t often realize that the union that we seek is also aware of differences.  And we blame others, for they are different from ourselves.

3 – The All

Jesus would not have us think this way.  We are in relationship one to another, but this relationship is a relationship of “sameness.”  We would do well to consider how alike we are to other people–indeed, how alike we are to all in God’s creation.  We made this world, but it often reflects a heaven on earth when union with the All has been accomplished in us.

4 – Unity and Relationship

Let us ask today for the union that we all need, whether or not we are aware of it.  This union (in relationship) is a keynote of A Course of Love.  When we have mastered this concept, we will not need to learn much more.

5 – Rise Above Difficulties

If we dedicate our thought to a desire to understand union, we will rise above.  We will know joy.  And God Himself will be glad that His children are once again communicating with Him.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would indeed dedicate my thought to union today.  I would see my brother and me as One, along with You and everyone else.  Help me to hold this one thought foremost in my mind, and I will be well on the road to a good day.

In union, we are One.  With You, we are the All.  And we are in union with everyone and everything, and we are also in relationship to other people and things, celebrating our differences, but still in union.  While these concepts may seem difficult at first, I know that they are simple but profound ideas.  Help me to teach them well.

Thank You.

Amen.

We Live in an Eternity. Be Happy Today.

“As God created us so will we be forever and forever, and we wish for nothing but His Will to be our own.  Illusions of another will are lost, for unity of purpose has been found.  (M-28.5)”

Affirmation:  “unity of purpose”

Reflections:

1 – Eastern Thought

We live in an eternity.  Be happy today.  The previous two sentences are from an Eastern master.  But I have long loved those words, as though they had been in my own religious tradition.

2 – God Will = Our Real Will

Here Jesus is saying the same thing.  Because God’s Will and our will are actually identical, we do wish to do God’s Will.  We do not want to wander off in tangents, seeking who knows what.  We want to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance, because it is the way home for us.  Nothing and Nobody else will do.  There is no other way, until we reach Christ-consciousness (as discussed, perhaps, by Jesus in A Course of Love).

3 – A Course of Love

We are united, yet in relationship to one another and to God.  A Course of Love talks repeatedly about “unity and relationship,” and to my eye this seems a paradox.  How can something united be in separate parts that would be demanded for a relationship to take hold?  I think that Answer is that we are One, and yet we have differentiated into seemingly separate entities, separate Selves, in order to experience all facets of reality (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or A Course of Love).  So the fact that A Course of Love counsels “unity and relationship” repeatedly is actually a fact that must be faced head-on.  We must be One with ourselves and our brothers and sisters, at the same time that we are in relationship one to the other.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be happy today, knowing that we live one day at a time.

May my day equal my magnificent expectation for it.

Thank You.

Amen.